Classic Rock


The British Invasion invaded Britain too,
thanks to the pirates of Radio Caroline

Title: Caroline's Pirate Gold - The Early Years
Oldies/Documentary, Classic Rock/Documentary
3-hour weekly program
Duncan Larkin
Recommended for:
Oldies, Classic Rock, Personality AC, Generalist
Programming tool:
Audience builder, image and brand enhancer
Commercial opportunity:
Six minutes of local commercial avails per hour

On Easter Sunday 1964, with their words having been pre-taped (since they were too nervous to broadcast live) Chris Moore, and the then unknown actor Simon Dee, announced "This is Radio Caroline on 199, your all day music station". Then a Rolling Stones' record was played, dedicated to Caroline's founder, Ronan O'Rahilly. Caroline was on the air, the monopolies of the BBC and Luxembourg were shattered. Radio in the United Kingdom was changed forever.

Ronan O'Rahilly was motivated to start his own ship-borne radio station due to his frustration as an artist-manager at getting air-play for his new prodigy, Georgie Fame. Ronan had previously managed and lost The Animals and had been involved with Giorgio Gomelsky in managing The Rolling Stones before Andrew Loog Oldham signed them to Decca. The British pop scene was about to explode, but it needed an outlet to promote these emerging talents. Radio Caroline was that catalyst, bringing non-stop music radio to Britain and helping to break new bands like The Who, The Kinks and many others that became part of 1960's 'British Invasion'.

Listening to Radio Caroline was an act of rebellion in itself for the new teen generation and the 'Sound Of The Nation' encapsulated the youth spirit of Britain in the 'Swinging 60's'. Almost immediately the revolution spilled over onto the Euopean Continent as the "pirates" high-power transmitters could be heard from Amsterdam to Zurich.

In 1967 the National Opinion Polls announced that Radio Caroline, unlicensed and broadcasting from a ship in international waters, had the greatest weekly audience of any commercial station in the world. The official response from the British government was to adopt new legislation making it a criminal offence to make an unlicensed broadcast -- with punishment of a prison sentence for up to five years! In 1975, radio listener Jackson Hunter was convicted and subsequently imprisoned for 60 days -- for displaying a Radio Caroline car-sticker!

KeyMarket Media is offering two distinct weekly programs each showcasing a different Radio Caroline era.

1. Caroline's Pirate Gold - The Early Years
2. The Vinyl Frontier - Caroline's Album Gold