Radio Caroline

Radio Caroline was the first private radio station in the UK and is responsible for the development of pop music in the 1960s is of central importance. Radio Caroline was founded in 1964 by the Irish music producer Ronan O'Rahilly as a pirate radio station and sent to 1990 from the sea. The transmitter has survived several shutdowns and interruptions.


The three- mile zone

The music producer Ronan O'Rahilly was the band his label accommodate neither the BBC nor at Radio Luxembourg and then decided to start his own station. Because private radio stations were not allowed in the 1960s in the UK, Radio Caroline broadcast from a ship, the "MV Fredericia ," which was anchored under the Panamanian flag in the North Sea, three miles from Essex.

The idea to leave the mainland, came from the Voice of America, which was then partially sent by sea. Three miles off the coast on ships was the law of that nation whose flag it drove. On the "MV Fredericia " was a medium-wave transmitter with 10 kW of power, the 1520 kHz ( 197.3 meters ) was operated on the frequency.


Radio Caroline is named after John F. Kennedy's daughter Caroline. O'Rahilly had the idea supposedly, when he saw a photo where the girl in the " Oval Office " played and thereby disturbed the U.S. President in his work - that is, the government interfered. That hit the image that fit O'Rahillys opinion to the transmitter. Kennedy had been assassinated a few months earlier.

Send beginning in 1964

On March 28, 1964 an Easter Saturday, the two went DJs Chris Moore and the then unknown Simon Dee with the words "This is Radio Caroline on 199, your all day music station " on the air. The first song played was " Not Fade Away" by the Rolling Stones. To detect the melody on January 1, 1964 brought out by the Fortunes and produced by Shel Talmy title Caroline was chosen.

With the launch of Radio Caroline O'Rahilly was the Australian music manager Alan Crawford previously, with whom he was known. Crawford also planned to operate a commercial radio station from a ship. To this end, Crawford bought the former radio ship of Radio Nord from Stockholm, calling it " Mi Amigo ". On April 27, 1964, the "Mi Amigo " before Frinton -on-Sea, which is also located in the county of Essex anchored, and began on May 9, with the first test broadcasts. Under the name of Radio Atlanta began three days later, on May 12, the regular program.

Two transmit ships

Caroline and Atlanta talked to the same receiver layer. Was sent "only" by the hour and on neighboring frequencies. Thus, a station of the other allegedly took away the handset. After six weeks on Oldies Radio Atlanta and more middle- of-the- road music on Radio Caroline Crawford and O'Rahilly did together and the radio ship Radio Caroline went on 2 June 1964 all the way to the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea, where it was 3.5 nautical miles off Ramsey Bay in international waters at anchor. During the trip has been sent to the broadcast times now known. Radio Caroline covered from now on as Caroline North from the northern part of the kingdom. The "Mi Amigo " remained as Caroline South is home to the south, so that Radio Caroline had two transmit ships. Another station Wonderful Radio London, also known as Big L, began on December 23, 1964 their official broadcasts by former U.S. minesweeper " Density", renamed " Galaxy"; the only station off the English coast that was sent from the first day according to a fixed program schedule and very professional. Was modeled on the U.S. commercial radio station KLIF in Dallas / Texas.

A spokesman for Radio Caroline, Andy Archer is awarded to the British slang term in 1974 anorak for loyal, somewhat obsessive fans coined and publicized. In May 1974 fans visited the radio station of the vessels by boat near the Dutch coast. When Radio Caroline was decided to send the program from deck to something to offer to the loyal fans despite the rather cool weather. To welcome Archer's remark that he looked forward " so many anoraks (as many anoraks ) ", is considered first use of the term used today mainly for spotters, nerds and geeks.

Previously sponsor and image rights scandal

Most listeners were on Radio Caroline by the magazine Queen attentive, whose director Jocelyn Stevens from the cooperation a readership of wealthy, predominantly teenage girls - the Chelsea Set - promised. Stevens contributed financially to the pirate radio station from its foundation and used for applications including a photo of Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, who had been with the station in 1966 to guest. Because neither the picture nor its commercial use with Jagger and the Rolling Stones manager Andrew Oldham were discussed, it was one of the first legal dispute about the right to their own image among celebrities and the legitimacy of paparazzi photographs. The magazine and Radio Caroline lost in July 1966 before the court because they had Mick Jagger intentionally deceived. In addition, as Oldham, the Rolling Stones custody in principle, against any association with commercial products.

Further development

In the following years, Radio Caroline was successful in British listeners as an alternative to BBC Radio 1 and played an important role in the spread of new pop and rock music styles. Bands like The Who or status quo were known by the sender.

Several times had to Radio Caroline in the now almost 50 years of existence ( in March 2014) set the program. Time because of state repression, sometimes because of the difficult conditions at sea. The first radio ship, the "MV Fredericia ", was temporarily forced laid and later fixed in the Amsterdam harbor. At the beginning of the 70s the ship in the scrap yard Van der Marel in Ouwerkerk, Zeeland province was divided. The radio ship Mi Amigo sank in 1980 in the Thames estuary before Brightlingsea. Radio Caroline started every time and has since the mid- 1990s, an official broadcasting license.


From 1983 to 1990 Radio Caroline broadcast from the " Ross Revenge". This ship had a 90 -meter-high radio mast; it was the highest ever built on a ship's mast. This record, however, was outbid by sailboat Mirabella V with a mast height of 91.44 m.

Radio Caroline can be heard today on web radio. The satellite broadcasting was set September 30, 2013, because the reception in the actual transmission area in UK with British Sky pay TV receivers had proved to be too expensive and the overall satellite reception over manual adjustment to be too low relative to the number of listeners to the leased transponders on finance. But to start with oldies from the 60s, 70s and 80s, a new online channels Caroline extra. Furthermore, it is still struggling for a medium wave frequency, as several channels, including the BBC have given several MW frequencies that can be re-assigned by Ofcom now.

Radio Caroline in the cinema

Radio Caroline was the inspiration for the film The Boat That Rocked.