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Happy 47th birthday Radio Caroline!

Radio Caroline 1965

One of the most famous off-shore British pirate stations of the 1960s celebrates the 47th anniversary of its first successful broadcasts today. Gibson’s This Day in Music Spotlight reminded me of the occasion. As writer MIchael Wright retells, the next day, the 29th, was Easter Sunday and Caroline was ready to officially launch.

At 12 Noon, a prerecorded message announced to millions of English listeners, “This is Radio Caroline on 199, your all-day music station.” Disc jockey Chris Moore then spun The Rolling Stones’ cover of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away.” Pirate radio had launched its first salvo on the United Kingdom.

Last year I marked Radio Caroline’s big day with a post comparing the 60s UK pirate scene with the one still thriving today. It’s still true that British popular music — along with pop music across the English-speaking world — would not be the same without the artist-breaking influence of this long line of radio pirates.

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