Sixties Pirate Radio Sounds
Sixties Pirate Radio Sounds

'Pirate Radio' became known as such, not because it was broadcast by scurrilous hook-handed knaves and wenches in pirate costumes, but because it was broadcast from disused sea forts and offshore radio ships situated in what were perceived by the governments of the time as illegal locations. This was done to take advantage of the increasing demand for rock and pop music for which the 'legal' BBC Radio services did not cater, and the 'pirate' stations were, technically, not actually illegal as long as they broadcast from international waters.
The sound of the very first bell from Radio Caroline in 1964 heralded the start of a completely new type of sound coming out of British transistor radios - the radio jingle. These self-contained snippets of the Sixties contained tunes and catchphrases that were, in many cases, even more memorable than the records being played by the stations and there can't be many of us for whom at least one of these doesn't bring back memories of the halcyon days of pirate radio. They just don't make them like this anymore...
One of the best things about the pirate radio stations was that you actually heard all of the record, not just half or two-thirds of it as you did when listening to Radio Luxembourg.
The 'official tune' of Radio Caroline was a track called (predictably) 'Caroline' which appeared on the 'B' side of a single by The Fortunes and the chorus segue of which was used in many of their jingles.
Another song with the same title was recorded by Roy Hastings.

A track called 'We Love The Pirates' released on Radio Caroline's own label, and made by members of The Ivy League under the name of 'The Roaring 60s', was widely played during the final days of pirate radio in 1967. Under the terms of The Marine etc, Broadcasting (Offences) Act it has technically been illegal to play it anywhere in Britain, inside territorial waters, since 14th August 1967 as it 'promotes the cause' of pirate stations.
Roy Hastings - Caroline
Caroline - The Fortunes
We Love The Pirates
Roy Hastings
The Fortunes
The Roaring 60s

Station Jingles and Intros

While some stations had specially composed jingles, many of the pirates used generic ones, tailored to their own particular station or show, commercially produced by (usually American) companies.
In the examples below, the Radio England jingles have been tailored specifically for the station's own use. The others are in their 'raw' state ready for modification or as ready to use 'off the shelf' items.

Swinging Radio England
(with thanks to the generosity of Ray Robinson in providing much of the Radio England content)

Brings you up to the minute reports
Good morning the world is bright and new
Outa sight
Stay with the fun - hear all the hits
Car engine background
Let's look into the future time
Plane fly-past background
Surf sound background
England's finest (news jingle)
Live this weekend where the action is
Remember this golden classic
Where the action is
You're a winner
Unwind your weekend with us
The fastest thing in the air
You get a positive charge
The Boss jocks play more music now

Various Stations

Swinging Radio 227
Radio City
The Caroline Bell
The Radio Scotland song
Various Pirate Radio Stations (on You Tube)
Radio Veronica

Generic Jingles

The swingingest station in town
The station that swings
Weather report intro
Your swinging station

Radio Caroline (North)

We wish you a merry Christmas
Go Go
Sound of the nation weather
News comes first (news intro)
News (outro jingle)
Christmas jingle
Radio Luxembourg

Stay with the station...
The station of the stars
Red is for stop
Colourful Radio Luxembourg (1)
Colourful Radio Luxembourg (2)
Join the OIS      
Radio Luxembourg

Green is for go
Newsroom 208

The Les Reed Orchestra: Man Of Action
Station theme for Radio North Sea International (aka Radio Nordsee International)

Ramsey Lewis: Wade In The Water
Station theme for the RNI (Radio Nordsee International) Dutch service

Jr. Walker and The All Stars: Tune Up
Used as a backing track to the 'Kent Messenger' ads on Radio Caroline South

Frank Cordell and His Orchestra: The Black Bear
Theme tune for Radio Scotland (Dec 65 - Aug 67)
Jimmy McGriff: 'Round Midnight
The station 'close down' theme for Radio Caroline

George Martin and His Orchestra: Theme One
Used as the 'station theme' to launch BBC Radio 1 in 1967

DJ and Show Signature Tunes

Little Mac and The Boss Sounds: In The Midnight Hour
Signature tune for Steve Young on 'The Nite Trip' Show, Radio Caroline South
Also used by Carl Mitchell on Caroline South, Rick Dane and Mike Ahern (Caroline North & South)

The Ray McVay Sound: Revenge
Bob Spencer's 'Breakfast Beat' programme on Radio Scotland

Johnny Keating: Carlo's Theme
Theme from 'Pot Luck' programme on Radio Invicta

Earl Van Dyke and The Soul Brothers: All For You

Signature tune for Rick Dane on Radio Caroline (North & South)

The Shadows: Guitar Tango
Keith Skues signature tune

The Mood Mosaic: A Touch Of Velvet - A Sting Of Brass
Used by Dave Lee Travis (DLT) as a signature tune on Radio Caroline (North & South)

Duane Eddy: Because They're Young
Signature tune used by Johnnie Walker on Swinging Radio England

Red Prysock: Hand Clappin'
Used as a theme on taped shows by Jack Spector, Radio Caroline North & South

David Rose and His Orchestra: The Stripper
Used as a signature tune by Kenny Everett on Radio London

Kaempfert version of 'On The Street Where You Live - similar to original believed to be by
the David Macey Orchestra?
Used as a signature tune by Dennis Straney on Radio 270
The Ventures: The Swingin' Creeper
Signature tune for 'Die großen Acht' on Radio Luxembourg

Johnny and The Hurricanes: Buckeye
Signature tune for Mike Ahern on Radio Caroline (North & South)

The Surfaris: Wipe Out
Signature tune for Guy Blackmore on Radio Caroline and Radio 390.
Also used by Paul Alexander (Caroline - 1970s), Jim Gordon (Caroline North) and Mark Roman (Radio London)

Sauter-Finegan Orchestra: Doodletown Fifers
Signature tune for Radio Luxembourg's 'Top Twenty Show' and later used by Jimmy Savile on BBC Radio 1

Alan Haven: Image
Used as a signature tune by Bob Stewart on Radio Caroline North

The Bar-Kays: Soul Finger
Signature tune used by Stuart Henry on Radio Scotland

John Dankworth Orchestra: Beefeaters
Signature tune for the 'Tony Blackburn Show' originally on Radio London (Big L)

The Johnny Howard Band: Rinky Dink

Signature tune used by Bart Van Leeuwen on Veronica and Mi Amigo
(also used by Tom Lodge on Radio Caroline)

Barry Alldis : Go Get It ('B' side of 'Like Lazy' 1963) - Yes, a DJ on the piano!
Signature tune for Radio Luxembourg Top 20

Bob Wallis and His Storyville Jazzmen: Climb The Apples
Theme tune for Mike Barron on Radio 270

Radio Shows and DJs

The following are excerpts from various stations and programmes,
giving examples of the chat, the jingles, the Sixties DJ sound and
in more than one instance, the embarrassing 'cock-up'.

Swinging Radio England
Pirate Radio studios

Bruce Wayne Show - weather check
Bruce Wayne Show - Radio England Night Out Advert
Rick Randall / Larry Dene changeover
Larry Dean - 'Go Go Go'
Larry Dean - 'Batman'
Larry Dean - record link
Ron O'Quinn - QSL request
Ron O'Quinn - Holy mackerel
Ron O'Quinn - 55,000 watts of power
Jerry Smithwick - What day is it?
Jerry Smithwick - What exactly is 47.5rpm?
Bruce Wayne Show - last day of Radio England
Bruce Wayne Show - last record
Johnny Walker - first Radio England show
Johnny Walker - last Radio England show
Rick Randall
Roger Day - The Roger Day Groove
Roger Day - It's blast-off time
Roger Day - 'Batman'
Roger Day - A bit of turntable trouble
Jerry Smithwick - Test transmission QSL request

Other Stations

Radio Dolfijn
BBMS - Richard Palmer
Radio Essex

Dave Cash Radio London Christmas 1965
Stuart Henry on Radio Scotland's 'Knockabout Pop'
Radio Sutch
Radio City - Ian McRae
Radio 390 - Eve, the woman's magazine of the air

Bruce Holland on the Radio Invicta Noon Show
Radio 390 - The Russ Conway Show
Radio 270 - Brendan Power - Weather desk
Radio Invicta - 'Strictly for highbrows'
Radio Scotland - 242 clan advert
Radio Caroline - The Simon Dee Show
Radio Kaleidoscope - Station signature theme - Kaleidoscope, from their album 'Tangerine Dream'

Examples of daily programme schedules and show playlists        Pirate Radio Show sound files

Radio Adverts - See Media for more radio and television advertising sounds and information.

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