The Radio Rose of Texas by Derek Burroughs, jr.

Updated and revised on March 2nd,2007.

 

Chapter 8: “32 Curzon”. Addresses and other administrative data.

 

A letter to William E.Vick.

 

Don Pierson hired Bill Vick by letter dated January 31, 1966 while Vick was in Amarillo in West Texas. It says:

 

“Dear Mr. Vick;

 

This letter will serve as an agreement between our joint venture, known as World Wide Investments, and you, whereby you will be employed by the venture as their Manager of their operations in Europe. This agreement shall be for a term of at least two years, and shall be binding on all parties.

 

We agree to pay you the sum of twenty-four thousand dollars ($24,000.00) annually, to be paid monthly as follows: one thousand (1,000.00) dollars per month to be sent to you in Europe, the other one thousand ($1,00.00) dollars to be deposited to your account in the Butlers Bank Ltd., Post Office Box 901, in Nassau, Bahamas. In addition, we agree to pay you two and one-half (2½%) per cent of the gross proceeds of the venture after overhead also to be deposited to your account in the Butlers Bank Ltd., Post Office Box 901, in Nassau, Bahamas.

 

In addition to the above, we agree to reimburse you for all venture related expenses; this will include moving you and your family to Europe and their return at the termination of this agreement.

 

Let us all hope that the venture will be profitable for all of us.

 

Very truly yours,

(signed)

Don Pierson

Trustee, Venture Group[1]

 

Who was Peir-Vick ltd.?

 

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

 

Charles Greville relates the sad facts of Peir-Vick’s liquidation on March 11th, 1967, Daily Telegraph, March 12h, 1967. From Offshore Echo’s.

 

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

 

 

Peir-Vick Ltd. stationery. From ©Offshore Echo’s and Hans Knot’s archive.

 

 

SRE/BR Station Information per summer 1966. From Hans Knot’s archive.

 

INVESTORS:

It is understandable that investors often for many reasons want confidentiality about their investment. This we want to respect. But for historic reasons and as it is 40 years ago we would like to mention that some of the investors behind the Olga Patricia stations seem to have been Don Pierson, Pierce Langford III, ”Red” Livingstone, Vincent Murphy, Bill Vick, World Wide Investments and City National Bank.[2]

 

 

”Enter a Texan with two big pirate radios” in Daily Mirror for April 21st, 1966 it is said that the Olga backers were “British, American and Canadian”, which was very inaccurate. From Hans Knot’s archive, seemingly a contribution from Gerwyn Roberts, Wales(+Swedish source?) and the NRC/IDXD.

 

5-station information, WRTH style.

 

RADIO ENGLAND(Comm.)

Owner: Worldwide Investment Corp.

Operated by: Peir-Vick Ltd, 17 Berkeley Street, London W1. Tel: MAYfair 3742.

Addr: 32 Curzon Street, London W1.

LEADING PERSONNEL. Man.Dir. William E.Vick. Dir.Progr. Rick Randall, then Ron O’Quinn, later Bill Berry. Gen.Man. Chuck Blair, later Jack Curtiss.

SALES: Radiovision Broadcasts(International)Ltd.(A member of the Pearl&Dean Group)33 Dover Street, London W1.

STATION: Located on the former US Army/Navy ship “Olga Patricia” anchored 4 ½ miles off Frinton-on-Sea.

CALL LETTERS: HO..(Panama)HR..(Honduras)

COORDINATES: 51 49N 0123E.

FREQUENCY: 1322 kc 50 kW, ¼ power used before summer 1966, ½ power by October, 1966.

CHIEF ENGINEER: Ted Walters. ASSISTANT CHIEF ENGINEER: Bob Gittis

D.PRGR: 24 hrs. N: Every h 15 mins past the h. Wrp: Every half h. 15 mins past the h. and 15 mins. Past the half h.

ANN.: “Swinging Radio England on 227 metres.” “Boss Radio.” V.by card.

 

BRITAIN RADIO(Comm.)

Owner: Worldwide Investment Corp.

Operated by: Peir-Vick Ltd, 17 Berkeley Street, London W1. Tel: MAYfair 3742.

ADDR.: 32 Curzon Street, London W1, later 17 Berkeley Street, London W1.

L.P. Man.Dir. William E.Vick. Dir.Progr. Ron O’Quinn, later Phil Martin. Gen.Man. Chuck Blair, later Jack Curtiss.

SALES: Radiovision Broadcasts(International)Ltd.(A member of the Pearl&Dean Group)33 Dover Street, London W1.

STATION: Located on the former US Army/Navy ship ship “Olga Patricia” anchored 4 ½ miles off Frinton-on-Sea.

CALL LETTERS: HO..(Panama)HR..(Honduras)

COORDINATES: 51 49N 0123E.

FREQUENCY: 845 kc 50 kW, ¼ power used before summer 1966, ½ power by October, 1966.

CHIEF ENGINEER: Ted Walters. ASSISTANT CHIEF ENGINEER: Bob Gittis

D.PRGR: 24 hrs. N: Every h. Wrp: Every h.

ANN.: “This is Britain Radio broadcasting on 355 metres.” “Hallmark of Quality.” INT.SIG.: Rule Brittania[3]. V.by card.

 

 

RADIO DOLFIJN(Comm.)

Owner: Worldwide Investment Corp.

Operated by: Peir-Vick Ltd, leased to 3rd party?

UK ADDR.: 32 Curzon Street, London W1, later 17 Berkeley Street, London W1.

DUTCH ADDR.: Verkoopmaatschappi NV., Amsteldijk 63, Amsterdam 2(Z?).

POSTAL ADDRESS: Postbus 4022, Amsterdam, Holland[4].

Tel:760816.

L.P. Man.Dir. William E.Vick. Gen.Man.:Jack Curtiss. Dutch repr: Basil van Rensburg.

SALES: Radiovision Broadcasts(International)Ltd.(A member of the Pearl&Dean Group)33 Dover Street, London W1.

STATION: Located on the former US Army/Navy ship ship “Olga Patricia” anchored 4 ½ miles off Frinton-on-Sea.

CALL LETTERS: HO..(Panama)HR..(Honduras)

COORDINATES: 51 49N 0123E.

FREQUENCY: 1322 kc 50 kW. ½ power used.

CHIEF ENGINEER: Ted Walters. ASSISTANT CHIEF ENGINEER: Bob Gittis

D.PRGR in Dutch: 0600-2200 hrs. N: Every h. 15 mins bef.the h. Wrp: Every h. 15 mins bef.the h.

ANN.: “Dit is Radio Dolfijn op 227 meter.” V.by QSL-card.

 

RADIO 227(Comm.)

Owner: Worldwide Investment Corp.

Operated by Carstead advertising Ltd.

ADDR.: 114 Kings Road, Chelsea, London, SW3.

L.P. Man.Dir. Edward Allbeury. Gen.Man.: John Withers. Programme Director: Tony Windsor.

POSTAL ADDRESS: Postbus 1390, Amsterdam, Holland.

SALES AND PROGRAMMING: Admiralengracht 101, Amsterdam, Holland.

STATION: Located on the former US Army/Navy ship ship “Olga Patricia” anchored 4 ½ miles off Frinton-on-Sea.

CALL LETTERS: HR..(Honduras)

COORDINATES: 51 49N 0123E.

FREQUENCY: 1322 kc 226.9 metres 50 kW. 27 kW K.W ERP used.

CHIEF ENGINEER: Ted Walters. ASSISTANT CHIEF ENGINEER: Bob Gittis

D.PRGR in Dutch: 0600-2200 hrs. N: Every h. 15 mins bef.the h. Wrp: Every h. 15 mins bef.the h.

ANN.: “Dit is Radio 227.” “The new Double 2-7”  V.by letter.

 

RADIO 355(Comm.)

Owner: Worldwide Investment Corp.

Operated by Carstead Advertising Ltd.

ADDR.: 114 Kings Road, Chelsea, London, SW3.

L.P. Man.Dir. Edward Allbeury. Gen.Man.:John Withers. Programme Director: Tony Windsor.

POSTAL ADDRESS: BCM 355, London WC1.

TEL.: KEN 1551.

STATION: Located on the former US Army/Navy ship ship “Olga Patricia” anchored 4 ½ miles off Frinton-on-Sea.

CALL LETTERS: HR..(Honduras)

COORDINATES: 51 49N 0123E.

FREQUENCY: 845 kc 355 metres 50 kW. 27 kW K.W ERP used.

CHIEF ENGINEER: Ted Walters. ASSISTANT CHIEF ENGINEER: Bob Gittis

D.PRGR in English: 0600-2200 hrs. N: Every h. Wrp: Every h.

ANN.: “This is Radio 355.” V.by letter.

 

 

The format changes.

 

1. The song(s) of a Dolfijn enters 227. About the Dolfijn drama.

 

Really a Texan Radio Station in Europe? Or a European leaser of “227”? Radio Dolfijn was launched on Monday, November 14th, 1966 at 16.40pm in the afternoon.

 

Here follows a series of documents that may add light to what really happened:

 

A letter from a lawyer.

 

Letter, dated September 30th, 1966, from Dan M.Fergus, Attorney at Law, Abilene, TX, representing Worldwide Investments Inc., is ent to R.F.Burget at the transmitter factory. It is said that 1320-1322 kc is only a temporary frequency choice. The two stations have also only been able to operate on approx. half power, and the calculated loss of the operation by October, 1966 is $2,250,000,000.[5]

 

Don Pierson is booted out.

 

On October 7th, 1966, Don Pierson was booted, as the investors that had poured in so much money in the project became very nervous:

 

“Eastland Man Says He Was Booted

Pierson Says Another Texas Took Over Venture

 

Dallas (AP) – A West Texas promoter of a pirate radio ship operating off the coast of England says he was ‘kicked out’ of the venture in late 1966 and another West Texan ‘violently took over.’

 

Don Pierson of Eastland testified for seven hours Tuesday in a trial involving an alleged debt of $348.180 for transmitting equipment about the ship” ….

 

“Pierson said after the ship and equipment were purchased, his job entailed internal business operations.

 

William Vick, he testified, ran the floating station and sold commercial time.

 

Pierson said the station encountered equipment difficulties and slumping commercial sales and that he was ousted from his management responsibilities at a meeting in Abilene, Tex., on Oct. 7, 1966.

 

Pierson said Jim Langford of Wichita Falls took over the meeting and ‘it was very stormy.’

 

Pierson told the court the venture started with $750,000, which included cash and equipment…[6]

 

Meanwhile in London…

 

 

1.”…One of his stations would soon become Dutch…”(MD William Vick)[7]

 

2. The Evening Standard and the Evening News for October 20, 1966 report the following: Radio Holland will be on air from 7am to midnight on a new wavelength other than 227. From midnight to 7am Radio England will continue on 227.

 

3. "Pirates to cross the sea

 

By our own Reporter

 

Questions there were in plenty but answers there were none at a press conference staged in Mayfair yesterday by "Swinging" Radio and "sedate" British Radio, the two American-owned pirate radio stations.

 

The conference had originally been called by Mr. William Vick, Texas chief of the pirates, but he was "unavoidably detained" in Dallas, his place was taken by Mr. Jack Curtis, the stations engaging operations manager.

 

Mr. Curtis,…, told us…that Radio England was shortly to be transformed into Radio Holland from 7 a.m. to midnight.

 

When, he did not know. Where, how, and on what wavelength he did not know…But…he did know that Radio Swinging Holland was going to be an up-pace, up-tempo,…station soaring out from the good ship Laissez-Faire….

 

Indignantly, he denied that Radio England was the first of the pirates to scuttle before the Postmaster-General's Bill banning them became law.

 

Asked by a cynical Dutch journalist just how Radio Holland was going to start broadcasting in three weeks when no Dutch staff had been engaged, no wavelength allocated, no permission granted, and no programmes planned, Mr. Curtis said with disarming simplicity: That is one of the miracles of commercial radio.[8]"

 

4."Pirates Launch Radio Holland[9]

 

Radio Holland, Europe's newest pirate radio station was launched in Curzon Street, W.1. yesterday.

 

Mr. Jack Curtis, operations manager of Radio England and Britain Radio which operate from the same ship off Harwich, said that within three weeks Radio Holland would broadcast in Dutch from Radio England's 55 kW. transmitter. It would be on the air from 7 am to midnight with Dutch advertising and Dutch disc jockeys recruited by the organization.

 

Radio England will continue to broadcast from midnight to 7 am on the same transmitter, but there will be a new common wavelength.

 

The 480-ton vessel Laissez Faire, which carries the stations. will not move, and listeners in England will be able to hear Radio Holland.

 

It is understood that revenue wil be sought in Holland to offset the drop in British advertising certain to follow passage of the Government's anti-pirate Bill. British advertising will be concentrated on Britain Radio. [10]"

 

Radio Holland in Dutch press

 

1. Concurrentie op zee voor Radio Veronica. In an interview[11], Jack Curtiss described a Swinging Radio Holland “binnen drie weken”, to broadcast “van `s morgens 7 uur tot`s nachts 12 uur”, “met popmuziek, Nederlandse advertenties en Nederlands nieuws, gepresenteerd door Nederlandse disc-jockeys.” Radio England would be taking nights 12 midnight-7am.

 

 

2.In this report from “Telegraaf” for Oct.21st, 1966, an excited Jack Curtiss explained more of the coming Dutch station, which he indicated still lacked vital points of the organization needed. Radio Holland would still be airing the “hitparade” as “Holland loves American and British songs.” Already Radio England drew a lot of fanmail from Holland. The new station would be no escape from the coming MOA, but company expansion. The broadcasting frequency was to be decided later, and the start would be “in 2 or 3 weeks” . With broadcasting hours 7-12 was meant Dutch time.  It seems Boom Boom Brannigan had been brought from the ship especially for the interview, saying ”Yeah, Yeah” to the Curtiss outline[12]. From Hans Knot’s archive.

 

3.“Deze zender wordt iets groots.” [13]

 

 Op maandag 14.november’s morgens om 7 uur zal Nederlands tweede piratenzender in de lucht komen op 227 meter op de middengolf. Maar dat zal niet zijn onder de naam “Swinging Radio Holland”, zoals het station tot dusver gedoopt was.”

 

On Monday November 14th, at 7 o'clock in the morning, the second Dutch pirate radio station will be launched on 227 metres in the medium wave band. But it will not be under the name “Swinging Radio Holland” as the station has unofficially been called until now. The American owners of the radio station have discovered that the name Radio Holland already exists in ships' radio communication traffic. “We don't want to cause confusion”, says station director Jack Curtiss, “and that's why we are going to change the name. Imagine what would happen if somebody came to us about an accident on a ship.”

 

HEADQUARTERS

 

In the meantime, the leaders of the pirate radio station are working feverishly. A temporary headquarters has been set up in an Amsterdam hotel. Two Americans and a South African, Bill Vick, Robert Thornton and Basil van Rensburg[14], are in residence. And it is here that Jack Curtiss plans his auditions, getting ready to recruit Dutch disc-jockeys. Following an interview with him published in this newspaper he received inquiries from 30 candidates. They included professional radio people from Hilversum, freelance DJs, journalists and the rest from different walks of life. On Thursday evening Jack Curtiss left London for Amsterdam. He telegraphed all the applicants in advance to come to his hotel. There he staged his auditions. He recorded the voices on tape. These were later edited and reviewed in a leased studio. On that basis, he decided over an hour, who he would hire and who not. “I wanted to hear them all” he said. He has now hired six of them and that's enough. “No, there are no ‘golden boys’, no people from Hilversum and no freelance people”.

 

ENTHUSIASM

 

“I wanted to have people who are enthusiastic, who are prepared to stay on a ship for at least 14 days uninterrupted and who want to make something big of the station.” That's why the ‘golden boys’ were not in sight. “In the first place, they always think they know best, which is not necessarily bad, but that won't work with our concept.” Of course something unexpected can always come up and, if that happens, he has a list of ten more names.

 

TEAM

 

Next week Curtiss leaves for Holland again. Then he's going to forge a team from his new boys. That's why he doesn't want to reveal their identities. “I first must mould them before others do. I'm gonna train them and I'm gonna make them the best DJs they possibly can be,”; he says. “The conditions are favourable, because they will be working with a crew of very experienced American and English DJs who operate Britain Radio and Radio England from our ship 24 hours a day. They will learn to present every kind of music especially as we don't yet know which direction musically we will go,” says Curtiss. “That's we didn't rely on hiring DJs with lots of previous radio experience. They are mostly too specialized in a particular kind of music.”

 

NEW NAME

 

The leaders of the pirates are moving out of their temporary Amsterdam headquarters and are keeping busy leasing an office and looking for staff members. Basil van Rensburg is responsible for the advertising sales and has a truly big job ahead of him. They are also busy coming up with a new name for the radio station and, in cooperation with a big advertising bureau, they are designing a format for listeners who don't find their musical tastes satisfied by Radio Veronica.”

 
This article was the first occasion where it was stated that the new station was not to be called Radio Holland. The leaders of the project had found out that the name already was occupied by a company producing utility radio sets.

 

A new station is heralded on the air on 1322 kc.

 

In Mid-October 1966, a promo on SRE announced a format change to Swinging Radio Holland in Dutch in Tom Cooper’s evening show. Also so in Bruce Wayne’s Midnight Early Show on October 22nd, 1966. And Johnnie Walker mentioned the change in his farewell show on October 15th, 1966. But on November 11th, the new station was unnamed in the Errol ”Boss Cat” Bruce afternoon show, while in a promo in the same show on November 13th, the last day, also no name was given.
 
 
“Swinging Radio Holland” to come. From Dutch press via Hans Knot’s archive.

 

On-air announcements

 

At 0853 hours in Boom Boom Brannigan’s morning show on Radio England, 1322 kcs: PROMO: ”HALLO SWINGERS IN HOLLAND, WIJ VERZORGEN DE GROETSE PROGRAMMA’S  BINNEN KORT VOOR U OP DIT STATION SWINGING RADIO HOLLAND DUS BLIJFT AFGESTEMD OP 227 METER OP HET MIDDENGOLF OP SWINGING RADIO HOLLAND.” Boom Boom Brannigan commented: I DON'T KNOW WHAT HE MEANS, BUT REDUNDANCY TO YOU, BUDDY!

 

At 1413 hours in ”Boss Cat” Errol Bruce’s Afternoon show on Radio England, 1322 kcs: ”Ja, ja nog maar even de Radio England wordt een nieuwe nederlandse zender op de 227 meter. Anstande maandag kunt u al gaan luisteren naar dit fijne station… darin komt alle nieuws op deze niuewe zender op de 227 meter.”

 

RBI wants Radio 227.

 

In late October1966 the majority of the investors were still backing William E. Vick who decided to go after the Dutch market on 1322 kc. Therefore, without much planning Radio England in Mid-October began announcing the coming Radio Holland.

 

But at the same time (RBI/Radiovision Broadcast International = Pearl and Dean Ltd.) worked on a report for Vick about future use of the “227” wavelength. But RBI came up with Radio 227 as the new name.

 

Obviously from this report the change had been in the works for some time. There is no date on this report which sees the competition as Radio Veronica. A complete study of Radio Veronica was therefore made and the report contains these chapter headings:

 

1.  RBI Brief and Introduction

2.  What competitors exist at present - Physical and Social

3.  What market is available

4.  Sales representation

5.  Alternative sales representation

6.  Proposed name for the new commercial radio station

7.  Advertising agency and client reaction

8.  Conclusions

9.  Summary

10. Sources of information and acknowledgements

 

Under 6 it says:

 

"Experience in the UK has shown that offshore stations who title themselves with their wavelength, eg Radio 390 and Radio 270, benefit most from editorial publicity as their frequencies are always announced with their titles.

 

"Whilst names such as Radio Holland or Holland Radio appear to be obvious choices, we are told that there are at present Dutch radio companies operating under those names. These companies are service houses who hire out freelance radio operators and equipment to ships.”

 

"It is suggested that the name of the new station be Radio 227. Press publicity announcing the opening of the station would immediately identify the frequency."

 

The report states that the big problem will be advertising budgets already decided for 1967 and therefore immediate switch should be made in the hope of getting some undecided budgets. The main impact of SRE has been West Holland and it says that Luxembourg has lost its Dutch advertising to Veronica and a Swedish competitor was thinking about starting an offshore station:

 

"The radio executive of de Lar Mar informed me that he had heard of a Swedish interest who are thinking of establishing an offshore radio station.[15]"

 

 Dick Offringa went to a dj audition in Amsterdam[16].

 

“Zaterdag 29 oktober 1966 vanaf 18.00 uur was in Amsterdam ergens in een pand aan een gracht de auditie test voor toekomstige diskjockeys van Radio Holland. Ik was daar toen bij. Maar wist toen nog niet wie Lodewijk den Hengst was… Met ondermeer Jack Curtis en Basil van Rensburg.

 

Op maandag 14 november begonnen ze onder de naam Radio Dolfijn. Ergens in 1967…werd het pas Radio 227.

 

November 14th, 1966: The format change.

 

 

Even when Dolfijn is a reality, Radio England is still to use the night hours. Dutch Press, November 1966 from Hans Knot’s archive.

 

Radio Dolfijn appeared on 1322 kc November 14th at 0700 hours with non-stop music, and with announcements by Peter van den Hoven from 1640 hours. What has happened here? Why not Radio Holland? Why not Radio 227? And why MOR format? At the Gooiland Press Conference in Amsterdam, broadcast on "227" on November 14th, several names are mentioned as having been considered, even put to a poll, like Radio de Lage Landen, Ameland, Albatros and Piet Hein. And Dolfijn. Who came up with that? But neither Holland or 227 or Holland are mentioned! Two indications of what really happened are found in

#1: in the fact that "Dutch representative of Radio Dolfijn", Basil van Rensburg, in January 1966 was an employee of RBI!

And... #2 A letter dated November 8, 1966…

 

A deal with Radio Veronica?

 

 

 

Document from the 1974 court case. "TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: This is to certify that William E. Vick of Peir Vick, Ltd., 32 Curzon Street, London, England, is authorized to represent the investors and owners of offshore radio station Radio England[17] in dealing with the representatives and owners of offshore radio station Radio Veronica.

 

"Mr. Vick shall have the authority to negotiate any trade with the general terms as therein agreed. Final written instruments shall be executed by appropriate representatives of such owners upon approval and direction by Mr. Vick.

 

"This authorization shalll remain in force and effect until November 23, 1966 and may be renewed in writing.

 

SIGNED: "R. E. Thornton, personal representative of owners and investors in Radio England."

©Eric Gilder.

 

 

Dutch press about the Press Conference in Hilversum Monday, November 14th, 1966[18]. William Vick informed of which djs that would be broadcasting on “Dolphin Radio”: Peter van der Hoven, Rob Klaasman, Thijs Lieffering, Jacques Soudan, Jos van der Vliet, and Look Boden. The owner of the Olga Patricia was said to be “Radiovision Broadcasts.” From Hans Knot’s archive.

 

 

 

Radio Dolfijn logos from Hans Knot’s archive.

 

Don Pierson is back in.

 

Don Pierson was out until January 1, 1967 when the investors in far west Texas at Midland send Don a letter to him at 61 Conduit Street, London W1. Now Don is instructed to do another kicking in this very important letter:

 

 

Document from the 1974 court case. ©Eric Gilder. It says:

 

“Midland, Texas

January 1, 1967

 

Dear Don;

 

I regret the inability of any of the West Texas backers to accompany you to London to discuss pressing business problems because of our own conflicting schedules. Perhaps we can join you later, but in the meantime, please convey the thoughts expressed in this letter to Mr. W. E. Vick and other to who this subject concerns.

 

Business conditions are obviously in a critical state demanding an immediate change in operating procedures. Following the meeting of last October 7th, West Texas backers who represent the majority of the joint venturers agreed to a trial operation under different director[19]. Continued operation in Britain and the move into the Holland market with Dolphin was approved with sales direction and program format to be arranged by Pearl and Dean[20]. At the October 7th meeting, Mr. Colin Brown[21] gave verbal assurance of the strength of Pearl and Dean’s contacts and projected an absolute minimum sales volume of 15 percent of station capacity. Obviously, this trial period has proved to be totally unsuccessful for Dolphin. In a similar manner, virtually no increase has been noticed for Britain[22] whereas London[23] is enjoying profits at near maximum levels according to factual reports. Immediate changes in procedure for the joint venture are therefore mandatory. These changes, in our viewpoint, are as follows.

           

1. Put independent sales representatives in the Holland market immediately on a commission basis and under the direction of Don Pierson.

2. Effect a change in programming for Dolphin as rapidly as practicable and oriented principally to popular or ‘top 40’ music. Following institution of the above steps as top priority items, proceed along the following lines.

3. Put independent sales representatives in the English market as in Item 1, and encourage Pearl and Dean to re-double their efforts.

4. Insert popular or “top 40” programming for Britain at selected intervals such as; 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. in order to capture teen-age and young listeners who largely influence station popularity.

 

Don Pierson is willing to give his assistance in expediting the sales effort and his enthusiasm in the directing of the independent sales representatives is considered to be mandatory. We feel that Pearl and Dean has had ample time to demonstrate results and that the continued low volume of sales developed by that organization which ranges far below their own stated minimum expectation rules out continued exclusive sales representation by Pearl and Dean. From their own viewpoint, the continuation of this project made possible with the added stimulus of independent efforts obviously would benefit Pearl and Dean much more than the present course of business which trending towards liquidation[24].

 

An immediate change in programming for Dolphin to be followed shortly thereafter by a less extensive change in programming for Britain is also deemed mandatory despite Pearl and Dean’s recommendations to the contrary. This opinion is based upon the following:

 

1. Continued demonstrated success of ‘top 40’ programming in similar ventures.

2. Feed-back from Holland listeners citing the drab and conservative tone of Dolphin’s programming.

3. National recognition of ‘top 40’ programming on American television programs in early evening hours in lead-ins to other network shows of suspense, situation comedies or other musicales for example, ‘Hullabaloo’ and ‘The Monkees’ have been successfully aired at 7 p.m. leading into performances such as ‘I Dream of Jeanie’, ‘The Andy Williams Show’, ‘Run for Your Life’, etc., and

4. Our considered comparative analysis of the success of various types of programming for radio in our own communities which, we believe, are not radically different in cultural tastes and other important factors from the areas served by the venture.

 

In support of this last statement, consider Midland, Texas, a city of 65,000 people. Headquarters offices of 20 major oil firms, more than 200 smaller firms and countless independent oil operators and professionals are located in Midland which yields one of the highest per capita income statistics in the United States and which has resulted in substantially more than half of the adult population being made up of college graduates. Community theater, symphony and chorale, and guest concert artist series are among the finest in the United States. Despite this background, the four successful radio stations which serve Midland have ‘top 40’ programming, while the least successful station presents ‘good music.’ One good-music FM station went out of business and its replacement is in service due largely to subside from a commercial service offering a closed-circuit, office or background music specialty. The adjoining city of Odessa, with a population of 165,000, is quite industrialized with a broader spectrum of backgrounds resulting from a large number of resident blue-collar refinery and plant workers. The demonstrated success of ‘top 40’ programming for radio in this community is also quite obvious. These facts plus the comparative and observed family experiences of the West Texas group lead us to believe that listening habits, and consequently advertising sales potential, are governed by tastes of teenagers and young adults regardless of the taste and preferences of adult and more serious-minded station directors and adults in the listening audience. It would be very surprising, indeed, to find that the situation abroad is any different that it is here.

 

In summary, we again urge the redoubling of sales efforts with the instigation of independent sales representatives in the field under the direction of Don Pierson as outlined above and with the changes in programming as indicated. Speaking for the West Texas group including W.B.S., F.K.O, W.K., E.L.B[25] and others, I remain,

 

Very truly yours,

(signature cut off)[26]

 

So the investors let Don back in (he was never "out" as an investor, only as Project Manager). The cost of upkeep dictated that the ship should return to the USA and turn off the transmitters, and be sold, so Don began working against the clock of the MoA by trying to set up his own advertisers in Texas and London and sending out offers to Herbert W.Armstrong and just about every country in the world. See more in Chapter 10.

 

 

November 14th, 1966: Radio Dolfijn Perskonferentie in the Terrace Hall in Hotel Gooiland, Hilversum.  Now Grand Hotel Gooiland. Publicity photo.

 

 

Jack Curtiss is presenting Radio Dolfijn to the Dutch Press at the Gooiland. William E. Vick is no.2 from right. Basil Van Rensburg, the marketing director, is on the far right. But who are the two others? Hans Knot comments: “Two names in my story are Robert Thornton, who came to Amsterdam together with Basil van Rensburg. The second name is Barry Boardman, a press represantive for SRE who earlier told to Dutch Telegraaf that the station would become Swinging Radio Holland with offices in Amsterdam. 'Mr Vick has been to Holland several times to organise the new office and I can tell you that Western Europe is warned now as Swinging Radio Holland can be grown to a bigger thing as we plan Swinging Radio Continent for the future with a very strong station aimed at the people in the Benelux, France, Germany and Denmark'.

 

 

”Geen concurrent van Veronica”. Dutch Press about the format change on ”227”. From Hans Knot’s archive.

 

Final note, February 28th, 2007.

 

The new station was to be Radio Holland all the way-almost[27]. The name is documented in an on-air announcement on 1322 kc Sunday, October 30th. But for Boom Boom Brannigan and the other ”Boss Jocks” this means, as ”Boomer” commented: ”Redundancy to you, baby”.

 

RBI/Radiovision Broadcast International = Pearl and Dean Ltd. in its late October report wanted Radio 227 as the new name. The new station will compete with Veronica who is thought to have more advertising than it can handle. RBI notified Vick of the risk in giving the station the same name as a communications manufacturer. So Curtiss is saying in Telegraaf November 4th it won’t be Radio Holland after all.

 

Then something happens at the very last minute. Vick is November 8th, 1966 authorized by Bob Thornton(lawyer of the investors), who has been with him to Holland already, to do a deal with Veronica.

 

On November 11th, the new station is unnamed in a promo in the Errol ”Boss Cat” Bruce afternoon show, while in a promo in the same show on November 13th, the last day, also no name was given.

 

Also on November 11th, the Dutch djs arrives onboard the Olga Patricia. Errol Bruce in his afternoon show the same day announces a special program(a “light-touch” close-down announcement) with the “Boss Jocks” on Sunday, November 13th.

 

SRE is then being hurriedly shut down. Monday the 14th the Dolphin cries on 1322 kcs. And instead of Swinging Radio Holland it carries a MoR format: “prettige lichte muziek.”

 

Nevertheless, a Station ID by Peter van den Hoven is-”Dit is Radio Holland”, hastily corrected to ”Radio Dolfijn op de 227 meterband. Hierbij wil ik U de programmering bekend maken. Van 6-10 in the ochtend Look Boden, 10-14 Jacques Soudan, 14-19 Peter van den Hoven en 19-24 Jos van Vliet.[28]

 

As is well known, 4 years later, Radio Veronica DID a deal with a competing radio station. But it should also be noted that Radio London had a Dutch agenda at this time[29]. Only in the Summer it had planned to buy out Radio City Shivering Sands to create UKGM(LGM?) to compete with its cousin Britain Radio.

 

Being pressed from all sides, did William E.Vick these dramatic November, 1966 days receive an offer, from a Dutch, or maybe an UK corner he was not able to withstand?

 

Was Radio Dolfijn in reality a leaser of 1322 kc? In reality a second channel of another, existing offshore station?

 

We’ll come back the 227/355 format change in the next edition.

 

 

 
Radio Dolfijn is a reality at 4.40pm on Monday, November 14th, 1966. Dutch press for ©Hans Knot’s archive.

 

 

 

Wat er nieuw is aan Radio Dolfijn. Peter Horvers in Dutch Press the same week as the format change. From Hans Knot’s archive.

 

 

De tweede piraat Nederland entert. Dutch press November 17th, 1966. From Hans Knot’s archive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] ©Eric Gilder.

[2] See ”The Texan Pirates” Daily Mail Friday, April 7th, 1967, and “Radioschip Dolfijn in Zaandam-Geheimzinnige financier nu bekend:” Telegraaf March 9th,1967.

[3] By Band of the Grenadier Guards. Decca F10084(Research by http://www.offshoreechos.com/offshorethemes

[4] Per DX-NEWS 1/67: Amsteldijk 65, Amsterdam, Amsterdam Zuid, Holland.

[5] ©John England: “Much More Music! The story of Don Pierson a broadcasting pioneer.” ©OFFSHORE ECHOS #82, August 1990.

[6] Abilene newspaper dated May 1974 reporting on the last court case of the Olga Patricia project. ©Eric Gilder.

[7] Cited in ”Daily Telegraph”, October 14th, 1966.

[8] The Guardian, Friday, October 21st, 1966. From ©Eric Gilder.

[9] The Times, Saturday, October 22nd, 1966. From ©Eric Gilder.

[10] See more about Jack Curtiss in Chapter 3. The Swinging Radio Holland name resurfaced in the spring of 1968 in another project with a.o. DJs Jacques Soudan and Peter van Dijk(Radio 227) being involved.(Dick van Schenk Brill in Eter-Aktuellt 5/1968)

[11] In “Telegraaf”.

[12] From Hans Knot’s archive.

[13] ”This Station becomes something big”. Jack Curtiss interviewed by Tom Brouwer. Telegraaf Friday, November 4th 1966. From Jon Myer’s site http://www.offshoreradio.co.uk/album9a.htm. The text is translated by Look Boden.

[14] See more about Basil van Rensburg in Chapter 2.

[15] This might have been Britt Wadner of Radio Syd, editor. The Radio Syd book(Piratdrottningen, by Frederic Karén, Bostroms, Sweden, 1999) gives a thorough and extremely well written) report of (real)TV transmissions from the Cheeta II in December 1965, and last radio transmission January 19th, 1966. It was said to be forced away because of ice. Ship then travelled to the Essex Coast and after the Wadner/O’Rahilly deal the transfer of one 10 kW Continental tx from Mi Amigo followed. Also attempted forced takeover of equipment by unfriendly people after Caroline South assigment May 1966 when the ship still was at anchor near to the newly returned MA. These people had a handwritten note signed Britt demanding Gunnar StrŅm who was in charge to hand over ALL radio equipment! It was only the joint effort of the crew that relieved the situation. The take-over poeple could have been anybody. Then dealings with Don Robinson(Radio Yorkshire/270)-OF RADIO 390!(Euba Establishments, Zurich). This party wanted to have the Cheeta II as a radio broadcasting ship off Wirral, Merseyside. Even paid down payment! The question you ask when reading it is: Did Britt Wadner here really deal with Radio 390? The atmosphere in these dealings is slighly "non-Ted Allbeury" and she is not meeting him. Anyway Robinson would take the whole ship, everything if Britt came up with a MW tx which she did not have...(Caroline took the Continental back and sent it to the North Ship giving the Fredericia a combined output of 20 kW, test transmitting with one of the rigs on 1169 kHz from November.)

Later Britt located one tx in Dallas via one of her engineers, who found one at Electrofine Co. of the Raytheon brand. It was 5 kW. But alas, when it eventually turned up in Amsterdam it was totally destroyed. So the whole Robinson affair came to nothing. She wanted then to return the Cheeta II to the Sound/come ashore after it had been RCS. It was after this the Cheeta II sailed to the Canary Islands. The decision to go for Bathurst and the Gambia was not taken before the ship reached the Canary Islands. By the way, the Raytheon 5 kW eventually was restored by Bertil Persson in Sweden, and became the first tx of Radio Syd Gambia 908 kcs in 1970!

[16] From Hans Knot’s page http://www.mediapages.nl

[17] Notice no Britain Radio and original Radio England name and remember the date above of this document, written 6 days before the format change on 1322 kc, editor.

[18] In “Telegraaf” Tuesday November 15th, 1966.

[19] This might have been Ted Allbeury of then Radio 390, per Steve England’s interview with him on ”The Radio England Story”, Offshore Echo’s, 2006.

[20] RBI/P&D were in Texas with Vick, editor.

[21] The RBI/P&D representative, editor.

[22] Britain Radio, editor.

[23] Big L, editor.

[24] That is of course exactly what happened just a few months later to Peir Vick Ltd., editor.

[25] All names of investors not having been published by others are anonymized, editor.

[26] ©Eric Gilder.

[27] Who invented the Radio Holland name? Probably Don Pierson when he was still in. Grey Pierson, May, 2006: ”Radio Holland-that sounds like Don Pierson!”

[28] Hans Knot: ”De vijf van de Laissez Faire.”(1991)

[29] See Chapter 11.