May. 25th, 2009

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Once upon a time, in a dark age called the 1960s, They gave you your music via a device known as Radio, and They Knew What Was Good for You.

It wasn't so bad in the You Ninety States. We are a very religious nation, and we have unlimited numbers of worshipers for our God. I am the Lord Thy Dollar. Thou shalt have no other god before me. Broadcasters in the US would, and still will, put out anything they think will generate a profit. So obscure and dangerous music like Rock and Roll could and would show up on the airwaves.

In Britain, though, the government owned the broadcast stations. Maybe they'd go so far as a bit of Petula Clark. Yes, that was clean and wholesome, and surely the young people would find it enjoyable enough.

If that wasn't radical enough, there was always Radio Luxumbourg. It was unfortunate that this little country could have radio signals that reached past its borders, and it was unfortunate that they should choose to play this rock and roll music, but at least they were reputable businessmen who stayed with music from reputable, large record companies. They weren't dealing with any of those small-scale, radical, independent ruffians. That was all right.

Then, on Easter Sunday, 1964, a modified ferryboat named MV Caroline took station in international waters off Essex. If your radio had been tuned to the proper frequency, you would have heard a voice say "This is Radio Caroline on 199, your all day music station," and then the Rolling Stones playing _Not Fade Away._

I doubt anyone heard that first broadcast, unless they'd been told about it in advance. But soon there were thousands of listeners. And in spite of the efforts of the British and other governments, the signals stayed on the air and the audience kept listening.

Well, guess what.

(historical info from the Radio Caroline website)

January 2015

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