Leon Tiplers's tape archive.

When Leon Tipler died, his friend Steve England inherited his tape archive. Mostly it consisted of recordings of programmes that Leon had made after his time on the pirates for such stations as Sunshine-855, Radio Maldwyn and Radio Hafren. Steve has brought these to a wider audience by streaming them 24 hours a day at myradiostream.com/gltk. There seemed to be very few tapes of the offshore stations.
 
Then, in April 2020, Steve made a discovery. He wrote to us: “I have just came across one of Leon's Tipler's tapes marked simply as ‘7D7’. There was a letter in the box along with a 7 inch reel of tape. Leon had apparently asked a fellow member of The British Tape Recording Club in Clacton to record some of the pirate stations for him in January 1965 when Radio London had just come on the air. The quality is excellent - very full sounding and just as I remember it technically. It is mostly Big L but also some Radio City and short recordings of Invicta and Caroline South. Big L is still finding it's feet but sounds pretty good for the time, if not quite as slick as in later years. Let me know if you would like me to send it to you.” We responded immediately. Steve sent us the audio and some extracts from it are below.

part of Leon Tipler's tape archive

Just part of Leon Tipler's enormous tape archive. Photo courtesy of Steve England.

Most of the cuts were recorded on 12th January 1965 with one from a week later. Leon lived in Kidderminster - a long way from the coast - so it makes sense that he would ask someone who lived nearer to make the recordings for him. Radio Caroline South and Radio London's ships were anchored just off the coast of Clacton so the audio quality of the recordings from these stations is superb.
 
Radio London was playing a very odd selection of music in January 1965. The station had just launched and only had a limited number of records on board. Those they had were often obscure, in many cases American hits from a few months earlier which had crossed the Atlantic with the ship. Every disc in their library was played repeatedly and sometimes, out of desperation for a bit of variety, the B-sides too. Listeners from that era will undoubtedly recognise some of the tracks here.


Radio London,
12th Jan. 1965,
Paul Kaye
(11.45am-12.00 noon recorded).

click to hear audio click to hear audio Paul Kaye (sometimes spelt Kay, as in this photo) is sitting in for Earl Richmond on the 9am-noon show. As Steve mentioned Radio London was not particularly slick in January 1965. The station had only launched just before Christmas and at the time of this recording the DJs were still getting to grips with Top 40 radio. Duration 2 minutes 30 seconds. (Photo of Paul courtesy of Roy Taylor.)

Paul Kaye

Radio London,
12th Jan. 1965,
Dave Dennis
(12.00-12.45pm recorded).

click to hear audio click to hear audio A clip from the first part of the Dave Dennis show. “The Double D” plays The Hondells again, just half an hour after Paul has played it. Is that due to the shortage of records on board or just a mistake? He also features quite a few B-sides (Rufus Thomas, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Dickie Rock, Polly Perkins). Pete Brady is on news duty. Duration 7 minutes 57 seconds. (Photo of Dave courtesy of Roy Taylor.)

Dave Dennis

Radio City,
12th Jan. 1965,
Chris Cross
(3.25-3.45pm recorded).

click to hear audio click to hear audio Chris Cross was a stalwart of Radio City in 1965. On this recording it sounds as if the station could be short of staff as he sticks on an LP - perhaps while he leaves the studio to help unload a tender. Radio City hadn't yet installed its enormous aerial mast and the signal was still quite weak. The voice on the commercial is thought to be station manager Eric K. Martin. Duration 1 minute 47 seconds. (Photo of Chris courtesy of Eric Jay.)

Chris Cross

Radio London,
12th Jan. 1965,
Dave Cash
(3.45-4.45pm recorded).

click to hear audio click to hear audio Dave Cash is sitting in for Tony Windsor on the 3-6pm show. His friend Kenny Everett also pops in. The fondly-remembered Kenny & Cash Show started in April 1965. Duration 10 minutes 28 seconds. (Photo of Dave courtesy of ‘Who's Who In Pop Radio’, published by Four Square Illustrated.)

Dave Cash

Caroline South,
12th Jan. 1965,
Tony Blackburn
(4.50-5.05pm recorded).

click to hear audio click to hear audio Leon's friend in Clacton only recorded a short bit of Radio Caroline South. It features Tony Blackburn on The Big Line-Up programme. Duration 3 minutes 9 seconds. (Photo of Tony courtesy ‘Who's Who In Pop Radio’, published by Four Square Illustrated.)

Tony Blackburn

Radio Invicta,
12th Jan. 1965,
?
(5.10-5.15pm recorded).

click to hear audio click to hear audio Only five minutes of Radio Invicta was recorded and unfortunately the DJ doesn't give his name during that time. The show is called Evening Spin. Is it Eddie Jerold in the hot seat? Duration 1 minute 3 seconds.

?


Radio London,
12th Jan. 1965,
Kenny Everett
(8.55-9.00pm recorded).

click to hear audio click to hear audio Sadly Leon's friend only recorded a few minutes of the Kenny Everett show - just Ken ending the programme and closing the station down for the night. Duration 1 minute 38 seconds. (Photo of Kenny courtesy of Roy Taylor.)

Kenny Everett

Radio London,
19th Jan. 1965,
Tony Windsor
(4.30-4.35pm recorded).

click to hear audio click to hear audio It is a week later. Tony Windsor is back from shore-leave and Paul Kaye is on news-reading duties. We think the first story relates to Winston Churchill who had just suffered a stroke and died a few days later. It is interesting to hear that Programme Director Ben Toney is hosting the 12-3pm show. We weren't aware that he ever went on the air at Big L. Duration 4 minutes 1 second. (Photo of Tony courtesy of Roy Taylor.)

Tony Windsor

We are extremely grateful to Steve for sharing these recordings and to the unknown friend of Leon's who made them more than half a century ago.
 
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More from Leon's tape archive over the page.


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