WMCA ‘good guy’ Jack “Jake” Spector, one of the top broadcasters in New York City, provided taped shows for Radio Caroline during 1965 and early
1966. Despite being heard on both Caroline North and South, Jack knew very little about the station so, when Caroline South's Bryan Vaughan came to New York, Jack was eager to invite him
on to the show.
Bryan explains how it all came about:
“Back at Christmas 1965 I temporarily (so I thought!) left Radio Caroline South for a holiday in Sydney. I hadn't been back home for almost four years and my sister was
getting married in January 1966. Later that month I flew back to London via the US. The trip took me to Honolulu, Los Angeles and Mexico before flying to New York. As it happens, I was in a queue in Mexico City waiting
for the New York plane when I got chatting to an American guy. He turned out to be a disc jockey called Rod Roddy who had been on holiday in Mexico and was returning to his station in Buffalo via New York. I told him
that I was a DJ on Caroline and mentioned that the legendary Jack Spector recorded special daily programmes for us. It turned out that he knew Jake and when we arrived in New York, Rod contacted him and both of us went
to a studio where Jack Spector was recording his programmes. He invited me to sit in on one of the shows and what I thought was going to be a few minutes interview became the complete hour programme! Rod Roddy also
joined in on occasions. Jake had never actually met any of the Caroline disc jockeys before.”
Our thanks to Bryan for telling the story and for providing a studio-quality recording of the programme:
The start of the show and Bryan's introduction (duration 4 minutes 8 seconds)
Jack often made disparaging comments about Caroline DJ Mike Ahern as a running gag. These must have been mystifying to many of the Caroline South listeners because, for
much of the period Jake was on the air, Mike was only heard on Caroline North. Equally confusing to listeners of Caroline North were Jake's references to rival DJ Mark Roman on “that
old converted German U-Boat” (Radio London):
How Bryan met Rod Roddy (duration 3 minutes 28 seconds)
Lenny Bruce, mentioned there by Rod and Jack, was a controversial New York comic who had been banned from entering Britain the previous year.
Jack was keen to learn more about the Radio Caroline set-up (duration 3 minutes 11 seconds)
The sound effects (“zingers”) were played in by Jack's engineer Bob Cannon. Ronan O'Rahilly, mentioned there by Jack and Bryan, was Radio Caroline's founder and joint Managing
Someone had upset Jack by leaving him out of Radio Caroline publicity material (duration 3 minutes 40 seconds)
Where did Caroline steal the idea of the “good guys”? Jack and Rod Roddy discuss their radio careers. “Your leader” is not impressed with Jimmy Savile (duration 3 minutes 49 seconds)
The “other guy who has now left and is on the forbidden station” is presumably a reference to Tony Windsor. Strictly speaking, Bryan and Tony helped launch
Radio Atlanta not Radio Caroline but maybe Bryan felt that this wasn't the right time for a history lesson.
After playing only a fraction of the usual number of records because of talking so much, it was end of the show. “Look out street, here I come..” (duration 2 minutes 11 seconds)
The show was due for transmission on 15th February 1966. Bryan remembers: “Ironically, by the time this show was broadcast on Caroline - probably only on the north ship
as the Mi Amigo had gone aground on Frinton beach around that time, I was no longer working on Caroline. I had returned to London only to discover that there was new management and I, together with several others, was
no longer wanted. That's show business, as they say!
Incidentally Rod Roddy later became famous as the announcer in the television comedy Soap.”
Rod Roddy was also the voice of the US version of The Price Is Right for many years. His Wikipedia entry is here.
With many thanks to Bryan Vaughan.