The World Tomorrow’s Version Of 60s Offshore Radio History

With the recent 2014 50th anniversary celebrations of the start of Radio Caroline and Big L Radio London, it’s worth remembering that nearly all the 1960s offshore radio stations derived not insignificant revenues from sponsored religious programmes such as “The World Tomorrow” and the “Worldwide Church of God”. For Radio London the income from religious programs is said to have amounted to £300.00 per show which helped to cover many of the station’s costs.

Of course it’s well known that these religious programmes were not only unpopular with many listeners but also hated by many of the DJs, such as Kenny Everett who was famously sacked by Radio London for making repeated disparaging remarks about what he referred to as “plastic bibles”.

But what is less well known is how Garner Ted Armstrong and his father, Herbert W. Armstrong, thought the offshore radio stations had originated.

UK listeners first heard “The World Tomorrow” programmes over 208 Radio Luxembourg in 1953, but the sponsors were unhappy with the results largely because of poor reception (fading) and its late evening airing (11.30 p.m. to midnight).

Things changed however when Radio Caroline and the other offshore pirate stations started in 1964 and in due course nearly all the offshore stations accepted religious sponsors such as The Allen Revival Hour, The Herald Of Truth, Oral Roberts, The Voice of Prophecy and probably the best known, The World Tomorrow, presented by Garner Ted Armstrong or his father, Herbert W. Armstrong.

In a book entitled “The United States and Britain in Prophecy” by Herbert W. Armstrong, he states that in:
“the first week in 1953, God’s Message started getting in to Britain from Europe – when The World Tomorrow program began going out on the superpowered voice of Radio Luxembourg!”
Is it a coincidence that this is mentioned on page 208 of the book?!

But there is more…

On the same page, Herbert W. Armstrong claims that:
“When Radio Luxembourg was no longer effective for this Message, God raised up broadcasting stations on ships, anchored just outside Britain’s jurisdiction. The World Tomorrow was then thundered over all of Britain daily, on seven of these ships. They were NOT illegal. They violated no law of man. They DID proclaim faithfully the Law of God! But the British authorities falsely called them “pirate” ships. They were NOT pirates. They were not marauders. They did not invade the land and pillage or steal. They harmed no one! But most governments of man want to control what their people could hear or not hear!”

Well, thank you Mr. Armstrong, now we know what really happened!

More about “The World Tomorrow” Radio Broadcasts to the United Kingdom 1965-1967.

Radio Caroline 50th Anniversary News Roundup

With the 50th anniversary of Radio Caroline starting broadcasting from the m.v. Caroline, 5 miles off the Harwich coast on Easter Sunday, 29th March 1964, here is a quick roundup of what the media have to say…

Tim Muffet for the BBC introduces a short 3 minute video about Radio Caroline’s first 50 years. It includes Simon Dee, Tony Prince and Tony Blackburn. You’ll also find another short video and report from BBC Essex here. Plus there’s a report by Laurence Cawley about the the Swedish guy who first pressed Radio Caroline’s ‘on’ button to start the UK’s music radio revolution.

ITV have compiled a three part video series about Radio Caroline to commemorate its 50th anniversary since its start in March 1964. The first part is presented by David Johns and includes contributions by then BBC Director General, Frank Gillard, DJ Keith Skues, Paul Graham, Roger Day and then Postmaster General, Tony Benn. There’s also an illustrated article here and we certainly agree with Peter Moore’s view:
The UK radio industry does a brilliant job of serving its shareholders but it’s so corporate they seem to have forgotten that the end product is the listener…”. The full version of ITV’s Radio Caroline Birthday Feature by David Johns is now here.

Also on the ITV website is a video interview with one of the very first Radio Caroline DJs who is now a Conservative MP, Sir Roger Gale.

Under the title: “How a radio ship and 7 men shook up Britain in 1964“, Colin Morrison traces in fascinating detail – some of it little known – Radio Caroline’s launch and the people behind it, including some figures who preferred to remain in the shadows.

The Liverpool Echo and Wirral News both report plans to celebrate the anniversary with broadcasts from The Mersey Bar Lightship, berthed at Liverpool’s Canning Dock.

The Daily Telegraph interviews one of Radio Caroline’s best remembered DJ’s, Dave Lee Travis with some of his experiences while on Radio Caroline South in the 1960’s on board the m.v. Mi Amigo.

Interesting illustrated article by Dominic Midgley of the Daily Express under the title: Radio Caroline was the boat that rocked the music business.

Nicola Jordan in Kent Online wishes Radio Caroline Happy Birthday with a fascinating illustrated article.

In the Lincolnshire Echo former Radio Caroline and Radio City DJ Tom Edwards recalls his pirate radio days.

The Orange news site has an interesting article by an unnamed personality who used to work both for Radio City and Radio Caroline back in the 1960s.

Dmitry Vostok’s article in The Voice of Russia has an interview with Peter Moore, the current manager of Radio Caroline online.

And Paul Riismandel’s also provides some useful info on upcoming Radio Caroline celebrations.

If you’re interested in a time-line of 1964-1965 events in offshore pirate radio history then you’ll find it at The list of events covers not only Radio Caroline, but also the comings and goings of other offshore stations… Radios Atlanta, Sutch, Invicta, Noordzee, City, Syd, London, King, 390, Tower, Essex and Radio Scotland.

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