March 28: Radio Caroline

RadioCarolineIt’s hard to believe, but at the height of the Golden Age Of Pop, the English could not easily find the Beatles, Rolling Stones and other top pop acts of the day on the radio dial. You see, the BBC only played one hour a week of pop music at the time, and the major record labels severely limited what could be played on air. That’s why the launch of Radio Caroline today in 1964 is so important.

Radio Caroline was the first true “pirate” radio station. However, there had been earlier illegal boat based stations like Radio Luxembourgh which broadcast pre-recorded programs created by the larger record labels. Irish musician manager Ronan O’Rahilly didn’t like the policies of Radio Luxembourgh, as he felt it kept smaller labels from getting attention. So, he launched Radio Caroline, broadcasting from 6AM to 6PM from a ship anchored in international waters off the coast of England. What made this station different and exciting was that the ship’s DJs got to play whatever they wanted, and the public loved it; with millions tuning into the pirate station. Eventually, the BBC was forced to create the pop focused BBC1 in order to compete. Radio Caroline continued to broadcast from several different boats until 1989. Currently, it is an online only station based out of Kent.

Let’s raise a glass to the pirate radio DJs of Radio Caroline with a Pirate Daiquiri. Created in 2004 by Simon Difford, founder of English drinks magazine CLASS Magazine, this is a clever twist on the Daiquiri that adds two colorful, appropriately piratical twists: Goldschläger and grenadine. Why? According to Difford’s magazine, “the liqueur contains gold and the syrup is red as blood.”

Pirate Daiquiri

  • 3/4 ounce Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum
  • 3/4 ounce Pusser’s Navy Rum
  • 1/2 ounce Goldschläger Cinnamon Schnapps
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce grenadine
  • 3/4 ounce chilled water

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Tomorrow: Mayflowers leave Baltimore, taking several Colts with them.


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