March 5, 2021

The Editor Speaks: Nostalgia – Radio Luxembourg

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I wonder how many of you remember Radio Luxembourg?

As a child and into my teens I listened to it in England on medium Wave – 208m and it was in English.

The reception was often iffy and could only be listened to in the dark. Being in Southern England the reception was the poorest but the programming was so appealing one put up with the sound fading out and the many whistles and hiss.

When I was 12 some of the programming I listened to was:

Sundays: 6:15 pm – Ovaltineys’ Concert Party – a version of the popular show that was originally broadcast before World War II over the original Radio Luxembourg long-wave station.
9:15 pm – Leslie Welch – “the famous Memory Man.”.
10:45 pm – The Answer Man – “anything you want to know.”, (Sundays, Wednesdays, Fridays).
11.00 PM – Top Twenty – introduced by Pete Murray.
Mondays: 7:15 pm – The Adventures of Dan Dare, “Pilot of the future” – fifteen minutes serial heard Monday to Friday and featuring the voice of Noel Johnson who also played the part of Dick Barton on BBC radio. This serial began on 2 July 1951 and ran for five years.
9:30 pm – Perry Mason serial heard Monday through Friday.
Tuesdays: 10:55 pm – Soccer of Leicester – odds announcement.
Wednesdays: 8:30 pm – The Story of Dr. Kildare – every Wednesday starring Lew Ayres, produced in Hollywood by MGM.
11:00 pm – Back to the Bible – religious broadcast.
Thursdays: 8:00 pm – Music From the Ballet.
8:30 pm – Movie Magazine with Wilfrid Thomas.
11:00 pm – Old Fashioned Revival Hour – religion (Charles E. Fuller)
Fridays: 8:00 pm – Scottish Requests with Peter Madren.
11:00 pm The Voice of Prophecy – Adventists’ Union religious programme.
Saturdays: 7:00 pm – Chance of a Lifetime – quiz programme with Dick Emery.
10:00 pm – At Two-O-Eight – dance music with Russ Morgan Orchestra compered by Pete Murray.
11:00 pm – Bringing Christ to the Nations – The Lutheran Hour.

Presenters
Resident announcers in Luxembourg at different times:
Stephen Williams – the English service manager before World War II, resumed his duties when commercial broadcasting began again.
Ursula Brennan – Patricia Giles – Beatrice Feltes – John De Denghy – record presenters who all left the station with Stephen Williams around 1948.
Geoffrey Everitt – joined Radio Luxembourg on 21 June 1946 after being demobbed from British Army in Luxembourg. He was hired by Stephen Williams and when Williams returned to the UK, Everitt took over his job. In later years he became the London-based boss of the entire English-language operation.
Teddy Johnson – joined in May 1948 and he and Everitt ran the English service in Luxembourg by themselves until 1950 due to the lack of advertising income. Then Johnson returned to England to develop his singing career and later returned to join Pete Murray.
John Drexler – joined after Johnson departed but Drexler left after one month.
Roger Moffat; Richard Beynon; Warren Mitchell – all joined with Drexler and left shortly after Drexler.
Pete Murray – joined with Drexler, Beynon and Mitchell; remained in Luxembourg until 1956.
Peter Madren – joined Everitt, Johnson and Murray in May 1951.

Later on nearer the 60’s the programming changed mainly to a pop music format. Drama productions, comedy, variety and sports programming disappeared altogether. By about 1963, almost the station’s entire output was based around the playing of music on discs. This must have greatly reduced its production costs. It also reflected the that the mainstream evening audience for middle-aged “family entertainment” had by this time largely migrated to television.

The most famous disc jockey on the station was Barry Alldis. Other names were:

Peter Aldersley, Sam Costa, Alan Dell, Keith Fordyce, Alan Freeman, David Gell, Tony Hall, Jack Jackson, David Jacobs, Brian Matthew, Don Moss, Pete Murray, Ray Orchard, Jimmy Savile, Shaw Taylor, Jimmy Young, and Muriel Young.

A lot of very familiar names! Most joined the BBC who at that time hated Radio Luxembourg. Not all the programming was live from Luxembourg but was recorded in London.

If you are interested in knowing the history of the station, and where I retrieved a lot of the iforegoing factual information from please go to the Wikipedia article found at: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Luxembourg

It is very interesting and nostalgic to all of who started our childhood listening in the UK.

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