ARRL

News

Surfin': The Real Pirate Radio

11/18/2009

Pirate Radio, the movie, opens today, which according to The International Movie DataBase (IMDB), is a period comedy very loosely based on Radio Caroline, a popular pirate radio ship with a similar history and style that operated illegally in the North Sea in the 1960s.

The Boat That Rocked was the film's title in the UK where it received mixed reviews last year. I have seen trailers for the film, but not the actual film, so I have no idea how close the film is to reality.

It is possible that the real story of Radio Caroline is more interesting than the film. Wikipedia has an entry that describes the history of pirate radio, and another entry that deals specifically with the history of Radio Caroline. And contrary to radio legend, President Kennedy's daughter was not the inspiration for naming the pirate station (but was, as my editor points out, the inspiration for the Neil Diamond hit, Sweet Caroline, played in the eighth inning at every Red Sox home game).

If you find Wikipedia's telling of the Radio Caroline may be a little on the dry side, I urge you to visit the Radio Caroline Web site, which not only recounts the history of station in great detail, but also offers an interesting array of other features. Unbeknownst to me, Radio Caroline is still alive and well and you can listen to it via the Internet (as I am doing as I type these words).

Until next time, keep on surfin'!

Editor's note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, wanted to be a pirate when he grew up! To contact Stan, send him e-mail or add comments to his blog.

 

Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor



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