Station themes A-D Click on picture or title for audio clip


a) LIBERTY BELL MARCH - John Philip Sousa Originally written in 1893, Sousa's march opened broadcasts from the Uilenspiegel. The track is also instantly recognisable, as the theme from the "Monty Python" TV series

b) TILL EULENSPIEGELS LUSTIGE STREICHE - Richard Strauss' Berliner Filharmoniker ol.v. Herbert van Karajan -  (DGG/1959), Theme tune & radio-ID of Radio Antwerpen in 1961. Uilenspiegel was the ship and the name of the tender was Nele (the name of his girlfriend)


a) MOVIN' - Bill Blacks Combo London HLU9436 (UK.1961) Hi Records HI2038 (USA.1961). Also in stereo on the LP Bill Blacks Greatest Hits Volume 2, Hi Records XSHL 32078 (USA.1973). American deejay Johnnie Jackson used to close down the station every day with "Movin'".

b) LITTLE BROWN JUG - Bobby Summers Capitol 45CL15130 (USA. 1960) Used as a theme by Johnnie Jackson at end of live programmes.


a) ATLANTIS - The Shadows Columbia DB 7047 (UK.1963). Also track on LP's More Hits Columbia 33SX 1791 Mono/SCX3578 Stereo (UK.1965) and The Shadows 20 Golden Greats" EMI EMTV3 (1977). Compilation LP "Golden Hits Instrumentals" Paradiso TVLP PA602-1 (B.1990). The original station theme, Radio Atlantis also used a special version with "phasing" produced in the ships studio.

b) ATLANTIS - Spoetniks Passe Partout Records P177 (B.1974) / P178 Stereo. (B.1974) A re-recording of the track, originally by the Shadows, used by the Flemish language service as the station theme. The P177 release has "Saloon Dance" on the flipside and a blue cover, whilst the P178 release flipside features "Discobar d'jingles" from Peter Nydens (Peter van Dam). The second release was available with Yellow, Blue and Pink covers.

c) PACIFIC - Frederick Mercier Carrere 49372 (F.1978) The Flemish service theme. (original release details required)


RULE BRITTANNIA - Band of the Grenadier Guards Decca F10084. Played every morning with the opening of the station.


HANDELS WATER MUSIC - Lotz Classical Orchestra (release details required)


a) 'ROUND MIDNIGHT - Jimmy McGriff Sue WI333 (UK.Sept 1964). Also track on LP’s I've got a woman Sue ILP 907 (UK.1962), Sue 1012 (USA.), Sue/Ensign Ensue 1 (UK 1983 re-issue). Swingin' Organ Sounds" Funckler MGSU9216. (NL.19??) same as "I've got a woman" but re-titled for the Dutch release. Also on the current CD The UK Sue Story Volume 4 Kent (Ace) CKEND258 (2006) Jimmy McGriff was the top seller of the American Sue labels instrumental artistes, his version of Ray Charles' "I've got a woman" topped the US charts in late 1962. ‘The UK Sue label was run by deejay Guy Stevens who worked in London's Scene Club. The club was run by Ronan O'Rahilly and therefore no great surprise that 'Round Midnight was the very first theme used by Radio Caroline. It was used by Caroline South until the Mi Amigo went aground in January 1966. (After this they played ‘Caroline’ by ‘The Fortunes’ at close down). Newspapers reported  that DJ Tom Lodge took the copy of ‘Round Midnight’ with him, when he was taken off the Mi Amigo when it went aground. Caroline North always closed down with ‘Round Midnight’. The MV Caroline (then off the Essex coast) played this theme at 6.00 pm on Easter Sunday 1964 when they closed down with a short announcement by Simon Dee. The North ship continued to play the track as their nightly closedown theme right up until the end of the final transmissions at 10.30 pm in March 1968.

b) CAROLINE - The Fortunes (a) Decca F11809 (UK. March 1964), (b) Decca 810179-7B (B. date?), (c) Decca 125-79.633Y (B. undated) (d) Decca F13891 (UK.1980). The track also features on the CD's The Veronica Story BR Music VS 3108-2 (NL.1991) and We Love the Pirate Stations BR Music 434-2 (NL.1998). Tom Lodge recalled that "we started playing Caroline about the same time as the Fortunes first hit single came out, which was "You've Got Your Troubles", in July 1965, and which reached no. 3 in August. It seems that our playing "Caroline" was not as an official theme tune, but we just liked to play it because it was about us. I think it simply grew into the position of theme tune. We never received a directive that this was our theme tune. It is more that some of us would play it." After the Mi Amigo went aground in January 1966, ‘Caroline’ by ‘The Fortunes’ was played at the daily close down. The theme continued to be used throughout Caroline's offshore radio days.
The original British Decca release (a) was first issued with the curved Decca logo on the label, later issues with the same number carry the oblong Decca logo. Release (b) is the B side of a Belgian stereo single in the Decca Golden Oldies series, the A side is "You've got your troubles". Release (c) is in the Belgian Decca Golden Hit Parade series, while release (d) is a UK picture sleeve EP in poor electronic stereo. It can also be found on the album "Yesterdays Pop Scene - The Fortunes" Decca N860 (G.1974). Probably the most famous record in this series of Offshore radio related records, "Caroline" was written by Tony Hiller and was the Fortunes third release, on Decca in March 1964. It was not deleted by Decca and has reportedly sold several million copies over the years although it has never charted.
It remains well known as Radio Caroline's principal theme throughout the stations history. The Fortunes originate from Birmingham and were originally a trio of Glen Dale and Barry Pritchard on vocals and guitar, Rod Allen on lead vocal and bass known as the "The Cliftones", they later added David Carr on keyboards and drummer Andy Brown. The group have undergone a number of line-up changes, but are still playing today, although only with Barry Pritchard from the original group.

c) THE CHEATER - Bob Kuban and the In-Men a) Bell BLL1027 (UK.1965), b) Stateside SS488 (UK Jan 1966). This now rare and collectable American recording was Caroline's third theme, she used it to open and close daily whilst temporarily broadcasting from the hired "Cheetah II" in early 1966. Also  track on album "Look out for the Cheater" Musicland USA 3500. Bob Kuban played drums and was a music instructor at Bishop du Bourg High School, the In-men comprised organist Greg Hoeltzel, Mike Krenski on bass, Ken Smith on lead guitar, Brass section Pat Hixon, Harry Simon and Skip Weisser with Walter Scott on Vocals.

d) IMAGE - Alan Haven Fontana TF835 (1965) Used by Caroline North as station theme. The flipside of the single has what should be an offshore theme "Romance on the North Sea".

e) RINKY DINK - The Johnny Howard Band Decca F11925 (1964). The track also features on the CD's The Veronica Story BR Music VS 3108-2 (NL.1991) and We Love the Pirate Stations BR Music 434-2 (NL.1998). Used as a top of the hour theme on Caroline North. Also used by Tom Lodge 


f) ON MY WAY BACK HOME - New Riders of the Purple Sage Track on LP Gypsy Cowboy, CBS 65008 (UK.1972). Used as the station theme during the early Seventies, it features the lyric "on my way back home, sweet Caroline". The New Riders of the Purple Sage were formed in 1970 and named after a 1912 book by Western writer Zane Grey "Riders of the Purple Sage", the "new" was added the following year, the group later shortened their name to The New Riders.

g) LOVE SHIP - Kenny Young GTO GT4 (UK. October 1974) Kenny Young was a member of the group Fox, and wrote the song Love Ship. He recorded the single version, which was later recorded by Fox.

h) LOVE SHIP - Fox Track on LP Fox GTO GTLP001 (UK.1975) The version mainly used by Caroline. Noosha Fox sings lead vocal.

i) O CAROLINE - Matching Mole Track on LP Matching Mole CBS 64850 (1972) This track sung by Robert Wyatt, was used for a short while by Caroline, as a theme and promo' in the mid-70's.

j) FOOL (IF YOU THINK IT'S OVER) - Chris Rea Magnet MAG111 (UK.1978) Also long version on LP Whatever happened to Benny Santini Magnet MAGL 5021 (UK.1978). After a longish period off air, Caroline returned, with the first record played - Fool, dedicated to the British Home Office, whose mission was to try and close down the station. During Caroline's hippy love ship days of the Seventies, she did not always open with the Fortunes or New Riders of the Purple Sage themes. Sometimes she used Love ship or Fool, both songs have become Caroline Classics. 


k) CAROLINE - The Fortunes BR Music 45165 (NL.1985) A slower and softer version of the original release, used as the station theme for a short while in late 1985. The new version was recorded in 1971 and but not released as a single until 1985, it can also be found on the Dutch albums "The Fortunes" BR Music BR LP27 (NL.1985) and "The Fortunes" K-Tel/Qualitel QLP 245.1 (NL.1987), as well as the German album "The Fortunes" on Ariola 208 977 in the "Starke Zeiten" series (G.1988)


THE PARTY'S OVER - Shirley Bassey Columbia DB4421 (UK.1960) The B side of With these hands, the track was used for the stations nightly closedown theme.


EVE OF THE WAR - Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds CBS 6496 (UK.1978), CBS 11-7731 12" picture disc (UK details?). The single credits the vocal performance of Chris Thompson, the flipside is "Red Weed". The track is from the double album "The War of the Worlds" CBS 96000 (UK.1978), a musical version of the H.G.Wells classic, narrated by the late Richard Burton, the album also features Julie Covington, David Essex, Justin Hayward and Phil Lynott all from a concept by New York composer, musician and producer Jeff Wayne. New Zealander Chris Thompson moved to England in 1974 and after session work joined Manfred Mann's Earth Band, singing on such hits as "Blinded by the light". The re-released version of "The Eve of the War (Ben Liebrand remix - radio edit)" CBS 6551267 (UK.1989) should not be confused with the original, whilst the track credits Jeff Wayne, it has been heavily re-mixed by Dutch deejay Ben Liebrand and bears little resemblance to the original theme.

next   home

page last updated 14 January 2012