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volume 2
march 2000

Rare pictures from radio's past


  Scandinavian Offshore Radio: Radio Nord (1)
by Hans Knot
  In 1959 the Swedish Jack Kotschack was on visit in America were he heard excellent radio stations. He thought the time was right to start his own radio station. As the Swedish law permitted only state-run radio, it was not possible to start a commercial radio station from land. As the success of Danish Radio Mercur had shown a ship was the solution to this problem. With the help of Americans Gordon McLendon — owner of Dallas radio station KLIF — and Bob Thompson he set up Radio Nord. In Kiel, Germany, they bought a small cargo vessel, the MV Olga, and this ship was partly rebuilt into a radioship. German authorities warned them that it was illegal to install radio equipment under a law, passed during years Hitler was in power. Therefore it was decided to do the rest of the rebuilding in the free harbor of Copenhagen. There the antenna was built and the transmitters were placed. The ship was renamed MV Bon Jour.
1 The MV Olga before the ship was rebuilt into the MV Bon Jour
2 The MV Bon Jour
3 Ragnar Sachs and Jack Kotschak are listening to the radio stories of Gordon McLendon
4 The MV Bon Jour, still without its transmission mast, just after her arrival from Hamburg in the free harbor of Copenhagen
5 Jack Kotschak meeting up with American Gordon McLendon and Bob Thompson
The MV Bon Jour in the harbor of Kalkhamnen. The mast was erected with assistance of American expert John Mullaney. Now the ship was ready for transmissions
  Radio Nord Top Twenty
9 Testing the reception during dummyload testing
10 The reception target of Radio Nord in the beginning of the stations history. Later the power was heightened and then, when the conditions were excellent, the station even came through in the North of the Netherlands
Click here for a similar, but larger picture
11 Radio Nord Program
Click here for a larger picture
  Photographs are from the Freewave Media Magazine Archive and Hans Knot
  Look here for more pictures of the Scandinavian Offshore Radio Stations
  2000 © Soundscapes