The first time I heard Dad on the radio wasn't a nice experience. I was
crawling around in nappies and I distinctly remember suddenly hearing his
voice. No doubt about it, it was Daddy, and so I started looking for him.
After a long search I eventually concluded that he was hiding in a box.
I was very proud of having found him; I liked playing hide and seek. But
although the game was over, he didn't come out. So I stamped and kicked
on the big cube and cried out until Mum came running in, taking me away
and leaving Dad alone in the box, suddenly speechless. It was only some
time afterthat I realised Dad wasn't avoiding me. He was working in a box
and couldn't come out until the job was done. Later I understood he was
not talking to me, but to 12 million listeners in the UK & millions
more in Europe! ...
Radio Luxembourg in fifties and sixties was unique. It was the station
everybody tuned into to hear modern music. And in the late sixties, the
BBC expanded with the inauguration of Radio One and became even more influential,
enhancing its worldwide reputation. Dad was very proud to have broadcast
on both these eminent radio stations. Ever since childhood he had dreamt
of becoming a radio man. Nothing meant more to him than to be able to communicate
with the world by means of this formidable medium. ...
Dad earned the name 'The Maker Of The Stars' shortly after he first arrived
at Radio Luxembourg, when he tried out a new idea. This was before he became
Head of the English Department in 1958 and when Keith Fordyce and Don Moss
were there. Every Friday the three of them looked through the new releases
and selected one particular record which they featured every night the
following week. Today we'd call this a 'power play'. ... One example of
a record Dad can take credit for turning into a hit was Paul Anka's 'Diana'.
It was Anka's first release and he had never been heard before. It was
produced in USA and Radio Luxembourg made it a hit in Europe before it
was even released in the States. ...
Rob Jones and Dad got on especially well, which also dispels the idea of
a generation gap at Radio Luxembourg, as Rob was Dad's junior by a few
decades. "Nobody disliked him," Rob said, "allthough there was one fellow
he didn't get along with very well. That was Chris Carey. Barry never said
he didn't like such and such a person, but I really felt there was something
between them. I felt this guy had hurt your dad in some way. Barry was
very wise and just tried to avoid him." ...
One summer night in July 1981, Patrick Cox was tuned in. "I was... listening
to Barry on the air, and i could hear something was wrong in his voice.
Intervals between the records became longer, and whenever he spoke it sounded
as if he were having trouble breathing. Then he read the news ..., and
I thought he was going to collaps any minute. I got straight on the phone
to Tony Prince. He wasn't in. ... Here was our top presenter of the whole
station going through hell on air and I was the only member who was listening
to him. In the end, I rang the reception at the Villa Louvigny and got
Mike Knight out of a pub, and I told him to get into the studio straight
away and to replace Barry immediately." ...
On his return, Patrick Cox was very concerned about the pressure he was
putting on Dad by giving him such a demanding schedule. But Dad's reply
- and these were his very words - was, "Radio is my life, and when I go,
I want to go with my boots on." He got his wish. His death on that rainy
Sunday morning of 21 November, 1982 was preceded by only two days
in the hospital. Up until then, he had continued to be active ...
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