Op het moment dat deze Top 50 werd uitgezonden op 15 Mei 1971 leek het nog een hele gewone dag te zijn. Dat veranderde ’s avonds heel snel. Meer hierover kun je in de herinneringen van Michael hieronder lezen en hier beluisteren.

De hoogste nieuwe binnenkomer deze week is ’t prachtige Double Barrel van Dave en Ansel Collins. Op nummer 25, maar liefst 14 plaatsen gestegen, staat het prachtige Spaanse nummer Poetas Andaluces (Gedichten uit Andalusië) van Aquaviva. Gilbert O’Sullivan verwisselt met de Sweet van positie deze week en komt daarmee op nummer 1 te staan. Van de de 4 Kanskaarten komt alleen Romeo mij totaal niet bekend voor. Het nummer van Tin Tin is een hele goede keus van Ferry Maat, een prachtig nummer.

Deze Top 50 kun je hier beluisteren:

Uur 1                          Uur 2                          Uur 3

Onder de TOP 50 kun je de herinneringen van Michael Downing lezen uit de tijd dat deze Top 50 werd uitgezonden en daaronder een paar scans uit de ME van Mei 1971.

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The RNI memories of Michael Downing for this period


Many of the noteworthy events surrounding RNI happened on a Saturday, such as the official opening (28 February 1970), the temporary renaming as Radio Caroline International (13 June 1970) and the reversion to RNI a week later, the Kees Manders hijack attempt (29 August 1970), the launch of the Dutch service (6 March 1971), RNI 2 on 192 metres (30 September 1972) and the close down (31 August 1974). Then there was the most notorious Saturday of them all – 15 May 1971. Here’s what I noted down from that weekend:


Thursday 13 May 1971

Stevi Merike, Mike Ross and Tony Allan go off on the tender and Dave Rogers returns. The full programme schedule today is:

6.00 Peter Holland

6.30 Johan Maasbach

7.00 Peter Holland

10.00 Jan Van Veen

12.00 Joost de Draaier

14.00 Ferry Maat

16.00 Crispian St John

18.00 Alan West

20.00 Crispian St John

22.00 Alan West

24.00 – 2.00 Dave Rogers


Friday 14 May 1971

Alan West has an interview with Hans Vermeulen of the Sandy Coast at 18.30 in his programme today. Dave Rogers reads the news this evening.


Saturday 15 May 1971

Joost de Draaier hosts the Super Top 50 show in the Dutch service and Crispian St John has an oldies show at 16.00. Evening news is read by Dave Rogers.

At 22.52 the Alan West programme was interrupted with news that there had been an explosion and that the ship was on fire. A dinghy had been seen moving away from the ship shortly after the explosion and it was suspected that a bomb had been thrown onto the Mebo 2 from this vessel. Mayday calls were broadcast in English, Dutch and German, mainly over the top of the “Man of action” theme. The transmissions stopped at 23.40 and the DJs and most of the crew left the ship. Three men, including the Captain and Kurt Baer, the engineer, stayed on board attempting to contain the fire until, eventually, the Dutch navy arrived and the fire was brought under control.


Sunday 16 May 1971

RNI is back on the air at 6.00 this morning, despite last night’s events. The three English DJs on board at the time – Alan West, Crispian St John and Dave Rogers – return to the ship after being interviewed for news bulletins including those of the BBC and ITV. The station could return to the air as, although the fire has seriously damaged the hull of the Mebo 2, the studios, DJ quarters and eating rooms are all still in working order.

Dave Rogers, who presents the Super Hit 50 show on the International service from 15.00 to 18.00, said “It’s a good thing that this ship isn’t called the Titanic” when playing “Sultana” on the show. Crispian St John reads news at 16.00 and 17.00, but news broadcasts stopped after that due to the difficulty of preparing them under the present situation. Crispian thanks everybody who assisted RNI last night and announces that shipping forecasts from the Mebo 2 will have to stop temporarily whilst matters return to normal.

De voorpagina van de Muziek Expres van Mei 1971

FP ME0571.jpg

Gilbert O’Sullivan stijgt deze week van 4 naar 1

Gilbert O'Sullivan ME0571.jpg

De Sandy Coast zakt deze week van 7 naar 11

Sandy Coast 1 ME0571.jpg

Sandy Coast 2 ME0571.jpg

Nederland is een vrij land, bloot in de reklame mocht

Melt ME0571.jpg

Ook op de radio hoorde je regelmatig reklame voor Levis, the original jeans

Levis ME0571.jpg