On Easter Sunday 1964 the most famous of all the pirate radio stations, Radio Caroline, played its first record: "Not Fade Away" by the Rolling Stones. The mother of all the pirate ships had set anchor off the Essex coast & began the story which was to change pop music & radio broadcasting forever.
Teenagers searched for an escape from the BBC Light programme diet of the Northern Dance Orchestra & carefully selected pop to find the pirate station that everyone was talking about. And once they had found it they didn't stop listening to Caroline, & others like it, for three years.
For the first time, listeners, pop artists & DJ's connected, creating a hub which became the heart of the pop culture explosion & the permissive society of the 1960s.
By 1967 the pirates were gone, forced off the air by the law but their effect on broadcasting, music & other art forms including fashion was lasting and considerable.
With a backdrop of the greatest pop music of the times, Blind Faith is the second of two programmes marking the 50th anniversary of the launch of Caroline. It examines the pirates' influence & also reveals a fascinating link to an unusually large cohort of teenagers who, like Stevie Wonder, had been blinded from birth by a medical mistake. For them the pirates were a lifeline to the fast-changing 1960's.
Interviews with blind people who were teenagers in the 60s are honest; moving & patently underline the significance of pirate radio's place in the history of UK culture. We also hear from listeners, artists & DJs including a poignant account from Johnnie Walker, the "defiant pirate", of the end.
Blind Faith is a new take on those who George Bernard Shaw would have described as 'unreasonable people' who proved catalytic for a musical & broadcasting revolution.