Dave Cash - 50 years on, still having fun
In his 50 years in radio, Dave Cash has made a habit out of being in at the start of something big.
He was a pirate DJ when off-shore Radio London first set sail at the end of 1964 and when BBC Radio 1 burst onto the scene in 1967 he was in the original presenter line-up with the likes of Tony Blackburn, Alan 'Fluff' Freeman and Pete Murray.
The Radio Kent weekend host was also one of the first to be hired, as production director and presenter, at fledgling Capital Radio in 1973, where he was reunited with his former pirate radio partner Kenny Everett, reviving their popular and anarchic Kenny and Cash Show.
Kenny and Cash did have one outing on Radio 1, in a live Christmas Day show. But Everett's infamous "Can you say 'bum' on the BBC?" routine - parodying BBC referral processes and packing more "bums" into a broadcast than anyone had done before - made sure it was the duo's last on the network.
Cash's current berth at BBC Radio Kent will mark the 50th anniversary of his radio debut, on Vancouver's CFUN station, with a special Bank Holiday documentary. Produced by Kent presenting colleague Adam Dowling, the two-hour programme will feature contributions from artists like Labi Siffre, whom Cash helped discover, memorable archive tracks and favourite stories from the veteran DJ himself.
End Quote Dave Cash Radio Kent presenter
I got talking to a little guy called Maurice Cole (later Kenny Everett) who was feeling queasy as we listened to tapes of the very funny Charlie and Harrigan breakfast show from Dallas station KLIF”
Like how he got his break into pirate radio and how an instant rapport with a seasick newcomer aboard the Radio London ship off the Essex coast forged his ground-breaking partnership with Kenny Everett.
Newly arrived in London from Canada, Cash was on his way to play an audition tape to the only pirate station he'd heard of, Radio Caroline, when he took shelter from the freezing rain in a doorway at 17 Curzon Street.'Best fun I ever had'
"I heard a booming Texan voice complaining that no one knew anything about 'Top 40 format radio'. It was Radio London boss Ben Toney. I did know, and I told him so. I was hired and on the ship the next day," he recalls.
"I got talking to a little guy called Maurice Cole (later Kenny Everett) who was feeling queasy as we listened to tapes of the very funny Charlie and Harrigan breakfast show from Dallas station KLIF. I told him I wanted to write and he asked if I could write anything as funny as that. I said I'd have a go, his seasickness disappeared and the Kenny and Cash show was born."
Cash describes the partnership as "the best fun I ever had in radio" and early creations like sci-fi character Captain Kremmen survived into Everett's solo career. But despite partying with the likes of Tom Jones and Lulu and being mobbed by teenage fans, he looks back on his 1960s pirate radio days - when winter months meant broadcasting in force nine gales - as "more of an adventure than a picnic".
A successful audition in 1967 with the first controller of Radio 1 Robin Scott led to a midday slot on the new pop station and his popular Sunday show Cash at Four. He is philosophical that the only surviving tape that still exists of him hosting BBC One's Top of the Pops, in February 1968, was alongside Jimmy Savile.
Cash spent a total of 21 years at Capital Radio and worked for a number of commercial stations, including Radio West, Invicta, Country-1035, satellite station EKR and Liberty-963.Something for the weekend
End Quote Dave Cash
They asked me if I could come up with something for the weekend. I said 'I sure can'. Now I think I'm enjoying myself more than ever”
He joined BBC Radio Kent in 1999: "They asked me if I could come up with something for the weekend. I said 'I sure can'. Now I think I'm enjoying myself more than ever."
Cash currently produces and presents a two-hour country/rock 'n roll show on Sundays and a two-hour Saturday classic charts show, spanning 1965-1995, which also plays on BBC Radio Berkshire, BBC Sussex, BBC Radio Solent, BBC Surrey and BBC Radio Oxford.
He is also the author of three novels, based on his life in radio, and the autobiographical 'He Sounds Much Taller (Memoirs of a Radio Pirate)'.
In 2011, the Radio Kent presenter married 'Emily Email' (colleague Sara Davies) who answers the steady stream of listeners' emails and requests. The couple's Jack Russell terrier Beasley is now also a fixture on the shows and, says station editor Gordon Davidson, in danger of outstripping his master's e-postbag.
Davidson pays his own tribute to Cash as a "consummate professional" who is as excited as he ever was about the medium and discovering new music.
Cash will be hearing the Dowling anniversary documentary for the first time, he says, when it goes out next Monday.
"I once had to leave the Radio London studio briefly while we were on air and heard Kenny Everett's link: 'So here are some words of wisdom from Dave Cash….' A minute's silence followed. I trust Adam not to do a Kenny."
Dave Cash, 50 Years On: BBC Radio Kent, 12-2pm, August 25, BBC Radio Kent