We now turn from page 13 to page 14, and in the opening paragraph a claim is made without qualification that "Chinese interests" own a 100kW station that is currently broadcasting from Mexico into California, USA. If we are generous and allow the author of that claim an "escape clause", we could admit that if those same "Chinese interests" were Mexican nationals of Chinese ancestry, then Rusling's statement would be true. However, the Government of Mexico does not allow foreign nationals to own its stations.
The original purpose and activities of those stations was long ago consigned to the past, and here I can write with first-hand knowledge.
The core trio I am working with to create my Review, once had plans to use a Mexican 'border-blaster' known as XERF at Ciudad Acuña, which owned a restored 250kW RCA transmitter. It was part of a project in the 1980s that was inspired and promoted by Don Pierson, who in 1964 created a station called 'Wonderful Radio London' which began broadcasting from a ship anchored off the coast of south-east England.
The new plan by Don Pierson, with his original Station Manager Ben Toney at the helm, was to begin leasing time incrementally over XERF and broadcast to the USA as 'Radio London, America'. Unfortunately a dispute began over the format. Originally WRLI was to be a CHR ('Contemporary Hit Radio') station, but economics steered this Texas project towards Country music, while others wanted it to play oldies for which commercial sponsorship was non-existent. Here are the PAMS jingles (click to play) that were made for the oldies version.
Then, as a follow-up these shows would be syndicated over other USA radio stations, and finally, a new ship-based project called 'WRLI' (Wonderful Radio London International), and a sister station called 'VFG' (Voice of the Free Gospel), would begin transmitting programs to the United Kingdom. That was the plan which was then put into motion when Ben Toney and Mervyn Hagger went to Del Rio, Texas (directly across the US-Mexico border of Ciudad Acuña, Mexico), to conclude a contract with the U.S. agent for XERF.
The involvement with XERF was quite extensive, and it led to plans that would have turned its broadcasting hours after midnight into transmissions of 'Radio London, America', while still giving English and Spanish station identifications as being transmissions via XERF. This was required by the laws governing broadcasts originating in Mexico; even when the programming originated from outside of Mexico. You can hear the beginnings of this entire plan being put into operation via a combined and back-to-back recording of the first and second broadcasts over XERF which began on Monday, August 13, 1984:
In addition to this information about the 'border-blasters' from Mexico, I have access to other documents relating the 'WRLI' related venture. It eventually morphed into an academic research project involving radio and television programs, newspaper articles, and various monographs.
Here is Genie Baskir in 1985; a core member of the trio that has been involved with this project since its inception. Genie is shown with co-anchor Jeff Houston, in the Texas studio of the 4FTN ('Four Freedoms Television Network'), which was a successor in research interest to the original ideas promoted by Don Pierson.
On page 14 (softback) of his book, Paul Rusling uses the reference to 'border-blasters' to launch into a discussion about the history of Radio Luxembourg with quick references to both the BBC and GPO. Since I have already covered the subject of both the BBC and its relationship to the GPO, and the GPO's relationship to the Crown as a corporation sole, I will not repeat it here.
However, by quickly glossing over the history of Radio Luxembourg, Paul Rusling misses several key elements that later manifest themselves in the history and development of offshore commercial broadcasting to the British Isles in the Nineteen Sixties. The first element that he avoided was the first manifestation of Herbert W. Armstrong in 1953 over the European airwaves via the longwave transmissions of the original Radio Luxembourg.
The second key element that Rusling does not refer to concerns the bone-fide transmissions over Radio Luxembourg on Saturday nights by Alan Freed. These shows were transcribed from WINS in New York City during 1956, and Mervyn Hagger was a devout listener. He accredits to Alan Freed his interest in both the excitement generated by Freed's style of personality presentation on radio, and Freed's promotion of authentic rock 'n' roll music which motivated Hagger to begin buying Freed promoted songs on 78 rpm discs at his local department store.
Freed called himself "Mister Rock 'n' Roll" and claimed that he had popularized the term as a substitute for 'Rhythm and Blues', but some called him the "King" with good reason. It was Freed who promoted the multi-racial enjoyment of rock 'n' roll music, and Freed ushered in the age of rock 'n' roll cameo presentations that became the forerunner of music videos.
Alan Freed spoke out against the violence depicted in 'Blackboard Jungle', while his own films were packaged into a harmless spate of motion pictures depicting teenagers having fun without violence. These movies were shown on cinema screens throughout the British Isles and they paved the way for his radio show on '208'.
In the end, it was the political and criminal aspects of the people that Freed associated himself with that brought about his demise which ended in the so-called 'payola' scandal. Sadly, Alan Freed died rather ignominiously without fanfare in Los Angeles; shortly before 'Beatlemania' crashed on to the American airwaves.
Because Rusling changes topic to the start of Independent Television in the UK on his next page (15), I will end today's blog here.
Hopefully, the Internet will not crash, and no more weird developments transpire overnight in what seems to be a real-to-life sci-fi horror movie that we are all currently living through. That being the case, I will present the latest edition to my Review here at this address, tomorrow!
UPDATED WITH A WRLI AUDIO LINK!