Radio Luxembourg has a very special slot in the history if radio. Through a period of time covering three generations of British radio listeners, it is the most famous station broadcast from European mainland.
Before the Second World War, the BBC had an official monopoly on radio services to British audiences. The BBC would in general broadcast serious matters and high culture.
This gap - no light entertainment screamed to be filled, and Radio Luxembourg did just that.
Luxembourg, the tiny country between the Netherlands and Belgium*, had been allocated meduim wave transmitters. To attract more advertisement, however, the people running the channel purchased equipment for long wave transmission, to be able to transmit to the UK.
*)a kind noder notes that Luxembourg is not "between the Netherlands and Belgium" except for very approximate values of "between". Which, of course, if correct, in that Luxembourg does not share a single inch of border with the Netherlands. It is between Belgium, Germany and France
The transmissions, in the beginning just on sundays, started on June 4, 1933. The programming was initially produced by London based advertisement agencies - in particular the LPE (London Press Exchange)
In 1936 the BBCs audience research indicated that most listening in the UK on Sundays was to continental based stations, with Luxembourg being the most successful.
The Royal Mail in the UK, under pressure from the BBC, refused to carry the ready-made programmes from England by land-line to the Luxembourg transmitter, so most were recorded in London on either 78 r.p.m LPs or film celluloid and shipped to the Grand Duchy.
Towards the end of 1944 US forces took over Radio Luzembourg, initially to broadcast morale-boosting programmes for allied prisoners of war and, after peace, as an entertainment station for troops remaining in Europe.
In 1946 the regular programming began again.
In 1951 the English language service was moved to medium wave (the famous 208 (metres) frequency) and confined to evening broadcasts.
As rock and roll started to become popular in the mid-50s, Radio Luxembourg became less and less popular among adults, and many parents tried to stop their youngsters from listening to it.
This, of course, only added to the illicit thrill for the young generation of listening to Luxembourg, and the channel had a massive surge in popularity.
In 1968, the station introduced "live" DJs, presenting records in the top 40 format.
From 1973, the BBC gave up their monopoly, and commercial stations entered the scene. The crowd stayed loyal to Radio Luxembourg for another ten-fifteen years, but most of the listeners were lost to more local popular stations around the UK.
From the early ninetys, it began to go seriously downhill for Radio Luxembourg. The channel tried to move to a new frequency for better quality etc, but the battle was lost, and the clannel was closed in 1992.
Radio Luxembourg ... Rest in Peace.