Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Tributes paid to Tom Taylor of European Music Radio

Tributes have been paid to Tom Taylor, the founder of European Music Radio, who has passed away.

Back in November Tom announced he was taking a break from EMR due to Non-Hodgkin Lymphona cancer. So this is very sad news to hear.

Mark Stafford wrote on Facebook: "Just got some very bad news, Barry Stephens (Tom Taylor) of European Music Radio fame has died.

"To many of us learning the art of Pirate Radio Broadcasting in the South East of England in the 1970's, Tom was "The Governor".EMR was a class station, probably the best Short Wave Pirate in the late 70's. Barry and his colleague Roger Tate were legends.

"Tom/Barry was also a really nice guy who helped us so much. He fixed our transmitters so many times for us and taught us how important good modulation was. Tom used to tell us "you have got to have hissing sidebands, mate"! By that he meant, lots of top end so that it cut through the noise and splashed audio on the next door channel!

"Tom had a famous three wheeler Reliant Robin that the he took the EMR gear out into the woods with! We will all remember that."

Peter Verbruggen of FRS Holland writes: "For many dedicated SW free radio enthusiasts, E.M.R. was the station in the late 1970s and 1980. As from 1980 onwards E.M.R. and FRS became sister stations.

"Within a few days a memorial with some personal memories will be put on the FRS site. We will inform you via mail when it will be online.

"All of us at FRS are shocked by Tom's death. He indeed was a short wave legend. May he rest in peace."

EMR was one of the first pirate stations I remember hearing when I started listening to shortwave radio nearly 40 years ago. In those days EMR was a pirate station broadcasting from the south of England and Tom used the name "Barry Stephens."

He had started the station in 1976 and began regular third Sunday broadcasts. After being raided in 1980 the station returned via relays from other pirate stations, before closing in 1983.

In 1996 EMR returned to shortwave through Dutch relays before switching in 2002 to legal broadcasts, although remaining a "free radio" station at heart. He would also help out other pirates with advice.

I enjoyed listening to EMR over the years. May you rest in peace Tom.

Many more tributes on Mark Stafford's Facebook page.

There is much more information about EMR on the station website at

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