Yesterday's news of the sudden death of Dave Cash silences a voice that has been an integral part of British radio for the last half century. His passing further reduces the number of DJs that have worked across the board: offshore radio, national radio, Luxembourg, local radio, both commercial and BBC, as well as ITV and BBC television.
The Cashman was born in Hertfordshire in 1942 but his family moved to Vancouver, Canada - hence that mid-Atlantic twang that was long evident in Dave's voice - when he was a young lad. He got his break into broadcasting at station CFUN in Vancouver where he'd started making the coffee but eventually ended up hosting the overnight show from midnight until 6 am. It was whilst working as a holiday relief at CJAV in Port Alberni in 1964 that a mate of his mentioned that he should "get to England now" and join one of the new pirate radio stations that had just started up.
Dave landed a job at the recently launched Radio London. There he broadcast under the name of Dave Cash, rather than his given name of Dave Wish, in honour of his one of his favourite singers Johnny Cash. He soon forged an on air partnership with fellow DJ Kenny Everett - the Kenny and Cash Shows became required listening.
Dave jumped ship long before the Marine Offences etc. Act came into force, though it was quite by chance; an operation to remove kidney stones in early 1967 meant that he couldn't immediately return to the MV Galaxy, so his agent Chris Peers managed to get him some relief work at Radio Luxembourg and on the BBC Light Programme as one of the presenters of Swingalong. This led to further work introducing the Ray McVay Sound and guests on Monday, Monday and meant he was in prime position to join the new swinging Radio 1 when it launched in September.
As part of the launch team at Radio 1 - Dave's pictured in the famous All Soul's photo between David Rider and Pete Brady - he continued to host Monday, Monday as well as taking turns on What's New and then Midday Spin before gaining a regular weekday afternoon slot in July 1968 presenting "a swinging selection of studio sounds and the best of the rest on records", i.e. in BBC-speak for a show with minimal needletime. Dave's ever-so sixties catchphrase of "Groovy Baby" led to the unlikely hit (though it only reached number 29 in the hit parade) of the same title under the name of Microbe - the young voice provided by the 3-year old Ian Doody, son of Radio 1 and 2 newsreader Pat Doody.
In September 1969 Dave's show was shifted to a teatime slot to make way for the incoming Terry Wogan and then from April 1970 he was back to occasional duties on What's New and Radio 1 Club as well as Sunday afternoon chat show with musical guests Cash at Four. Dave left the Beeb in 1971 but continued to appear on both radio, working with his old ex-pirate chums Tommy Vance and Kenny Everett at Radio Monte Carlo International, and on ITV in the HTV produced The Dave Cash Radio Programme.
Early 1973 saw Dave briefly back at the BBC presenting Radio 2's Up Country. Later that year he was hired by Michael Bukht as part of the launch team at Capital Radio. At the station he was able to rekindle his pirate radio days on The Kenny and Cash Show at breakfast before moving onto lunchtime with the hugely popular Cash on Delivery.
During the 1980s and 90s Dave worked on numerous commercial stations. He helped launch Radio West as Programme Director in 1980-82, was Deputy MD and presenter of the weekend breakfast show (1987-89) at Invicta Radio in Kent, again working for Michael Bukht. It was back to Capital on their Gold service 1989-1994 and brief stints at RTL Country 1035, Liberty Radio and Manchester's Fortune 1458 and its later incarnation Lite Radio. He also presented a weekly country music show on Primetime Radio. Dave's experiences in radio fed into his early 1990s novels The Rating Game and All NIght Long.
Dave returned to the BBC in 1999 working for Radio Kent on shows that were eventually heard on a number of stations in the south-east. Most recently he continued to pursue his love for country music on Dave Cash Country and the retro chart show The Dave Cash Countdown. What were to be his final shows only aired last weekend.
In 2014 Dave celebrated 50 years on the radio in this BBC Radio Kent special linked by Adam Dowling. This was broadcast on Monday 25 August 2014 and gets a repeat on a number of BBC local stations in the south-east this evening.
Dave Cash 1942-2016 'Groovy Baby'