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 John Peel OBE

1939-2004

John Peel - Personal Tributes

 

John in 1968

 

John Peel in 1976

 

John 'on location' in Russia 1987

with Johnny Beerling

 

John Peel

Seated in the

Radio 1 studios, 1984.

 

Former pirate radio star, John Peel was the last male remaining disc jockey from the original line-up of Radio 1 in 1967.

He was born August 1939 as John Robert Parker Ravenscroft in Heswall, Wirral.  After a public school education in Shrewsbury and two-year National Service he moved to the States and settled in Dallas, where he worked as a computer programmer for an insurance company.

When Beatlemania crossed the Atlantic he 'adjusted' his birthplace to Liverpool, brushed up his scouse accent, and became Radio Station KLIF's resident Beatles expert. He then moved to KLMA in Oklahoma City, a station that claimed the largest night time listenership in the country, and later to KMEN in San Bernardino, California.

He eventually returned to England and joined Radio London in the spring of 1967 where he adopted the surname Peel. His late night show, the Perfumed Garden, with its eccentric mixture of musical styles and emphasis on the emergent American West Coast rock, soon became required listening for the new flower children. In that summer of love and peace he found himself the unofficial spiritual leader.

With the advent of Radio 1 in 1967 he became a compere of Top Gear, taking over the show in February 1968.

Since then he has become a broadcasting legend, promoting acts as diverse as The Smiths, Pulp and Jimi Hendrix.  He helped introduce the nation to drum 'n' bass and hip hop, but is perhaps most notorious for giving his listeners in 1970s their first taste of punk.

However, Peel's love of music's cutting edge has put him on a collision course with the Radio 1 management and fellow DJs alike. He famously called the mainstream output of the BBC's pop music station as "incredibly predictable porridge".  His hatred of "mediocrity" did not stop with just the playlist. Peel held Radio 1's stars such as Tony Blackburn and "Diddy" David Hamilton in equally low regard.

1975 and John began his own daily late - night show, a slot he would famously front for almost 30 years.

In the studio, Peel was just as willing to break the rules. One of Radio 1's only fans of punk, he became the first DJ to play a record twice in a row. Peel, a holder of an OBE, hosted a late-night show three times a week. His straightforward style, and occasional blunders, have seen him voted Melody Maker's top DJ 11 times in a row.

In more recent years John also presented the highly popular Radio 4 Saturday morning programme 'Home Truths' reflecting on the ups and downs of household life. The show was awarded three Sony Awards in its first year.

Sadly, John Peel passed away on 26th October 2004 following a heart attack whilst on a working holiday with his wife Sheila in Peru. A real broadcaster and genuine person who is sorely missed by his friends, family and the listening public. Personal Tributes Page

 

RADIO REWIND AUDIO CLIPS

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Audio BBC

 

New Series but sometimes sad 1968

'Boring You Stiff' on 1968

with a lot of records 1970 (2mins)

Jingle by T-Rex

Radio 1 Club 1970

Trail 1970 

Back from Hols Sounds of 70's Trail

TOP GEAR

 

This Sunday afternoon show was first aired on the launch weekend of Radio 1 in October 1967. It ran for nine years and was produced by John Walters.  During 1967 the show was  co-presented by John Peel with either Tommy Vance or Pete Drummond. Shows included regular live performances by T-Rex plus sessions from the top rock artistes of the time including Pink Floyd, The Move, Jimi Hendrix, The Bee Gees, David Bowie, The Moody Blues, Donovan, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Fleetwood Mac, Deep Purple and Manfred Mann.

 

27th Apr 1969 disc 1 - 57m  27th Apr 1969 - 61m 

18th May 1969 - 53m  18th May 1969 disc 2 - 62m

July 8th 1969 disc 2 - 61m  July 6th 1969 disc 1 - 60m

27th July 1969 disc 1 - 41m  27th July 1969 disc 2 - 56m

Xmas 1969 disc 1 - 29m  Xmas 1969 disc 2 - 30m

27th Dec 1969 disc 1 - 28m  27th Dec 1969 - 27m

29th June 1969 disc 1 - 64m  29th June 1969 disc 2 - 59m

 

4th July 1970 disc 1 - 58m  4th July 1970 disc 2 - 59m

11 July 1970 disc 1 - 49m  11th July 1970 disc2 - 68m

T. Rex 26th Oct 1970 part 1 - 33m  T. Rex 26th Oct 1970 part 2 - 22m

 

 

NEW

 Introducing the Clash

White Riot (1977)

 

White riot - I wanna riot
White riot - a riot of my own
White riot - I wanna riot
White riot - a riot of my own

Black people gotta lot a problems
But they dont mind throwing a brick
White people go to school
Where they teach you how to be thick

An everybody's doing
Just what they're told to
An nobody wants
To go to jail!

All the powers in the hands
Of people rich enough to buy it
While we walk the street
Too chicken to even try it

Everybodys doing
Just what theyre told to
Nobody wants
To go to jail!

Are you taking over
Or are you taking orders
Are you going backwards
Or are you going forwards

 

 

 

 

The following recordings are taken from a Monday night Radio 1 show aired May 1978.

Each file is Mp3, 32kbps, 15 mins long (3.5Mb).

Pt 1; Jah Lloyd, the Stones and British Lions

Pt 2; Dyaks and Dave Gilmore

Pt 3; More Dave Gilmore, The Slits & Radio Birdman 

Pt 4; Meditations, Laura Logic, The Slits & Residents

(John hopes the Slits will be signed up)

Part 5 - Stranglers, Link Wray and close of show

 

 

Last Radio 1 show on 247m -ever! Nov 1978

Starting a show with Dead Or Alive 1986

John jokes about his new name jingle 1987

Going for four nights a week 1989

John Peel discussing DLT!

 

Show Theme Clip - Picking the Blues by Grinderswitch

 

 

 

see also;

 

John Peel - Personal Tributes page (Radio Rewind)

 

John Peel newspaper article

 

BBC Radio 1 John Peel Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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