Producer, writer, musician and broadcaster - Stuart Colman has worked with everyone from Kate Bush to Shakin' Stevens. He played a key role in the Rock n Roll revival of the 1970 s. He co-organised a successful protest march to the BBC in 1976 and produced for Shakin Stevens and The Jets.
Born Ian Stuart Colman in 1944 in Harrogate, Yorkshire to a musical family, he soon formed and played in a school band 'The Demons', playing Rock and Roll classics. Soon after, Stuart moved to Rugby, training as a draughtsman whilst forming a band The Cataracts with fellow employees. Stuart played bass guitar and they regularly featured across Midlands dance halls.
In 1963, he joined 'The Beat Preachers' - playing R&B, and in 1966 joined 'Pinkerton s Assorted Colours', who had recently charted with Mirror Mirror/ She Don t Care. Their manager, Reg Calvert, was shot dead in an argument over the ownership of a pirate radio transmitter and his death badly affected their gig and recording opportunities. Pinkerton s Assorted Colours were renamed the Flying Machine, and released a US hit in 1969 with Smile A Little Smile For Me, earning them a gold disc.
Radio 1 Show
Stuart s close friend and Rock and Roll enthusiast Geoff Barker were interviewed on Charlie Gilletts' Radio London show, Honky Tonk, where they proposed the idea of a mass march on BBC s Broadcasting House in order to get the BBC to play proper rock n roll on a mainstream radio show at a peak listening time. The 1976 march turned out to be a huge success, and Colman was surprised when he was offered the opportunity to present a new weekly Saturday rock n roll show on Radio 1.
The show s format was partly governed by BBC policy which required eight minutes of live music in each hour; the usual producer, Dave Price, asked Stuart if he would produce the a live set Shakin Stevens, A few weeks later, EPIC asked him if he could assemble a band for Stevens next recording session. By the time of the next album release ( Shaky 1981) full production credit had been passed to Stuart Colman.
1982 saw Stuart being awarded the prestigious Top Singles Producer of the Year award by Music Week following 14 records charting.
Stuart continued hosting radio shows, remaining with Radio 1 until 1981, and went on to concurrently host the acclaimed Echoes series on BBC Radio London (1978-1988).
He was asked to produce the Comic Relief record in 1986. Livin Doll by Cliff Richard and The Young Ones reached number 1 in the UK. Further novelty success was achieved with Mel Smith and Kim Wilde who recorded an updated Rockin Around The Christmas Tree.
Throughout the 1980 s Stuart produced albums by many of the great originators of rock n roll, including Billy Fury s final album The Crickets, Phil Everly and Little Richard.
In 1988 he joined the re-launched Capital Radio dedicated oldies station where he remained for seven years (1988-1995), and at the same time was heard on BBC Radio Solent (1989-1995).
In 2002 Stuart was diagnosed with cancer which required intensive treatment and he also became divorced.
Stuart Colman's articles for Melody Maker in the 1970 s, followed by his book They Kept On Rockin in 1982 and his sleeve notes for many CD compilations have made him a respected rock and roll historian.
Stuart moved to Nashville to produce country music acts and more recently (2009) to Manhattan where he remarried. He is involved in many projects including scriptwriting, product managing as well as studio work.
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