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John Peel (1939-2004)

John Peel (1939-2004)


John Robert Parker Ravenscroft OBE (30 August 1939 – 25 October 2004), known professionally as John Peel, was a British disc jockey and radio presenter. He was one of the original DJs of BBC Radio 1 in 1967 and the only one remaining on Radio 1 at the time of his death. Known for the extraordinary range of his taste in music and the not infrequent blunders (for example playing records at the wrong speed) which marked his shows, John Peel was one of the most popular and respected DJs in the United Kingdom. His influence on alternative rock and pop music is widely acknowledged to be incalculable. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Peel [Aug 2004]


John Peel Born 30th August 1939, in Heswell, Cheshire, he was educated at Shrewsbury public school and did his National Service in the Royal Artillery. He then worked at Townhead Mill in Shropshire before moving to America. His first job there was with the Dallas Cotton Exchange but his love of the blues led to him making a guest appearance on a local radio station. When the Beatles took off in America, an English accent, especially an almost Liverpudlian one, was much in demand. John became the resident Beatles expert on KLIF in Dallas. A full time job on KOMA in Oklahoma City followed, then KMEN in San Bernardino.

An unsuccessful marriage prompted his return to the UK where a neighbour of his mother's put him in touch with Radio London. On the basis of his experience on American radio, John was immediately given a job and joined the station in March 1967. As always, the newest recruit had two air-shifts. John deputised for whichever DJ was on shore leave and presented the midnight-2am show. While working in America John had become very aware of the music of the “underground”. It was the hippy era and dozens of new bands were emerging. John began to feature the best of this new music on his late night programme which came to be known as The Perfumed Garden. It immediately won a large and loyal following and was hugely influential. He stayed with Radio London until its close-down when he became part of the founding team of Radio One. --http://www.offshoreradio.co.uk/djsn2p.htm [Oct 2004]

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