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John Peel (Peel Sessions), BBC Radio 1 DJ, has Passed Away.

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  • Jen
    A sad day for music fans - I first heard several bands that I adore on his show, broadcast on college radio in the 90 s; bands like Suede, Babes in Toyland,
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 27, 2004
      A sad day for music fans - I first heard several bands that I adore
      on his show, broadcast on college radio in the 90's; bands like
      Suede, Babes in Toyland, Skinned Teen, and Huggy Bear...
      Here's The New York Times article on his life,innovation, and
      influence:


      John Peel, Who Played New Rock on the BBC, Dies at 65
      By BEN SISARIO

      Published: October 27, 2004

      John Peel had been on the BBC's Radio 1 since its inception in 1967
      and had a reputation for playing cutting-edge music from around the
      world.

      John Peel, a BBC radio disc jockey who was a champion of innovative
      and independent music for nearly four decades, died on Monday night
      in Cuzco, Peru. He was 65 and was a longtime resident of Great
      Finborough, England.

      The BBC reported that he had a heart attack while on vacation with
      his wife, Sheila.

      A broadcasting legend in Britain and perhaps the only British D.J.
      known by name to American rock fans, Mr. Peel had been on the BBC's
      Radio 1 since its inception in 1967 and had a reputation for playing
      cutting-edge music from around the world.

      Though most American listeners could not hear his show until the
      advent of the Internet, fans were well familiar with the phenomenon
      of "Peel Sessions." From the first days of his program, Mr. Peel
      invited groups into the studio for live performances that were, by
      practical necessity, scrappy and unembellished.

      The bands, chosen by Mr. Peel and his staff, were often unfamiliar to
      most listeners; many were on Mr. Peel's show even before they had
      recording contracts.

      The sessions, which were sometimes live and sometimes taped in the
      weeks before a broadcast, were often circulated in bootleg
      recordings, and many were released commercially.

      Over the years hundreds of bands recorded on Mr. Peel's show, from
      Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd to the Damned, Napalm Death, the Smiths,
      the Birthday Party, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and the Pixies. More
      recently the guests included Clinic, Elastica, Mouse on Mars, Gorky's
      Zygotic Mynci, the Make-Up, Cat Power and Neko Case.

      He was an unabashed advocate for hungry new bands. When the
      Undertones, a British punk group, released their song "Teenage Kicks"
      in 1978, it did not reach the pop charts, but Mr. Peel played it
      relentlessly on his show and has long raved about the band as one of
      his favorites; after his death was announced yesterday, Radio 1
      played "Teenage Kicks" in tribute.

      Born John Ravenscroft in Heswall, near Liverpool, Mr. Peel began his
      radio career in the United States. He worked for a number of American
      stations in the early 60's, including WRR in Dallas, and when he
      returned to England in 1967 went to work for Radio London, a pirate
      station that broadcast from a ship outside British territorial
      waters. Later that year he was hired as one of the first D.J.'s on
      the BBC's new all-pop station, Radio 1.

      His live studio performances began as a way to comply with
      broadcasting rules. A legal requirement of radio stations at the
      time, limited the amount of time that could be devoted to playing
      records; the Radio 1 crew met the requirement by bringing in new
      groups eager for radio play.

      Mr. Peel was on Radio 1 three times a week, and since 1998 also had a
      program on Radio 4 called "Home Truths," about family life.

      He was awarded an Order of the British Empire in 1998. Besides his
      wife, his survivors include four children.

      Mr. Peel's show has remained a popular attraction for young bands
      seeking exposure and, more importantly, the imprimatur of a Peel
      Session. In an interview in 2002, Mr. Peel said he received more than
      200 CD's a week, but he was modest about his influence as a
      tastemaker.

      "You get a lot of credit for putting these bands on the radio, but
      the fact is that it's like being the editor of a newspaper - you
      don't claim credit for the news," he said.

      "It's not up to me to discover them - bands discover themselves," he
      said. "They make the records; the records arrive. I think, 'Let's
      play it on the radio,' and when they come over here, I think, 'Let's
      book them for a session.' It's very little to do with me, to be
      honest."

      http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/27/arts/music/27peel.html
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