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It’s hard to overstate the late John Peel’s influence on popular music in the United Kingdom and the DJ is much missed, years after his untimely death.
Born in Liverpool, Peel travelled extensively in the United States during the 1960s before getting his first radio job, working for WRR Radio in Dallas. He returned to England in 1967, working first in pirate radio before joining the new pop music station BBC Radio 1.
Throughout the 1970s he brought reggae, punk and prog rock to the masses and is credited with jumpstarting the careers of artists like David Bowie, The Fall, The Undertones and the White Stripes, among countless others.
His legacy lives on in the vast archive of live recordings under the Peel Sessions, featuring everyone from AC/DC to Benjamin Zephaniah, and including hundreds of young musicians who would never forget his kindness and encouragement.
As well as his love of pop music, John Peel became one of the country’s most beloved broadcasters, hosting Radio 4’s Home Truths, tales of everyday life in the United Kingdom.
His Meltdown line-up was suitably eclectic, featuring Cornershop & Gorky's Zygotic Mynci; Thomas Mapfumo & The Blacks Unlimited with Ayub Ogada; Plaid, Broadcast, Plone & Autechre; FSK, Lance Gambit Trio, The King, Nought, Trash Project & Project Dark; Sonic Youth, Spiritualized & The Delgados, The Jesus and Mary Chain; Half Man/Half Biscuit; and more.