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Radio disc jockey and presenter John Peel fueled the British independent music scene by debuting such performers as David Bowie, Joy Division and the Smiths.
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Radio disc jockey and presenter who fueled the independent music scene in England by debuting such performers as David Bowie, Joy Division, and the Smiths. John Peel was born on August 30, 1939 in Heswall, Merseyside, NW England, United Kingdom. He was educated at Shrewsbury School, and after completing his national service (1957–9) he went to America and became a disc jockey for Radio WRR in Dallas. He returned to England in 1967 and joined pirate radio station Radio London for a time, presenting a late night show The Perfumed Garden where he championed British underground bands such as Pink Floyd.
Later that year John Peel began a long career with Radio 1, hosting a number of shows including Top Gear. He was one of the only BBC disc jockeys to have complete creative control over his playlists, and bands flooded his mailbox with demo tapes and requested to be featured on his legendary "Peel Sessions" live sets. From 1998 to 2004 he presented Radio 4's popular Home Truths, which won four Sony Radio awards in 1999. His many other awards include Melody Maker's DJ of the Year on 11 occasions and the honorary gold Sony radio award in 2002. At the time of his death on October 25, 2004, while on holiday in Peru, he was working on his autobiography. The book, John Peel: Margrave of the Marshes, was completed by his wife and family and published in 2005. In October that year, John Peel Day marked the first anniversary of his death with over 300 concerts taking place around the world in his honor. He was posthumously made an honorary member of the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. His son, Tom Ravenscroft, a music journalist, began hosting his own internet music show on BBC Channel 4 Radio in 2006.
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