This is something that will make many, many middleagedads (and mums too, but there’ll be more dads, there just will) happy, John Peel’s famed, extensive music collection is to go on line. Peel is a sacred name in the music world, not just a brilliant DJ who searched out start up bands such as The Undertones and the like, but also Jolly Nice Bloke according to all who knew him. I didn’t really listen to his music shows but loved it when he presented Glastonbury and I avidly listened to Home Truths on Radio4 which he devised and presented. Amongst the blokes I know, he is revered with God-like status.
Now the John Peel Centre for the Creative Arts, set up in memory of the man has decided to put Peel’s entire music collection, all 26,000 LPs, 40,000 singles and thousands of CDs on line to listen to (where possible). It will start by putting the first 100 records in each alphabetical section, doing a letter a week for 26 weeks from this week. Each week there will also be an interview with one of the artists, chosen by Sheila, Peel’s wife and their children. It will take a long time to put the entire collection on line, which is the ultimate aim, but this sounds pretty good for starters.
As well as the record collection, there’s music from Peel’s radio sessions from his time as DJ for Radio 1 and highlights from his various interviews and radio shows. When you pull out an LP it has his typed track list there for you to see too. It’s a great website design, where it’s available on Spotify it links straight through for you to listen to. Peel has a wonderful voice, warm and earthy and completely honest sounding, when you listen again to some of the sound bites you realise how much you miss his sound on radio.