John Peel Wiki

The Carol Concert. Peel is in the back row, second from the left.

This one-off recording by an aggregation labelled 'The Top Gear Carol Singers' featured a group of musicians commonly associated with Peel's Top Gear show, augmented by JP and Sheila ('Peel and The Pig'). Sheila recounted the event thus:

Top Gear was the venue for some inspired one-offs well loved by listeners, such as the 1970 Christmas Carol Concert, at which all the usual suspects - the Faces, Marc Bolan, Ivor Cutler, Sonja Kristina (of Curved Air), John Walters, Robert Wyatt, and myself - squeezed into the studio to contribute our own idiosyncratic versions of 'Silent Night', 'Away In A Manger' and 'Good King Wenceslas.' (Margrave Of The Marshes, p. 297.)

The Peel Sessions (p. 265) lists the personnel as: David Bedford (piano), and the vocalists Marc Bolan, June Child, Ivor Cutler, Sonja Kristina (& friend), Rod Stewart, Robert Wyatt, Mike Ratledge, Ron Wood, Ronnie Lane, Peel & Pig, Kenney Jones, and Ian McLagan. [1] Walters is listed by Ken Garner as being producer (although Sheila's comment leads one to deduce he sang as well), and the majority of the carols are played on an electronic organ, presumably again by Bedford. 'Away In A Manger' was sung by Stewart solo (although Walters remembered on Look Out, It's Alive! in 1991 that he was not keen to do this), backed by Bedford on the piano: 'Silent Night' was sung by Kristina solo, with the choir humming along: and 'Good King Wenceslas' featured solo lines by Lane and Wyatt.

Festive Fifty Entries

  • None


  • John_Peel_Carol_Concert_~_boxing_day_1970

    John Peel Carol Concert ~ boxing day 1970

    One session only, recorded in Maida Vale 4.

1. Recorded: 1970-12-08. First broadcast: 26 December 1970. Repeated: 22 December 1971, 26 December 1974, 16 December 1996 (John Peel's Classic Sessions), 08 December 1999 ('Away In A Manger' and 'Good King Wenceslas' only).

  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen / Away In A Manger / Good King Wenceslas / Silent Night / O Come All Ye Faithful

Other Shows Played

All tapes of the session appear to have survived, and four of the tracks were repeated by BBC6 Music on Marc Riley's show in December 2009.

External Links

  1. According to In Session Tonight (Ken Garner, 1993, p.225), Kevin Ayers was also contracted to appear, but didn't.