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John Peel - Friday Night Is Boogie Night - 10 March 1972 - start

John Peel - Friday Night Is Boogie Night - 10 March 1972 - start

Bill Aitken had an unusual role to play in the Sounds Of The Seventies legend. For Peel's new Friday night show, "(John) Muir was daft enough to ask me to write some jingles...Radio 1 took over the FM slot at this time from Radio 2, and if you didn't know where you were on the dial at home, you could be tuning in to the wrong station," he says. "To capitalise on this, the jingle began with Peter Howell (of the Radiophonic Workshop) saying in a very BBC voice, 'Ladies and gentlemen, Friday Night Is Boogie Night!,' (polite applause) then I would crash in, sounding like a Glasgow drunk doing a pale imitation of Little Richard to the tune of Keep A-Knockin', except that the words were, 'Get your boogie on a Friday night, Auntie Beeb's gonna treat you right, Johnny Peel's really out of sight, Boogie on a Friday and you'll be alright!" Aitken had found a vocation. He followed up with the 'John Peel's Got Nice Legs' jingle, but the Boogie Night jingle remains the most memorable. It was also appropriate: the show featured the first session by the 12-bar boogie incarnation of Status Quo, on 3 March 1972. (Ken Garner, The Peel Sessions, BBC Books 2007, p.77.)

This show's curious name was probably inspired by Radio Two's Friday Night Is Music Night, a live show concentrating on music of the Light Programme era - light orchestral and film music, stage musicals and operetta. It began in 1953 and is described by Wikipedia as "the world's longest-running live orchestral music radio programme"[1]. According to BBC Genome's listings, in 1972 it began at 9 p.m, before the split between Radio One and Radio Two at 10 p.m. The introduction to Peel's show described above is clearly a parody of the opening slogan of the Radio Two show and would have assured Peel's listeners they were tuned to the right station, while making Friday Night Is Music Night listeners switch off or retune to Radio Two's AM frequency

Friday Night Is Boogie Night was produced by John Muir and made up for Peel's removal from presenting In Concert: it ran on BBC Radio One between 10 and 12 midnight from 07 January 1972 to 29 September 1972, when it moved to Thursday and shifted producer duties to Bernie Andrews. The first show opened with the Kinks' 20th Century Man and featured no less than four debut sessions broadcasts.

Available recordings

As with most Peel shows of this era, few recordings survive.

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