- (This page concerns the DJ. For the writer of the same name, see John Peel(2)).
John Robert Parker Ravenscroft, OBE (30 August, 1939 – 25 October 2004, known professionally as John Peel, was an English disc jockey, radio presenter, record producer and journalist. He was the longest serving of the original BBC Radio 1 DJs, broadcasting regularly from 1967 until his death in 2004. He was known for his eclectic taste in music and his honest and warm broadcasting style.
He was one of the first broadcasters to play psychedelic rock and progressive rock records on British radio, and he is widely acknowledged for promoting artists working in various genres, including pop, reggae, "world", indie pop, indie rock, alternative rock, punk, hardcore punk, breakcore, grindcore, death metal, British hip hop, electronic music and dance music. Fellow DJ Paul Gambaccini described him as "the most important man in music for about a dozen years".
Peel's Radio 1 shows were notable for the regular Peel sessions, which usually consisted of four songs recorded by an artist live in the BBC's studios, and which often provided the first major national coverage to bands that later would achieve great fame. Another popular feature of his shows was the annual Festive Fifty countdown of his listeners' favourite records of the year.
Peel appeared occasionally on British television as one of the presenters of Top Of The Pops in the 1980s, and he provided voice-over commentary for a number of BBC programmes. He became popular with the audience of BBC Radio 4 for his Home Truths programme, which ran from the 1990s, featuring unusual stories from listeners' domestic lives.
- 1 Life and career
- 2 Life in music
- 3 Legacy
- 4 Related Pages
- 5 External links
Life and career
Peel was born in Heswall Cottage Hospital in Heswall on the Wirral Peninsula, near Liverpool, and grew up in the nearby village of Burton. His father was an upper middle class cotton merchant, and he was sent away to be educated as a boarder at Shrewsbury School, where one of his contemporaries was future comedian Michael Palin.  His housemaster, Richard Hubert John Brooke, whom Peel described as "extraordinarily eccentric" and "amazingly perceptive", wrote on one of his school reports:
Perhaps it's possible that John can form some kind of nightmarish career out of his enthusiasm for unlistenable records and his delight in writing long and facetious essays.
In his posthumously published autobiography, Peel revealed that he had been subjected to sexual abuse by an older pupil while at Shrewsbury.
After finishing his National Service in 1959 in the Royal Artillery as a B2 Radar Operator, he worked as a mill operative at Townhead Mill in Rochdale and travelled home each weekend to Heswall on a scooter borrowed from his sister. Whilst in Rochdale Monday to Friday he stayed in a bed and breakfast in the Milkstone Road / Drake Street area and developed long-term associations with Rochdale through the years.
In 1960, he went to the United States to work for a cotton producer who had business dealings with his father. Once this job had finished he took a number of others, including working as a travelling insurance salesman, remaining in the United States until 1967. While in Dallas, Texas, where the insurance company he worked for was based, he conversed with the presidential candidate John F. Kennedy, and his running mate Lyndon B. Johnson, who were touring the city during the 1960 election campaign, and took photographs of them.
Following Kennedy's assassination he passed himself off as a reporter for the Liverpool Echo in order to attend the arraignment of Lee Harvey Oswald and he and a friend can be seen in the footage of the 22/23 November press conference shortly before Oswald's assassination. He later phoned in the story to the Liverpool Echo.
While working for an insurance company based in Dallas, Texas, filing card programs for an early IBM 1410 computer (which led to his entry in Who's Who noting him as a former computer programmer), he got his first radio job, albeit unpaid, working for WRR Radio in Dallas. There he presented the second hour of the Monday night programme Kat's Karavan. Following this, and as Beatlemania hit the United States, Peel got a job as the official Beatles correspondent with the Dallas radio station KLIF, due to his connection to Liverpool. He later worked for KOMA in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma until 1965 when he moved to KMEN in San Bernardino, California, using the name John Ravencroft to present the breakfast show.
While in Dallas, in 1965, he married his first wife, Shirley Anne Milburn, then aged 15, in what Peel later described as a "mutual defence pact". The marriage was never happy and although she accompanied Peel back to Britain in 1967, they were soon separated. The divorce became final in 1973. Shirley Anne Milburn later took her own life.
Return to Britain
He returned to England in early 1967 and found work with the offshore pirate radio station Radio London. He was offered the midnight-to-two shift, which gradually developed into a program called The Perfumed Garden (some thought it was named after an erotic book famous at the time - which Peel claimed never to have read). It was on "Big L" that he first adopted the name John Peel (the name was suggested by a Radio London secretary) and established himself as a distinctive radio voice.
Peel's show was an outlet for the music of the UK underground scene. He played classic blues, folk music and psychedelic rock, with an emphasis on the new music emerging from Los Angeles and San Francisco. As important as the musical content of the programme was the personal — sometimes confessional — tone of Peel's presentation, and the listener participation it engendered. Underground events he had attended during his periods of shore leave, like the UFO Club and "The 14 Hour Technicolor Dream", together with causes célèbres like the drug "busts" of the Rolling Stones and John "Hoppy" Hopkins, were discussed between records. All this was far removed from Radio London's daytime format. Listeners sent Peel letters, poems, and records from their own collections, so that the programme became a vehicle for two-way communication; by the final week of Radio London he was receiving far more mail than any other DJ on the station.
After the closure of Radio London in 1967 Peel wrote a column under the title "The Perfumed Garden" for the underground newspaper the International Times (from autumn 1967 to mid-1969), in which he showed himself to be a committed, if critical, supporter of the ideals of the underground. A "Perfumed Garden" mailing list was set up by a group of keen listeners, which facilitated contacts and gave rise to numerous small-scale, local arts projects typical of the time, including the poetry magazine Sol.
When Radio London closed down on August 14, 1967, John Peel joined the BBC's new pop music station, BBC Radio One, which began broadcasting the following month. Unlike Big L, Radio 1 was not a full-time station, but a hybrid of recorded music and live studio orchestras broadcast at the same time as the talk and light music of BBC Radio Two. Peel recalled:
I was one of the first lot on Radio 1 and I think it was mainly because ... Radio 1 had no real idea what they were doing so they had to take people off the pirate ships because there wasn't anybody else.
At first he was obliged to share presentation duties with other DJs (Pete Drummond and Tommy Vance were among his co-hosts) but in February 1968 was given sole charge of Top Gear - a role which he held until the show ended in 1975; Peel played an eclectic mix of the music that caught his attention, which he would continue to do throughout his career.
In 1969, after hosting a trailer for a BBC programme on Venereal Disease on his Night Ride programme, Peel received significant media attention because he divulged on air that he had suffered from a sexually transmitted disease earlier that year. This admission was later used in an attempt to discredit him when he appeared as a defence witness in the 1971 Oz obscenity trial.
The Night Ride programme, advertised by the BBC as an exploration of words and music, seemed to take up from where The Perfumed Garden had left off. It featured rock, folk, blues, classical and electronic music. A unique feature of the programme was the inclusion of tracks, mostly of exotic non-Western music, drawn from the BBC Sound Archive; the most popular of these were gathered on a BBC Records LP, John Peel's Archive Things (1970). Night Ride also featured poetry readings and numerous interviews with a wide range of guests, including personal friends Marc Bolan, journalist and musician Mick Farren, poet Pete Roche, and singer-songwriter Bridget St John and stars such as the Byrds, the Rolling Stones and John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The programme captured much of the creative activity of the underground scene. Its anti-establishment stance and unpredictability did not find approval with the BBC hierarchy, and it ended in September 1969 after 18 months. In his sleeve notes to the Archive Things LP Peel calls the free-form nature of Night Ride his preferred radio format. His subsequent shows featured a mixture of records and live sessions, a format that would characterise his Radio 1 programmes for the rest of his career.
After separation from his first wife, Peel's personal life began to stabilise, as he found friendship and support from new Top Gear producer John Walters - and from a girlfriend whom he identified on-air as "the Pig". Eventually, on 31 August, 1974, Peel married Sheila Gilhooly. The reception was in London's Regent's Park, with Walters as best man. Peel wore Liverpool football colours (red) and walked down the aisle to the song "You'll Never Walk Alone". Their sheepdog, Woggle, served as a bridesmaid.
Peel's enthusiasm for music outside the mainstream occasionally brought him into conflict with the Radio 1 hierarchy. In early 1977 station controller Derek Chinnery contacted John Walters and asked him to confirm that the show was not playing any punk, which he (Chinnery) had read about in the press and disapproved of. Chinnery was evidently somewhat surprised by Walters' reply that in recent weeks they had been playing little else. In 1979 Peel stated:
"They leave you to get on with it. I'm paid money by the BBC not to go off and work for a commercial radio station ... I wouldn't want to go to one anyway, because they wouldn't let me do what the BBC let me do."
Peel's reputation as an important DJ breaking unsigned acts into the mainstream was such that young hopefuls sent him an enormous number of records, CDs, and tapes. When he returned home from a three-week holiday at the end of 1986 there were 173 LPs, 91 12"s and 179 7"s waiting for him. In 1983 unsigned artist Billy Bragg drove to the Radio 1 studios with a mushroom biryani and a copy of his record after hearing Peel mention that he was hungry; the subsequent airplay launched his career.
In the 1970s Peel and Sheila moved to a thatched cottage in the village of Great Finborough near Stowmarket in Suffolk, nicknamed "Peel Acres". In later years Peel broadcast many of his shows from a studio in the house, with Sheila and their children often being involved or at least mentioned. Peel's passion for Liverpool F.C. was reflected in his children's names: William Robert Anfield, Alexandra Mary Anfield, Thomas James Dalglish, and Florence Victoria Shankly. His later shows also regularly featured live performances (broadcast live, unlike the pre-recorded Peel sessions), mostly from BBC Maida Vale Studios in West London, but occasionally in the Peel Acres living-room.
In addition to his Radio 1 show, Peel broadcast as a disc jockey on the BBC World Service, on the British Forces Broadcasting Service BFBS (John Peel's Music on BFBS) for 30 years, VPRO Radio3 in the Netherlands, YLE Radio Mafia in Finland, Ö3 in Austria (Nachtexpress), and on Radio 4U, Radio Eins (Peel ...), Radio Bremen (Ritz) and some independent radio stations around FSK Hamburg in Germany. As a result of his BFBS programme he was voted, in Germany, "Top DJ in Europe".
Peel was an occasional presenter of Top Of The Pops on BBC 1 TV from the late 1960s until the 1990s, and in particular from 1982 to 1987 when he appeared regularly. In 1971 he appeared not as presenter but performer, alongside Rod Stewart and The Faces, pretending to play mandolin on "Maggie May". He often presented the BBC's television coverage of music events, notably the Glastonbury Festival.
Between 1995 and 1997, Peel presented a show about children, called Offspring, on BBC Radio 4. In 1998, Offspring grew into the magazine-style documentary show Home Truths. When he took on the job presenting the programme, which was about everyday life in British families, Peel requested that it be free from celebrities, as he found real life stories more entertaining. Home Truths was described by occasional stand-in presenter John Walters as being "about people who had fridges called Renfrewshire". Peel also made regular contributions to BBC Two's humorous look at the irritations of modern life Grumpy Old Men. His only appearance in an acting role in film was in 1999 as a "grumpy old man who catalogues records" in Five Seconds To Spare, although he had provided narration for others.
He appeared as a celebrity guest on a number of TV shows, including This Is Your Life (1996, BBC), Travels With My Camera (1996, Channel 4 TV) and Going Home (2002, ITV TV), and presented the 1997 Channel 4 series Classic Trains. He was also in demand as a voice-over artist for television documentaries, such as BBC One's A Life Of Grime.
At the age of 62 he was diagnosed with diabetes, following many years of fatigue.
In April 2003, the publishers Transworld successfully wooed Peel with a package worth up to £1.6 million for his autobiography, having placed an advert in a national newspaper aimed only at Peel. Unfinished at the time of his death it was completed by Sheila and journalist Ryan Gilbey. It was published in October 2005 under the title Margrave Of The Marshes. A collection of Peel's miscellaneous writings, The Olivetti Chronicles, was published in 2008.
Peel died suddenly at the age of 65 from a heart attack on 25 October 2004, on a working holiday in the Inca city of Cusco in Peru. Shortly after the announcement of his death, tributes began to arrive from fans and supporters both in and out of public life. On 26 October 2004 BBC Radio 1 cleared its schedules to broadcast a day of tributes. London's Evening Standard boards that afternoon read "the day the music died".
Peel had often spoken wryly of his eventual death. He once said:
"I've always imagined I'd die by driving into the back of a truck while trying to read the name on a cassette and people would say, 'He would have wanted to go that way.' Well, I want them to know that I wouldn't."
At one point, he said that if he died before his producer John Walters, he wanted the latter to play Roy Harper's "When An Old Cricketer Leaves The Crease". Walters having died in 2001, it was left to Andy Kershaw to end his tribute programme to Peel on BBC Radio 3 with the song. Peel's stand-in on his Radio 1 slot, Rob Da Bank, also played the song at the start of the final show before his funeral. Another time, Peel said he would like to be remembered with a gospel song. He stated that the final record he would play would be the Rev CL Franklin's sermon "Dry Bones in The Valley".
On his Home Truths BBC radio show John once commented about his own death:
"I definitely want to be buried, although not yet. I'm 61 on Wednesday—just a working day for me, I'm afraid—so actually I should have a mile or two left in me, but I do want the children to be able to stand solemnly at my graveside and think lovely thoughts along the lines of 'Get out of that one, you swine', which they won't be able to do if I've been cremated. I think I want 'Teenage dreams, so hard to beat' on my gravestone and every night at dusk the trumpeters of the 5th Battalion King's Shropshire Light Infantry to play Misty in Roots' 'Mankind' over the grave. Lovely."
Peel's funeral, on 12 November 2004, in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, was attended by over a thousand people, including many of the artists he had championed. Eulogies were read by his brother, Alan Ravenscroft, and DJ Paul Gambaccini. The service ended with clips of him talking about his life and his coffin was carried out to the accompaniment of his favourite song, The Undertones' "Teenage Kicks". Peel had written that, apart from his name, all he wanted on his gravestone were the words, "Teenage dreams, so hard to beat", from the lyrics of "Teenage Kicks". A headstone engraved in accordance with his wishes was placed at his grave in 2008. Peel is buried at St Andrew's Church, in the village of Great Finborough, Suffolk.
Life in music
A feature of Peel's BBC Radio One shows were the famous John Peel Sessions, which usually consisted of four pieces of music pre-recorded at the BBC's studios. The sessions originally came about due to restrictions imposed on the BBC by the Musicians' Union and Phonographic Performances Limited, which represented the record companies dominated by the EMI cartel, the BBC had been forced to hire bands and orchestras to render cover versions of recorded music. The theory behind this device was that it would create employment and force people to buy records and not listen to them free of charge on the air. One of the reasons why all of the offshore broadcasting stations of the 1960s were called "pirates" was because they operated outside of British laws and were not bound by the needle time restriction on the number of records they could play on the air.
The BBC employed its own house bands and orchestras and it also engaged outside bands to record exclusive tracks for its programs in BBC studios. This process, detailed in the early chapters of Ken Garner's The Peel Sessions, was the reason why Peel was able to (or obliged to) use "sessions" in his own programs. Sessions were usually four tracks recorded and mixed in a single day; as such they often had a rough and ready, demo-like feel, somewhere between a live performance and a finished recording. Many classic Peel Sessions have been released on record, particularly by the Strange Fruit label.
- Main article: Festive Fifty
An annual tradition of Peel's Radio 1 show was the Festive Fifty — a countdown of the best tracks of the year as voted for by the listeners. Despite Peel's eclectic play list, the Festive Fifty tended to be composed largely of "white boys with guitars", as Peel complained in 1988. In 1991 the broadcast of the chart was cancelled due to a lack of votes, although many have speculated that it was because it didn't feature a single entry from the dance acts that Peel had been championing that year. Topped by Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit", this Phantom Fifty was eventually broadcast at the rate of one track per programme in 1993. The 1997 chart was initially cancelled due to the lack of air-time Peel had been allocated for the period, but enough "spontaneous" votes were received over the phone that a Festive Thirty-One was compiled and broadcast.
"The Festive 50 dates back to what was doubtless a crisp September morning in the early-to-mid Seventies, when John Walters and I were musing on life in his uniquely squalid office. In our waggish way, we decided to mock the enthusiasm of the Radio 1 management of the time for programmes with alliterative titles. Content, we felt, was of less importance than a snappy Radio Times billing. In the course of our historic meeting we had, I imagine, some fine reasons for dismissing the idea of a Festive 40 and going instead for a Festive 50, a decision that was to ruin my Decembers for years to come, condemning me to night after night at home with a ledger, when I could have been out and about having fun, fun, fun."
After his death, the Festive Fifty was continued on Radio 1 by Rob Da Bank, Huw Stephens and Ras Kwame for two years, but then given to Peel-inspired Internet radio station Dandelion Radio, which continues to compile it to this day.
Dandelion Records and Strange Fruit
In 1969 Peel founded Dandelion Records (named after his pet hamster) so he could release the debut album by Bridget St John, which he also produced. The label released 27 albums by 18 different artists before folding in 1972. Of its albums, There Is Some Fun Going Forward was a sampler intended to present its acts to a wide audience, however Dandelion was never a great success with only two releases charting in national charts: Medicine Head in the UK with "(And The) Pictures In The Sky" and Beau in Lebanon with "1917 Revolution". In 1972, the second album for the label by Tractor reached number 18 in the Radio Luxembourg chart and number 30 in the Virgin Shops best selling album chart. Peel continued throughout his career to maintain a close link with Tractor and Rochdale.
As Peel stated,
It was never a success financially. In fact, we lost money, if I remember correctly, on every single release bar one. I did quite like it but it was terribly indulgent. Not as indulgent as it would have been had I not had a business partner, admittedly... I liked having a label. It enabled you to put out stuff that you liked without, in those days, having to worry about whether it was going to work commercially. I've never been a good business man.
In the 1980s Peel set up the Strange Fruit record label with Clive Selwood to release material recorded by the BBC for Peel Sessions.
John Peel wrote in his autobiography, Margrave of the Marshes, that the band of which he owned the most records was The Fall. Regulars in the Festive 50, and easily recognised by vocalist Mark E. Smith's distinctive delivery, The Fall became synonymous with Peel's Radio 1 show through the 1980s and 1990s. Peel kept in contact with many of the artists he championed but only met Smith on two, apparently awkward, occasions.
The Misunderstood is the only band that Peel ever personally managed—he first met the band in Riverside, California in 1966 and convinced them to move to London. He championed their music throughout his career; in 1968, he described their 1966 single "I Can Take You to the Sun" as "the best popular record that's ever been recorded." and shortly before his death, he stated:
"If I had to list the ten greatest performances I've seen in my life, one would be The Misunderstood at Pandora's Box, Hollywood, 1966 ... My god, they were a great band!"
His favourite single is widely known to have been "Teenage Kicks" by The Undertones; in an interview in 2001, he stated "There's nothing you could add to it or subtract from it that would improve it." In the same 2001 interview, he also listed "No More Ghettos in America" by Stanley Winston, "There Must Be Thousands" by The Quads and "Lonely Saturday Night" by Don French as being among his all-time favourites. He also described Lianne Hall as one of the great English voices.
A longer list of his favourite singles was revealed in 2005 when the contents of a wooden box in which he stored the records that meant the most to him were made public. The box was the subject of a television documentary, John Peel's Record Box. Out of 130 vinyl singles in the box, 11 of them were by The White Stripes, more than any other band in the box.
In 1999 Peel presented a nightly segment on his programme titled the Peelenium, in which he played four recordings from each year of the 20th century.
Awards and honorary degrees
Peel was 11 times Melody Makers DJ of the year, Sony Broadcaster of the Year in 1993, winner of the Godlike Genius Award from the NME in 1994, Sony Gold Award winner in 2002 and is a member of the Radio Academy Hall of Fame. At the NME awards in 2005 he was Hero of the Year and was posthumously given a special award for "Lifelong Service To Music". At the same event the "John Peel Award For Musical Innovation" was awarded to The Others.
He was awarded many honorary degrees including an MA from the University of East Anglia, doctorates (Anglia Polytechnic University and Sheffield Hallam University), various honorary degrees (University of Liverpool, [[Open University, University of Portsmouth, University of Bradford) and a fellowship of Liverpool John Moores University.
He was appointed an OBE in 1998, for his services to British music. In that year he was also voted 47th in a Cosmopolitan readers' poll of the Top 50 Most Lovable Men in the World.
In 2002, the BBC conducted a vote to discover the 100 Greatest Britons of all time. Peel was voted 43rd.
Since his death various parties have recognised Peel's influence. A stage for new bands at the Glastonbury Festival, previously known as "The New Bands Tent" was renamed "The John Peel Stage" in 2005, while in 2008 Merseytravel announced they would be naming a train after him.
In 2009 the first blue plaque to bear his name was unveiled in Heywood, part of Rochdale, Greater Manchester, to recognise Peel's contribution to the local music industry in financing Tractor's recording studios in the 1970s on the third floor of 58,Market St/ 2,Dawson St. the plaque is on the front of the building i.e. 58,Market St, Heywood.
On 13 October 2005, the first "John Peel Day" was held to mark the anniversary of his last show. The BBC encouraged as many bands as possible to stage gigs on the 13th, and over 500 gigs took place in the UK and as far away as Canada and New Zealand, from bands ranging from Peel favourites New Order and The Fall, to many new and unsigned bands. A second John Peel day was held on 12 October 2006, and a third on 11 October 2007. The BBC had originally planned to hold a John Peel Day annually, but Radio 1 has not held any official commemoration of the event since 2007, though gigs still take place around the country to mark the anniversary.
At the annual Gilles Peterson's World Wide Awards, the "John Peel Play More Jazz Award" award was named in his honour.
In his Heswall birthplace a pub was opened, named The Ravenscroft, in his honour.
Several Peel-related compilation albums have been released since his death, including The Pig's Big 78s: A Beginner's Guide, a project Peel started with his wife that was left unfinished when he died, and Kats Karavan: The History of John Peel on the Radio (2009), a 4 CD box set. Rock music critic Peter Paphides said in a review of the box set that "[s]ome artists remain forever associated with him", including ...And The Native Hipsters with "There Goes Concorde Again", and Ivor Cutler with "Jam". A sizable online community has also emerged dedicated to sharing recordings of his radio shows.
In 2011, BBC Radio 6 Music inaugurated the annual John Peel Lecture, named in honour of the DJ.
In 2012, the BBC announced that part of Broadcasting House, the Egdon Wing, would be renamed the Peel Wing. Following the death of Jimmy Savile when there were numerous revelations about sexual misconduct between some broadcasters and under-age girls, and Peel's own autobiography in which he acknowledged a relationship with a 15-year-old girl in 1969, during which she became pregnant, it was announced in October 2012 that the decision would be reviewed. However, as of August 2013 no outcome of this review has been announced, and consequently the building is still known as the Peel Wing.
In May 2012, a campaign was started to turn demolition-threatened Bradford Odeon into the John Peel Creative Arts Centre in the North. It is proposed that part of his record collection be housed there. The building would be converted back to a live music venue. His wife Sheila was brought up in the Bradford area.
In a 2017 Radio Times poll of broadcasting experts, conducted to mark 50 years since the launch of BBC Radio 1 and the creation of BBC Radios 2, 3 and 4, Peel was voted second greatest radio presenter of the last 50 years, after Sir Terry Wogan.
- For a list of albums played completely or in great part on his shows, see Album Plays.
- For a list of his choices for Radio 4's long-running celebrity profile series, see Desert Island Discs.
- For an exploration of John's fascination with England's national sport, see Football.
- For a list of records featuring or mentioning Peel, see Peel On Record
- For a list of session artists, see Sessions (Artists A) to Sessions (Artists Z).
- For a list of things named after the DJ, see Things Named After John Peel.
- Main article: Web Guide
- Dandelion Radio Currently entrusted by the BBC to produce this years Festive Fifty. Round the clock internet station inspired by John Peel.
- Peel's huge impact on music, BBC News, 26 October, 2004: BBC news report at the time of Peel's death
- John Peel Music : Unpredictable Porridge - Peel's son Tom Ravenscroft site for burgeoning talent.
- The Peel Sessions : Tracklistings of every Peel session from 1992 to 2002.
- Offshore Radio : John Peel airchecks from 1967 on 'pirate' station Radio London - located at the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame.
- Radio London : Perfumed Garden articles from International Times, 1967-68.
- Sol Magazine and the Perfumed Garden group.
- Radio GeronimoPeel's influence and inspiration, 1969-70].
- Rock List : Archive listing of the annual Festive Fifty chart as voted for by listeners.
- John Peel Scrapbook : A comprehensive and sorted directory of links referencing Peel's working life.
- Stuart Millar, D'ye ken John Peel? DJ legend, radio original and indie music champion turns 60, August 17, 1999, The Guardian: John Peel's 60th birthday feature.
- John Peel, 1939-2004, The Guardian: A life in pictures.
- Jon Dennis, The Peel Detective, The Guardian, October 12, 2005: reprints a list of twenty albums formerly chosen by Peel as being his favourite with comment from some of those chosen.
- Favourite John Peel Quotes : Famous and favourite quotes recalled by listeners.
- Rake's progress, article by Julie Burchill criticising Peel. January 23, 1999.
- Tom Ravenscroft - a chip off the old block?
- Fades In Slowly, a blog offering downloads of Peel archive material, including complete shows.
- John Peel Everyday, a blog also offering Peel downloads and news related to the DJ and his family.
- Teenage Kicks, a blog analysing the Festive Fifty track by track.
- Wikipedia: John Peel (disambiguation), other people called John Peel.
- John Peel's Record Box.
- Radio 1 – Keeping It Peel – Biography – 1939–1959". BBC.
- Alex Kumi (2005-10-10). "Peel's child rape revelation praised by campaigners | Society | The Guardian". Society.guardian.co.uk.
- Where Were You?.
- Peel, John; Sheila Ravenscroft (2005). Margrave of the Marshes. London: Bantam Press. pp. 183–4, 211–12, 178, 228–9, passim. ISBN 0-593-05252-8.
- 28 May 1969
- "Simon Garfield interview with John Peel" (PDF).
- Hepworth, David (1979) "Forty is More Fun: John Peel, Superfan, Talks to David Hepworth", Smash Hits, EMAP National Publications Ltd, 4–17 October 1979, p. 15.
- "Portrait of the artist: Billy Bragg musician", The Guardian, 10 January 2011.
- "SHOWBIZ | John Peel 'relieved' to be diabetic". BBC News. 2001-10-01.
- "Sounds Of The Suburbs: Cornwall", 21 March 1999.
- Peel played "Old Cricketer" as a tribute to Walters in the first show after hearing about the death of his former producer. 31 July 2001.
- 31 October 2004 (Andy Kershaw).
- 11 November 2004. Da Bank ended the show with the Aretha Franklin version of You'll Never Walk Alone.
- John Peel On His Demise by My Attention Span on SoundCloud – Hear the worldâ€™s sounds". Soundcloud.com. 2012-08-30.
- "Entertainment | Thousands mourn Peel at funeral". BBC News. 2004-11-12.
- "John Peel on the Undertones | Film". The Guardian.
- "John Peel gets Teenage Kicks epitaph". Telegraph.
- Peel, J., "Bang Bang hits the tops", The Times (London), ISSN 0140-0460, 2 January 1993, Features section p. SR.12.
- 11 August 1968.
- Index Magazine. Index Magazine. Retrieved 2014-01-14.
- "John Peel on the Undertones | Film". The Guardian.
- See 20 October 1998.
- See Great Britons.
- "It's Peel day – small but in a big way | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. 2005-10-13. Retrieved 20134-01-13.
- Chapple, Mike (2007-02-24). "The Ravenscroft, Heswall - Comment - Views & Blogs". Liverpool Daily Post. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
- Peel Wing may be renamed after affair claim, says BBC.
- BBC entertainment news 2017-09-26
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