Pete murray host

Pete Murray

But I wrote, to Pete Murray I think. He denies that he got the letter and if he had done he would have written back to me – this may... be true. But I wrote to Pete Murray anyway and asked him, traditional, how do you get on the radio? And he didn’t write back. So I rather abandoned the idea..
. (JP on Radio Radio)

Pete Murray (b.1925) was one of the first disc jockeys to make a name for himself in the post-World War Two years. After acting experience (he had trained at RADA) and service in the RAF, he joined Radio Luxembourg in 1949 and continued to broadcast for the station for most of the 1950s - it was during this period that the young John Ravenscroft would have heard his prgrammes. During the late 1950s Murray became a regular presenter of both radio and TV pop shows for the BBC, most notably the pioneering "Six-FIve Special", the first British TV programme to feature skiffle and rock'n'roll and to target a youth audience.

In the 1960s he was one of the best-known pop music broadcasters, continuing to work for the BBC and co-hosting the first edition of Top Of The Pops with Jimmy Savile. He was also one of the team of DJs chosen for the Corporation's new pop station, Radio 1, in 1967. But his tastes tended towards pop music of the pre-rock'n'roll era, and as a guest on BBC TV's Juke Box Jury earlier that year he had described Pink Floyd as "a con". By 1969 he had moved to Radio 2.

He created controversy in 1983 when, reviewing the newspapers on the BBC TV's Breakfast Time news programme he openly encouraged viewers to vote for the Conservative party in the forthcoming election, equating the Labour Party with "communism". In the politically polarised 1980s, he was not the only showbusiness personality to come out in support of the Tories, but BBC presenters were not allowed to endorse political parties and his BBC shows were cancelled at the end of 1983. He then moved to the London talk station LBC and was a regular broadcaster there until 2002.

Pete Murray did not have much time for most of the music John Peel played on Radio 1. His own favourite group of the period were The Peddlers, an organ-bass-drums trio who played in a jazz-influenced style and were considered a cabaret act rather than a mainstream pop or rock group. They did numerous BBC sessions, but never appeared on Top Gear. Nevertheless, the Peddlers' albums are now much sought after by collectors of 1960s music.


[1] Wikipedia entry

[2] Radio Rewind

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