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Peel and Ravenscroft

By the wonders of the internet I am listening to Tom Ravenscroft on BBC radio 6 from my living room in California, some length of time after his show was broadcast over the airwaves in the UK.

Ravenscroft was John Peel's actual last name, and Tom is his son.

I only recently realised that Tom has a radio show and was excited to listen to it, especially as I have particularly been missing his father recently.

For those unfortunate enough to be unaware, John Peel played music on BBC radio from before I was born until his death in 2004. He was renowned for playing a huge variety of music, championing new music with an unmatched enthusiasm, and having an extraordinarily charming, avuncular, yet gruff and curmudgeonly personality. I fell asleep listening to his late night show once or twice a week, every week, for years.

As one would expect of someone raised in a house filled with, probably, a greater range of music than could be found anywhere else in the world, Tom Ravenscroft seems to have inherited an enthusiasm for all kinds of music and it's really good to know that this sort of stuff can still be heard on national broadcast radio. I was worried, when John Peel died, that non-mainstream music would be nudged off the BBC one DJ at a time.

Listening to Tom speak is the strange part. Although I suppose it isn't outside the realms of possibility that he had been coached to be a lot like his Dad on the air, I doubt that anyone at the BBC would have gone to those lengths. More likely is that Tom, entirely naturally, has inherited a lot of his Dad's verbal mannerisms so I constantly hear echoes and ghosts of John Peel. The difference that makes it so strange to listen to, though, is that John Peel was much older than me and was, to much of his audience, a kind of uncle or grandpa figure. Tom Ravenscroft is somewhat younger than me and... ...I really don't know how to explain the strange experience of hearing those very particular and personally meaningful verbal mannerisms (remember I frequently fell asleep listening to John Peel with headphones in my dark bedroom late at night) spoken in such a youthful voice.

I haven't heard Tom play anything at the wrong speed yet though.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 7th, 2011 05:19 pm (UTC)
I find Peel Session records at the used record stores quite often. I knew who he was but I don't remember how I heard of him. Probably from listening to so many British bands, or some music dork told me about him in high school. :)
Aug. 13th, 2011 06:05 am (UTC)
It looks like BBC 6 Music is an online only station, so Tom Ravenscroft's show is not actually broadcast over the airwaves in the UK.
I think that's sad. New music should be accessible to those without broadband internet access.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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