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David Lewis on Solar Radio

David Lewis

David Lewis – Straight Ahead & After Hours.

Straight Ahead: As the name suggests, we will be playing from all the straight ahead luminaries and greats such as… Coltrane, Montgomery, Miles and Chet Baker, but also dosed liberally with plenty of big band swing. It may be late at night, but the music certainly is not quiet!

After Hours: Late night sweet, smooth soul music at it’s finest. There will be plenty of slow, soulful ballads to which you can wind down and relax. Vinyl will be in full effect!

Q1. What first attracted you to Soul Music, is this relevant today?

Funny enough, it was a book called Rebel Radio. I read it on the bus going to work when I was about 16. It mentioned this cool pirate scene. It talked on Tony and Solar. I found the station and never looked back. From then on it was, soul, jazz and funk all the way for me!

Q2. What are your top 5 favourite soul tracks?

Thats a tough one, but here are some that I love….
The Manhattans – Tomorrow
Bobby Womack – What Do We Do From Here
The Controllers – Somebody’s Gotta Lose
Howard Hewett – Enough
Curtis Mayfield – Lets Do It Again

Q3. What are your favourite three record labels?

Solar (the label)
Stax
Blue Note


Q4. Who are your favourite five artists?

Howard Hewett
Buddy Rich
James Brown
Bobby Womack
Aretha Franklin

Q5. What are your top three soul clubs of all time?

I was never really a clubber! The only one out my way was Pantiles – think I saw Dennis O’Brien play there…


Q6. What radio experience did you have before you joined Solar?

Funny story – hardly any!! I did some pirate bits, and played around at Choice with Jigs in the early days but never went live to air. Did some hospital stuff too. This all came about through Mike Parlett. he kept saying I should do it, and that my voice and knowledge would work well together on radio. He kindly let me start to present his Straight Ahead show….it all stemmed from that.

Q7. What is/are your main criteria in choosing records for airplay?

Quality – not the length of the track. With my jazz, I like it quite hard and driving (Buddy & Maynard Ferguson for example). Soul…..I love, love, ballads…The Controllers and Howard deliver beautiful ballads with real meaning. I love the lyrics in a great soul ballad…..just too soft I am!!


Q8. Why would you recommend Solar to a listener?

For non playlisted quality, individual soul music. The presenters really know their stuff and bring something different to their shows. That is why I have listed for 30 plus years

Q9. Which other DJs do you admire and why?

Mike Parlett – obviously for the smooth jazz and energy his shows have. I have got in to Shaun Louis recently in a big way. Very relaxed and good presenting skills. Denis O’Brien – makes doing a breakfast show seem very easy… which 5 day a week live radio is not


Q10. How would you like to be remembered by a listener?

Easy going and original. Hopefully I bring new jazz to listeners that may not have heard it before. As long as I am my own voice and personality, that is all I can hope

Q11. What do you do to relax?

Formula 1 – I like the build up more than the race actually!! Live gigs too. My daughter, Alycia is a tenor player with NYJO so we end up going to a lot of jazz gigs atRonnie’s, Pizza, Spice Of Life etc….Good red wine and training – I used to be a competitive bodybuilder…