Ian is always surprised that he has such a love of soul music because as a child he shared a bedroom with his older brother and was brought up on a mixture of Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendricks, Deep Purple and Fleetwood Mac. Then a close friend lent him a copy of “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye and that was it, he was hooked.
Ian started out, as many do, by doing Hospital Radio at Ealing Hospital but became frustrated as he could not broadcast until he was 16. After his first programme he decided that this was the career for him. Gave up a place at University to pursue a life of music and radio. In 1983 Ian was given the chance to show what he could do on LWR (Pirate) and after one overnight programme was offered the Drive-Time Show on LWR and off he went!
In 1986 Ian had to make a huge decision, Ian was offered the opportunity to join Radio Top Shop in Oxford Street London – giving up Pirate Soul Music Radio – where he worked with such names as Steve Collins (Capital Radio), Gary King (Radio One, Radio Luxemburg and Magic), Paul McKenna (TV Hypnotist) and Andi Peters (TV Personality). Ian then joined the Independent Radio Station in Stoke-On-Trent, Signal Radio, in 1989 presenting a slick late night music show called XLFM, Ian moved to Breakfast in 1991 but the call of Soul Music was becoming stronger by the day.
Ian was also a popular club DJ in West London working in many of West London’s clubs and in 1995 while in the middle of a set at Zenith in Park Royal made the decision to have a six month break…
Ian returned to radio in 2011 (a very long six month break!) when he was introduced to Les Adams at the On Air Experience Studios and has now (in his words) reached the pinnacle of Soul Music Radio by joining the team at Solar Radio.
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What attracted you to soul music in the first place, and does this still apply today?
I fell in love with the “What’s Going On” album by Marvin Gaye. As a young DJ I would religiously listen to Robbie Vincent on a Saturday then dash to Bluebird Records on the Edgware Road to buy the tunes he played on his programme and spend all my money on them. I still love “What’s Going On”, it IS the ultimate soul album.
What are your top five favourite soul tracks?
Michael Wycoff – Looking Up To You
Herbie Hancock – Stars In Your Eyes
Joey Negro & The Sunburst Band – Moving With The Shakers (Joey Negro Club Mix)
The Players Association – The Get Down Mellow Sound
Charlie Wilson – I Still Have You
What are your favourite three record labels
Who are your favourite five artists
What are your top three soul clubs of all time?
The Lyceum Ballroom
What radio experience did you have before you joined Solar
LWR 1984 to 1985
Radio Top Shop Oxford Street 1986 to 1990
Signal Radio (Stoke-On-Trent) 1989 to 1995
Various Internet Soul Stations
What is/are your main criteria in choosing records for airplay
I like to think that I can spot a “Tune”, I don’t know what it is but I think I can spot one a mile away. Good rhythm, great vocals and hook that becomes an ear worm.
Basically if I don’t like it then, as far as I’m concerned, neither will my listener!
Why would you recommend Solar to a listener
Basically I say that Solar Radio caters for all soulful musical tastes and that during a 24/7 period there is music for all. The presenters know their stuff and love the music as much as the listener does.
Which other DJs do you admire and why
The Godfather Robbie Vincent
All innovators in their field – All changed the way other DJ’s present either radio programmes or club sets – All can be called legends!
How would you like to be remembered by a listener
A radio presenter who presented music in a style of my own, a supporter or fresh new talent.
What do you do to relax
I like to relax by going to Classic Car events, watching pre 1985 movies and foreign travel. I love to eat good food and enjoy spending time relaxing with my wife, kids and grand-children.