I’ve been collecting soul records since I was a kid, always looking for something a little different. My tastes range from today’s brand new releases right back to the 1960s. Fast, slow, funky, new, old, sweet, tough, crossover – if it’s a good record I like it.
Today I have a monthly show of my own on Solar – “Soul Time” that goes out at 10 pm on Friday’s. For five years I hosted a weekly show on Soul 24-7.com and I have been a regular guest on the “Soul People” show on Solar Radio.
My passion for music means that I also DJ in clubs, throughout the UK and Europe, and write articles about soul music. Some of the old articles I have written about soul music can be found at www.toodarnsoulful.com.
I remain first and foremost a collector of music….. And with soul music there is literally no end to it! There is always something new out there to discover.
You’ll also find on my mixcloud page some old interviews I did with classic soul singers.
Q1. What first attracted you to Soul Music, is this relevant today?
When I was a teenager in the 1970’s, soul music was very popular and all the girls liked it!! I got into record collecting early on, and have just stuck with it. There is no end to the amount of music that’s been produced over the years and that’s what keeps me interested.
Q2. What are your top 5 favourite soul tracks?
The last five records I bought. Seriously there are too many to mention and it all depends on my mood, so it can be anything from a 1960’s record to a bit of banging soulful house, and of course anything between. At the end of the day there is good music and not good music, so I don’t tend to get too hung up on ‘genres’.
Q3. What are your favourite three record labels?
I’d probably have to say Scepter and Wand as my favourite label, but that’s because I have been writing a book on the history of the label which should be out within 12 months. It’s a fascinating story about the first woman to run her own successful record label, starting off with The Shirelles and it covers a host of artists like Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach, Maxine Brown, right through to the 1970’s when Scepter released records by the likes of B.T Express, Patti Jo and Don Downing, before being responsible for the first ever 12” single in 1975.
Q4. Who are your favourite five artists?
So for this I’d go with live acts, since when it comes to records, CD’s and downloads I couldn’t name favourites. So the live acts I’ll always try and catch are Bobby Womack, Incognito, and any of the Daptone acts – Sharon Jones, Lee Fields, Charles Bradley etc. Their stage shows are simply amazing! But my all-time favourite live act was The Dells – I saw them ten years ago – awesome stage presence.
Q5. What are your top three soul clubs of all time?
Q6. What radio experience did you have before you joined Solar?
I worked on Soul 24-7 for six years with a weekly three hour show. That was my first experience of radio.
Q7. What is/are your main criteria in choosing records for airplay?
It really depends on whether I am doing a themed show, or just mixing up a selection of tunes. I like harmonies and soulful vocals, so as long as they are good…..a record stands a good chance!
Q8. Why would you recommend Solar to a listener?
Solar play’s soul music 24 hours a day. OK that may not be unique, but what sets Solar aside is the quality of it’s DJ’s. A very strong roster.
Q9. Which other DJs do you admire and why?
I’ve always rated Richard Searling for his contribution, then there is Mark Dobson for his records, and for his dogged enthusiasm Martin Barnfather – well in his 70’s and still travelling all over Europe playing records. Without sounding like flannel, I think Tony Monson too – his contribution to soul music over the years has been immense. He should write a book about it all!
Q10. How would you like to be remembered by a listener?
For turning them onto some good music that they don’t know. That’s all for me.
Q11. What do you do to relax?
Cycling, watching films and watching Crystal Palace play football, though that’s not really very relaxing!