Tony Monson
Tony Monson on Solar RadioTony Monson
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Tony Monson on Solar Radio

Blending Current & Classic Soul

Solar Radio - Your Classic & 21st Century Soul Station

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  • RT @rajthehoop: Join Raj at 8 on @solarradio for soulfully yours where we connect our beloved music seamlessly for your listening pleasure… 15 hours ago retweeted via rajthehoop
  • RT @RichardSearling: This Sunday from 10am UK time @solarradio I’m counting down the top 20 Northern Soul sounds in the Mr.M’s Hot 100 coun… 1 day ago retweeted via RichardSearling
  • RT @RichardSearling: Between 1974-1981 the Northern Soul oldies room at Wigan Casino became an institution. The venue was called Mr.M’s. I’… 2 days ago retweeted via RichardSearling
  • RT @RichardSearling: The brand new number 2 on the latest Mixcloud chart. Superb selections from this weekend’s guest selector ⁦@mikeshaft⁩… 4 days ago retweeted via RichardSearling
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Q1. What first attracted you to Soul Music, is this relevant today?

Living in Bermuda from 1963-67 and hearing it non-stop – and then missing it when I came back to England.

Q2. What are your top 5 favourite soul tracks?

  • Amongst the 100’s (or 1000’s, perhaps)
  • Isley Brothers – Voyage to Atlantis
  • Smokey Robinson & Miracles – Tracks of my Tears
  • Crusaders/Randy Crawford – Street Life (original album version)
  • Bobby Womack – Harry Hippie
  • Lamont Dozier – Going back to my Roots (Full album version)

Q3. What are your favourite three record labels?

  • Waylo
  • GRP
  • Motown

Q4. Who are your favourite five artists?

  • Steely Dan
  • Lamont Dozier
  • Detroit Spinners
  • One Way
  • Aretha Franklin

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

  • Le Papillon, Brighton
  • Gullivers, Mayfair
  • Bag Of Nails, Soho

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

  • ZBM Radio, Bermuda
  • Britain Radio 355 (offshore pirate)
  • BBC Radio Brighton
  • Invicta (pirate)
  • JFM (pirate)
  • Horizon (pirate)
  • Essex Radio
  • Kiss FM (pirate)
  • Kiss 100

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

They just have to hit the right groove, whatever the musical style. There is no magic formula.

Q8. Why would you recommend Solar to a listener?

Because the station is totally true to the music, and every DJ on it is 100% committed to what they do; the listener will hear music that is genuinely good, rather than the manufactured stuff you hear on most stations – and unlike nearly all stations, the management actually approve of that fact, rather than frown on DJ’s who understand and love their music.

Q9. Which other DJs do you admire and why?

  • Jack Jackson (ex-Radio Luxembourg) – The Jack Jackson Jukebox show was essential listening in the early 60’s, championing records on those great labels London-American, RCA & Decca – but also fun and quirky.
  • Tony Hall (ex-Radio Luxembourg, later Loose Ends’ manager) – Likewise – but he was also actively involved with the music.
  • Charlie Babcock ‘The Cool Fool’ (RJR, Jamaica) – I think he was Canadian, but he just had the greatest late-nite delivery.
  • Bruce ‘Cousin Brucie’ Morrow (WINZ, Miami/WABC New York) – Totally over-the-top, but unmissable – the radio equivalent of Dick Clark.
  • Dave Cash (Big L/Capital) – Total 100% professionalism.
  • Kenny Everett (Big L/Capital) – A true genius.
  • Peter Young (Capital/Invicta/Jazz FM/Solar) – Incredibly knowledgeable, but very dry and funny with it.
  • Emperor Rosko (Radio 1) – Very entertaining, but he hit all the right musical notes.
  • John Peel (Radio 1 – not for his music, but just his humour, and how he changed the whole concept of radio broadcasting)
  • Suzi Quatro (Radio 2) – Her taste in 60’s oldies in particular, is uncannily close to mine.
  • Paul Gambaccini (Radio 2) – The only DJ who can play Mantovani next to the Black-eyed Peas, next to the Rolling Stones for example, and make it sound totally natural! A true pro.

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

As someone who introduced great music to them, but hopefully not in a train-spotting way – and maybe with an occasional touch of humour.

Q11. What do you do to relax?

I play lots of card games, particularly Bridge; catch the movies when I can, but enjoy films on TV rather than soap operas or sport; also I love eating – but boring straightforward English food, rather than the exotic stuff; although, drink-wise, I far prefer spirits (Rum, Scotch) to beer or wine. Visiting friends for evenings and/or weekends is a big turn-on for me.