Jazz FM colleague and friend, the legendary Peter Young has passed away
Broadcaster, music expert and lover of radio Peter Young – the man who was associated with Jazz FM for more than 25 years – passed away on the evening of 1st November 2018.
Peter retired from Jazz FM due to ill health in the summer of 2017, but always with the hope that following a recovery he would be able to return to the airways to bring joy to jazz, funk and soul fans.
He started his broadcasting career on the close circuit radio service United Biscuits Network (UBN), which was created to provide entertainment, music and messages to the thousands of workers in the United Biscuit factories across the UK. Here he met lifelong broadcasting alumni Nicky Horne, Graham Dene and Roger Scott amongst others while perfecting his unique style of broadcasting. From there, Peter joined the fledgling Capital Radio and after a fleeting visit to local radio in Sussex (“Less Swiss Cottage, more like Pease Pottage”) he returned, until Ron Onions, Chris Philips and Jez Nelson persuaded him to join Jazz FM at launch to host the Drivetime Show. And with Jazz FM he stayed.
Throughout the years, PY’s beloved Soul Cellar programme moved everywhere with him, becoming one of the longest running feature shows on commercial radio in the UK. Celebrating the Northern Soul sound (and so much more), the Soul Cellar found a place in the heart of the UK soul fraternity.
In recent years PY found his natural home on Saturday afternoons and would spend his entire week preparing for his three hours of blissful musical escapism to a devoted following.
Chris Philips announced his passing on air on Friday afternoon, ironically from the International Radio Festival in Malta which was celebrating PY’s second love – radio broadcasting - with a special audio tribute...
On Facebook, Chris continued…
“I will forever be in awe of his carrier bag chic, his preferred transportation method for his neatly organised towers of CDs carefully chosen throughout the week for his Saturday show. The inner most layer was an Our Price bag!!! Like a great tree he marked time with new outer layers covering defunct brands. His hilarious one liners and self-derision were beautiful. An inspiration to aspiring radio presenters like myself in the late ‘80s. I’ll always remember him slipping a Willis Jackson tune in on his Capital evening show and his delight in telling me the furore that came with it.”
Other Jazz FM presenters and former colleagues from radio, past and present, also paid tribute to PY on social media – many of whom owe Peter’s passion to getting them into the music and broadcasting. Here’s just a small selection of hundreds of tributes…
I can't overstate what a massive influence Peter Young had on me, my music tastes and my career. A mentor, hero and friend in the original days of @jazzfm Loved PY. RIP Peter. pic.twitter.com/lOyJBL58FW— Jez Nelson (@jeznelson) November 2, 2018
I was devastated to hear this morning that my friend Peter Young passed away last night. He was up there with the greatest of broadcasters. I loved him. Unfortunately his diabetes had caused him catastrophic damage. RIP PY.— Jeff Young (@JeffYoungDJ) November 2, 2018
Really really sad to hear of the passing of Peter Young. Words really can’t express what a true gent and legend of broadcasting this man was. He was a true original with his own unique style, brand of humour and musical convictions who I respected immensely. @jazzfm @soulandjazz pic.twitter.com/AKJ8RATjne— mike chadwick (@mrchadders) November 2, 2018
The loss of PY has left me deeply sad. We were members of the same mutual admiration club. He had the skill of reminding us what great music we had missed from the past but was quick to champion all that was good and new.— Robbie Vincent (@RobbieVincent) November 2, 2018
Cont’d. We go back a long way and he never stopped making me laugh. Non conformist with the best tunes packed into carrier bags - no posh music boxes for PY. That was one of the things I loved about him.— Robbie Vincent (@RobbieVincent) November 2, 2018
another legend passed away this week. Dj Peter Young... a massive inspiration to many of us...many memories spent chatting during the early days of Jazz FM with @chrisphilips and @jeznelson https://t.co/a3BD7F29eg— Gilles Peterson (@gillespeterson) November 2, 2018
Sad to hear that Peter Young has passed away after long illness. A truly great broadcaster and mentor to me back in the day @CapitalOfficial Captal Radio R.I.P #soulcellar @jazzfm no doubt he will making people smile in another dimension right now :) pic.twitter.com/Hkoib8Q0Sz— Pete Tong mbe (@petetong) November 2, 2018
Peter Young 1951-2018. As befits a lover of vinyl like Pete, I knew him for 33-and-a-third years. pic.twitter.com/G4Eyc8VeAP— Bob Sinfield (@BobSinfield) November 3, 2018
Sad to hear of the passing of Peter Young the Rockin Rabbi,RIP young man— Steve Allen (@steveallenshow) November 3, 2018
We lost a radio great in DJ Peter Young last night.— Gary Crowley (@CrowleyOnAir) November 2, 2018
I still can’t believe it.
Not only did I admire him greatly as a broadcaster (the Capital Countdown & Soul Cellar were always essential listening) i also counted him as a good friend.
He was one of the Good Guys.
Very sad to hear of the passing of my friend #PeterYoung - a brilliant broadcaster and a lovely, kind, humorous man. Here's a picture I took of him with the lights dimmed low in Studio A at Capital Radio in 1989. RIP, Peter... pic.twitter.com/JQmw8sTGOT— Paul McKenna (@ImPaulMcKenna) November 2, 2018
Growing up in the 70's and 80's in London, Saturday morning 9am, The Capital Countdown. Peter Young set the benchmark for me. It was an honour to know you PY, and work with you too. Every show was a masterclass. Thank you, and Goodnight Vienna. https://t.co/PsDShsfWY4— David Prever (@DPrever) November 2, 2018
Dearest PY, who was never without two plastic bags full of CD’s, even when he came over for tea and had no plans to play them. A true radio legend with an original broadcasting style, the likes of which we will never hear again. RIP. 🖤 #PeterYoung @jazzfm https://t.co/HNJmdQH65o— Anthony Davis (@theanthonydavis) November 2, 2018
I was on the air this afternoon @BBCRadioSolent when I got email from @TheLeechy to tell me sad news. #PeterYoung was colleague at UBN, Capital &Jazz. He was the sweetest man. He lived for radio and his music. He never compromised on anything . Especially on salt beef sandwiches— nicky horne (@NickyHorne) November 2, 2018
P for Peter Young 💜 P for Pink P for PEACE 'My Ol' Darlin' pic.twitter.com/r7QiNMQX1m— Lynn Parsons (@LynnParsonsUK) November 2, 2018
Just been given the very sad news about one of my favourite presenters and friend. #PeterYoung or PY as he was affectionately known LOVED his soul music and it was difficult to not love him. Rest in Peace PY. 🙏🏾— Angie Greaves (@AngieGreaves) November 2, 2018
I am so sorry to hear that Peter Young has died. He was charming and kind. I knew him well in the eighties and seeing him come wobbling down the street always lifted my spirits— Simon Bates (@SimonBatesUK) November 2, 2018
We are hugely saddened to learn of the death of one of the UK’s legendary soul music broadcasters Peter Young, aka PY the Pork Pie.— domerecords (@domerecords) November 2, 2018
Until his recent period of ill health PY had been a radio presenter on the London... https://t.co/KbKCG0c7rT
So sad to learn that broadcaster Peter Young has left us. A kind, thoughtful and overly modest man whose wit both on and off the air was a joy to behold and whose love and knowledge of great music was an inspiration. Thank you my friend.— Tim Blackmore (@TimBlackmore2) November 3, 2018
So much love for our good friend and beloved colleague, Peter Young.