BBC Radio 3 is a British radio network operated by the BBC. Its output centres on classical music and opera, but jazz, world music, drama, culture and the arts also feature. The station is the world’s most significant commissioner of new music, and through its New Generation Artists scheme promotes young musicians of all nationalities. The station is notable for its broadcast of the BBC Proms concerts, live and in full, each summer in addition to performances by the BBC Orchestras and Singers. There are regular productions of both classic plays and newly commissioned drama.
Links To Peel
Peel's early programmes for Radio 1 drew enthusiastic listener response, and attracted the attention of a few Rado 3 producers (notably the poet George Macbeth), who were keen to attract a younger, "intelligent", non-classical music audience to the station. Peel was seen as a key figure in this undertaking. Radio 3's head of music Hans Keller appeared on Night Ride in early 1969, along with two musicians who also presented programmes on the station, David Munrow (whose series for children, Pied Piper, sometimes included pop music tracks) and Christopher Hogwood. After the demise of Night Ride, Radio 3 broadcast occasional programmes of poetry and folk, often produced by George Macbeth and including artists who had appeared on Night Ride and Top Gear, such as Al Stewart and Lindisfarne.
Peel supplied narration to cultural programmes in the Seventies on Radio 3, especially those relating to modern rock and even jazz music. Most of them went out in the station's early evening slot, devoted to "educational" broadcasts. The first regular programme to feature pop music on Radio 3 was Derek Jewell's Sounds Interesting, but Peel soon became highly critical of it, as it ignored the punk revolution..According to the Genome website, he didn't appear on any programmes for the station in the Eighties. His next documented appearance was an interview for The Music Machine in 1994. He was subsequently invited to discuss his favourite classical music pieces for Private Passions in 1996.
Although he was never an expert in the station's main output of classical music he was known to listen to the Saturday morning Record Review programme, and expressed his admiration for the expertise of the critics who highlighted differences between various recorded interpretations of specific pieces of music, in the programme's Building A Library section. However, the late twentieth century saw an increase in the amount of non-classical music broadcast on Radio 3, and Peel praised the station's late-night programme Late Junction, and its presenter Verity Sharp, in his Radio Times column. In 1997 he co-presented a preview of Radio 3's week with Fiona Talkington, Late Junction's other main presenter in the programme's early days. After Peel's death, Fiona Talkington presented selections from the Pig's Big 78 on Late Junction in 2006, to coincide with the release of the album The Pig's Big 78s - A Beginner's Guide.
The Pop Scene
In 1970, Peel narrated a series of ten programmes surveying the evolution of pop music from the 1950s to the 1960's.
La Musique Hot
In 1973, Peel looked at French jazz and popular music for this programme.
Study On 3
In 1974, Peel, John Walters and Gary Taylor (Radio 1 DJ and former bass guitarist with the Herd) discuss the realities of being a professional pop musician.
Between 1976 and 1977, Peel narrated cultural programmes for this series related to pop music.
Six-part documentary series recorded by Peel in 1976 on "the present and possible future of music".
The Music Machine
John Cavanagh talks to Camille Paglia, John Peel and Jeremy J Beadle about why we need young dead heroes for this 1994 documentary.
In 1996, Composer Michael Berkeley talks to Peel about his favourite classical music pieces.
Choice of 3
In 1997, John Peel joins Fiona Talkington to preview the Radio 3 week.