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John Muir, (1937-2017), sometimes known as John F Muir, worked at the BBC from 1961 to 1974 and was a radio producer from 1966 until he left the Corporation. He began his career producing a variety of programmes for the Light Programme and Home Service, but when the BBC reorganised its radio networks in 1967 he became a regular producer of the late-night programme Night Ride. Later he produced jazz programmes for Radio 3 and Sounds of the Seventies shows for Radio 1.

Links to Peel

John Muir has been credited with coming up with the idea which developed into John Peel's Night Ride. As Ken Garner relates in The Peel Sessions (pp. 49-50), Muir was working for the BBC's Recorded Programmes Department, or Service (RPS), later known as Archive Features. This was the source of the "Archive Things" - non-needletime recordings of exotic music - which became a regular feature of the show. Muir's idea was to combine these recordings with poetry and music, and when, in late 1967, he heard from Peel's manager Clive Selwood that the DJ's future at the BBC was uncertain, offered Peel the chance to make a pilot show. After a delay, the project was approved by management and Peel began his Night Ride series on 06 March 1968, with Muir producing.

Although there were other producers of Peel's Night Ride shows, Muir continued to be associated with the series until the "son of Night Ride" shows, which ran from April to September 1969. By then, Muir was a BBC staff producer, taking on a range of assignments. In the early 1970s, he worked on many Sounds of the Seventies shows, including Peel's Friday Night Is Boogie Night series and programmes by DJs other than Peel, as well as the Sequence series, which featured continuous music with no interruptions from DJs. Bob Harris relates in his autobiography Still Whispering After All These Years how John Muir gave him a start in radio. In late 1970, Muir rang Harris and offered him the Monday evening SOTS show after David Symonds had abruptly left, and Harris, with help from the "incredibly supportive" Peel, soon made it his own, At the same time John Muir produced many contemporary jazz programmes for Radio 3, notably the Jazz In Britain series, featuring sessions by musicians from the British jazz scene (some of whom also recorded sessions for Peel). But Muir's interest in non-Western music, which had inspired his original Night Ride concept, remained with him, and his post-BBC career was influenced by his deep involvement with Indian music and culture.

External Links

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