John Peel, by his own admission, was no musician. He could not sing in any other than a vibratoless low baritone  and knew no instruments, , and so limited himself to spoken word appearances, whistling, and once only as part of a backing chorus to one of his favourite bands. (The exception to this rule is his performance of the original Top Gear sig on jew's harp, included on the BBC Records Top Gear album from 1970.) He started a project recording hippy poetry (including some by Syd Barrett) to musical backgrounds in around 1967, but abandoned it when he realised that it would be a dubious legacy that could come back to haunt him, and claims all available tapes were destroyed. 
He admired musicians and, especially in the earlier years of his career, valued his friendships with some of those whose work he championed. Peel first made some tentative forays into management and production in the United States, notably during his time in California when he attempted to promote the career of The Misunderstood. Back in the UK, his popularity during 1967-69 made him an in-demand LP sleevenote writer and occasional producer, although he played down his abilities in the latter role. Music business apathy towards performers he respected eventually caused him to found and run a record label called Dandelion in 1969. It lasted into the early 70s, but by his own admission (again) Peel had no head for business and therefore, by only recording material he liked personally, made no money at all (despite gaining a UK chart entry for the band Medicine Head.)
Nevertheless, he was namechecked in a variety of songs by grateful bands either during sessions or in early releases. (One band, the Mighty Jungle Beasts, even named their record label John Peel Is A Good Bloke Records and optimistically gave their sole release a catalogue number of JP051 .) This page is an attempt to catalogue any occasions when he was either a performer on an official release (having refused to participate in any of the session recordings) or mentioned in the course of a song by name.
Famously included in John Peel's Record Box, this curious version of a Hare Krishna chant is credited on the label as featuring Peel on 'tape, reels and vocal'. He also claimed (26 October 1991) that Sheila and John Walters were present on the recording (and that he had nearly all available copies).
John was featured on Top Of The Pops purportedly playing the mandolin part, which would be difficult, since he is holding it flat on his lap. In fact, in 2003, Ray Jackson of the band Lindisfarne, who actually played mandolin on this, sued Stewart for royalties. Jackson claimed he was paid a small sum for the session and never made any more when the song became a hit.
A live recording at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, 1974-09-08, but not available until 1994, and not officially released. Peel plays 'percussion', and it is also notable that Ivor Cutler and Mike Oldfield appear on this CD.
The only other time John allowed himself to be caught singing, in a kind of rugby chorus background and some whistling, which he claimed was his own idea. Peel related the story of this recording session a few years later to John Walters: "I think I did a gig with them at Leicester Polytechnic. They were very very good. I can say this now: I was very smitten by Clare Grogan, the only time I’ve ever felt infatuated by a pop star…She was almost the only person, apart of course from my wife, who could have persuaded me to go into a recording studio and sing! Her and the drummer [Michael 'Tich' Anderson] came and collected me after a programme. They hadn’t warned me about it beforehand, which is probably a very good idea, because I would have found excuses not to go. They took me out to a recording studio. On the way out there, I was horrified to find that the drummer and Clare, put together, weighed the same as me, which is a very depressing statistic. We got out there, and they wanted me to sing on 'Song Sung Blue', the Neil Diamond song." Transcribed from Peeling Back The Years, Part 5.
An instrumental track that has in the background a recording of Craig Scanlon of the Fall, on the phone to Peel with a match report of Manchester City v West Ham. This is taken from the Peel show from 12 February 1994.
Billy Bragg: 'Deck The Halls With Bows Of Holly' (Peel Session)
Bragg is playing live in the studio, and John joins in on this track: see 22 December 1996.
High Fidelity: Pig Might Fly (LP - The Omnichord Album) Plastique
This 2001 album by Sean Dickson's project includes a track built around a melody composed and played on an omnichord by Peel.
Disc 4 of the box set includes snippets of an interview with the group's David Gedge, conducted at the 1995 Phoenix Festival and originally broadcast on 15 July 1995, along with the group's live set, recorded the previous day.
Disc 5 of the box set begins with Peel introducing the group live on stage at the Sheffield Sound City event and includes later excerpts of chat with David Gedge, as broadcast on the show on 12 April 1996.
Various - John Peel's Festive 15 (compilation CD issued with 'Uncut' magazine, Jan 2006)
There is a 'hidden' track at the end of this disc, not listed on the CD sleeve. It comprises a 17 second snippet of Peel discussing the Smiths, presumably taken from a show in which one of their earlier sessions was broadcast.
Previously recorded for a Peel session in the summer of 1979, the track features the exclamations 'Awright, John?' and 'Thanks, John!' which top and tail it. These were retained on the re-recorded version, released in October 1979, with one difference: the session version has a massed greeting at the start of the song, whereas a lone voice provides it on the released version.
Norman Lovett impersonates John, strumming one chord on a guitar to the memorable lyrics, "I gave myself a ring/To make sure I was not in/But I was/Because I answered/Wasn't that a funny thing/Oh yeah." He then announces that he intends to go and buy an inflatable Kenny Dalglish doll. 'Miniatures' was an album of 50 tracks all less than a minute long, with the invited artists including Robert Fripp and Andy Partridge of XTC. It was compiled by Morgan Fisher (Mott The Hoople, British Lions). Released 1980. (Cherry Red)
It would appear that Clare Grogan is attempting to get John to sing along with the chorus, on the grounds that 'anybody can sing this...this is your big moment.' Apparently, he voiced over 'Not on your nelly' on the first broadcast. However, as can be seen above, she managed it eventually.
Ivor Cutler: 'Pass The Ball Jim (For John Peel) (LP-Privilege)' (Rough Trade). First released in 1983.
Lyric goes " she goes to the disco every night and hopes she will meet some fantastic guy - a sort of mixture between Barry Manilow and John Peel". Peel mused when played on 24 August 1982: "Although I do think a cross of Barry Manilow and myself would not live!"
John's rather sour comment on this was "I’m not certain that having something that sounds like a bunch of old washing machine parts being dragged around in a sack named after you is entirely complimentary."
Andy Kershaw plays this on his tribute show 31st October 2004 and introduces it as a record that mentions 1 minute and 12 seconds in 'BBC John Peely' as part of the lyrics: "John loved Diblo's guitar playing, so admired him, that one afternoon we were down here at the BBC and we learned that Diblo was over in Stern's African Records. We raced over there just so John could get his autograph."
A cover of the Merle Haggard number, includes an extra verse: 'well hello John Peel what we want to know / When you going to quit? Where will we go? / We'll never get played on the radio / But we'll see you down on skid row.'
Ipswich band Bleach recorded a short jingle for their debut Peel session, first broadcast 02 December 1990. Based on their single 'Wipe It Away', the song includes the line, 'we tune our dials to Radio One / the week just ain't the same if we don't listen to John'. Afterwards Peel commented, 'that's the way to get yourselves rebooked, no question'.
Ragga Twins: 'Bring Up The Mic Some More / Ragga Trip' (Peel Session)
"Big shout to big John Orange Peel, you know we respect you to the maximum." Peel's reply: "I think I can overlook the orange peel business in view of the general excellence of the work."
Man...Or Astroman?: 'Oh Cha Cha Cha And Once Again Ladies & Gentlemen I'm John Peel And While Only A Minor Political Activist I'd Like To Say That Man Or Astroman Is Indeed My Favourite Band Even Moreso Than The Fall' (Peel Session) 
This happy hardcore epic made the 2003 Festive Fifty at number 9. Apart from John, it mentions other Radio 1 DJs such as Dave Pearce, Judge Jules and Pete Tong in the process of bemoaning the fact that JP is the only one to play hardcore tracks above 120 bpm.
Jon E Cash: 'Cami Carzee-John Peel VIP Dub (CDR)' (white label)
John is namechecked throughout. Played by him on 04 May 2004.
Negatives: 'John Peel (CD-No Truth No Justice)' (Bad Dog)
Oi-style and one minute long Swedish tribute: 'John Peel was a great man...rest in peace.'
Psychedelic folk rock duo who had previously recorded for Dandelion (see above).
Eat Static: 'Their CD De-Classified features this tribute: "Dedicated to the memory of John Peel, a true maverick and a lover of all music wacky'n weird...You will be sorely missed." (Solstice Music International, 2007.)