Jimmy Young (disc jockey)
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2008)|
|Sir Jimmy Young|
|Born||Leslie Ronald Young
21 September 1921
Cinderford, Gloucestershire, England
|Occupation||Singer, DJ, radio personality|
|Known for||"Unchained Melody", "The Man from Laramie"|
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (November 2012)|
Young was born in Cinderford, Gloucestershire. The son of a baker, he attended East Dean Grammar School. After his parents divorced in 1939, he left for South Wales to think about his future. While there, on 3 September 1939, he decided to join the Army at the large base opposite the house he was staying in. Being a Sunday, he went in to be welcomed by the smell of warm breakfast, which he ate after declaring he wished to join. He was unaware, however, that such good food was only eaten on Sundays. When asked his age, he replied that he was 17, to which he was told to come back in 3 weeks at the age of 18. Young then left the barracks and walked down the road to the RAF base and asked to join. After declaring himself as 18, he stayed there until 1949 with the rank of sergeant PT Instructor.
Young was signed to the then new label Polygon Records in 1950, one of the label's few stars alongside another newcomer, Petula Clark. He released numerous records on the label, all conducted by Ron Goodwin, the biggest seller of which was "Too Young" (1951) a big sheet music seller in the days before the UK Singles Chart had begun. It was a cover of Nat King Cole's American recording. There were also two duets with Petula Clark that year, "Mariandl" and "Broken Heart".
In 1952 he signed a recording contract with Decca. Young enjoyed Top 10 successes with "Eternally", "Chain Gang" and "More" (with which he beat Perry Como's U.S. original in the UK Singles Chart listings). His most successful year as a recording artist was 1955, when "Unchained Melody" (from the film Unchained) and "The Man from Laramie" (from the film of the same name) were successive releases and both number one hits.
- "Too Young" - (1951)
- "Faith Can Move Mountains" - (1953) - UK Number 11
- "Eternally" - (1953, music by Charles Chaplin, words by Geoff Parsons) - UK Number 8
- "Unchained Melody" - (1955) - UK Number 1
- "The Man from Laramie" - (1955) - UK Number 1
- "Someone on Your Mind" - (1955) - UK Number 13
- "Chain Gang" - (1956) - UK Number 9
- "Wayward Wind" - (1956) - UK Number 27
- "Rich Man Poor Man" - (1956) - UK Number 25
- "More" - (1956) - UK Number 4
- "Round and Round" - (1957) - UK Number 30
- "Miss You" - (1963) - UK Number 15
- "Unchained Melody" (re-recording) - (1964) - UK Number 43
Disc jockey and radio presenter
After a spell with Radio Luxembourg, Young joined the BBC as one of the first disc jockeys on BBC Radio 1, presenting the weekday mid-morning show from 1967 to 1973 and because of his popularity soon became known as the 'Housewives' Choice'. In 1973, he joined BBC Radio 2, where he presented a regular programme (which he referred to as 'The JY Prog'), until his retirement from broadcasting at the end of 2002. His show was a mixture of music, chat and current affairs and over the next couple of decades, he interviewed every British Prime Minister on the show as well as royalty including Prince Philip, Anne The Princess Royal and Princess Grace of Monaco. His easy, laid back style became the voice of Radio 2. His distinctive theme music was "Town Talk" by Ken Woodman & His Piccadilly Brass. BFN ('Bye for now') was one of his catchphrases.
Although he was offered the opportunity to present a weekend current affairs programme, he turned it down. His radio slot was taken over by the former Newsnight presenter, Jeremy Vine. Shortly after leaving the BBC, Jimmy Young wrote a newspaper column attacking his former employer for instances of "brutality", and making clear that it had not been his idea to leave.
Young returned to BBC Radio 2 in 2011 with a special one-hour programme in celebration of his 90th birthday. Sir Jimmy Young at 90, broadcast on 20 September 2011, heard him in conversation with his friend and former sparring partner Ken Bruce, looking back over his career. In March 2012, Young returned to presenting on BBC Radio 2 after over nine years when he joined Desmond Carrington on a weekly show entitled Icons of the 50s.
Young has been rewarded with several honours over the years: an OBE in 1979; a CBE in 1993; and, at the beginning of 2002, he was knighted for services to broadcasting. Young continues to write a weekly column for the Sunday Express newspaper.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 615. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Allmusic com biography
- "In Depth | Newsmakers | Jimmy Young: Too old?". BBC News. 2 November 2001. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
- "Entertainment | Sir Jimmy vents anger in column". BBC News. 5 January 2003. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
- "Press Office - BBC Radio 2 welcomes back legendary broadcaster Sir Jimmy Young CBE". BBC. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
- "Sir Jimmy's radio days" - a BBC News profile dated Friday, 20 December 2002
- Harry Warren's 'Keep Young and Beautiful' (a song used by Jimmy Young in his radio days)
- Allmusic.com biography
- Radio Rewind biography
- Jimmy Young discography at Discogs
- Classic BBC Radio Theme ~ The JY Prog (Town Talk) at youtube.com