John Walters (broadcaster)

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For other people named John Walters, see John Walters (disambiguation).

John Walters (11 July 1939, Long Eaton, Derbyshire – 30 July 2001) was a British radio producer and presenter and musician, educated at Durham University. Initially a teacher and a jazz enthusiast, he played trumpet in The Mighty Joe Young Jazz Men and the 1960s pop group The Alan Price Set before joining BBC Radio 1 in 1967.

He was long-term producer of DJ John Peel's radio show, and responsible for giving many recording artists their first big break. He turned down the Sex Pistols for a Peel session when, drawing on his schoolteacher's experience, he said Johnny Rotten "didn't look like the kind of boy you would trust to give out the scissors". He reportedly regretted this decision later, but he was responsible for getting The Smiths their first session after witnessing an early concert. He was also responsible for getting Manchester group The Fall their first session, a group which would soon become John Peel's favourite. He produced Vivian Stanshall's first foray into radio, both by overseeing Stanshall's Rawlinson End Radio Flashes when Stanshall stood in for a vacationing John Peel, and Stanshall's Sir Henry at Rawlinson End.

As a broadcaster he presented the long-running Radio 1 arts magazine Walters' Weekly and was heard reviewing the music papers on the Janice Long show in the 1980s. In the 1990s he was a reporter on the BBC's current affairs magazine Here and Now.


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