Norman Jay

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Norman Jay, MBE

Norman Jay MBE (born Norman Bernard Joseph)[1] is a British DJ. He first came to prominence playing unlicensed or "warehouse" parties in the early 1980s, such as Shake 'n' Fingerpop.[2] His diverse and deep musical knowledge and his refusal to be restricted to playing from any single genre distinguishes him from his peers. He is commonly attributed to coining the phrase "rare groove".

Background and career[edit]

Born in Notting Hill, London, to Grenadian immigrants, Jay established himself through the London pirate radio station Kiss FM, on which he presented shows alongside founders Gordon Mac and George Power. Kiss 100 was launched legally in September 1990 and Norman hosted the first of what became his Musiquarium shows. Shortly after he joined Gilles Peterson at his record label Talkin' Loud.

In April 1997, after a long involvement with Kiss, Jay joined BBC London, where his Giant 45 show gained a loyal following up until February 2008.[3]

His Good Times Sound System, which he started with his brother Joey Jay, is a major attraction to those who attend the two-day August bank holiday Notting Hill Carnival. Good Times now attracts an estimated 15,000 revellers a day during the carnival. Good Times has also extended into a series of compilation CDs.[4]

Jay describes himself as a primarily house music DJ, but the Good Times sound includes 1970s and 1980s funk, soul and jazz-funk, previous carnival tracks have typically included Estelle's 1980; and tracks featured in recent radio shows have included Billy Griffin's "Hold Me Tighter In The Rain" and more contemporary tracks in the form of Heavy's track "Wonderlove".

On BBC Radio 2, Jay presented the Funk Factory,[5] transmitted every six weeks of the year. In addition to this, he was one of 20 DJs who played one track each at the 2005 BBC Worldwide Awards,[6] which produced three specials for BBC Radio 1 over Christmas and New Year, hosted by Gilles Peterson.

He is an established regular at the Big Chill festival.[7]

Jay is also a Tottenham Hotspur supporter and was awarded the MBE for services to music in 2002.[8]


  1. ^ "In Depth | Birthday Honours 2002 | MBEs: I - M". BBC News. 2002-06-14. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  2. ^ Miguel Cullen, "Norman Jay Interview", Clash, 10 February 2011.
  3. ^ Plunkett, John (18 February 2008). "DJ Norman Jay leaves BBC London". The Guardian. 
  4. ^ Kellman, Andy (2001-08-28). "Good Times 2 - Joey Jay,Norman Jay | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  5. ^ Funk Factory, BBC Radio 2.
  6. ^ "Radio 1 - Gilles Peterson - Worldwide Awards 2005". BBC. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  7. ^ "Hereford and Worcester - Entertainment - The Big Chill line-up 2006". BBC. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  8. ^ O'Hagan, Sean (13 August 2002). "Minister of Sound". The Guardian. 

External links[edit]