A universally respected broadcaster, Peter Young, aka PY, began presenting his hugely influential radio show, The Soul Cellar, in 1979.
The Soul Cellar was a celebration of the r&b music of Black America, mainly from the late 50s through to the early 80s, but generally concentrating on the golden era of the 60s and 70s. Motown, Stax, Atlantic, Chess, Philadelphia and some of the smaller labels from the Southern States made up the backbone of the show.
It was always Peter Young's ambition to be involved in music and he cites radio presenter Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman as an inspiration for making everything he played sound exciting. PY remembers buying his first soul record at the age of twelve: “Fingertips” by another 12-year old, Little Stevie Wonder. This was on the UK Oriole label and was picked up from Edgware Electrics in 1963.
PY worked for Capital Radio for 15 years and briefly for BBC Radio, but moved back to Jazz FM — the station he regarded as home, having been one of its original presenters when it launched in 1990.
In 2004, Peter Young celebrated 25 years of The Soul Cellar and played a rare live set at Right On! to mark the occasion. Describing the event, he said, “I really enjoyed it. It was so refreshing to play to such a friendly and enthusiastic crowd and the amount of young people present certainly filled me full of hope for the future. This music has got a lot of life left in it yet, thank God.”
Although PY has now retired from broadcasting, after more than 35 years on the airwaves, you can still purchase his fabulous Soul Cellar compilation CDs from Amazon, which feature a hot selection of jazz, blues, r&b, soul and gospel — both old and new: