Sundays 10-12PM GMT
Sunday Smooth Selection
Having been brought up in a home where music was a strong influence, my first real experience of soul music came at a youth club disco in my home town of Wrexham in the North West. I can remember clearly watching the girls dance around their handbags to records like The Tams, Tammi Lynn, The Velvellets and The Formations. I was immediately drawn to this music and hence began a passion which has grown more and more as the years have unfolded. I was fortunate at the age of 16 to be taken to the legendary Golden Torch Ballroom venue in Stoke on Trent just before it closed. My love of northern soul was truly established on that night and during my later teenage years and early twenties, I went to many great all-nighters including Wigan Casino, Leeds Central, Samantha’s Sheffield and Blackpool Mecca.
After some time away from the soul scene during my late twenties and early thirties my passion was reignited at a northern soul reunion night in my now current home town of Bournemouth. I slowly migrated towards the Modern Soul scene some 10 years or more ago, by now having teenage sons who were wielding some influence. Over recent years internet radio has become an important part of my life and the access to so much new music. I started DJing locally 5-6 years ago by running our own Modern Soul Night at the Orchid Hotel in Bournemouth which achieved limited success only proving where Modern Soul is concerned this area is somewhat of a dessert.
Having done a guest appearance on Soul time earlier this year I talked with Ray about doing a regular Sunday morning show, to which he was very happy to give it a go. The Sunday Smooth Selection (the name of the show created by, my 7 year old son, Matthew) is now five months old and is proving to be a real success with high figures being achieved primarily on downloads. My show has a structure of starting with new release material, our Sunday morning Love Zone, the Jazz vibe, some Soulful House and finishing normally with some 70’s and 80’s vinyl. We now have a major sponsor of the show, Expansion records.com and this has given a great boost to my library of new release music. My thanks go to Ralph Tee for his commitment to my show and the help he gives me. Another new monthly feature is our Desert Island Spins, where we invite some of the top jocks to come in and play their favourite 12 records and talk about their lives, both personal and professional. I must pay special thanks to my best mate Jeremy, aka The Crate Digger for his sterling help each week with putting my playlist and podcasts up on Essential Modern Soul, bringing the show to a much wider audience. Without his input we would not be where we are now.
The major DJ influence on my life have been Terry Jones, Shaun Robbins, Mich O’Donnell but by far and away the biggest influence on me has been Martin Barnfather aka Soul Sam. A small selection of favourite artists would include: Sam Dees, David Ruffin, The Dells, Willie Clayton, Johnnie Taylor and amongst the current crop of new music, Mel Waiters, Reggie P., Marvin Sease to name a few. If you like your soul music contemporary and eclectic and are open to hearing new music then my show is definitely for you. My podcast and playlist are always available on Essential Modern Soul if you can’t listen live, so please give us a try, you may just find it really floats your boat.
Show Production: Jeremy Cratedigger
I’m a lifelong soul/funk/jazz fan, loving everything from the smoothest mid-tempo connoisseur grooves through to jazz-funk, reggae, disco, 70’s crossover and even a dash of northern soul for good measure. Since I started clubbing in my original “Essex Boy” days, I have been an avid vinyl collector.
I remember listening to Robbie Vincent and Greg Edwards at the weekends and rushing off to buy the tunes I heard at the earliest opportunity.
Although vinyl will always be my format of choice, I am a bit of a technology geek and have a soft spot for Ipods, music editing software and particularly internet radio shows (the 21st century way to search for tunes to feed my vinyl addiction).
It’s a pleasure to do my bit for Afro-disiac.co.uk, posting playlists and download links on soul forums and Facebook, helping to spread the word via the wonderful world wide web.