Obituary: producer Dave Shannon

Dave Shannon Dave Shannon in 2005

Dave Shannon's life touched many people - and I would lay odds that none of those would have a bad word to say about him. The mischievous twinkle in his eye and his ready wit made him a favourite amongst his colleagues.

Underneath this sociable front, though, was a very private man. He was married to Linda for over 40 years and was incredibly proud of his only son Davy.

At his son's wedding last year, both played and sang together. Dave's chest was almost bursting with pride when he remembered this.

A graduate of Queen's University Belfast, Dave had a minor career as a bus conductor and also as a teacher. But he will be remembered as a consummate musician, primarily on the folk music scene as part of his group Therapy.

Initially juggling his performing career with BBC freelance shifts, he started working in Manchester's popular music department in the early 80s, producing orchestral sessions and documentary series.

Early in 1986 he introduced a new sound to Radio 2 with a series on blues music, fronted by Paul Jones. It continues today.

After a short attachment with sport programme On the Line, Dave transferred to the BBC's new centre of excellence for popular music in Birmingham.

He brought the Paul Jones blues programme with him and took on producing Country Club, hosted by Wally Whyton and later David Allan. It became Bob Harris Country, which is still on air.

He was full of ideas and devised a monthly programme to be hosted by Miles Kington called Reading Music. The programme introduced a number of new voices to Radio 2, including Mark Lamarr and Stuart Maconie.

Dave was overjoyed when Shake, Rattle & Roll was commissioned. Recording days with Mark Lamarr were always fun, with presenter and producer bouncing one-liners off each other.

Stuart Maconie became the presenter of a series of Northern Soul programmes and album show The Critical List.

Dave was a kind and generous man. He always had time to explain things patiently and he never felt threatened by youngsters snapping at his heels; he took the time to encourage them.

He made the working day fun, and everyone had huge respect for this quiet, humble man.

We were all so saddened to hear of his untimely death from cancer at the age of 66. He was one very special guy and our hearts go out to his wife Linda and son Davy.

Sue Welch, Former Radio 2 Broadcast Assistant

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