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24 September 2014

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Who's On Air?

You are in: Devon > BBC Radio Devon > Who's On Air? > Geoff Barker

Geoff Barker and his impressive record collection!

Geoff and his impressive music library!

Geoff Barker

Every Saturday evening Geoff Barker searches out the best music from the 1950s and early 60s for his ever popular Rock 'n' Roll Party.

Geoff Barker's Saturday night Rock 'n' Roll Party has become a local radio institution.

It's also a permanent fixture in the list of most 'on-demand' BBC radio programmes available on the online listen again facility.

Uniquely mixing vintage rock 'n' roll, rockabilly, R'n'B, doo-wop and instrumentals, the show has attracted a big-following across the UK and online around the world.  

Geoff is recognised as one of the foremost rock 'n' roll authorities in the UK and he uses this to the full on the show, with facts and information about the music, but always maintaining the pace that befits a rock 'n' roll party!

He also does something other more mainstream shows of the genre do not - champions new bands and artists on the current rock 'n' roll scene, giving them air-time rarely available elsewhere.

His show also features a comprehensive guide to local live music gigs.

Geoff interviewing The Comets

Geoff interviewing The Comets

The programme benefits from Geoff's extensive contacts, with a list of stellar guests over the years, including: The Crickets, The Comets, Scotty Moore & DJ Fontana, Wanda Jackson, Charlie Gracie, Cliff Richard, Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch, Paul McCartney, Marty Wilde, Joe Brown, Albert Lee, Tom Jones, Jools Holland, and John Leyton.

Over more than 30 years, Geoff has met and interviewed hundreds of key figures in music and has a huge personal interview archive. He plunders this to full effect and often produces mini-documentaries for the show.

These have included profiles of Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran, Carl Perkins, Sam Phillips, Cliff & The Shadows, Joe Meek, Billy Fury and the anniversaries of significant events in rock 'n' roll history.

It's a rock'n'roll programme unlike any other and is not to be missed!

You can e-mail the show at: rocknroll@bbc.co.uk

All about Geoff

Geoff has been married to Ann since 1966 and has three daughters, a son and four grandchildren.

Born in Willesden, Geoff first heard rock 'n' roll on the jukebox at the legendary Ace Café on London's North Circular Road.

His elder brother Bob introduced him to the music of Buddy Holly and The Crickets in 1960. This started a lifelong obsession with the 'Shy Texan', culminating in a two-part Radio 2 documentary marking Buddy's 70th Anniversary in 2006.

Geoff took up guitar at age 12, learning to play to Buddy's records and those of his other first musical-love, The Shadows.

In later years Geoff would play and record with several bands, including an Elvis tribute act, with his son Sean on drums.

In 1963, Geoff was among those who packed a boathouse on Eel Pie Island, Twickenham, to see a bunch of scruffs called The Rolling Stones.

Then along came The Beatles, starting another musical passion. In 1999 Geoff worked on a six-part series for BBC World Service presented by Sir Paul McCartney, after which he was invited by Paul to conduct an exclusive interview about his album 'Run Devil Run'.

And in 2000, he was asked by Apple Records to produce a disc of Beatles interviews to accompany The Beatles 1 CD.

Geoff got into radio in the most unique way. In 1976 he and rock 'n' roll soulmate Stuart Colman organised a 6,000 strong march on BBC Broadcasting House in London, demanding a dedicated rock'n'roll show on Radio 1! 

No-one was more surprised than Stuart and Geoff, when they were given a show and It's Rock 'n' Roll started a regular Saturday tea-time slot later that year.

In 1988, Geoff and his family moved to Dorset, where he mobile-DJ'd and started broadcasting on 2CR, the local commercial station in Bournemouth. He also presented shows at Orchard FM in Taunton from 1989-92. 

Geoff joined BBC Wiltshire in Swindon in 2002 and a year later his Rock'n'Roll Party hit the local airwaves. The show is broadcast on BBC local radio stations across the West and South West of England.

He also makes programmes for BBC Radio 2 and Radio 4.

E-mail Geoff Barker:

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last updated: 30/01/2008 at 11:13
created: 29/01/2008

You are in: Devon > BBC Radio Devon > Who's On Air? > Geoff Barker



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