Revered British radio DJ died a year ago.
Universal Music U.K. has joined forces with revived indie label Dandelion Records to launch a new-music Web service dedicated to John Peel, the late highly revered British radio broadcaster and DJ.
Accessible at www.johnpeelmusic.com, the new service invites unsigned acts anywhere in the world to upload their demo recordings for assessment by both music enthusiasts and interested A&R executives.
Moreover, Universal Music itself will have first option with recordings felt to deserve major-label support, although other labels will have equal access for consideration.
The venture has been launched in recognition of Peel's immense influence on the careers of several major hit acts, ranging from Marc Bolan to The White Stripes, during his 40-year music career, 37 of which on national public top 40 station BBC Radio 1.
"When I was starting out in the business as an A&R scout, I played John Peel's show in my Mini virtually every night. It is terrific to play a part in continuing the legacy of someone who influenced the careers of so many artists, as well as the A&R community," said Lucien Grainge, Universal Music Group International chairman/CEO.
Peel died Oct. 26 last year from a heart attack while on holiday in Peru.
The project is being supervised by Peel's son Tom Ravenscroft and Clive Selwood, Peel's closest friend and business partner, who is also a former label executive at Elektra, Pye and U.K. Records, among others.
Dandelion Records, Peel's own U.K. record label, ran from 1969 to 1972. It was managed by Peel and Selwood. It released albums by American rock'n'roller Gene Vincent, folk/rock act Medicine Head, and a string of acclaimed British singer/songwriters such as Clifford T. Ward, Kevin Coyne and Bridget St. John.
Selwood had an association with Peel which lasted 35 years until the DJ's death. He launched U.K. indie label Strange Fruit Records, which has licensed unique BBC radio session recordings -- in particular the "Peel Sessions" series -- by acts including New Order, Queen, Jimi Hendrix, the Cure and the Police, plus such Peel favorites as the Undertones and the Fall since the mid-1980s.