AFTER failing his A-Levels, Johnnie Walker got a job as a car mechanic at the age of 16 and then became a car salesman.

In the evenings, Johnnie would go to discos and DJ and soon he had to choose between being a DJ and selling cars. Luckily for us, he chose to spend his life as a DJ and eventually had a successful career in radio.

He said: “When I was younger I had bad acne, which made me shy. Being a DJ was a way I could be extrovert without people seeing me. But I loved records, the equipment and seeing people dancing and enjoying themselves. I loved helping them to enjoy their night by choosing the right records.

“Then I moved to radio, and of course, there were bigger audiences.”

In May 1966, he worked for Radio England and then in October 1966, started working for Radio Caroline – a British pirate radio station.

“This was amazing” he added. “We would stay for two weeks on ship, three miles from the coast with millions of people listening to the music we played. I learnt so much about radio at this time.

“The government forced the pirate stations to close in 1967, so I left and joined Radio One in 1969. I was invited for lunch and we met on a float canal boat, as the BBC thought I would feel more at home after working for an offshore radio station.”

He stayed with the BBC and now presents Sounds of the 70s on Sundays from 3pm until 5pm and the Radio 2 rock show on Saturdays from 8pm until 9pm.

Johnnie loves the music and the songs of Bruce Springsteen, who he believes is one of the greatest live acts in the world.

However, one band he wasn’t overjoyed about was the Bay City Rollers in the 1970s. He was front page news when he described them as musical garbage.

He said: “I was once playing the Bay City Rollers and I lost my temper on air. I called them musical garbage. I am sure people coming to see the show are wondering if I will play music from them…they will have to come along to find out.”

Somerset County Gazette:

From January 17, Johnnie will be on tour with Sounds of the 70s. Following the success this year of Tony Blackburn’s Sounds of the 60s live tour, Johnnie decided to take BBC Radio 2’s popular Sounds of the 70s radio show on the road in 2020.

He added: “There has been so much success with Sounds of the 60s, that I wanted to try other decades. And the 70s were a peak time for me, I had a lunchtime show on radio one with was huge.

“I introduced so many up and coming artists (well they were then) such as Rod Stewart, Steely Dan, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac and so on.”

The brand new live show will be hosted by Johnnie, who will offer his personal stories and memories from the 70s and will feature a live band and singers who will perform an array of classic hits from throughout the decade.

He said: “I have done one-man tours before, when my autobiography came out. But this time it will be easier with a band, it will give me a chance to have a rest while they play!”

“People go to see bands now to hear the stories told between the songs and that’s what it will be like during the show. I have a lot of stories and memories to tell. The show will have interesting stories and great music.

“The tour is basically me presenting a radio show live on stage. With a live band which is great. And every live show is always slightly different.”

DJ Johnnie Walker will bring his Sounds of the 70s tour to The Playhouse in Weston-super-Mare on Friday, January 17 at 7:30pm. And this is not his first time in Weston-super-Mare.

He said: “I have been to Weston-super-Mare many times. I used to perform in a club there. I remember these were great nights but long drives back to London.

“My first show on the tour is Weston-super-Mare, so things are bound to go wrong, but this will make the show even better.

“Am I looking forward to the tour? Yes, very much so.”

To book visit or call 01934 645544.