Janice Long, 1955-2021

Sad news for Christmas Day this year, learning of the death of Janice Long. I grew up listening and finding out about so many great acts from BBC Radio 1’s evening and weekend shows and Janice Long was one of the key DJs that made a big difference. She had great taste and brought a genuine enthusiasm and warm-hearted humour to proceedings that was a welcome relief from many others. It comes as no surprise to learn of so many wonderful tributes from many of the well-known acts she met along the way. If you are unfamiliar with her, I recommend a 33 minute primer courtesy of the Radio 1 Vintage series that was produced in 2018 and featured a Janice Long compilation.

BBC Radio 1 Vintage - Janice Long compilation
^ BBC Radio 1 Vintage – Janice Long compilation

I used to tape a lot of sessions and the like from the radio and a particular favourite of mine from Janice Long’s show was a session by Hard Corps from May 1985. They are a band I have featured many times on this blog before and they got a lot of love from Radio 1 – John Peel and Richard Skinner, as well as Janice – but sadly an unsuitable record company deal rather scotched their trajectories. This particular session  for Janice Long was one that I listened to in fairly basic medium wave quality for many years and which featured in ‘The Bell’, ‘Desolation Land’ and ‘Bravo’ wonderful tracks that would not see a release until many years later. It was a pleasant surprise to discover by chance one day that the band themselves had finally put together a digital download release of this and a few other session recordings as ‘Radio Sessions’. Here’s my tape with cover design from back in the day of this and a few other recordings taped back in 1985.

1985 BBC Radio 1 sessions tape home made cover design
^ 1985 BBC Radio 1 sessions tape home made cover design
1985 BBC Radio 1 sessions tape home made cover design
^ 1985 BBC Radio 1 sessions tape home made cover design

RIP Janice and thanks for the wonderful sounds.

2 Replies to “Janice Long, 1955-2021”

  1. a sad day indeed, like yourself both myself and my musical tastes grew up with some guidance at the hands of Janice Long, John Peel, Richard Skinner and the like. Mavericks in the radio world of the Mike Reeds, Hairy Cornflakes, Steve Wrights and all the others that were supposed to be the flagships of BBC Radio 1. i still have a great many Janice Long sessions lurking about in the music collection, prized recordings. i was very fortunate to meet her a couple of times at the Loopallu festivals in Ullapool, (did you see what they did there, reversing the name of the town for the festival, clever) which she compared at. i will always remember seeing her on stage introducing the bands while clutching her plastic carrier bag or essentials, the carrier bag went everywhere with her. she had a great wit about her and was extremely happy to talk to anybody about anything and she did, i am sure that it was Janice that managed to secure Echo and the Bunnymen for the 2008 Loopallu festival at extremely short notice when Travis pulled out, the Bunnymen didn’t disappoint providing one of their best performances from their later period.
    All i can say is, Thank You Janice

  2. I saw that on xmas day. Janice Long was yet another BBC DJ that I knew better than anyone on the radio in my home town of Orlando, Florida in the 80s§. I have many a Janice Long session in my Record Cell, and felt that she had impeccable taste and enthusiasm, judging by the roster of bands. I only recently discovered that she was Keith Chegwin’s sister.

    § – Actually I would not recognize any names from Orlando radio post 1980!

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