John Peel OBE (born John Ravenscroft) served in the British army and sold insurance before he became a radio DJ. He was the longest-serving of the original BBC Radio 1 DJs, broadcasting regularly from 1967, until his death in 2004.
He moved from England to Texas in the mid-60s and began working at a Dallas radio station. In 1965 he returned to the U.K. where he worked on a pirate radio ship. Subsequent to that he joined the BBC.
Peel explored new directions in music and new artists. He was one of the first broadcasters to play psychedelic rock, reggae and punk records on British radio, and it is widely acknowledged that he promoted artists working in various genres including alternative rock, indie rock, pop, hardcore punk, grindcore, death metal, British hip hop and dance music.