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Wave Community Radio

Wave Community Radio

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Robin Whitlock Radio Producer/Presenter

Radio Show – Just the way you like it

Robin Whitlock – A freelance journalist by day, with a wide variety of interests, Robin Whitlock has been passionate about jazz-funk and soul music from an early age.

Robin’s interest in jazz-funk and soul music really began with a school disco at Westland’s Sports and Social Club in Yeovil in the early 1980s when he was around 14 years old.

“I remember that first disco very clearly” Robin says. “The DJ played Kool and the Gang and Earth, Wind and Fire, and I just had to get up and dance. I was with two female friends of mine from a different school to mind, and my brother. However, I noticed that some other girl on the dancefloor was smiling and winking at me. When I asked my brother about this, he said that disco music is for girls and that I should really be a skinhead or be into punk or heavy metal. I thought that was nonsense then and I still do now”

A year after leaving school, Robin already had a growing collection of jazz-funk and soul tunes on vinyl, with particular favourites being The Manhattans, Surface, The Sugarhill Gang and Gary Byrd. Several years after that, Robin had joined the Royal Air Force and been posted to RAF Brize Nortion, which had its very own nightclub – The Spotlight Club – right on the base. By that time, the 80’s jazz-funk and soul explosion had really taken off and Robin soon found himself travelling into Oxford every weekend buying bagfuls of albums and cassettes.

“I soon had a pretty sizeable collection” Robin adds. “At least three large boxes of vinyl albums, several more boxes of vinyl singles and even more boxes of cassettes, ranging from Motown to 80s soul, cool jazz artists like Grover Washington Jr and George Benson and through to music from the breakdance scene that was popular at that time”.

However, a fond memory is entering the room of a corporal friend on the bottom floor of the barrack block and finding I had been outdone in my collecting.

“I entered the room and this chap had vinyl everywhere” he says. “There were so many albums and singles covering every available space, the bloke barely had room to move. I was very jealous”.

Robin got into indie-punk and techno-trance during the 90s until fairly recently, so he admits he’s a little rusty on the contemporary jazz-funk and soul scene, with his funk and soul head stuck somewhat in the 60’s-early 90s period.

“Particularly now with volunteering for Wave, I am trying to rectify that as fast as I can. A big wake-up call was hearing my partner playing The 1975 and Paloma Faith a year or two ago, and I suddenly realised that jazz-funk and soul was back, big time. I am really excited that there’s so much really good stuff out there that I haven’t encountered yet, and with Wave, I really want to share my passion for this genre with my friends and right across the community. Volunteering as a presenter with Wave is a great way to do just that”.