I spent twenty years working in the airline industry before deciding to pursue my passion for music. I worked in advertising, writing and producing over 2,000 ads and jingles and I’ve written and produced in-flight radio shows, launched Turkey’s first commercial radio station, and produced concerts for artists that includes, Paul McCartney, The Beach Boys, Chicago and America.
My books about music include, Bill Wyman’s Blues Odyssey, which won the Blues Foundation’s Award For Literature in 2002. I wrote, co-directed and produced the Peabody Award nominated TV series based upon the book. I co-authored Rolling with the Stones (2003), and The Stones – A History in Cartoons (2006) with Bill Wyman and wrote The Stones in the Park (2009) about the band’s pivotal 1969 concert, as well as The Rolling Stones – In The Beginning (2006) a book by Danish photographer, Bent Rej. I compiled and edited Rolling Stones 50, the band’s official anniversary book in 2012. My other music related titles include, My Take (2006), Gary Barlow’s autobiography, Bowie, Bolan & The Brooklyn Boy (2007), legendary record producer Tony Visconti’s autobiography, Woodstock – 3 days of peace and music (2009), Jazz – The Golden Era (2008), Blues – The Golden Era, (2008) Rock ‘n’ Roll – The Golden Era (2008), The Beatles – The Days of Their Lives (2010), and Read’s Musical Recitor (2004). Sinatra (2004), according to Marella Fostrup on BBC Radio 4, “Stands out as one of the best books ever written about Frank Sinatra.
My most recent books are Verve – The Sound of America, the 2013 book on the American record label and Uncompromising Expression, that tells the story of 75 years of Blue Note Records, which was published in November 2014. I am currently writing a new book in conjunction with The Rolling Stones entitled The Stones On Air in the 1960s (Virgin Books Autumn 2017).
My other books include Here Is The News, about the BBC in World War II, Treasure Island, Airline Confidential, Pop!, When Football was Football (nominated for illustrated Sports Book of the Year 2008), Dreamboats & Petticoats – Music & Life in Pre Beatles Britain, Titanic – History As It Happened, When Britain Went To War, Better Late Than Never, Len Goodman’s autobiography, Len Goodman’s Lost London (2013) and Len Goodman’s Dancing Round Britain (2014). I co-wrote, As Much As I Can (2010) – The life of film and stage director, Peter Glenville.
My articles have appeared in The Daily Telegraph, The Times, Goldmine and Record Collector; I appear regularly on radio and occasionally on TV, usually talking about music. I’ve produced box sets for Universal Music, including, 100 Years of the Blues, as well as Satchmo: Louis Armstrong – Ambassador of Jazz (10 CD box set and 200 page illustrated biography), Ella – The Voice of Jazz, Verve – The Sound of America, Blue Note’s Uncompromising Expression and a 10 CD career retrospective of Nat King Cole in 2015. I’ve written numerous sleeve notes and books to accompany album and DVD releases, frequently for The Rolling Stones, including their 2016 album, Blue & Lonesome, and in 2015 I wrote the historical notes for The Beatles 1+ DVD and CD reissue. I am Universal Music’s jazz consultant and Editor-in-Chief of Universal Music’s online music marketing site – www.udiscovermusic.com.