He was the breakfast DJ on Plymouth Sound radio, playing all the hits for you from the local studio. Now Peter Greig is saying farewell to the incredible collection of CDs he used for his broadcasts and live club sets over the decades and he’s donating them to benefit St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth.
The bright good morning voice of the city for more than 20 years, from 1975 through to the 1990s, he’s letting go of 2,000 albums, featuring artists and tunes from the Swinging Sixties onwards.
“There are some of my absolute favourites in there, like Fleetwood Mac and it’s quite a wrench to part with them, but I’ve decided they all have to go,” said Peter, 77, who is hoping they will be of interest to collectors, either as a complete set or individually, and raise a decent amount for the charity.
“The discs are all like new, not dusty or scratched – they look like they’ve just come out of the shop. It’s an eclectic musical collection, mostly artists people will know, including all-time classics like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and The Who, but some rare ones too.”
We don’t usually accept CDs for sale in our shops, but we’re making an exception for such a unique collection.
Peter wanted to do something to support St Luke’s because he had heard about the support the hospice provides for terminally ill people and their families in the local community, most poignantly his friend and fellow broadcaster Gordon Sparks, who died earlier this year.
“I always had a soft spot for Sparksy. At one time I was his boss and fundamental in training him in the mysteries of radio. I know St Luke’s helped him a great deal. It was very tragic that he died, like too many others, at such an early age.”
Originally amassing a library of 1500 vinyl singles and 1500 albums, Peter sold those to the record shop that used to be in the old Drake Circus, after he’d switched his allegiance to the new concept of CDs in the early 1980s.
“Some people thought that vinyl was better because you could hear all the scratches while the records were playing, but I liked CDs. A lot of them were sent to Plymouth Sound by record companies when they wanted to promote a single or album,” he explained. “Sometimes we had so many packets of CDs to open it felt like Christmas Day. So, quite a few of them were free promo copies and some of them are quite rare.”
Another personal favourite track of Peter’s was Eva Cassidy’s cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Songbird, the title track from her album, released in 1998, two years after her death from cancer.
“I kept were the ones I liked or thought I could use on my programmes. But I didn’t necessarily play music I liked all the time – if I had I wouldn’t have been very good at my job!”
Peter’s monster CD collection also used to enjoy an airing when he played his highly popular mobile disco sets at clubs like Castaways and the Top Rank Suite on Union Street at weekends.
“Then in the mid to late 90s I used to do a Super Sixties night at the Matchroom Suite at Colebrook and hundreds used to turn up. It was quite a buzz to go down there when it was a sell-out with 250 people. They were all very enthusiastic and they used to like someone who knew what they were doing and had all the tunes.”
Over the years Peter interviewed a number of famous people live on air for Plymouth Sound, including former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Sir Cliff Richard and US singer Gene Pitney, as well as Sir Paul McCartney after he’d left the Beatles and was on his first fledgling tour with Wings.
Peter recalled: “Paul’s wife Linda was in the band, and they were appearing at Cornwall Coliseum. The record label rang and asked if I’d like to do an interview and of course I said ‘Yes, please’. They gave me tickets to the show too.
“People tell me I was at Plymouth Sound at the very best time, and they definitely were the best years, when local radio was at its peak.”
For the past few years, the CDs have been taking up a large amount of shelf space at the Plympton home Peter shares with his wife, Versy.
“She’s never complained about all the CDs, but I think she’s going to convert my office where the shelves were into a spare room now,” added Peter, who these days finds it easier to stream music via his phone and play tracks through his sound system.
Peter’s CDs are currently at St Luke’s Western Approach store and can be viewed by appointment. If not sold as a complete collection, they will be distributed for sale across our shops. We’re open to offers, so if you are interested in, please get in touch – email firstname.lastname@example.org