The Country Show…
With Peter Fairhead
Peter Fairhead is a native of Chelmsford who moved to West Yorkshire as long ago as 1980. By then, life after grammar school had seen him working in Road Safety, then selling Mars bars, Rothmans cigarettes and finally Memorex cassettes.
A member of Hospital Radio Chelmsford since aged 14, Peter’s enthusiasm for music took him via work experience at BBC Radio Medway (Kent) to Radio Orwell (Suffolk) in 1978, after which Peter decided to call himself a professional radio man, and he remained a full-timer until the mid-1990’s.
Peter’s Country Music experience started as a sit-in for Radio Orwell’s Nigel Rennie. When he moved to Pennine Radio (West Yorkshire) in 1980 to present an afternoon show, Peter was also handed “Pennine Country” almost immediately, and ever since (with a few very short gaps) he has been compiling and presenting a Country show somewhere. Stations later included Classic Gold throughout Yorkshire, Lite AM and Fortune 1458 in Manchester and the north west, Wire FM in Warrington, and Big AM networked from Stoke on Trent to Cheshire, Gtr Manchester and Yorkshire.
Peter is especially proud to have been broadcasting Country Music on a successful FM station into this millennium though he accepted in 2003 that all good things come to an end. Then to his surprise he was headhunted for the launch of Hull’s KCFM and found himself with a new show on FM transmitting to East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. A takeover alas saw that too finish by the end of the last decade, since when Peter has been continuing his ten year Monday night relationship with community station BCB 106.6FM in Bradford. The programme has also expanded to be broadcasst on Hull’s WHCR and Beverley FM in East Yorkshire.
Never afraid to state his case, Peter realises that some may not warm to his role as a Line Dance promoter and DJ. While the conflicts and arguments continue, Peter is adamant that the craze of 1995-96 exposed many new dance fans to Country Music, and that they benefited many existing clubs and created new ones. While everything in the Country Music garden wasn’t roses, there was a huge net gain to our scene. Many of his friends who he first met as dancers continue to attend Country Music clubs around the Leeds area and festivals like the Broken Spoke.
Over many years Peter contributed occasional articles to the line dancing and Country Music press. Indeed Peter developed that side of his talents at the beginning of the noughties and until recently he was a regular contributor to Up Country magazine. However a family crisis forced an evaluation of Peter’s priorities, and researching and writing features and articles gave way to full time work and family duties.