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Michael Aldred

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Name  Michael Aldred

Occupation  Music producer, music journalist
Died  April 15, 1995, City of Westminster, United Kingdom

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Michael Aldred (6 July 1945 – 15 April 1995) was a British record producer and music journalist. However he is probably best remembered as co-presenter of the 1960s music show Ready Steady Go!.


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Life and Career

Aldred attended Emanuel School, London from 1956 to 1963. Whilst still at school he took a Saturday job in the record department of WHSmith at Putney, and during 1963 successfully submitted several articles for a short-lived magazine called Jazz News and Review, securing an interview with Sarah Vaughan for the school magazine during her 1963 tour with Count Basie. In the summer of the same year he interviewed Oscar Brown Jr for Crescendo magazine.

In October 1963 he auditioned for the role of 'teenage adviser' in a pop music series for Rediffusion entitled Ready Steady Go, which had been running since August and presented by Keith Fordyce. It was about to be broadcast across the ITV network, and producer Elkan Allan was keen to differentiate its style from similar BBC productions which had been fronted by presenters visibly older than the target audience. Other auditionees included Anne Nightingale and Cathy McGowan. Fordyce and Allan decided to select Aldred and McGowan. At the time of his debut, Aldred was aged 18 years and 5 months, by some margin the youngest presenter of any programme on British television. He remained with the programme for six months, after which McGowan was promoted to co-presenter with Fordyce.

Aldred returned to music journalism, contributing to a number of pop magazines of the time. Some of these articles were written under his own name, others under pseudonyms, one of which was 'Gary Glitter'. Paul Gadd - a runner on Ready Steady Go, later appropriated it as his own stage name. Aldred's other work included an article entitled "Why I'd Send A Valentine to Marianne Faithfull" for Fabulous magazine in 1965. Despite the article's sentiments, Aldred was gay - and according to a number of writers, had brief affairs with Dave Davies of The Kinks and Andrew Oldham, manager of The Rolling Stones, who he had met through Brian Jones.

In October 1966 Aldred made an abortive attempt at a recording career of his own with Pye Records, recording "Just Around The Corner" with "Don't Make Promises" on the flip side. He then moved into music production, his relative youth in what was already a youthful industry earning him the nickname 'Teenage' Aldred. His work included recordings for Billie Davis (for whom he also wrote some songs) and Wayne Fontana, with whom in 1970 he recorded a demo version of "Give Me Just A Little More Time" for Philips. However they were beaten to the release by the version by Chairmen of the Board which went to No. 3 in the charts. He also produced a number of singles for Timebox and Alan Merrill.

In the mid-1970s, Aldred moved to the United States where he continued in music production and writing, acting as reviewer for magazines such as Goldmine and Audio. Amongst his work at this time was a substantial article on the recording technique of Phil Spector which was run across two editions of Goldmine in 1988. In 1991 he returned to one of his first loves, compiling a Sarah Vaughan album from her years with Roulette Records.


Michael Aldred Wikipedia

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