Gerry Rafferty

Further to Pierre Pierrone's obituary of Gerry Rafferty (6 January), while it is natural that the huge hit songs such as "Baker Street" and "Stuck In the Middle" feature largely in his obituaries it should not be forgotten that his songbook at least until the late 1970s included a series of beautifully observed songs featuring wry observation, true emotions and winning melodies, writes Thom Hickey. Songs such as "Patrick" and "Steamboat Row" are models of the songwriter's art. His song "Her Father Didn't Like Me Anyway" is a classic song of real poignancy which became iconic in the Irish folk world through the magnificent performance of it (much revered by John Peel) by the Furey Brothers:

Tony Blackburn: A man unfazed by his own naffness

The veteran pop-picker returned to a regular slot on BBC national radio yesterday after almost 30 years. Matthew Bell meets Tony Blackburn

Competition winner shares his inspirational prize in new stage show John Peel's Shed

I am developing a stage show called John Peel's Shed. In the show, I will play some records that used to be housed in that very building. I will also talk about the records, my passion for radio and the way that John Peel changed my life and the lives of so many other people.

Last Night's TV - This Is England '86, Channel 4; My Story, BBC1

Welcome back to Shane's world

Album: Ergo Phizmiz, Things to Do & Make (Care In The Community)

Previously a composer of experimental electronica, Ergo Phizmiz has acquired some stellar supporters in his decade-long career: John Peel, Michael Nyman, Matt Groening.

John Peel's son follows in his father's tracks

John Peel's son is to follow in his father's footsteps after securing his own BBC radio show.

Supergrass: we're splitting (but we're alright about it)

After 17 years it's over – but Britpop founders say they still love each other

Andree Peel: French Resistance fighter who helped Allied airmen evade capture in occupied Europe

Andrée Peel was a French Resistance fighter who embodied everything that General de Gaulle wanted from French men and women. Known as Agent Rose, she survived a Nazi death squad and helped more than 100 British and American airmen evade capture and escape occupied Europe.

The Ballad of the Miners' Strike, Radio 2

Coal-war voices bring a lump to the throat

Nicholas Lezard: If you could see the BBC now, John ...

The Corporation feels it's at risk, and no one is standing up to the bullying

Sophie Heawood: John Peel would have loved 6Music. And now it's going

I vividly remember the first time, though I don't recall which man it was with. It may have been Tony Robinson. It may have been Marc Riley, or Gideon Coe. But one of these chaps was presenting a radio show on BBC 6Music, followed by another of them, and there I was sitting in a friend's kitchen, listening to the station for the first time, gripped.

Roger Nicholson: Britain's most influential dulcimer player

A notable performer in the folk-rock heyday of the early 1970s, Roger Nicholson helped to popularise the Appalachian, or mountain, dulcimer, adding to its repertoire and leaving a rich musical legacy remembered fondly by admirers around the world.

Album: Various Artists, Kats Karavan: The History of John Peel on the Radio (Universal)

John Peel's first stint as DJ was in 1959, for a Dallas radio station's R&B show called Kats Karavan; thereafter, the work sheet for every Peel show bore that same legend in the space reserved for the programme title.

Hit & Run: SimplicITy computer delivers over-50s to the digital age

If social networking is something you do at the bingo hall, windows require (net) curtains, and a Mac is to be worn in the rain, chances are you're old. Because, apparently, old people don't do computers. Things like Twitter and spreadsheets only bother them when they're on the One O'Clock News. But anyone watching the BBC's lunchtime bulletin yesterday will have seen a pensioner called Betty using a computer designed to deliver her generation to the digital age.

The great John Peel sell-off

The BBC plans to offload its Maida Vale studios, home of the sessions made famous by the late DJ
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... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
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Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

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Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

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and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
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