b. John Robert Parker Ravenscroft, 30 August 1939, Heswall, Cheshire, England, d. 25 October 2004, Cuzco, Peru. Having moved to the USA during the early 60s to work in his father’s cotton business, Peel’s musical knowledge engendered several guest appearances on Dallas radio stations. By cultivating his near-Liverpool birthright, he became something of a local celebrity in the wake of Beatlemania, which in turn led to a full-time job as a disc jockey on Oklahoma’s KOMA station. By 1966 he was working at KMEN in San Bernadino, California, but the following year Peel returned to Britain, where his knowledge of emergent US underground rock led to his joining the pirate radio ship Radio London. Now stripped of his ‘Ravenscroft’ surname in favour of a snappier appellation, Peel achieved almost instant fame for his late-night The Perfumed Garden programme which introduced the then-mysterious delights of Country Joe And The Fish, Love, the Velvet Underground and Captain Beefheart to unsuspecting UK audiences.
From Encyclopedia of Popular Music in Oxford Reference.