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Sir Jimmy Young CBE (born Leslie Ronald Young, 21 September 1921, Cinderfordmarker, Gloucestershiremarker, Englandmarker) is a well-known former singer, Britishmarker disc jockey and radio interviewer.

Early life

The son of a baker, he attended East Dean Grammar School. He joined the RAF in 1942 and left in 1949 with the rank of Sergeant.

Singing career

Young was signed to the then new label Polygon Records in 1950, one of the label's few stars alongside another newcomer, Petula Clark. He released numerous records on the label, all conducted by Ron Goodwin, the biggest seller of which was "Too Young" (1951) a big sheet music seller in the days before the UK Singles Chart had begun. It was a cover of Nat King Cole's Americanmarker recording. There were also two duets with Petula Clark that year, "Mariandl" and "Broken Heart".

In 1952 he was lured away to a recording contract with Decca, and the big hits really began. Young enjoyed Top 10 successes with "Eternally", "Chain Gang" and "More" (with which he beat Perry Como's U.S.marker original in the UK Singles Chart listings). His most successful year as a recording artist was 1955, when "Unchained Melody" (from the film Unchained) and "The Man from Laramie" (from the film of the same name) were successive releases and both number one hit.


  • "Faith Can Move Mountains" - (1953) - UK Number 11
  • "Eternally" - (1953) - UK Number 8
  • "Unchained Melody" - (1955) - UK Number 1
  • "The Man from Laramie" - (1955) - UK Number 1
  • "Someone On Your Mind" - (1955) - UK Number 13
  • "Chain Gang" - (1956) - UK Number 9
  • "Wayward Wind" - (1956) - UK Number 27
  • "Rich Man Poor Man" - (1956) - UK Number 25
  • "More" - (1956) - UK Number 4
  • "Round and Round" - (1957) - UK Number 30
  • "Miss You" - (1963) - UK Number 15
  • "Unchained Melody" (re-recording) - (1964) - UK Number 43

"Round and Round" and the re-recording of "Unchained Melody" are with The Michael Sammes Singers

Disc jockey / radio presenter

He is best known nowadays as a former BBC Radio 2 radio presenter.

After a spell with Radio Luxembourg, Young joined the BBC as one of the first disc jockeys on BBC Radio 1, presenting the weekday mid-morning show from 1967 to 1973. In 1973 he joined BBC Radio 2, where he presented a regular programme (known to listeners as 'The JY Prog'), until his retirement from broadcasting at the end of 2002. His show was a mixture of music, chat and current affairs and over the next couple of decades, he interviewed every British Prime Minister on the show as well as royalty, Prince Philip, The Princess Royal and Princess Grace Of Monaco. His easy, laid back style became the voice of Radio 2. His distinctive theme music was "Town Talk" by Ken Woodman & His Picadilly Brass. TTFN was one of his catch phrases.

Although he was offered the opportunity to present a weekend current affairs programme, he turned it down. His radio slot was taken over by the former Newsnight presenter, Jeremy Vine. Shortly after leaving the BBC, Jimmy Young wrote a newspaper column attacking his former employer for instances of "brutality", and making clear that it had not been his idea to leave.

The Pink Floyd song "One of These Days" is directed at him. The only lyrics are the threat "One of these days I'm going to cut you into little pieces". This promise was fulfilled when Roger Waters cut up different recordings of Young and spliced them together for use in concert during early performances of the song "Sheep" (then entitled "Raving and Drooling").

Young has been awarded with many honours over the years, an OBE in 1979, a CBE in 1993 and at the beginning of 2002, he was knighted for services to broadcasting. Young continues to write a weekly column for the Sunday Express newspaper.

See also


  1. Allmusic com biography
  2. Jimmy Young: Too old?,BBC, 2 November 2001
  3. Sir Jimmy vents anger in column

External links

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