Roger Eagle

The first DJ at the Blue Note was Roger Eagle way back in 1966.  I first came across him at the Twisted Wheel where he edited a magazine, R&B Scene, as well as lining up the tracks. In all the time I heard him, I can’t remember a thing he said on the mike. He wasn’t a personality who imposed his inanities upon a captive audience, he just played the most authentic music it was possible to get hold of. When I first went to the Wheel, R&B and blues was the staple diet with the odd curve ball thrown just to see what would happen. The first track I remember as I went down the stairs for the first time was ‘Life is just a slow train, crawling up a hill’ which I thought may be was Little Stevie Wonder but turned out to be John Mayall in falsetto. I still have the record somewhere that he sold to me for 2/6 – “I Put A Spell On You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins when he was getting rid of some old stock.

Roger Eagle (middle) watching Muddy Waters playing cards
Roger Eagle (middle) watching Muddy Waters playing cards

I honestly can’t say much about what Roger played at the Blue Note, to be frank I don’t think he was there for that long. Basically, if you remember what Roger played in his last days  at the Wheel, his time at the Blue Note was mainly a continuation. He quickly moved on to his own short lived club on Fountain Street, Manchester – Staxx which used to cater for the Wheel crowd by opening on Sunday morning. I went a couple of times and remember the track “What Becomes of The Broken Hearted” by Jimmy Ruffin being played as well as “Working in a Coal Mine” by Lee Dorsey. He had set the standard at the Blue Note and other DJs went on to play a mixture of authentic soul music with R&B and blues thrown in for good measure. You wouldn’t be surprised to hear Jimmy Smith thrown into the mix.

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