Robbie Vincent (born 9 June 1947) is an English radio broadcaster and DJ whose catch phrase for many years was "If it moves, Funk it". As a champion of jazz, funk and soul music in the UK during the late 1970s his contribution both live in clubs and on radio cannot be overestimated. Vincent himself proved as important a radio pioneer as some of the great American soul artists he interviewed and in 1995 was voted Independent Radio Personality of the Year at the prestigious Variety Club of Great Britain annual awards.

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  • Robbie Vincent (born 9 June 1947) is an English radio broadcaster and DJ whose catch phrase for many years was "If it moves, Funk it". As a champion of jazz, funk and soul music in the UK during the late 1970s his contribution both live in clubs and on radio cannot be overestimated. Vincent himself proved as important a radio pioneer as some of the great American soul artists he interviewed and in 1995 was voted Independent Radio Personality of the Year at the prestigious Variety Club of Great Britain annual awards. The teenaged Robbie Vincent moved up from newspaper messenger boy to print journalist reporting for the Evening Standard on the trial of the notorious gangsters, the Kray twins, and from the troubles in Northern Ireland. His broadcasting career began in 1970 at BBC Radio London, newly founded as one legitimate answer to Britain's avalanche of illegal UK pirate radio stations that had changed listeners' expectations. With a potential audience in Greater London of 7.5million, he was to spend 13 years helping to shape the sound of local FM radio, starting before legal commercial competition arrived. By the miners' strike of 1974 and the resulting three-day week that limited the nation's consumption of electricity, Vincent was hosting a new style of show called 'Late Night London' and playing devil's advocate with listeners who called in by telephone to air their problems or opinions. The programme was broadcast late in the evening and was among the first to establish the format for the radio phone-in in the UK. His celebrity interviewees included prime minister Margaret Thatcher, "at her charming best", he says on his own website. By 1976 Vincent was pursuing his own tastes by also hosting a music show on the same station over Saturday lunchtimes. In his own words: "Moving from a mixed format of Slade, Rod Stewart, Marc Bolan and endless sound-tracks ... soul and jazz began to take over without management really noticing." He played artists such as Evelyn 'Champagne' King and Crown Heights Affair and invited guest soul DJs, such as Chris Hill, , DJ Froggy, , to play their favourite three records that came hot off the presses that week. The show grew to be considered essential listening by the capital's soul music fans. In 1977 Vincent was first heard on BBC Radio 1, hosting a soul and disco show on Saturday evenings which was simulcast on VHF/FM at a time when Radio 1 was only broadcast on medium wave most of the time. He returned for another stint in 1978. In 1982 he was again heard nationally presenting the discussion show Talkabout, picking up on the current affairs side of his work at Radio London. By 1978, such was the growing appetite for soul music that he and the other DJs in what became dubbed the south of England's 'Soul Mafia' staged the first 'Purley all-dayer', a fiercely athletic black-music dance marathon at Tiffany’s in Purley, the London suburb. As a direct response to similar Northern soul all-nighters, it attracted the fanatical 'soul tribes' from across Britain. A year later, Vincent helped instigate the popular Caister Soul Weekender events in the Norfolk holiday park (the first was called '1st National Soul Weekender' in April 1979). The original Soul Mafia DJ line-up was supplemented by Greg Edwards (DJ) (presenter of Soul Spectrum on Saturday evening on London's Capital Radio), and Jeff Young. In 1980 Vincent's signature song was Get it by The Dramatics. Soon after, Vincent was credited with launching the UK career of US jazz-funk combo, Maze with Frankie Beverly, and was one of the few British radio presenters to have interviewed Marvin Gaye. In 1981, Vincent became manager of UK soul funk band , securing record deals with Polydor and then in 1984, MCA Records. He acted as their sole personal manager until the band split in 1986. Vincent became part of both a soul revival as well as a massive move for commercial acceptance of jazz-funk. In addition, the mainstream jazz movement, so often omitted from history, received a significant boost thanks to unknown and new artists being given a media platform. Talking in 2011 about his early missionary enthusiasm for soul music, Vincent told The Soul Survivors magazine: 'Don’t forget, I grew up in an era where Tamla Motown didn’t put their artist photographs on the cover sleeves because they were black and they worried they might alienate a white audience.' Even in the mid-1970s black music was hard to find on British radio, or anywhere else beyond the soul underground. Though Vincent was a figurehead in the jazz-funk-soul community, to many thousands of others he was the voice of current affairs phone-ins such as The Robbie Vincent Telephone Programme (call 01 486 7744) on BBC Radio London until he left in 1983 and handed the reins on to the then former Greater London Council leader Ken Livingstone. Vincent later re-emerged as the phone-in man on LBC's Nightline programme from 11 pm Mon-Fri in the late 80s. (en)
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  • Robbie Vincent (born 9 June 1947) is an English radio broadcaster and DJ whose catch phrase for many years was "If it moves, Funk it". As a champion of jazz, funk and soul music in the UK during the late 1970s his contribution both live in clubs and on radio cannot be overestimated. Vincent himself proved as important a radio pioneer as some of the great American soul artists he interviewed and in 1995 was voted Independent Radio Personality of the Year at the prestigious Variety Club of Great Britain annual awards. (en)
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