Tribute to Derek Johnson

TRIBUTES are pouring in for an Exmouth music journalist who has died aged 81. Derek Johnson, who was one of the New Musical Express (NME) staff members, lived in Exmouth for the last 14 years

TRIBUTES are pouring in for an Exmouth music journalist who has died aged 81.

Derek Johnson, who was one of the New Musical Express (NME) staff members, lived in Exmouth for the last 14 years - moving to the town after his wife, Sheila, lost her fight with cancer aged 59.

Moving to Devon in 1995 to be closer to his son's family, Derek was passionate about writing.

Son David, 44, also from Exmouth, said he remembered being a music-loving teenager whose father could get his hands on free tickets for almost any concert going.

Derek was born in Dulwich, south east London, in 1928 and his career started in forces radio in 1948 when he was on National Service.

Working on Radio Luxembourg in 1952, he introduced the first pop chart broadcasts, which had been launched by the NME in the same year.

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He began writing articles for the NME and in 1957 was offered a job.

Working his way up through the ranks, he became the features editor, then news editor.

During his journalistic career, Derek interviewed Elvis Presley in the USA, was asked to manage Cliff Richard, and was the first British journalist to write about Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers.

Derek leaves behind his two sons, David and Phil.

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