A tribute to Sir Michael Parkinson
Posted on 17th Aug 2023 by John Rosie
We were sad to learn of the death today of one of our Patrons, Sir Michael Parkinson CBE. Much loved as a distinguished interviewer, broadcaster, journalist and Jazz lover, Sir Michael was a long time supporter of the National Jazz Archive.
Michael Parkinson became a household name after his chat shows were broadcast on the BBC during the 1970s and 80s. Parkinson interviewed more than 2000 worldwide celebrities during a long broadcast career. Well known for his detailed research, he had an engaging interviewing style that was relaxed and attentive.
A music broadcaster at various times on BBC Radio 2 and Jazz FM, Sir Michael was a passionate lover of Jazz and the American songbook. He interviewed many of the 20th Century's Jazz greats, who were his music heroes, including Duke Ellington, Buddy Rich, Oscar Peterson and Stéphane Grappelli.
Affectionately known as 'Parky', Michael Parkinson was a proud Yorkshireman born in Cudworth, in what was then the West Riding of Yorkshire, on 28 March 1935. The son of a miner, he attended Barnsley Grammar School, and began his career as a newspaper journalist, starting with local newspapers and eventually the Guardian, the Daily Express and the Sunday Times.
Parkinson was also the co-founder of TV-AM in 1983 and hosted a number of successful radio shows.