Down The Dumper – The 80s Part 5.

Here is one of the more extreme examples of a pop music career that didn’t last very long. Steve Walsh was a club and radio DJ who was a fan of Soul music, and he would play Soul records at various nightclubs that really got the crowd going, and some think that he has a claim to being the original “superstar DJ”. This was because he was loud had a rather big stage presence, somewhat in the literal sense, because he was 26 stone.

His appearances at nightclubs would also be promoted in adverts that would usually only be shown rather late at night on TVS. He would also appear in adverts promoting Soul music compilations. After a while he also began to present Soul music shows on various pirate radio stations, before then going on to legal stations including BBC Radio London and Capital, and also doing some TV presenting on satellite channel Music Box. vlcsnap-00040

These shows would become increasingly popular, and he was soon well known in the south of England for his catchphrase “you wot?”, and for always making the crowd get their hands in the air for his showpiece which was his version of The Fatback Band’s “I Found Lovin'”. After a few years of this, it was decided to release “I Found Lovin'” as a single in July 1987, and this reached No. 9. vlcsnap-00019

Around the same time the original version by The Fatback Band was re-released and also did well, resulting in a very rare occurrence of two different versions of the same song being in the Top Ten at the same time. Never mind a nightclub, Steve was now doing his thing on Top Of The Pops, and as a result, his charismatic personality was now known across the country, making him briefly become a somewhat unlikely pop star. vlcsnap-00021

Appearing in the video to “I Found Lovin'” was Tony Blackburn, who was also hosting various Soul shows on the radio around this time and had championed Steve’s pioneering work. Maybe it would be a good idea to release a few more covers of Soul classics in his feelgood style after this one did rather well. In December 1987, his second single “Let’s Get Together” was released. But, barely a year on from his first success, not only would he have no more Top 40 hit singles, he would be gone altogether. vlcsnap-00015

Steve’s third and final hit single was a cover of McFadden And Whitehead’s “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now”, which was released in July 1988 and reached only No. 44. Whilst making the video in Spain, Steve was injured in a car accident, which among other things left him with a broken leg. He was flown back to a hospital in England for emergency surgery, during which, mostly because of his weight, he had a heart attack, and he died, just a couple of months short of his 30th birthday. Steve is still remembered by many for his love of Soul music which he increased the profile of in this country.

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