Lancaster DJ dedicates 40 years of love to Northern Soul

It's a tuneful time for one Lancaster DJ as he celebrates his 40th year as a soul music lover.

Friday, 26th August 2016, 6:30 am
Paul Johnson is celebrating 40 years of dedication to Northern Soul music

Paul Johnson has dedicated his life to Northern Soul and will celebrate his achievements with fellow DJs next month in Lancaster.

The 56-year-old has appeared as an extra in the 2014 film, Northern Soul, and also persuaded Motown artist Kim Weston to play at the Gregson Community Centre on February 15 2013.

He said: “I have so many great memories that took my life on a roller coaster ride and I am so proud I have been part of this fantastic music scene.

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Paul Johnson is celebrating 40 years of dedication to Northern Soul music

“Northern soul is indisputably the greatest music in the world.”

Paul says northern soul music takes you on a spiritual journey, on a roller-coaster ride.

He said: “It has vocals with great deep feeling, blended with harmony that sends the brass section and orchestration into a frenzy match made in heaven!

“Locked up in your secret world of dance, if you are feeling a bit sad and at a low ebb the wonderful world of northern soul brightens up you world!”

Paul Johnson is celebrating 40 years of dedication to Northern Soul music

Paul’s journey began in 1976 at the age of 16 when he listened to his first soul song at Our Lady’s Youth Club.

Blown away by ‘You’re Ready Now’ by Frankie Valli & The Angels, Paul went off to discover more.

When he learnt of Wigan Casino, a night club which became a northern soul hub from 1973-1981, his mind was made up.

“I waited until I was 18 to visit the club that has become legendary and the most talked about of them all,” said Paul, who works at Heysham Power Station. “When I finally entered those famous doors I was blown away, the people, the dancing, the atmosphere and the music.

“Dedicating my life to the dance floor paid off due to me winning the Wigan Casino 25th Anniversary dancing championship from 1973-1998.”

Paul has organised many soul nights and fundraisers through the years and has gone to great lengths to travel to soul nights himself. One trip home, from Kendal Netherfield Football Club, nearly left Paul and his friends camping in a telephone box.

He said: “We saw this phone box and decided to camp in there due to the rain, but there was a guy already in there, who put on his pyjamas and had a toothbrush in his mouth.

“Bizarre! I am not too sure how we got back that night.”

Pual also recalls

Paul will hold the celebration night at Lancaster’s Railway Sports and Social Club on Friday September 2 at 8pm. Tickets £5 on the door. DJ Roy The Boy Ward, guest DJs MVPs {Morecambe Vinyl Players}, Nigel Rothwell, Derek and Garry Willis and top DJ Geoff Swallow.

If you want to learn more about Paul’s career and soul memories look out for a story soon in the nostalgia section of the paper.