Jo Wallace

Jo Wallace

Jo first got into music watching Ready Steady Go in 1964 and seeing Millie and Marvin Gaye perform. After listening to her brother’s blues LP collection including John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters, Jo found herself lured into the murky world of black music. After inheriting a carrier bag full of Motown in 1967, she began collecting in earnest and bagged a copy of ‘Club Ska ‘67’ on WIRL in 1971 for 25p. In 1973, she landed her dream job and started work in a record shop from where she was kidnapped to work in another rival record shop selling import soul & funk 45’s. Jo’s illustrious DJ career began in 1976 around the back of a pub in Chatham in a skittles alley… and it’s been downhill ever since!

In 1983, Jo started work as a goffer/co-presenter on the Rod Lucas show on BBC Radio Kent from where it was hijacked to commercial radio station, Invicta FM. After leaving the show, Miss Wallace also worked on KISS FM and made guest appearances on Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’, Richard Searling’s Jazz FM show and Stuart McOnie’s Radio 2 show ‘All Singing, All Dancing’.

From the late 80’s until 1998, Jo ran her riotous ‘Immaculate Contraption’ gay nights at Chatham’s infamous Ship public house as well as the gone but never forgotten ‘Baby Janes’ at the Hilltop Club. She also ran the ska & rocksteady section during 87/88 in the major reggae record shop, Red Records in Brixton.

Starting in 2001, Jo was Head of Paper Archiving at Universal Music where she compiled and released the Motown CDs, Soul Satisfaction 2-5, Motown Floorshakers, Motown Northern and Motown Love. During this time, she also curated ‘Island Records 50th Anniversary’ exhibition and put together the soundtracks for the Versace and Vivienne Westwood exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Career highlights are too numerous to mention but being brutal, Jo’s whittled it down to her first residencies in ‘81 at Graham Sage’s mod nights at Bogarts in Strood, DJing with Dennis Alcapone in 2016 & Big Youth in 2017 at Dreamland’s ‘Jamaican Independence Day’ celebrations, her 2015 performance at Festival No.6 doing a six hour set on the Stone Boat Stage with Ashley Beedle entitled “The History of Black Music”, closing Glastonbury after the Stones and Stevie Wonder, her residency at Snowboy’s ‘Good Foot’ nights @Madame JoJo’s, Tom Moulton remixing the Ramrock Blue release ‘Over Again’ by Mr Bird & Greg Blackman and co-hosting the small but perfectly formed London based Northern soul night ‘These Old Shoes’ for six years.

Jo continues to DJ and broadcast, most recently on a 2 hour Worldwide FM ‘Ramrock Special’, has an undiminished love affair with vinyl and runs three vinyl record labels, Ramrock, Ramrock Blue & Ramrock Red and digital house label F*CLR, as well as producing tracks with Ashley Beedle and Darren Morris as the North Street crew.