|Angela with Kenny Everett back in the day|
Her worldwide career spanned singing, presenting, producing (Kenny Everett and Ed Stewart, among others, at Radio 1), slugging her way through BBC seventies and eighties bureaucracy, and then ushering in some of the most seismic changes to hit UK music radio, as the first person to rep Selector, the original music scheduling software, for the UK.
While people outside radio - and many inside - may well not have even heard of Angela, it's almost impossible to calculate, let alone explain, the impact she had.
We met 25 years ago, when I was head of music at BRMB/XTRA in Birmingham. She trained me, as she trained all of the first generation of music programmers in commercial radio. My thinking changed fundamentally through analysing the music I programmed, weighing each song in ways I hadn't begun to think about.
21st century radio is a different beastie. Back then, it wasn’t about efficiency or expediency, it was about thinking it through and getting it right. Angela revelled in that process. My career changed beyond all expectations as a result of her work. All of the people she trained owe her a huge debt.
Angela was infinitely patient, she loved radio people, and she adored her craft. She was a unique link between the world of hand-built music show production and our present-day world of digital libraries, playlists and music scheduling.
And she was a pioneer. But pioneers don't always get the credit they deserve. When she retired, it was the industry’s loss. But she was not honoured by the industry she served so well, something I suggested several times to colleagues at the Radio Academy. By then, a new generation had moved in at the Radio boy’s club.
But this week there has been a huge industry-wide, world-wide, conversation about Angela, as the news spread. I’ve been talking about her with friends in New York, London, Paris and Stockholm; Facebook has rippled with comments and appreciation from all sides. That kind of affection is worth more, far more, than a box-ticking and dutiful gong at an awards ceremony. And I’m sure she would have been tickled pink at the buzz she stirred up this past week.
Rest in Peace, Angela.