Author, music critic, artist and musician, Peter was born in Northwich, Cheshire in 1925, inheriting his musical interests from his father who was a cellist. Educated at Sir John Deane’s Grammar School, he won a scholarship to Manchester college but towards the end of the Second World War was called up to join the army serving in the Royal Armoured Corps as a tank driver, ending with the 25th Dragoons in India.Upon returning to civilian life in 1947 he continued his studies at Wadham College, Oxford, until 1950, where he was poetry editor of the university magazine Isis. He joined the Decca Record Company in 1952 as a music editor leaving in 1960 to become a freelance writer, critic and author whenhe also moved to Shepperton, Middlesex (where he still lives) with his wife Anna. He has written over forty books on jazz, ragtime and the music-hall, including The Oxford Companion to Popular Music, and, on the classical side, books on Schubert, Mozart, Offenbach and record collecting. He maintained his literary interest by becoming Chairman and Vice President of the Betjeman Society, writing several books and making films on the poet. In his life he has written some two thousand of his own poems from which he has chosen this slim selection.