Derek Johnson, who worked on NME from 1957-86, has passed away aged 81. Johnson began contributing to NME shortly after its launch in 1952 and joined the staff full-time in 1957, leaving his post as programming director at Radio Luxembourg to do so.
He worked as features editor and news editor, writing prolifically for all sections of the paper. In 1960 he flew to Germany to interview Elvis Presley. The two men became friends and he interviewed Presley on several further occasions, even staying, on the singer's invitation, at Graceland.
For many years he wrote the paper's singles reviews, rounding up each week's new releases in a crisp, descriptive style, and had an uncanny ability to spot a hit.
He was born on January 17, 1928 in London and died on April 22 in Exeter.
Source: NME / Updated: Apr 27, 2009