Emperor Rosko is a well known radio presenter. Born Michael Joseph Pasternak, he is the son of Hollywood film producer Joe Pasternak. He was influenced in his career choice by KYA Radio Los Angeles DJs Emperor Hudson and Wolfman Jack. Rosko’s opportunity to broadcast came whilst in the US Navy where he presented a show on an aircraft carrier. He then went to Europe and hosted sponsored programmes in France and Belgium.
He joined Radio Caroline, a pirate radio station broadcasting from a ship off the coast of England, in 1964. There, his pacey American style soon made Rosko one of the station’s best loved DJs.
As a disc jockey with Radio 1 at its launch in September 1967, Rosko initially recorded shows in France for the Midday Spin programme. On his first Midday Spin show, Rosko introduced himself like “I am the Emperor, the geeter with the heater, your leader, your groovy host from the West coast, here to clear up your skin and mess up your mind. It’ll make you feel good all over.” He highlighted the new Motown, reggae, and rock music. John Dunn, BBC news presenter who followed Rosko’s show, must have had some difficulty understanding Rosko’s ‘jive talk’ when he announced “Now here is the news – in English!”
Rosko moved to the UK in 1968, so was heard live on Radio 1. Along with fellow DJ Dave Lee Travis he launched the first mobile discothèque, the Rosko International Roadshow. Rosko is still active in Los Angeles performing as a DJ at parties under his Rosko Party Productions label.
Emperor Rosko now comes back to the coastline where it all began !