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Willem Jacobus Marius van Beusekom (Weesp, NL – 04 May 1947) was the son of a vet who at a very early age developed an unbridled passion for radio and music – a passion that would influence the rest of his life. 'Even as small child, I always used to stand huddled against the radio listening intently. Later on, I used to keep notes about what I had heard (...) I even used to create my own programming books from the radio guide. Then Radio Luxembourg went on air and I heard rock 'n' roll for the first time ever. Under the bedcovers, I always used to listen to the British Top 20 on my portable radio with a notepad to hand.'

Despite this passion, Willem decided that after completing his high school exams he wanted to study political and social sciences as a stepping stone to a career in government administration and in particular, the diplomatic corps. 'I had always wanted to enter politics. When I was older and started following international politics more closely, I discovered the role of diplomacy and knew without a doubt that I wanted to become a diplomat. The traditional route was to study law at Leiden University followed by diplomatic corps training. On account of my intractable left-wing convictions, I didn't want to study at Leiden, so I took political sciences at the Red Faculty in Amsterdam instead. But I was still determined to go into the diplomatic corps after that.' 

Ultimately, things worked out quite differently.
Within just two years, Willem had become an independent panel member on the KRO television programme presented by Herman Stok called Disco Duel, which was more or less a sequel to Top of Flop ['Hit or Miss']. Keen to be moving in such circles, he was soon touring the country as production assistant on the VARA programme, presented by Kees van WillemMaasdam and produced by Co de Kloet Sr., called Een opvallend vrolijk gevarieerde visite ['A Particularly Cheerfully Varied Visit']. Then came the day that Van Maasdam was unavailable and Willem van Beusekom took his place at the microphone. Within a year, he had put forward a ready-made proposal for a radio programme during one of several programming brainstorming sessions. It was called Popreconstructie ['Pop Reconstruction'] and it was to become his first own radio programme. 'Hilversum was not used to conducting any in-depth investigations, but I could deduce from listener reactions that they could be divided into two categories. One was thirty-ish and listened because of its nostalgic content. The other category was in their late teens. Anyone can play old Beatles' numbers, but these teens were curious about what came before the Beatles.' In Popreconstructie, Willem van Beusekom explored the archives and discotheques, and every week, he portrayed an important passage in pop history with the assistance of his listeners.
After having gained a certain prestige, other programmes soon followed, Elpeetuin ['LP Garden'] being one of the best known. 'I'm not your archetypal DJ... it's not something I have in my genes. I've always been the type of person that has to link music to information about music.' In 1974, after having worked on a freelance basis for five years, he was officially employed by the VARA. 

He had always wanted to get involved in government, so it was no surprise that Willem van Beusekom was soon leaving his mark within the world of committees and meetings. He had a very clear vision concerning music and radio. Within just four years of coming on board, he was promoted to group leader for popular music, which he continued to combine with programme making. In 1984, after a yearlong observation period, the VARA Board of Directors appointed him to Director of Radio. The VARA had just survived a particularly intense political and social period, and stood on the verge of draconian cost-cutting measures that were needed to save the organization from an uncertain demise. Willem van Beusekom had to make difficult decisions, 'I want to preserve our classical concerts, the VARA Matinees, come what may. These are an important contribution to Dutch culture, but then there is the question of cost. Of course, it's far cheaper to pull an LP off the shelf, but it would particularly saddening to have to say, "…we had to cut it because of the money."'