David Bowie, Sandy Denny, John Peel, Alfie Boe and Factory Records are among the music legends honoured by BBC Local Radio and the BBC Asian Network with 47 Blue Plaques for BBC Music Day.
The initiative is part of BBC Music Day on Thursday 15 June, a UK-wide annual celebration of music that aims to unite communities and generations through their love of music. Singers, musicians, song-writers, producers and broadcasters, as well as significant locations that played a major role in musical heritage, will be commemorated with the plaques.
Those honoured with a Blue Plaque include David Bowie, broadcaster John Peel, the Grimethorpe Colliery Band and Delia Derbyshire who composed the Dr Who theme tune.
Bowie is the only artist to receive two plaques to be unveiled tomorrow, one in London and one in Kent. His backing band, The Spiders from Mars, comprising Mick Ronson, Trevor Bolder and Mick ‘Woody’ Woodmansey, David Bowie’s backing group in 1970s, will also be honoured by BBC Radio Humberside with a plaque at Hull Paragon Station.
Places getting a plaque include the Brighton venue where Abba won the Eurovision Song Contest, the Fox and Hounds in Caversham where Lennon and McCartney played their only gig as The Nerk Twins, the flat where Factory Records was founded, and the hall in Fleetwood where Alfie Boe gave his first public performance.
The final list, covering a range of musical genres from pop, to rock, folk and classical, was whittled down from BBC Local Radio listeners’ suggestions as well as those from a committee made up of music industry experts and BBC representatives.
The majority of plaques will be unveiled tomorrow in ceremonies broadcast on BBC Local Radio stations. The unveilings, will, in many cases be done by former band members, current musicians or family members of those honoured.
Controller of BBC English Regions, David Holdsworth, said: “It is hugely prestigious to receive a British Plaque Trust Blue Plaque, usually only around two are awarded each year. To mark BBC Music Day across BBC Local Radio with 47 blue plaques is a fitting way to commemorate our listeners’ passion and pride for where they live and to celebrate our musical heritage.”
BBC Asian Network and the British Plaque Trust have also awarded three blue plaques to commemorate people or places from the past that made a significant impact on the wider musical landscape. Asian Network DJs Bobby Friction and Dipps Bhamrah formed part of an advisory panel to select the first British Asian artists ever to be honoured as part of the scheme.
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan will be commemorated with a plaque in Birmingham around the 20th anniversary of his death on 16 August, while two further plaques will be installed in East London in honour of Haroon Shamsher (founder of pioneering collective Joi) and Saifullah ‘Sam’ Zaman (aka State Of Bengal).
The full list of blue plaques is as follows:
- BBC Radio Berkshire – John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who played their only gig as The Nerk Twins at the Fox and Hounds in Caversham.
- BBC Radio Bristol – The Bamboo Club, between 1966-1977, the home of ska, reggae and blue beat. Bob Marley, Ben E King, Desmond Dekker, Percy Sledge and Jimmy Cliff played here.
- BBC Radio Cambridgeshire – Roger Keith ‘Syd’ Barrett, musician, songwriter, artist and founder member of Pink Floyd.
- BBC Radio Cornwall – Brenda Wootton, Cornish poet, singer and ambassador for Cornish music and culture.
- BBC Radio Coventry – Delia Derbyshire, BBC Radiophonic Workshop pioneer who influenced the course of electronic music, and composer of the Dr Who theme tune.
- BBC Radio Cumbria – Kathleen Mary Ferrier – Internationally-famous contralto.
- BBC Radio Derby – Kevin Coyne, influential musician, composer, lyricist and painter.
- BBC Radio Devon – Sidmouth Folk Festival, the internationally-renowned festival, an annual celebration of folk music, dance and song held, was founded in the town in 1955.
- BBC Essex – Steve Marriott, singer, songwriter and vocalist with The Small Faces and Humble Pie.
- BBC Radio Gloucestershire – John Entwistle, founder member and bass player with The Who.
- BBC Radio Guernsey – Domenico Eusanio Santagelo, composed the music for the Island’s anthem Sarnia Cherie, (Dear Guernsey) in 1911 and was founder member of the Guernsey Music Society in 1920.
- BBC Hereford & Worcester – John Bonham, drummer with Led Zeppelin who sold over 200 million albums.
- BBC Radio Humberside – Spiders from Mars, Mick Ronson, Trevor Bolder and Mick ‘Woody Woodmansey, David Bowie’s backing band in 1970s.
- BBC Radio Jersey – John Lobb and Family Their choirs, notably the Jersey Festival Choir, have performed on the Island for over 60 years.
- BBC Radio Kent – David Bowie, Bowie was a member of Maidstone group The Manish Boys during 1964-65.
- BBC Radio Lancashire – Alfie Boe, internationally-acclaimed operatic tenor gave his first public performance at the Marine Hall in Fleetwood in 1987 at the age of fourteen.
- BBC Radio Leeds – Angela Morley, born Walter “Wally” Stott, Emmy Award winning composer and conductor for radio, television and film.
- BBC Radio Leicester – Eric Pinkett, founder of Leicestershire County School of Music and Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra.
- BBC Radio Lincolnshire – Sir Neville Marriner, Violinist and one of the world’s greatest conductors.
- BBC Radio Lincolnshire – The Gliderdrome. Otis Redding, Strawbs, Stevie Wonder, Elton John and T. Rex all played here.
- BBC Radio London – David Bowie, recorded his multi-million selling albums Hunky Dory and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust at Trident Studios in Soho.
- BBC Radio London – Emile Ford, singer, producer and sound scientist was the first black British male artist to have a No1 hit and a million-seller.
- BBC Radio Manchester – Factory Records (1978-1992) founded by Alan Erasmus and Tony Wilson, home to Joy Division, New Order and the Happy Mondays.
- BBC Radio Merseyside – Eric’s (1976-1980), where Deaf School, Talking Heads, The Clash, The Police, Ramones, Echo and the Bunnymen and Wah Heat all performed.
- BBC Newcastle – Mayfair Ballroom site 1961-1999, where the band that became Led Zeppelin made their UK debut.
- BBC Radio Norfolk – Norwich Arts Centre, opened in 1977 and named ‘Britain’s Best Small Venue’ by the NME.
- BBC Radio Northampton – Alexandra Elene MacLean ‘Sandy’ Denny, folk singer/songwriter with Fairport Convention.
- BBC Radio Nottingham – Constance Shacklock, contralto with Covent Garden Opera Company, Royal Academy of Music.
- BBC Radio Oxford – Chipping Norton Recording Studios, between 1971-1999 Status Quo, XTC, Gerry Rafferty, Duran Duran, Steve Winwood, Beverley Craven and Radiohead all recorded here.
- BBC Radio Sheffield – Grimethorpe Colliery Band, the world-renowned brass band founded in 1917.
- BBC Radio Shropshire –Jeremiah Patrick ‘Jerry’ Lordan, songwriter who wrote Apache, Wonderful Land, and many other hits for The Shadows, Cliff Richard (unveiled on 4 June).
- BBC Radio Solent – Harbour Lights, inspired by the sea view in 1937, Jimmy Kennedy songwriter wrote the song that’s been recorded by Elvis Presley, Bing Crosby, The Platters and over 100 other artists.
- BBC Radio Somerset – Cecil Sharp, who collected and saved thousands of British folk songs – including Blow Away the Morning Dew and Banks of Green Willow.
- BBC Radio Stoke – Ian Fraser ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister, Motörhead founder and singer, whose song Ace of Spades has been adopted by Port Vale FC.
- BBC Radio Suffolk – John Robert Parker Ravenscroft aka John Peel, pioneering and influential Radio One broadcaster.
- BBC Surrey – Richard John ‘Rick’ Parfitt, Guitarist, singer, songwriter and member of Status Quo for fifty years.
- BBC Sussex – Abba, Abba launched their career after winning the 19th Eurovision Song Contest for Sweden at Brighton Dome on 6th April 1974.
- BBC Tees – The Globe Theatre where Bruce Welch and Brian Bennett wrote the iconic song Summer Holiday in 1962.
- BBC Three Counties Radio – The Control Room, one of seven venues in Bedford used by the BBC for the Somewhere in Britain broadcasts during WW2.
- BBC Three Counties Radio – The Stables, founded by Sir John Dankworth and Dame Cleo Laine, first performance on 6 February 1970.
- BBC Three Counties Radio – Watford Colosseum, built in 1938 the soundtracks for films including The Sound of Music and Lord of the Rings.
- BBC Radio Wiltshire – Buddy Holly & the Crickets played at the Gaumont in Salisbury in 1958.
- BBC WM – Nicholas Rodney ‘Nick’ Drake, singer, songwriter and poet.
- BBC Radio York – Brawby Village Hall, the home of The Shed, where artists from around the world performed.
- Asian Network – Haroon Shamsher, founder of pioneering collective Joi.
- Asian Network – Saifullah ‘Sam’ Zaman, aka State Of Bengal.
- Asian Network – Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.