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Following much campaigning on behalf of Coventry Music Museum, Director Pete Chambers BEM is delighted to announce that a road in the city will be named in honour of local electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire.
Best remembered for creating the iconic Doctor Who theme tune, the innovative and hugely influential artist was also largely responsible for popularising electronic music, inspiring countless major acts ranging from The Beatles to The Chemical Brothers. The iconic artist, who sadly died in 2001, will give her name to Derbyshire Way, part of a new housing estate off Blackberry Lane on the site of the former Lyng Hall School playing fields in Stoke Heath.
“It's fitting as we bid for the City Of Culture 2021, that the bid does not ignore our music heritage, and that people from around the world know Delia was a Coventry legend, a woman who influenced The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Orbital, The Chemical Brothers and even Pink Floyd, indeed, she is considered by many to be the Mother of Progressive Rock,” said Chambers.
Derbyshire's enormous contribution to musical history was acknowledged with her induction into the Coventry Music Wall of Stars in 2012. Opened by her former partner Clive Blackburn last year, The Coventry Music Museum now features a permanent display dedicated to her work, and it was here that signatures were collected in support of the road naming.
"I firmly believe that if she were alive today, Delia would have triple 'D' status – she would be Dame Delia Derbyshire,” Chambers continued. “Sadly that will never happen, so it's wonderfully fitting that there is something in her native Coventry dedicated to this very special lady. Originally it was to be named Derbyshire Road, but I suggested 'Way' instead to give it a double meaning, as Delia was a genius and strong personality and really did do things in her own way.”
Councillors Linda Bigham and Gary Ridley were both key players in the success of this initiative.
“Delia Derbyshire produced sounds in the 1960s which were at least twenty years ahead of their time,” said Ridley. “A true pioneer of electronic music, she achieved this without the modern equipment that producers had in the 1980s and 1990s. Perhaps best known for the theme tune to Doctor Who, Delia will remain a national treasure and this is a fitting tribute to one of Coventry's most celebrated daughters.”
"The diversity of Coventry is matched by the diversity of our music,” added Bigham. “It is a pleasure to see Delia Derbyshire honoured here, where she was born and where electronic music flourishes.”
Next May, the museum will host a celebration of what would have been Delia's 80th Birthday. It's hoped that there will be an official ceremony at that time to mark the official naming of Derbyshire Way.
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