The inside story of Londonderry's love affair with music

Derry-Londonderry, the 2013 UK City of Culture, has historically been known as a centre of song.

Some say this is because singing and playing music was a free form of entertainment in a traditionally poor area, that the surrounding mountain air was good for the vocal chords and that high unemployment brought men together to sing on street corners.

For Mickey Bradley of The Undertones it's a combination of factors: "I think it's because we're small, we punch above our weight and we're all show-offs. But underneath it all there are always musical associations who work tirelessly throughout the year. We're very lucky to have an awful lot of people who are civic-minded in the sense of bringing on music and putting on shows for others."

Here Mickey riffs on his part in Sandie Shaw's Eurovision success, how Nat King Cole tried to poach a Derry saxophonist and what it was like growing up with Eurovision winner Dana across the garden fence.

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All images subject to copyright. Images courtesy of 'City of Music' (published by Guildhall Press, 2008), Pat McCafferty of Derry Feis, Derry City Council, Derry Visitor and Convention Bureau, Gavan Connolly, Chris Flack and Martin McKeown.

Slideshow production by Alison Finch and Peter Crutchley.


A short history of Derry-Londonderry

BBC History: Derry-Londonderry archive

Watch: Teenage Kicks - 'The Derry Anthem'

Derry-Londonderry UK City of Culture

Derry Visitor and Convention Bureau

Derry Feis

BBC Arts & Culture

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