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16 October 2014
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Josef Locke

One of Ireland's greatest tenors, Maurice Colgan believes a statue should be erected to him in his home town of Derry.

Josef Locke

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Contributed by Maurice Colgan in June 2004 .....

Josef Locke, subject of the movie "Hear My Song", was flown to London to see its premier which was attended by no less than Princess Diana herself. Josef was one of Ireland's greatest Tenors and at one time the highest paid entertainer in the United Kingdom.

Sadly Josef Locke died almost five years ago, but he lives on in the music world where his rendition of classic Irish ballads, and many other songs including light opera, endear him to new generations of discerning listeners. His beautiful and powerful voice enthralled audiences everywhere he went, including Carnegie Hall, New York. Composer/musician Phil Coulter graciously replied to an e-mail from yours truly in which he stated his support for my campaign for a statue of Josef Locke to be erected in Derry - the town he loved so well.

BBC radio and newspapers, north and south in Ireland, have covered the story of the campaign to honour the late and great legendary singer who, at six foot two, was an imposing figure on stage. His warm and enthusiastic versions of some of the loveliest songs ever written, both live and recorded, won the hearts of countless listeners, along with the ever present mischievous twinkle in his Irish eyes. Having been instrumental in the realisation of a statue of "Elvis at 13" in Tupelo, Mississippi, his birthplace, the writer had no reservations at all in contacting the Derry media, with a proposal for a memorial to Josef Locke.

A concert featuring Phil Coulter, and the Celtic Tenors, will take place at the Millennium Hall in Derry Northern Ireland, on Friday the 27th of August to raise the 26,000 pounds sterling needed to pay for a statue of the extraordinary entertainer. Josef Locke became very famous for his rousing interpretation of the song"Goodbye", but many of us will be traveling north to Derry to say Hello!


Update - April '05

A statue was indeed erected to Josef Locke, located outside the City Hotel on Queen's Quay in Derry. The sculpture was designed by Terry Quigley and created by Maurice Harron. It was unveiled by John Hume and Phil Coulter on 22nd March 2005.


Josef Locke statue

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