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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 statue

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Audrey Dawson - June '08
I had a holiday in Donegal at the end of May and was just a bit disappointed on a boat trip round the bay as the background music was Daniel O'Donnell ! I found it hard to understand as Josef was about the best tenor Ireland ever had!

Maurice Colgan - June '08
A beautiful life-sized bronze statue of the famous Irish Tenor, John McCormack was recently unveiled close to the National Concert Hall in Dublin..
It depicts the singer in full song.

That's what I had in mind for Josef Locke, the Laughing Cavalier of song. What a striking figure he would make, in a very public spot!
One of these days...........? :-)

Big G - Dec '07
My Grandad saw Josef at Dudley Hippodrome in 1957 when he was still in exile from Britain - sung under assumed name of Saunders ?? He's still got great voice and made ladies cry in audience when singing Danny Boy and I'll Walk Beside You!
Got paid - Then shot off back to Ireland.

Glenn West Brom.

Ray Burnley - Feb '07
Good idea...met him and his mum at wot used to be northern counties hotel ...many yrs ago

Maurice Colgan - Feb '07
Glenn, I'm close to your opinion on this:-) There should be an Annual Tribute to Josef Locke at the Millenium Forum...if not an annual Josef Locke Festival in Derry.
Yesterday we bought The wonderful John McCormack boxed set includin 3 CDs, a DVD and Book!

The opening lines to the Documentary were.....Befor Elvis Presley, Crosby and Sinatra there was John McCormac.

I would add, and very close behind him was the more powerful Tenor Josef Locke.

Glenn, West Bromwich England - Nov '06
Josef Locke was Irelands greatest ever tenor and in my humble opinion is greater than Caruso or Pavarotti or Lanza or any other tenor that lived

I have recordings of all the great tenors and Josef Locke is the greatest of them all!

Maurice Colgan - Sep '06
Try the link above Jennifer -
Josef Locke was a little dissapointed by the actor Ned Beaty's size in "Hear My Song"...he was too small really to portray Josef who was much taller. An ex-Irish guardsman!

Jennifer Morgan - Sep '06
Having just seen the film, "Hear My Song" I was stirred beyond imaginings. And was delighted to discover that this larger than life tenor was indeed a true historical figure. Do you have any information concerning the voice that was used in the film. The credits listing his name as Vernon Medgley.

Any information you could supply would be greatly appreciated ( morganj1212 @ )

Maurice Colgan - Aug '06

Mr Michael Sheerin, yes you did fine work.

But. Back in june 2003 I did a search on the www for mention of a Joseph Locke Memorial. I Found nothing!

I Contacted the Derry Journal webpage about my proposal for a STATUE of Josef Locke, and a reporter called me about the story. Also the BBC in Foyle. The Irish News ran the story along with The belfast Telegraph in July 2003 (The first publicity for a Locke Memorial?) and The News of the World...and then you called me on the telephone.

The link above relates to my email to Mr Phil Coulter and his reported reply in the Irish News newspaper dated 24th July 2003.

I have about a dozen newspaper articles about the Josef Locke statue from 2003 and 2004. I was interviewed about the project on radio stations north and south.

Then I read about the Millenium Concert to raise funds and contacted the manager of the theatre who said he knew nothing of my efforts :-) We travelled to Derry to see Josef Locke poster and the theatre and were photographed by a Derry Journal photographer on the walls opposite the theatre.

We were not invited to the unveiling of the Locke Memorial.

But we were invited to Mississippi by the Mayor of Tupelo, Elvis's birthplace where a statue of Elvis Presley stands because of a letter I sent to the Mayor in 2001.

Funny ol' world isn't it?

Michael Sheerin - July 06
I wish to clear a point on the Locke Sculpture it was I who spent over two years getting funds for a sculpture for Josef It was I who contacted Coulter and Hume ,with the great help of pat ramsey M L A. The design you are looking at is the life of his journey , it was I who forwarded on to ( Terry Quigley ) who put it into bronze, and what a great job he did.

It was I who called on John and Phil to unveil the sculpture ( no other person )

Project Initiator Michael Sheerin
Monument Designer: Terry Quigley
Sculptor: Maurice Harron

Bernard McGrotty - June '06
I am proud to see Derry has not forgot one of the great tenors of all time and its native son. Bernard MGrotty ex Derry, now living in Canada.

Eric Smith - April '06
RE J. R. Johnson.
I was a long time friend of Cavan Malone, and his mother Hazel Malone Cavan had a son called stephen who to my knowledge still lives in Hammersmith. I would also point out that the real family name was Johnson if you would like any more information I can be contacted on smitheric4 at

Joleen - Dec '05
I think this is a quite impressive article as the writing and all is perfect. The pictures are just out of this world.

Maurice Colgan - Nov 05
Will Fyffe Jr. Lovely to see you here. Please feel free to contact me. The Ha'penny Bridge Pub here in Dublin which Josef owned and where I met him 1964 is looking well these days as it is now being redecorated. A picture of Josef will be there for all to see.

Will Fyffe Jr. - November '05
An interesting piece. I played for Jo in the fifties and again had the pleasure of meeting up (at his request)) to accompany him at the Royal Premiere of HEAR MY SONG. That was the night he also filmed THIS IS YOUR LIFE. He was rather special and a great showman.

Caitriona - May '05
It is nice to know that someone is wanting to do this for my great, great uncle.

Maurice Colgan - March '05
The beautiful Josef Locke Memorial sculpture unveiled in Derry and featured in all today's newspapers is an excellent tribute to the great tenor and showman. Initially getting the media in Ireland to take an interest in the Josef Locke tribute back in June 2003 was childsplay. I had Elvis to help me:-) See info on the link.

John Paddy Browne - 11 October 2004
I fully support a memorial statue, made by a first-rate sculptor, to be shown in an accessible and prominent city location.

Maurice Colgan - 26 July 2004
The "News Letter" prints another story about the Josef Locke statue 23/7/2004. It mentions a Josef Locke statue for Dublin....wherever did they get that idea :-) They seem to be unable to spell Maurice Colgan?
Spoke on BBC Radio Foyle last Thursday about the life-sized bronze statue of Josef Locke first proposed by yours truly July 2003.
I said "The people of Derry should have the last word on the life-sized bronze of Josef Locke."

Maurice Colgan - July 2004
Update. "The Belfast Telegraph" ran the Josef Locke monument story earlier this week.
Today talking on air to Mark Pattersom of BBC Foyle yours truly put the case for a life-sized bronze statue of the great Irish Tenor for Derry.
My suggestion was to give the people of Derry the choice. A beautiful bronze statue of Josef Locke would be an asset to any city's tourist trade. Great photo op like "Elvis at 13" in Tupelo Mississippi.

Maurice Colgan - July 2004
Maureen my wife, and yours truly were in Derry yesterday, Wednesday the 7th July, our very first visit, and we walked the famous walls in the lovely sunshine. The Irish News sent a photographer to take pics of us holding a beautiful poster of the laughing Cavalier of Song, Josef Locke, with the Millennium Forum in the background.

We left a few Josef Locke press release flyers around the city and in the Foyle-side shopping centre where they were playing Elvis Presley records at the Virgin store.

On our circuitous route via Roscommon and Donegal to Derry we stopped a night with my cousin, Noel Molloy, an ex Irish Guardsman, who was serving in London 1952 when Josef Locke sang there for his old regiment.

Our local newspaper "Fingal Independent" has an article in its current issue about Josef and the Millennium Forum Concert. It should be a sell -out, but the manager did not know of my involvement!!!

You will be happy to know Nell McCafferty, Derry woman and journalist with our "Sunday Tribune", is in favour of the Josef Locke statue idea. A monument is not quite the same!

A nephew of Josef Locke (his grandfather was Jack McLaughlin, josef's brother), living in Leighton Biuzzard UK has contacted me by e-mail. More on that later perhaps?

Gord Misek - 14 July 04
I saw the movie "Captain Boycott" just yesterday, and am responding to J.R. Johnston's request for information about Cavan Malone. According to the database, he passed away in 1982.
(The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites)
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Maurice Colgan - July 2004
JR Johnston, sorry I cannot help you. But I did see Captain Boycott.

There will be a play next Tuesday (13/07/04) on BBC 4 at 2-15 PM based on a song Josef Locke sang, and people who travel to Blackpool to see him.

J.R. Johnston - July 2004
Enjoyed the article, but wonder what info you might have on my uncle, stage name Danny Malone, who was quite prominent as an Irish Tenor in the 30's and after the war for a time. He went on tour in Australia in the mid 50's and died, I believe, in Brisbane.
Thanks for anything you might have.
Also I would like to contact his son, my cousin, Cavan Malone, who was in several or more British movies, and was a stage actor. One movie was Captain Boycott.

Maurice Colgan - July 2004
Thanks a million Stan, I totally agree. There was a small article in the Irish edition of the "News of the World" last Sunday, because of yours truly. A great pic of Josef looking like the Laughing Cavalier of Song.

Stan Sloan (Calif, USA. ex East Belfast) - 29 June 2004
I think they should build a statue of the bold Josef. He was a great singer and one of Northern Ireland's great characters. I think if he were singing today he'd be big the world over, especially in the states, and be on the public broadcasting stations here pushing his recordings and videos. Joe was one of a kind. There'll never be anyone like him.

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