When The Music Teacher Met The King
From Phil Coulter to The Undertones and Josef Locke to Nadine Coyle, Londonderry has been the home of big name musical talent for many years.
The city, a hive of musicality, is as much associated with songs like Danny Boy and Teenage Kicks as with the musical sons and daughters it has produced.
In a special programme for BBC Radio Ulster/Foyle, one of Derry’s most famous exports Bronagh Gallagher returns to her birthplace, the UK City Of Culture 2013, to uncover the source of the city’s musical talent.
In The Town I Loved So Well Bronagh visits her beloved hometown to discover more about the city’s musical heritage and history.
She meets some of the unsung heroes who have been a constant presence on the city’s musical landscape and pays tribute to those who have helped encourage and inspire the musicians that have put the city on the worldwide stage.
As an actress, Bronagh’s breakthrough role came in the film The Commitments, in which she played singer Bernie. Since then she as appeared in many film, television and theatre productions, including movies such as Pulp Fiction, Star Wars: Episode 1 - the Phantom Menace; Sherlock Holmes and Albert Nobbs. Bronagh is also passionate about music and recently released her second album to critical acclaim.
Bronagh said: “It is always good to be back in Derry, but it was particularly special to spend a few days recording The Town I Loved So Well. It was great talking to musicians and singers, historians and music fans, people who have such knowledge of the musical heritage of the city and unique experiences to share - from the wonderful inside stories of our venues to tales of the brilliant brass bands, and an incredible work ethic that nurtured the world class musicianship in the city. I look forward greatly to sharing these stories with you!”
Amongst those interviewed on the programme are Una O'Somochain music teacher and daughter of musician James McCafferty. She tells Bronagh about how she came to appear on the same US television show as Elvis Presley.