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Blue Plaques are footprints of our history, commemorating those who excelled in their particular field
Mike Read, Trustee of the British Plaque Trust

Blue Plaques are a tradition that dates back 150 years, but there weren't many for music. All that changed on BBC Music Day, thanks to BBC local radio listeners.

For BBC Music Day 2017, all 40 BBC Local Radio stations and the Asian Network in England teamed up with the British Plaque Trust to unveil 47 historic Blue Plaques celebrating iconic musicians and venues.

Those honoured with a Blue Plaque include David Bowie (with not one but two plaques), broadcaster John Peel, the Grimethorpe Colliery Band and Delia Derbyshire who composed the Doctor Who theme tune.

Below we reveal the full list of Blue Plaques. Find out if there's a piece of music history hiding in an unexpected location near you.

Blue Plaques are footprints of our history, commemorating those who excelled in their particular field
Mike Read, Trustee of the British Plaque Trust


Mayfair's - The Gate complex, Newcastle

Mayfair Ballroom stood on this site 1961-1999 and is where the band that became Led Zeppelin made their UK debut on 4 October 1968.

Kathleen Mary Ferrier, Aspatria Parish Church, Cumbria

Internationally-famous contralto and stage, concert and recording artist, Kathleen Ferrier's first professional performance was at the Aspatria in 1937.

The Globe, The Tees

Bruce Welch and Brian Bennett wrote the iconic song Summer Holiday for Cliff Richard & The Shadows in this theatre in 1962.


Grimethorpe Colliery Band, Acorn Centre, Grimethorpe, Barnsley

The home of the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, founded in 1917 and famous for appearing in the film Brassed Off.

Angela Morley

The birthplace of Angela Morley (1924-2009), Emmy Award winning composer and conductor for radio, television and film.

The Shed, Brawby Village Hall, York

The home of The Shed, that brought the world to North Yorkshire. Artists from such countries as Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Japan, Finland and Alaska performed here.


The Spiders from Mars, Hull Paragon Station

Mick Ronson (1946-1993), Trevor Bolder (1950-2013) and Mick ‘Woody' Woodmansey, were David Bowie’s backing group in the first half of the 1970s and left this station for many musical adventures.

Sir Neville Marriner, Lincoln

Hailed as one of the world’s greatest conductors and the Founder of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Sir Neville was born here.

The Gilderdrome. Boston, Lincolnshire

Marc Bolan on stage at the Gliderdrome Image copyright Gliderdrome
Marc Bolan on stage at the Gliderdrome Image copyright Gliderdrome

Boston's premier dance venue since 1939 and where Otis Redding, Strawbs, Stevie Wonder, Elton John and T. Rex have all performed.


Alfie Boe, Marine Hall, Fleetwood

The internationally-acclaimed operatic tenor Alfie Boe gave his first public performance at the Marine Hall in 1987 at the age of 14. Watch a young Alfie in the clip above performing at Marine Hall in 1989.

Factory Records, Alan Erasmus's flat, West Didsbury

Factory Records (1978-1992) was founded here by Alan Erasmus and Tony Wilson and famously launched the careers of Joy Division, New Order and The Happy Mondays.

Eric's, Merseyside

Deaf School, Talking Heads, The Clash, The Police, Ramones, Echo and the Bunnymen, Wah and Heat all played here.


Kevin Coyne, University of Derby Art School

Kevin Coyne, the influential musician, composer, lyricist and painter studied here from 1961-1965.

Eric Pinkett, Church Langton Primary School, Leicester

The founder of the Leicestershire County School of Music and the Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra, Eric inspired generations of young musicians.

Constance Shacklock, Nottingham Theatre Royal

Constance Shacklock OBE (1913-1999), contralto with Covent Garden Opera Company Royal Academy of Music, began her career at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham with the Nottingham Operatic Society.


Delia Derbyshire, 104, Cedars Avenue, Coventry

Chris Hawkins with Pete Chambers BEM Curator Coventry Music
Chris Hawkins with Pete Chambers BEM Curator Coventry Music

The home of Delia Derbyshire (1937-2001), the BBC Radiophonic Workshop pioneer who realised Ron Grainer's Doctor Who theme and influenced the course of electronic music.

Chris Hawkins with Pete Chambers BEM Curator Coventry Music
Chris Hawkins with Pete Chambers BEM Curator Coventry Music

John Bonham, 84 Birchfield Road, Headless Cross

The birthplace of John Henry Bonham (1948-1980), the drummer with Led Zeppelin who sold over 200 million albums.

Jerry Lordan, Three Tuns, Bishop’s Castle

Jeremiah Patrick ‘Jerry’ Lordan, songwriter (1934-1995) wrote Apache and many other hits for The Shadows and Cliff Richard.

Lemmy Kilmister, Port Vale FC

A plaque celebrating the life of Ian Fraser 'Lemmy' Kilmister (1945-2015), the Motörhead founder and singer, whose song 'Ace of Spades' has been adopted by Port Vale FC.

Nick Drake, Far Leys

A plaque marking where the singer/songwriter/poet Nicholas Rodney ‘Nick’ Drake (1948-1974) grew up.


Syd Barrett, Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University

Syd's plaque is unveiled by his family
Syd's plaque is unveiled by his family

The musician, songwriter, artist and founder member of Pink Floyd. Roger Keith 'Syd' Barrett attended the School of Art.

Syd's plaque is unveiled by his family
Syd's plaque is unveiled by his family

Steve Marriott, Beehive Cottage, Moreton

Singer, songwriter and vocalist with The Small Faces and Humble Pie, Steve Marriott lived in this house 1968 - 1977.

Sandy Denny, Byfield Village Hall

Alexandra Elene MacLean ‘Sandy’ Denny 1947-1978. The Influential folk singer/songwriter with Fairport Convention played her final gig at Byfield Village Hall 1st April 1978.

Norwich Arts Centre

Opened in 1977 the Norwich Arts Centre was named 'Britain’s Best Small Venue' by the NME.

John Peel, The Village Hall in Great Finborough

John Robert Parker Ravenscroft OBE aka John Peel (1939-2004), the pioneering and influential BBC Radio 1 broadcaster who helped the careers of many artists, grew up in the village.

The Control Room, Corn Exchange, Bedford

The Glenn Miller Orchestra
The Glenn Miller Orchestra

This was one of seven 'safe' out of London venues in Bedford used by the BBC for the “Somewhere in Britain” broadcasts during WWII. 8,000 broadcasts were made from here from 1941-1945. The Glen Miller Orchestra even performed here.

The Stables, Milton Keynes

The Stables was founded by Sir John Dankworth and Dame Cleo Laine with the first performance staged on 6 February 1970.

Watford Colosseum

Built in 1938, the soundtracks for films such as The Sound of Music and Lord of the Rings were recorded here. Among the artists who have performed here are the BBC Concert Orchestra, The Who, Robbie Williams and Oasis.


Trident Studios, London

Davy Jones makes an early TV appearance

David Bowie (1947-2016) recorded many of his albums here, including Hunky Dory which marked the transition from rock to high concept and Ziggy Stardust.

Emile Ford, The Buttery, North Kensington

  • What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For

    Emile Ford

Emile Ford (1937-2016), the singer, producer and sound scientist made his performing debut at The Buttery in 1957 and became the first black British male artist to have a No.1 hit and a million-seller.


The Manish Boys, Royal Star Arcade, Maidstone

Image courtesy of Bob Solly
Image courtesy of Bob Solly

Maidstone group The Manish Boys regularly played here when it was the Royal Star Hotel Ballroom. David Bowie (1947-2016) was a member during 1964-65.

Rick Parfitt, The Square, Woking

Rick Parfitt Jnr with his dad's Plaque
Rick Parfitt Jnr with his dad's Plaque

Richard John ‘Rick’ Parfitt OBE (1948-2016); guitarist, singer, songwriter and member of Status Quo for 50 years.

Rick Parfitt Jnr with his dad's Plaque
Rick Parfitt Jnr with his dad's Plaque

ABBA wins Eurovision, The Brighton Dome

ABBA launched their career after winning the 19th Eurovision Song Contest for Sweden at the Brighton Dome on 6 April 1974. The Wombles were the interval act.


The Nerk Twins, Fox and Hounds Pub, Caversham

John Lennon and Paul McCartney played their only gig as The Nerk Twins at the Fox & Hounds on 23rd April 1960. This plaque has been awarded by BBC Radio Berkshire.

Blue Horizon Studio, Oxford

Former home of the Chipping Norton Recording Studios from 1971-1999. Status Quo, XTC, Gerry Rafferty, Duran Duran, Steve Winwood, Beverley Craven and Radiohead all recorded here.

Jimmy Kennedy, Harbour Lights, Portsmouth

The songwriter Jimmy Kennedy (1902-1984) had the idea for the song Harbour Lights while here in 1937. The song has been recorded by Elvis Presley, Bing Crosby, The Platters and over 100 other artists. He also wrote the lyrics for The Teddy Bears' Picnic.


The Bamboo Club, Bristol

The Bamboo Club (1966-1977) was the home of ska, reggae and blue beat. Created by Tony and Lalel Bullimore, Bob Marley, Ben E King, Desmond Dekker, Percy Sledge and Jimmy Cliff played here.

John Entwistle, Royal British Legion, Gloucester

Plaque to commemorate the career of John Entwistle (1944-2002), founder member and bass player with The Who.

Gaumont Theatre, Salisbury

Buddy Holly and The Crickets played the Gaumont Theatre (now a cinema) on 22nd March 1958.


Brenda Wootton, Penzance

The home of Brenda Wootton (1928-1994), Cornish poet, singer and ambassador for Cornish music and culture.

The Ham, Sidmouth Folk Week Festival

The town is the home of the internationally-renowned Sidmouth Folk Week Festival, an annual celebration of folk music, dance and song held in the first week of August since 1955.

Domenico Eusanio Santagelo, site of St Julian's Theatre, Guernsey

Domenico Eusanio Santagelo (1882-1970) composed the music for the island’s anthem Sarnia Cherie (Dear Guernsey) in 1911. He was also a founder member of the Guernsey Music Society in 1920.

John Fry Lobb, Jersey

John Fry Lobb (1914-1980) and his brother Arthur and sister Amy (Mrs Luce) formed and conducted many choirs and taught and inspired generations of Jersey children. Their choirs, notably the Jersey Festival Choir, have performed at this venue for over 60 years.


BBC Asian Network and the British Plaque Trust have also awarded three blue plaques to commemorate people or places from the past that made a significant impact on the wider musical landscape. Asian Network DJs Bobby Friction and Dipps Bhamrah formed part of an advisory panel to select the first British Asian artists ever to be honoured as part of the scheme.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Birmigham

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (October 1948 - August 1997) will be commemorated with a plaque in Birmingham around the 20th anniversary of his death on 16 August.

Haroon Shamsher, East London

Haroon Shamsher is the founder of pioneering collective Joi founded in the 80s with his brother Farook, whose father – a Bangladeshi immigrant – ran a traditional tape shop in London’s East End. The group’s initial aim was to fuse traditional Bengali music with the energetic funk attack of James Brown.

Saifullah ‘Sam’ Zaman, East London

Saifullah 'Sam' Zaman, a London-based DJ of Bengali heritage has been creating music as State Of Bengal for over two decades. He first rose to prominence off the back of a couple of tracks, Flight IC408 and Chittagong Chill on Tavlin Singh’s seminal ‘90s Asian Underground compilation Anokha. He's also gone global via a tour with Bjork and remixes for high profile artists like Massive Attack and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

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