Musicians & Composers
One of Nottingham's finest guitar legends, Alvin Lee was born in 1944 and started playing guitar at the age of 13. By 15 he was the core of Ten Years After. Lee is a lead guitarist, lead singer and primary songwriter. Super-stardom followed the film release in 1970 of the Woodstock Festival. In 1974 he released "In Flight", recorded live on stage in London. He went solo in the late eighties.
Named Bernard Jewry when he was born in North London, Stardust also had hits in the 1960s under the name Shane Fenton. Brought up in Nottinghamshire, he rose to fame in the 1970s with ‘My Coo Ca Choo’. This was his debut single as Alvin Stardust, with a mean and moody leather-clad persona. He became famous worldwide and was awarded the Music Week Best Male Recording Artist Award and the British Pop Awards Best Live Performance. In recent years he has turned his skills to acting on television. Stardust passed away on 23 October 2014.
Born Paul Dickinson in Worksop, he's influenced singers, musicians and fans alike as the front man of legendary band Iron Maiden. Bruce left the band in 1993 to pursue a solo career, but rejoined in 1999 for the Brave New World album and tour. Bruce is also a published author with two comic novels under his belt, a qualified pilot and a gifted fencer. As well as the Masters of Rock series on Radio 2, he now presents the Saturday Rock Show on Radio 6 Music.
Born in Nottingham in 1941, Hogwood is an English harpsichordist, musicologist, and founder and conductor of the Academy of Ancient Music. He is also a writer, editor and broadcaster with many keyboard and orchestral recordings.
Former fashion designer Corrine Drewery grew up in Beeston and Long Eaton. With no professional experience she joined Swing Out Sister as lead singer, and enjoyed a string of hits in the Eighties. Combining pop and jazz to create a smooth yet funky sound, the band's hits included Breakout and Surrender.
The soul legend Edwin Starr lived in Beeston, Nottingham and died there at the age of 61. The US born star started making records in the 1950s and was one of the first artists to be signed to the Motown record label. He was best-known for the anti-Vietnam War protest song War and the disco hit Contact.
Born in Nottingham in 1945 Elton Dean started taking piano and violin lessons at a very early age. He bought his first saxophone when he reached 18. His interest in jazz had developed through radio and records, particularly traditional English jazz. By the mid-60's, he'd started playing in London pubs, and became a professional musician. He's best known as the jazz fusion saxophonist with Soft Machine. Elton John took his first name from the influence of Elton Dean.
The Hucknall born composer, Eric Coates (1886-1957), played the violin at age six. His mother was a pianist, his father played the flute, and along with his three sisters, they formed an orchestra. He studied in Nottingham and then at the Royal Academy of Music in London. The music to the film ‘The Dambusters’ in 1954 was probably Coates’ most famous composition. Other renowned works include the London Suite and The Three Elizabeths.
The story of DJ Graeme Park mirrors the evolution of dance music and club culture itself. He worked in the Nottingham record shop Select-A-Disc in the early 80s. When the shop’s owner also opened the Garage nightclub, it was only natural he should turn to Graeme to select the discs. He became a pioneer of house music and during the summer of love became one of the biggest names on the scene - and 20 years later he's still a star.
Rob Birch/Nick Hallam (Stereo MCs)
Founder members of the Stereo MCs, Rob Birch and Nick Hallam, are from Ruddington, Nottinghamshire. Many people will be aware of distinctive tracks from their hit album 'Connected' due to sampling in adverts, films and TV jingles. After nine years out of the limelight they returned in 2001 with a new album. They won Brit Awards in 1994 with 'Connected' for Best Album and Best Band.
The band ‘Air Supply’ consists of Arnold, Nottingham born guitarist/vocalist Graham Russell and main lead vocalist, Australian Russell Hitchcock. The pair met while performing in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar in 1976 in Sydney. They formed soft-rock group "Air Supply" and became a favourite of 1980s soft-rock fans. They have several gold and platinum discs to their credit and are still touring & recording.