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2004-06-22 Celtic Tenors to honour Josef Locke

from the SligoWeekender


The Celtic Tenors will honour one of Ireland's finest tenors at a special concert in Derry in August. The trio, which includes Sligo tenor and Sligo Weekender columnist James Nelson, will be joined by Phil Coulter to honour Josef Locke. The Derry-city born tenor had a wonderful career in Ireland and the UK. He was once the highest paid entertainer in the UK, capable of filling concert halls the length and breadth of the land. Larger than life, Josef was blessed with one of the most beautiful and powerful voices of the century. The movie "Hear My Song" brought Josef much deserved attention in the twilight of his life. A fellow Derry resident, Maurice Colgan, had been a fan of Josef since his childhood and felt there was little or no recognition of Josef's achievements in his native city. "The sound of his voice was part of my boyhood," said Maurice. "Little did I know then how one day I would meet the great man in his establishment on the Quays in Dublin city where he kindly signed his autograph. "Later I came to really appreciate his marvellous voice and played his early albums in our home where my wife Maureen and children John and Tracey also came to admire this great singer too. "From July to August 2003 the media in the North and South of Ireland took up the story of my suggestion for a statue of Josef Locke. "BBC Radio called for an interview, and newspapers such as the Derry Journal, covered the story. The Irish News backed the idea in an editorial." Composer Phil Coulter gave the idea his blessing soon afterwards and his stature as an entertainer gave the statue idea further momentum in the press. Adrian Dunbar the actor has since come onboard and Phil Coulter and the Celtic Tenors are to perform a Benefit Concert to raise money for a statue of Josef at a cost of £26,000. Finalised details of the concert have yet to be announced but once they are made available they will be published on these pages.