DUNCAN BARKES Our own patch is home to a host of real musical talent

A couple of incidents last week have left me questioning whether we properly acknowledge those who have made a significant contribution to music.

Of course, I am talking about proper musicians and singers, not the five-minute wonders created by record companies in search of a fast buck.

Robin Gibb of Bee Gees fame recently unveiled a plaque to honour singer Dusty Springfield at her former London home.

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During the event he complained that modern singers ‘just pose at singing’, and paid tribute to Dusty as being ‘probably the greatest female popular singer in the modern pop rock era’.

I suspect he is right. You’d have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by Dusty’s version of The Look of Love.

On a sadder note, last week saw the death of Big George.

Regular viewers of the TV show Have I Got News For You may recognise his name from the credits, as Big George composed its theme tune.

He was a session musician of great repute, having worked with Manilow, Chubby Checker, Billy Idol, Steve Harley, Elvis Costello, Rolf Harris and Kiki Dee to name but a few.

A lot of the music of now is vacuous drivel.

No soul, no passion; just a noise created by a computer and backed up by some good-looking boy or girl that fits the record company’s marketing criteria.

Looking in our own patch we have some proper musical talent worthy of greater recognition than many modern-day chart toppers.

As a boy, buying records throughout the 80s, the discovery that Robert Smith of The Cure now lives not far from Bognor, and therefore might be breathing the same sea air as me, is a total thrill.

Bognor Town Council should consider hosting ‘Bob Day’ in order to acknowledge that one of the best singer/songwriters of the new wave genre is a Bognorian.

I love jazz, and George Melly is a name synonymous with the genre. Melly’s talents came to public attention when he was part of Mick Mulligan’s Magnolia Jazz Band, a superb outfit whose musicianship was world class.

But when Mulligan quit jazz he moved to Pagham to run a grocery store.

My research thus far does not reveal where this was, so if you can help then I’d love to know.

A blue plaque at the spot in question must surely then be in order?

With so much manufactured pop pap passing as music these days it is important to acknowledge and celebrate our local musical heritage and connections.

On our patch we also have Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones and David Gilmour of Pink Floyd.

Oh, and let us not forget that demon of the xylophone, Sir Patrick Moore. Come on, Selsey!

Never mind the tsunami statue, let’s honour the great man with a bronze of his instrument of choice.