Worthing blue plaque unveiled in honour of Worthing musician Keith Emerson

A blue plaque in honour of a Worthing musician, who was widely revered as the greatest ever rock keyboardist, has been unveiled.

The blue plaque unveiling at Worthing Assembly Hall for Keith Emerson. The Mayor Hazel Thorpe and guests
The blue plaque unveiling at Worthing Assembly Hall for Keith Emerson. The Mayor Hazel Thorpe and guests

Keith Noel Emerson, who lived from 1944 to 2016, was a keyboardist, songwriter and composer.

He first found commercial success with band the Nice, before he went on to become a founding member of Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) – an early progressive rock supergroup which became one of the best-known and iconic progressive rock bands of the era.

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Keith was raised in Worthing and retained a connection and home in the area throughout his life.

Keith Emerson's sons Aaron, right, and Damon with his son Evan, aged 7

His eldest son Aaron, wife Jo, and sons live in Shoreham and his youngest son Damon and his family live in Brighton.

A blue plaque in Keith’s honour was unveiled earlier this month infront of his family members, councillors and fans of his music.

Councillor Hazel Thorpe, who was part of the campaign to get the blue plaque installed, said Keith was an ‘incredibly talented musician.

She said the plaque was ‘an appreciation of his talent and the many talents we have here in Worthing in the arts’.

The Blue Plaque

The plaque is located on the Assembly Hall, which was the very first place Keith ever played in public when he competed in Worthing Music Festival’s piano sections as a child.

He went on to perform there with a number of bands.

When he heard that the Assembly Hall might lose its Wurlitzer Organ, he offered a signed print of one of his band’s EP covers as a donation towards saving the instrument.

He later came back to the Assembly Hall to judge the Sussex Band Awards in 2010.

Keith Emerson's son Aaron

The first anniversary of the plaque unveiling in 2021 will be marked by a concert of his music at the venue, played by the Worthing Symphony Orchestra.