Monday, 03 August 2020
THE recent announcement of Coventry as the UK City of Culture for 2021 was a great thrill for Vince Hill.
The veteran singer, who has lived in Shiplake for more than 30 years, is a true “Coventry kid” having been born in the Holbrooks district of the city.
Now 83, Vince began his career performing in Coventry’s working men’s clubs in the Fifties and went on to have a string of hits, including Edelweiss, which made number 2 in the singles charts 50 years ago in March.
He said: “It’s incredible for us and I’m thrilled to bits. Coventry has been a little bit overlooked for a long time. It was flattened in the Blitz in November 1941 and when it was rebuilt it could have been done in a prettier way.
“Since then it has been improved a great deal and deserves the position it now has.”
Vince visited the city last month to mark the fourth anniversary of the opening of the Coventry Music Museum.
He said: “We celebrated the City of Culture award at the same time. I’m a strong supporter and I’ve said I will help and support as much as I can.
“It’s my home town and it’s where it all started for me in the working men’s clubs. I’m extremely proud of what they have achieved.”
The initiative was founded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport following Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture in 2008 and the first holder was Derry in Northern Ireland. A new city is chosen every four years.
Vince is one of many famous names born in Coventry, including fellow musicians Frank Ifield, Hazel O’Connor, and several members of 2 Tone bands The Specials and The Selecter, actors Nigel Hawthorne, Clive Owen and Billie Whitelaw, author Lee Child, poet Philip Larkin and Frank Whittle, who invented the jet engine.
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