On the tracks: Ozzy Osbourne and other Birmingham music stars honoured like never before

Ozzy Osbourne, Jeff Lynne, UB40, Jamelia, the Que Club, The Town Hall and many more Birmingham music stars and iconic venues celebrated in a groundbreaking project called Musical Routes

On the right track - Musical routes campaign sees local music stars celebrated across Birmingham rail stations

Rail passengers are about to find themselves on track to listen and learn about Birmingham’s world famous music stars while they wait for their trains.

A new community project called Musical Routes will see 30 themed maps installed at local train stations across the city, showcasing the area’s links to an artist.

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Passengers will be able to learn about Brum’s global superstars including Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath, Joan Armatrading, Duran Duran, UB40, Jamelia, Jeff Lynne and many more.

The maps will include a spotify code which you can download so that you can listen to the artist as you wait for your train - there really are some great choo choo choons!

The city’s iconic music venues are being honoured as part of the project too, which will start at the end of October, with the likes of the Que Club and Rum Runner also featured on the boards.

The project is the brainchild of Birmingham Music Archive with funding provided from West Midlands Railway’s Your Community, Your Fund community grant.

Birmingham Musical Route’s project sees the city’s global stars and venues celebrated at 30 West Midlands Railway Stations

Which stations are included and what artists are from the area?

The project is based roughly on the ten parliamentary wards of Birmingham so the stations in each ward will have the same map.

The maps have been produced by designers from city-based studio SpacePlay - you can see the full listing with each artist below.

Sutton

Sutton, Four Oaks, Wylde Green and Chester Road: Matt Everitt and The Mellotron and 1960s club The Belfry.

Matt Everitt, the drummer in the Britpop band Menswear and BBC 6 radio presenter was born in Sutton Coldfield. The Mellotron, an instrument used by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones was also created in Birmingham.

Erdington

Erdington and Gravelly Hill: Mothers club and The Moody Blues.

The Mothers club in the Erdington district was voted the best music venue in the world in the 1960s and John Peel was the resident DJ. The rock band The Moody Blues also formed in Erdington in 1964.

Perry Barr

Perry Barr and Hamstead: Stevie Winwood, Apache Indian, Ruby Turner, Grosvenor Road Studios, and Steel Pulse.

Singer-songwriter Stevie Winwood was born in Birmingham and was also a choirboy at St. John’s Church of England in Perry Barr.

Singer and reggae DJ Apache Indian and singer Ruby Turner both grew up in Handsworth, and the reggae band the Steel Pulse formed in the area.

Birmingham’s musical heritage is being celebrated with maps across 30 West Midlands Railway stations

Ladywood

Jewellery Quarter, Duddeston, Aston, Witton and Bordesley: Ozzy Osbourne/Black Sabbath, Joan Armatrading, Jamelia, the iconic venues Town Hall, Rum Runner, Barbarellas, The Crown, and the Que Club.

The legendary Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Ozbourne was born in Aston, while singer Joan Armatrading grew up in Ladywood after moving to the area from Saint Kitts and Nevis when she was three-years-old.

Singer-songwriter Jamelia was also born in Handsworth and grew up in nearby Hockley.

Hodge Hill

Small Heath, Adderley Park and Lea Hall: Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, Harvey Andrews and Justin Broaddrick.

Jeff Lynnne, a founding member of the Electric Light Orchestra grew up in Shard End while fellow band member Roy Wood hails from nearby Kitt’s Green. Solo-artist Harvey Andrews was born in Stechford, and Justin Broaddrick of the metal band Godflesh was also raised in Shard End.

Singer, multi-instrumentalist and record producer Jeff Lynne has been made an OBE for services to music.He is best known as co-founder and vocalist for the innovative rock band Electric Light Orchestra.

Edgbaston

University and Five Ways: Chris Wood Andy Cox (The Beat/Fine Young Cannibals), Stanley Myers, and the University of Birmingham Students Guild building.

Chris Wood, the founding member of the rock band Traffic was born in Quinton and grew up in Birmingham, as was The Beat guitarist Andy Cox. The renowned conductor Stanley Myers was also born in the city and attended St Edward’s School in Edgbaston.

Hall Green

Hall Green, Spring Road and Yardley Wood: UB40, Ocean Colour Scene, Christine McVie, and the Hare and Hounds music venue.

The members of the reggae and pop band UB40 all attended schools around Birmingham and formed in the city, and the group’s saxophonist Brian Travers grew up in Hall Green.

Ocean Colour Scene also played their first gig in Birmingham with the group’s members growing up in the area. Years later, the band formed their own record label Moseley Shoals. Christine Mcvie of Fleetwood Mac also studied at the Moseley School of Art, as did many musicians.

Yardley

Acocks Green, Stetchford, and Tysley: Spencer Davies, Denny Laine, Fuzzbox, and comedian Jasper Carrot.

Spencer Davis from the rock band the Spencer Davis Group was a schoolteacher in Yardley before he found fame, while Deny Lane from The Moody Blues was born in Tyseley.

Comedian Jasper Carrott was born in Acocks Green, and members of the alternative rock group Fuzzbox also hail from Acocks Green, Moseley, and Sheldon.

UB40 feat. Ali Campbell and Astro at Scarborough Open Air Theatre. Photo: Cuffe and Taylor.

Selly Oak

Selly Oak, Bournville and Kings Norton: Breedon Bar, John Taylor Rich Bitch recording studios, and Phil Lynott.

The renowned music venue Breedon Bar was situated on Pershore Road between Kings Norton and Stirchley before it closed down, as was the Rich Bitch recording studios.

Duran Duran also formed in Birmingham; the group’s bassist John Taylor was born in Solihull and grew up in Hollywood, Worcestershire. The band’s keyboardist Nick Rhodes was born in Moseley, and Roger Taylor was born in the Nechells district.

Northfield

Northfield and Longbridge: Mike Skinner, Martin Duffy, and Juice Aleem.

Mike Skinner of The Streets lived in West Heath, while Primal Scream keyboardist Martin Duffy grew up in Rednal, and rapper Juice Aleem also grew up in the area.

Find out about the Birmingham Musical Routes project here

From left to right: David Wisehall from Community Project Management Ltd, Fay Easton of West Midlands Railway, Adam Carthy of SpacePlay and Jez Collins from Birmingham Music Archive at Jewellery Quarter Station

How did the Musical Routes project come about?

Birmingham Music Archive spokesman Jez Collins said: “I’m passionate about Birmingham’s music history, heritage and culture and as a city we need to celebrate and publicise these stories of global interest.

“This project with the railways will allow us to reach hundreds of thousands of people each year, as they travel across the train network. It’s a fantastic opportunity to highlight, through truly beautiful locally-produced maps, some of Birmingham’s great musicians and venues.”

Jez said he hoped the project would be a source of pride to the communities around the stations and raise awareness about the wealth of musical talent that the city has spawned over the decades.

He added: “I want more people to know more about Birmingham and its contribution to local, national and international music history, heritage and culture. We have an incredibly diverse city and our music reflects the diversity of our communities but many of those people don’t get the recognition they should.”

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