Posthumous award for Peterborough country music star

Jon Derek, who died last October. Photo supplied
Jon Derek, who died last October. Photo supplied
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The career of a country music singer from Peterborough is resurgent after he was awarded a prestigious accolade 11 months after his death.

The 2012 British Country Music Awards on Sunday honoured Jon Derek as they inducted him into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The singer, who toured with the world with his band Country Fever in the 1960s and 70s, working with such legends as Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Dolly Parton, died last October of lung cancer at the age of 70.

His son Mark accepted the award on his behalf from co-presenters - radio personality Nicky Campbell and singer Charlie Lansborough - and spoke fondly about his father’s illustrious career.

Having spent the last 10 years of his life in retirement, Mark said that his death has sparked renewed interest in his career from the music industry.

He said: “The last year since he passed away have been just mad, he has become popular again.

“There’s a record company interested in bringing out the best of his music on a CD and it just goes to showsthat his name has not been forgotten.

“So many people came up to me at the awards - promoters, managers, everybody involved in country music - telling me he was the best.”

Jon lived in Peterborough for the 23 years prior to his death and “semi-retired” from the industry in 1991.

However, he would continue to perform in pubs and clubs in the city for some time after this date.

The posthumous award he received is presented for excellence in the craft, for services to the advancement of country music in Britain and in recognition of outstanding contribution to the industry.

Mark added: “There was an artist at the awards who told me he would like to record some of dad’s original material.

“It’s great that his legacy is living on.

“The Derek name carries weight.”

More about Jon Derek’s induction into the British Country Music Hall Of Fame