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Queen's Birthday Honours: Joe Brown among music recipients

Joe Brown

Story by Jack Foley

SINGER Joe Brown has been appointed MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list (2009).

The 68-year-old was recognised for services to music just days after receiving the outstanding contribution to music Mojo award on Thursday (June 14, 2009).

The guitarist has enjoyed a long, diverse and richly influential career and played with Johnny Cash and Gene Vincent during his early years, while influencing a generation of guitarists, including Keith Richards, Mark Knopfler and George Harrison.

He began his career in music hall before rising to stardom in the ’60s on the TV show Boy Meets Girl before enjoying solo hits including Picture of You.

He has also presented specialist radio series for BBC Radio 2 and appeared on the West End stage alongside Dame Anna Neagle. And NME magazine voted him ‘Top UK Vocal Performer’ in 1962 and 1963.

Commenting on the honour, Brown said: “I’ve been around music for as long as I can remember having bought my first guitar for £1 when I was 10, and most of my family are involved in music, too.

“To be honoured for something I’ve loved doing all my life is wonderful. I couldn’t be more thrilled and delighted.”

Classic pianist honoured

Among the other recipients for music was pianist Mitsuko Uchida, who becomes a Dame.

Born in Atami, a seaside town close to Tokyo, Japan, Uchida moved to Vienna, Austria when she was 12-years-old with her diplomat parents after her father was named the Japanese ambassador to Austria.

She subsequently enrolled at the Vienna Academy of Music to study with Richard Hauser, and later Wilhelm Kempff and Stefan Askenase.

Among her greatest achievements is being revered as an acclaimed interpreter of the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Debussy and Schoenberg.

She has also recorded all of Mozart’s piano sonatas (a project that won the Gramophone Award) and concerti – the latter with the English Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Jeffrey Tate.

The London resident was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the Birthday Honours List.

Christopher Lee knighted