Since my last post there has been an overwhelming reaction to the sad death of Derek Watkins as the music business comes to terms with the loss of yet another wonderful trumpet player.
The emotional announcement on Derek’s facebook page from his wife is filled with tributes and anecdotes from many people who worked with him, met him or simply heard him. The facebook announcement reads…
“A trumpet spreading a wondrous sound
Throughout the graves of all lands.
Will drive mankind before the Throne
Death and Nature shall be astonished”
It is with such sorrow that I have to tell you that my beloved husband died at 19.50 on 22 March. He was surrounded by his family telling him how much we loved him. His two year battle against cancer is over, he is at peace but we shall miss him so very much. His courage and strength over the past years have been an inspiration to everyone he met, and his music will live on for his future generations.
DEREK ROY WATKINS – 2 MARCH 1945 – 22 MARCH 2013
The simple fact is that Derek influenced so many people in so many different ways, even those he never met. What is clear is that his legacy will live on and I’m sure his funeral will be bursting at the doors.
Derek’s death is all the more poignant as the british trumpet world has lost another one of its old guard. Maurice Murphy, Nigel Gomm, Jim Watson and Kenny Ball have all left us in such a short space of time. Not to mention the great Maurice Andre who died last year.
Facebook tributes have included…
RIP Derek, the greatest British trumpet treasure of all time, and a sterling human being.
Another of my trumpet heroes has been cruelly taken away!
Luckily for us Derek will continue to touch our lives through the music he recorded. The next time you listen to a Bond soundtrack spare a thought for him and his playing. He was the go to man if you ever needed a lead trumpet. Tony Gorruso recalls a time he was asked to play lead for Frank Sinatra…
I noted that I probably wouldn’t have been asked to play lead for Sinatra to begin with had Derek been available
Emphasising the demand that Derek was always in. He was the first name on the list for many band leaders.
Also shared on his facebook page is this clip of him playing with the Metropole Orchestra in the 80′s. Click here to listen.
My thoughts are very much with his wife Wendy and his family at this time. I’m sure they will take great comfort from the many tributes they have already received. Please take the time to visit Derek’s website and look at his cancer charity page. Get one of his Derek Watkins “Super C” (“Sarcoma Charity”) t-shirts and wear it proudly knowing that you’re contributing to a great cause.
Thank you Derek for all your wonderful memories, you won’t be forgotten.