This week we have dipped into the archives to find out whether Huddersfield has ever produced a pop or rock star.

The question drew the most online votes in our #AskExaminer feature which allows readers to ask a question on any topic of local interest.

Our research has thrown up the names of dozens of Huddersfield-based bands or locally-born musicians, singers and songwriters.

No list would be complete without the name Peter Rodney ‘Biff’ Byford, born in Honley, raised in Skelmanthorpe and best known as lead singer of heavy metal band Saxon. He’s still rocking at the age of 65.

1980s magazine cover of Biff Byford

Another musician who has lived the rock ‘n’ roll dream is Dave Hewitt, the Huddersfield bassist who notched top-selling albums with Babe Ruth and Georgia Satellites. After living in the USA for three decades he returned to Huddersfield and settled in Honley with his American wife, Dana Ali.

Musicians Dana Ali and Dave Hewitt of Church Street, Honley
Musicians Dana Ali and Dave Hewitt of Church Street, Honley

The Sixties also brought fame for Huddersfield musician Rick Wild, lead singer with The Overlanders who had a number one hit with Michelle in 1966.

The Seventies saw the emergence in Huddersfield of The Killermeters who adopted a Mod style and made a name for themselves.

The Killermeters flyer
The Killermeters flyer

Fans of Eighties music may recall Andy Cousin (former bassist with All About Eve and The Mission) and William ‘Billy’ Currie, 66, musician and songwriter who worked with Ultravox, Gary Numan and Visage.

Fans of pop/rock group The Beautiful South may know that drummer Dave Stead was born in Huddersfield in October 1966 and don’t forget that Indie band Embrace hail from Bailiff Bridge.

Embrace

And Huddersfield-born Wendy Robinson, formerly of indie band The Popinjays, has just returned to songwriting with new band, Moth to the Flame.

Collectors of pop trivia will know that Justin Hawkins, frontman with The Darkness, is a former pupil at Huddersfield Technical College and once lived in Fartown.

Fans of X-factor will know that the show has provided a spotlight for several Huddersfield stars, among them Birkby’s Carolynne Poole, locals lads Ashford Campbell and Jordan Higo, Honley singer Scott Hallas and Deighton’s Trevor Craig.

Carolynne Poole

Picking out the biggest star from the list would not be easy, as fashion and taste have changed so much over the years.

The final word can go to a musical star of a different kind – Wallace Henry Hartley, a violinist with Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra and bandleader on the Titanic.

Wallace Hartley and the Titanic
Wallace Hartley and the Titanic

He became famous for leading the eight member band who all perished as the ship sank in 1912. For such bravery he deserves his place in history.

* Have we missed any local rock stars? Email: andrew.robinson@trinitymirror.com

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