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Historic England have awarded Yorkshire based History In Action their second Everyday Heritage Grant to celebrate working class community history. This time the spotlight is on Ovenden, a sprawling estate high above the town of Halifax in Calderdale, and it’s Champion Jack Dupree, an international blues musician, who is at the heart of it all.

During the 60s, Champion Jack and his American station wagon were a familiar, if unusual,  sight around Ovenden and Halifax. Jack had met and married a local girl, Shirley, and their Ovenden home became the base from which he continued touring, working with greats such as John Lee Hooker, BB King and Eirc Clapton,. Many well known names were welcomed back to  his home after a gig to keep the party going and if they were lucky, Jack would cook up some New Orleans food.

Working with the local community, History in Action will undertake an oral history project, recording the memories of those who knew Champion Jack or who followed the music scene in the valley at the time.

A final performance will weave together memory and music in celebration of Jack’s amazing life.

If you knew Champion Jack, or heard him play, or were part of the 60s Halifax music scene yourself, then History in Action want to hear from you. Come along to our sessions at Forest Cottage, Cousin Lane, Ovenden on Tuesday March 12th from 4.30  to 6.30 pm to share your memories. 

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