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Delia Derbyshire 1
Delia Derbyshire 2
Delia Derbyshire 3

Delia Ann "Million Volt Light and Sound Rave" Derbyshire invented music.

Story Edit

Derbyshire went to Cambridge in the 1950s, back when it was only 9% female and 1% working-class, and they didn't teach what she really wanted to learn because she hadn't invented it yet. She eventually got a job with the BBC and got herself assigned to the Radiophonic Workshop, which at the time was considered more of a punishment detail than a place to build your career.

Among the other things she did at Radiophonics was an electronic arrangement of a decent but somewhat generic theme song by Ron Grainer, which you may have heard in seasons 1-17 of Doctor Who. Grainer tried to get her co-composer credit, but BBC policy is that Radiophonics employees are anonymous so fuck Delia.

Besides her Radiophonics work, she co-created the first rave in 1966 (which the Beatles begged to be involved with), started one of the first electronic music bands, and wrote half of the incidental pieces in the Standard Music Library that got used on every ITV sci-fi show for the next 15 years or so.

By the mid-70s, even after Kraftwerk and Human League and Throbbing Gristle, she was still basically two decades ahead of her time, so she retired from music to do odd jobs and drink a lot until the world caught up with her. When it finally did in the late 90s, she stopped drinking and began work on a solo album and a couple albums with Peter Kember, but died of renal failure before she finished. At least Kember gave her producer credits on the albums he finished without her.

Legacy Edit

She may never have gotten legal credit or any money for the Doctor Who theme (although Moffat did at least get her name on the credits for The Day of the Doctor), but whenever people talk about it, they say "Delia Derbyshire and that Ron something guy". And according to that Ron something guy, that's exactly the way it should be.

After she died, her boyfriend went to sort out the attic and found it was crammed full of reel-to-reel tapes of stuff she'd done from the 60s to the 00s. He gave them to the BBC, who gave them to Manchester University, who couldn't figure out any of the rights issues, so nobody's allowed to publish or copy any of it. (The Beatles' contribution to the Million Volt Light and Sound Rave, "Carnival of Light", is also still unreleased because of rights issues, but Paul McCartney is still working on it.)

She'd probably rather be remembered for the first White Noise album (the later ones are mostly just David Vorhaus solo). So check it out.

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