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'Tis Sixty Years Since


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Contents Acknowledgments viii Introduction 1951 and all that Eberhard Bort 1 The People's Festival The Edinburgh People's Festival, 1951-1954 Hamish Henderson 35 'Dunking their Heels in the Corn and Custard': About Alan Lomax in Scotland Ewan McVicar 45 The Singer behind the Song and the Man behind the Microphone Margaret Bennett 60 Orain Floraidh: The Songs of Flora MacNeil Peter Urpeth 75 The Scottish Folk Revival: Reflections and Perspectives The Poets and the Folk Revival - A Reflection Adam McNaughtan 83 The Survival of Folk Music in Scotland: A Personal Comment Jean Bechhofer 93 Corner House Cafe Alastair McDonald 99 Landscape with Fiddles Jim Gilchrist 102 Piping and the Folk Revival Gary West 108 'The Past is a Different Country - ' Nick Keir 111 Hold The Arts Page: Personal Reflections on Twenty-odd Years (some of them very odd) Covering Folk Music for the Press Rob Adams 116 Quick Jump To Now Norman Chalmers 124 Legacies of the Highland Traditional Music Festival 1981 to 2002 Rita Hunter and Rob Gibson 128 The Folk Revival - So Far So Good? John Barrow 132 Hamish Henderson and the Scottish Folk Revival Hamish Henderson: The Grand Old Man of Scottish Folk Culture Christopher Harvie 142 Hamish of the Songs Maurice Fleming 148 Scotland's Internationale David Stenhouse 153 At the Vigil: Hamish Henderson and the Campaign for a Scottish Parliament Ivor Birnie 157 'Literature must desire to be life, not an idea of life': Hamish Henderson's Vision 'Poetry Becomes People Tessa Ransford 159 'All Art is Collaboration' Tom Hubbard 166 Working on the Hamish Henderson Papers Steve Byrne 172 Coda The 1951 Edinburgh People's Festival Ceilidh Ewan McVicar 189 Contributors 235

About the Author

Contributors Rob Adams is a freelance journalist and music critic who has covered jazz, folk and traditional, world and Americana music for The Herald for over two decades. John Barrow is one of the co-founders of Edinburgh Folk Club and runs Stoneyport Associates, Scotland's premier folk music agency. Jean Bechhofer, originally from Shetland, is a psychologist and a stalwart of Edinburgh Folk Club. Margaret Bennett, originally from Skye, is an internationally renowned folklorist, singer and prize-winning author who worked closely with Hamish Henderson in the School of Scottish Studies. Ivor Birnie of 'Democracy for Scotland' was one of the conveners of the Vigil for a Scottish Parliament at the foot of Calton Hill, which was set up after the UK general election of 1992, and kept their vow to stay until a Scottish Parliament was agreed. Eberhard 'Paddy' Bort works in the Institute of Governance at the University of Edinburgh; he is chair of Edinburgh Folk Club. Steve Byrne was involved in the digitising of he School of Scottish Studies' archive; he is also a distinguished singer and songwriter, and the convener of the Hamish Henderson Archive Trust. Norman Chalmers is a journalist who covers acoustic music for The List magazine; as a musician, he has been involved for decades with Jock Tamson's Bairns. Maurice Fleming from Blairgowrie is a folk collector, writer and journalist and, for 27 years, worked for the Scots Magazine, ten as assistant and the rest as editor. Rob Gibson is an SN P Member of the Scottish Parliament, representing the Highlands, and used to be one of the organisers of the Highland Music Traditional Festivals. Jim Gilchrist is a features writer for the Scotsman; for which he also writes his must read Thursday 'Folk, Jazz, etc' column. Christopher Harvie, a historian by trade, was Professor for British and Irish Studies at Tubingen for 27 years, before he became an SN P Member of the Scottish Parliament (2007- 2011). Hamish Henderson (1919-2002) was Scotland's greatest folklorist, poet and song collector, songwriter, political activist and researcher at the School of Scottish Studies. Tom Hubbard is a poet and translator, an academic, currently working as a Visiting Professor at the University of Grenoble. His The Chagall Winnocks wi ither Scots poems and ballants o Europe (2011) was published by Grace Note Publications. Rita Hunter is a Feis Rois manager and was one of the organisers of the Highland Traditional Music Festival during its twenty-year lifespan. Nick Keir was, for a quarter century, a member of Scottish vocal trio The McCalmans; he also worked with 7:84 Theatre Company. Alastair McDonald, who celebrated his 70th birthday in 2011, is firmly established as Scotland's leading musical minstrel, at home in both the folk and jazz world, with a sprinkling of Music Hall for good measure. Adam McNaughtan is a former teacher and antiquarian book seller, a singer, songwriter and folklorist who has worked with the School of Scottish Studies. Ewan McVicar is a singer, songwriter, folk collector and author who has researched the 1951 Edinburgh People's Festival Ceilidh and curated the release of the album based on Alan Lomax's recording of the event. Tessa Ransford is a poet, translator, literary editor and cultural activist - she was the founding Director of the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh. David Stenhouse is a journalist and senior radio broadcaster with BB C Scotland. Peter Urpeth studied literature and philosophy at Middlesex Polytechnic. He worked as a music journalist for Time Out and is a former editor of the Stornoway Gazette. Gary West is a renowned piper and the Director of the School of Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

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