Happy Birthday Martin Carthy, 80

Martin Carthy (born May 21, 1941 ) is an English folk singer and guitarist who has remained one of the most influential figures in British traditional music, inspiring contemporaries such as Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, and later artists such as Richard Thompson, since he emerged as a young musician in the early days of the folk revival.

Cambridge Folk Festival 1977

00:00  Opening cue

01:11  The Bed Making

04:24  The Worcestershire Wedding

08:32  Bruton Town

14:52  Lumps of Plumb Pudding / Three Around Three

19:18  Johnny Sands

21:45 January Man

26:12  Closing cue

Audio taken directly from the BBC Transcription Services disc:

BBC Transcription Service CN2977/S.  STEREO

Made in England 1978

BBC Transcription Services albums were limited pressings of BBC music programmes – usually live recordings – that were shipped to radio stations worldwide for broadcast purposes. Few original discs still exist as stations were instructed to destroy their copies when the broadcast license expired. This disc surfaced in Australia in 2011 and is now in my collection. It’s likely to be one of very few copies of this particular programme still in existence. A low-fi mp3 has been circulating for a few years but as my copy is of much higher quality I’m sharing it here. This is a straight rip from the vinyl with some minor noise reduction applied to eliminate the worst of the pops and crackles. 

The recording is from the 1977 Cambridge Folk Festival and was made for “Folkweave”, a BBC Radio 2 programme broadcast in the late-1970s. “Folkweave” was originally presented by Tony Capstick from Manchester but this is introduced by Toni Arthur “from the BBC in London” so it may be an edited version of the original UK broadcast prepared for the international audience. It’s possible that a longer recording of this concert existed at some point but it has yet to surface.

Eliza Carthy “My Music”

This documentary focuses on Eliza Carthy, a singer-songwriter who is bringing traditional music to a new audience. She is the daughter of legendary folk musicians Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson. Her father was awarded an MBE for services to folk music in 1998, which actually seems quite a niggardly gesture when one considers how important a figure he actually is. He was inspirational to such musicians as Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, and to later musicians such as Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and the Albion Country Band (the last two bands that included him as a member for a time).

by Gonzo Music TV
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“The Good Old Way” Episodes 1-4

Part 1 of a 4 part series about British folk music. Originally aired on BBC2 on June 13 1983. This episode focuses on The Watersons.

Part 2 of a 4 part series about British folk music. Originally aired on BBC2 on June 14 1983. This episode focuses on Alison MacMorland and Peta Webb

Part 3 of a 4 part series about British folk music. Originally aired on BBC2 on June 15 1983. This episode focuses on Martin Carthy and Ewan MacColl.

Part 4 of a 4 part series about British folk music. Originally aired on BBC2 on June 16 1983. This episode focuses on Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger.