Mudcat Café message #4094262 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #169411   Message #4094262
Posted By: GUEST,Frank Sellors
22-Feb-21 - 08:03 AM
Thread Name: Liverpool 1962 Folk Music Epiphany
Subject: Liverpool 1962 Folk Music Epiphany
Liverpool 1962 Folk Epiphany

Well, I usually say my folk epiphany happened in 1960 when I tuned into a radio show on BBC Radio featuring Pete Seeger, but there was another epiphany in the summer of 1962 involved hearing folk music live...on a beach.
    Ainsdale is eighteen miles or so north of Liverpool and has a beach and huge collection of sand dunes and sixty years ago was very popular for a day trip to the seaside. Well, in summer of ‘62 I went for a walk along beach, which was crowded with day trippers, when some live music caught my ear. I traced the sound to a group of half a dozen or so young people. I would have been eighteen back then and I got the feeling that they were maybe a couple of year’s younger. Two of the lads were playing guitar and singing. Anyway, I sat a distance and listened to them for a while, and I must admit I was entranced with the whole idea of making music outdoors on a lovely day I can only remember one song that they did and that was The Highwaymen’s version of “The Gypsy Rover ( The Whistling Gypsy)”. Now, the recording of that song was a bit obscure ( it only reached 41 in the UK charts in late ’61 ) and because of that I thought that the lads must have an interest in folk music rather than just having been casual music fans.
    After listening to them for a while, I went over and had a chat, and at one point I was asked if I played the guitar. I told them that I didn’t but that there was a guitar knocking around my house ( it had belonged to a uncle who lived with us for a while ). One of lads said he was surprised that I was obviously heavily into music but hadn’t bothered to learn the guitar. I took that criticism to heart, and on getting back home that day, I started to “mess” around with the guitar, which, a year or so later, led me into the whole folk music club experience.
    Now, over the years, I have wondered what happened to those lads. Did they get involved in the Merseyside folk club scene which really took off around that time; indeed, when I first starting going to folk clubs, I did look out for the lads from the beach, but of course the beach encounter had taken place a few years previous, and I’d only been with them for 15 mins. It also occurred to me that maybe they became part of the burgeoning Merseybeat rock scene ( in the summer of ‘62, The Beatles first single “Love Mr Do” was months away from being released.)
    Anyway, I don’t suppose there’s any chance that I will be able to track them down and thank them for being the catalyst for me finding my to way into the Merseyside folk music scene and starting a - getting on for - 60 yrs love affair with folk music.
      P.S. Nine years after my beach encounter, Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span performed a concert a few hundred yards away ( amongst the sand dunes) from where I had my 1962 “epiphany.