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Liverpool 1962 Folk Music Epiphany

22 Feb 21 - 08:03 AM (#4094262)
Subject: Liverpool 1962 Folk Music Epiphany
From: GUEST,Frank Sellors

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.


22 Feb 21 - 08:45 AM (#4094268)
Subject: RE: Liverpool 1962 Folk Music Epiphany
From: Dave Hanson

I grew up listening to folk music, my uncle Donald Jackson played mandolin, he was very good and very eclectic, Donalds brother Jimmy played the highland pipes, he most often played for the dancers at the local highland games at Luss in Dunbartonshire, I was always fascinated by the ability of both these men, Donald was going to teach me to play the mandolin but he died young and I didn't get the chance.

I did learn to play the mandolin [ and tenor banjo ] eventually, I will forever be grateful to both of these men for inspiring to take up playing.

Dave H