An old LP cover dug out from the Concertzender archives. Scotland.
On the cover a beautiful, mainly greenish picture of the hearth of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland. On the left the castle stands proudly on Castle Rock, on the right the monument for author Sir Walter Scott. Oh the hearths of the Scottish people will beat faster when seeing this, the London cover designer must have thought. That there is something like a rivalry between the inhabitants of Ediburgh (Edinbuggers) and Glasgow (Weegies) wasn’t evidently known by the designer. And you know what? Master folk singer "Big Daddy" Alex Campbell came from Glasgow…. Anyway, the music on the LP is in any case from the whole of Scotland. Campbell brings some traditional songs that are known worldwide, like "Will ye no come back again" but also some lesser-known songs. Campbell’s family is originally from Hebridges, the islands on the west coast of Scotland. The family moved to Glasgow where Alex was born in 1925. He couldn’t spend lots of time with his family because both of his parents as well as his two sisters died of tuberculosis when he was very young. He stayed in an orphanage until his grandmother took on his care. As a teenager during the Second World War he came into contact with American soldiers who were stationed in Scotland. The songs these men sung aroused his interests and when he started as a street musician after a failed study at the Sorbonne in Paris he sung songs from Scotland but also of Leadbelly. In the fifties Campbell became one of the lights of the folk music revival that occurred in London. But he stayed true to the idea that he, besides traditional folk music from Scotland, "was allowed" to sing music from various countries. Spirituals, ditties, blues, ballads – if he liked it he sung it. Campbelll was occasionally called The Rambling Scottish Cowboy because of his love for American cowboy songs and his nomadic existence. He performed all around Europe and charmed the public with his funny stories and beautiful voice. After many wanderings he settled in Denmark. The spirits, which he sometimes loved too much, didn’t prove to be fatal, something some people feared. The throat cancer that took his voice did neither. No he died of tuberculosis in 1987. The illness took his whole family. Playlist: LP: Best Loved Songs of Bonnie Scotland; Alex Campbell; (1963) Society SOC 936 1. The Nut Brown Maiden (trad) 2. Wi’ A Hundred Pipers (trad) 3. The Skye Boat Song (trad) 4. The Bluebells of Scotland (trad) 5. Ye Banks of Scotland (trad) 6. Johnny Cope (trad) 7. Come O’er the Stream, Charlie (trad) 8. Will Ye No Come Back Again (trad) 9. The Dundee Weaver (trad) 10. Twa Heids Are Better Than Yin (trad) 11. The Piper o’ Dundee (trad) 12. The Land o’ the Leal (trad) 13. Gin I Were Where the Gadie Runs (trad) 14. The Wark o’ the Weavers (trad) 15. Leezie Lindsay (trad) 16. The Wee Cooper o’ Fife (trad) Additional material CD: Scottish Folk; diverse artiesten; (2000) World Music Network RGNET 1038 CD 17. Griogal Cridhe [Beloved Gregor]; (trad); Mac-talla 18. Tha M’Eudail is M’Aighear ‘S Mo Gradh [My Treasure, My Delight, My Love]; (trad); Christine Primrose 19. ‘S Gann Gunn Dirich Mi Chaoidh; (Norman Nicolson); Ossian CD:Scotland; diverse artists; (1995) WDR World Network 58.394 20. S’Flinch An Oidche (Wet Is the Night, Waulking Song); (trad); Catherine-Ann Macphee 21. Bonnie Jeanie(trad/Dick Gaughan) Dick Gaughan 22. Buain A Choice/Laill Leathag [Waulking Song] (trad/Sileas) Sileas In de nacht : 23. The Love of My Heart (trad/Ishbel MacAskill); Ishbel MacAskill