Saturday, 17 October 2009

Ayrshire Folk (1973)

Ayrshire Folk (Deroy Records DEROY 1052, 1973)

Subtitled "Songs from the Singers of Ayr Folk Club", this collection was paid for from the receipts of the club, who enjoyed an enviable success (I have heard stories of five to six hundred people attending some nights). The artists on the record are:

Four-piece close harmony group consisting of Fiona Campbell, Ken Lorimer, Mik Shaw and Geoff McColm. They have an excellent website with histories of the band and their members:

John Clegg and Dave Strathie
John Clegg was the organiser of the Ayr Folk Club, and indeed the producer of the Ayrshire Folk LP. With Dave Strathie he sang contemporary folksongs from Tom Paxton and the like, as well as more traditional Scottish songs.

Speedy and Ian
Alec "Speedy" Simpson and Ian McKinnon. On the album they sang Kris Kristofferson's Me and Bobby McGhee alongside American classic folksong John Henry and the more contemporary There Ya Go. The pair later teamed up with Dominic Boyce to form Company Policy who were successful for a time in the 1970s, frequently appearing on television.

Pete and Heather Heywood
Heather Heywood is a great singer of traditional Scottish folksongs and Ballads, still performing and recording today. Her husband Pete Heywood has been involved in the organisation of folk events for many years, and currently edits and published The Living Tradition magazine.

Dougie Bell
I know nothing of Dougie Bell. He sings three songs of the album, two by Gerry Rafferty (Humblebums, Stealers Wheel, solo) and one by Gordon Lightfoot.

01 Speedy & Ian:-Me and Bobby McGhee
02 Pete & Heather Heywood:-Land o' the Leal
03 Dougie Bell:-Steamboat Row
04 John Clegg & Dave Strathie:-Wild Flying Dove
05 Tanninzie:-Step It Out Mary
06 Speedy & Ian:-John Henry
07 Pete & Heather Heywood:-
08 Dougie Bell:-Christian Island
09 John Clegg & Dave Strathie:-Bonnie George Campbell
10 Speedy & Ian:-Little Tin Soldier
11 Tanninzie:-Three Score and Ten
12 Pete & Heather Heywood:-Busk Busk
13 Dougie Bell:-To Each and Everyone
14 John Clegg & Dave Strathie:-There Ya Go

Front and back covers included.


  1. Hi friend,

    First I would like to congratulate you for your blog.

    Then I tried to download the Ayrshire Folk lp but it seems that the link is wrong. It leads to the "All Folk Together" lp ...

    Please can you check it and re-upload the "Ayrshire Folk" lp ?

    Thanks in advance.

    Fantasy or imnotgod or Etienne

  2. I have added a new link - can you try it and let me know if it works, please?

  3. my grand father, who happens to be sitting next to me, was a member of ayr folk club. he was mentioned in the thank you's along with my gran and still has the original copy! thanks for this, i'm downloading it as we speak.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I have a vinyl copy of this recording somewhere. John Clegg owned "The Pop Inn" record shop on Prestwick main street in the early/mid 70s, then moving to "2001 Records" in Kyle Street Ayr. I bought records from both stores as a teenager and remember John singing at the Folk Club, accompanying himself on a 12 string, though I didn't regularly attend. My recollection is that John took proceedings quite seriously and one memory that I have is of him throwing someone out for "rustling crisps" - though I expect there was some back story to the final event!

  6. I worked behind the bar at that time and remember each of these acts (and maybe the songs). The 'residents' did a great job warming up the crowd for the headliners. I remember they had a vote to decide who to invite back for the last night of the season. Billy Connolly was runner-up to the Tannahill Weavers, closely followed by Mike Whelan and Ally Bain. I cut my folk music teeth there while getting paid to do it. A la recherche de temps perdu. :-)