Two Bold Singermen and the English Folk Revival
The Lives, Song Traditions and Legacies of Sam Larner and Harry Cox
Two Bold Singermen and the English Folk Revival explores the lives and song traditions of two of the most influential English traditional singers: Sam Larner and Harry Cox. Using extensive primary evidence, including recorded interviews with both men, the book provides the first detailed biograph... Read more
Two Bold Singermen and the English Folk Revival explores the lives and song traditions of two of the most influential English traditional singers: Sam Larner and Harry Cox. Using extensive primary evidence, including recorded interviews with both men, the book provides the first detailed biographies of these great singers, placing their singing and repertoires within the social and cultural contexts in which they lived. Larner and Cox were born within six years and 15 miles of each other, in late-nineteenth century Norfolk. Both men grew up in large, working-class, families, started work before their teens, spent their working lives in hard manual labour - Sam as a trawlerman, Harry as a farm labourer - married late and lived into their 80s. Crucially, both men were singers from an early age, amassed large repertoires of songs that are now established in the traditional canon and became key figures in the 'folk revival' of the 1950s and 60s. They directly influenced performers such as Martin Carthy, Shirley Collins, Peggy Seeger, Young Tradition and Steeleye Span, and indirectly influenced Paul Simon and Bob Dylan. Their impact extends to the current generation of performers and composers in the folk, Americana and singer/songwriter fields and even to Hollywood.
Bruce Lindsay has a PhD in history from the University of East Anglia. He is a freelance music journalist and social history researcher writing for All About Jazz and Jazz Journal. In the past he was a semiprofessional guitarist and bassist in R&B, soul and jazz bands and was a regular performer at open-mike nights and folk sessions across East Anglia. He is the author of Shellac & Swing: A Social History of the Gramophone in Britain published in 2019.