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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Ballyholme Alex Campbell (52* d) RE: Alex Campbell 07 May 04

I had the privilege of spending a few days in the company of Alex the year before he died. He was invited to the Belfast Folk Festival as a non-playing guest and I became his "guide" or "minder" for most of the weekend, taking him around the various venues and interviewing him for radio.

He was genuinely surprised that he was recognised in Belfast (he had only ever played there once - in the early 60s) and got the chance to meet some friends from the past (the McPeakes, Maggie Barry, etc). Unfortunately he could no longer sing and by that stage and couldn't be persuaded to play guitar (Maggie Barry was looking for a guitar player for a short radio spot).

He was, however, fulsome in his praise for other performers and remained a wonderful raconteur, especially when recalling the "old" days. I told him that he needed to write a memoir but he had no interest in involving himself in such a task. Come to that, the folk scene is remarkably shy of autobiographies and biographies (Hamish Imlach, Ewan MacColl?). Is there a folk equivalent of George Melly out there? His "Owning Up" is a classic that should be a template for folkies.

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