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Help: Alex Campbell

Related threads:
Alex Campbell (52)
Never heard of Alex Campbell (237)
Lyr Req: So Long (Alex Campbell) (5)
Alex Campbell -- advice on recordings (16)
Lyr Add: Been on the Road So Long (Alex Campbell) (6)


Sorcha 07 May 02 - 05:27 PM
GUEST,vince 07 May 02 - 05:37 PM
8_Pints 07 May 02 - 05:53 PM
harvey andrews 07 May 02 - 07:03 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 07 May 02 - 08:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 May 02 - 08:26 PM
Rick Fielding 07 May 02 - 08:38 PM
Mr Red 07 May 02 - 08:42 PM
Steve Parkes 08 May 02 - 03:32 AM
greg stephens 08 May 02 - 03:47 AM
Ian 08 May 02 - 04:13 AM
GUEST,Yirdy Machar (yirdy@mail.dk) 08 May 02 - 04:22 AM
GUEST,Moleskin Joe 08 May 02 - 04:38 AM
Dave Bryant 08 May 02 - 04:49 AM
Lanfranc 08 May 02 - 05:24 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 08 May 02 - 05:43 AM
Ringer 08 May 02 - 05:52 AM
Pete Jennings 08 May 02 - 06:28 AM
Watson 08 May 02 - 06:37 AM
McGrath of Harlow 08 May 02 - 06:40 AM
Steve Parkes 08 May 02 - 10:19 AM
McGrath of Harlow 08 May 02 - 10:57 AM
John MacKenzie 08 May 02 - 02:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 May 02 - 04:07 PM
Ballyholme 08 May 02 - 04:55 PM
Skipper Jack 08 May 02 - 05:30 PM
Ian Darby 08 May 02 - 08:44 PM
Steve Parkes 09 May 02 - 03:41 AM
Scabby Douglas 09 May 02 - 05:13 AM
John MacKenzie 09 May 02 - 02:50 PM
Ballyholme 09 May 02 - 03:00 PM
breezy 09 May 02 - 05:44 PM
Susanne (skw) 09 May 02 - 06:00 PM
greg stephens 09 May 02 - 07:15 PM
Steve Parkes 10 May 02 - 05:29 AM
Ballyholme 10 May 02 - 11:41 AM
Ian Darby 10 May 02 - 10:46 PM
GUEST,Pete MacGregor 05 Nov 02 - 04:06 PM
weerover 06 Nov 02 - 01:45 AM
Steve Parkes 06 Nov 02 - 11:23 AM
Art Thieme 06 Nov 02 - 04:59 PM
auntie wend 06 Nov 02 - 06:19 PM
Peter T. 22 Jul 06 - 02:58 PM
Gurney 23 Jul 06 - 01:50 AM
breezy 23 Jul 06 - 03:13 AM
John MacKenzie 23 Jul 06 - 04:17 AM
Betsy 23 Jul 06 - 05:14 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Jul 06 - 07:15 AM
bfdk 23 Jul 06 - 09:08 AM
bfdk 23 Jul 06 - 09:10 AM
Kevin Sheils 23 Jul 06 - 09:45 AM
Betsy 23 Jul 06 - 10:19 AM
Big Tim 23 Jul 06 - 11:17 AM
Fidjit 23 Jul 06 - 02:56 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Jul 06 - 03:33 PM
John MacKenzie 23 Jul 06 - 05:41 PM
Peter T. 23 Jul 06 - 07:33 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Jul 06 - 07:59 PM
John MacKenzie 24 Jul 06 - 04:42 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 Jul 06 - 07:38 AM
Peter T. 24 Jul 06 - 10:02 AM
Fidjit 24 Jul 06 - 11:14 AM
GUEST,Eric 25 Sep 06 - 12:42 PM
The Sandman 25 Sep 06 - 01:17 PM
Big Al Whittle 25 Sep 06 - 01:56 PM
Big Al Whittle 25 Sep 06 - 02:02 PM
Scrump 26 Sep 06 - 05:23 AM
GUEST,Eric 26 Sep 06 - 06:57 AM
Scrump 26 Sep 06 - 08:36 AM
Big Tim 04 Jun 08 - 10:00 AM
cptsnapper 04 Jun 08 - 01:30 PM
Vin2 05 Jun 08 - 08:21 AM
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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 May 02 - 05:27 PM

Alex Campbell at Google. Pick one........


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Subject: Alex Campbell
From: GUEST,vince
Date: 07 May 02 - 05:37 PM

'ow do,

Does anyone have memories of Alex? He's one of my great 'revival' heroes. I saw him two or three times at the 'Manchester Sports Guild (or MSG)' and he was just literally 'grand', commanding attention with his big boots, pig-tail and whisky/water chaser, wow! He even dared to call Jenks 'Mr Jinks'! I have a truly excellent LP on the 'Society' label called 'An Alex Campbell Folk Session' recorded at the Herts County Folk Music Jamboree run by Ken Lindsay with Hennessy, Tony McCarthy, Ian McCann and Johnny Orange....grand stuff!!


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: 8_Pints
Date: 07 May 02 - 05:53 PM

Hi Vince,

I certainly do remember seeing him at the MSG together with many others such as Hamish Imlach, and the Ian Campbell Folk Group [not all at the same time however!].

In those days Tony Capstick would frequently compere, before he moved to Barnsley and became a radio celebrity.

The stage was set up on the upper storey initially, and was then transferred to the basement (I think on the basis that if it collapsed it couldn't fall very far!).

What memories,

Bob vG


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: harvey andrews
Date: 07 May 02 - 07:03 PM

A real hero.The first full time pro folksinger I saw at the Jug O Punch in Birmingham. I toured with Alex on a CND package in 1966 as a very raw recruit. Newcastle,Edinburgh, Glasgow.At Edinburgh after a rousing finale of "We shall overcome", lead by Julie Felix I missed a step on leaving the stage and fell badly twisting my ankle. That night we stayed with a doctor who's diagnosis was probably broken ankle and who's treatment was a very, very large brandy before bed. It worked, because when I woke up I felt nothing and stepped out, only to collapse in agony. A hospital visit led to a plaster cast and then on to Glasgow. I was first turn and Alex was compere. He introduced me, came into the wings, picked me up (5 foot 11+) and carried me to my chair, propping my leg up on another one. I had to sing five songs which I did. Alex meanwhile was in the dressing room with friends and a bottle or two. I finished to polite applause and waited for Alex to come and carry me off. No Alex.I was only doing my 58th paid gig and didn't know how to talk to an audience yet and take control, so the applause died, there was a minutes silence while I stared at them and they stared at me...this is Glasgow remember!..then there were mutterings, then volumes of talking, then a slow hanclap..and I couldn't move. It was a terrifying moment. Suddenly Alex appeared to a huge cheer, picked me up as if I was a feather and carried me off to the wings. I forgave him! He was a lovable man sober and a great populariser of the folk scene. Huge personality and panache..we could do with a bit more of it today.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 07 May 02 - 08:11 PM

A real gent. I once spent the day with him and Patsy at a festival where we were both playing (separately, not together!) and we passed a crafts stand selling some lovely sterling silver necklaces. Alex disappeared briefly and returned a moment later, grinning. Then he handed Patsy a necklace which he had just bought for her. "Ahhhhh" I thought, "isn't that sweet!" Imagine my amazement when he produced ANOTHER necklace and presented it to me with a flourish. I was blown away. I still have it, and never put it on without thinking of him.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 May 02 - 08:26 PM

I don't think I could like anyone who knew Alex and didn't love him.

I knew him from Heritage in Oxford, where he was a regular guest back in the Sixties, and from clubs in London. And we had him down in Harlow for a memorable concert or two.

And when people start to talk about him and swap stories the whole place starts to warm up and relax. He has the same effect on people remembering him as he did on audiences. All kinds and sizes. He was as much at home and eager to make people enjoy themsleves, and come out of themselves and start singing if it was half a dozen people in a tiny room as if it was hundreds in a tent or thiusands in a concert.

Hell ye!


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 May 02 - 08:38 PM

Saw him in the sisties in Toronto, and my gawd, what charisma! He was friendly, let me play his J-200, and left a great impression on me. If I hadn't been a bit gutless, I would have moved to Great Britain right then and there.....still wish I had.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Mr Red
Date: 07 May 02 - 08:42 PM

He was a pop star in Holland apparently. Saw him at the Fitter's Arms in Walsall and in the Arboretum at a Bank Holiday shindig. Oh and at the Trowbridge festival when it was a village festival - jamming with Brenda Wooton.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 08 May 02 - 03:32 AM

Oh, great memories of Alex at the Fitter's! He was an old friend of Barrie Roberts, who ran the club, from way back, and he'd always play for just the door take (which must have been a good one, nevertheless).

He'd tell us about Denmark, "where the girls don't wear any brazzies!" (Bras, to you and me: then he'd go all giggly and pretend to be embarrassed, like a little boy) "And you can tell when they walk, they go 'incey-wincey, incey-wincey' [with hand gestures to convey the imagery], or 'a-wibble, a-wobble, a-wibble, a-wobble', or 'ba-doing, ba-doing'!

"I was on the stage searching in my pocket [stands up for demo: hand ferreting down trousers in a not-quite suggestive manner]: 'excuse me, ladies and gentlemen--I'm looking for my pick ... well, how the hell was I supposed to know that's what they call it in Denmark?

"Afterwards, a gril comes up to me--'a-wibble, a-wobble'--and says, 'Ooh, Mr Campbell, with picks like that, how do you make babies in Scotland?'

"So I showed her!"


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: greg stephens
Date: 08 May 02 - 03:47 AM

First time I saw Alex Campbell was in Oxford.At the end of the first set he got out this LP and said "I've forgotten my stocks, I've only got this one left, who wants to buy it?" So being youg and enthusiastic I shouted out"me" and produced the quid.Then he said"Oh hang on a minute I've just remembered where I put them" and pulled out this great box of LPs and everyone laughed and I felt a twat. In the intervl he came up to me, apologised, said "I alwys do that to set the ball rolling" and gave me two more different records as well. Which I still have and I've just put one of them on. It wa the start of a long association as I was involved in putting him on many times at variousclubs and we shared a good bit of Glenmorangie over the years. A wonderful larger than life man with a huge fund of songs jokes and love..Sadly missed.They're not making them like that any more..


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Ian
Date: 08 May 02 - 04:13 AM

I was only thinking of him on the drive in to the office this morning and wondering if any of his records had been converted to CDs. I require the words to So Long (Ive been on the road) and No regrets. Heard on one of his many visits to Stoke. I remember the same tale as Steve.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: GUEST,Yirdy Machar (yirdy@mail.dk)
Date: 08 May 02 - 04:22 AM

Alex Campbell who was my great friend and inspiration to folk singing died of tuberculosis on 3rd January 1987. Unfortunately due to a cancer of the throat he was unable to sing for the last six years of his life while living in Denmark. He spent the last few years of his life helping with the Tønder Festival here in Denmark (www.tf.dk) For more information contact me: yirdy@mail.dk


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: GUEST,Moleskin Joe
Date: 08 May 02 - 04:38 AM

It used to be said that Alex Campbell had made more records than any other person in the world. Can anyone confirm whether this is true?


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 08 May 02 - 04:49 AM

I used to organise a folk club for a local college - I wasn't a student there - just booked the guests that they wanted, MCed and sang as a resident.

One evening we had Alex booked and just before we were due to start I got a message that there was an emergency student's union meeting and could I "Keep Alex happy for an hour". The problem of course was not keeping him happy but keeping him sober. A word with the barman meant that Alex got the worst service ever in that bar ! Still he did a great gig when all the students got there.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Lanfranc
Date: 08 May 02 - 05:24 AM

Alex was one of the first folksingers I met in the early 60s, and I was proud to call him my friend. The first time I booked him was for a gig at the Wivenhoe Arts Centre near Colchester in 1967, the last time was when I was running Bishop's Stortford Folk Club in 1981.

That last time he stayed with me overnight, helped me to drink a bottle of whisky and yarned almost until the dawn. That day I "pulled a sickie" and we spent the rest of the day playing guitars, singing and reminiscing about the gigs when I had acted as his roadie and the times he had stayed in the flat at 99, Queensgate in South Kensington where I lived for a while, and where he would set up temporary base while in London.

By that time, his hands were so arthritic that he was playing mostly in open G using one finger barre chords, and we spent an hour or so arranging Carole King's "Goin' Back", which I had sung the previous evening, so he could play it. I then drove him to his next gig, where he played "Goin' Back" and the best interpretation of "Green Fields of France" I will ever hear.

We parted when the club closed, and he went off to stay with another friend and admirer.

That was the last time I ever saw him. A good friend, a marvellous performer (most of the time - I only saw him bomb twice - nobody's perfect!) and a generous encourager of other singers and musicians. The sad thing is that I only have a handful of his albums to remember him by, and some of those are almost unplayable now.

I spoke to Joe Stead recently about the album that Alex made for Joe's Sweet Folk and Country label, which was one of the last he made (and better recorded than most). Joe has since parted with the rights to the recordings, and doubted whether there were any plans to release a CD.

It is a shame that, apart from Allan Taylor's excellent Memorial Concert CD, there is nothing but fading memories and some scratchy cheap vinyl as a memorial to one of the most influential folk singers of the revival in Europe.

Hell yeahhhh!!

Alan


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 08 May 02 - 05:43 AM

I could fill pages with fond reminiscences of Alex: but then, so could anyone who knew him, even slightly. If someone is collecting all these tales for a biography, I'd be happy to get in touch and pass on anything I have that might be useful. And if nobody else is prepared to write it, then when I give up the day job, I might have a go at it myself, though I'm sure there must be others better qualified than me for the task. Alex deserves a biography. At the moment the best account of him I know is a few pages in "Dazzling Stranger", Colin Harper's book about Bert Jansch, (a good read in its own right, by the way).

One obituary of the Science Fiction writer Ted Sturgeon said: "He is survived by four billion people, all of whom were members of his family." Alex was like that. I still miss him, and it is a shame and a scandal that none of his albums are available on CD. Will somebody do something about this please - soon!

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Ringer
Date: 08 May 02 - 05:52 AM

I first saw AC in a tent in Platt Fields, Manchester, in about 1970. He and Mike Harding were both booked, and (I presume) were supposed to give separate performances, but soon were on stage together. I don't think they sang more than about 6 songs between them all afternoon, but held the audience spellbound with their impromptu repartee. A wonderful time!

The only other time I saw him perform was at a much more intimate venu: Peterborough folk club, early seventies. Quite as wonderful, but very different. I still remember his performance of The Jute-Mill Song. Oh, dear me...


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 08 May 02 - 06:28 AM

I too saw Alex at The Fitters Arms in Walsall, back in the late sixties it must have been. I was there with my old mates John Norton, John Stokes, Andy Smith, Tony Butler, Chas Kirinich and my sister Kate. (Barrie and Mike James opening as ever with "I'm a roving rambler, I'm a fitter to me trade").

I remember Alex introducing Goodnight Irene by saying, "people keep telling me this isn't a folk song, but FOLK SING IT!". Don't recall anybody arguing with him...

Years later at the Stonehouse in Bristol, my mates would wind me up by pointing out an imaginary fingerprint on my (spotless) guitar. So, comes the night Alex is playing and I get up to do my spot and after my first song there's this roar from the darkness "It's aboot tayme ye cleaned that bluidy guitar o yorn!". The whole place cracked up. When I requested "Been on the road" he said he didn't do it anymore becasue he couldn't straighten his little finger. But he did, "fer young Pete here, and his poor old guitar!".

Saw him several times after that, all over the place, and he always remembered me. What a star.

Pete


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Watson
Date: 08 May 02 - 06:37 AM

There was a time in the seventies when Alex seemed to be ubiquitous. Every club I went to, he was there - even when he hadn't been booked.
Even seeing him that many times, his performance was always fresh and exciting, and I suppose he must have repeated songs and jokes, but every night seemed different.
One thing I remember him doing several times though was to put down his guitar, adopt a serious expression and say "I'm going to sing ye a song, it's a song of such sensitivity that I want to come down among ye tae sing it". He made his way down from the stage. " It's called...
"...This is the interval and I'm going tae get to the bar before the rest of ye bastards!" Followed by a short dash to the back to get served before the rest of us could stir.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 May 02 - 06:40 AM

The memories aren't fading, but maybe the people with the memories are fading. They need to be collected.

And he was also a hell of a good interpreter of songs. I never heard him sing the Green Fields of France, but I wish I could.

I knmow there were supposed to be mases of records he made, but I don't think any came out onm CD. They tended not to be the kinds of labels that made it on to CDs. I've got three of them - Best Loved Songs of Bonnie Scotland (!), Way Out West, (both on Society), and Alex Campbell on Xtra. (And a tattered copy of his mini autobiography , "Songs and Stories of Alex Campbell.

For those who are too young to have seen Alex, think of Billy Connolly but without the smugness and the show-biz calculation.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 08 May 02 - 10:19 AM

And if the audience were lagging in the chorus, he'd stop playing and say, "This is a folk song, and if you folk don't sing, it ain't gonna work!"


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 May 02 - 10:57 AM

When other people do that it comes across as nagging. With Alex it was cajoling.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 08 May 02 - 02:48 PM

I used to call him Dad, although he wasn't that much older than me, like all of you I have spent many happy hours in his company, and listening to his stories. He told me once that he tripped on the aircraft steps when disembarking, in Denmark I think it was. He swore that the headline in the local paper next day read "Alex Campbell arrives; pissed as usual!" I met Patsy in a folk club in Glasgow last year, and she seemed well and happy. I have one little book of stories and songs, entitled "Frae Glescae Toon", I had loads more copies which Sandy Glennon, who was his agent at that time gave me to sell at my club,and they were left over. I'm afraid to say that with the passage of time they disappeared. We still have need of performers like Alex, and I for one still miss him. Make your next drink a toast; ALEX CAMPBELL, God bless him.
Sadly....Giok


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 May 02 - 04:07 PM

"Dad" - I remember that, it was an alternative way of saying "Man", and didn't indicate any imagined relationship. It was beatnik talk, in England anyway, and it went. And then it went, along with the Trad Jazz period.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Ballyholme
Date: 08 May 02 - 04:55 PM

Like many, I was entertained and influenced by Alex Campbell - but only through his records. I didn't meet him until about a year before his death, when the organizers of the Belfast Folk Festival brought him to Ireland as a "non-playing guest". His illness was well advanced by then and he could no longer sing.

I was introduced to him and we seemed to hit it off pretty well and I was lucky enough to spend most of the weekend in his company. I was doing a live radio show from the festival and he was gracious enough to appear and reminisce about his career. Margaret Barry was also playing at the festival and when she told me that she needed a guitar player to back her on the radio show, I tried to coax Alex to do the honors. Much to my surprise, he said that he felt he wasn't a very good guitar player and couldn't match up to the younger players. I told him that his early albums had a great impact on budding folk guitarists and most of my friends were much influenced by the finger-picking.

Given his colorful career, I urged him to seriously consider writing his autobiography, but I knew he would never sit down and do it. A shame, really.

I also spent some time with him in the radio studio, recalling his early days and remembering Sandy Denny, the McPeakes, Dylan, etc.

A lovely man.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Skipper Jack
Date: 08 May 02 - 05:30 PM

I remember Alex being booked at The Adelphi Folk Club, Swansea in the mid-sixties. I was MC on that occasion and just before he was due to do his first set, I called on a very scruffy chap who wanted to sing. He got up and sang a Blues number. The power and deep intensity with which he delivered the song left everybody absolutely spellbound, including Alex. He said he couldn't follow that and would I give him an extended set in the second half. This I did. I never saw the blues singer for the rest of the evening, it seemed that he left straight after his rendition.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Ian Darby
Date: 08 May 02 - 08:44 PM

The first "folk" album I bought was by Alex. It had the Wild Rover, some Tom Paxton songs, and a great version of 'The Blackbird' on it.

It was live, and (I think) called 'Alex Campbell and Friends'.

It got me started on the slippery slope, and I have to thank the man.

Are there any more talented drunken herberts we could be appreciating while they're still here instead of waiting until they've passed on to better things?

Hamish Imlach springs to mind.

To quote a line from Adrian Henri, who's worth his own thread.

"Tonight at midnight, folk songs will be sung by real folk".


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 09 May 02 - 03:41 AM

One of the regulars at the Fitter's was Ray Campbell (no relation!), a West Indian singer-songwriter; and one night when Alex was on, Ray was sitting at the front in the semi-darkness. Alex began one of his long spiels: "When I was a negro, working in a chain gang on the Clyde Delta ..." and Ray was killing himself laughing. Alex broke off and looked at Ray, than said: "it's all right for you, you're a black negro--I was a white negro!" He just brought the house down.

And the rest of the story:
"There was this little mouse, we made a pet of it, and we used to feed it crumbs and bits of our food. We used to write songs to keep our spirits up, but this little mouse, he used to write the best songs of all of us, and his songs became quite famous, till years later, his songs were being sung everywhere--even today, people sing more of his songs than anyone else's--'cause this little mouse, his name was Anony Mouse!"

Dear old Alex; the pc police would have locked him up today ...

Steve


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Scabby Douglas
Date: 09 May 02 - 05:13 AM

Ian Darby wrote:

Are there any more talented drunken herberts we could be appreciating while they're still here instead of waiting until they've passed on to better things?

Hamish Imlach springs to mind.

Unfortunately Hamish passed on on 1 January 1996.

Ewan McVicar's tribute can be found here http://www.theballadeers.com/hamish_02.htm

Cheers

Steven


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 09 May 02 - 02:50 PM

I suddenly remembered a funny incident in the Alex Campbell saga. I used to manage a record shop in Richmond in Surrey, way back when. My boss decided to have an official opening with a famous guest. So I suggested Alex, as he had just issued his one and only single, "Victoria dines alone" which sank without trace. Anyway Alex turned up to a small crowd, cut the ceremonial ribbon, and when all the big noises went, I robbed the till and bought a bottle of whisky, and made a day of it. I don't think Alex had ever been asked to do anything like that before, but he enjoyed it, had a few drinks, and got paid into the bargain, so he thought it was a great scam.....Giok


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Ballyholme
Date: 09 May 02 - 03:00 PM

Good story, Goik. Incidentally, his signature "Been On the Road" was issued as a single. My long lost copy had a black and white picture of Alex with his CND badge prominently displayed.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: breezy
Date: 09 May 02 - 05:44 PM

When I fist started going to folk clubs it was in the hope of hearing songs. It used to piss me off that he never sung that much and the black cat piddled.
He once described me as 'a picture of bloody sartorial elegance!' then left me to close the show, bxxxxr and he was sober!
So I've just booked Johnny Silvo for November, sat 16th


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 09 May 02 - 06:00 PM

I only saw Alex once, in 1976, when I didn't know much about folk music. I wasn't impressed, and during the interval I asked him, 'You're Scottish, aren't you? Then why don't you sing more Scottish songs?' I can't remember his reply, but it must have been good-humoured. Later I decided to buy an album - 'Big Daddy of Folk Music' - and when I paid him he took it, asked my name, took out the inner sleeve and autographed it. It wouldn't have occurred to me to ask him because I didn't rate autographs by people who didn't know you anyway very highly. But this album, with the words, 'Suzanne, there are lots of Scots songs on this one. Love, Alex' on the inner sleeve, is one of my treasured possessions"!
BTW, I found myself in the Taybank Hotel at Dunkeld the other day, Dougie MacLean's pub. He has the paraphernalia of his career up on the walls, among them a little shrine to Alex, who gave the Tannahill Weavers their first break when Dougie was with them. In the photo with Alex are Hamish Imlach, Iain MacKintosh and Derroll Adams. It took me a few minutes to realise that of these four, all of whom I revere, only one is still alive today.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: greg stephens
Date: 09 May 02 - 07:15 PM

It's lovely to see how people live on. The love for Alex is shining through this thread.many a more "illustrious" person in the annals of the folk revival gets all sorts of analysis, but it was the likes of Alex who .... I'm not sure how to finish my sentence but you all know what I mean.


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Subject: Two "naughty" songs
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 10 May 02 - 05:29 AM

I know exactly what you mean, Greg.

Here's a couple of those silly "rude" thing sAlex used to do; I think they're genuine kids' songs from Scotland, so they really are real folk songs!

(Tune: Brighton camp [The girl I left behind me])
Oh, the black cat piddled in the white cat's eye,
The white cat said "cor blimey!"
The black cat said, "I'm sorry sir,
I didn't know you were behind me!"

(Tune: Three blind mice [sort of])
Who farted?
Wee Jimmy
Dae it again, son.
Ah cannae.
God bless yer wee bum!

Hell, yeah!


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Ballyholme
Date: 10 May 02 - 11:41 AM

Part of the Campbell legend, of course, was his "marriage" to Peggy Seeger. It seems that when (back in the 1950s) Peggy was about to be deported from the UK, someone realised that if she married a UK citizen, she wouldn't have to go. As Ewan McColl was still married at the time, Alex (then a single guy) volunteered his services in order to enable Peggy to stay in Britain.

The ruse worked, and the rest, as they say, is history.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Ian Darby
Date: 10 May 02 - 10:46 PM

Scabby Doug,

I'm aware that Hamish has moved on. Sorry if I offended you.

Giok,

'Victoria Dines Alone' is on the album I mentioned, together with 'Hold on to me Babe'. (Another great song Tom Paxton song,) I think there was some Dick Farina stuff on there as well.

Ballyholme,

We used to play 'Been on the Road' in our Pub Rock phase during our residency at the Spinners Arms, Oldfield Road, Salford.

Now that was a gig....


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: GUEST,Pete MacGregor
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 04:06 PM

This site looks promising. Amazon say they'll have it in stock at the end of the month.
http://www.storyville-records.com/102_5704.htm


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: weerover
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 01:45 AM

I was due to sing at a university thing in the late 70s. Iain Mackintosh was the main guest and brought along his mate (Alex Campbell, no less). Iain said to the organiser ( purportedly a folk music enthusiast) that he might be able to persuade Alex to sing a couple of songs; said organiser, "Alex Campbell - is he any good?". This was just around the time I read somewhere that Alex was the most recorded performer in the world.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 11:23 AM

As I heard the story of Alex's marriage to Peggy Seeger, Peggy raised the cash and Alex promptly drank it all. When she married EM, Alex took to calling him "the bastard who stole my wife".

But never mind all that, let's stick with the happy memories.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Art Thieme
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 04:59 PM

In another thread about Alex, a year or two ago, I mentioned meeting Alex and Patsy when I played at a festival in Middletown, Connecticut that Lisa Null was behind-------1970s sometime. Was that Wessleyan University? Might've been. Anyhow, Alex was too stoned to drive on the other side of the road from what he was used to so, somehow, I was chosen to drive him around on his booze runs. It was a wild day or two. I think it was at that festival that Sandy Paton heard me-----and that led to my affiliating with Folk Legacy Records. Good memories of those good times.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: auntie wend
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 06:19 PM

Alex was a great friend of Brixton Berts who has told us many a tale about the two of them on the road,we are organising a benefit for Bert as he is very ill at the moment.so anyone who knew them both,the concert is on November 20th in Eltham ,South London at the Tudor Barn.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Peter T.
Date: 22 Jul 06 - 02:58 PM

There is now a CD: Been On The Road So Long: The Alex Campbell Anthology, from Castle Music (2005) -- (web site: www. sanctuaryrecordsgroup.co.uk).

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Gurney
Date: 23 Jul 06 - 01:50 AM

He turned up at our wedding reception, along with most of the Coventry folk scene. It was a ceilidh with Sneaks Noise.
Lovely man, but a mighty drinker when I knew him.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: breezy
Date: 23 Jul 06 - 03:13 AM

The Alex campbell mantle passed to such performers as Noel Murphy in my book.


Vin Garbutt too, there's an 18 month waiting list list to book him!,

and the squeaky clean Harvey Andrews.

look out more recently for

Anthony John Clarke


they all in part remind me of Alex because they can reach all ages and they entertain.


oh and Derek Brimstone.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 23 Jul 06 - 04:17 AM

I heard that Alex when on the same bill with Noel, was introduced as 'a sort of Scottish Noel Murphy' understandably he was somewhat put out by this.
It may be apocryphal, but if it did happen I'd have liked to have been there!
Giok


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Betsy
Date: 23 Jul 06 - 05:14 AM

Jeez the Fitters Arms gets a good mention in relation to Alex where he was VERY popular.
I met him loads of times at Folk Clubs , but the we met at Mike Billington's house in Wolverhampton one Saturday afternoon where he stayed for tea, and we had a good craic. A different person in the house,drinking non-alcoholic wine and less extrovert but still very entertaining. We shared a lot stories, he went off to do his gig and stay with the people from the club where he was playing, and I stayed at Mike Billingtons. At some point over the weekend , I played the Fitters arms ,was it a Saturday night or a Friday ? can't remember, but it was the first time I'd ever heard Barrie Roberts and his "Sunday Papers" and if THAT wasn't enough , at the end of the night to finish the evening Barrie climbed on stage,and asked me to accompany him whilst he sang " On the Road to Mandalay ".!!!!
Alex ? he knew everyone ( and I mean everyone ) in the Folk Scene both in Britain and Europe, larger than life and had a phenominal memory for people, places and occasions in the Folk world. Nothing else seemed to matter to him. He could travel anywhere, safe in the knowledge that he could always rely on friends and a decent welcome and a bed wherever he was was, and the only way THAT was achieved, was a life time dedicated to making friends and music.
A remarkable character. God Bless ya.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Jul 06 - 07:15 AM

where does the Fitters get a good mention...?

Jock, I remember an article in Melody Maker, where Alex was bridling because someone introduced him onstage as being a 'bit like Billy Connolly'.

does anyone remeber Dan Fone who used to go around with Alex a bit and the Billingtons were his agent . I saw him do a couple of gigs in the 70's, then he was on telly with Ricky Cool and the Icebergs - - obviously part of the Wolverhampton/Fighting Cocks mafia. But I used to like him - I saw him at Nuneaton, The Fitters, and and one of Andy Dwyers clubs, and now I come to think of it - Taffy Thomas's club somewhere in the depths of the Black Country.

I DO wish I'd talked to more of the people in those days and got to know them. dan was a shit hot guitar picker - played a Harmony Sovereign!


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: bfdk
Date: 23 Jul 06 - 09:08 AM

I tried to get hold of the CD "Been On The Road So Long" a couple of months ago and was told by Millstream (Tønder Festival record shop) that it's no longer available.

Now, if a CD can be had at all, they usually know how to lay their hands on it, so don't get your hopes up to high..

Best wishes,

Bente


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: bfdk
Date: 23 Jul 06 - 09:10 AM

too high, even.

Btw loved the stories told in this thread :-)


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 23 Jul 06 - 09:45 AM

"Been on the road..."Still listed on Amazon UK as being available and usually despatched within 4-6 days 8.99 UKP. Also HMV UK list it as delivered in 1-3 days at 7.99

Only released a year ago by Castle who are well established with the old Transatlantic back catalogue so I'd be surprised if it was discontinued already.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Betsy
Date: 23 Jul 06 - 10:19 AM

Wee little drummer :- the Fitters starts to get a good mention in here ...........
Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Pete Jennings - PM
Date: 08 May 02 - 06:28 AM

This thread has obviously been resurrected I've only just read it all unlike some.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Big Tim
Date: 23 Jul 06 - 11:17 AM

I got the AC CD on Amazon UK, no bother, quite recently.
It's all 60s stuff.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Fidjit
Date: 23 Jul 06 - 02:56 PM

In the sixties I was floor singing in a club in Bayswater, London. It was in a church cellar and dry. We visited the local for real drinks in the interval. I was the last one on before the big man and had left a soft orange drink on the singers stool.

"What the F*** is that" I heard. I didn't dare go back to get it.

In the seventies he came over to our club in Oslo. We were sitting together talking when a journalist fom Denmarks radio came over and shook MY hand, saying "Welcome Alex Campbell" We didn't let on for a few minutes enjoying the joke. We both had Goatie beards then. Great man sadly missed.

Chas


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Jul 06 - 03:33 PM

I remember the Been on the road so long single. It was on the jukebox at the El zamba coffe bar in Exeter 1966/1967. Spent a lot of sixpences on that.

does anyone remember that nice version of Railroad Bill in A (going to c sharp7) - he did it with Dave Laibman.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 23 Jul 06 - 05:41 PM

That would be the Holy Ground probably Chas, used to go there myself sometimes, Mike Absolom was another regular there, and I can remember sharing a drink with the lovely Packy Byrne at the pub around the corner during the break.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 Jul 06 - 07:33 PM

anyone have the chords to "Been on the Road So Long?"

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Jul 06 - 07:59 PM

Jesus! Mike Absalom and Natasha the Flasher! I haven't thought of him for a while.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 24 Jul 06 - 04:42 AM

I play Been on the Road with a dropped D tuning, and it's just a simple D G & A or A7 tune, very simple accompaniment.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Jul 06 - 07:38 AM

Unless you go the Bert Jansch route.....


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Peter T.
Date: 24 Jul 06 - 10:02 AM

Yeah, I saw the TAB for the Jantsch version, too much nuclear physics for me.....

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Fidjit
Date: 24 Jul 06 - 11:14 AM

John your right. I'm hopeless at names now. Have to sing "Happy Birthday" to myself to remember my own name. Yes of course Mike used to run the place. Well lot of water under the bridge. eh?

Chas


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: GUEST,Eric
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 12:42 PM

Man oh man... what a page to stumble upon (thanks you Marja!)

I have been listening to Alex' records (well, some of them) for a year or two now, they have totally blown me away, and I really hate the fact that I have never seen him perform. His records are great, and I hear over and over again that his live act was far better - even if there was a wee bit of booze involved at times.

I want to know more about Alex - his life, his music, his charisma - and, well, I have written a song about that.
I have put it on the internet as well, so feel free to have a listen:

http://www.xs4all.nl/~vierh00g/MP3/EricGeevers_ASongForAlexCampbell.mp3

No surprise that I also recorded his 'Been On The Road', but before you listen to that, please bear in mind that I do not think that my version can touch Alex' original. I just wanted to record it because I love it. That's all.
http://www.xs4all.nl/~vierh00g/MP3/EricGeevers_BeenOnTheRoad(AlexCampbell)1.mp3

It gets worse, though. I'm a garage punk rocker, have been so for twenty years now, and it's only recently that I am returning to my acoustic roots.
Please don't think I'm taking the piss but I have recorded Alex' song in a garage rock way - because that's in my blood as well. All I can say is, I hope he appreciates it looking down.

http://www.xs4all.nl/~vierh00g/MP3/EricGeevers_BeenOnTheRoad(AlexCampbell)2.mp3

There should be someone gathering all these wonderful stories about Alex and turn it into a website, a book, anything.
Maybe I'll launch such a website and see if it can grow with the help of people who DID know Alex.

For now, this thread has really made my day.
No... my week!

Cheers... hell yeah!


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 01:17 PM

I saw alex campbell at Dartford folk club, in the early seventies ,it was the funniest night I have ever enjoyed,.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 01:56 PM

nice version Eric - like the buzz saw guitar - what guitar/effects did you do that with?
here it is for folks to click on.
http://www.xs4all.nl/~vierh00g/MP3/EricGeevers_BeenOnTheRoad(AlexCampbell)2.mp3


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 02:02 PM

Just googled you Eric - I never realised I was talking to a star - ex bass player for Link Wray, no less.

Amazing place Mudcat!


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Scrump
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 05:23 AM

I remember seeing Alex at many gigs in London in the early 1970s, but one that stands out in my memory was at the Three Horse Shoes in Hampstead, where there was a folk club upstairs. AC was the star turn, and as usual he had a few drinks during the course of the evening. The second 'set' consisted of him talking, telling jokes, anecdotes, etc., and he never got round to singing any songs at all. He was so entertaining that none of us realised until afterwards. At that time (in the days before the likes of Billy Connolly, Mike Harding and Jasper Carrott were nationally known).

Mention of the Holy Ground, Bayswater, being in the church crypt (hence the name), reminds me that when I used to go there in the early 1970s it had moved to the room above a pub. Can anyone remember what the pub was called? I've forgotten.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: GUEST,Eric
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 06:57 AM

To weelittledrummer: The buzzsaw guitar was - I think - a DeArmond Jet Star Special, through a Vox mini amp (15W Cambridge or Pathfinder, I have both, can't remember which). Plus a bit of homemade fuzzbox for the solo :-)
Yeah, Link... another one who's no longer with us. Anyway HE was the star - not me!


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Scrump
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 08:36 AM

Oops! I meant to say "At that time (in the days before the likes of Billy Connolly, Mike Harding and Jasper Carrott were nationally known) this was unheard of in a folk club, as far as I know."

Or something like that (i.e. it was in the days before the "folk comedians" became commonplace and filled their act with stories and jokes rather than songs).


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Big Tim
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 10:00 AM

It's worth placing on record that Alex Campbell was born on 27 April 1931, NOT in 1925. I have documentary proof of this plus back-up from one of his sons. His ex-wife Patsy (who died in 2005) believed that Alex made up the story so that he could say that he had fought in WWII ! It was one of Al's little jokes like saying that he was a Catholic when in fact he was born and raised as a Free Presbyterian (St. Marks, Lancefield, Anderston, Glasgow).


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: cptsnapper
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 01:30 PM

When Bedford folk club started it had a close association with the PE teachers training college which unfortunately gradually diminished. So I was pleasantly surprised when a few years later I saw an announcement that as part of that years rag week there would be a concert held in Bedford Corn Exchange & that Alex would be the guest. I phoned the college to find out more about it only to be told that whoever I was speaking to thought that the guest was Alice Kemble. I gave the correct name & on the evening went along and being cheeky thought that I would take the guitar along and see if there was a chance of doing a spot. I was told that I could so I then asked to be directed to the compere only to be told that there wasn't one. I volunteered my services which would have been fine except for the fact that the main hall of the Corn Exchange holds something like 820 people but there were only about 75 people in. Alex was understandably not too impressed with the organisation & I found myself trying to placate him. Luckily for me a guy called Dave Valentine who knew Alex took over and soothed him. It was a shame because in the building there was a smaller room which would have been ideal.It has to be said that regardless of how he felt Alex did a tremendous job and he did return a few years later to play at the folk club.


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Subject: RE: Help: Alex Campbell
From: Vin2
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 08:21 AM

Nice thread to be revised. Was listening to Alex not so long ago (on vinyl) singing the luvly Tom Paxton song 'Victoria Dines Alone'


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