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Information: Rory and Alex McEwan

tritoneman 23 Jan 13 - 06:22 PM
GUEST,Mike Yates 23 Jan 13 - 02:46 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 22 Jan 13 - 10:44 AM
GUEST,gutcher 22 Jan 13 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,richardmcgav 22 Jan 13 - 07:04 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 15 Apr 06 - 06:04 PM
Jim McLean 15 Apr 06 - 05:47 PM
Jim McLean 15 Apr 06 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 15 Apr 06 - 04:54 PM
Jim McLean 15 Apr 06 - 04:23 PM
GUEST,dominie mauconduit 15 Apr 06 - 09:26 AM
Doctor John 17 Jun 01 - 12:11 PM
Dr John 30 Mar 99 - 12:04 PM
John Nolan 29 Mar 99 - 10:02 PM
bigJ 28 Mar 99 - 06:29 PM
Bruce O. 28 Mar 99 - 03:11 PM
Dr John 28 Mar 99 - 02:59 PM
bigJ 27 Mar 99 - 05:53 PM
Dr John 19 Mar 99 - 05:42 PM
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Subject: RE: Information: Rory and Alex McEwan
From: tritoneman
Date: 23 Jan 13 - 06:22 PM

It's great to read all this stuff about Rory and Alex McEwan. I don't have much to add but I always remember seeing them on the Tonight programme and later, when I started playing the guitar, their songs were among the first that I tried to play and sing. I've still got their 'Folksong Jubilee' album that they did with Isla Cameron and I've just listened to it for the first time in decades.....and it's still a fine album!
Graham


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Subject: RE: Rory and Alex McEwan
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 23 Jan 13 - 02:46 AM

Mention has been made of Rory's 12-string guitar. Years ago he told me that when he was in America (1955?)he called to see Leadbelly's wife, Martha, who was living in New York. Although Leadbelly had been dead for a few years, she still had his 12-sting and allowed Rory to play it. According to Rory that was what inspired him to obtain a 12-sting when he returned to England. I think that I first heard the brothers on an old 10" HMV LP, where they sang "Bonny George Campbell". The album had been recorded by Peter Kennedy and this track inspired me to begin seeking out other similar ballads.


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Subject: RE: Rory and Alex McEwan
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 22 Jan 13 - 10:44 AM

And there was an obituary in The Guardian as well:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2009/mar/06/alex-mcewan-folk-singer-scottish
Alex McEwan obituary in The Guardian


Derek


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Subject: RE: Rory and Alex McEwan
From: GUEST,gutcher
Date: 22 Jan 13 - 10:13 AM

Alex died on the 4th Dec. 2008..
Search Marchmont McEwen for a link to his comprehensive obituary in the Telegraph for 8th. Jan. 2009.
Whilst no mention is made of a connection with the brewing family of the same name it would not surprise me if this was the case as a number of these families became landed gentry:- Dewar, Usher, McLay
and Younger for example.


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Subject: RE: Rory and Alex McEwan
From: GUEST,richardmcgav
Date: 22 Jan 13 - 07:04 AM

I've just bought the two Smithsonian Folkways recordings of Rory and Alex McEwen - Scots songs beautifully sung. My eldest sister bought the original discs for my Mother many years ago which we still have but now somewhat scratchy. Are there any other recordings available?


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Subject: RE: Rory and Alex McEwan
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 15 Apr 06 - 06:04 PM

I was never under the impression that they were part of the brewing family but they were I believe related to the Royal Family. Rory was a very good artist and as noted above sadly is no longer with us. Alex seems to have disappeared from public view. I remember them as a couple of very nice guys that introduced a lot of us the music of Gary Davis among others. That and their matching blonde Gibson J-200 guitars. I believe they went to to New York and met Gary Davis in the fifties too.

On the brewing families connection, one guy that was connected to Scottish and Newcastle Breweries was Big Pete Deuchar. There was a character! Who else remembers him I wonder? A couple of his recorded titles were "Google Eye" and "Precious Lord Take My hand" or was it "Leading Me"?

Nostalgia time folks.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Rory and Alex McEwan
From: Jim McLean
Date: 15 Apr 06 - 05:47 PM

Sorry I seemed to have mistyped! I meant that I read somewhere that they weren't related to the McEwan brewary company although this was always assumed.


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Subject: RE: Rory and Alex McEwan
From: Jim McLean
Date: 15 Apr 06 - 05:44 PM

I heard they weren'y relayed to the Brewing family.


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Subject: RE: Rory and Alex McEwan
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 15 Apr 06 - 04:54 PM

Re the Jim McLean posting above, What is that supposed to mean ?

We used to book them reasonably often at the Ballads & Blues Club at the Princess Louise and I have a photograph of them playing there back in the late fifties.

Can't comment more until the above posting is clarified.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Rory and Alex McEwan
From: Jim McLean
Date: 15 Apr 06 - 04:23 PM

Check on their background. I read recently that they were not as supposed to be.


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Subject: RE: Rory and Alex McEwan
From: GUEST,dominie mauconduit
Date: 15 Apr 06 - 09:26 AM

As a young punk I was a guest of the McEwans of Marchmont Berwickshire.1976 coming up from london to a scotish new years eve,we had dinner at the Tennants after dinner a mad folk group played. Was anyone still alive there? How played?I danced with Rose Boyt,Lucian Frueds daughter, Katie McEwan was the wonderful young lady who invited me.


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Subject: RE: Rory and Alex McEwan
From: Doctor John
Date: 17 Jun 01 - 12:11 PM

I recently received FW6927 ("Great Scottish Ballads") from Smithsonian Folkways on CD and very good it is too. There's another CD of theirs available too so that's next on the list. These are only available by mail order it seems but S-F are quick off the mark these days, taking only two weeks to deliver! It's a great pity the British record companies seem to have forgotten the McEwen Brothers even if we few here have not and that we have to import their material from the USA. Dr John


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Subject: RE: Rory and Alex McEwan
From: Dr John
Date: 30 Mar 99 - 12:04 PM

Thanks all for the information. Rather forgotton people, a great pity, I think. Yes, that was the LP, bigJ, I'd dearly like a copy again. I can still hear some of the tracks in my head; guess it was stolen with a lot of other stuff.


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Subject: RE: Rory and Alex McEwan
From: John Nolan
Date: 29 Mar 99 - 10:02 PM

The McEwens'country seat was Marchmont Estates situated about eight miles north and a million In Berwickshire, as Bruce notes. Their contribution to folk music was not insignificant. I particularly like their tune for Child 215 - Willie's Fair - on Folkways FW 6927, which, as I recall they said came from their mother.


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Subject: RE: Rory and Alex McEwan
From: bigJ
Date: 28 Mar 99 - 06:29 PM

Dr, the recording that you're thinking of is 'Folksong Jubilee' EMI CLP 1220, released in 1958 (when we were just children, of course)- Rory, Alex and Isla Cameron; on one side there's Scots songs like - To the Beggin' and Mormond Braes - on the other there's American songs like Ain't it a Shame and Dupree Blues. Regards.


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Subject: RE: Rory and Alex McEwan
From: Bruce O.
Date: 28 Mar 99 - 03:11 PM

Notes on a recording, 'Scottish Ballads and Songs', recorded in 1956 by Kenneth Goldstein, and issued in 1957 as Folkways FW 930, say they were born in Berwickshire. Rory in 1932 and Alex in 1935, and they attended shcool in England.


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Subject: RE: Rory and Alex McEwan
From: Dr John
Date: 28 Mar 99 - 02:59 PM

Thanks for the information bigJ. I used to have an album of theirs which also featured Isla Cameron; now lost. I must try to obtain the S/F recordings - easier daid than done! Dr John.


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Subject: RE: Rory and Alex McEwan
From: bigJ
Date: 27 Mar 99 - 05:53 PM

Hi Dr, Rory and Alex were members of the McEwen Brewing family in Scotland, I think. As you say they appeared regularly on the 'Tonight' programme - my, aren't we old - and Rory was the presenter of the old Hullaballoo programme on TV too; he also promoted folk concerts on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. He was a magnificent botanical illustrator, I think, and also - as a man of some means - promised to underwrite the very first Keele Folk Festival (England's Newport Folk Festival) some 32/33 years ago. In the event he didn't need to because the place was packed as I recall. Unhappily Rory died getting on for 20 years ago. Alex - well I can't help.


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Subject: Rory and Alex McEwan
From: Dr John
Date: 19 Mar 99 - 05:42 PM

Whatever happened to these brothers - the elder a 12 string guitar player when they were rare - who used to appear on BBC's "Tonight" programme way back. I see they still have a couple of albums listed in the S/F catalogue. What else did they record I wonder.


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