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Jean Redpath Biography

24 Apr 19 - 08:47 PM (#3989092)
Subject: Jean Redpath Biography
From: GUEST,Dom

Hi everyone,

By chance as is usually the case I stumbled upon Jean Redpath's Book.

Giving Voice to Traditional Songs Jean Redpath's Autobiography, 1937–2014. As told to Mark Brownrigg

Acclaimed Scottish singer Jean Redpath (1937–2014) is best remembered for her impressive repertoire of ancient ballads, Robert Burns songs, and contemporary folk music, recorded and performed over a career spanning some fifty years, from the 1960s until her death in 2014. In Giving Voice to Traditional Songs, Mark Brownrigg helps capture Redpath’s idiosyncratic and often humorous voice through his interviews with her during the last eighteen months of her life. Here Redpath reflects on her humble beginnings, her Scottish heritage, her life’s journey, and her mission of preserving, performing, and teaching traditional song.

25 Apr 19 - 03:27 PM (#3989252)
Subject: RE: Jean Redpath Biography
From: GUEST,ottery

Thanks for posting this. I for one would be interested in learning more about Redpath - she recorded, amongst many other things, the only version of Green Grow the Rashes that gets the song right, IMHO. And she did some beautiful work with Alasdair Fraser.

28 Apr 19 - 12:25 PM (#3989734)
Subject: RE: Jean Redpath Biography
From: lefthanded guitar

Glad to be reminded of this bio . There is a wonderful video on YouTube of Jean singing 'How Can I Keep From Singing?' What a beautiful voice, and spirit, this lady had.

24 May 19 - 11:36 AM (#3993743)
Subject: RE: Jean Redpath Biography
From: CupOfTea

Glad to know this book exists. She was as lovely in person as she appeared on the stage. I had the honor of being part of a group who brought her to Cleveland, possibly the only time, unless she'd been there prior to 1985. She had a wonderful way of making you want to embrace traditional song as much as she did. (Worked on me)

Joanne in Cleveland

16 Jun 20 - 10:42 AM (#4059538)
Subject: RE: Jean Redpath Biography
From: GUEST,ottery

I've been listening to Jean Redpath a lot in lockdown. What a voice! It's always going to be huge regret to me that I never saw her live.

16 Jun 20 - 02:35 PM (#4059576)
Subject: RE: Jean Redpath Biography
From: Bill D

I did see her live 4-5 times, as she came to the FSGW (Greater Wash. DC) folk group several times.
Then in 1978, she got a 3 day gig at a local pub/restaurant, the Red Fox Inn. I was there the 1st night... front row center. Wonderful, of course. The 2nd night I was back, front row center. Jean was introduced, came out on stage, stood at the mic, her guitar resting lightly on the floor, and looked down.... her eyebrows twitched and she said to me, "Well, you're a real glutton for punishment, aren't you?"

   I asked for, and received, a live performance of "The Twa Corbies", which I had heard on an LP years before.

On another occasion, she gave a full concert for our group. The 1st half was lovely and there was the usual 15 minute break.. and then the lights were flickered and the audience pretended to filter back in and settle down. As they were scuffling and settling, Jean, without being re-introduced, walked out on stage and up to the mic and began "Jock O'Hazledean"- hitting that first high note with...ummm... gusto...

   "Why weep ye by the tide, la-dee? Why weep ye by the tide?"

There was a stunned hush as the audience came to sudden attention.

Jean was not only a consummate singer, she controlled the pace, often slipping from one song to another by beginning to explain and comment as she finished without allowing applause. I saw her get thru 3-4 song before providing a sensible place for audience response.
   I 'think' I have almost everything she recorded...

16 Jun 20 - 03:15 PM (#4059583)
Subject: RE: Jean Redpath Biography
From: GUEST,ottery

Thanks for the wonderful description - I almost felt I was there!

Her delivery was so perfect - she's recorded the only version of Green Grow the Rashes that I really rate. I've been listening to her Bonnie Lass o Fyvie every morning for a week.

16 Jun 20 - 03:57 PM (#4059589)
Subject: RE: Jean Redpath Biography
From: GUEST,DonMeixner

My favorite Jean Redpath story(s) is(are) hearing her say at a concert in Syracuse, NY. 1980ish maybe. "I use guitar more as visual aid." and "I have a too highly refined sense of the ridiculous to truly appreciate opera." and ,"The smartest thing I ever did was to move to a country where my natural voice was the best gimmick I could have had."

A great singer, a great sense of gentle humor, and pleasant individual.


17 Jun 20 - 03:50 AM (#4059653)
Subject: RE: Jean Redpath Biography
From: GUEST,ottery

I do hope there's a bit of a revival of interest in her work. Her recordings singing unaccompanied or against a fiddle/cello are so pared-down and immaculate that I think they'll last well.

17 Jun 20 - 08:01 PM (#4059775)
Subject: RE: Jean Redpath Biography
From: Felipa

I had some of her lps and learned several songs from them, some of which I still sing. Strangely, I don't have a clear memory of seeing Jean Redpath in a live performance except that she told of a transcontinental language misunderstanding, that she startled the bellboy at a hotel in California when she asked him to "please knock me up at 7 a.m."

18 Jun 20 - 03:19 AM (#4059805)
Subject: RE: Jean Redpath Biography
From: GUEST,ottery

And did he???

18 Jun 20 - 09:17 AM (#4059865)
Subject: RE: Jean Redpath Biography
From: Gallus Moll

I have wonderful.memories of the Heritage of Scotland summer schools in Airthrey Castle, Stirling University for 10 years in through the 1980s (with a few additional weekend ones in in the late '90s?.) The driving force behind the Heritage classes was the wonderful Robert Innes, director of continuing education at the uni. There were two singing classes,c
during 'our'week (with other instruments and dance over the summer) Ballads and Traditional Song with Jean, and Gaelic with Anne Lorne Gillies; also three fiddle classes - Tom Anderson with Shetland, Aonghas Grant with West Highland and Alasdair Hardie with North East style. What brilliant experiences we had in classes - and amazing fun sessioning till the wee sma' hoors in various hostelries, kitchens, lounges and outdoor spaces. There were people from across the world attending, sharing their own cultures and immersing themselves in ours.
Jean was an excellent and inspiring tutor
- we learned by ear and repetition, went home with the songs and harmonies carved onto our hearts. Jean had no 'ego', she just wanted to share her love and knowlege of Scots traditional song. She invited singers like Willie Scott into class. Some days we went on visits to historical sites, where Jean would sing relevant songs, we would join in, many more stories and memories. Many of us went home to share the songs and experiences, start folk clubs.....Heritage summer schools and Jean Redpath were truly memorable!