1966 : The Watersons

The Watersons

Side One:

01 : Dido Bendigo
02 : The North Country Maid
03 : Brave Wolfe
04 : The Jolly Waggoners
05 : I Am a Rover

Side Two:

01 : Fathom the Bowl
02 : The Thirty-Foot Trailer
03 : The Holmfirth Anthem
04 : Twanky-Dillo
05 : The White Hare of Howden
06 : The Plains of Mexico
07 : All For Me Grog

First released in the UK 1966 by Topic Records 12T142

Mike, Lal & Norma Waterson and John Harrison: vocals

Recorded by Bill Leader
Photograph by Brian Shuel

Sleeve notes:

The Watersons’ enviable combination of dark good looks, ringing voices, abundant charm and immense vitality have already given them the kind of star status within the folk song revival which is usually reserved for pop singers outside it. They are unpretentious and unconventional stars, taking television appearances, top billing at concerts and ovations at clubs in their stride. Their gypsyish zestfulness is worlds away from the strictly commercial glamour of the world of pop music: but their own glamour is all the more potent since it is the product of personality rather than publicity. There are four in the group, Michael, Norma and Elaine Waterson (two sisters and a brother), and their second cousin, John Harrison. Michael Waterson sings lead most often and they all come in on choruses with their own hand crafted harmonies, an immediate recognisable and uniquely distinctive group sound which is uninhibited, spontaneous seeming and rich in texture.

The Watersons sing songs from all over the country but pay special attention to those collected in their native East Yorkshire. They live in Hull, the great seaport beside the Humber that also produced one of our greatest poets, Andrew Marvell; and in Hull they have for some years run their famous club, Folk Union One.

They already have one l.p. on Topic, the widely praised collection of ritual and ceremonial songs Frost and Fire, and are also featured on the anthology record New Voices. They are no longer new voices but familiar and feted ones, singing on this new record, songs they have made particularly their own.


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