Shirley Collins’ 80th Birthday

The EFDSS are celebrating Shirley Collins’ 80th on Saturday 31 October at Cecil Sharp House

The grand dame of folk music, Shirley Collins celebrates her 80th birthday and the launch of her new book at Cecil Sharp House.

The event will feature exclusive readings from Shirley’s forthcoming book By the Lines of his Hand, as well as world-premiere previews of The Ballad of Shirley Collins, a forthcoming documentary partly inspired by her 2005 book, America Over the Water.

President of EFDSS since 2008, Shirley first became involved in the folk music scene in the early 1950s meeting the likes of Bob Copper, Ewan McColl and Bert Lloyd.

Collaborating with a variety of artists including her sister Dolly and Davy Graham, Shirley released a number of albums through the 1960s and 1970s including Anthems in Eden(1969) with Dolly and Early English musician David Munrow, which is considered by many to be her seminal album. During the 1970s she was a member of The Albion Band and the Etchingham Steam Band before retiring from singing.

4-6pm Shirley presents extracts from her new book, By the Lines of his Hand
7.30pm Concert and film extracts
Artists include
  • Shirley Collins
  • Billy Bragg
  • Martin Wyndham Read
  • Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker
  • The Askew Sisters
  • Jackie Oates

You can get more information from Cecil Sharp House.

The Full English in the Guardian

The guardian has an interview with Malcolm Taylor, librarian of the Vaughan Williams Memorial library at Cecil Sharp House about his project The Full English.  It is a bold Heritage Lottery-funded attempt to make the library’s vast archive available to the public online. It has brought together 11 major collections for the first time in the most comprehensive free searchable digital archive in the world, and allows free public access to 58,400 digitised collection items through a new web portal. The project has brought together the collections of Harry Albino, Lucy Broadwood, Clive Carey, Percy Grainger, Maud Karpeles, Frank Kidson, Thomas Fairman Ordish, Cecil Sharp, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Alfred Williams and Mary Leather for the first time, to create the most comprehensive searchable database of English folk songs, tunes, dances and customs in the world. The Full English is also EFDSS’s biggest learning and participation programme to date. The Full English project is also supported by the National Folk Music Fund and The Folklore Society.

You can read the article here.

The library itself can be accessed here.