At the beginning of Shirley Collins’ recording career in 1959 she recorded a series of 7” vinyl EPs. Originally released in short press runs, these rare early recordings have been very hard to find for nearly five decades. Shirley recorded four EPs for the appropriately named Collector label. Fledg’ling Records are very proud to announce a newly re-mastered edition of ‘English Songs’ – the second of those EPs – will be released on April 18th for Record Store 2015 in a front-laminated, flipback sleeve, just like the original, and an illustrated inner bag with period reviews from the archives.
Very rare in its original form, this will be the first time this iconic record has been made available as a vinyl EP since its first release half a century ago.
At the beginning of Shirley Collins’ recording career in 1959 she recorded a series of 7” vinyl EPs. Originally released in short press runs, these rare early recordings have been very hard to find for nearly five decades. Fledg’ling Records are very proud to announce a newly re-mastered edition of ‘The Foggy Dew’ EP will be released in September 2014 in a front-laminated, flipback sleeve, just like the original, and an illustrated inner bag with period reviews from the archives.
A reissue on CD for SHIRLEY & DOLLY COLLINS’ For As Many As Will first released in 1978. The album contains some of the sisters’ finest recorded work together –
uniting Dolly Collins fine arranging skills with the haunting beauty of Shirley’s voice.
The Collins sisters were brought up on the Sussex coast with a strong love and understanding for English traditional song. Through a remarkable series of landmark recordings during the 1960s and ’70s they helped define the possibilities of the English folksong revival. ‘For As Many As Will’, their classic final recording includes a stunning reading of Richard Thompson’s ‘Never Again’, alongside fine traditional material like ‘Lord Allenwater’, ‘Gilderoy’, ‘The Moon Shines Bright’ and a medley from John Gay’s ‘The Beggar’s Opera’.
Fledg’ling Records are very proud to present a carefully re-mastered edition of this classic recording from the infancy of the mid-twentieth century British folk revival. Guest musicians are Guy Carawan, Ralph Rinzler and John Hasted. Sweet England is a stunning collection of British and American traditional song, capturing a turning moment in the English folk song revival of the 1950’s.
“Sweet England, along with its sister album False True Lovers, was recorded in the spring of 1958 when I was twenty-two years old. I had been living for the previous two years in London with Alan Lomax, the American folklorist, working for him as editorial assistant on his book The Folk Songs of North America and on his field recordings from America, Great Britain, Italy and Spain. The tracks that make up these two albums were recorded by Peter Kennedy and Alan in two days at Peter’s home ‘studio’ in Belsize Park.
English traditional music, at its best, expresses and provides everything in song that I need and feel, both musically and emotionally. Sweet England represents the first shaky steps of a journey that I have been on all my life, and that, happily, I still am.” – Shirley Collins from the new sleeve-notes.
Shirley and Dolly Collins have long been regarded as pivotal figures in the English folk song revival of the 1960’s and ’70’s. Shirley’s beautiful singing style, apparently lacking any affectation, has earned her accolades such as “the first lady of folk”. Dolly’s contributions to their recordings were by comparison often overlooked. Her sensitive accompaniment on piano and portative organ and marvellous arrangements have rarely been equalled in the past three decades. Alongside her work with Shirley, Dolly was the arranger on the late Peter Bellamy’s masterful ‘The Transports’, as well as his unrecorded ‘We Have Fed Our Seas’. She also worked on albums by the Incredible String Band, Ian Matthews, Mark Ellington, Chris Darrow and Tony Rose.
A collection of British songs about love, adapted and sung by Shirley Elizabeth Collins of Sussex, England; with guitar and five string banjo accompaniment by John Hasted, Ralph Rinzler, Guy Carawan and Miss Collins. False True Lovers was Shirley Collins’ first full length album, recorded in London by Alan Lomax and Peter Kennedy and released on the prestigious American Folkways label. The choice of repertoire and arrangements capture a turning moment in the English folk song revival of the 1950’s, and in the recording career of one of England’s finest interpreters of traditional song.
This discography attempts to list the original release of all the recordings which feature SHIRLEY COLLINS. All catalogue numbers refer to UK releases unless otherwise noted. Subsequent reissues are only included if they include additional material. Please write if you spot any errors or omissions. Thanks.