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Ron Copper

A series of BBC recordings of traditional British folk songs done through the '50s by cousins Bob and Ron Copper has evolved into something of a mother lode of material for this country's strummers, singers, fiddlers, and concertina massagers. Unlike the infamous open-pit mine in Butte, MT, this is Copper that increases in value as the generations go on. It is a pity that Ron Copper, who passed on in the early '70s, was not able to savor this growing fame, especially the gala presentation of a special folk-tradition award to the then-86-year-old Bob Copper in 2001. The cousins were basically the performers who made it possible for the Copper Family band to become one of the most respected and certainly longest-running ensembles in the British folk genre.

This status developed from the aforementioned BBC recordings, at first issued only privately through the radio network but eventually culled into a variety of reissues, compilations, and tribute sets. Hailing from Rottingdean, Sussex, the family had already been singing together for some six generations by the time the British folk scene began to take off. Musicologist Kate Lee helped archive the family's music back in 1898, when the group's so-called music career consisted of singing in local pubs and family gatherings. Bob Copper's great-great grandfather, Honest John Copper, was something of a legendary singer, handing down the traditions to his sons, Brasser Copper and Tom Copper. The former man's sons, Jim and John Copper, also sang together, teaching many a ditty to Bob and Ron Copper, their respective sons. Producers and performers Seamus Ennis and Peter Kennedy were responsible for initiating the BBC series of recordings of the Copper cousins. A 1952 performance at Royal Albert Hall by the fathers and sons is considered particularly significant, in part helping to stimulate the establishment of a network of folk clubs throughout the country. Ron Copper's last recordings were done in 1963 and 1964, a set of duos with his cousin, naturally. ~ Eugene Chadbourne
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Anthems In Eden A Midsummer Night's Happenning

Disc 1

1. Hard Times Of Old England

2. Jack O' Diamonds

3. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

5. Sally Free And Easy

6. Anji

7. The Recruited Collier

8. Dirty Old Town

9. Three Ravens

10. Lyke Wake Dirge

11. Down On The Barge

12. Lord Randall

13. Who's The Fool Now

16. Coorie Doon

17. Socialism In Our Time

18. Girl From The North Country

19. Been On The Road So Long

20. The Wild Rover

22. Clive's Song

23. Reynardine

24. Bluesleeves

25. A Man's Man

Disc 2

2. Needle Of Death

3. The Summer Day Reflection Song

4. Think She Knows Me Now

5. Michael In The Garden

7. Children Of Hiroshima

8. I'm So Confused

9. My Name Is Carnival

10. Arctic City

11. Milk And Honey

12. Come Join My Orchestra

13. We Can Swing Together

14. One Man Band

15. Country Joe

16. Life And Life Only

18. The Fawn

20. I've Seen The Movie

21. Northern Sky

Disc 3

1. Here We Come A-Wassailing

2. Cruel Sister

3. Dreams For Me

4. After The Goldrush

5. Fotheringay

7. It's Dark In Here

8. Marcie

10. January Snows

11. Rattlin' Roarin' Willie

12. The Astrologer

13. Meet Me On The Corner (Live)

14. Never Going Back

15. Knowing The Game

17. Late On Lady Day

18. Rain

20. Wanderer

21. The White Hare

22. When I Was On Horseback

Disc 4

2. God Dog

4. Winter Is Blue

5. Chloe In The Garden

6. The Tale Of The Spider And The Fly

7. Just Anyone

8. Luke That Never Was

9. Mr. Fox

11. Song To Comus

12. Captain's Log

14. A Witch's Guide To The Underground

15. Sun Symphonica

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