I hope at this time that you are safe and well. It has been a few months since my last newsletter and in this issue, I would like to tell you about the start of my professional career as a folk singer.
Back in early 1962 I joined up with two ex-classmates of mine, Brian Fogarty and Leonard Sturrock, to form a folk group called “The Cumberland Three”. We performed at folk clubs in Glasgow and Central Scotland along with traditional jazz clubs, most notably, “The Royal Garden” in Glasgow. Our popularity grew which caught the attention of The Malcolm Nixon Agency in London. They had a few folk artists on their roster including Robin Hall and Jimmy McGregor, Britain’s most well-known folk singers. The agency sent up a manager, Harry Hammond, to sign us up and after consulting with our parents, we put pen to paper.
We moved to London where they put us in a flat in Cricklewood, a London district. After performing at a number of folk clubs in London, we made our first major television debut in December 1963 on a show called “Hullabaloo”, a half-hour program featuring several acts. A link to The Hullabaloo Show is at the bottom of this newsletter. If you like what you hear, our album, “Introducing The Cumberland Three” is available to download on my website, www.alexbeaton.com.
The Malcolm Nixon Agency connected us with Southern Music Publishing and they in turn shopped around for a record company. We recorded for Parlophone Records (EMI), Capital Records in the United States. A single 45 from our album was released. It was titled “Chilly Winds” and it came out March 1964 and on the same label as another Parlophone group called “The Beatles” HELLO!!!…The massive change in pop music brought on by the Beatles and other such groups caused the exposure of folk music on television and radio to decline.
The lack of engagements and the disenchantment that Brian and Leonard had with the business led to our break-up and our return to Glasgow later that year. Brian and Leonard went back to their respective apprenticeships and for me it was right time to emigrate to the U.S. where my sister, Ann, who was ten years older than me and married to an Airforce man, lived. This was a dream of mine since I was 12 years of age.
My CD’s were sold at seven Scottish Festivals around the country each year, but needless to say, with the Pandemic, the festivals were all cancelled last year. Already, two of the festivals have been cancelled this year and I don’t have much confidence of the others being held either. So, what I’m trying to say is please help this shameless, poor folksinger, by looking at my CD selections (click here) along with my triple feature DVD (click here) and placing an order. Many thanks for your continued support.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the newsletter, please stay safe and well. With more and more people getting vaccinated, we could see a brighter future for all of us!
Hullabaloo TV Show December 1963
Featuring the Cumberland Three
Click the image to watch (approx 22 minutes)