Ballads & Balladeers

Scheduled on

Wednesday 00:00 02:00
Tuesday 14:00 16:00

A niche show, for sure. Focussing on “the first generation of folk singers on vinyl” (circa 1960 to 1990). And focussing 99% on songs, not instrumental music.

Simply put – both of these aspects were being sorely neglected across the entire spectrum of radio broadcasting. For decades now presenters have used digital media and all of the big stations ditched their vinyl libraries. Add in the current move away from Folk Song to Trad Instrumental music and it was obvious that something had to be done to plug that gap.

Every major act of the era has gaps in their available material, from The Dubliners to The Corries through to Barbara Dickson and Dick Gaughan. All have recorded material that is unavailable apart from on the original vinyl. Others such as Jimmie Macgregor and Nigel Denver have left virtually no trace in the digital marketplace.

Presenter Gavin Paterson has been collecting folk song on vinyl since 1985 and used his own personal library as the basis for the emerging Ballads show. Very quickly, many of the major artists of the era started sending him copies of unavailable works to be used on the show. In particular, the great writer/producer Jim McLean sent Gavin a huge amount of his own priceless vinyl to be used on the show.
Many others, both artists and listeners, continue to send unavailable recordings to Gavin, who often curates a “vinyl only” Ballads show. And it’s a two-way street – Gavin has reunited many singers with lost/rare artefacts from their own careers.

Gavin also started tracking down many of that generations greatest performers and conducted in-depth, career spanning interviews with as many as possible.
Ronnie Browne, Arthur Johnstone, Alastair McDonald, Jim McLean, Ewan McVicar, Ian McCalman, Barbara Dickson, Ian Green, Fraser Bruce and more.

And many of that generation who are still active recording artists have apperared on the Ballads show to promote new works.
Finbar Furey, Peg Clancy Power, John Graham & Jim Jack, Ian Walker, Gavin Livingstone, Charlie Harrigan and more.

Ballads & Balladeers is the ONLY radio show that we are aware of that covers this most important and neglected field of music. Join the ever increasing band of dedicated listeners every Tuesday afternoon between 2pm and 4pm.

A niche show, for sure. Focussing on “the first generation of folk singers on vinyl” (circa 1960 to 1990). And focussing 99% on songs, not instrumental music.

Simply put – both of these aspects were being sorely neglected across the entire spectrum of radio broadcasting. For decades now presenters have used digital media and all of the big stations ditched their vinyl libraries. Add in the current move away from Folk Song to Trad Instrumental music and it was obvious that something had to be done to plug that gap.

Every major act of the era has gaps in their available material, from The Dubliners to The Corries through to Barbara Dickson and Dick Gaughan. All have recorded material that is unavailable apart from on the original vinyl. Others such as Jimmie Macgregor and Nigel Denver have left virtually no trace in the digital marketplace.

Presenter Gavin Paterson has been collecting folk song on vinyl since 1985 and used his own personal library as the basis for the emerging Ballads show. Very quickly, many of the major artists of the era started sending him copies of unavailable works to be used on the show. In particular, the great writer/producer Jim McLean sent Gavin a huge amount of his own priceless vinyl to be used on the show.
Many others, both artists and listeners, continue to send unavailable recordings to Gavin, who often curates a “vinyl only” Ballads show. And it’s a two-way street – Gavin has reunited many singers with lost/rare artefacts from their own careers.

Gavin also started tracking down many of that generations greatest performers and conducted in-depth, career spanning interviews with as many as possible.
Ronnie Browne, Arthur Johnstone, Alastair McDonald, Jim McLean, Ewan McVicar, Ian McCalman, Barbara Dickson, Ian Green, Fraser Bruce and more.

And many of that generation who are still active recording artists have apperared on the Ballads show to promote new works.
Finbar Furey, Peg Clancy Power, John Graham & Jim Jack, Ian Walker, Gavin Livingstone, Charlie Harrigan and more.

Ballads & Balladeers is the ONLY radio show that we are aware of that covers this most important and neglected field of music. Join the ever increasing band of dedicated listeners every Tuesday afternoon between 2pm and 4pm.


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Ballads & Balladeers crew

Gavin Paterson has been in training to be a radio presenter since he used to entertain his family by selecting 7” singles from the family collection – before he could even read. As a performing musician he went through piano lessons and recitals, playing as a backing musician in “the clubs” while in his mid-teens, leading a 1977 punk band and playing with the first Glasgow punk band to issue an independent single. Many, varied instruments were half-learned along the way; he became an on-call side man, to a huge range of bands and artists. A career in the Glesga Polis “forced” a move into amateur theatre for a while but in 1985 he became a founder member of 21 Red who, until they finally stopped in 2020, were the longest standing wedding/club band in all Scotland. Other band work included Musical Director for Crescent City Soul and Dexys Bootleg Runners – two 10-piece bands who played all over the UK. His folk song was given in outlet in “Off The Beat” a pun-based collection of Polis & Pals and in Whappit Ben, a mixing of various musical styles. Long an admirer of Liam Clancy and the extended Clancy/Makem families, Gavin has been involved in every Clancy Brothers Festival since it started in 2008, as musician and on-call historian to the Clancy Family. This close connection lead to a rather unique recording project. After making a very simple album of Clancy/Makem songs to sell at his festival gigs, Gavin decided to use his instrumental skills and went back to the studio where he spent weeks overdubbing everything from drums to Hammond Organ. The album was self-issued at the end of 2016. To promote his “CMR Album Of The Week”, he came into the studio to be interviewed by both Gordon Hotchkiss and Ross McFadyen. It didn’t take long to realise that his encyclopedic musical knowledge and absolutely massive record collection had found a natural home at CMR. He started broadcasting Ballads & Balladeers in March 2017 and as a reward for the success of that show, a few months later, was given a Sunday night spot where he could play “Whatever” he liked. Gavin curates four hours of radio for CMR every week. Both are in-depth, knowledgable and very opinionated shows and that’s the way he likes it. “Ballads and Balladeers” focusses on what he calls “the first generation of vinyl folkies” (roughly 1960 to 1990) while “Whatever” is a theme-based show that changes every week and is aimed at the listener with more than just a casual love for music. You have to tune in to find out what the theme is, and hopefully stick around.


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