The record label OAK RECORDS was set up in 1962 by Derek Sarjeant and R.G. Jones at Morden Park Studios . The label was named after the location of Derek's Folkclub , then held at The Oak Hotel in Surbiton. This label was set up in the first instance to record popular Folksingers but was expanded to cover the Sound of The 6o's Music.
Source: Derek Sarjeant's website
Prominent among the singers who have emerged during the second British Folk-Song Revival is DEREK SARJEANT. His wide repertoire, pleasant voice, and subtle guitar accompaniments have made him a firm favourite among the men and women of all ages who today throng Britain's folk-song Clubs. Derek has broadcast for BBC, and will shortly be appearing in a series of T. V. programmees.
The four songs on this record are typical of those Derek sings at the Club he himself directs at Surbiton, Surrey, and all are particular favourites with the large appreciative audiences he and his singing colleagues attracts weekly.
The Unquiet Grave. This is an excellent example of a folk ballad which has undergone countless changes, often only minor, by singers over the years — so that it is impossible to say which is the original wording. Derek uses his own melody to the evocative story of the young man who, with his mourning, disturbs the rest of his dead sweetheart.
Peggy-O — or Pretty Peggy-O as it is sometimes called, was collected by Cecil Sharp in the Southern Appalachian mountains of the U.S A in 1908, but earlier, British versions exist in several forms (e g the Scottish "Bonny Lasts o' Fyvie"). Derek appropriately enough, learned the Cecil Sharp version at Cecil Sharp House, H.Q. of the English Folk Dance and Song Society.
Geordie. Derek sings here the lovely version of this ballad (No. 709 in the Child collection) printed in the Penguin Book of English Folk Song, Opinion' differ as to the identity of 'Geordie', but whether he was a thief or nobleman, British singer s have been telling this story for several centuries.
The Sweet Nightingale is one of the many songs collected in the West Country by Rev S. Baring-Gould in the early days of this century. Derek learned it during his schooldays, but points out that although this is a Cornish song the Nightingale is not heard in that county.
For this record DEREK SARJEANT has chosen and arranged English songs which are rarely heard in Folk Clubs, and he sings them with clarity and understanding. On (a), (c) and (d) accompaniment provided by GRAHAM BRADSHAW (Guitar)
I wonder if Hillaire Belloc was thinking of "THE SEEDS OF LOVE" when he wrote, about the South Country …
"And there shall the Sussex songs be sung
And the story of Sussex told."
Because the version of the song Derek sings here was collected by Lucy Broadwood in Horsham.
Derek's version of "THE FOGGY DEW" was learnt orally and similar to the version noted in "The Singing Island".
"THE TWO MAGICIANS" is from the Ceil Sharp collection' while "HILLS AND DALES" was noted in Haslemere, Surrey by F. Keel. Both "Hills and Dales" and "The Seeds of Love" are printed in the journals of the English Folk Dance and Song Society.
"WAY DOWN TO LAMORNA" is far from being a typical "Rugrer-Club", but in fact Derek collected this old popular song from the members of the Penzance Rugby Club while on holiday in The Scilly Isles.
Great interest was aroused when Derek sang this song on TV, and letters were received from viewers in various parts of England — many from St Ives in Cornwall.
For this song Derek is joined by Members of the Surbiton and Kingston Folk Club in the Chorus.
DEREK SARSEANT, son of a Royal Marine, was born in Chatham, not far from the Naval Dockyards, and so grew up in a town which was always full of sailors home from the sea. In the schoolroom singing lesson the children seen to have been taught more sea-songs than is usual, and perhaps this background encouraged Derek to collect and sing so many songs of this type.
The songs on this record are the kind which sailors liked to sing in the fo'c'sle while off watch. or in the dockyard taverns ashore.
The title song "A SAILOR'S LIFE" is noted in the Penguin Book of English Folk Songs, and vas collected in Sussex. While in Kingston, South Devon, Derek met old Albert 'Enry Edgecombe, who sang this unusual version of "THE DARK EYED SAILOR".
Derek collected his version of "THE BOLD PRINCESS ROYAL" from a merchant seaman in Chatham.
The words Derek uses for "THE DOCKYARD GATE" were noted early this century in Portsmouth by George Gardiner and Lisa Turner provided the lovely tune.