A BETTER CLASS OF FOLK
FROM TELEVISION'S LONG RUNNING FOLK SERIES
Featuring: Dominic Behan • Mike Whellans • Iain Mackintosh • Billy Davidson • Allan Barty
When Scottish Television Ltd asked prominent playwright and folk singer Dominic Behan to line up a folk-music programme which would run for eighteen weeks, he cast his net wide for personalities and instrumentalists who could work in front of the cameras as individuals and, perhaps more important, as a unit with a style of its own.
From the Borders, he took Mike Whellans, a folk-singing star in his own right, who also accompanied the other Artistes on guitar and mouth-organ. From Glasgow, he took Iain Mackintosh, one of Scotland's busiest and most far travelled folk entertainers, who sang and played guitar, banjo and concertina. In Dundee, top fiddler and mandolin exponent Allan Barty answered the call, as did guitarist-singer Billy Davidson from Shotts, in Lanarkshire.
The series, screened twice a week in the summer of 1974, was an unqualified success. The Behan "clan", working before a studio audience, earned a peak tea-time viewing slot and by the time the series reached the halfway stage, S.T.V. planners were thinking about a follow-up series.
On this L.P., the unit has the support of bass-guitarist Margaret Henery, who appeared with them on television, and the songs selected are the "cream" of the material performed in the programmes. As befits a crew with such outstanding instrumental ability, the songs range from the compositions of Scots folk writer Jim MacLean, now based in London, to offerings by American writers Woody Guthrie and John Prine, with French and Irish fiddle tunes included for good measure. No television or L.P. title has ever been so accurate, for Dominic, Mike, Iain, Allan and Billy are, indeed, "A Better Class of Folk".