Many LPs of Alex Campbell have shown varying aspects of his work: some have been purely Scottish songs; others have been blues, and quite a few were surprisingly enough Country and Western. Volume 1 and Volume 2 of "This is Alex Campbell" are the first attempt to deal chronologically with Alex's career.
In the beginning was Paris.
Alex's wife, Patsy, writes of this period:
"In the early days of the Folk Revival, Paris was the meeting place for all folk singers and if a folk singer came to see Paris, he came to see Alex too. Those were exciting days when to meet up with someone like Jack Elliot or Derroll Adams meant to learn great new songs and guitar licks. Not only musicians came and contributed but so many talented writers, poets, actors and painters and, too, those who were simply great human beings. To mention any names would merely be to invite disbelief."
"Fragmentary memories of those days of discovery have drifted down the years — long sunlit days on the Bateau Mouche singing and drinking beer — the Quais on a Saturday afternoon when Alex sang there with friends and people threw money onto the banks of the Seine — the Contrascarpe, pokey, smokey, but with more talent packed into it than any promoter these days could possibly afford to gather together — these and other fragments of those early days which are still so alive to those who by happy chance shared them — and who have gone their different ways now to contribute and share in the music which has become the greatest influence on the pop scene today — Folk Music."
When the idea of this series was conceived, incidentally by the young folk singer Dave Travis, it was immediately decided that as many as possible of the best folk instrumentalists would be engaged on it, and this was done; but the word went round that Alex was making a record about the old days and during the week of recording, old friends dropped into the studio to join in one or more numbers for old time's sake.
If the list of all who actually took part sounds like a large extract from The Folk Directory, you can put it down to the fact that so many people wanted to show their affection for Alex and in many cases, their gratitude for help and encouragement he has given them in the past.
Here then, are the songs and the artists who took part in them.