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Ian & Lorna Campbell

Father to Robin, Duncan, Ali (of UB40) and Dave Campbell, Ian had a long and proud history as one of the most important Folk singers in Britain.

Alongside his sister Lorna they were known as The Ian Campbell Folk Group.

Arriving from Scotland in the 50s, the Campbells settled in Birmingham and lived in King’s Heath.

His group, The Ian Campbell Folk Group, were the first ever Folk Group to release a live album, “Ceilidh At The Crown” in 1962. 

The Campbells also ran the largest Folk Club in Britain, The Jug O’ Punch in Digbeth (where the HMV Institute is now) where they not only performed themselves and played host to the creme de la creme of British Folk acts but they also had early performances from the likes of Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon. So enamoured was Paul Simon with Ian’s songs that his composition “The Sun is Burning” appeared on Simon & Garfunkel’s first album Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.

The band were also famous for the musicians that played, and passed through the group, with the most notable being arguably Britain’s greatest fiddle player, Dave Swarbrick, and bass player Dave Pegg, both of whom went on to become members of Fairport Convention.

A committed socialist, Ian’s songs are full of tales of the working classes and their everyday existence and sung with Lorna’s beautiful, natural voice.

A contemporary of Ewan MacColl, Pete and Peggy Seeger and a contributor to the culturally important Charles Parker Radio Ballads, Ian Campbell was awarded a Good Tradition Award at the BBC Folk Awards in February 2012 for his outstanding contribution to folk music over five decades.

He sadly died on 24 November 2012

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