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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,MikeOfNorthumbria (sans cookie) Never heard of Alex Campbell (237* d) RE: Never heard of Alex Campbell 11 Mar 15

Big Al Whittle asked:

"I wondered at the time about the Laibman connection with Alex. does anyone know?"

And the answer is 'Yes'. So here's what I can remember about it - though as the events in question happened more than half a century ago, I can't swear to the accuracy of every detail.

Sometime in Nov-Dec of 1962 Alex came to sing at the Oxford University Heritage Society (the student folk club), of which he was an honorary member).   The booked artist for that evening was Jim Bassett, whose club in Harlow Alex was due to play the following night. As Alex was not working, he came along with Jim, sang a few songs, and brought the house down as usual.

Among the floor-singers that night was Dave Laibman, a very talented young American over here for just one year on some sort of student exchange. At the after-hours session, Dave and Alex astonished the rest of us with some improvised duets. Later, Alex invited Dave to guest on his forthcoming record ('Way out West'.)

Dave delivered a beautiful guitar accompaniment for Alex's recording of 'Railroad Bill', and played a storming solo on 'Orange Blossom Special'. Several other guests also appeared on 'Way out West', including Gerry Loockran (at the time he still spelt his surname 'Loughran') who contributed some excellent blues guitar.

Alex was a great performer, who deserves to be better remembered. Not least among his many contributions to the folk scene was the advice, encouragement and (free) publicity which he gave so many younger performers.


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