This series of books comprises a major social and cultural history of Britain, reflected through the prism of music — mostly folk music. It amounts to a hidden history of both Britain and music, and is part oral history and part incisive criticism, with a fair amount of humour thrown in.
The ten part series is based on the life of 90-year-old Bill Leader, the prolific sound engineer and producer, who was the first to record Bert Jansch, the Watersons, Anne Briggs, Nic Jones and Connollys Billy and Riognach, and among the last to record Jeannie Robertson, Fred Jordan and Walter Pardon. Bill straddled the golden age of traditional singing and the folk revival. He agreed to the biographical treatment if due prominence be given to colleagues who may have since slipped from the world’s eyes.
Through the series, a parade of the great and good come and go. These include Paul Simon, Brendan Behan, Pink Floyd and Christy Moore, all recorded by Bill at one time or another. Secrets, surprises and heresies are rife and something jaw dropping happens at least every four pages.
Each book comes with illustrations by PETER SEAL and rare photographs.