Jean learned many of her songs during her family childhood in Fife, where she was part of a large extended family, ... an encyclopedic knowledge of every form of Scottish song from the “muckle sangs,” or the long traditional saga songs, ...
Author: Jean Redpath
Publisher: Univ of South Carolina Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
The singer tells her story from Scottish childhood to success on the Greenwich Village folk scene and beyond, and shares her passion for traditional music. Jean Redpath is best remembered for her impressive repertoire of ancient ballads, Robert Burns songs, and contemporary folk music, recorded and performed over a career spanning some fifty years. In this book, Mark Brownrigg captures Redpath’s idiosyncratic and often humorous voice through his interviews with her during the last eighteen months of her life. Here Redpath reflects on her humble beginnings, her Scottish heritage, her life’s journey, and her mission of preserving, performing, and teaching traditional song. A native of Edinburgh, Redpath was raised in a family of singers of traditional Scots songs. She broadened her knowledge through work with the Edinburgh Folk Society and Scottish studies at Edinburgh University, but prior to graduation, she abandoned academia to follow her passion of singing. Her independent spirit took her to the United States, where she found commercial success amid the Greenwich Village folk-music revival in New York in the 1960s—and shared a house and concert stages with Bob Dylan and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. Soon a rave review in the New York Times launched her career and led to wide recognition as a true voice of traditional Scottish songs. As a regular on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion and a guest on Late Show with David Letterman, Redpath endeared herself to millions with her soft melodies and amusing tales—and her extraordinary career and extensive knowledge of traditional Scottish music history earned her prestigious university appointments, a performance for Queen Elizabeth II, and induction into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame. This is her remarkable story.