Brenda Wootton

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Brenda Wootton in concert, at Quimperlé, Breetany, in 1980

Brenda Wootton (née Ellery) (1928–1994) wis a Cornish poet an fowk sangster an wis seen as an ambassador for Cornish tradeetion an cultur in aw the Celtic naitions an as far as Australie an Canadae.

Early life an career[eedit | eedit soorce]

She began her muisical career as a young schuilgirl, singin in veelage haws throuoot the remote commonties o wast Cornwall. Wootton became acteeve on the fowk scene in the early 60s, helpin tae keep the Cornish fowk sang tradeetion alive for mony years. Her early albums wur recordit on Cornwall's Sentinel label, aften wi her singin pairtners John the Fish (kent as John Langford [1] Archived 2012-03-03 at the Wayback Machine an aw), Robert Bartlett an later wi guitarists Pete Berryman, Mike Silver, Al Fenn, David Penhale an Chris Newman.

Mony o her sangs were componit bi Richard Gendall. Her repertoire ower the years covered fowk, rock, blues, jazz an even hymns, but she is best remembered for her Cornish "staundarts" such as Lamorna, The White Rose, Camborne Hill, The Stratton Carol an the ballads Mordonnow, Tamar, Silver Net an Lyonesse.

She wis equally at hame whan singin in Cornish, Breton or Inglis an wis as famous in Breetany, which she visitit regular, as she wis in her native Cornwall. She opened her ain fowk club, the Pipers Folk Club, at St Buryan, Cornwall an appeared in the first iver Lorient Interceltic Festival in Breetany.

Wootton wis a member o the Gorseth Kernow, whaur she wis kent bi her Bardic name o Gwylan Gwavas (Scots: Seagull o Newlyn). In her later years, she became well kent in Cornwall as a presenter for BBC Radio Cornwall whaur she hostit the popular weekly request show 'Sunday Best. She wis the Honorar Preses o Radio Beacon an aw, the hospital radio service for St Lawrences Hospital in Bodmin.[1] In 1994 Wootton's dochter Sue Luscombe published a beuk o her leerics, comic-verses, ballads an stories entitled Pantomime Stew.[2]

In 2010 it wis annooncit that a umwhile unreleased audio tape haed been discovered o a concert gien bi Wootton in Juin 1984 at the 'Bobino' theatre/muisic haw in Paris wi Camborne Town Band an local muisickers Ray Roberts, Dave Freeman an the renowned Breetish acoustic guitarist Chris Newman.[3] Analogue maister tapes o the concert wur discovered bi John Knight, her recordin ingineer, in his studio in Cornwall, an wur then digitally maistered an editit for the new album. Knight commentit at the time "Brenda wanted to have a personal record of the concert. She never released a live album. I don't think it was intended for release. But now I think we have the potential there" addin "Ideally we would love to release it on cd with some of the stories from the tour."[1]

Subsequently a new CD, All of Me, wis released. The recordin is unique as aw nineteen tracks wur that naebody haed haurd afore an represents a fittin tribute tae Wootton, performin at wha wis considert tae be the peak o her internaitional career. A saxteen page souvenir beuklet is includit featurin unpublisht photographs, mony frae Wootton's awn private collection.[4]

Discografie[eedit | eedit soorce]

Singles an EPs[eedit | eedit soorce]

  • Berceuses Celtiques Iles Britanniques (EP), (wi pop-up cover), Le Chant Du Monde 100406, CM 650, 1981
  • Tamar (French promo), Disc'Az 1061, 1986: Tamar/ Waiting For The Tide/ Towl Ros/ Kenavo Dewgenoughwhy

Albums[eedit | eedit soorce]

  • Piper's Folk, wi John the Fish & Piper's Folk, (Private pressin, producit & distributit bi Piper's Folk), 1968
  • Pasties & Cream, wi John the Fish, Sentinel Records Archived 2012-03-23 at the Wayback Machine, SENS 1006, 1971
  • Way Down to Lamorna, Sentinel, SENS 1056, 1972
  • Crowdy Crawn, wi Richard Gendall, Sentinel, SENS 1016, 1973
  • Pamplemousse, wi Robert Bartlett, Barclay (French label), 1973
  • No Song To Sing, wi Robert Bartlett an "guest" Alex Atterson on piano, Sentinel, SENS 1021, 1974
  • Tin In The Stream, wi Robert Bartlett, Stockfisch (German label), 1974 (votit Wast Germany's fowk album o the year)
  • Starry Gazey Pie, wi Robert Bartlett, Sentinel, SENS 1031, 1975
  • Children Singing, wi Richard Gendall, Sentinel, SENS 1036, 1976
  • Carillon, Transatlantic Records, TRA 360, 1979
  • Boy Jan ... Cornishman, wi David Penhale (voice, guitar an bouzouki) an Richard Gendall (composer), Burlington Records, BURL 005, 1980[5]
  • La Grande Cornouaillaise, Burlington Records, BURL 007, 1980
  • Gwavas Lake, wi The Four Lanes Male Choir, Burlington Records, BURL 008, 1980
  • Lyonesse, wi David King (acoustic guitar), RCA, PL 70299, 1982
  • My Land, RCA, PL 70234, 1983
  • B Comme Brenda, Disc'Az (French label), AZ 494, 1985
  • Tamar, Disc'Az, AZ 505, 1986
  • The Voice of Cornwall, Keltia Music KMCD67, 1996
  • All Of Me, wi Brenda's Trio an Camborne Town Band Label- Knight Design, Cat. No. KDBWAOM00001 Dec. 2010.

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. a b "Brenda Wootton Paris concert unearthed" at
  2. Luscombe, S. (ed) (1994), Pantomime Stew – An Anthology of Poetry, Doggerel and Nonsense by Brenda Wootton, Hayle: 1994.
  3. BRENDA WOOTTON exclusive- unheard Paris concert recordings discovered at
  4. "New Brenda Wootton CD - 'All Of Me' at
  5. Track listing: 01 Boy Jan; 02 Humphry Davy; 03 Mermaid; 04 Abel George; 05 Tishomingo Blues; 06 Kerra Kernow; 07 Five Threes; 08 Allan Apple; 09 Loving Eyes; 10 James Ruse; 11 Charlie Bate; 12 I wish that I were crossing now; 13 Pensevyk Byghan

Freemit airtins[eedit | eedit soorce]