Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles


The influence of the English southern harmony style of singing of The Copper Family is inestimable. Certainly groups like The Watersons and The Young Tradition are deeply in their debt, but the harmony singing of many English folk groups can be traced back to these roots.


The Copper Family of Rottingdean in Sussex has roots in traditional song that are at least two hundred years old. Their rare southern English harmony is presented at its most outstanding in these classic performances from the 1950s and early ’60s. Bob and Ron Copper came to prominence outside their immediate local environment when recordings of the duo were released during the early part of the folk revival. These newly remastered recordings are included here in their entirety. In addition, earlier recordings involving Bob and Ron’s fathers – Jim and John – are available for the first time. There are three songs which feature the full quartet.

The special packaging includes a 60-page booklet of extensive history, biography and social context as well as a 36-page booklet of song texts. Both booklets also contain historic photographs.

  • “inspirational … a testament to the strength of songs that have endured so long and the spirit at the heart of their survival … the whole package (is) a lesson in quality” fRoots Magazine
  • “Topic Records reputation a the great UK folk label is further enhanced by the release of (this) wonderfully packaged collection of early recordings of the legendary Copper Family. More than just a record…both an historical document and a vital part of the living tradition of English folksong” Get Rhythm magazine
  • “Resonates with a weird primitivism” Sunday Times
  • “These robust mournful songs of life’s travails and treasures have a directness and authenticity that puts most rock music to shame”Mojo
  • “Make sure to buy three copies of this CD: one for yourself to play and play all day; one to give as a present to the person who means most to you; and one to bury in the garden for the Martians when they land, to show them us Human Race were capable of real excellence. …the first booklet contains the lyrics to the songs, but with the added bonus of deeply interesting notes by Steve Roud on every one of the songs. This booklet in itself would put most CD booklets in the shade. But then, even THIS is trumped by the second booklet: a 58 page “beaut” consisting of extensive notes…it is genuinely a compulsive page turner. As for the CD content…it is all sublime.” Musical Traditions magazine
  • “These extraordinary songs breathe life into a tradition that stretches back to the Napoleonic Wars and beyond. They are the aural equivalent of remote viewing on to a vanished world. There are seafaring ballads, aching laments and songs of farewell, drinking songs alongside more ancient ballads.” The Guardian

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