Copper family recordings - a complete discography

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Compiled by Tony Rees, February-March 2001 - with continuing additions (and HTML) by Garry Gillard and thanks to Bob Blackman - whose own discography (which he was kind enough to share with us) is in Sing Out! for May 2001
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Acknowledgements. The following sources were particularly helpful:

- for historic BBC sessions: on-line catalogue, National Sound Archive, London, and Dave Bland's detailed notes (with Mike Yates' discographical assistance) to the 4-LP Song For Every Season box set

- for album details and tracklists: The Folk Index; Mike Brocken & Rod Stradling's Topic Records Discography; Peter Kennedy's Folktrax on-line catalogue; plus information previously held on Garry Gillard's Coppers website (this site!), 1998 onwards

- various album sleeve notes and track lists

This discography is undoubtedly not perfect, but is offered as a "step along the road". Others (Mike Yates, Peter Kennedy?) could without a doubt do better! However, here it is. Notification of omissions and errors would be appreciated, please to Garry Gillard (whose website this is).

Tony Rees - Hobart, Tasmania, March 2001.

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The Discography
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James and Bob Copper: BBC archive recording by Peter Kennedy, Rottingdean, Sussex, 1/3/51. Label: BBC ARCHIVE 16060. [Not commercially available] incl: Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy; Claudy Banks [+ others?]

James and Bob Copper: BBC archive recording by Peter Kennedy, Rottingdean, Sussex, 1/3/51. Label: BBC ARCHIVE 16061. [Not commercially available] incl: Two Young Brethren (?2 versions) [+ others?]

James and Bob Copper: BBC archive recording by Peter Kennedy, Rottingdean, Sussex, 1/3/51. Label: BBC ARCHIVE 16062. [Not commercially available] incl: Charming Molly; When Spring Comes On; Brisk And Bonny Lad [+ others?]

James and Bob Copper: BBC archive recording by Peter Kennedy, Rottingdean, Sussex, 1/3/51. Label: BBC ARCHIVE 16063. [Not commercially available] incl: Sweep Chimney Sweep; No John No; Brisk Young Ploughboy (?) [+ others?]

James and Bob Copper: BBC archive recording by Peter Kennedy, Rottingdean, Sussex, 1/3/51. Label: BBC ARCHIVE 16064. [Not commercially available] incl: Brisk Young Ploughboy (?) [+ others?]

James and Bob Copper: BBC archive recording by Peter Kennedy, Rottingdean, Sussex, 1/3/51. Label: BBC ARCHIVE 16065. [Not commercially available] incl: The Ploughshare; Come Write Me Down [+ others?]

James and Bob Copper: BBC archive recording by Peter Kennedy, Rottingdean, Sussex, 1/3/51. Label: BBC ARCHIVE 16066. [Not commercially available] incl: Spencer the Rover; Shepherd Of The Downs [+ others?]

James and Bob Copper: BBC archive recording by Peter Kennedy, Rottingdean, Sussex, 1/3/51. Label: BBC ARCHIVE 16067. [Not commercially available] incl: Pleasant Month of May; Babes In The Wood [+ others?]

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Note: six songs from the above 1951 recordings of James Copper were subsequently released commercially on Folktrax 082 (1975).
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James (Jim), John, Bob and Ron Copper: BBC archive recording by Seamus Ennis, Rottingdean, Sussex, 3/4/52. Label: BBC ARCHIVE 17986. [Not commercially available] incl: Warlike Seamen; Come Write Me Down [+ others?]

James (Jim), John, Bob and Ron Copper: BBC archive recording by Seamus Ennis, Rottingdean, Sussex, 3/4/52. Label: BBC ARCHIVE 17987. [Not commercially available] incl: Admiral Benbow [+ others?]

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Note: two songs from the above 1952 recordings of Jim, John, Ron and Bob Copper were subsequently released commercially: "Banks of The Sweet Primroses" on The Electric Muse Island FOLK 1001 (1975), and "Warlike Seamen" on Coppersongs EFDSS VWML 004.
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James (Jim) Copper: BBC archive recording by Seamus Ennis, Rottingdean, Sussex, 24/4/52. Label: BBC ARCHIVE 17988. (no details) [Not commercially available]

James (Jim) and Bob Copper: BBC archive recording by Seamus Ennis, Rottingdean, Sussex, 24/4/52. Label: BBC ARCHIVE 17989. [Not commercially available] incl: Thousands Or More; My Love Has Gone (fragment); Heigh Ho, Sing Ivy [+ others?]

James (Jim) and Bob Copper: BBC archive recording by Seamus Ennis, Rottingdean, Sussex, 24/4/52. Label: BBC ARCHIVE 17990. [Not commercially available] incl: A Week Before Easter [+ others?]

Bob and Ron Copper: BBC archive recording by Peter Kennedy, Rottingdean, Sussex, 2/2/55. Label: BBC ARCHIVE 21543. [Not commercially available] incl: When Adam Was First Created [+ others?]

Bob and Ron Copper: BBC archive recording by Peter Kennedy, Rottingdean, Sussex, 2/2/55. Label: BBC ARCHIVE 21544. [Not commercially available] incl: The Shepherd's Song; A Lawyer Bold; Shepherds Arise [+ others?]

Bob Copper: BBC archive recording by Peter Kennedy, Rottingdean, Sussex, 2/2/55. Label: BBC ARCHIVE 21545. [Not commercially available] incl: Brisk and Lively Lad; Sweet Lemeney [+ others?]

Bob Copper: BBC archive recording by Peter Kennedy, Rottingdean, Sussex, 2/2/55. Label: BBC ARCHIVE 21546. [Not commercially available] incl: Spotted Cow; Sheep Shearing Song [+ others?]

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Note: songs from the above 1952 recordings of Jim, John, Ron and Bob Copper were subsequently released commercially: "Banks of The Sweet Primeroses" on The Electric Muse Island/Transatlantic FOLK 1001 (1975), and "Warlike Seamen" on Coppersongs EFDSS VWML 004
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John(?) Copper: BBC archive recording by ??, 11/55. Label: BBC LP 26349. [Not commercially available] incl: Brisk And Bonny Lad; Heigh Ho, Sing Ivy [+ others?]

Bob Copper: BBC archive recording by ??, 24/12/1957. Label: BBC LP 25616. [Not commercially available] incl: Babes In The Wood [+ others?]

Various Artists - Folk Songs of Britain, 1961, Caedmon #1142-1146, 1162-1164, 1224-1225. Reissued in England as Topic #157-161, 194-198. This ten-LP set of field recordings included 11 songs from Bob and Ron Copper on various volumes. Rounder Records is in the process of reissuing expanded versions of these LPs on CD, edited by Peter Kennedy, as part of The Alan Lomax Collection. Three volumes have appeared to date but none with Copper Family tracks. [Entry thanks to Bob Blackman.]

Various Artists - The Folk Songs of Britain, Vol 1. The Songs of Courtship (1961) Caedmon TC 1142 (USA). Issued in UK as Topic 12T157 (1966) includes Bob Copper: The False Bride; Bob and Ron Copper: The Sweet Primeroses; Bob and Ron Copper: Dame Durden; Bob and Ron Copper: No John, No. (Coppers tracks prob. taken from BBC recordings, 1951-57)

Various Artists - The Folk Songs of Britain, Vol 3. Jack of All Trades (1961) Caedmon TC 1144 (USA). Issued in UK as Topic 12T159 (1966) includes Bob and Ron Copper: Jovial Tradesman; Bob and Ron Copper: Merry Haymakers; Bob and Ron Copper: Sweep, Chimney, Sweep. (Coppers tracks prob. taken from BBC recordings, 1951-57)

Various Artists - The Folk Songs of Britain, Vol 4. The Child Ballads 1 [2-95] (1961) Caedmon TC 1145 (USA). Issued in UK as Topic 12T160 (1966) includes Bob and Ron Copper: The Elfin Knight (=An Acre of Land; Strawberry Lane) (Coppers tracks prob. taken from BBC recordings, 1951-57)

Various Artists - The Folk Songs of Britain, Vol 6. Sailor Men and Serving Maids (196?) Caedmon TC 1162 (USA). Issued in UK as Topic 12T194 (1969) includes Bob and Ron Copper: Warlike Seaman (Coppers tracks prob. taken from BBC recordings, 1951-57)

Various Artists - The Folk Songs of Britain, Vol 9. Songs of Ceremony. Issued in UK as Topic 12T197 includes Bob and Ron Copper: Twelve Days of Christmas and Shepherds Arise (Coppers tracks recorded at Rottingdean, Sussex by Peter Kennedy and prob. taken from BBC recordings, 1951-57)

Bob and Ron Copper - Traditional Songs from Rottingdean (1963) EFDSS LP 1002 (Limited release; available to EFDSS members only) (tracks prob. taken from BBC recordings, 1951-57, most/all rec. by Peter Kennedy)

Bob and Ron Copper - English Shepherd and Farming Songs (1964) Folk Legacy (USA) FSB 019 Reissue of EFDSS LP 1002 under a different title.

Bob and Ron Copper - BBC archive recordings, 1963 by Peter Kennedy (no details) - a selection of these recordings have later released on Folktrax 081, 1975 (see below)

Various Artists - Folksound of Britain (LP) (1965) HMV CLP 1910 Recorded live at Royal Festival Hall, 4/6/65 incl: Bob and John Copper: Come Write Me Down

The Copper Family - A Song for Every Season (1971) LEAB 404 (LEA 4046-4049). Boxed set of 4 records, with 16 page booklet. Rec. by Bill Leader, Peacehaven, c.1971
LEA 4046 - Tater Beer Night: Dame Durdon; By the Green GSrove; Spencer the Rover; Charming Molly; Sweep Chimney Sweep; Rose of Allandale; Pleasant Month of May; When Spring Comes On; Spotted Cow; Wop She 'ad it i-o; A Week Before Easter; Brisk and Lively Lad.
LEA 4047 - Black Ram: Sheep Shearing Song; Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy; Claudy Banks; Sweet Leneney, Corduroy; Come All Bold Britons; No John No; The Shepherd's Song; Thousands or More; Shepherd of the Downs; As I Walked Out.
LEA 4048 - Hollerin' Pot: Seamen Bold; When Adam Was First Created; A Lawyer Bold; Gentlemen of High Renown; My Love Has Gone; Battle of Alma; Warlike Seamen; Brisk and Bonny Lad; Sportsmen Arouse; Admiral Benbow; Wind Across the Moor; Oh Good Ale.
LEA 4049 - Turn o' the Year: Shepherds Arise; Softly the Night; Christmas Song; Babes in the Wood; The Dying Soldier; Brisk Young Ploughboy; Heigh Ho Sing Ivy; Jolly Good Song; Two Young Brethren; The Ploughshare; Come Write Me Down.

The Copper Family - A Song For Every Season [Selected tracks from the 4LP set] (1971) Leader LED 2067

Various Artists - The Brave Ploughboy: Songs and Stories in a Sussex Pub, 1975, XTRA #1150. Bob, John, and Lynne Copper: "Two Young Brethren"; Bob and John Copper: "The Brisk Young Ploughboy" (recorded 1974). (o-o-p)

Various Artists - The Electric Muse [4-LP box set] (1975) Island/Transatlantic FOLK 1001 incl. Jim, John, Bob and Ron Copper: The Banks of Sweet Primroses [rec. Seamus Ennis, 1952 for BBC]

Bob and Ron Copper - The Banks of Claudy (1975) Folktrax 081 (Cassette: 60 min.). CD release Folktrax SPCD 081 (2000). -- recorded in Rottingdean by Peter Kennedy (?for the BBC) in 1963

Bob, Ron and Jim Copper: Twankydillo (1975) Folktrax 082 (Cassette: 60 min.). CD release Folktrax SPCD 082 (2000).

Bob Copper: Sweet Rose In June (Countryside Songs from the South) (1977) Topic 12TS 328 -- Southern English songs from outside the Copper Family repertoire, songs collected by Bob Copper in Hampshire and Sussex

The Copper Family - Copper Family - 1: Come All You Bold Britons (1983) Folktrax 238 (Cassette: 90 min.). Recorded items range in date from 1963-1983.

The Copper Family - Copper Family - 2: Adam And Eve (1983) Folktrax 239 (Cassette: 90 min.). Recordings by Peter Kennedy at Rottingdean, Sussex between 1951-1983.

Various Artists - Will's Barn, 1987, EFDSS #VWML002. Seven songs by Bob, John, Jill, and Jon Dudley, recorded at a live "singaround" in September 1986. Also includes the Holme Valley Tradition, Bob Davenport and the Rakes, and Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson. (o-o-p)

The Copper Family: Coppersongs (1988). EFDSS VWML 004. All tracks rec. London, October 1987 except Warlike Seamen (The Irish Captain) rec. Seamus Ennis for the BBC archive, 3.4.1952, featuring Jim, John (Snr), Bob and Ron Copper.

Various Artists - Sea Songs & Shanties, 1994, Saydisc #405. Bob and Ron Copper: "Warlike Seamen," "The Banks of Claudy" (recorded 1955).

The Copper Family - Coppersongs 2: The Living Tradition of the Copper Family (1995) Coppersongs CD2.

Various Artists - When the May Is All In Bloom: Traditional singing from the South East of England (1995). Veteran Tapes VT 131 CD. Performers include Bob and John Copper; Louie Fuller; Gordon Hall; Bob Lewis; Ron Spicer. Bob Copper: "George Collins," "The Trees They Do Grow High"; John Copper: "Shift Up a Little Bit Farther, "The Clothes Horse".

Various Artists - Hidden English: A Celebration of English Traditional Music (1996) Topic TSCD 600 includes Bob & Ron Copper: The Sweet Primroses

Various Artists - New Electric Muse: The Story Of Folk Into Rock [3 CD set] (1996) Castle Communication ESB CD 416 includes The Copper Family: Spencer the Rover [from "A Song for Every Season", 1971]

Froots #6, 1996, free CD included with the January/February 1996 issue of Folk Roots. Bob Copper: "Rags and Old Iron".

The Copper Family - Coppersongs 3: The Legacy Continues (1998) Coppersongs CD3

Various Artists - World Library of Folk and Primitive Music. Vol 1. England (1998) Rounder 1741 incl: Jim and Bob Copper: Contented Country Lad; Jim Copper: The Threshing Machine [probably early 50s recordings from the BBC archive]

Various Artists - Rich At The Roots: The Folk Alliance Showcase Compilation, Vol. II (1998) (no details) includes the Copper Family: By The Green Groves

Various Artists - A Century of Song A Celebration of Traditional Singers Since 1898 (1998) EFDSS CD02 --includes The Copper Family ((Bob, John and Lynne, Jill and Jon Dudley): Claudy Banks (recorded 1986); Bob and Ron Copper: Spencer the Rover (recorded 1951).

Various Artists - The Alan Lomax Collection Sampler (1997). Rounder CD 1700 includes Bob & Ron Copper: The Jovial Tradesman (recorded 1955).

Various Artists - Songs of Christmas from the Alan Lomax Collection (1998). Rounder CD 611719 includes Bob & Ron Copper: The Twelve Days of Christmas; Shepherds Arise.

Froots #10, 1998, free CD included with the January/February 1998 issue of Folk Roots. Includes Bob Copper: Goin' Down to Brownsville.

Various Artists - The Folk Awards (2001). Topic TSCD 850 includes The Copper Family: Spencer the Rover.

Jim, John, Ron and Bob Copper - Come Write Me Down: Early Recordings of the Copper Family of Rottingdean, Topic TSCD534, 5 November 2001. These are all archive recordings listed above and re-released on CD.


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New: 11 March 2001 | Now: 4 November 2001 | Garry Gillard thanks Tony Rees, of course, and also Patrick Hurley.