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Memories of an old Folkie - By Robbie Dalzell

Part Two

Having been rejected by the Queen and demobbed from the RAF, I threw away my Brylcream and got on with my life. Back to Glasgow and the Shipyard.

The folk scene was booming then and it wasn't long before I met up again with the lads at the Glasgow Folk Centre where I again became a regular. The Folk centre was open most evenings for Guitar, banjo and other folk instrument lessons. The building it was housed in was a condemned tenement just off George Street in the city centre. The creaks and groans of the floorboards and the walls was perfect accompaniment for some of the music. (Especially the groans!) Friday night was "Come all Ye" night which was run in blackboard concert format. Saturday night was similar except that the second half was usually reserved for a guest artiste. A star! (This was a similar format to the South Coast Folk Club Mini Concert Nights). Entry was Five shillings per head and NO alcoholic beverages were allowed in the door.....except for the anointed few. Tea and coffee was served on the premises at the exorbitant price of sixpence per cup...biscuits were extra. We had no amplification at first but by 1962 the club progressed into the near digital era and purchased one microphone. I think it was about six months later that it was realized you had to have an amplifier to go with it! Still, it had sounded great up until then.

The club had a purely listening audience which were a dream to perform for. A bouncer was employed to remove any rowdy element. Quite often we had to restrain him from ejecting the performers.

I met up again with Hamish (Imlach) and our friendship was renewed. This got me in with the crowd that travelled around to the other clubs as far away as Paisley, Dumbuck and Edinburgh. The Bob Dylan era was in full swing by this time and hundreds of hopefuls were learning how not to play the guitar and harmonica so as they could sound just like him. Our group were now past that and were more into Celtic music (Pronounced Seltic) with a smattering of songs which had emigrated to the great USA many years before. More on the personalities later.

Amongst this busy life I had to find time for courting Rita and have some input into our wedding arrangements. We were engaged before I started my National Service and only now did I realized that she was a very good singer. It was only after we were married that we were able to do something about it.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE NEXT INSTALMENT OF "MEMORIES OF AN OLD FOLKY"

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