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THE SEARCH FOR FIVE FINGER FRANK features Pete Coe (vocals, melodeons, banjo, bouzouki and bansitar) and Alice Jones (vocals, harmonium, piano, whistles, clarinet and feet). The concerts and recordings feature new arrangements of traditional songs including "One Summer's Morning", "Bonny Bunch Of Roses", "The Swan Swims So Bonny", "Sprig Of Thyme", "Hares In The Old Plantation", "The Deserter", "Riley The Fisherman", "Scarborough Fair", "The Kirkgate Hornpipes", "The Knight And Shepherd's Daughter" and more. Some tracks have the addition of brass arrangements, Gina Le Faux on fiddle and The Black Box Band on the tune sets. Additional choruses by Chris Coe, Johnny Adams, Michael Beeke and Murray Grainger.

BBC Radio Leeds have commissioned a documentary about Frank Kidson, described as a pioneer of the folk song revival.

During the research for this project, Pete & Alice made contact with Kidson’s great, great nephew, Eric Cowell, who donated much research carried out by his wife, Ray, which included copies of Kidson’s manuscripts and first editions of his first two books. When Kidson died in 1926 his huge collection of books & broadsides and manuscripts was purchased for £500 by The Mitchell Library, Glasgow, as there was no interest in Leeds.

Frank Kidson was born in Leeds in 1855 & described himself as a “journalist and a bit of an author. In addition, he was also an artist, local historian, authority on Leeds Pottery, broadcaster and musical antiquarian. He amassed a collection of over 9000 books on early British Music and over 2000 broadsides and was frequently visited by Ralph Vaughan Williams & others who used his library which was housed in his terraced home in Chapeltown. He realised that not all old music was to be found in print and noted down traditional songs from his mother, Mary, singers he met on his painting expeditions and other business friends in Leeds who were also interested in old songs & music. In particular, a man who gave him many songs and became a collaborator in his collecting was builder, Charles Lolley.

More information from the Five Finger Frank website

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Contact Pete at: petecoe@backshift.demon.co.uk

Updated April 2014