The EFDSS president and grande dame of folk music, Shirley Collins celebrates her 80th birthday this Sunday July 5.
We will be holding our own celebration in October, but The Southbank Centre is also holding an event in her honour this Sunday. ‘All in the Downs’ will start with Shirley in conversation with Stewart Lee from 3pm, with an all-star band performing her classic album No Roses from 7:30pm.
Shirley first became involved in the folk music scene in the early 1950s, meeting the likes of Bob Copper, Ewan McColl and Bert Lloyd. Collaborating with a variety of artists including her sister Dolly and Davy Graham, Shirley released a number of albums through the 1960s and 1970s including Anthems in Eden (1969) with Dolly and Early English musician David Munrow, which is considered by many to be her seminal album. During the 1970s she was a member of The Albion Band and the Etchingham Steam Band before retiring from singing.
Shirley has got an upcoming book and film, and previews of both will feature at the October celebration at Cecil Sharp House. Watch this space!