Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Lionel Long "The Bold Bushrangers" 1963 (2 LP Set)

The Bold Bushrangers was a two LP set issued in 1963.  All but two of the tracks were specifically penned for this project by the Australian author Kenneth Cook (best known for "Wake in Fright").  Somewhat paradoxically, whereas Long previously recorded traditional material with modern-style musical backing, this contemporary material has a very folky backing often with just Long accompanying himself on guitar.  Some tracks also feature that superb five-string banjo player, Dave Guard, an original member of the Kingston Trio who migrated to Australia in 1962 and backed several Australia performers (sometimes under other names e.g with Tina Date as Dynamite Finkelstein).
Kenneth Cook's wife, Patricia Cook is the soloist on three of the tracks and performs a duet with Long on one other. I know nothing about this lady but she gives a strong performance with a distinct Irish style highly reminiscent of the legendary Delia Murphy, the "Queen of Connemara" who was very well-known in Australia as she had accompanied her husband Tom Kiernan when he was appointed as the first Irish Ambassador to Australia in the post WWII years and often performed especially on ABC radio.

There have been some difficulties in getting reasonable LPs of this set.  Finally, Ian of WA, has provided me with copies of both volumes (thanks Ian),  Volume 1 is mono whereas volume 2 is stereo and in far better condition than 1 which had three fairly worn tracks on side two (the first three) causing some minor distortion which I can't correct.

Ian has also kindly provided text of the rears of the LPs. and these are included in the download.

The two traditional tracks are "The Wild Colonial Boy" and "Moreton Bay" and Kenneth Cook has written some really great songs for this set. My favourites are "The Drifting Smoke of the Mountain" and "Sir Frederick Pottinger" but others are also enjoyable.

MP3 @ 192-224

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  1. I have only discovered Paticia Cook lately. I found a test pressing of an LP she put out called "Songs of the Colonial days" and another LP called "there comes a time". Both contain bush ballads, most songs, I suspect were written by her novalist husband. Jazz gutarist Don Andrews plays acoustic guitar on both LPs.She also has an EP called Songs of the Lachlan, if I remember correctly.All early to mid 60's.
    She is a sadly overlooked Australian Folk singer and it is hard to find her recordings and info about her.

  2. I grew up with an album by Patricia Cook in the late 60's. All I can remember is the cover having a painting of a stage coach hold up and,eerily enough, I catch myself crooning a song that has the refrain gun, saddles and campfires, ashes in the night. I came looking to see if there is anything available on the internet and ended up here.

  3. John Carroll - CanberraMay 3, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    Peter, here are the words to the song you remember:

    Written by probably in the 1960s by Kenneth Cook (author of the novel ”Wake In Fright”), sung by his wife Patricia Cook on “Songs From Colonial Days”, Paul Hamlyn MFP-A 8040 1972.

    Did you know my mate Ben Hall?
    when he rode the Weddin mountain.
    I never thought to see him fall.
    But did you know - they shot him.

    And did you know his friend John Dunne?
    the one who fought the p'lice at Forbes.
    You know he wore a yankee gun.
    But did you know - they hanged him.

    You'll never hear their hoofbeats now.
    of those men who rode the dark night.
    Guns, saddles and campfires -
    ashes in the starlight.

    And did you know that darkie lad.
    the one they used to call Frank Gardiner?
    You know the winning ways he had.
    But did you know - they jailed him.

    And Johnny Gilbert he was there,
    when they bailed up Wangaratta.
    There was nothing he'd not dare.
    Did you know, - he died fighting.


    There was a price upon their heads,
    a thousand pound the price of their blood
    A thousand pound alive or dead.
    Did you know? - that it’s been paid.

    The Gardiner, Gilbert, Dunne and Hall,
    did you never see them riding?
    Through the mountain timbers tall?
    Now one by one they've all gone.


  4. I remember listening to these songs over and over again, and having just had my brother remind me of them, I was so amazed at how much I had missed hearing them. I am interested in finding a way of regaining the old music, as my father has sadly gotten rid of his old records, and although he remembers them fondly, is unable to recall how he got rid of them.
    If anyone could point me in the direction of how to obtain these again, I would appreciate it very much.

  5. flea markets, garage sales, book fairs, eBay and the like.

  6. I have just got hold of a copy of "Did You Know Them?" (Music for Pleasure MFP-A 8040) for 99c and it is in very good condition. I will digitise it with the covers and forward it to Paul to place on this site. - Ian in Tassie.

    1. I look forward to seeing it Ian! 99c? Hard to get anything at such a reasonable price these days.