"Arguably the greatest English folk song performer...of them all" - 'Q' Magazine
For more than forty years, Martin Carthy has been one of folk music's greatest innovators. Trailblazing musical partnerships with, amongst others, Steeleye Span, Dave Swarbrick, his Mercury music prize nominated wife Norma Waterson and their daughter Eliza Carthy have resulted in more than forty albums. A ground breaking guitarist, the world famous Martin guitar company honoured him with the creation of a Signature Martin Carthy model guitar, while his settings of traditional songs have influenced a whole generation of artists including Paul Simon and Bob Dylan. He is even credited with teaching "Strawberry Fair " to Paul Simon while he was touring the UK. Martin Carthy brings a wonderful authenticity to his vocal performances in this collection and was awarded the MBE for services to English music.
Born in Scotland, Isla St Clair started her professional life as an outstanding and award-winning traditional singer before becoming a household name as Larry Grayson's co-presenter on the top rating TV series "The Generation Game". Since those heady days she remains in demand for TV, stage, radio and presenting work, but she has also returned to her roots and takes a keen interest in teaching children the importance of traditional music, performing her specially prepared programme for educational establishments at home and abroad. Her television series The Song and the Story won the coveted European award 'Prix Jeunesse'. In 2002 she was awarded an Honary Degree by the University of Aberdeen for her life long contribution to the traditional music of the North East of Scotland.
Born on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, Floella Benjamin appeared in several stage musicals, such as Jesus Christ Superstar and Black Mikado before becoming a household name as a regular presenter on BBC's "Playschool" and "Playaway" . She has since gone on to becomea very successful children's author, TV producer, businesswoman, politician and a tireless charity campaigner. In 2004, she received a BAFTA Special Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to television, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Exeter, was chosen to carry the Olympic torch through the streets of London and in recent years was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London, Chancellor of the University of Exeter and member of the House of Lords as a Life Peer, The Right Honourable The Baroness Benjamin.
"..Without doubt one of England's greatest cultural treasures" - Billy Bragg
Admired by people from the late John Peel, and Graham Coxon of Blur, to David Attenborough (who finds her singing "very touching indeed"), Shirley Collins is a traditional singer who, in her long career, has worked with artists as diverse as Davy Graham, Richard Thompson and the Early Music Consort (on the ground breaking "Anthems in Eden". ) Her voice is one of the most distinctive in music and her interpretations of traditional songs, such as these nursery rhymes, are without peer. She has said: "I like music to be fairly straightforward, simply embellished – the performance without histrionics allowing you to think about the song rather than telling you what to think." She was awarded the MBE for services to English music.
With a long and distinguished background in performing traditional music which started under the tutelage of Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, Sandra is perhaps best known for co-writing, researching and performing the music for the legendary "Bagpuss" children's television series. She was also the voice of Madeleine the rag doll, and the mice on the mouse organ! She presented numerous programmes such as The Music Box and The Listening Corner for BBC schools radio and today runs music workshops, trains teachers in the use of song and dance in early years education, and is a lecturer in folk and traditional music at Newcastle University.
As Musical Director and founder of the world-renowned ensembles New London Consort and Musicians of the Globe, Philip Pickett is considered one of today's most eminent advocates of period performance. In 1972 he became Professor of Recorder and Historical Performance at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and became one of Britain's leading recorder players, performing and recording as soloist with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Polish Chamber Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players and English Concert. From 1996-2003 Philip Pickett was artistic director of London's South Bank's annual Early Music Festival and in 1995 was appointed Director of Early Music at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London.
In the early days of the folk revival, he was a member of the Galliards with whom he made numerous radio and TV broadcasts and concert appearances. A prolific writer of songs for both adults and children, Leon Rosselson has spent his life playing, singing, writing and touring. He has had 17 children's books published including the Carnegie Medal nominated "Rosa's Singing Grandfather" (Puffin), 'Pumpkin's Downfall' ( Harper Collins ) and 'Home Is A Place Called Nowhere' ( OUP ). His guitar and banjo playing on the nursery rhymes is always inventive, melodic and beautifully performed.
Grammy Award winning composer who has scored more than twenty feature films including A Fish Called Wanda, A Private Function, UHF & Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I, II and III. His stage show Spamalot ( composed with Eric Idle ) won Tony Award for Best Show 2005 and he was Tony nominated for Best Original Score. A Trevelyan Scholar at Christ Church , Oxford, he was a Music Lecturer at London University 1976-80. He has conducted his own work all over the world with major orchestras including BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Albert Hall, LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl and the Sydney International Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House. He has composed the music for many childrens television series and now runs the Ocean Music label.
A distinguished fine artist and film director, he gave the Classic Nursery Rhymes Collection a very special look incorporating the work of classic childrens' illustrators such as Arthur Rackham (Peter Pan) and John Tenniel (Alice In Wonderland) as well as contributing many beautiful drawings of his own. His use of blue-screen technique was ground-breaking in 1980, being, as it was, right at the dawn of the video age. Milburn Foster's work can be found in many private collections, the majority in London, Sydney, Paris, Milan, Zurich, Brussels and Budapest. He currently lives and works in Budapest.
One of the leading figures in UK children's television with a long and impressive track record, which includes setting up and running the programming of the UK's first satellite service for children The Children's Channel in the 1980s, and then as Director of Children's Programmes at HTV, United Productions and Granada. Amongst the many projects he has worked on as producer or executive producer are the award winning drama series The Worst Witch (ITV) and Fungus the Bogeyman (BBC1), The Large Family (CBeebies) and two pre-school projects that he also created, The Slow Norris and Dog and Duck (CITV).
While Head of the Audio Visual Department at Longman, (part of Pearson, the world's leading educational publisher) , he came up with the idea of creating the original Nursery Rhymes video on which the Classic Nursery Rhymes Collection is based.
Chief Recording Engineer at Brittania Row Studios where the Nursery Rhymes were recorded. This famous London studio was owned and run by the Pink Floyd of which Nick Griffiths was a long time associate. The high quality and clarity of the Nursery Rhymes recordings is entirely due to his dedicated work and the studio's beautiful acoustics and high quality equipment. Nick worked on the "The Wall" album (1979) and many solo albums for Pink Floyd members. He is credited with coming up the idea to record a children's choir on "Another Brick In The Wall" and was in charge of the live sound at the famous concert to commemorate the fall of the Berin Wall. He sadly passed away on March 20th 2005, aged 53, following complications after a transplant operation. He is fondly remembered and sadly missed.
The much loved Longmans Nursery Rhyme Video (1982) which sold over 1 million copies has been digitally re-mastered as The Classic Nursery Rhymes Collection. CD available at Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk.
CD Download at Amazon.com & iTunes.
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