Sam is "Discovered"
Two Bold Singermen and the English Folk Revival - The Lives, Song Traditions and Legacies of Sam Larner and Harry Cox - Bruce Lindsay
Bruce Lindsay [+]
Music Journalist and Social Historian
Harry was known to ‘outsiders’ – people who were not part of his local community – from the 1920s, despite continuing to live and work in rural Norfolk. Sam’s moment of fame came much later, when he was in his late 70s. Sam retired from fishing in his mid-50s, due to ill-health, lived quietly in Winterton working at odd jobs until he reached pension age and eventually came to the attention of a BBC producer in 1956. His voice was still strong and his personality and extrovert performing style quickly made him popular. This chapter explores Sam’s emergence as an important rural singer, through his meetings with Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger and Charles Parker, who recorded him over a three-year period. Sam was the key inspiration for “Singing the Fishing,” one of MacColl and Parker’s famous Radio Ballads which featured him as a singer and narrator. MacColl based one of his best-known songs, Shoals of Herring, on Sam’s stories.