Goldstein stravaiging in 1959/60

MAN WITH A PLAN Goldstein’s Fulbright application was to work in specific North Buchan places and ballad seeking. He found Child ballads, bothy ballads, narrative songs, songs of courting and sentiment, broadside ballads, other songs, children’s lore and stories.

The first recording session in Buchan by KG, in October 195 was with George Inglis Fraser. Geordie Fraser was born in 1889 in Gowanhill, Rathen, near Fraserburgh. He was schooled till aged 13, then worked as a gardener, a forestry worker, and then as a crofter, as a farmer at Achnagatt, with the Forestry Commission again, and finally in the Toolworks in Fraserburgh. He retired in 1954. Geordie Fraser’s repertoire had a range of song types and topics that mirrors most of what KG gathered over the next year. He sang KG 20 songs.

Next recording by KG was Lucy Stewart of Fetterangus. Ken spent a whole year in her house in Fetterangus. To begin with she was reticent with him, but eventually he recording many wonderful hours of song and story from her. He hoped to have three LPs of her issued in the USA but only one appeared. See pages above in her name for much more about Lucy.

Lucy's first recordings were followed by Andrew Robbie of Hillhead, Auchentumb. Born at Brownhill Buxie, Maud, by Peterhead, and lived in New Pitsligo, Strichen, where he was a farm servant and farmer. In 1960 38 tracks were recorded by K Goldstein.

CHARLES FIDDES REID was a major contributor – long distance via tapes he sent KG form Epsom & Ewell in the south of England.. Charles Fiddes Reid was born in 1907 in Rora, Aberdeenshire. Growing up in a strong Scots-speaking farming community in Buchan, he was immersed in the strong oral tradition of the area, acquiring a vast repertoire of songs, stories and poetry. At school, he also enjoyed learning about the work of renowned Scots poets such as Burns and Scott. He left school at the age of 13, first working on the farm, before taking a tailoring apprenticeship. Having received advice that there was no future in tailoring, he then left Scotland to serve as a Police Officer with the Metropolitan Police in London. He remained in England for the rest of his life, but was fiercely proud of his Buchan roots, and was a regular contributor of prose and poetry in Doric to the Buchan Observer in Peterhead. After his death in 1983, these poems and stories were compiled by Charles' son and published in two booklets, in order to memorialise his work. [Titles are ‘Charlie’s Buchan’ and ‘Hippens On The Breem’]

Helen [Ella] Scott sang KG many songs, and in 2024 at the age of 93 she is still living in Fraserburgh.
I fould her with the help of Julie Campbell, Campbellton, Fraserburgh, whose husband Gordon is Ella’s only relative. Ella was recorded by KG under Mowat Family heading, and also with her brother – Wullie Scott (1925-1995) who played moothie for KG - at Little Burnthill Farm, near Percyhorner, Fraserburgh. Emily was the sister of Ella’s father, and Ella and Emily sing several songs in close unison, which suggests Ella learned the songs from Emily. In April 2024 singers Scott Gardiner and Natalie Chalmers were able to interview Ella, their conversation is in rich Doric.

Christina [Tina] Stewart (1893-?) of Fettercairn sang 27 songs to KG. Christina was the mother of Jane Turriff. Jeannie Robertson’s mother was her cousin, and Carl McDougall said she was a cousin of Davie Stewart 'The Galoot'. She was also recorded by others, including Bill Leader – see the Travelling Stewarts 1967/8 album on Topic. In Tobar An Dualchais a poorly recorded conversation has been misunderstood, and says that the Travelling Stewarts album was recorded in her house. I think it is in fact a compilation of various recording sessions.

Recordings reels marked 'Stewarts and Robertsons, New Pitsligo' are surely an extended traveller family. Some 16 names are listed, including several Stewarts. In March 1960 one reel was recorded in New Pitsligo, another 2 weeks later in Strichen. There is a real mixture of material – ballads, bawdy parodies, accordion + spoons + whistling, stories, adults and young voices. Alan Brown, Peter Cullen, Jean Dugart or Dugert. Jean Murray, Mrs Reed, Jean Reid. Gordon Robertson, Jean Robertson, Neil Robertson. Antonia Stewart, James Stewart, James R Stewart, Jimmy Stewart, Maggie Stewart, Margaret Stewart, Wilson White.
Interestingly, Goldstein did not share these recordings with the School of Scottish Studies. I continue to try to get information about the informants.

There were others who sang for KG, see the full list above in the page 1959/60 singers in Buchan.

Mrs Sangster was not recorded by Goldstein, but by Arthur Argo, who as a newspaper reporter had spent a week following Goldstein, and had caught the collecting bug. Elsewhere in this website are Arthur's 1960 articles.

Maybe put newspaper articles about or by KG here that Pauline finding

bird singing on tree
bird singing on tree