A celebration of 1959/1960 recordings in Buchan by Kenneth Goldstein

Below is an account of the project, currently being worked up by some of Scotland's finest traditional singers.
Recordings of new performances they make will be available here.

In 1959/60 American folklorist Ken Goldstein spent a year in Buchan, collecting traditional songs in Fetterangus, New Pitsligo, Strichen and around. He copied most of his tapes to the School of Scottish Studies archive, but not all. In early 2024 all his Buchan recordings, held in the University of Mississippi [Ole Miss], are to be put on line. The Ploughmen and Quines project aims to -
a] have esteemed Scottish singer Christine Kydd work with ‘Tripple’, a trio of female young and emerging artists in the North-East, to explore the repertoire of Traveller Lucy Stewart and develop responding performances of some of her songs, particularly the song she was best known for The Ploughman Laddies Are Aa The Go.
b] have one of Scotland’s best known bothy ballad singers, Scott Gardiner, and folklore academic Katherine Campbell, work to locate the families of 1960 singers and ‘repatriate’ the recordings to them [we already have contact with several family members]. This work includes online research, and eventual local presentation and celebration events in the key communities.
c] have the above work documented through recordings and photography by songwriter and technical expert Andy Shanks, and through the creation of a dedicated website made by project leader Ewan McVicar.
d] Create a storytelling element in the new website from Pauline Cordiner of GAS, retelling stories given to Goldstein by Lucy Stewart and others.
e] utilise in the project the 1960 P&J articles written by then reporter Arthur Argo about Goldstein at work, and recordings of singers Argo did at that time. Arthur subsequently became a key mover and shaker in the Scottish Folksong Revival of the 1960s.
f] Involvement of Natalie Chalmers jointly with Scott Gardiner re 1] her account of being taught songs by Elizabeth Stewart, 2] some tracks by her of the songs she learned to be added to the website, and 3] her help to seek local knowledge of some of the singers not yet fully documented.
As well as a strong focus on Lucy of the Fetterangus Stewarts, the wider account includes the ‘Mowat Family’ of Craigmaud, New Pitsligo, whose songs were also collected by Gavin Grieg and J M Carpenter, and the recordings of several other interesting singers.

Natalie Chalmers is one of Scotland's best young traditional singers. She was taught her singing skills by various others, but gives the key credit to Elizabeth Stewart of Fishie. Below is a link to her talking about Elizabeth.
Also below are pages from Natalie's notebook in which Elizabeth has written lyrics in her distinctive attractive script.