27 April 1925
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
3 January 1987 (aged 61)
Alex Campbell (1925 - 1987) was a Scottish folk singer. Described by Colin Harper as a "melancholic, hard-travelling Glaswegian", he was influential in the British folk music revival of the 1950s and 1960s and was one of the first folk singers (in modern times) to tour the UK and Europe. His nickname was "Big Daddy".
Alex was known to say "Hell Yeah" when he was happy and approved of a performance. He grew up in Glasgow and often told stories of his childhood experiences. His childhood Roberta Mack left him for an American soldier. This is cited by many to be the start of his journey. He left Glasgow and joined the Inland Revenue in London as an Executive Officer. He had to leave after an altercation with a fellow member of staff. Alex went to Paris where he started busking. As his reputation began growing he started a somewhat erratic recording career. It is said he started as a skiffle player but moved on to folk music. In the sixties he was part of the revival of folk music in the UK. As that moved less into the conciousness of the British society he trailblazed the terrirtories of Europe when he recorded some of his best work. until his untimely death in Denmark on the 3rd of January 1987. The Danish Government paid for a piper to pipe his body onto the plane to Scotland. On arrival in Scotland, nothing!
Alex sang songs of all kinds, from Woody Guthrie to Bob Dylan to Tom Paxton to Donovan; traditional Scottish ballads and his own compositions — including the classic, Been On The Road Too Long. During his career he recorded over 100 albums, many of these for ready cash, and received very little in royalties in his lifetime. It was said that no record did him justice; he had to be seen live.
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