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  • Born

    1934 (age 84)

Leon Rosselson (born 1934) is a well-respected English songwriter and writer of children's books. Launching his career in the early '60s, he was a member of folk revivalist group The Galliards. Later, in 1962, he was a founding member of The Three City Four. He came to prominence, singing his own satirical songs, in the BBC's topical TV programme of the early 1960s, That Was The Week That Was.

For much of his career Rosselson has toured Britain and abroad, singing mainly his own songs and accompanying himself with complex arrangements for acoustic guitar. Most of his material includes some sort of satirical content or elements of radical politics. He also collaborated with other musicians, notably recording with Roy Bailey as Leon Rosselson & Roy Bailey.

A major break in Rosselson's bid for success came when Billy Bragg's version of "The World Turned Upside Down" reached the British Top Ten in 1985. Two years later, Rosselson had a minor hit with his independently-released single, "Ballad of a Spycatcher," recorded with accompaniment by Billy Bragg and the Oysterband.

Rosselson has remained active in a wide range of mediums. His first children's book, Rosa's Singing Grandfather, published in 1991, was listed for a Carnegie Medal. Rosselson has written songs and scripts for Interaction's Doggs Troupe, Fun Art Bus and for the stage production of They Shoot Horses, Don't They, presented at the Crucible Theater in Sheffield. Together with socialist magician Ian Seville, Rosselson has performed in two stage shows. While 'A Dinosaur in My Shoe' was directed at children, 'Look at It This Way' was more aimed at adults.

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