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The Lost Dawg Singers Part 1

Lost Dawg Singers, 1977

Left to right:
Frank Goodwin, David McCarthy, George Zinovich, George Williams, Pat McCarthy, Mary Stewart, Linda Troy and Sandra Roberts

I would like to extend a sincere Thank You to Brian Crowe, Struan Robertson, Dale Zinovich and especially Sandra Roberts.
Without their generous contributions the Lost Dawg Singers story would not have been possible.
Gary Malone - Kimberley Keepers

The Lost Dawg Singers - some notes ....

Struan Robertson - February 2006

In the early 1960's, what had been a quiet murmer of interest in traditional folk music, exploded into a surge of musical activity. Throughout Europe and North America, people looked into their own . backgrounds, their family and regional histories, to find what had been recorded in song and verse.

Leading the revival on this continent were Woody Guthrie, Hughie Leadbetter (Leadbelly), and a group called The Weavers, the leading individual being Pete Seeger who is still singing. They sang of hard times, of good times, and of events and of social conditions. Very old traditional ballads had drifted in from 'old countries', had become modified and further modified to make them popular to new generations. There was a simplicity, or integrity, to the music that was a refreshing change from much of the commercial, tin-pan-alley stuff which had been dominating the airways during the early heydays of radio. They felt that this music 'belonged to them', was 'real'. Many people got caught up in this new folksong revival and recalled songs their parents had sung or songs they had heard many years before.

In Kimberley, in the fall of 1962, a group of people gathered at Terry and Roy Musser's house one evening to sing together for the first time and to plan singing folk songs together on a regular basis. The enthusiasm was high. There were people from different countries and backgrounds but all were caught with the new folk-song fever. Some had been inspired during the previous two years by a lovely personality in Kimberley, Zelda McLean, who believed that folk music was a way to reach to people and express feelings about the joy of living, or about injustices and imbalances in modern society. Zelda unfortunately died in a tragic accident in 1961.

On that evening in 1962, a few of the participants were standing at a window at Mussers and discussing whether this local group needed a name. 'Cherry Creek Singers', 'Kimberley Singers', 'North Star Singers', were all mentioned in a jocular fashion, when one wag, and I believe it was Jack McLean, pointed off into the north west and said, "What about the Lost Dawg Singers?" The assembled friends hooted with laughter ......•. and the name stuck.

My memory tells me that the following people were in the room that night ..•but I welcome any corrections:- Roy & Terry Musser  -  Hugh & Florida Town Bob & Ruth Forester  -  Struan & Myrra Robertson Lucille & John Martin  -  Gwen & Roy Holland George & Dale Zinovich  -  Jack McLean Anne Clemmer  -  Viv& Roy Moe Max & Mona Sykes  -  

The next Friday we met at Foresters and some others joined us. Within a few weeks, the news spread, the excitement mounted, and many people who had been attending brought friends who couldn't necessarily contribute but who 'would enjoy it'. We tried to sing everything that Harry Belafonte, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Kingston Trio, Brothers Four, and Peter, Paul and Mary had performed that week. We all played our favourite LPs at home. Some of us lapsed into folky stuff in dialects from the other side of the ocean. Some liked the music. some wanted to get a political message out, some liked the limelight, and some liked the social night out. We had a great time and agreed that this was the way to go.... we set dates for every second Friday. Frank Goodwin and Bill Booth valiantly tried to keep some order and to keep us focused.

Lost Dawg Singers

Ruth Forester and Maggie Dickeson

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