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This page is dedicated to one of England's finest folk groups that, at the time of being active, did not receive the full recognition that was justly deserved.

Their commercial output is set out on this page, along with the correct dates, and additional statistics. This should prove constructive for Faraway Folk fans, and persons who wish to assemble a collection, which is quite within one's grasp.. possibly?

So The Story Goes

John Turk and Shirley Turk, who married in 1962, had been into folk music since the late 50's. The pair, who at the time lived in Berkshire, used to meet up with friends who had the same interests, and would have their own folk sessions at home. Nothing more.

In 1967, John and Shirley moved to Brixham in Devon, where they settled in quite nicely, but did not appear to have much interest in pursuing the musical side of things. Until that is, when Shirley joined the local operatic society in 1969, where she met John Hartshorn and Judy Whittington.  The four immediately struck up sound friendship, being as all were musically minded.

John H was quite a proficient guitarist, and he expressed a strong interest in folk music. Enough said!  John T immediately suggested a get-together at home, with the two John's playing guitar, and the girls singing. This was perfect harmony from the word go.  In fact, after only a few evenings of these gatherings, John H announced that he had arranged a gig for the four of them at the Bolton Hotel, Brixham, for the coming Sunday! 

Enter the Faraway Folk. Their first public appearance being so well received, ensured their return the following week, and then every Sunday, courtesy of the Bolton. The 1970 summer season then came along, and the Folk were invited to play Wednesdays also. Okay, not the Albert Hall, but the place used to get packed on these nights. To ensure that the public stayed interested, they were allowed to join in some of the songs, and along with some funny songs, a few jokes, etc, a good time was had by all.

John Hartshorn had written an anti-war protest song called "Lonely Girl", and wanted to record it professionally. He had seen an advertisement in the local paper of a recording studio over at Torquay called "West Of England Sound".  The two Johns' went over to see the owner, Tony Waldron , to find out the logistics.  It was proposed that a 4-track record to be cut, to include John's own composition, with an initial run 99 units, so as to keep the expense to a minimum.  So the Folk went over to the studio one evening, and recorded four songs for their debut record, "Introducing The Faraway Folk",  all being done and dusted within 3 hours.

EP: RA EP 7001  FARAWAY FOLK "INTRODUCING:.."
  
Side 1: LONELY GIRL  * I LOVE A LASS  **  Side 2: SPARROW  *  DRUNKEN NIGHTS

The EP sold well at the Bolton on their folk nights. In fact all 99 were sold within 2 weeks, so another 99 were pressed, followed by another batch, with most being sold in a space of  a few weeks.  By now, Tony was obviously impressed with this achievement, so he suggested to the foursome to make an LP.  As this would now involve a greater outlay, Tony proposed that he would pay all costs, with the agreement that he would become Faraway Folk's manager.  Contract signed August 1970.

On Sunday 23rd August, Tony parked his van, complete with recording equipment, outside the Bolton. Microphones strategically placed within, Tony recorded the evening's proceedings, with the end result being the release of Faraway Folk's first LP. Albeit live, this album is a fine output from a then semi-professional outfit, and is comparable with most folk groups performing live having just two acoustic guitars as musical accompaniment. 

RA LP 6006 FARAWAY FOLK " LIVE AT THE BOLTON"
LP_LiveAtTheBolton.jpg (53821 bytes)
photo:  Brixham Harbour  (+ top inset :The Faraway Folk outside The Bolton, Brixham).

LESSON TOO LATE * WAYWARD BOY * JOHNNY IS A SHOEMAKER * ST. JAMES INFIRMARY * ADMIRAL BENBOW 
 THE ANDALUCIAN GYPSIES * DRUNKEN SAILOR * SANTIANO * KAZZO SONG * IKLEY MOOR * WHIP JAMBOREE
BOLTON HOTEL * SKIFFLE MEDLEY = She'll Be Coming Round../ All My Sins/ Down By The River Side/ Putting On The Agony

Two original F. Folk compositions: Kazoo Song & Bolton Hotel. The Andalucian Gypsies is penned by Benny Hill.
Shirley & Judy duet on Johnny Is A Shoemaker,  & Admiral Benbow (unaccompanied).
This recording is as performed in front of an appreciative audience, 
 including spoken introductions, and has not been edited down.

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A Christmas EP was issued at the end of 1970:

MAXI-SINGLE: RA 5002  VARIOUS ARTISTS "GOOD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY"
   FarawayFolkXmasEP.jpg (99930 bytes)
1: FARAWAY FOLK = John Turk, Shirley Turk, John Hartson, Judy Whittington
"
ND THE WORD SET ME FREE"

2: THE TORBAY QUARTET = Colin Woodford, Freda Male, George Harris, Elizabeth Nicholls
"O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM"

3: INDIANA HIGHWAY = Steve Culverhouse, John Snell, Norman Lindon,
                                     Dave Klinkenberg, Barry Privett, Dave Mumford
"WE THREE KINGS"..Great jazz rendition, leaning towards the avant-garde.

4: THE TORBAY QUARTET/ INDIANA HIGHWAY/ FARAWAY FOLK/
ENGINEER/ PRODUCER/ STAFF & FRIENDS OF WEST OF ENGLAND SOUND LTD.

"DOWN IN YON FOREST"

* * * * * * 

John Hartshorn was not settled in his employment, having left his profession as a chef to be a builders' labourer. He wanted to turn to music as a full time occupation, so approached the Warner's Holiday Camp, which was just a few miles away, to enquire as to any vacancies.  Explaining to the management his involvement in music, he, along with the other three Folk, were offered the position as Entertainment Staff for the up and coming summer season.  

The problem was that John Turk, being a qualified Water Chemist, had a secure job with STC.  However, John Hartshorn was quite persuasive, so John T left STC, and the four signed up with Warner's.  This worked well, as all four lived locally, and found the "work" quite rewarding, receiving a warm reception from the holiday makers.

Furthermore, the were invited more than once to appear on BBC radio, including "Country Meets Folk". This did involve traveling to London and Birmingham. 

Faraway Folk did appear as guest on one track of the album
RALP 6011st  SHARON WHITBREAD & FRED "Variety is the.. SPICE OF LIFE"
  LP_SharonWhitbread.jpg (57621 bytes)
Further information about this LP is available on the RA page.
* * * * * * * * 

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RALP 6012st  FARAWAY FOLK " TIME AND TIDE"
  LP_TimeTide.jpg (89371 bytes)
photo: aboard the "CHARLOTTE RHODES" ship ( as featured in the TV series "THE ONEDIN LINE"),  Dartmouth.

MELANIE * SEASONS OF TIME * RUE * SINNER MAN * VANISHING AGE * GOT NO TIME * FARAWAY
LADY WAITING * LOWLANDS * SUMMER TIME * GOOD TIME CHARLIE * TIME YOU OLD GYPSIE MAN


John Turk = lead guitar, mandolin, vocal  * Shirley Turk = finger cymbals, xylophone, kazoo, vocal
 John Hartshorn = rhythm guitar, kazoo, vocal * Judy Whittington = tambourine, recorder, washboard, vocal

Also, on various tracks:  Jon Eden = bass (re Gandolf) *  Nick Ramsey-Whale = drums  *  Brain Widdowson = bongos, flute
Clive Powers = string bass  *  John Howe = bass  *  Tony Waldron = guitar

Second album as the Faraway Folk, and their  next best to Seasonal Man. 
The one depicted here has five signatures on the back. The extra one is Bryony's, who was not with F. Folk
when this album was made. However, this album was purchased post 1972 at a concert, when she had then joined.

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End of the season at Warner's, and John Hartshorn announces that he is leaving the group as he is to take up position as a pub landlord.  John T decides by now that he wants to progress with the Faraway Folk, especially as they have quite a few gigs booked to keep them going for some time,, so he brings in Bryony Smith. 17 year old Bryony had played bass with the Folk on odd occasions, and being a proficient vocalist, was an ideal choice.

Adrian Morris, originally from Brixham, was residing and working as a teacher in Canada. He left this profession to go out on the road with a band he was playing in, called Berkeley Square, touring Canada and the USA.  However, Adrian was home sick, so he moved back to the dizzy heights of Brixham. John knew he was a proficient guitarist, and invited Adrian to join... Faraway Folk phase 2.

1973, and another summer season at Warner's, plus regular recording for the BBC; "Breakfast Special", "Folk '73", etc. 

RALP 6019  FARAWAY FOLK "ON THE RADIO"
 LP_OnTheRadio.jpg (71735 bytes)
photo: F.F.at Cockington

GIPSY ROVER * SHELLS * ROLLIN' IN MY SWEET BABIES ARMS * EARLY MORNING RAIN
COUNTRY COMFORT * WRECK OF THE OLD '97 * ALL OF US TOGETHER * JEAN COTE
SHE'S LEAVING HOME * DRUNKEN SAILOR * LOLA * ROCK WURZEL LINE

John Turk = guitars, mandolin, vocal  *  Adrian Morris = rhythm guitars, harmonica, vocal
Shirley Ann = recorder, percussion, vocal  *  Bryony Smith = bass, banjo, vocal
(Shirley Ann is Shirley Turk)


Their third album, with the changed personnel. Recorded at the BBC's Pebble Mill, Birmingham,
and broadcasted at the time on "The Early Show", and "The Tony Brandon Show".

Straying away from the traditional flavour, in preference for more familiar songs written by Ray Davis, Elton John/ 
Bernie Taupin, Lennon/ McCartney, etc,  suggested by the BBC, as "safe"  listening for the general public.
Use of mandolin on several tracks makes this album quite enjoyable.
Recorded 1974  *  issued 1974

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RALP 6022  HARRY H. CORBETT "ONLY AUTHORISED EMPLOYEES TO BREAK BOTTLES"
LP_OnlyAuthorisedEmployees.jpg (114504 bytes)
photo: Harry in a dairy yard.  

TITLE * THE FILLIN' KNIFE * YOUR BABY HAS GONE DOWN THE PLUGHOLE * JOHNNY COPE
HOUSEHOLD MEMORIES * CAPTAIN KIDD * MAGGY MAY * JACK OF ALL TRADES * CUSHY BUTTERFIELD
THE SWEET NIGHTINGALE * I CAN'T FIND BRUMAGEN * THE NIGHT I FIRST PLAYED MY MACBETH

Sub title: Harry H. Corbett sings a collection of songs from all over Great Britain

Harry H. Corbett = vocal  *  Tony Waldron = piano
 FARAWAY FOLK = guitars, tambourine, etc, and vocal accompaniment

Harry's repertoire here attempts to cover songs and accents from Ireland, Scotland, West 
Country, Midlands, North East, Liverpool, and theatre inspirations of "Captain Kidd"
and "... Macbeth".  I can hear too much of the 'Arold voice in them there accents.
A scarce album.. will Steptoe & Son collectors form an orderly queue please!
Recorded 1973 *  Issued 1974

The Steptoe & Son comedy series had come to the end of it's run after 21 years. Harry had recorded five singles sporadically during his time as Harold, but know wanted to cut an LP in more keeping with his earlier recording career.  This had began in the 1950's, when he recorded for Topic, Decca's subsidiary label dedicated to folk. (To date I have only ever located one track, "Blow The Man Down" from 1956, on an early album "Topic Sampler No 1 Folk Songs").

Harry's problem was that the record companies were not interested in his repertoire, so he would have to use a small independent label.  RA was recommended to him, so he came down to Torquay to record an album. Harry wanted backing vocalists, with Faraway Folk being an obvious choice, hence...
Harry and his agent were pleased with the results, and set up a nationwide tour, with Faraway Folk in tow. Without intending to sound derogatory, it was Harry H. Corbett who was the star, and it was his name that could amass an audience of 800+ in one evening...but not always.  Imagine being 600 miles from home (in Scotland), and only 12 people bother to leave the television switched off and venture out to see their performance. On the particular night in question, there was talk of cancelling the show, but being the professional type, the Folk insisted on performing, even it meant that Harry was going to rush it through by omitting some of their repertoire!

With breaks, the tour's duration was about 12 months. The contract agreed was that Harry got paid 1000 a week, and Faraway Folk 500 between the four
.  The average weekly wage for the South West then was approximately 25. 

Harry also appeared as "Ben" in the Christmas '74 pantomime "Cinderella" at the Casino Theatre, London. Also in the cast were Twiggy, Wilfred Brambell, Roy Kinnear, Hugh Paddick, and Nicky Henson Cinderella_HarryHCorbett.jpg (45150 bytes)

Cassette: RACC 6025 FARAWAY FOLK
ESPECIALLY FOR YOU
 EspeciallyCassette.jpg (40192 bytes)
DOWN IN YON FOREST * JOSEPH AND MARY * GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN * WASSAIL SONG 
THE YULE LOG * ANGELS FROM THE REALMS OF GLORY * COVENTRY CAROL * NORTH COUNTRY LAD
SPARROW * CROW ON THE CRADLE * PORTLAND TOWN * BONNY BLACK HAIR (sic)

John Turk = guitars, mandolin, vocal  *  Adrian Morris = rhythm guitars, harmonica, vocal
Shirley Turk = percussion, vocal  *  Bryony Smith = bass, banjo, vocal

This precedes Seasonal Man; the final 4 tracks being included on RALP 6029.
This, and the "Dragons" tape, have to be the scarcest Faraway Folk releases.
Although the inlays were printed, with the design including the new Faraway Folk logo, 
the "On The Radio"  cassette labels were used, by crossing out the title & cat no,
then writing in pen "ESPECIALLY FOR YOU" + 6025. 
 
Recorded 1974  *  Issued 1974

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RALP 6029  FARAWAY FOLK
SEASONAL MAN
 
SEASONAL MAN * THE YULE LOG * COMING BACK TO BRIXHAM * PATTERNED MOON * SUMMER'S END
CROW ON A CRADLE * SPARROW * PORTLAND TOWN * CHERRY TREE CAROL * BONNY BLACK HAIR (sic)

John Turk = guitars (incl. Gibson SR with Fuzz pedal), mandolin, vocal  *  Adrian Morris = rhythm guitars, harmonica, vocal
Shirley Turk = percussion, vocal  *  Bryony Smith = bass, banjo, vocal

RA / Faraway Folk's finest hour (well, 40 minutes anyway). The tracks for this album were assembled with recordings made over a period of 10 months. As studio time was not an issue regarding cost, being as John, etc could use it at anytime for free when it was not in use, it was decided to assemble and release a studio album 

Recorded 1974 / 75  *  Issued 1975

The cover art is by John, who had a disagreement with Tony Waldron over what should be on the front.  Tony did not want to have this painting on the front sleeve, and was quite adamant that a photograph, most probably the one that is within the gatefold of the Folk, to be used.  However, John stuck to his guns, and in the end got his way, but not entirely. The original painting was quite large, and was to fill the complete 12" x 12" area, but Tony had it reduced somewhat. By the way, in case anyone is wondering, the original painting was thrown out (don't ask) sometime ago!

Important: some examples of this title were mis-pressed. (actually, the first 100). Side 1 or side 2 banding is off-centre, and on playing will be evident, especially as the stylus draws nearer to the end tracks ~ ouch!  This fault can be identified by observing the varying width of the run-in at opposite ends. Do not compare the gap between the run-off  to label area, as sometimes it is just the label that is not dead centre.

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Cassette: RACC 6029  FARAWAY FOLK     
SEASONAL MAN
  Tape_S.Man.jpg (26260 bytes)
Cassette tape version of the above album. Inlay is a colour variant.

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Cassette: FFP 001 FARAWAY FOLK
THE BATTLE OF THE DRAGONS
 DragonsCassette.jpg (48277 bytes)
Introduction Music: THE MISTY LAND * IN YEARS LONG PAST * A LOVERS CURSE * KING OF THE WIZARDS
THE EVIL RED DRAGON * WHO'S A PRETTY BOY THEN * THE BATTLE * THANK YOU GOOD PEOPLE

Shirley Turk = Queen Guinivere (flute, tambourine) * John Turk = Red Dragon (lead guitar, mandolin)
Adrian Morris = Merlin the Wizard (rhythm guitar) * Mike Weed = White Dragon (bass, flageolettes)

"A musical tale of mystery and imagination". Written by John Turk, with assistance from F.F. & Tony.
Recorded at Tony Waldron's West of England Sound Studios, Torquay, but not under the RA banner.
This was the Folk's one-off release on their own Faraway Folk Production copyright.
Available on cassette only.  *  Recorded 1976  *  Issued 1976
Tabitha
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EP: TAB 3  FARAWAY FOLK
Self Titled
 EP_Tabatha.jpg (33314 bytes)
Plain sleeve

Side 1: SHADOW OF A PIG  *  FOLSOM PRISON BLUES
Side 2: RENT - A - MAN  *  A SOULFUL SHADE OF BLUE

Two original compositions by F. Folk's Adrian: "Shadow.." & "Rent-A-Man"
"Folsom.." is of course by Johnny Cash, and ""Soulful.." Buffy St. Marie.

Recorded at Plymouth Sound Studios. The TABITHA label was based in Exeter.
This is the only Faraway Folk vinyl release not issued on the RA label.

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Please note that as with any of the RA issues, Faraway Folk has not been officially reissued on vinyl or tape, and not as yet released onto compact disc. Therefore, any offered for sale as such are copies from the original release, and are thus counterfeit

Furthermore, Is a compliment to find elsewhere on the Internet Faraway Folk,  based on this site, but downright rude not to acknowledge such.


The following page concludes the Faraway Folk story, including photographs from 1969 ~ 1979.

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Always required are records, etc, pertaining to the RA LABEL Torquay, and any associated issues
If you find records issued in the 1970s (they are not always dated) with a Torquay or Paignton address, please offer.
Note that in most instances, they will not be of nominal value only. Please bear this in mind when offering.
This project is a labour of love, with a blend of nostalgia and fun !

 i n q u i r i e s @ p e t e r i c e . c o m

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RA label  *  Site contents

Copyright   Peter Rice  Destiny One
FARAWAY FOLK HISTORY & DISCOGRAPHY * FARAWAY FOLK IN BRIXHAM DEVON 1969 ~ 1981 * FARAWAY FOLK RA LABEL HISTORY INFORMATION