The Watersons

Profile:
The Watersons were an English folk group from Hull in Yorkshire. They performed mainly traditional songs with little or no accompaniment. Their distinctive sound comes from their closely-woven harmonies.

Original members were Norma, Mike, and Lal Waterson, with their cousin John Harrison from Kingston High School. They had a skiffle band in the early 1960s but moved on to playing more traditional material. They were briefly known as "The Folksons".

Their first album was Frost and Fire 1965 (awarded the "Melody Maker" Album of the Year, a rarity for a debut album) followed by The Watersons and A Yorkshire Garland in 1966. The Watersons split up in 1968 when Norma went to work as a disc jockey on a radio station on Montserrat.

The group reformed in 1972 with John Harrison briefly replaced by Bernie Vickers. It was in 1972 that the group performed and arranged the music for the Alan Plater TV play for today "The Land of Green Ginger" set and filmed in Hull. The band appear in a scene filmed in the famous Bluebell Folk Club.

Bernie Vickers was himself replaced the same year by Norma's husband and respected folk singer in his own right Martin Carthy. This lineup recorded For Pence and Spicy Ale 1975, Sound, Sound Your Instruments of Joy 1977, and Green Fields 1981.

Later lineups featured Mike Waterson's daughter Rachel Waterson, who briefly replaced Lal during a leave of absence caused by ill health in the mid-1980s, then continued to sing with the group on Lal's return. This five-piece line up performed regularly during the late 1980s and recorded a session for the BBC Andy Kershaw show in August 1986. In 1987 the group collaborated with Swan Arcade to form Blue Murder who have performed and recorded sporadically with various line ups to the present day. Subsequent Watersons line ups fluctuated, featuring Eliza Carthy, Anne Waterson and Maria Gilhooley at various times and recording only occasionally.

Lal Waterson died in 1998 and by the early 1990s Martin Carthy, Norma Waterson and their daughter Eliza Carthy had formed the group Waterson:Carthy. The Watersons gradually ceased to sing live on a regular basis but the family occasionally reconvene for special events and festival appearances where they are usually billed as "The Waterson Family". These have included A Mighty River of Song at the Royal Albert Hall on 12 May 2007, the BBC Electric Proms concert Once in a Blue Moon: A Tribute to Lal Waterson at Cecil Sharp House in London on 25 October 2007 and 'A Tribute to Bert,' a concert celebrating the life and work of Albert Lloyd, at Cecil Sharp House on the 15th November 2008. During the summer of 2009 "The Waterson Family" performed at a number of festivals and large concerts throughout England and Ireland.
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The Watersons Discography Tracks

Albums

The Watersons - Frost And Fire: A Calendar Of Ritual And Magical Songs album art The Watersons Frost And Fire: A Calendar Of Ritual And Magical Songs (Album) Topic Records UK 1965 Sell This Version
12T125 The Watersons - New Voices : An Album Of First Recordings album art Harry Boardman, Maureen Craik And The Waterson Family* Harry Boardman, Maureen Craik And The Waterson Family* - New Voices : An Album Of First Recordings(LP, Album) Topic Records 12T125 UK 1965 Sell This Version
The Watersons - A Yorkshire Garland album art The Watersons A Yorkshire Garland (Album) Topic Records UK 1966 Sell This Version
The Watersons - The Watersons album art The Watersons The Watersons (Album) Topic Records UK 1966 Sell This Version
The Watersons - For Pence And Spicy Ale album art The Watersons For Pence And Spicy Ale (Album) Topic Records UK 1975 Sell This Version
The Watersons - Sound, Sound Your Instruments Of Joy album art The Watersons Sound, Sound Your Instruments Of Joy (Album) Topic Records UK 1977 Sell This Version
The Watersons - Green Fields album art The Watersons Green Fields Topic Records UK 1981 Sell This Version
WMCD 2029 The Watersons - A Yorkshire Christmas album art The Watersons, Kit Calvert, Mabel Race, Norman Benson (2) The Watersons, Kit Calvert, Mabel Race, Norman Benson (2) - A Yorkshire Christmas(CD, Album) Witchwood Media WMCD 2029 UK 2005 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

The Watersons - Rubber Band / Red Wine And Promises album art The Watersons, Mike Waterson / Norma Waterson The Watersons, Mike Waterson / Norma Waterson - Rubber Band / Red Wine And Promises (Single) Transatlantic Records UK 1972 Sell This Version

Compilations

The Watersons - Early Days album art The Watersons Early Days (Comp) Topic Records UK 1994 Sell This Version
HPO 6004 The Watersons - The Definitive Collection album art The Watersons The Definitive Collection(CD, Comp) Highpoint Recordings HPO 6004 UK 2003 Sell This Version
TSFCD4002 The Watersons - Mighty River Of Song album art The Watersons Mighty River Of Song(4xCD, Comp + DVD-V) Topic Records TSFCD4002 UK 2004 Sell This Version
TICD006 The Watersons - An Introduction To The Watersons  Waterson:Carthy album art The Watersons, Waterson:Carthy The Watersons, Waterson:Carthy - An Introduction To The Watersons Waterson:Carthy(CD, Comp) Topic Records Ltd. TICD006 UK 2018 Sell This Version