Roy Bailey (folk singer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Roy Bailey at Bromyard Folk Festival, 2007

Roy Bailey MBE (born 20 October 1935, London), is an English socialist folk singer. Colin Irwin from the music magazine Mojo said Bailey represents "the very soul of folk's working class ideals... a triumphal homage to the grass roots folk scene as a radical alternative to the mainstream music industry."


Bailey began his musical career in a skiffle band in 1958, and later joined folk supergroup the Three City Four featuring Leon Rosselson, as a replacement for Martin Carthy.[1] His first solo album was released in 1971.[2]

He has performed a number of songs by the American singer-songwriter Si Kahn[3] and is also renowned as a singer of children's songs, often using material written by his old partner Leon Rosselson. Oats & Beans & Kangaroos is an album of children's songs performed by Roy & Val Bailey with Leon Rosselson.[4][5]

Bailey worked with Robb Johnson and others on the award-winning Gentle Men album, released in 1997 and re-recorded and released in 2013.[6]

In 2003, Bailey and Tony Benn were awarded "Best Live Act" at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for their programme Writing on the Wall, later an album.[7] Tony Benn cited Roy Bailey as "the greatest socialist folk singer of his generation."

In the 2000 Honours List, he received the MBE for Services to Folk Music. On 23 August 2006, he returned the MBE in protest at the British government's foreign policy with regard to Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. By doing so he joined the list of people who have declined a British honour.

He contributed vocals to Chumbawamba's 2008 album The Boy Bands Have Won, on the track "Word Bomber", a song about the London suicide attacks in 2005. He also joined the band on stage to sing the song, on their farewell Leeds show in October 2012.

In 2016, Roy released his first live album, Live At Towersey Festival 2015, which was recorded in secret at the festival and featured guest appearances from Martin Simpson and Andy Cutting.[8] The album contained songs written by Si Kahn, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, John Tams, Robb Johnson and others. Roy appeared at the very first Towersey Festival in 1965 and his now established Monday afternoon concert regularly draws a crowd of around 1,000.

Roy Bailey is an Emeritus Professor of Social Studies at Sheffield Hallam University. He is also the patron of Towersey Village Festival, Shepley Spring Festival and the Music on the Marr Festival based in the village of Castle Carrock, Cumbria. He is the father-in-law of Martin Simpson, a singer and guitarist, whose wife Kit is Bailey's daughter.



  • Smoke and Dust Where the Heart Should Have Been, CBS 1965 [as part of the Three City Four) [reissued 2010]
  • Oats & Beans & Kangaroos, Fontana Records, SFL13061, 1968 (with Leon Rosselson) [children's songs]
  • Roy Bailey, Trailer Records, LER 3021, 1971
  • That's Not The Way It's Got To Be, Fuse Records, CF 251, 1975 (with Leon Rosselson)
  • Love, Loneliness & Laundry, Fuse, CF, 1976 (with Leon Rosselson)
  • New Bell Wake, Fuse, CF262, 1977
  • If I Knew Who the Enemy Was, CF284, 1979 (with Leon Rosselson)
  • Songs of Life from a Dying British Empire, Paredon, 1981[9] (with Leon Rosselson)
  • Hard Times, Fuse, CF382, 1982
  • Freedom Peacefully, Fuse, CF386, 1986
  • Leaves From a Tree, Fuse, CF394, 1988
  • Why Does It Have To Be Me?, Fuse, CF396, 1989 [children's songs]
  • Never Leave A Story Unsung, Fuse, CFCD398, 1991
  • What You Do With What You've Got, Fuse, CFCD399, 1992 [compilation of 1975-1991 material]
  • Business As Usual, Fuse, CFCD400, 1994
  • Rhythm & Reds, Musikfolk, MFO512, 1994 [as Band of Hope - with Martin Carthy, Dave Swarbrick & John Kirkpatrick][10]
  • New Directions in the Old, Fuse, CFCD402, 1999
  • New Bell Wake, Fuse, CFCD262, 1999
  • Gentle Men, Irregular Records, 1998 (with Robb Johnson)
  • Past Masters, Fuse, CFCD403, 1998
  • Coda, Fuse, CFCD, 2000
  • Up the Wooden Hill, Fuse, CFCD170201, 2002 [children's songs]
  • Writing on the Wall, Fuse, CFCD405, 2004 (with Tony Benn)
  • Sit Down and Sing, Fuse CFCD406 2005
  • Below the Radar, Fuse, CFCD407, 2009
  • Tomorrow, Fuse, CFCD408, 2010 [children's songs]
  • Stories EP, Fuse, Digital release only, 2014
  • Live At Towersey Festival 2015, Fuse, CFCD410, 2016 [11]


  1. ^ "Roy Bailey | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  2. ^ "Roy Bailey". 2014-09-12. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  3. ^ "Roy Bailey: … Freedom Peacefully". 2015-11-03. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  4. ^ "Roy & Val Bailey with Leon Rosselson: Oats & Beans & Kangaroos". 2014-09-14. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  5. ^ "Roy Bailey: Why Does It Have to Be Me?". 2015-11-03. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  6. ^ Robin Denselow. "Robb Johnson, Roy Bailey, Barb Jungr etc: Gentle Men – review | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  7. ^ "Tony Benn & Roy Bailey: The Writing on the Wall". 2014-04-26. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  8. ^ "Roy Bailey announces first ever live album" Archived 23 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine., "Folking", August 2016
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ [2][dead link]
  11. ^ "Roy Bailey To Launch Live Album at Towersey", "Folk Radio UK (FRUK)", 11 August 2016

External links

  • The Roy Bailey Homepage Official website
Retrieved from ""
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia :
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Roy Bailey (folk singer)"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA