Famous People: Ewan MacColl
- And the myth of his birth place!
Ewan MacColl (1915
- 1989) the singer, songwriter and playwright was born James Miller. He often
claimed to have been born in Auchterarder, thus his inclusion here.
He was in fact born and bred in Salford. His Scots origin was one of the
myths about himself he someways encouraged. His third wife, American Peggy
Seeger called it "a charming character defect"! His mother was actually born
Check out Auchterarder
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Ewan MacColl's family were
musical and he was taught many folk songs as a child. Like so many of his
era, he left school at 14 working in offices and as a singer and actor when
he could. In 1945 he founded Theatre Workshop, was company's artistic director
until 1953 and wrote a number of plays for it. MacColl was a leading figure
in the folk revival of the 1950/60s. With Peggy Seeger, he pioneered the
"radio-ballad" type of documentary combining recorded interviews with songs
and narration. The two published collections of folk songs, including Till
Doomsday in the Afternoon (1986). MacColl's best-known song is "The First
Time Ever I Saw Your Face."
Ewan MacColl's daughter Kirsty MacColl continued the family musical tradition
until her untimely death in December 2000: "There's A Guy Works Down The
Chip Shop Swears He's Elvis", a duet with The Pogues "Fairytale Of New York"
and much much more.