GRAHAM TOWNSEND International Champion

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"International Fiddling Champion 1963", Banff RBS 1163 is presented in this post, but the album's name and issue number are somewhat misleading. Titled for Graham's 1963 Shelburne win, this is actually a reissue of his first LP, originally released as "Fiddling To Fortune" on Rodeo RLP 44 in 1958. Although I was not able to come up with an image of the original Rodeo jacket, to the best of my memory it was identical to the Banff issue except for the title at the top, and used a burgundy/red/pink colour scheme as opposed to blue.
Townsend made this record in Halifax when he was just sixteen years old. His son once told me that Graham was expecting Don Messer's Islanders to be at the session as his accompaniment, but arrived to be informed they were unavailable. The young fiddler was dissatisfied with the group provided, and apparently was never very fond of this album. The accompaniment is steady if not stellar, but Graham's playing already shows a maturity and confidence well beyond his years on the eight originals and four traditional tunes heard here.

Includes jacket/label scans.

A very nice 1983 interview of Townsend by Winston Simpson in Miami, Manitoba is here. In it, Graham talks about his early career.


1. Graham's Hornpipe
2. Sunset Jig
3. The Royal Princess Two Step
4. Halifax Polka
5. Midnight Waltz
6. Gay Fiddler's Hornpipe
7. Month Of May Reel
8. Dusty Miller's Reel
9. East York Jig
10. Buckingham Reel
11. Port Severn Breakdown
12. Reefer's Hornpipe

*download here*


themusicgatherer said...

These Graham Townsend recordings are absolute treasures, and I'm so pleased you have shared them with us. What a fantastic legacy.