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Last update: 4th March 2015

The Cumberland Three & Alex Beaton

The Cumberland Three were Alex Beaton, Brian Fogarty and Leonard Sturrock, who went the the same school in Glasgow, where they formed a skiffle group. Lenny Sturrock later worked at Yarrows Shipbuilders in Glasgow as an engineer.

After school Brian and Leonard sang in clubs together, but it wasn't till they met a German student who ran a folk club in Germany that they were converted to folk music. They reunited with Alex and formed the group.

By 1963 they had a residency at Glasgow's top jazz club, The Royal Garden, alternating with Josh McRae. The same year they appeared with Robin Hall & Jimmie MacGregor at a big folk concert in Glasgow, followed by radio spots and club engagements. Later in 1963 the group moved to London to try their hands outside of Scotland. The group broke up in 1965 and Brian and Leonard decided to give up their professional music careers.

In 1968 Alex Beaton launched a solo career, singing country and pop as well as folk songs. Eventually he settled on singing "traditional Celtic music", and he now has a large American following, and regularly sells out his tours when he comes home to Scotland (after initially settling in Los Angeles, he lives in Franklin Tennessee). Visit Alex's web site at

Brian Fogerty still performs (at Doon the Watter Folk in Dunoon) and teaches guitar in Argyllshire. Any more info, email me.

Cumberland Three The Cumberland Three (Parlophone PCS 3055, 1964)

Side One: Blow Ye Winds; Wild Mountain Thyme; The Cumberland Crew; Whisky In the Jar; Banua; Sur La Route de Dijon; Whip Jamboree
Side Two: The River Is Wide (Reynolds); When I Was Young (Bowers/Guard); Chilly Winds (John Stewart); Had a Girl (But She Left Me) (Sturrock/Beaton/Fogarty); New Land (Stewart); Goin' Away for to Leave You (Phillips); San Miguel (Bowers); Autumn to May (Yarrow/Stookey)

All songs traditional except where indicated

Alex Beaton, Brian Fogarty, Leonard Sturrock with Pete Sayers (banjo)

The Cumberland Three (45rpm, 1964)

Side One: The Cumberland Crew
Side Two: Chilly Winds

Alex Beaton, Brian Fogarty, Leonard Sturrock with Pete Sayers (banjo)

Alex Beaton Seasons Alex Beaton: Seasons (Self-published, no date)

Side One: Seasons Come, Seasons Go (Beaton-Levy); Good Hearted Woman (Jennings/Nelson); Loving Arms (Jans); Falling Again (McDill); Mama's Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys (Bruce/Bruce); Bonnie Charlie
Side Two: We Should Be Together (Reynolds); I'd Rather Live Alone With Me (Beaton/Toth); Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good (Hammer); Amanda (McDill); Tulsa Time (Flowers); Scottish Medley

All songs traditional except where indicated

Alex Beaton
with Don Steigen (bass); Bob Gothar (guitars); Spence Brodie (piano); Lynn Coulter (drums); Ethan Reilly (steel guitar); Tim Huntley (bagpipes)

Alex Beaton Daft Ditties Alex Beaton: Daft Ditties (Rambam 1776, no date)

Big Nellie May; Dundee Weaver; The Hermit; Seven Drunken Nights; The Money Rolls In; Dear Boss; Wee Castanettes; Puddles; The Mermaid; The Jolly Tinker; The Bantam Cock; Maids When You're Young

Alex Beaton

Nigel Gatherer, Crieff, Perthshire |