"Folk Philosophy" was the result of a Scottish Folk
Group Annual Championship , the dreamchild of Bill Houston and
Watt Nicol. There were an astonishing
eighteen heats, with semi finals being held in Glasgow and Dundee, and the
grand final in the Usher Hall, Edinburgh, with
The Corries as guest artists. All
proceeds went to the Scottish Council for the Care of Spastics.
been told that the winners of the Championship were
The JSD Band, whose prize was an album deal and
contract with EMI. The winners of the heat held at Perth City Hall
were Bitter Withy. They won £50 but couldn't take part in the
semi-finals because of work commitments.
The other seven finalists were featured on an LP - Folk
Philosophy and received six month contracts. These groups are
listed below. Any further information about any of the groups would be
 = "Annual," although I have no evidence that it was ever
The Gowries (1969-1973)
Forfar-based The Gowries first got together in the summer of 1969.
Brian Hendry and Dave Fyfe had been in The Anchor Folk Four until they
split. They met Ian Lamb (who had played before in The Shannermen) and
Elaine Nicoll through the Forfar Folk Club.
They played a mixture of traditional and contemporary material and were
resident at the Forfar Folk Club at the time, where Ian was president.
They played a lot in Tayside and Fife playing mostly
contemporary folk along the lines of The Seekers and toured a bit with
Watt Nicoll and Whisky Fizz. Latterly
they were playing mainly pubs (where the money was) and switched to
electric guitars and bass doing chart cover stuff. The Gowries played their
last date in September 1971 when Dave went off to Edinburgh University.
Brian and Elaine continued singing as a duo. The group reformed in
December 1972 for a special one-off appearance supporting
The Gowries came 6th in the Scottish Folk Group Championship.
Track on LP: Call On Me (Iain Rankin)
called Arizona Eggplant, this threesome came from Lochee, Dundee.
After a line-up change, they went back to being called Arizona Eggplant
and were resident at hotels in Arbroath and Broughty Ferry. The lead singer was
Track on LP: Whiskey On a Sunday (Hughes)
This trio was from Edinburgh. Shortly afterwards two members of the
group formed a band called Both Sides (unrelated to the Dundee-based group
of the same name). Lead singer of Town Choice, Harry Cullen, is now
manager of the Oxford Bar in Edinburgh
Tracks on LP: Kid's Colour Bar (Harvey Andrews); For Bobbie
(H J Deutschendorfer)
A quartet from Edinburgh. In 1971 they dropped the "Cleich"
and were known simply as Chorda. Lead singer John Croall later
helped form Jock Tamson's Bairns.
Chorda Cleich came 3rd.
Tracks on LP: Until it's Time for You To Go (Buffy St Marie);
Three Score and Ten (trad)
From Edinburgh. Member George Grant moved to Dundee and joined
Both Sides. The Galloways came 5th.
Track on LP: Dainty Davie (Burns)
This group met when they were all students at Strathclyde University. The group consisted of William Devine, Frank McArdle, Frank D'Ambrosio and Arthur Loughran. According to the
photograph, one of them plays mandolin!
Tracks on LP: Peggy Gordon (trad); Johnnie Cope (trad)
Pert & Dobbie
Track on LP: Bogie's Bonnie Belle (trad)
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