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Traditional Music >> Performers >> Scottish Folk Groups >> The Islanders

The Islanders

Scottish folk group

Jim and Nancy Craig, who seem to have been the main members of The Islanders, lived in the Mount Florida area of Glasgow, Jim being a University lecturer. They started out with a concert party ran by Charlie Sweeney in Pollock Community Centre in Glasgow (they returned in 1969 to play in a benefit concert). Nancy left the group when she became pregnant.

When The Islanders started in about 1964 they included a very young Iain MacKintosh, who went on to a successful solo career.

The bass player was Pete Furnish; he drove a Mini Cooper, and to get his double bass into the car he had to take out the front seat, while his girlfriend had to sit in the back. Pete was in the group "...from the time that the banjo player left because his pawnbroker business was keeping him too busy..." Pete left in 1968/9 to a job in motor sport, moving to Northern England. After a stint as a chartered accountant, Pete has now retired, but still plays bass, mainly in jazz combinations.

Other members of the group included guitarist John Noble, who worked for the civil service in London from the mid-60s-mid-70s. He continued to play guitar and gave lessons. John was replaced by Eddie Pollard. By 1968 Iain MacKintosh had left, and subsequently Alex Hutton was an active member. David Williams emailed to say:

I remember that The Islanders featured in a BBC television series called 'The Making of America' (or something similar) in the mid-1960s. As I recall, the series was presented by a University history professor with a Welsh name [Owen Dudley Edwards? - NG]. Each week they performed one or more songs related to the unfolding story. I was particularly impressed by them. In the early 70s I bought a copy of their second LP but I was disappointed that the American songs do not seem to have been made available commercially.

Any more information about the group would be gratefully received: email me. Some of The Islanders' recorded output is detailed below.



The Islanders (Waverley ZLP 2048, 1965)

Side One: The Hour That the Ship Comes In (Dylan); Polly Wolly Doodle; Four Strong Winds (Ian Tyson); The Pawn Song (Iain MacKintosh); Mary Don't You Weep; Spanish Is a Loving Tongue; John Henry
Side Two: The Dark Island (trad/W Gordon Smith); Red Yo-Yo (McGinn); No Irish Need Apply; Golden River (Jimmy Driftwood); Jolly Roving Tars; Banks O' Sicily (trad/Hamish Henderson)

all songs traditional unless otherwise indicated

Iain MacKintosh, Jim Craig, Nancy Craig, John Noble with Ian Brown (bass)


The Islanders (RCA Victor RD7950, 1968)

Side One: I Ain't Marchin' Any More (Ochs); Early in the Morning (Lightfoot); Last Class Seaman (Guthrie); Hush Little Babe; No More Words (Craig); The Gallowa' Hills (trad); John Reilly (trad); Steel Rail Blues (Lightfoot)
Side Two: Going to the Zoo (Paxton); Gypsy Boy (Donovan Leitch); Pride of Man (Lightfoot); Yes, Yes, Yes (trad); Wild Flying Dove (Paxton); Twa Recruitin' Sergeants (trad); Freedom Come-All-Ye (Henderson); That's My Song (G & B Tomsco)

Jim Craig (vocals), Nancy Craig (tambourine, vocals), Eddie Pollard (guitar), Pete Furnish (bass)

All Folk Together

All Folk Together (EMI Talisman STAL 5013, c.1969)
with The Livingstones, The Ian McCalman Folk Group, The Lowland Folk Four, Anne Byrne, Eddie & Finbar Furey

Side One: Four Strong Winds (Tyson) Side Two: Golden River (Driftwood)

Patterns of Folk

Patterns of Folk (Waverley SZLP 2124, 1971)

Side One: If I Had a Hammer (Hays/pete Seeger); Before I Met You (Seitz/Lewis/Rader); Jeely-Piece Song (Adam McNaughton); Song for a Winter's Night (E Lightfoot); I Can't Help But Wonder (Where I'm Bound) (Tom Paxton); I Never Will Marry (Ed McCurdy); Wild Rover (trad)
Side Two: The Orange and the Green (James McLean); Children of the Mist (Moir/Craig); Farewell to Fuinary (N Mclean); Rivers of Texas (Carlyle); Song of the City (J Craig); The Sergeants (trad); Freedom Come-All-Ye (Henderson); Strangest Dream (Ed McCurdy); Wild Colonial Boy (trad)

Jim Craig, Nancy Craig, Ed Pollard, Noel Eadie