b. John Alan Pandrich, 15 March 1935, Wallsend On Tyne, Newcastle, England. Handle specializes in music and song from north-east England. He was evacuated during World War II, but returned to complete his education in Newcastle before leaving, in 1952, to work in coal mining. Having had piano lessons from the age of eight, Handle found himself with a wide-ranging taste in music. Following a meeting with Louis Killen in 1957, they teamed up for a while to play blues and skiffle. He started playing folk music in 1958, and later started Newcastle’s first folk club in the Bridge Hotel and initiated a new venue at Stockton-on-Tees. Handle studied folk archives and started to introduce songs that he found into his performances, recording a number of EPs with various artists for Topic Records in 1961. These were later released on the albumAlong The Coaly Tyne. He is also a long-serving member of the High Level Ranters, alongside Colin Ross and Jim Hall. Handle continued to pursue his solo interests, recording several albums for Topic during the 70s. He has been involved with radio documentaries, as well as lecturing on folk music. He has played all the major folk festivals in the UK, and toured throughout Europe and the USA.
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