Brian Golbey

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b. Brian James Golbey, 5 February 1939, Pyecombe, Sussex, England. Golbey inherited a love of early American country music from his father, who had also taught him to play harmonica and melodeon, by the…
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Artist Biography by

b. Brian James Golbey, 5 February 1939, Pyecombe, Sussex, England. Golbey inherited a love of early American country music from his father, who had also taught him to play harmonica and melodeon, by the time he was given a guitar for his eleventh birthday. He was soon playing along with Jimmie Rodgers recordings and in 1953, he earned his first money singing "Little Joe The Wrangler' at a Coronation celebration party. He next learned to play a fiddle that his grandfather had brought back from France in World War I and began to entertain during National Service in the army. Golbey played clubs during the folk revival of the early 60s and around 1965, and helped to start what was probably one of the first country music clubs in the UK. In 1966, he turned professional and made his recording debut playing fiddle on Paul Jones" first solo album. In 1967, he teamed up with banjoist Pete Stanley. They toured, made radio and television appearances and during 1969/70 played residencies in Florence and Rome.

In 1970, Golbey became a solo act on the emerging British country scene and made his own first recordings. He also made his first visit to America, appearing in Nashville as the British representative on the International Show and on the Midnight Jamboree. He also appeared on the noted Wheeling Jamboree and the Renfro Valley Barn Dance. He toured the UK with Patsy Montana and Mac Wiseman, and in 1972, won the Billboard/Record Mirror award as Top UK Solo Performer and the Male Vocalist Of The Year award from the British Country Music Association. A further trip to America followed.

In 1975, Golbey and Allan Taylor formed the folk-orientated band Cajun Moon, but various problems and differences of opinion arose and after recording a single album, the band broke up. In 1977, Golbey again began to work partly with Stanley and until the mid-80s, when for personal reasons he decided to reduce travelling commitments, they toured on a regular basis. Over the years, Golbey has done voice-overs for radio and television commercials and also appeared in a film, The American Way (although he stresses it is through no fault of his own that the film sank without trace). He has played in locations ranging from the Shetland Islands to Lands End and Berne to Belfast and in venues that vary from small school halls to the Albert Hall and from pubs to the Palladium. Working as a session musician, he has played on countless recordings. Apart from his albums, other Golbey recordings appear on various compilation albums.

In 1993, the BCMA (GB) honoured Golbey with an award for his long and continuing service to country music. A pioneer of British country music and a knowledgeable expert on early country music artists, he regularly contributes to the UK magazine Country Music People.