Colin Wilkie

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The folk revival of the 1960s came to Germany through the playing of British-born singer/songwriter Colin Wilkie and his guitarist/vocalist wife Shirley Hart. The composer of hundreds of songs and stories,…
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The folk revival of the 1960s came to Germany through the playing of British-born singer/songwriter Colin Wilkie and his guitarist/vocalist wife Shirley Hart. The composer of hundreds of songs and stories, Wilkie spent 11 years as resident songwriter for SWF show Tellekolleg and seven years as host of his own weekly radio show. He passed on his unique fingerstyle approach to the guitar to influential German guitarist Franz Josef Degenhardt. Wilkie's songs, which reflect on family, friends, and political and ecological themes, offer only a hint of his warm, intimate stage persona. Wilkie has recorded at a prolific rate. His more than 30 albums include 1970's Sunflower Seed (recorded with Hart, bassist Eberhard Weber, and pianist Milcho Leviev), 1972's Morning and 1974's Outside the City (reissued together as a compilation by the Pläne label in 2006), 1980's Echoes of Old Love Songs, and 1996's Empty Chairs. Wilkie and Hart's first album, released in 1965, was recorded with Scottish folksinger Alex Campbell. Musical theater has provided another outlet for Wilkie and Hart's talents. Their appearance as street singers in a production of John Arden's Life and Death at the Württemberg National Theater in Stuttgart helped to make the show so successful that it ran for several years. Wilkie's songs have been covered by a lengthy list of artists including the McCalmans, Werner Lämmerhirt, and Peter Ratzenbeck. An album of Wilkie's tunes interpreted by German singer/songwriters Hannes Wader, Lämmerhirt, and Degenhardt, I Wish I'd Written That Song: A Tribute to Colin Wilkie, was released in 1996.