b. Anne Alexandra Young Wilson, 4 March 1935, Glasgow, Scotland, d. 1 February 2003, Leicester, Leicestershire, England. Whiskey started her career playing and singing traditional songs but later, during the skiffle music boom in the 50s, she moved south with her lover, jazz pianist Bob Kelly, and her repertoire of Scottish traditional songs. She was given the surname Whiskey having become associated with the song ‘The Calton Weaver’, whose chorus includes the line ‘Whiskey, Whiskey, Nancy Whiskey’. An EP recorded for Topic Records, Nancy Whiskey Sings, included the Irish rebel song ‘The Bold Fenian Men’ on the track listing, but this track did not appear on the record, having been substituted. Her major claim to fame came in 1957, when the Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group, featuring Nancy Whiskey, made the UK Top 5 and US Top 40 with ‘Freight Train’. They had a degree of success with a subsequent single, ‘Greenback Dollar’, which made the UK Top 30 the same year. In 1958, Nancy left the group to be replaced by Shirley Douglas. She enjoyed a brief career on the Oriole label, recording some singles with the studio group the Skifflers. Her relationship with the still married Kelly also made the pages of the UK tabloids. She continued to perform as a folk artist and occasionally reunited with McDevitt, appearing on UK television in 1991 and six years later in a major celebration of the skiffle era at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
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