Tony Rose

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b. Anthony Rose, 1 May 1941, Exeter, Devon, England, d. 6 June 2002, England. Rose specialised in songs of the west country of England. Performing on guitar and concertina, and often unaccompanied, he…
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Artist Biography by

b. Anthony Rose, 1 May 1941, Exeter, Devon, England, d. 6 June 2002, England. Rose specialised in songs of the west country of England. Performing on guitar and concertina, and often unaccompanied, he established a reputation for quality translations of traditional songs. Rose found his interest in folk music through jazz, blues and skiffle via the American folk song tradition. He started singing at the Oxford University Heritage Society in 1960 and was also a member of the resident group, the Journeymen. During the early 60s, he worked semi-professionally while still at Oxford, and from 1965-69 taught in London. He was a resident at a number of clubs during this time, including Cecil Sharp House, Karl Dallas’ Goodge Street Centre, and the Mercury Theatre (along with Young Tradition, Andy Irvine, and Lou Killen).

Rose finally turned professional in September 1969, and based himself in London. He was asked by Bill Leader to record for his Trailer Records label and Young Hunting resulted. The following year, Under The Greenwood Tree, featuring songs of the west country, was released to critical acclaim from the folk press. In 1978 he joined Nic Jones, Pete Coe and Chris Coe in the short-lived Bandoggs, who released just one self-titled album. Despite its short lifespan, the group is still fondly remembered.

Rose changed labels to Dingles Records for his fourth solo release, Poor Fellows, which featured contemporary material. He latterly turned to journalism and teaching, but continued to perform live and made a welcome return to the studio in 1999 with a low-key set of re-recorded material. Rose succumbed to cancer three years later.