Folk king Carthy honoured for lifetime achievement

0508123d; in Ents 2 Mar; pic taken 26 2 05 by db'... with proud dad Martin at Whitby Pavilion.
0508123d; in Ents 2 Mar; pic taken 26 2 05 by db'... with proud dad Martin at Whitby Pavilion.
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Robin Hood’s Bay folk star Martin Carthy received a lifetime achievement award at the BBC Radio Two’s Folk Music Awards on Wednesday.

The BBC described the Carthy clan as ‘the first family of folk’.

Folk music 'royalty' Martin Carthy (left) and Dave Swarbrick, who have played together since 1965, at festival Musicport at Scarborough Open Air Theatre, on Sunday. Picture by Andrew Higgins  113266a  14/08/11

Folk music 'royalty' Martin Carthy (left) and Dave Swarbrick, who have played together since 1965, at festival Musicport at Scarborough Open Air Theatre, on Sunday. Picture by Andrew Higgins 113266a 14/08/11

They added: ‘Few performers have been so influential and attracted so many accolades as Martin Carthy. ‘Described as “incredible” by Bob Dylan, and hailed as “arguably the greatest English folk song performer, writer, collector and editor of them all” by Q Magazine, Martin was awarded an MBE for services to English music in 1998.

‘As the Radio 2 Folk Awards move to the Royal Albert Hall it is entirely fitting that we have a performance from two members of English folk’s most respected family.’

Martin (72) and daughter Eliza (38) performed ‘Died for Love’ at the live ceremony.

A delighted Martin told a packed audience: “I’m very very happy to have this happen.

“It’s fabulous. I’ve had a lot of great teachers along the way- Dave Swarbrick, Peter Knight and Eliza.

“They have one thing in common- they’re all bonkers.

“It’s a great learning experience.

“To play with some of the people I’ve played with has been such an honour.”

Martin’s wife and Eliza’s mother Norma Waterson is also a celebrated folk singer as head of The Watersons.

Eliza, who attended Fyling Hall School, is a renowned twice Mercury-award-nominated fiddle player and singer.

“Norma is probably the best teacher of the lot.” Martin added.

“She’ll be at home watchingon the red button. She’ll be throwing things at the telly and telling me to shut up.”

He then lifted the trophy and declared: “Norma that’s for you.”

He was presented with his award by Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker, who worked with him in October.

Before announcing Martin’s name, Corker told a packed audience at the Albert Hall: “This person is a pivotal, legendary person.

“He’ll be embarassed to be called that.

“That’s another aspect that makes a person a true legend, that they dont tell you about it.“

Martin’s debut solo album, Martin Carthy, was released in 1965.

Famously, a year later, his arrangement of the traditional ballad “Scarborough Fair” was adapted, without acknowledgement, by Paul Simon on the Simon and Garfunkel album recording Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme.

This strained relations between the pair for over 30 years.

Finally, Simon invited Martin to sing the song with him on-stage at the Hammersmith Apollo in 2000, thus healing the rift.

In June 1998 Martin was appointed an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

He was named Folk Singer of the Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2002, and again in 2005 when he also won the award for Best Traditional Track for ‘Famous Flower of Serving Men’.

In the 2007 Folk Awards Martin and Dave Swarbrick won “Best duo”.