July 4, 2016 By Diane Kemp

Ray’s chat – number 9.

Hi Folks
My next chat is about an English Folk Singer who I was lucky enough to be there when he sang his First Song at the Jug Of Punch. So Yes it was: Well way back in the early 60’s, 1964 actually; A young guy walked into the Jug Of Punch with a Guitar. Ian Campbell said Hi there; What sort of stuff do you do, and the young guy said I write my own songs.
So Ian put him on the Singers list.
His name was; and still is; HARVEY ANDREWS.
Harvey was a teacher in the Aston area of Birmingham, at the time when Aston was changing FROM the old Back to back houses with a pub on every corner. Buildings were being demolished, many of the Old Pubs were being pulled down. And the old Corner Shops; were no more: replaced by the Super Market half a mile away. He wrote songs about those times. But we will come to them in a little while.
Because: I think the First song I heard Harvey Sing was About: Black and White kids at School, and how they got on Great together. It was only when they grew-up the colour of the skin came to matter. It was a very true to what was going on at that time. Unfortunately I have NOT been able to find THAT SONG for you. Even Harvey said he hasn’t got a copy.
He also wrote about the old Pubs which were being Demolished. The Pubs that the old guys used to go sit and chat and maybe play dominoes. And put the World to rights with their mates;
Their old house GONE! They got moved to a high rise flat; and they sat alone in the Tower block; with a bottle of beer and a fag and they see no one, chat to no one.
Harvey wrote about How The old people of Aston were losing their Old way of life. The old days of the back to backs, when they chatted to all their neighbours; and if someone was ill; they would Be there for their neighbours.
Now they live-in. the New Tall tower bocks of flats isolated from people. There is no one to chat to over the alley wall. AND: The new Super Markets are not like it was: She used to go to Joes Old shop when; He knew all his Customers; and he would greet them “Hullo Mrs Smith how’s the arthritis today?”
Now Mrs Smith has to go to Sainsburys; And she knows no one; and no one knows her. So she can go days and days without chatting to anyone.
Oh Harvey can pull your heart strings I can tell you.
A lovely very sensitive writer; and he sings those songs OH so well. And he is rather Good on the Guitar.
I have found you the sort of song that the Aston song was like:
Days your Grand Parents knew: It is called GHOST TOWN it takes 3,37 minutes of your time to listen to; But I reckon you’ll remember it for much longer than that. Yes: He is a great observer of life. Yes DO listen to it.
For my next Harvey song choice I am choosing something that I reckon WILL GET YOU HOOKED ON HARVEY ANDREWS Remember he wrote this, He plays it, and he sings it, WOW. YES; Just listen to: DOWN SHIFTING it will take 4.36 mins of your time to listen to, and you will have a song you won’t forget. I think this is one of his best songs and Oh so beautifully performed.
You’ve guessed I have ALWAYS been a Harvey fan.
For another lovely gentle Harvey song go to AUTUMN SONG takes 3.04 mins. This is gentle lovely Harvey at his best.
BUT FIRST CHOICE has to be a wonderful gentle song that you MUST listen to the words to understand Oh Harvey can rip you heart out!! What a superb writer he is.
So put in MARGERITA it will take you 5.50 mins to listen to;
But you are going to remember it much longer than that.
Well there you are three songs by one of the BEST Folk singers of today.
Just remember that He writes the songs he sings.. and performs them so beautifully.
I count myself OH so lucky to have known this lovely man for a very long time.
The last time I met Harvey was Just a few years back. I was in Solihull by the Library Theatre; And There he was.
We stood nattering and He looked at his watch and said OH I am supposed to be on now. I didn’t know he was going to be there.. I would have had a front row seat if I had known.
Maybe you’ve never heard of him before? Well it is strange that his name never seemed to have hit THE Fame spot. But he is Very well known, and greatly admired by the Folk World. He has performed all over the World. He has written oh so many songs. And believe this: He has recorded 16 Albums. WOW!!
He has a web site if you want to know more.
He has retired now at 73.
But if you are lucky enough to live in the Shrewsbury area you might have the joy of hearing Harvey sing at some Charity event, or at some local do.
Thank you Harvey. A lovely English Gentleman and it has been My joy to have known You.
Harvey sends his Best Wishes to the Club.