The 1960s was not just the time of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Elvis; folk music underwent a revival in Britain in the second half of the decade. That phenomenon will be dealt with on a separate page of this website. Folk music is regional almost by definition; folk clubs sprouted in many parts of the country and, although there were some bands that gained nationwide followings (Steeleye Span would be a good example and, of course, America’s Bob Dylan surmounted national barriers and not just regional ones), a thriving club culture made it possible for bands to become well-known each in their own area.

The folk music of north-east England grew, as might be expected, out of a heavy industrial culture of coal mining, shipbuilding and steel making (with a healthy injection from the agricultural past in a region to which enclosures and workhouses came late, and from the Music Hall. It should never be forgotten that Blaydon Races was a music hall song written by impresario Geordie Ridley). The High Level Ranters (it got its name from the High Level Bridge across the River Tyne) was one of the groups that flourished for a time in the north-east. Pegleg Ferret was another.

It’s a three-part harmony band and so has three members, but – as is the way of these things – those three have not been the same all the way through. The band members have included:

  • Benny Graham
  • Keith Pollard
  • Geoff Anderson
  • Danka Jurovska
  • Gael Briggs