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Ewan MacColl
Dirty Old Town
Manchester Music in the 1950's
Following the war, a young Salford communist was to become one of the most influential artists in British music history. Ewan MacColl, or Jimmie Miller as he was known before desserting the army in 1940, wrote many songs about the working class struggles in Britain, penning many about Manchester, Salford and Lancashire. His work would be covered by artists as diverse as Elvis Presley, George Michael, Celine Dion and The Temptations, and influenced many Manchester folk artists for years to come.
 
 
 
 
1950
A young George Formby Ewan MacColl
The Asphalter’s Song
Ewan MacColl makes his recording debut with the '78 folk single 'The Asphalter’s Song; I’m Champion at Keeping ‘em Rolling'. Although previously a writer, actor and poet, this is the start of a highly influential recording career in folk music.
 
 
 
 
1951
George Formby makes his comeback in the stage musical 'Zip Goes A Million’. After opening in Coventry, it sees George return to Manchester, breaking all the box-office records at The Palace Theatre
 
 
 
 
1952
Ewan MacColl Ewan MacColl
Dirty Old Town listen to soundbites
Ewan MacColl releases the '78 single 'Dirty Old Town', a folk song he wrote about his hometown of Salford. It becomes his most famous track and is later covered by the The Pogues, Rod Stewart, Simple Minds, The Dubliners, Brian Kennedy, Frank Black and Roger Whittaker amongst many
George Formby suffers a heart attack. After recovering, he takes a break from show business
 
 
 
 
1954
Phil Lynott attends Princess Road Junior School in Whalley Range. At an early age, he moves to Dublin and is raised by his grandparents. He returns to live with his mother in Manchester during school holidays.
 
 
 
 
1957
Ewan MacColl Ewan MacColl
The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face listen to soundbites
Ewan MacColl releases his famous single with partner Peggy Seeger. It is later a hit for both Roberta Flack and Celine Dion and is also covered by Elvis Presley, George Michael, The Stereophonics, Johnny Cash, The Temptations, The Chi Lites, Isaac Hayes, Barbara Dickson, Alison Moyet, Johnny Mathis, Shirley Bassey, Andy Williams, Mel Torme, Harry Belafonte, Bert Jansch, Lena Martell, Acker Bilk, June Tabor, Nils Lofgren, Marianne Faithful, Gordon Lightfoot, Jeffrey Osborne, Timmy Thomas, Vanessa Williams, Christy Moore, Val Doonican, Peter,Paul & Mary, X-Factor stars Leona Lewis and Journey South as well as many others
Ewan MacColl collaborates with Peggy Seeger & Charles Parker on the ground-breaking BBC radio musical documentaries, known as the 'Radio-Ballads'. Mixing folk songs with recorded speech and sound effects, the concept has since become a routine procedure in TV and radio documentary making listen to soundbites
An 11 year old David Jones appears in Coronation Street as Ena Sharples' grandson. His appearance is that good he is offered the role of the Artful Dodger in the West End production of Oliver.
 
 
 
 
1958
The Gibb family from Chorlton-cum-Hardy in Manchester emigrate to Brisbane, Australia
 
 
 
 
1959
16 year old Clive Powell from Leigh moves to London and changes his name to Georgie Fame, playing piano in many of Larry Parne's backing bands for the likes of Marty Wilde and Vince Eager
 
 
 
 
| 1930's & 40's | 50's | 60's | 70's | 80's | 90's | 2000's |
 
 
 
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