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Young Tradition, The

Peter Bellamy, Royston Wood and Heather Wood (no relation) came together in April 1965 as The Young Tradition.

While the Incredible String Band and Fairport Convention were boldly adding sitars and electric guitars to take folk music in brave new hybrid directions, The Young Tradition were approaching its proud heritage from the opposite direction by rejuvenating the age-old pleasure of unaccompanied harmony singing.


Most of their repertoire was traditional British folk music and was drawn especially from the music of the Copper Family from Sussex, who had a strong oral musical tradition. They augmented the pure folk music with some original compositions which were strongly rooted in the English folk tradition.

The trio moved to London in the late 60s, sharing a house with John Renbourn, Bert Jansch and Anne Briggs.

They recorded three albums and an EP, on the Transatlantic Records label, and collaborated with Shirley Collins on an album called The Holly Bears The Crown, which although recorded in 1969, was not released until 1995.

The group became more influenced by mediaeval music, and Galleries was their last album together. They called it a day in October 1969 citing musical differences, with Bellamy wanting to pursue pure traditional music.

Royston Wood sang briefly with 70s British folk group Swan Arcade but died as a result of a car accident in 1990. Peter Bellamy committed suicide in 1991.

Heather Wood emigrated to America in 1977.

Peter Bellamy
Royston Wood
Heather Wood