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benny graham

Benny Graham served his musical apprenticeship in the folksong clubs of North East England.
Clubs like Birtley, run by the Elliott family, and Newcastle Folksong and Ballad (which featured among its regulars the High Level Ranters and Lou Killen) were at the forefront of the British folk revival. There was no better place in the late '60s for a young singer to develop a love of the vast musical culture of the North East which takes in rural songs, Tyneside Music Hall and the music which grew from the heavy industries of coal, steel and ship building.


Benny has been involved in many, highly acclaimed collaborative projects over the years - working on canal based tours and waterways’ festivals; forming and developing a choir, The Maritime Chorus; and touring with Bob Fox and The Pitmen Poets among them. His career began in earnest when attending the folk clubs of the North East, becoming a resident at the Gosforth club. By 1970 he had formed a highly regarded harmony trio, Peg Leg Ferret. An opportunity to join one of Tyneside's premier theatre companies in what is now the Newcastle Playhouse provided a change of direction and enabled Benny to work with company directors Gareth Morgan and Michael Bogdanov. Since then many companies have used Benny as a singer, actor, songwriter and also stage and production manager.


During the 80s and 90s, Benny worked across Britain at festivals and performing in concerts. With the formation of Folkworks, new opportunities arose. Links with schools were extended as Benny was a natural for this kind of work: songwriting, dancing, drama, informed by local history; concerts at the Sage, one unforgettable occasion with a thousand children singing together! Benny has also lent his ability to lead a crowd to the role of ceilidh caller and melodeon player at dances up and down the country.  

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