CHAPTER 4: Dulcimers in the British Isles since 1800 > Dulcimers in Scotland

JIMMY COOPER - interviewed by Alan Ward - 11 of 11


The above account was recorded from Jimmy at his caravan near Bournemouth on 14 September 1977. It appears as spoken except that the story has been arranged in chronological order, some digressions omitted (indicated by dots) and a few words inserted to complete the sense (in brackets). Some of the information, particularly on Jimmy's political views resulted from specific questions, but he has been interviewed several times recently since being "rediscovered" and has his recollections pretty well organised.

The original intention had been simply to find out if Jimmy knew anything about Bob Smith's Ideal Band, but although he knew of the dulcimer player William MacNally, who recorded on Regal-Zonophone, he had never heard of Bob Smith. This may say something in itself, though Jimmy is at pains to point out that his stamping ground was Coatbridge, some few miles east of Glasgow, rather than the city itself. Certainly his account of the hardships of the period, and of the strength of left-wing activity could not be more eloquent - it has been included in full though in the ordinary way Jimmy would not have dwelt on the matter.

A record of Jimmy's music appeared last year (= 1976) (Forest Tracks FTS3OO9) which includes a fair selection of his repertoire from High Level Hornpipe and The Laird of Dunblair schottische to Kreisler's Schön Rosmarin and Isle of Capri cha-cha. He is a forceful player and the unique feature of his style is the vigorous rolling of the sticks which resembles conventional xylophone technique. Another album featuring him and the Dartmoor accordeonist Bob Cann is due out soon - Kicking up the Sawdust on EMI Harvest.