The Fuzzy-Felt Brand has been used by kind permission of Mandolyn Limited.
Copyright Fuzzy-Felt 2006.

Catalogue No.


Hello and welcome to an explanation of Fuzzy-Felt Folk. This peculiar genre of sound came in to being one afternoon a few years ago when I was listening to kooky, childish records with fellow collector Martin Green. He played me the recording he'd found of "The Elf" which I found extremely charming, and when we tried to put our finger on exactly the sort of sound it was, Martin said 'Fuzzy-Felt Folk". It's a phrase that has stayed with me ever since and perfectly explains this quite wonderful area of sound.

The music has to have a childish, sweet sound but at the same time can have an old fashioned, spooky edge. This is music you may well have heard growing up and that also sound relevant and fine right now. These are the kind of gentle sounds you could (and possibly should) play to your children today. The tracks compiled on this album are quite something - we go from rare unreleased soundtrack demos to naive experimental psychedelia and even some rare music from seminal arts and craft-based TV series "Vision On" There is music made for dancing, skipping and dreaming. And of course for prancing around old school assembly halls acting like a tree.

The front cover imagery is from the original 1968 Fuzzy-Felt Fantasy set, which we thought was a bit more appropriate than using the cover from, say, Fuzzy Felt Hospital.


I Start Counting (Demo) - Basil Kirchin
Singing Low - The Barbara Moore Singers
Merry Ocarina - Pierre Arvay
Tiffany Glass - Orriel Smith
Folk Guitar - Claude Vasori
Twinkle Twinkle - Christopher Casson
Cuckoo - Arthur Birkby
Spin Spider Spin - Peggy Zeitlin
Winds Of Space -Orriel Smith
The Elf - The Barbara Moore Singers
The Troll - Reg Tilsley
My Mother Said - Christopher Casson
Hey Robin - The Barbara Moore Singers
Oh Dear What Can The Matter Be - Christopher Casson
Teddy Bears Picnic - Performed by The Piggleswick Folk - With kind permission of The Piggleswick Folk

And here is a very rough guide to some of the cues you can hear if you were to really push the boat out and get a copy of this baby. are now lucky enough to be hearing. And if you ask me you are really lucky to even have access to some of this wondrous sound. This stuff takes years to find, and then even longer to track down the owners. And when it's finally all done, mastered, lovingly packaged and finally distributed Trunk Records makes bugger all. Enough for a round of toast maybe. Or a bus ride to the seaside.

I Start Counting

Anyway, the music all begins with "I Start Counting", an unreleased demo courtesy of the Basil Kirchin archive. Basil, a truly British experimental composer wrote this music for a peculiar late 1960s British movie. Originally he wanted Cilla Black to sing the lyrics, he loved her voice so much. However she was not available (possibly due to contractual commitments elsewhere) and Basil ended up using his drummers daughter to quickly sing it for this demo. He couldn't remember her name, or for that matter, his drummer name either. And we know nothing, except that this is almost beyond sublime.

The Elf

"The Elf" is a true oddity. Found under a magic stone by Martin Green, this mysterious scatty number was sung by the legendary Barbara Moore Singers and was originally recorded for children's movement and mime classes. The same can be said for the other Arthur Birkby penned numbers - "Cuckoo", "Hey Robin" and "Singing Low". I wonder if children still have those classes after assembly, you know the ones where you wear unmarking plimsoles and run around the hall or the gym to slightly spooky music all the while acting like a fish or a seed growing into a tree. Those were the proper days I reckon. I might start an evening class doing it all again for adults.

Merry Ocarina

And on we dance towards "Merry Ocarina", a number from deep within the De Wolfe music catalogue. This track appeared sympathetically often throughout the 1960s and early 1970s in the incredibly progressive BBC Children's TV for the hard of hearing "Vision On". A real melting pot of incredible British talent, the series included animation, inside and outsider art as well as regular strange performance. "Merry Ocarina" was one of a handful of tracks used extensively throughout this long running series, and was heard each episode as backing for every "Humphrey The Tortoise" sequence. This is the first time it has been made available commercially. You lucky people.

Tiffany Glass and Winds Of Space

A few years ago the BBC sold off a large number of its singles collection. Nearly 20,000 7" discs were dispersed very quickly indeed through shops, charity organisations and so forth. Salvaged from this vast collection was a rare copy of "Tiffany Glass" and "Winds Of Space". These two quite unique (and unknown) pieces of soulful, experimental jazzy-folk were put together by Phillip Lambro, the prodigious American composer, writer and soundtracker. Using the words of two different poet writers, the tracks were arranged and then issued by Lambro's own short lived label "Tudor Records". Phillip Lambro went on to score for several cool movies, including Murph The Surf (being reissued on CD this year) and Orriel Smith can be found singing on Lambro's rare score for "Crypt Of The Living Dead". An Orriel Smith LP was planned at the time but sadly was never made. These are the only two recordings.

Folk Guitars

We're also lucky to be able to include the rare and hypnotic Claude Vasori number known as "Folk Guitars" here. Vasori's track was originally issued on the fine French Musique Pour L'Image label and was subsequently issued out from the UK on the just as fine Sylvester label in the late 1960s. It's a rare, simple and quite addictive number that I never tire of.

Spin Spider Spin

As for Spin Spider Spin, this is from an American Child's education recording. It is simple, effective and perfect to sing along too. Written and sung here by Peggy Zeitlin. We have no idea where she is now.

The Troll

"The Troll", a mechanical and orchestral folk oddity was recorded in 1969 by Reg Tilsley and also hails from the fine De Wolfe library. Issued on the scarce "Quietly With Johan" ten inch LP it completed an unusual double bill of late 1960s children toy themed tracks: the other is the classic Herbert Chappell number known simply as "The Gonk". Just so you are clear about all this - A Troll is a mythical, sometimes fearsome beastie from Scandinavia folklore. You'd find them all over the place in the late 1960s and 1970s normally made of wood, rabbit fur and with big stick on eyes.

Piggleswick Folk

And finally we come to Piggleswick Folk. An intriguing bunch, they put together their own vocal harmony based folk LP in the early 1970s, and at the time were spending a lot of time on the road, touring with Pam Ayres. Eventually both acts were to appear on TV, Piggleswick Folk on New Faces, Pam Ayres on Opportunity Knocks. The rest is British folk history. Well sort of. Teddy Bears Picnic is from their only LP issued by the obscure Acorn Label.

Well I think that's quite enough information for one CD. Special thanks must go to Mandy Hayes from Fuzzy-Felt for believing this was a great idea in the first place. I am in total agreement with her.