Louis Killen (1934-)
Last updated: 17.12.19
The following text is taken verbatim from the sleeve notes on Northumbrian Garland issued in 1962
LOUIS KILLEN was born in Gateshead-on-Tyne in 1934. Though now resident in London, he has spent nearly all his life on Tyneside, living in Gateshead and Newcastle. He comes from a singing family; with his parents and three brothers, he regularly had family entertainment. It was in this setting that he first heard local folk songs, sung by his father (a local man and his mother is Irish). But at this time the songs were never thought of as folk songs; they were "Geordie" songs and that was a far as it went. It was only in his late teens that he began to look and listen for "folk songs".
In 1957, Louis spent some time in Oxford and became involved with a group in the university who were keenly interested in folk music. From them he learnt many songs from other parts of the country, and in so doing developed a keen interest in folk music as a social factor in the lives of communities. In 1958 he formed a club in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, "Folksong and Ballad", which has continued to run every winter since, with great success.
He became nationally known throughout folk song clubs and through radio and television programmes such as Song of a Road, The Big Hewer and Sunderland Oak. He is considered in the "folk world" to be one of the best young revival folksingers in the country.

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