Ken Stubbs Collection

Ken Stubbs Collection

About Ken Stubbs

Ken Stubbs (1923-2008)
Born in Beckenham, in Kent, Ken spent much of his time in that county as a specialist teacher, helping children with difficulties. He was also an early advocate of self-sufficiency, conservation, and organic gardening.
Ken became interested in traditional music in the late 1950s and between then and 1971 he was very actively involved in the group of collectors and enthusiasts working in Kent and Sussex, following, at first, in the footsteps of Mervyn Plunkett and Reg Hall.
In addition to attending general sessions, and visiting singers in their homes, Ken organised occasional ‘folk-song parties’, to which he invited traditional performers, which helped to give them a much-needed audience for their skills, and gave young revivalists an opportunity to experience the real thing.
A true enthusiast, Ken was always very generous with his time, knowledge and material, and many folk revivalists in the area could date their interest in, and knowledge of, the tradition to his example and influence.
Ken published some of his songs in the book Life of a Man (EFDSS 1970), and he also wrote
the important article on ‘The Life and Songs of George (Pop) Maynard’ (Journal of the English Folk Dance & Song Society 9:4 (1963) pp.180-196), which was one of the earliest attempts to put a traditional singer’s songs in the context of his life-story. Ken was also one of the first to understand the importance of Traveller communities in keeping alive music and song traditions.
Many of Ken’s recordings are from Kent, but we have been able to include over 470 of his Sussex tracks on our database, plus some texts and tunes from his manuscripts and published works. This material appears by courtesy of Chris and Jean Addison, to whom Ken gave his tapes, and Paul Marsh, who has spent many hours digitising and restoring the audio.