William Agate

William Agate

After many years in the Armed Forces in India, Bill came home, settled in Sussex and lived near Rusper and then moved to Balcombe. He was a pub musician and singer. His simultaneous playing of harmonica and tambourine as he played dance tunes and songs for people to join in with made him a pub favourite. The landlord of the pub at Balcombe used to call on Bill to come along to his pub to entertain the customers as soon as he got a crowd in. He used to play with Scan Tester and was very highly rated by Gordon Hall who called him “a jolly good turn”. He often attended the Songswappers Club in Horsham in later years.

He plays on three of the tracks on the double CD compilation of recordings of Scan Tester. I Never Played To Many Posh Dances Topic TSCD581D (2 CD, UK 2009)

He is also heard on the Musical Traditions double album, Just Another Saturday Night: Sussex 1960 MT CD 309-10. The booklet notes on that album say of him “William Agate was probably the first English player of simultaneous mouthorgan and tambourine that we second-generation revivalists ever heard – and he made quite an impression in terms of gusto and singularity.”

(Vic Smith 2016)

COCK OF THE NORTH

MOUTHORGAN TUNE

I WISH THEY’D DO IT NOW

MOUTHORGAN TUNE

MOUTHORGAN TUNES

MOUTHORGAN TUNE

JACK TAR

[Jack went up] unto fair London city

MOUTHORGAN TUNE

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