The Wire

The world's greatest print and online music magazine. Independent since 1982


Earth Recordings release The Ballad Of Shirley Collins OST

The documentary about the legendary English folk singer had its London premiere in October 2017

Earth Recordings are set to release The Ballad Of Shirley Collins original soundtrack album in March. The documentary about the English folk singer premiered at London Film festival at the end of last year. The film, in part the product of a Kickstarter campaign begun by Burning Bridges & Fifth Column Films back in 2011, coincided with Collins’s return to recording – in 2016 she released her first album in 38 years. The soundtrack features previously unreleased recordings from her 1959 trip around America's Deep South with her then partner, the US folklorist Alan Lomax, including contributions from Alabama Sacred Harp Association, Texas Gladden and Sidney Hemphill Carter. It also features a home recording of Shirley's late sister Dolly Collins, two BBC session tracks made in 1958, plus live audio footage captured in the making of the documentary.

The Ballad Of Shirley Collins will be pressed as a limited edition pink vinyl LP set, and if you're in the UK you can also pick up a DVD + CD package of the documentary and soundtrack, with added extras of deleted scenes, audio commentary, behind the scenes footage, an unreleased short film by its directors Rob Curry and Tim Plester, and some bonus tracks.

Screenings of the film are still happening across the UK. The full documentary will also be available to stream in the UK for 20 days via Lush Player from 20 January.

The Ballad Of Shirley Collins is released on 23 March by Earth Recordings. You can listen to Ruby Vass's “Single Girl, Married Girl” below.

Rob Young reviewed The Ballad Of Shirley Collins in The Wire 405. Collins was also the cover star of The Wire 395. Subscribers can read both the review and the cover feature via Exact Editions.