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Fred Wedlock

"The Oldest Swinger In Town!"

biography | discography | gigs | links | acknowledgments

Who Is Fred Wedlock?

Once described as a "West Country Billy Connolly, although he probably came first", Bristolian singer and raconteur Fred Wedlock has been performing in folk clubs and concerts since the late 1960s. Born on 23rd May 1942, he was born and brought up in a pub, where his first paid gig was at the age of four singing to the customers for which his fee was sixpence (6d). Fred experimented with several careers, including teaching in the East End of London, before turning professional in the early 1970s.

Fred had various albums on small labels issued in the 1970s, and became widely known early in 1981 when his single The Oldest Swinger In Town hit the UK singles charts, rising to #6. Unfortunately he has never maintained that success, but the song is almost guaranteed to be played at family gatherings such as wedding receptions, as the middle-aged uncles and aunts take to the floor to gyrate after a few drinks.

Following that success, Fred has had his own UK Channel 4 TV series Wholly Wedlock and acted as a presenter on other West Country TV shows. He also shared a BBC Radio series with Somerset jazz clarinettist Acker Bilk. Amongst his albums are The Folker (1971); Frollicks (1973); Out Of Wedlock (1978); This Is Fred Wedlock (1981); The Oldest Swinger In Town (1981); and Fred Wedlock Live (1982). The title song of The Folker was a parody of the Simon & Garfunkel song The Boxer and was recorded by Irish folk-singer/comedian Noel Murphy, who also used to include it in his act.

Fred has a deep love of the West Country, especially his native Bristol. He's an acknowledged authority on the local dialect, and is keen on all sports. A true Bristol City fan, Fred comes from a famous footballing family - his father and uncles have played for Bristol City and his grandfather Billy 'Fatty' Wedlock (pictured right) won 26 England caps and played in the FA Cup final.

Adge Cutler fans may like to note that Fred has recorded the Adge Cutler song Thee's Got'n Where Thee Cassn't Back'n Hassn't? - I can remember Fred singing this on TV a while back, but I can't remember what show it was on. He also recorded a song called I Couldn't Spell ****, also recorded by Adge Cutler & The Wurzels - although in their version "****" was spelt "!!**&@&**!!", which just goes to prove that it's not easy! Another song recorded by both Adge and Fred is the old folk club standard (My) Threshing Machine. Finally, Fred has recorded Adge's Bristol song Virtute Et Industrial - Fred's version was included in a "mini-LP" about Bristol.

Fred is a presenter on the Bristol-based HTV West independent TV channel. I found out from Bonny Sartin of the Dorset-based The Yetties that Fred was booked to appear at the 1998 Yetties' Christmas gig but unfortunately he was forced to cancel, having suffered a heart attack. Fred made a full recovery and was able to perform at the 1999 bash and has been going strong ever since. In June 2002, Fred compered and appeared at the famous Pensford Festival along with Acker Bilk, The Wurzels and The Blue Note Jazz Band featuring Hannah Wedlock (Fred's daughter!). So that's Fred - "fawk" singer, comedian, raconteur, and - last but not least - a nicer bloke you couldn't wish to meet!

Sadly Fred passed away on Thursday, 4th March 2010 after a short illness at the age of 67.

Fred Wedlock Discography

Singles | Albums | CDs | Others



Rocket XPRES 46

The Oldest Swinger In Town / Jogger's Song Jan 1981
Rocket XPRES 57 Jobsworth / The Ballad Of The Clevedon Kid 1981

Old Gold OG9807

The Oldest Swinger In Town / Coast To Coast: Do The Hucklebuck

This looks like a double-a-side with a re-issue of Fred's The Oldest Swinger In Town backed by Do The Hucklebuck by Coast To Coast.




Village Thing VTS 7

The Folker

Side 1: The Folker / British Bobby / Moreton Bay / Thee's Got'n Where Thee Cassn't Back'n Hassn't?
Side 2: Spencer The Rover / Skinheads / Bristol Buses / Bruton Town / Lurn Theeself Fawk


Village Thing VTS 20


Side 1: The Vicar And The Frog / Robin Hood / Handier Household Help / Salvation Army Lassie / Examinations Rag / Oh Sha La La
Side 2: Vatican Rag / Robin Head / Lovely Like Me / Superman / Talking Folk Club Blues / Wild Rover

Pillock Produckshuns PPS1

Fred Wedlock's Home Made Gramophone Record

Side 1: The Vet / The Bantam Cock / Mississippi Sawyer/ Secret Agent / The Widow and the Fairy / A Song Of Patriotic Prejudice
Side 2: The Teacher / Side by Side / The Two Magicians / Mini Cooper / John Barleycorn / British Rail / Flasher (with Mike Evans)

Pillock Produckshuns PPS17

Fred Wedlock's Greatest Hits!! (with Mike Evans & Chris Newman)

Side 1: British Bobby / Handier Household Help / Donkey Reel / Bristol Buses
Side 2: Skinhead / Football Song / Talking Folkclub Blues / Robin Hood


One Up OU2217

Out Of Wedlock

Side 1: I Couldn't Spell **** / The English Urban Garden / The Gnome / Three Drunken Nights / The Riddle Song / The Threshing Machine
Side 2: Clevedon Cowboy / The Plumber / The Great Fish Finger Disaster / Early One Evening / Inter-City / British Railways Pies / Ten Inch Reel / Mini-Cooper

Oct 1978

Pillock Produckshuns PPS 271

The Oldest Swinger In Town with Chris Newman

Side 1: The Oldest Swinger In Town / The Union Psalm / American Trilogy Pt II / Boxes / The Jogger's Song / Nuages - I Got Rhythm / Tits & Bums
Side 2: The Hippies And The Hairies O / Soldiers Joy / Breathalysed / Teddy Bears' Rave Up / Sweet Sue / An Old Somerset Poem / The Weather / Songs

Rocket TRAIN 13

The Oldest Swinger In Town

Side 1: Do It Yourself / The Vicar And The Frog / Examinations Rag / The Lady Recruit / The Punk One / American Trilogy / The Jogger's Song
Side 2: The Ballad Of The Clevedon Kid / Union Psalm / Nuages - I Got Rhythm / The Widow And The Fairy / The Hippies And The Hairies / The Oldest Swinger In Town

Note: This is a different album from PPS 271

Apr 1981

This Is Fred Wedlock

Reissue of Out Of Wedlock - see above for track listing

Apr 1981
Rocket TRAIN 19

Fred Wedlock Live with Chris Newman

Side 1: Let's Walk Round The Harbour Again / Old Somerset Weather Poem / Filton First Aid Fellowship / Folk Alphabet / Giving Up Giving Up /
Side 2: Kung Fu Woman / The Vet / The Village Production Of Hamlet / Hereford Scrotum / Sheep At Half The Price / Just Kidding




Village Thing

The Complete 'Folker' and 'Frollicks' Albums

Disc 1: Folker / Bristol Bobby / Moreton Bay / Thees Got'n Wur Thee Casn't Back'n, Asn't? / Spencer the Rover / Skinheads / Bristol Buses / Bruton Town / Lurn Theeself Fawk / Silbury Hill [bonus] / Si Mi Quieres Escribir [bonus] / Franklin [bonus] / Hey Nelly Nelly [bonus]
Disc 2: Virtute et Industrial [bonus] / The Vicar and the Frog / Robin Hood [Live] / Handier Household Help / Salvation Army Lassie / Examinations Rag / Oh Sha La La / Vatican Rag / Robin Head / Lovely Like Me / Superman / Talking Folk Club Blues / Wild Rover

The original 1971 and 1973 Village Thing albums reissued on CD with five bonus tracks.

Buy it on  

29 January 2008

Other Recordings featuring Fred Wedlock

Catalogue no. Title/Tracks Date
12" LP    
Village Thing VT-SAM 15


Sampler album of tracks by various artists on the Village Thing label
Includes the track The Folker taken from Fred's album of the same name (VTS 7)


Saydisc 33SD 245

Sounds of Bristol

Described on the cover as "A Portrait of Bristol in Sounds, Dialect & Song". Fred Wedlock sings a version of the Adge Cutler song "Virtute et Industrial" on this record.


Fred Wedlock Links


Thanks to:

  • Brian Derby for suggesting Fred as a suitable addition to the Scrumpy & Western pages
  • Mike Tomlin for the information about the Pillock Producshuns album
  • Kevin Goodall for information about some of Fred's records.

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