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Are The Yetties?
Scrumpy & Western website would not be complete without including
a mention of Dorset's famous sons The Yetties. This Dorsetshire
quartet took their name from their home village of Yetminster. They
formed in the early 1960s to play for traditional dance evenings,
and were called the Yetminster and Ryme Intrinseca Junior
Folk Dance Display Team; luckily this was shorted to The
Yetties; and the name stuck.
band's original line-up consisted of percussionist Maurice John
"Bonny" Sartin (born: 22th October 1943), guitarist/banjo-player
and ex-pat Londoner Malcolm "Mac" McCulloch (born: 12th
December 1945), the highly talented and multi-instrumentalist Peter
Cecil Shutler (born: 6th October 1945) who played accordion, keyboards,
penny whistle, concertina and bowed psaltery) and singer Bob Common
(born: 26th December 1940). For recording purposes, fiddle player
Oscar Burridge was drafted into the line-up but he was never part
of the band.
band played their first ever gig in 1961, and were soon performing
at the Sidmouth Folk Festival providing the music for the Yeovil-based
Wessex Morris Men. They quickly became established as a cornerstone
of the South West folk dance scene, regularly performing at the
Yeovil Folk Dance club. In 1967 the band quit their respective day
jobs and went professional. Their first recorded release was on
the Festival At Towersey album
released the year later, and in 1969 they released their debut album
Fifty Stone Of Loveliness on the Acorn label.
1970, after the release of their second album Who's
A'Fear'd, The Yetties were snapped up by Argo
Records (a company specialising in "British music
played by British artists"!) who were at the time a subsidiary
of Decca. The band released a further eight albums on the Argo label
before being moved onto the higher profile Decca label for whom
they recorded another five. The group also appeared on a Cyril Tawney
album in 1972, Cyril Tawney In Port, providing background music
and vocals. Another 1972 release, Bob Arnold, Mornin' All, featured
the group providing background music and vocals for Bob Arnold.
The same year, the group's version of The Archers theme tune, "Barwick
Green", was first used for the Sunday omnibus editions of the
series on BBC radio.
left the band in 1979, and the band continued as a three-piece with
Bonny taking the lead vocals. During the 1980s, the band expanded
to a four-piece once more with the arrival of fiddler player Roger
Trim who stayed with the band from 1984 to 1991 during which time
they recorded The Musical Heritage Of Thomas Hardy,
drawing from Hardy family manuscripts, and performed using Hardy's
having played worldwide, the Yetties have never lost the almost
boyish enthusiasm which pervades their music, and still retain a
loyal following. They are still going strong and have their own
website run by Bonny Sartin which has details of the band's current
activities, as well as a well-stocked shop. Over the years they
have toured the world and recorded a large number of albums. Apart
from their own compositions, the band has built up a huge repertoire
of music of many types from diverse sources, including folk songs,
dance music and popular songs from England, Scotland, Ireland, North
America and other countries. A good deal of the Yetties' music falls
outside the Scrumpy & Western genre, but throughout their career
the Yetties have stayed true to their Dorset roots in spite of their
worldwide travelling - their West Country humour and songs still
form a much-appreciated
part of their act.
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