FolkWorld Issue 36 07/2008

by Michael Moll

Danny Kyle, photo by The Mollies

FolkWorld's Danny Kyle Corner
The folk scene lives from individuals who stay mostly out of the limelight – those who are not professional performers, but bring with their enthusiasm the unique something to the scene. And once in a while there are real folk heroes who really change the folk scene to the better.

Danny Kyle, for me, was probably the greatest folk hero of that kind. The wee Scotsman with his unique sense of humour put a strong mark to the Scottish folk music scene. Danny was a quality mark for folk festivals. People would choose their festivals based on Danny's involvement; it was generally known that festivals where Danny was involved in would guarantee great fun and great music.

He was one of those rare people who really changed and brought forward the folk music scene, not as a star and performer, but as a character who would bring professionalism and fun to amateur folk festivals. In the last couple of decades of the last century, Scotland experienced a folk festival boom, much of this thanks to Danny. There was a sort of travelling folk, following Danny around to all of the festivals he was involved in. And Danny really cared about the well-being of the Scottish folk scene, promoting many young artists who subsequently became well known.

And how could anyone forget his early morning jumping up in a folk session and more shouting than singing: "Mine vatter war in Wandersmann, ‘nd mirr sticks ock im blutt, drum wandric fro solang ic kann und schwenke mine hutt."

It is hard to believe that Danny Kyle passed away already 10 years ago. The Scottish music scene developed on, but the gap Danny left behind could not yet been filled - and will it ever be filled?

Given that FolkWorld hosts the unofficial Danny Kyle memorial pages, it felt appropriate to dedicate this editorial to the great wee man. Long may his memory live on!

Enjoy your festival summer, Michael.

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© The Mollis - Editors of FolkWorld; Published 07/2008

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