Books and Music at the Heart of Independent Publishing

Jarvis Cocker Makes Editorial Debut at Faber

April 16, 2013 | by Faber Social

Tags: JP Bean, Jarvis Cocker, News, Richard Hawley, Singing from the Floor

Jarvis Cocker, the frontman of Pulp, has made his first acquisition in his role as Editor-at-Large at Faber and Faber.

Singing from the Floor by JP Bean, an oral history of British folk clubs, was recommended to Jarvis by critically acclaimed guitarist and singer-songwriter Richard Hawley.

Jarvis says, ‘When my friend Richard Hawley said he’d met “a man in a pub who had a book for me” I have to admit I was slightly dubious. But he was right. Singing from the Floor portrays an important movement in vernacular culture in the voices of the people who made it happen – and that’s not an easy task. Especially when the events in question took place many years ago and may have involved the consumption of alcohol. JP Bean has captured this moment before it is lost forever, and has made it live again on the page. He’s a very clever chap. Let’s raise a glass to him’.

Richard Hawley adds ‘This book is about music, music made from life, it’s also a work of love. If you love music you’ll love this book. Life is better with music and far far better with love. This book is for the brave lovers of it ALL.’

JP Bean is author of several books including Joe Cocker: The Authorised Biography, The Sheffield Gang Wars and Bold as a Lion: The Life of Bendigo, Champion of England. He has written plays for radio, and has broadcast many times on both radio and television. The first folk club he attended was the Barley Mow, Sheffield, in 1966.

Singing from the Floor is the story of an acoustic revolution that took place in Britain in the 1950s and ’60s. This was the folk revival, where a generation of musicians, among much drink and raucous cheer and influenced by the skiffle craze, rediscovered Britain’s own folk music tradition alongside the folk and blues coming over from America.

This remarkable movement has been faithfully captured in the voices of those who formed it. The book contains stories from luminaries such as Shirley Collins, Martin Carthy, Peggy Seeger and Ralph McTell, alongside figures such as Billy Connolly, Jasper Carrott and Mike Harding, who all started their careers on the folk circuit.

Of the publishing deal, JP Bean says, ‘I am delighted that Faber and Faber recognise, as I and the many singers and musicians interviewed in Singing from the Floor recognise, the importance of the folk clubs in British cultural history.’

Singing from the Floor will be published by Faber and Faber in April 2014, £20 Trade Paperback.