Ralph McTell

~ Person


Ralph McTell (born Ralph May, 3 December 1944) is an English singer-songwriter and acoustic guitar player who has been an influential figure on the UK folk music scene since the 1960s.

McTell is best known for his song "Streets of London", which has been covered by over two hundred artists around the world, and for his tale of Irish emigration, "From Clare to Here".

In the 1980s he wrote and played songs for two TV children's programmes, Alphabet Zoo, which also featured Nerys Hughes, followed by Tickle on the Tum, featuring Jacqueline Reddin. Albums were also released from both series. He also recorded Keith Hopwood's and Malcolm Rowe's theme song to Cosgrove Hall's adaptation of The Wind in the Willows, and this was released as a single in 1984 after the series was aired on ITV.

McTell's guitar playing has been modelled on the style of the US's country blues guitar players of the early 20th century, including Blind Blake, Robert Johnson and Blind Willie McTell. These influences led a friend to suggest that he change his professional name to McTell as his career was beginning to take shape.

McTell is also an accomplished performer on piano and harmonica, which he uses on a harness.

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Year Title RatingReleases
1968 Eight Frames a Second 2
1969 My Side of Your Window 2
1969 Spiral Staircase 4
1975 Streets of London 3
1975 Streets... 2
1976 Right Side Up 2
1994 Slide Away the Screen & Other Stories 1
1995 Sand in Your Shoes 2
1999 You Well-Meaning Brought Me Here 1
1999 Easy 1
1999 Not Till Tomorrow 1
2010 Somewhere Down The Road 1
National Treasure 1
Red Sky 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title RatingReleases
1970 Revisited 1
1989 Affairs of the Heart: A Collection of His Love Songs 1
1992 Silver Celebration 1
1992 The Best Of 4
1996 From Clare to Here: The Songs of Ralph McTell 1
2000 The Best Of 1
2007 The Definitive Collection 1
Greatest Hits 1
Travelling Man: The Journey the Songs 1

Album + Live

Year Title RatingReleases
Ralph, Albert & Sydney 1


Year Title RatingReleases
1974 Streets of London 1
1989 Streets of London / Spiral Staircase 1

Unspecified type

Year Title RatingReleases
Alphabet Zoo 1

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