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Asked Wurzel Questions (FAWQs)
the benefit of the uninitiated, here are a few FAWQs with
answers. Most of this info has been pieced together from various
sources and is incomplete. If anyone can fill in the gaps in my
knowledge, or correct any inaccuracies, please
Don't Tell 'Ee - Tell I! - I'd be grateful for any information,
the more trivial the better!
The FAWQs answered
desperate! Where can I get copies of Wurzels or Adge Cutler
question is far and away the single most frequently asked question
by visitors to the Wurzelmania! website!
Until recently, I had to give the sad answer that "no recordings
by either Adge Cutler or The Wurzels have been available
for some years now. The last recording available was a compilation
CD issued by EMI in 1991, containing tracks by The Wurzels
from their 1970s heyday and from Adge Cutler & The Wurzels
in the late 1960s. Unfortunately that CD was deleted a few years
Despair no more! At long last, the mighty EMI record
corporation took notice of our pleas, demands, and threats (!)
and announced the issue of a new Wurzels CD on July 3rd,
2000. For further details see the Track
In April 2001 a further CD was issued, on HMV's
exclusive label - The
Although this is great news, and will allow those of us who haven't
heard the Wurzels or Adge Cutler to sample the delights
of the Wurzelmungous back catalogue, and enable others
to get hold of some of the best-loved songs in Scrumpy &
Western history, we here at the Wurzelmania! page regard
the issue of these CDs as just the first step towards our aim
of getting the entire Wurzels and Adge Cutler back catalogue
issued on CD. But full marks to EMI for issuing the CDs
and for helping us here at the Wurzelmania! page prove
that web power really works!
Apart from the new CD, no other Wurzel records are available,
so your only hope is to get hold of second hand copies of the
previous CD or the sought-after vinyl records. Good luck - you'll
need it as there are a lot of others doing the same, including
Perhaps if anyone from EMI reads this, they should consider
reissuing some more of the material - nothing elaborate: just
a complete anthology of the entire Adge Cutler & the Wurzels'
catalogue on a multi-CD set, complete with previously unreleased
material, out-takes, booklet with full recording details, etc.
(suggested title Wurzology), would do!
Meanwhile - it's up to us to buy the CD in sufficient numbers
to prove to EMI that the demand for Wurzel recordings is
we get EMI to reissue the records?
we've proved we can! At least, the issue of the latest CDs is a
step in the right direction. But our work is not done yet!
Over the last year or so I've lost count of the number of people
who have expressed a keen interest in getting hold of the Wurzels'
and Adge Cutler & The Wurzels' back catalogue. On several
occasions I (and many other visitors to the Wurzelmania!
site) had asked EMI, who own the recordings, when they plan
to reissue the records on CD. Their responses are shown below. You
could see them weakening as time went on! The Wurzelmania!
page wishes to thank everyone who contacted EMI to ask for Wurzels
records to be released - it wouldn't have happened without your
Below are the responses from EMI to enquiries as to whether
any Wurzels releases are planned in the future. The first was received
21 July 1999: "There are NO recordings at present by this
act in EMI Records UK's current product ranges...and there are no
releases scheduled for issue in the immediate future. Sorry."
A further enquiry in January 2000 got the following response: "Sorry,
there's no news I'm afraid. However, I will pass your message on
to EMI's 'Catalogue Division' (they deal with most of our UK re-issues)
so they can be aware of your comments."
And in early April 2000: "No news at the moment.... but
I will pass your message on to the marketing people who MAY make
a/some re-issues in the future."
So, simply asking EMI repeatedly got a result in the end!
Let's hope we can persuade them to issue the rest of the back catalogue
in due course... meanwhile, enjoy what's already re-released! While
we're at it, thanks are also due to EMI themselves for heeding
our pleas and issuing the CDs!
See the Wurzels Discography for details
of Adge Cutler & The Wurzels' recorded output. It isn't
complete, so if you know of any records I've missed, or provide
the missing track listings, then Don't
Tell 'Ee - Tell I!
is Wurzel music?
& Western music has its roots in a variety of sources, including
Jazz, Scrumpy, Folk, Silage, Pop, Pigswill, Comedy, Dung Spreading
/ R'n'B (Rhythm 'n' Browns), Music-Hall, Hedging 'n' Ditching, Ragtime,
Binder Twine and Rock 'n' Roll, but can't be easily categorised.
According to Bob Barratt, who produced Adge Cutler & the Wurzels'
records at EMI: "It is impossible to define Wurzel-music. It's
not really pop - it's not really comedy. It has been disowned by
the West of England Folk-Song Society, and Adge was black-balled
from the Long Ashton Jazz Appreciation Group on account of it".
Adge Cutler himself said: "I suppose you can call the sort of
music I write 'good-time' folk. I have hardly ever written a sad
song. I write songs so that people can sing them. They have got
to be simple for me to sing them."
So there you have it: the only way to find out is, as Bob Barratt
says, to "lend an ear... and decide for yourself!". Although I'd
like to add that Wurzel music is best appreciated while accompanied
by a pint or two of best rough!
Although you can't actually hear them here, background notes on
some of Adge Cutler & The Wurzels' best-loved songs (and
a few others) are given on the Wurzel Songs
are the Wurzels?
original Wurzels were started by Adge Cutler in 1966.
Adge was the leader and wrote most of their early songs,
including the immortal Drink Up Thy Zider, which reached
no. 45 in the UK national charts in early 1967. The original group
consisted of Adge Cutler (vocals & wurzelstick), Reg
Quantrill (banjo & guitar), John Macey (bass), Reg
Chant (accordion) and Brian Walker (wurzelphone). Brian
(subsequently to be known as the enigmatic "fifth Wurzel") left
the group following their first album, and the remaining members
continued wurzelphoneless as a four-piece for a while - this was
the line-up on the group's second album.
By 1968, John Macey and Reg Chant had departed and been replaced
by Henry Davis (bass/violin/wurzelphone) and "Scottish Wurzel"
Tommy Banner (accordion/piano). Tommy is still actively
wurzelling to this day, and therefore holds the world record as
longest-serving Wurzel of all time. On the other hand, Henry
was the next to go after only a short time with the band; his replacement
was Hertfordshire-born Tony "Gaffer" Baylis (wurzelphone/bass).
The last of the original line-up to leave (apart from Adge
himself) was Reg Quantrill. Somerset-born (and proud!) Pete
Budd (banjo/guitar) took over on Reg's departure.
At the time of Adge's tragic death on 5th May 1974, the remaining
group members Banner, Baylis and Budd decided
that as Adge was irreplaceable they would continue as a trio under
the name The Wurzels. This brave decision proved to be a
shrewd commercial move, as they went on to even greater heights
as far as chart success is concerned, having a number one hit single
in 1976 with Combine Harvester, followed by a string of other
successful records as Wurzelmania swept not only Nempnett
Thrubwell and Clevedon, but the whole of the UK.
The band is still performing today - and long may they continue!
The Wurzels are now a four-piece band, consisting of Tommy
Banner (accordion/keyboards/vocals), Pete Budd (guitar/banjo/vocals),
Sedge Moore (bass), and John Morgan (drums).
For more details of the individual members of the Wurzels,
see the Wurzelography.
can I hear Wurzel music?
in the answer to the first question above, EMI has announced
a new Wurzels / Adge Cutler & the Wurzels CD -
the easiest way is to buy it!
more enjoyable way to hear Wurzel music is to go and see
them live! Yes, The Wurzels are still performing and have
again become something of a cult on the college and university circuit
- for details of their gigs see the Wurzels
don't you have any Wurzels MP3s or lyrics on the site?
like to include some MP3 files of The Wurzels and Adge
Cutler and intend to do so in the future. The reason I haven't
done this so far is because I'm trying to maintain a good relationship
with the Wurzels themselves and with EMI. I don't
want to jeopardise the chances of getting their records issued on
CD by getting embroiled in any disputes about MP3 copyright, etc.
That said, I'm working on putting some clips up - keep thy beady
little eyes on the Wurzelmania! page for developments!
Likewise, I've avoided putting the lyrics of entire songs on the
site until now, for copyright reasons.
can I get the lyrics or sheet music for Wurzels or Adge Cutler songs?
none of the songs by The Wurzels or Adge Cutler are
currently available in printed form from music publishers. For the
reasons outlined above (see answer to previous question) I've refrained
from illegally publishing lyrics on the Wurzelmania! page.
of the songs seem to have been published by companies which no longer
exist - presumably the rights to the songs have been taken over
by other companies. If anyone out there knows how best to find out
who has the rights to a song, how to request copies of the sheet
music, etc., I'd be grateful for any advice, as this is an area
I'm not familiar with - if you can help, please Don't
Tell 'Ee - Tell I! Meanwhile, you'll have to do what the
rest of us do and transcribe the lyrics from the records! Watch
this space for any updates.
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