Paul Graney was a man with tape recorder. I remember him arriving at a Muckram Wakes folk club gig and asking us if he could record our set. We agreed and that was our first encounter with this rather brusque and forthright man. He gave us a number of songs in the following years and was similarly generous towards numerous other performers in the North of England.
I was stunned in later years to discover that when he died in 1982, he left behind hundreds of tapes recorded both out and about and at home by himself or off the radio over a period of 30 years. The tapes have been in the trust of Barry Seddon and the late David Hall, who raised funding to have them preserved, outline catalogued and transferred to digital media.
The archive is now housed at Manchester Central Library and the aim now is to make a selection of the recordings available for online listening and to web publish the outline catalogue with a view to promoting the study and use of this audio slice of life from the middle 20th century. Help is needed in cataloguing the collection and if you would like to help, please contact me.