LONDON -- Bob Copper, a leading British folk singer whose family preserved dozens of traditional tunes, died March 29 in a southern England hospital, four days after being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire at Buckingham Palace, his record company said Thursday. Mr. Copper was 89.
Born on a sheep farm at Rottingdean on England's south coast, Mr. Copper came from a long line of folk singers -- many of them farmers who loved to sing around the fire on winter nights. In the 1930s, Mr. Copper's grandfather, James, and his father, Jim, began writing down the lyrics to their favorite songs, and starting in the 1950s, Mr. Bob Copper performed and recorded the works.
Mr. Cooper's favorite numbers included "The Banks of the Sweet Primroses," "The Honest Laborer," and "Shepherd of the Downs." The BBC organized a live broadcast of Mr. Copper and his father singing in a pub garden. This helped launch Mr. Copper on a folk career that embraced books, recordings, storytelling, and lectures.