Main content

Martin Carthy

Martin Carthy, folk musician, is interviewed by Kirsty Young for Desert Island Discs.

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Martin Carthy.

A highly influential figure in the world of traditional music, about fifty years ago he was at the forefront of the English folk revival - inspiring not just his fellow countrymen, but Bob Dylan and Paul Simon too.

Now he's part of a folk dynasty. His wife is the celebrated singer Norma Waterson and their daughter Eliza is as renowned for her fiddle playing, as she is her voice.

Martin, on the other hand, was brought up in an atmosphere that encouraged him to rise above his station - there was music in his Anglo-Irish background, but it wasn't encouraged and rarely if ever talked about.

He says, "In my opinion there is no such thing as bad music. There may be bad players or bad singers but I don't like the idea of inferior music".

The producer was Isabel Sargent.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 18 Jan 2013 09:00

Music Played

  • Vincenzo Bellini

    I Puritani – O, Rendetemi la speme

    Performer: Maria Callas

    • Great Voices of the Century.
    • EMBER.
  • Édith Piaf

    Les Trois Cloches

    • Edith Piaf The Little Sparrow.
    • LIVING ERA.
  • Alan Lomax

    La Partenza (The Parting)

    • Italian Treasury: The Trallaleri of Genoa The Alan Lomax Collection.
    • ROUNDER.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Elizabeth Cotten

      Freight Train

      • Elizabeth Cotton “Freight Train And Other North Carolina Folk Songs And Tunes”.
      • FOLKWAYS.
  • Sam Larner

    The Lofty Tall Ship

    • The Voice of The People Volume 12.
    • TOPIC.
  • Norma Waterson

    Joseph Locke

    • Norma Waterson The Very Thought Of You.
    • HANNIBAL.
  • Eliza Carthy

    In London so Fair

    • Eliza Carthy: Angelicana.
    • TOPIC.
  • Paco de Lucía

    Se Pelean En Mimente

    • El Camaron De la Isla.
    • PHILIPS.
  • Book Choice

    • The complete works - Charles Dickens

  • Luxury Choice

    • His guitar

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Martin Carthy

Broadcasts

Featured in...

The Desert Island Discs podcast

The Desert Island Discs podcast

Subscribe or download individual episodes.

Listen to over 2,000 programmes

Articles

Articles

Read the surprising things we've learned about some stand-out castaways.

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

Featuring David Beckham, the funniest and most moving moments, animations and quizzes.

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

Why does Vaughan Williams’s masterpiece appeal to so many castaways?

Podcast