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Page last updated at 10:23 GMT, Friday, 11 September 2009 11:23 UK
Profile: Geoff Speed

Geoff Speed
Geoff Speed

Geoff Speed shares presentation of Folkscene BBC Radio Merseyside's weekly look at the local folk circuit every Tuesday and Thursday evening at 2100.

Folkscene is the longest running folk programme anywhere on the radio dial. It was one of the first specialist music programmes launched by Radio Merseyside and has featured a host of local folk groups and artists over the years.

Stan Ambrose and Geoff Speed have both been involved in the local folk community for many years. Born in Widnes, 1942, Geoff Speed has spent most of his life in the area.

"I was born into a very musical family. My parents never played any instruments but they used their voices.

"Life was full of music. Music was the discussion that went on all the time. For about the first eight years of my life, radio was my companion."

Geoff ran a highly successful folk club in his home town of Widnes in the 1960's.

In the early days of BBC Radio Merseyside he recorded live folk music in and around the clubs at a time when recordings of local folk musicians and singers were virtually non existent.

"My interest in folk music began back at Wade Deacon High School in Widnes. I had a friend at school called Robin, we decided a open a folk club in Widnes.

"We expected about 40 to turn up and 200 turned up. We ended up meeting in the rooms above the Queen's Hall."

Indeed, Geoff has been recognised for booking a young Paul Simon to appear at his club:

"In the early days of the folk club, we had a guy from London play for us. His name was Terry Gould. He wrote to me and said that he had heard a young American singer named Paul Simon and was trying with Paul to organise a tour in the North of England. So I said yes straight away.

"We were only asked to pay £12. To think that this guy was only 18 or 19 and was writing such wonderful songs. He stayed with me for a week."

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