Tim Hart & Maddy Prior

Active 1966-1971

Tim and Maddy worked as a duo from 1966-1972 and were well known on the Folk Club circuit before joining Steeleye Span. They stopped performing together regularly once Steeleye had signed a 10 album deal with Chrysalis in 1972 and the band went full time . They did occasionally perform together in later years which is documented at the bottom of the page.

They released three albums which are included in the time line below, however, they are all out of print and by far the best way to buy and listen to the albums is the 2003 'Castle Music' 2 CD collection 'Heydays' . The tracks are remastered and has a nice history of the duo.

I have documented below the history, main performances and Radio/TV appearances of the duo but it is impossible to find and document all their folk club appearances so any listed below will just give a flavour of where they played. Thanks again goes to Chris Haines who as well as providing other information, collated and wrote the sections below on the BBC sessions.

1966





im and Maddy met in the 'Cock Inn' a well known music pub in St Albans, a pub frequented by Donovan, Mac Mcloud and other well known Folk musicians . At that time Maddy had already been singing solo for roughly a year, often accompanied by her own banjo playing and in a duo with Mac ('Mac and Maddy'),


Tim and Maddy started gigging together in December 1966 locally and in early 1967 decided that they should start playing professionally and look to get gigs on the wider folk circuit.

Their aim musically was to unearth unknown and rarely sung traditional ballads. This was a common theme amongst folk artists at the time in the search to be as 'authentic' as possible .
Initially Maddy, (and Tim!) used to Clog Dance as well, giving the duo a 'variety' feel to their performances, but that was slowly dropped in favour of focusing on the music



1967

Spring
Tim and Maddy travelled from St Albans into the West Country to try and get a number of folk club gigs.

Unknown date: Grimsby Folk Club

1968

Sat 31 Aug to Wed 4 Sept: Whitby Folk Festival - Headlined

27th Sept: Topic Folk Club, Bradford

23rd Oct: BBC Radio 1 'My Kind of Folk' (Broadcast 30th Oct)
Appearing on the Radio 1 programme My Kind Of Folk alongside The Valley Folk and Lea Nicholson, Tim & Maddy played 2 songs from their first LP alongside one (1.3) which would appear on the next. The series ran for 18 months, ending in September 1969 and showcased up and coming folk artists. According to BBC archives, this was a trial performance that was initially rejected, but over-ruled by producer Jimmy Grant. All presumed lost.
Another appearance on My Kind Of Folk 13/08/69 is listed, but there is no further information recorded. It may have been an interview segment, which would explain why it is not included in Ken Garner's session listings.

1st Album: Folk Songs of Old England Vol. 1

Released on the small independent Tony Pike record label Tepee, who also produced the album. The title was by Tim but Maddy insisted it should be 'Vol 1'. All Songs are traditional and arranged by Tim Hart. Tim later said that they went into Tony's studio in Putney at 2pm to record it and were finished by 5!

17th Dec: BBC Radio 1 'My Kind of Folk' (Broadcast 1st Jan 1969)
Showcasing songs from both LPs, this session is also presumably lost.

1969

February: Royal Albert Hall. There is a picture of them playing here on the back of one of the LP reissues of the 'Folk Songs of Old England'

13th Aug: BBC Radio 1: My Kind of Folk
repeat of previous appearance or maybe interview only?

 Unknown date: E.F.D.S.S Folk Festival at the Royal Albert Hall

 Keele Folk Festival. (date?) Included discussions with Ashley Hutchings about the state of the English traditional movement that woudl lead on to them joining Steeleye.

Billingham International Folklore Festival

16th & 18th August. See images below from the programme for set list.
19th Aug: 12.15 Lunch Hour Concert - Town Centre
19th Aug: Billingham College Theatre- 7.30pm with Ian Campbell Folk Group

16th August
18th August

2nd Album: Folk Songs of Old England Vol. 2

Once again released on the small independent Tony Pike record label Tepee, who also produced the album.

All Songs are traditional, except for the John Connolly song 'Fiddlers Green' and all arranged by either Tim or Maddy

19-21st Sept: Bromyard Folk Festival

7th Nov: Topic Folk Club, Bradford

December: Began practising with Ashley Hutchings and the Woods' with the intention of forming Steeleye Span.

1970

Monday 24- Friday 28 August : Whitby Folk Festival

11th Sept: BBC Radio 2: 'Folk on Friday' with John Lloyd
Tim & Maddy appeared but it is not clear what songs were performed (if any) and again may have been an interview only segment.

22nd Nov: BBC ONE (TV) 'Seeing and Believing'
featuring Tim Hart and Maddy Prior from William Temple Church, Manchester
Only known TV appearance of Tim and Maddy and appears to be lost.

1971

June: 3rd Album: Summer Solstice 

With Tim and Maddy now part of Steeleye Span they managed to get B&C to release this third album. It was produced by Steeleye manager Sandy Robertson and mixed by Jerry Boys. They could employ guest musicians (including Gerry Conway and Andy Irvine) and create a much broader sound also utilising multi track studio equipment which was not available to them on the smaller TeePee label.  All tracks were traditional except for 'Cannily Cannily' which was a Ewan MacColl track and 'Dancing at Whitsun' written by Austin Marshall (to the Coppers tune 'Week before Easter').

24th Lincoln 'Tupholme' Festival "Concert Of Contemporary & Traditional Folk Music"
  One day festival with an estimated 60,000! Incredible String Band, Pentangle; Sandy Denny and The Byrds all attended. Apparently Tim and Maddy did a couple on their own before the Steeleye set, which it's thought included Maddy Prior singing 'The Dying Soldier'.



20th July: BBC Radio 'Top Gear' (Broadcast 4th Sept)

A few days before Steeleye Span's appearance at the Cambridge Folk Festival, Tim & Maddy recorded songs from the new Summer Solstice LP mixed with other traditional & folk songs. 3.4 had been recorded by Martin Carthy on his 1969 LP Prince Heathen, whereas 3.3 was destined for Steeleye's 1972 album Below The Salt. Amazingly, an off-air recording survives of Seamus The Showman - an original Tim Hart composition. (This song was also played live by Tim when he supported Steeleye in 1993 and can be heard as a bootleg). Alas, the rest of this BBC session has not materialised.

1972

Steeleye signs with Chrysalis which signals the end of Tim and Maddy taking bookings as a duo to focus full time on Steeleye Span

Later Years

20th June 1987 : Verona Italy, Café Dante. "Tim Hart & Maddy Prior" With Steeleye, Edward II & Red Hot Polka's.


25th April 1990: BBC Radio 2 session with Maddy Prior and Rick Kemp. Tracks that involved Tim and Maddy: I Live not Where I love (with Tim Hart); 'Dancing at Whitsun' (Sung by Tim Hart); Sorry the Day I was Married' (Tim and Maddy).

1993: Chasing Rainbows Steeleye Tour: Tim was the opening act and came back on stage later to join Maddy and play guitar for 'I Live not where I love' with Peter playing Violin. Tim and Maddy then sang 'Sorry the Day I was Married'.

Last Appearance


2008: Tim and Maddy sang together at the Maddy Prior Electric Proms night on BBC4


They sang 'Sorry the Day I was Married' together. Tim then sang 'Who's the Fool Now' with Maddy Prior and Rose Kemp backing vocals. (videos below)