The Young 'Uns bring the story of working class hero Johnny Longstaff to radio

Teesside folk band The Young' Uns will take listeners on a musical journey through the life of a working-class hero this bank holiday weekend.

Friday, 3rd May 2019, 10:50 am
Updated Friday, 3rd May 2019, 2:46 pm
The Young 'Uns tell the story of working-class hero Johnny Longstaff on their latest album.

The trio, who have twice been named best group at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, will present Sing A Song of Freedom: The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff on BBC Tees at 6pm on Monday, May 6.

Sean Cooney, David Eagle and Michael Hughes met as teenagers and encountered folk music as underage drinkers in a local pub.

The Young 'Uns tell the story of working-class hero Johnny Longstaff on their latest album.

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They enjoyed it and returned to Stockton Folk Club, where one day someone said "let's hear a song from the young'uns", which is hwo they got their name.

They specialise in singing unaccompanied, and perform traditional shanties, as well as contemporary songs.

They have seven albums to their name, with the latest being The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff, which received rave reviews when it was released in January.

It came about after the band were approached by Johnny’s son Duncan at a gig, wondering if they could write a song about his dad.

He encouraged them to listen to the recordings Johnny made for the Imperial War Museum in 1986, and they ended up writing 16 songs, which formed the basis for the album.

Born in Stockton in 1919, Johnny Longstaff was an ordinary man who lived an extraordinary life.

He went from begging on the streets to fighting against fascism in the Spanish Civil War, taking part in the Hunger Marches and the Battle of Cable Street.

This one-hour special comes after The Young’ Uns multimedia show featuring Johnny’s story, pictures and voice recordings, which they staged at Middlesbrough Town Hall earlier this year.