Fred Wedlock: Funnyman of Folk tells theﾠ story of Fred Wedlock's rise from the Bristol folk clubs of the Sixties to national fame as the Oldest Swinger in Town. Fred, who was also a well-known television presenter in the region, died in 2010 after a lifetime of entertaining around theatres, clubs and other venues throughout the West and beyond.
Fred Wedlock started entertaining people with his trademark witty ditties around the folk clubs in the 1960s. His act included songs he had composed himself, traditional folk songs and comedy songs written by others. In 1981 he made Number 6 in the charts with Oldest Swinger in Town, appearing on Top of the Pops with Legs and Co and in a host of other high-profile shows. The mishandling of the follow-up single forms one of the most controversial features of the book, but many who knew Fred are convinced that in many ways he was not sorry to get back to his West Country roots, and the charity appearances that grew ever more important to him as the years went by.
Author John Hudson gleaned information for this, the first Wedlock biography, from family, friends, professional contacts and fans from far and wide. Fred's extensive archive in the Bristol Record Office was also an invaluable source. Hudson said: “One thing that came over loud and clear from everyone was that he was much-loved. Everyone had a funny story to tell or a Fred Wedlock wisecrack to pass on. ﾠ
“Fred did for the West Country what Billy Connolly did for Scotland, Max Boyce for Wales and Jasper Carrott for Birmingham. He had opportunities to make a much bigger name for himself but he so loved the people and places of the West that he was happy to settle back here after his brush with the madness of fame."