Archie Fisher was born in Glasgow in 1939, the only son in a family of seven. An
internationally-known singer-songwriter he has enjoyed a parallel career as a
broadcaster presenting concerts, interviews, live studio sessions, review
panels, features, and the latest folk music recordings to his listeners on his
BBC Radio Scotland program Traveling Folk.
One of the most influential folk artists of his time, Archie has been called
everything from a folk father figure to both the James Dean and Frank Sinatra of
folk music. His father John, was the source of a mixed bag of music ranging from
opera through music hall (vaudeville) and traditional songs. His mother Marion,
is a native Gaelic speaker from Vatersay in the Outer Hebrides and has a strong
subliminal influence on the lyrical quality of his work.
He first became
interested in folk music through the Skiffle era of the late 1950's under the
influences of performers such as Lonnie Donegan and Johnny Duncan. Later the
recording of the Weavers at Carnegie Hall had a profound effect on his approach
to music and his political outlook.
During the TV folk boom of the 1960s and 70s
he appeared regularly with his younger sister Ray in magazine programs and the
BBC Hootenanny series. He was based in Edinburgh at the time in the contemporary
company of musicians such as Robin Williamson, Clive Palmer and Mike Heron who
formed the original Incredible String Band and was an early guitar colleague of
His first album was recorded in 1968 with the fiddle and mandolin of John
McKinnon and whistle player John Doonan. During the mid 70s he formed a
long-term partnership with Dundee musician Allan Barty, which was later grafted
on to the revived pairing of Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy. As well as performing
as a backing musician and arranger for the Makem and Clancy duo, he also
produced a series of albums with his heroes, while at home he also got involved
in record production with the dynamic Scottish band Silly Wizard. During the
1980s he turned his attention to freelance radio production and originated
several series of documentary programmes with his local Borders station Radio
His return to the recording studio in the mid-?80s was due to what he describes
as his most creative songwriting period, which coincided with a series of North
American tours in partnership with Garnet Rogers. Garnet produced the albums on
his own Snowgoose label the last of which, Sunsets I've Galloped Into, was later
leased and reissued by Red House Records.
He is currently working on two new albums for the Red House Label, having
revived his solo career with a program of Canadian and American tours, two of
which involved pairing up with John Renbourn and Bert Jansch in a series of
concerts. Archie continues to anchor the flagship Radio Scotland Folk and Celtic
Music show Traveling Folk and has recently taken on commissions to write songs
for other international solo performers and bands.