A Factory Lad - Project

A Factory Lad – Final?

With the publication of ‘A Factory Lad: The Songs of Colin Dryden’, this phase, at least, of my research into Colin has come to an end. You can listen to the full album for free on YouTube, and it is also available on most digital streaming platforms.

It was fortunate that tonight I was recording ‘The Outside Track’, Henry Lawson’s poem set to music by Gerard Hallom. I was looking for this version by Danny Spooner when I happened upon this video from 1965. About 3 minutes into the video, Colin, just ten weeks off the boat, sings a blues number. Later in the program, about 20 minutes in, he sings ‘The Holy Ground’. As far as I know, this is the only published footage of Colin singing.

While ‘Just Folk’ was a weekly program, most film from that era was wiped. I’m not sure if Colin appeared on any other episodes.

It feels like a fitting gift from the universe at this point in the journey.

I’m not sure what the future holds for this research, but it has been quite an emotional process for me personally. There is something about Colin’s confident and poignant delivery of whatever he was singing that makes it a great shame to have it lost to the world.

There are efforts underway to get some of the existing recordings of Colin made widely available, hopefully they will bear fruit soon.

I want to say a thankyou again to the many people that have shared their own stories with me, and also Colin’s niece, Naomi, for being so generous with her own research and understanding of an outsider’s desire to learn more.

3 thoughts on “A Factory Lad – Final?

  1. Hi Daniel
    You may be interested to know that Gerry Hallom has put out 2 CDs of Colin’s material entitled “ Colin Dryden- the Australia Years”. Like you, he felt that Colin’s contribution to the music world deserved to be recognised. I received my set from Gerry recently, though I’ve yet to have a proper listen. He had a long held collection of material recorded in various clubs etc where Colin played.
    Dave Moore, uk folkie

    1. Thanks Dave,
      I have been watching Gerry’s uploads to YouTube with interest. I tried to contact him but got a strange response, so didn’t pursue any further. I know there exists a bootleg 4-volume set of Colin’s work on CD here in Australia put together by Peter Wheeler and Ann Spence. It makes me uncomfortable that Colin’s work is being circulated this way without appropriate royalties being applied and passed on to his remaining family.



  2. Daniel, a huge thank you again for all the time and efforts you’ve put into your research into Colin’s life and music – part of your achievement has been to provide his family with a very special gift, for which I am very grateful. Crossing fingers that I’ll manage to get over there some day and hear you sing some of those songs in person. Naomi xx

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