Livingstone Folk Four from Blantyre


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Livingstone Folk Four from Blantyre

A local folk group sprang up in the mid to late 1960’s, called “The Livingstone Folk Four” or sometimes known as “The Livingstones.” (an amusing take surely on the more well known Stones). This Blantyre band became well known throughout Scotland as they toured and played gigs in places all over the UK. The 4 Blantyre men named the group after our famous explorer.

They consisted of Craig Street’s John Dempsey, Dave McCabe who was born in Auchinraith’s Buggy Buildings, and brothers Ken and Frank McKay, who originated from Mayberry Place near Glasgow Road.

The back of their LP describes the Blantyre band in some detail and with great amusement!

Frank MacKay is the anchorman of the group. He stands 5 foot 10 inches in his stocking soles and has fair hair. Educated at High School and University, he graduated with a BA in Economics. Apart from being the shrewd businessman of the Livingstones, Frank is also a veritable magnet to the ladies, so damsels in distress, please dont phone his business number.

David McCabe, also stands 5 foot 10 inches, but in his 2 inch cuban heels. He has dark hair and one of the most glorious singing voices in folk history. He also went to High School and University and graduated with a BA in Politics. A great character and expert in Burns, Dave does most of the research of the groups songs.

John Dempsey also went to University and now is a teacher in French and Spanish. He also has an eye for the females and a straight faced wit to go with it. John has a sad voice which is ideal for the ballads he sings so effectively.

Ken McKay is without doubt the musician of the group and is responsible for the Livingstone’s superb arrangements. He is Frank’s brother and went to Glasgow where he is in business management with a large firm. Ken plays all of instruments, guitar, banjo, whistle, 7 strong Russian guitar, mandolin and mountain dulcimer.

Emma McNeill emailed me asking, “I was hoping to find out if anyone new my father. He was a Blantyre boy born in sept 1946. His name was John Dempsey and made up part of the band the Livingstone’s.  We sadly lost our dear dad in June 1999 to cancer and I’ve always been keen to hear stories of him growing up etc. Would be brilliant to know if anyone knew of him.”

LPs sent to me from David Baillie

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