The Ballad of Shirley Collins

Produced by Paul Williams
A lyrical work about the life and work of musical pioneer and folk legend, Shirley Collins


Biography, Cultural History, Music, Portrait, and Arts

Between 1959 & 1980 Shirley Collins changed the course of folk music in England & America. Thirty years after disappearing, she's back. Partly inspired by her beguiling autobiography America Over the Water, the film will retell the tale of the famous song-collecting trip she took around the Deep South of America with legendary field-recordist Alan Lomax - a trip on which they uncovered and documented the music that would later inspire the soundtrack to the Coen Brothers’ O Brother Where Art Thou. But the real story is more fascinating than the myth. We will blend the story of the trip with a celebration of her role in the folk revival of the 50s, 60s and 70s, when - amongst many other achievements - she and her sister Dolly produced the era’s most defining monuments in their seminal albums Anthems in Eden and Love, Death and the Lady. Largely forgotten outside hardcore folk circles due to her enforced absence from the world stage.

Show treatment
in development


Production Details

Prod. Co.
Fifth Column Films
United Kingdom
Years of Production
2013 - 2014

Distribution Details

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