University of South Carolina Libraries invites the public to our annual holiday coffee with guest speaker Thomas Keith, who will deliver a tribute to Jean Redpath, the late Scottish folksinger.
Keith, an author, editor, actor, director and teacher, enjoyed a friendship with Redpath (1937 – 2014), who had a 50-year career teaching, recording and performing. His multimedia presentation, Jean Redpath — A Life in Song, will delight all fans of Scottish music, culture and traditions.
Redpath, a native of Scotland, arrived in the U.S. in 1961 and became part of the folk music revolution, playing at festivals alongside Bob Dylan and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. She recorded 25 albums, including seven volumes of Robert Burns’ compositions. Burns (1759-1796), a poet and lyricist, is celebrated worldwide today as the national poet of Scotland.
Keith has been writing and speaking about Robert Burns for more than 25 years. He has presented papers at conferences in Scotland, Northern Ireland and America, speaks regularly at Burns Night Suppers in the U.S. and Scotland, has organized more than 20 Burns Suppers in the New York/New Jersey area, and curated the annual Scottish Music Night in New York City from 1998 to 2009. He was the W. Ormiston Roy Fellow of Scottish Studies at the University of South Carolina in 2004, and recently appeared in two BBC Scotland documentaries, Auld Lang Syne (2014) and Burns in the USA (2017).
Redpath’s memoir, Giving Voice to Traditional Songs (USC Press, 2014), will be available for purchase at the holiday coffee. Additional USC Press book authors will attend and sign books, including Stephen Chelsey, Aida Rogers, Minuette Floyd, and A. Gilbert Kennedy.
Redpath’s personal archive is held jointly by the USC Libraries Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections and the University of Glasgow.