1973 Camp Fortune Andrew Huggett Family

1973

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CONCERTS & EVENTS

March Finish album with George Martin, Air Studios
April Record launch. Promotion, and  reception on Buckingham Palace Mall
April Concerts in Bournemouth, Paris and Wigmore Hall, London
May Return to Canada

June CBC Radio Canada, Mount Orford Live Broadcast 

June Record score for NFB film, Evelyn Lambart's "A Christmas Story"

July two shows, CBC Camp Fortune, Quebec  
August National Arts Centre Theatre, Ottawa - 6 shows
September New record album for CBC, Hull
October Fly back to London
October Purchase house in London with the assistance of Margaret's father.

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Laying down final backup vocals for the new album in London.

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Piccadilly

LISTEN WHILE YOU BROWSE

Andrew Huggett wrote this song about Soho behind Piccadilly Circus in London in the summer of 1971.  George Martin was not keen on the original lyrics, which focused on the depressing side of life in that part of the city, and encouraged Andrew to rewrite them with what he felt would be a more accessible "boy meets girl" kind of theme.  This version features "George's" lyrics.

Andrew on vocals, guitar, and baroque oboe; Margaret on piano; Margaret, Jennifer, Ian, and Fiona, backup vocals.  The french horn parts played here by Nicholas Bush & Kieth Whitmore were played on the alto recorders by Ian and Leslie in the live shows.

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Jennifer in the studio with a couple boys from the LSO. George Martin wanted a bigger sound than one cello could provide.

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FINISHING THE RECORD ALBUM

In February 1973, the Huggetts returned to Air Studios to complete their first album with George Martin. Andrew recalls, "We arrived at Air on Monday at 10 am. George had booked a bass player, Tony Bennett's drummer, Kenny Clare, and a 13-piece string section under the direction of string arranger Lew Warburton. The first song we laid down was one we'd done many times in concert, Dad and mine's "Love to Share," with me on guitar and lead vocals. Lew counted us in, and we all started. The effect of playing with all the extra musicians was both thrilling and, at the same time, totally overwhelming. Our sound up to this point had always been dictated by how much noise the six of us could make playing relatively quiet acoustic instruments. This felt huge and foreign. We did a run-through for levels and recorded the song on the second take. There was no time for pickups or retakes. We had the orchestra for three hours, and it was expensive, and Mom also had several songs to do with them. At the time, we were all thrilled by what we heard. Lew's string arrangements were beautiful, and all the players were the best in London. However, many years later, I think these new forces often overshadowed the Huggett Family's unique sound. In my opinion, as much as I loved it at the time, a little more restraint in the use of the orchestra would have achieved a more authentic result." 

 

Titled "The Huggett Family," the album was released on the Pye label in England in April 1973 and in August on the Daffodil label in Canada. In London, a significant publicity launch was planned, including a concert at London's Wigmore Hall and a press reception at the Institute of Contemporary Arts on the Mall, the red paved main access to the gates of Buckingham Palace.

 

A public relations company was engaged to secure interviews and exposure for the family in the press and on TV. At the time, there were only 3 TV stations in England, BBC 1 & 2 and ITV. BBC 1 and 2 shared the same 6 o'clock news show and had sent a camera crew to Dorset to interview and film the Huggetts riding horses on the downs in slow motion under which they planned to play Greensleeves. There was a tense moment when Fiona was thrown from her horse during the shoot. There was further excitement when the interview was played on the National BBC 6 o'clock news. The horses weren't the only thing being played in slow motion. The playback of Greensleeves was also at half-speed, which made it sound like it was being sung by a chorus of slow-witted tenors. Leslie was apoplectic and immediately demanded that the BBC issue an apology and replay the spot with the music at the correct speed, which the BBC did the next day. Ironically, on that same next day, ITV also played their interview with the Huggetts on their 6 pm news at exactly the same time as the BBC rerun. Thus, for three minutes on April 1st (of all days) 1973, the Huggetts monopolized primetime TV across all of England.

 

The Wigmore Concert was a sold-out success, as was the reception, with George Martin saying many gracious things about the Huggetts and their first record at both events.

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Air Studios occupied the top floor of this building in central London. The space was previously an old banquet hall and could easily accommodate a full-size symphony orchestra. The back windows of the main control room can be seen here looking out over Oxford Circus. The roof windows are where a large men's room was located. Serving a double function, it was outfitted with a large Tannoy speaker that allowed it to double as an acoustic reverb chamber when required.

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George gives a hand.  Recording hand claps on "I'll Be Gone."

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George Martin and Margaret Huggett at Air Studios in London.

SIDE 1

I'll Be Gone  A. Huggett

My Father Always Promised
Judy Collins

Miami Beach
A Huggett/L. Huggett

Scarborough Fair
Traditional Arr. A. Huggett

Piccadilly
A. Huggett

Trees
Traditional Arr. A. Huggett

SIDE 2

Love To Share
A. Huggett/L. Huggett

Gypsy
A. Huggett

Greensleeves
Traditional Arr. A. Huggett

Lifestyle
A. Huggett/L. Huggett

Tapestry Carol King

LESLIE - vocals, krumhorns,rankett, recorders, and rauschpfiffer.
MARGARET - vocals, harpsichord, piano, guitar recorders, and krumhorns.
ANDREW - vocals, baroque oboe, guitars, lute, recorders, and percussion.
JENNIFER - Viola da Gamba, cello, gamba, krumhorns, and percussion.
IAN - vocals, recorders, viol, harmonica, and krumhorns.
FIONA - vocals, recorders, viol, and percussion

 Andrew Huggett Family Album

The Huggett's first album with George Martin, 1973

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 Andrew Huggett Family with George Martin

With George Martin at the Wigmore Hall launch.  Air Studios provided the sound system for the show.

 Andrew Huggett Family Adverising bill

Taking no chances, Leslie bought advertisements  in all the London papers.

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London UK Evening News 1973_edited.jpg
London UK Evening News 1973_edited.jpg

There were feature articles in many of the national papers including the Evening News, the Guardian, and the front page of the Daily Mirror which had a daily readership of over one million. 

 Andrew Huggett Family Institute of Contemporary Arts

The Institute of Contemporary Arts, London

I'll Be Gone single  Andrew Huggett Family

"I'll Be Gone" #5 on the Billboard Airplay charts, #64 on the RPM, Top 100.
George Martin often said he couldn't write a hit song but knew one when he heard it.

Air Recording Studios  Andrew Huggett Family

You can read more about George Martin and Air Studios and see their 1972 sales brochure here.

CANADIAN CONCERTS

MOUNT ORFORD

Orford Musique is an oasis of music and art nestled in the heart of Mount Orford National Park in Quebec's Eastern Townships and, to this day, hosts an annual international music festival. It was here that the Huggett Family was booked to play the first concert of their '73 summer season. The concert was recorded by Montreal CBC Radio. Two and a half weeks prior, upon arrival at Dorval Airport (Montreal), they discovered that the case containing the concert season's hand written scores, part books, and reference materials had never left Gatwick airport. No other copies of the material existed, and for reasons unknown, it had never crossed anyone's mind to make photo safety copies. In preparing the music for a show. Andrew would hand write a music score for each piece to be performed, from which the rest of the family members would hand copy their own parts. Panic calls were made to London Gatwick but to no avail. Once again, the Huggett's extended family came to the rescue. While navigating the Gatwick bureaucratic and baggage-handling labyrinth, Margaret's brother-in-law, Uncle Fred, managed to locate the lost bag and forwarded it back to Montreal. Henceforth, when flying,  all crucial music was carried as cabin baggage, though photocopies were still seldom made.

Andrew Huggett Family Fiona doing school

Fiona focuses on school work. All the children spent a couple of hours daily on Ministry of Ontario correspondence lessons.

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Bags lost in Gatwick departures are much harder to find if the airline has neglected to tag them. Uncle Fred recovers the missing bag.

Andrew Huggett Family Mout Orford
Andrew Huggett Family Mount Orford

Orford Musique is nestled in the heart of Mount Orford National Park in Quebec's Eastern Townships.  Two and a half weeks prior to their concert here, baggage handlers lost all the Huggett's music and reference materials.

CAMP FORTUNE

The Camp Fortune Summer Music Festival, held annually until 1978 at the ski resort of the same name in the Gatineau Hills north of Ottawa, was created in 1967 by CBC producer Ian Fellows. Joni Mitchel, Gordon Lightfoot, Valdi, David Wiffen, Sneezy Waters, Anne Murray, and many other famous Canadian artists graced the modest stage set at the base of one of the ski hills, which functioned as a natural summertime amphitheater. Shows were scheduled for Friday and Saturday nights, sponsored by the Musicians Union, and recorded for later broadcast by the CBC. Admission was free, and audiences often arrived early to enjoy a picnic or walk one of the many trails before settling in for a night of musical delights. The Festival ran for eight consecutive years.

In July 1973, CBC music producer Jane Forner produced the Huggetts Camp Fortune show. When they walked on stage, just back from England, they were warmly greeted with calls from the audience of "Welcome back!" and at the show's end, "Come back soon!"

The Huggetts string instruments collection totaled some 120 individual strings, each of which had to be tuned before and during the concert. The hot afternoon sun baked the stage during the afternoon sound test and gave way to a light evening fog by concert time. This made keeping 120 strings in tune a real challenge for the entire duration of the concert. One is reminded of the response of one of the first  Elizabeth's courtiers who, when told that court lutenist John Dowland had just turned 84, replied, "Ah yes, but he  hath spent fully half his life tuning his instrument!"

Numerous "tuning breaks" put Leslie's talent as a raconteur to the test as he came up with an unprecedented number of stories, jokes, and astute observations to fill the gaps. 

Andrew Huggett Family  Jennifer Huggett 1973 Camp Fortune
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Andrew Huggett Family Camp Fortune

Scorching skys baked performers and instruments alike during the afternoon sound test. By showtime, a light evening fog enveloped the stage, very mystical but terrible for the tuning.

With Jane Forner Andrew Huggett Family Camp Fortune

Before opening night, CBC producer Jane Forner discusses program details with Margaret and Andrew.

Andrew Huggett Family Camp Fortune

Leslie's ability as a raconteur came to the fore as he filled time while the rest of the family tuned up. 

THE NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE, OTTAWA

In August 1973, the Huggett Family "graduated" to a week of shows in the larger Theatre of Ottawa's National Arts Centre. The room featured a Shakesperian thrust stage, a small balcony section, and sat an audience of 1,200. Notwithstanding the slightly dry acoustics, it was an ideal venue for the Huggetts, still intimate but capable of generating substantial revenues. Ticket prices had also graduated, up from 2 dollars in 1969  and were now 6 dollars a seat, a seemingly extraordinary sum in 1973. This inspired Leslie to call out to the family as they walked on stage, "Six bucks everybody! Smile everybody! Six bucks!" 

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On stage at the Theater of the NAC

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From a 1973 NAC promotional flyer

Andrew Huggett Family NAC

Seats were 6 bucks. Something to smile about.

Page 54   Tues.  Aug. 21st,  1973

Huggetts - a family deserving success

By A. M. Gillmor
Leslie Huggett and his ex-traordinarily attractive and talented family returned to Ottawa last night for the first of six appearances in the Theatre of the National Arts Centre.

I must confess I attended the first concert with every intention of disliking it. After all, how could one
be prepared to love an entire family which leads a fairy-tale existence, wandering like a troupe of latter-day troubadours throughout Europe's green and pleasant places, while the rest of us are obliged to make do pursuing questionable and nasty careers such as music criticism?

I am now convinced that the Hugget Family fully deserves its considerable success and am obliged to slay the demoniacal dragon of presumptuousness and urge everyone with even the remotest love of music to 

hear this remarkable family. 

The Huggetts are eminently civilized artists who manage to convey their obvious love of art and life with utter simplicity and charm.  

Unlike many groups who specialize in the performance of early music, the Huggett Family manages to combine musicianship and musicological sagacity withan equal measure of engaging and witty showmanship.   

Contemporary folksongs

Huggett Sr. unified the first half of the program, devoted to music of the Renaissance and early Baroque, with well chosen quotations from Baldassare Castiglione’s “Book of the Cour-tier" (1528) and other timely sources. The second half of the program was made up of selections of

contemporary folksongs by 18 
year-old Andrew Huggett and other 
well-known folk singers. 

Neither of the two eldest male Huggetts has a very remarkable voice. But Andrew's arrangements are so utterly delicious and his own compositions so naively affecting that it reallydoesn't matter. 

As for the female Huggetts—Margaret and daughters Jennifer and Fiona—they look like angels and perform accordingly. What more is there to say? Except, of course, to pointout that there is a sixth Huggett—14-year-old Ian who contributes his con-siderable skill and presence
to the family fortune.

The Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa Citizen Review  1973 Andrew Huggett Family
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THE STORY OF CHRISTMAS 
THE NATIONAL FILM BOARD of CANADA

For many, the sounds of renaissance instruments evoke feelings of Christmas.

In the spring of 1973, National Film Board composer Karl Duplessis approached the Huggetts to play his score for Evelyn Lambarts's animation, The Story of Christmas.

Considered one of the world's "Great Woman Animators," Lambart co-directed many films with the renowned experimental animator Norman McClaren. She developed the unique form of animation shown here when McClaren became interested in filming ballet, something that didn't interest her.

With only music as its soundtrack, this film tells the familiar story of Christmas using glowing zinc cut-outs that give this traditional tale a vibrant contemporary twist. Akin to a joyful medieval manuscript, the film is embellished by her own whimsy—the enchanting sounds of Karl Duplessis's score played by the Huggetts, luminescent light, and wildflowers in every scene come together in this message of rebirth.  

The Story of Christmas. Music by Karl Duplessis, played by the Huggett Family. The National Film Board of Canada.

Also by Evelyn Lambart. Mr. Frog Went a-Courting (1974). A traditional song sung by Derek Lamb and arranged by Andrew Huggett with Andrew Huggett on lute and bass. The National Film Board of Canada.

THE MONTCALM  SESSIONS

The Huggett Family owes much to the ongoing and early support of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. At the time, the CBC's mandate was "to provide Canadian programs to the settled parts of Canada" (different from its present-day mandate of "to provide a wide range of programming that informs, enlightens, and entertains"). Accordingly, the CBC had many radio and television production studios in small and large communities nationwide, each making a wide variety of programs for local and national consumption.

 

One such sound studio, built in a small defunct movie theater, was located at the junction of St. Joseph Blvd. and Rue Montcalm in Hull, Quebec. The projectionist's room was converted into a control room, and, with seats removed, the unraked hall's wall's were covered with cardboard egg crates. The old cinema screen still adorned the back wall. Recording in any small, acoustically dry space renders an unattractive, dead sound. Recording engineers compensate by adding artificial reverb to the recording to imitate the natural acoustics of a concert hall, a costly technology not available at the Montcalm studio. The solution was to send the dry signal by telephone to the CBC studios at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, who ran it through a state-of-the-art AKG reverb unit and sent it back by phone to be added to the final recording - all in real-time!

 

Here, the Huggett Family, in this case, produced by Jane Forner, recorded a live-to-tape album of renaissance and baroque music. It was released on the CBC's record label "CBC Records." The label focused primarily on classical and jazz, and tie-in albums to CBC radio shows such as the Royal Canadian Air Farce and Brave New Waves.  

SIDE 1

Handel, Oboe Sonata in C

Andrew Baroque Oboe
Margaret Spinet
Jennifer Viola da Gamba

Barsanti, Recorder Sonata G

Andrew Baroque Oboe
Margaret Spinet
Jennifer Viola da Gamba

A. Huggett, Galliard 

Andrew Lute

SIDE 2

Dowland, Lachrimae Pavan

Andrew, Margaret, & Leslie Recorders. Ian, Fiona & Jennifer, Viols.

Dowland, Galliard

PavanAndrew, Margaret, & Leslie Recorders. Ian, Fiona & Jennifer, Viols.

Anon., Bransle

Fiona, Violin. Margaret Spinet, Leslie & Andrew, recorders. Jennifer, Viola da Gamba. Ian, Percussion.

Anon. La Roque Galliard 

Andrew Lute

La Vallet, Fortune My Foe  

Andrew Lute

Attaignant, Basse Dance

Andrew, Jennifer, Margaret & Leslie, Krumhorns. Ian & Fiona, Percussion.

Anon., Greensleeves

Andrew Lute, Leslie Recorder,
Margaret, Jennifer, Ian, Fiona, vocals

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The jacket of the Huggett Family's live-to-tape album of renaissance and baroque music.

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Music producer Jane Forner with Margaret and Jennifer.

Andrew Huggett Family

Egg crates adorned the walls of the Montcalm studio which was built in a defunct movie theater.

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The AKG reverb in the Chateau Laurier, Ottawa, was connected by phone to the Montcalm studio on the other side of the Ottawa River in Hull, Quebec.

MISCILLANEOUS MOMENTS FROM 1973

Practicing a new song at the cottage in Aylmer, Quebec.Margaret Andrew Huggett Family

Practicing a new song at the cottage in Aylmer, Quebec.

Andrew playing the guitar to unwind. Andrew Huggett Family

Andrew playing the guitar to unwind.

Ian liked to draw action comics in his spare time. Ian Andrew Huggett Family

Ian liked to draw action comics in his spare time.

Andrew Huggett Family

Publicity shot taken in Dorset, UK.

Costumes needed constant attention. Aylmer, Quebec Andrew Huggett Family

Costumes needed constant attention. Aylmer, Quebec

Costumes needed constant attention. Aylmer, QuebecAndrew Huggett Family

A chilly February day on the Dorset bluffs

Andrew Huggett Family Jennifer, Ian, Margaret, Andrew, Fiona, and Leslie. A publicity shot taken in London in  Margaret'sparent's backyard.

Jennifer, Ian, Margaret, Andrew, Fiona, and Leslie. A publicity shot taken in London in  Margaret's parent's backyard.

Andrew Huggett Family Jennifer warms up her cello.

Jennifer warms up her cello.

Andrew Huggett Family Andrew working on lyrics to a new song.

Andrew working on lyrics to a new song.

Andrew Huggett Family The year of the beret. Ian looking stylish at Air Studios

The year of the beret. Ian looking stylish at Air Studios

Andrew Huggett Family Andrew. More guitar playing down by the Ottawa River in Aylmer, Quebec.

Andrew. More guitar playing down by the Ottawa River in Aylmer, Quebec.