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Ian Sparrow (UK)

“I grew up in Newcastle, in the North East Of England. I recall many years ago as a small boy returning home, humming ‘Cool Water’ after watching a B movie at the local cinema, (we had no TV then). I thought it was a song that must have always been around, like a traditional folk song. I didn’t know who sang it in the movie, let alone who wrote it. Many years later I came across a ‘Sons of the Pioneers’ ‘Greatest Hits’ album, in the record section of a local lending library of all places. I borrowed it and ‘discovered’ Bob Nolan. I was enchanted by ‘Song of the Bandit’, ‘Way Out There’ and ‘One More Ride’ and of course ‘Cool Water’. When I looked at the writing credits I discovered they were all written by Bob Nolan. I bought all compilation CDs & box sets I could find (This was before the internet!). I liked all of the Sons Of The Pioneers’ songs but particularly those written by Bob Nolan. I was hooked.

I agree with some of your contributors that his words can truly stand alone, they are a homage to nature's wonders. Many have a really spiritual non-denominational feel. On top of this, [his] melodies are truly beautiful. It astonishes me that he is not universally acclaimed.

Incidentally having discovered the paintings of Robert Wagoner via this website I feel that he captures on canvas what Bob Nolan captured in words and music. They complement each other perfectly.”

Favourite song; It’s difficult to decide but I have a great affection for ‘Love Song Of The Waterfall’ particularly Frank Ifield’s version.