The Wilson Family

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The Wilson Family
The Wilson Family in concert with Sting, The Public Theater, New York City, October 2013
The Wilson Family in concert with Sting, The Public Theater, New York City, October 2013
Background information
OriginBillingham, County Durham, England
Years active1974 (1974)–present
MembersPat Wilson
Tom Wilson
Chris Wilson
Steve Wilson
Ken Wilson
Mike Wilson

The Wilson Family is an English folk music group from Billingham, County Durham, North East England. They have been singing and performing a cappella folk songs since 1974. They consist of sister Pat and five brothers: Tom, Chris, Steve, Ken and Mike.[1]

The group's roots are founded in the folk clubs of the second British folk revival of the 1960s. They have released a number of recordings, included amongst them their acclaimed full debut album, Horumarye (1983), the first complete album of songs released by any folk artist, dedicated solely to the songwriting of Teesside songwriter, Graeme Miles, and the eponymous The Wilson Family Album released in 1991.[2] They continue to record and are a consistent major attraction at UK Folk Club/Concert & Festival venues.


In August 2011 the Family sang at the BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, collaborating with the Northern Sinfonia, the BBC Singers and Kathryn Tickell.[2][3]

In January and February 2013, they recorded with Sting songs for his play and album, The Last Ship, which was released on 23 September 2013. The Wilson Family then performed those songs with Sting at a series of 10 benefit concerts, held at the Public Theater, New York, in September and October 2013. The show was broadcast by BBC on 22 December 2013, and featured the group performing songs from The Last Ship stage show and an additional unaccompanied song from their own repertoire, a version of a Rudyard Kipling poem "Big Steamers", put to music by folk musician and friend of the Family, Peter Bellamy.[4]

2016 photo

EFDSS Gold Badge Award[edit]

In September 2017, The Wilson Family were awarded the Gold Badge of the English Folk Dance & Song Society (EFDSS). It is the highest honour that the society can bestow. The award was presented to the Group by Alistair Anderson, Chair of EFDSS, at the opening concert of the Hartlepool Folk Festival, of which The Wilson Family are Patrons, 13 October 2017. [5]


  1. ^ "At home with The Wilson Family". Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b Lewis, Tamzin (29 February 2012). "Preview: One Night in Gateshead at The Sage Gateshead". Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  3. ^ Dammann, Guy (3 August 2011). "Prom 25: Northern Sinfonia/Kathryn Tickell Band/BBC Singers – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  4. ^ "Singing with Sting". The Northern Echo. 12 September 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  5. ^ "Gold Badge recipients 2017 announced". 8 September 2017. Retrieved 7 October 2017.