Giant of a Man

Danny Spooner was an archetypal troubadour singing a rich variety of
songs from the folk traditions of the British Isles,
North America and Australia; travelling the world
sharing these songs together with anecdotes illuminating the
social history behind them. He sang with rare warmth,
winning the hearts and imaginations of his audience
with his humour and conviction. Through his own
work and life experiences Danny was drawn to songs
that illuminated working-class and social history and
he was a popular figure at rallies with his chorus of
"Bring Out The Banners", inspiring audience members
to proudly wave high their union membership cards.

Danny migrated to Sydney in 1962 doing labouring work
and starting to sing regularly in the burgeoning Sydney
folk scene where he met Declan Affley. He moved to
Melbourne in 1963 and was a regular at Frank Traynor’s
jazz/folk club, singing along with performers: Martyn
Wyndham-Read, Brian Mooney, David Lumsden, Trevor
Lucas and Margret RoadKnight. From social historians
and folklorists Wendy Lowenstein and Gwenda Davey, he
learned the importance of the social context of the songs
and proper attribution.

Over 50 years involvement in the folk scene, Danny
presented nearly 50 workshops delving into the
origins of British or Australian folk songs on many
topics and he produced over 20 LPs and CDs. Danny
performed regularly at folk festivals at the National in
Canberra and Port Fairy in Victoria and at dozens of
regional festivals. Once he retired, he alternated tours
to Europe and the British Isles (2002-08) and North
America (2003-15) becoming a huge favourite among
the strong maritime/folk community in New England.
The National Library has released the catalogue
record for Danny's 4-hour oral history interview made
with Rob Willis in May 2016:

A giant of a man – we shan’t see his like again.
Margaret Walters