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Davy Steele's WebSite and a Meeting with his Brother

David Steele was born at 95 Summerlee Street in Prestonpans in December 1948. There was more than one Steele family home on Summerlee. But Davy and his brother Jim were amazed to discover, when they went to register their father's death, that he, too, had Summerlee Street registered as his place of birth. They had always believed he had been born in Glasgow.

By the time Davy left Prestonpans at the age of 15 to join the army as a 'boy soldier', he was already making music with his school mates from Preston Lodge. Already, his love of folk music as a 'music of the people' was well-established. His musical instruments went with him into the army and by the time he came home, nine years' later, he had begun his career as a singer, musician and song writer.

Although Davy's music took him all over the world and gained him an international reputation, Prestonpans was always home and the working life of its people became the inspiration for much of his writing. 'Johnny Moat' from the Summerlee collection celebrates the legend of the biggest boulder on Prestonpans shore and 'The Ballad of Jimmy Steele' celebrates his father's life as a working man.

Singing with bands such as Caledonia and Ceolbeg, and later the Battlefield Band, he took the people's music all round the globe. By me time of his death from a brain tumour at the age of 52, Davy Steele had become in many ways the voice of Scotland's people and the musical historian of its industrial past.

Davy's ashes are scattered at the site of the old harbour of Morison's Haven, close to Prestongrange Industrial Heritage Museum in Prestonpans.

Annemarie Allan

With gratefal thanks to Jim Steele, Davy's brother, for the above information.

If you would like to find out more about Davy Steele and his music, go to:

Published Date: December 21st 2002

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