For Dydd Miwsig Cymru – Welsh Music Day – we’re sharing some highlights from the 20th century popular music collections in The Welsh Music Archive at the National Library of Wales. The Welsh Music Archive was established in 2017 in order to collect, and to promote the use of, music archives and manuscripts in the Library.
Y Blew (The Hairs) were a Welsh rock band founded in 1967, recognized as the first rock band to sing in Welsh. The collection includes letters relating to their performances, 1967-1969, copies of interviews with group members, history of the establishment of Y Blew, copies of photographs and promotional material, some financial papers, 1967-1968, and a substantial file, 1978 -2001, on the interest Y Blew has received since their demise. NLW ex 2219.
Yma o Hyd has recently become an unofficial anthem for Welsh Football, and it reached No.1 in the iTunes charts in June 2022. It was written by Dafydd Iwan in 1981, the Welsh singer and nationalist politician who rose to fame writing and performing folk music in the Welsh language. This collection includes Holograph copies of lyrics to songs by Dafydd Iwan including ‘Carchar’ (‘Mae Rhywun yn y Carchar’), ‘Yr Hawl i Fyw’, ‘Magi Thatcher’ (the first version), ‘Yma o Hyd’, ‘Y Chwe Chant a Naw’ and ‘Ciosg Talysarn’, Hawl i Fyw.
Y Trwynau Coch [The Red Noses] were regarded as one of the very best Welsh punk-era bands. The collection includes papers of Y Trwynau Coch. , including a contract, 1978, between the Welsh Language Society and the group to perform at Tito’s nightclub in Cardiff together with the conditions, and a few cuttings from ‘Y Cymro’ relating to the group. (NLW ex 2617)
Super Furry Animals
These papers have been collected by Dr Carl and Dorothy Clowes, parents of Dafydd Ieuan and Cian Ciarán, members of the Welsh Indie / Techno / psychedelic-rock group, the Super Furry Animals. On 15 May 2000 the album ‘Mwng’ was released on their own label ‘Placid Casual’. The album went on to become the top selling Welsh language album of all time. Amongst the Super Furry Animals (Carl Clowes) Papers, 1991-2016 you will find newspaper cuttings of interviews, photographs, and promotional items relating to the group, as well as items on band members, and their other associated Welsh bands.
A collection of papers, 1982-1983, comprising songs, poetry and letters relating to the song lyrics of various Welsh groups in the late 1970s and early 1980s, compiled by Steve Eaves. Songs in the volume Y Trên Olaf Adref, published in 1984. NLW ex 2133
The Library holds many posters of gigs and concerts. Many of these have been received digitally following the #poster2020 appeal including posters designed by Meirion Wyn Jones, and from other designers and concert arrangers. Among the most prominent poster collection currently held at The Library is that of Gwilym Tudur. It includes an extensive series of over 120 posters, which are political in nature and promote historic Welsh gigs and concerts.
Rhys Williams fanzine collection
This collection of 16 Welsh pop music fanzines, 1982-1990, was received from Rhys Caerdydd / Rhys Williams, who was responsible for the website Fanzine Ynfytyn. Amongst the original paper copies of the fanzines for the national collection are: Amser Siocled, Yn Syth o’r Rhewgell , Llmych / Chymll / Ychmll / Hymllc, Dyfodol Dyddiol, Ish, Groucho neu Marks, Llanast, Rhech, Gwyn Erfyl yn y Glaw, Cen ar y Pen and ANKST 03. Search the Rhys Williams fanzine collection
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To enquire about specific music items in the National Library of Wales’ collections, contact the Enquiries Service.