News Marshall moved to New York in 1981, where he had latterly painted murals

Austin John Marshall, record producer, folk-revival ideas man, lyricist and songwriter, performance poet and muralist, created, nurtured or acted as cultural midwife to many strands of art. His fingerprints are all over Shirley Collins & Davy Graham's folk roots, new routes, Shirley & Dolly Collins' magnum opus Anthems in Eden, Ultravox!'s pre-Midge Ure incarnation Tiger Lily and English songwriter Steve Ashley's groundbreaking Stroll On. He also contributed footage to Peter Neal's Jimi Hendrix film Rainbow Bridge (1972) and to the Incredible String Band's film Be Glad for the Song Has No Ending (1970).

Jesse James: Last rebel of the Civil War, by T J Stiles

A desperado in love with his own reputation

Cowboys and their injuries

The Chivalry of Crime by Desmond Barry (Jonathan Cape, £10)

Leading Article: Aitken heart

"FOUR BARS," wrote Jonathan Aitken from HMP Belmarsh last week, "what say you?" This was not a speculation on the range of leisure facilities awaiting him at Spring Hill, the open prison to which he will shortly be transferred (though the Jacobean mansion that houses it does make it look very much like a country club). No, he was addressing the window in his present cell, and wondering whether it might be trying to tell him something. Mr Aitken was writing poetry. His Ballad from Belmarsh Gaol was published in the Spectator. The critics' response was as gleeful as it was merciless. Writing in London's Evening Standard, David Sexton said the ballad was "steeped in ill-judged, half-remembered and misunderstood allusions to the classics". Mr Aitken might have been better advised to aim lower and use as his model that most public school and sporting of all poems - Vitai Lampada by Sir Henry Newbolt. Perhaps:

Books: Unquiet graves on wuthering heights

Robert Crawford heads for the hills and enjoys a ruggedly lyrical retelling of the Border ballads

Letter: Taken to heart

Sir: I note that there is again a move to make poetry take an important place in primary schools (letter, 28 May). This, I am sure, is a good move. I hope, however, some care will be taken with those for whom poetry learning is a non-starter.

Romantics start here

British Romanticism, in all its guiltless passion, was given a very quiet birth by Coleridge and Wordsworth in an anonymous volume of poetry.

PICK OF THE WEEK

"What you get from me is the real raw material," laughs storyteller Sheila Stewart. "I'm the roots of the tree, not the branches." A traveller from Blairgowrie, Scotland, Stewart learned her trove of stories the old way, sitting on the knee of her ballad-singer mother, Belle Stewart. "Ballads and folk stories were all just part of the package deal of our traveller culture, pumped into me from two days old," says Stewart. "There's no one else left now, though, so it's all on my shoulders."

The horrors of Watford Gap, recounted in the ballad of the Bank Holiday driver

AS REGULAR readers will know, I am a great collector of motorway ballads - those forms of verse dealing with all aspects of life on the motorway.

Obituary: Obituary: Robert Mitchum

I was surprised that in your obituary of Robert Mitchum [by Gilbert Adair and Tom Vallance, 3 July], you neglected to mention his record career, writes Bruce Thompson.

POP: The Tindersticks; ICA, London

The Tindersticks' image is set in stone. Their debut double-album three years ago was full of songs of desperate love, back-alley violence and occasional masturbation. A second album last year did little to lift the gloom. Their current release, a soundtrack to a French film about teenage pregnancy, hasn't exactly helped.

A hitch-hiker's ballad of the Fringe

I thought that I would not be referring to the subject of the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe again for another year. I thought I would be able to get back to more congenial topics, such as my ever-growing collection of motorway ballads, those modern examples of folk verse which I collect from hitch-hikers and stray encounters at motorway service areas.

Single play

MacCunn: Land of the Mountain and the Flood; The Ship o' the Fiend; The Dowie Dens o' Yarrow; Jeanie Deans - excerpts; The Lay of the Last Minstrel BBC Scottish SO / Martyn Brabbins (Hyperion CDA 66815); William Lawes: Consort Setts for 5 & 6 viols; Songs etc Catherine Bott, Paul Nicholson, Fretwork (Virgin Veritas VC 5 45147 2)
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links