Sunday, 6 July 2008

Who Is Barnsley Bill?

Well, Barnsley Bill, could be the man responsible for the first ever British Rap record! This 1981 12" single 'Freewheeling Rap', as far as I know, pre-dates any other U.K. 'Rap' record released, and what's more, this is his second outing on vinyl. Although I don't actually own it (I'd love to at least hear it), 'Barnsley Rap' features the catalogue number - NAG X 121, and so, more than likely, came before this release - possibly in 1980. Signed to the obscure independent label, 'Mother-In-Law-Records', Bill took a stand against the common mimicking of his U.S. counterparts, choosing to deliver hard raps in his native Northern accent. In fact, Bill is so 'hard', he can "fold a newspaper", "drive 75,000 miles a year" and even "eat THREE Weetabix"!!! Produced by Ronnie Bossanova, and backed by The Daves International who supply the heavy funk riff, (borrowed from Banbarra's classic 'Shack Up') Bill delivers potent rhymes with an intricate flow that obviously influenced the likes of future Rap heroes, the G.O.D. Rakim-Allah, Nas, and Ghostface Killah, etc...

As the label states - "If It Ain't 'Mother-In-Law' It Ain't Worth A Stiff". And that's word to big bird!

Barnsley Bill 'Freewheeling Rap' (1981 'Mother-In-Law-Records' U.K. 12")


Cro said...

Damn Krum, I've got barnsley rap on 7" and 12" and been trying to get more information for over 10 years now! I've got friends from Barnsley who have no idea about Bill or his past...he mentions "Tripe and chips" and other northern delicacies, I'll send you over the empeeeeetree if you drop me an email



Anonymous said...

Has all the hallmarks of "John Shuttleworth" to me Mister Krum.

AKA Jilted John (in nolvety hit punk/new wave mode), AKA "John who drives the boat" from Kids TV show "Rosie and Jim"

Well maybe, love Donald Byrd trumpet and "ZZzzzz George Benson" comment.

Paul Willo said...

believe it or not- Barnsley Bill was the alter ego of Horace Panter.He was the bass guitarist in The Specials and round about their Ghost Town period when the band were having time off he recorded the Barnsley Rap- at a cost of £300!

there you have it.

Cro said...

cheers Paul, so any idea who the Daves were? Still gotta find the wax to record for you Krum, not forgotten ;)

MR KRUM said...

Yeah, cheers for that Paul.

The guys got a great sense of humour - right up my street.

@ Cro - whenever you get time mate - I'd love to hear the 'Barnsley Rap'!!!

Anonymous said...

I am from Barnsley (a true native-but I'm not Bill!).I remember the
records when they came out and got
played on the local juke box in a
pub I used to go in.I have just
recently bought them both for old times sake.I didnt know who Bill
was-I thought it was something to
do with the likes of John Shuttleworth (Jilted John) or
Tony Capstick.If it was Horace
Panter from the specials-I am
curious-did he have a connection
with Barnsley (was it is mother
in law-hence the mother in law
record label)?.I would love to
know-or was it just a "wind up"
on Barnsley folk!.I like Barnsley
Rap (which is the one I could
remember) and the B side "Wedding
rap-no comeback"-the Barnsley Bill
accent is very genuine.Being from
Barnsley I am a technophobe so I
cant upload things and I havent
got the euipment to do it either!
BUT I can fold a newspaper!!

Anonymous said...

I cant type right either looking at the above!.

David said...

Can anyone post a clip (or the entire) Barnsley Rap ? I used to have it on 12" - I was still at school at the time !! Cheers.

Rick Medlock said...

Hi Guys I was the drummer on this recording. I can't for life of me remember who Bill was but we laughed all day making this single. You are right it was Horace Panter who put the whole thing together while with the specials. It was not published at the time that it was Horace as it would have been deemed uncool.

Rick Medlock