ROBERTS, ROBERT ('Bob Tai'r Felin '; 1870 - 1951), folk singer

Name: Robert Roberts
Pseudonym: Bob Tai'r Felin
Date of birth: 1870
Date of death: 1951
Spouse: Elizabeth Jane Roberts (née Roberts)
Child: Harriet Roberts
Child: Morris Roberts
Child: Cadwaladr Roberts
Parent: Betsi Roberts (née Rowlands)
Parent: Cadwaladr Roberts
Gender: Male
Occupation: folk singer
Area of activity: Music; Performing Arts
Author: Robin O. G. Williams

Born 1 September 1870 at Tai'r Felin, Cwmtirmynach, Bala, Merionethshire, son of Cadwaladr and Betsi Roberts (née Rowlands, of Cae Gwernog, Capel Celyn). He followed his father as miller and farmer. He married Elizabeth Jane Roberts of nearby Fron-goch farm. They had three children, Cadwaladr, Harriet and Morris. At Cwmtirmynach Presbyterian chapel he was precentor for nearly 50 years, Sunday school teacher, and was elected an elder in later years. He contributed to the rich culture of his neighbourhood by taking a prominent part at concerts, literary meetings and eisteddfodau; he often submitted entries for the englyn competition at the National Eisteddfod. Because of his notable voice and masterly style of presentation he was unique as a folk singer. In 1931 at Bangor national eisteddfod he was winner of the folk song competition. About this period ' Parti Tai'r Felin ' was formed, its members being Robert Lloyd ('Llwyd o'r Bryn'), John Thomas and his daughter, Lizzie Jane, Bob Roberts and his daughter, Harriet; this popular party entertained audiences throughout Wales, and also parts of England. From 1944 onward, he became the idol of the nation due to the impact he made when he sang on the B.B.C. radio series ' Noson Lawen ' devised by Sam Jones . Decca and Teldisc companies made records of a number of his songs, and Sain company issued two long-playing records of his performances. In 1949 he took part in a film (made at Parc, Bala, and at London) the title of the Welsh version being Noson Lawen, and the English version The Harvest. The publicity given to the singing of the miller ensured the popularity and survival of songs such as Mari Fach fy Nghariad, Moliannwn, Gwenno Penygelli, etc. In 1959 Haydn Morris edited the book Caneuon Bob Tai'r Felin, which was published by Snell, Swansea. He died 30 November 1951 and was buried at Llanycil cemetery, near Bala. In 1961, Llwyd o'r Bryn's appeal for donations was instrumental in erecting a memorial to the singing miller on the roadside by the gate that leads to Tai'r Felin.


Published date: 2001

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