The Yetties are one of England's most popular folk groups. They take their name from the Dorset village of Yetminster which was their childhood home. Their obvious love of the West Country, it's songs, stories and humour wins them friends wherever they go.
Since turning professional in 1967 their music and their enthusiasm has taken them far beyond the villages of Dorset. They have travelled extensively in Europe and, under the auspices of the British Council, have performed successfully in many countries, including Thailand, Nepal, Sri-Lanka, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Pakistan, Sudan, India, Bangladesh, The Maldives, The Philippines, Ethiopia and Canada. They have the knack of breaking down language barriers and getting people involved in what they do. Audience participation in a Yetties show is a very important ingredient and people do join in from the word go whether they are 9 or 90.
Over the years they have recorded no less than 45 albums for different companies. Most of these have been a mixture of songs and music but they have also been involved in some other fascinating projects. Thomas Hardy (the Dorset writer and poet) was also a musician. He and his family, over several generations, collected hundreds of folk tunes. The Yetties have done two recordings Thomas Hardy's own fiddle and other Hardy family instruments. So, because of The Yetties, Hardy's violin was brought back to life and so were his favourite jigs, polkas, reels and waltzes. Another recording of which they are extremely proud is a collection of songs and stories about cricketers of the past with John Arlott.
For years they have had a regular series on BBC Radio 2 called 'Cider & Song'. They also have numerous other Radio and TV appearances to their credit. They must be about the only performers to have worked on BBC Radios 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Despite all this The Yetties have never lost their genuine feeling for the countryside. They now live in Sherborne (just a few miles from Yetminster) and they draw on their personal experiences of country life for their concert programme. Some of the songs they sing recall what life was like when they were kids helping the farmers at harvest time, scrumping when the farmers weren't looking, raiding the hedges, fields and woods for food and eating rabbit for practically every meal. They talk of village characters and village occasions and create the atmosphere of the village social.
The Yetties represent the heart and soul of England, which is still there if you dig deep enough. Modern technology has changed our life styles a tremendous amount but people don't change that rapidly they still, given the chance, like a good old sing-along of a Saturday night.