Here's a an excerpt from an interview with Jane Scott, conductor of Birmingham Clarion Singers that reveals something of the long and unique history of this street choir:
"We did a concert tour in the German Democratic Republic in 1977, so there was that kind of international thing. Going back to the fifties, well to the end of the forties actually, we have performed with Paul Robeson in Birmingham town hall, we did a piece by Earl Robinson called The Ballad for Americans. I think he was friends with quite a number of people on the left in Birmingham, particularly one chap Ruscoe Clarke, I think an American, whose wife Avis Clarke was in the choir… Anyway when he (Robeson) went back and lost his passport we campaigned, we did a lot of campaigning, on that. And when his passport was returned and he came over it was, coincidentally, just at that time that Colin Bradsworth died… So, we asked Paul Robeson to be our president, which he was gracious enough to do. So, he was our president then from, was it nineteen fifty-nine (or) sixty, till he died in, was it, seventy-six… That was quite exciting, (we) performed with him a couple of times…"