The Black Country’s best kept secret
Dr Dakin is very much of the same thinking as his great mentor Prof Carl Chinn who writes accessible texts for all and not just exclusively for a certain group.
Born in Oldbury he has lived in Oldbury all his life (in fact never moving more than 2 miles from his birthplace in Portway Road).
Four years spent playing Pro- football for Swindon Town reinforced his notions of ‘home’ and what the Black
Country meant to him.
He sort of fell back into education in his early 40s and followed a path that went from purely visual representations to working only in sound and voice.
The influences of his life and experiences playing an ever increasing part in both his academic work and his work as Billy Spake Mon.
Carl encouraged him in both his academic work and also the road he took discovering through voice song and stories
what he felt it was like to be a Black Country Mon
The result was a PhD examining how voice and Black Country Language was affected by the Education Act of 1870
while on a performance level he worked for a long period with local musician and old footy mate Lozz Hipkiss who
in many ways gave him the voice that had been part of his family’s tradition for years
This book is a combination of over 3 years collaboration
between Billy and the Grigg family to present the life and
work of Charlie Grigg the Black Country’s best kept secret!