Mudcat Café message #3419101 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #147479   Message #3419101
Posted By: Will Fly
13-Oct-12 - 08:41 AM
Thread Name: Change at the BBC folk awards
Subject: RE: Change at the BBC folk awards
I worked for the BBC in the late 1960s and early 1970s and was a member of the BBC Folk Club (known as 'Clanfolk' because of its weekly venue at the Marquis of Clanricarde pub in Bayswater). I ran the club for a spell and we booked people like Derek Brimstone, Mike Chapman, the Yetties, Martin Carthy, poet Adrian Mitchell, the Thamesiders, Tim Hart & Maddy Prior and many others.

As head honcho of Clanfolk, I was a regular recipient of tickets for the weekly recordings of Wally Whyton's "Country Meets Folk" programme recorded live at the Players' Theatre in Charing Cross. Whyton was the presenter, and the great Brian Brocklehurst (who died not so long ago) was the resident bass player. The programme was sometimes an odd mixture of acts, but I recall seeing Pentangle, Ralph McTell and many other names from the Les Cousins end of the folk spectrum there. A gang of us would get the tube from Bayswater, go to the theatre for the recording and then down a pint or two at the "Sherlock Holmes" pub just up the road - where some of the acts and production team could also be found.

Jim Lloyd (for example) was one of three or four BBC producers who had a deep interest in folk music - not just of the UK - and the music certainly wasn't ignored. Quite a lot was actually filmed but, in those days, videotape was expensive, was used over and over again, and inevitably some hard decisions were made at the time as to what should be kept and what should be wiped. A great many now legendary programmes - not just folk stuff - were lost for ever, and that was the environment in which TV was made in those days. So, to complain that artists weren't filmed as much by comparison with today is to compare two radically different broadcasting periods.

I haven't seen Ralph Jordan (Ralphie) on Mudcat for a long time, and I'm sure he could expand on all this in greater detail.