Mudcat Café message #3937432 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3937432
Posted By: Jim Carroll
15-Jul-18 - 05:59 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
"he was 'certainly not a musician who played for dancing in any form',"
That is an accurate description
Walters main used of the melodion was for remembering song tunes (he also played a fiddle)

His experience of traditional singing was in the home, previously it was done by the family at Harvest Suppers, but he never experienced them.
His participation as a boy was limited - he sang on song, 'Dark eyed sailor' because "nobody else wanted that"
As an only child he spent a great deal of time with his two bachelor uncles who taught him their songs
During the war, because of his poor feet, he was assigned as a serviceman to woring on essential work of RAF airports - he was stationed in Richmond, Yorkshire, among other places

When he returned his uncles had died, so he decided to gather their songs together in a notebook, filling out missing bits from other family members
He wrote the words down in a couple of notebooks and used the melodeon for memorising the tunes
He told us that cousins of his age wen't interested as they were into 'the modern songs'   
He never sang in public until he was 'discovered' by a relative, Rodger' who was Peter Bellamy's tutor.
Rger persuaded him to put some of his songs on tape - Walter bought a recorder and spent a couple of nights doing so and eventually Bellamy contacted Bill Leader - then 'A Star Was Born'
Jim Carroll