Mudcat Café message #3939624 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3939624
Posted By: Vic Smith
26-Jul-18 - 10:17 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
Pseudonymous wrote:-
Kenneth Goldstein a 'folklorist' when he was at that time a record company executive in the business of packaging up folk-like (revival?) performances.

Lighter wrote:-
Goldstein began as a record producer, but he earned a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1963

Neither of you are doing justice to a major figure of the recording of traditional singers. He recorded and produced one of the finest ever albums of traditional singing of Child Ballads - Lucy Stewart: Traditional Singer from Aberdeenshire Folkways FG3519

I'll give you a text scan of the first paragraph of Kenneth's long introductory essay from the album's booklet notes:-
From October 1959 through August I960 I had the great privilege to meet, know and work with the Stewart family of Fetterangus, Aberdeenshire. My project was to make a study of the folklore of a Scottish family in the' context in which such folklore existed. After several months of meeting and working with a number of families in the Buchan District of Aberdeenshire (long a stronghold of folklore traditions), the variety, quality and amount of the folklore of the Stewarts of Fetterangus convinced me that this was the family on whom I should concentrate my time and efforts. I reaped a handsome reward. After eleven months of working and living with this family - of admiring and loving them, and of collecting their vast treasure of tradition - I was to return to the United States with truely magnificent materials collected and studied in the context in which they normally exist. Numbers alone will give only a superficial index of these materials for the quality, creative functioning and meaning of their folklore is far more important. But the scope of the collection will surely excite interest: more than 200 ballads and songs, over 60 tales and legends, 185 riddles, more than 300 children's games and rhymes, innumerable superstitions and beliefs, examples of witchcraft, devil-lore, weather-lore, dream-warnings, omens, fortune-telling indeed the full gamut of folklore traditions existed in this one marvelous family. I should like to claim that I was able to observe and collect the total folklore of this family, but I feel certain that even if I were to spend ten years more with the Fetterangus Stewarts I would still not touch bottom in their deep well of tradition.

On the album Lucy sings wonderful versions of The Battle O'Harlaw, The Twa Brothers, Tifty's Annie, The Laird O'Drum, Doon By The Greenwood Sidie-o, The Bonnie House o' Airlie, The Swan Swims Sae Bonnie-O
I sang that last named ballad, which is Lucy's version of The Cruel Sister at a concert at the TMSA festival in Blairgowrie, It must have been 1969 or possibly the following year. At the end of the concert a short, balding, bearded smiley faced man came up to me and said, "You don't have to tell me where you got that version from; I'm Kenny Goldstein!". I was mortified. I told him him that if I had known that he was in the audience, I never would have sang that one. He assured me that it was fine; that I had done justice to it and that was pleased that other singers were taking it up. We agreed to meet later for a drink and I was very impressed by his knowledge of and enthusiasm for Scots traveller culture.
Meeting him and meeting Jane & Cameron Turriff at the same festival lead to Tina and I being invited up to Fetterangus in 1971 where we spent a glorious week camping in the Turriffs' garden and hearing them and some other remarkable singers who all lived in the same street, Gavil Street, including Jane's aunt Lucy Stewart, her mother Jane Stewart and her mother's cousin Blin' Robin Hutchison.