Mudcat Café message #795445 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #52044   Message #795445
Posted By: Ron Olesko
02-Oct-02 - 10:18 AM
Thread Name: Radio Ballads (MacColl/Parker)
Subject: RE: Radio Ballads (MacColl/Parker)
First of all, thank you Art for your kind words and mention of the work that many of us are attempting on radio.   I've never liked the term "Disc Jockey" and always felt that radio should offer more than just spinning recorts.

The Radio Ballads have been an insipiration to me. I have worked on several "documentaries" such as one on Joe Heaney, another with my co-host Bill Hahn on Marais and Miranda, and I am currently working on one about Bob Gibson. These documentaries use music from the subject and actualities from a number of guests with knowledge of the subject. They are a bit different than what MacColl/Seeger/Parker created. Their work on the radio ballads set standards that the rest of us try to honor.

Unfortunately in the year 2002 the issue becomes financial. Radio has become so corporate that only a few non-commercial radio stations can offer something different. Even Pacifica and public radio stations are forced to look at budgets and the creativity has diminished. Those of us who are attempting to create these types of programs often do it out of our own pocket or waste tremendous time attempting to find funding.   The result is these programs become few and far between.

I would welcome an opportunity to work with musicians to create programs along the lines of the radio ballads.   MacColl's genius at creating music and gathering musicians was truly amazing. The time they spent gathering the material was staggering. I once discussed this with Peggy Seeger as she was marveling at my tiny MiniDisc recorder. My recorder and microphone weighs about 1 pound, can record a minimum of 70 minutes at a clip, and can fit in a small zipper case that I can fit in a belt pack.   Peggy told me about their "portable" recording equipment that weighed over 100 pounds and was cumbersome and intrusive.   Here we are in 2002 with the technology to replicate the art, but we fall vicitims to corporations and lack of funds.

If anyone has ideas, I'm open to suggestion! I even have free studio time!

Thanks again.