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Ewan MacColl and RTE

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Fred McCormick 23 Oct 07 - 11:06 AM
MartinRyan 23 Oct 07 - 04:54 PM
Declan 23 Oct 07 - 07:32 PM
Fred McCormick 24 Oct 07 - 04:49 AM
MartinRyan 24 Oct 07 - 06:26 AM
Fred McCormick 24 Oct 07 - 06:42 AM
GUEST 24 Oct 07 - 10:29 AM
MartinRyan 24 Oct 07 - 11:42 AM
Fred McCormick 24 Oct 07 - 01:27 PM
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Subject: Ewan MacColl and RTE
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 11:06 AM

Thanks to everyone who replied to my quest for information about the 20th anniversary programme on the radio ballads. That's one problem out of the way. Unfortunately, I've hit another cataloguing deficiency.

Shortly before he died, RTÉ radio in Ireland recorded a three part biographical series covering Ewan MacColl's entire lifespan. It was called "In His Own Words".

This series is particularly important, partly because it looks at MacColl's life in more depth than any other documentary I've come across (Parsley, Sage and Politics possibly excepted) and partly because it represents practically the last things MacColl said to the media before he died. (The programmes were actually broadcast posthumously.)Therefore, it represents what amounted to his final thoughts on a number of thorny topics.

However, I recorded the series off the radio - medium waveband - so the sound quality leaves a lot to be desired. Fortunately, it's reasonably clear throughout, but I can't detect the name of the producer. It definitely wasn't Cathal Goan, but it could have been Harry Bradshaw.

Would anyone know for certain who the producer was?

Many hopeful thanks.


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl and RTE
From: MartinRyan
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 04:54 PM

The traditional music archive is probably your best bet for info on this one. I remember the series alright - think I actually taped one of them at the time. Did McColl sing the song he wrote about the Dunne's Store strike?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl and RTE
From: Declan
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 07:32 PM

Fred,

I don't know who produced this but as well as Harry Bradshaw, Julian Vignoles and John McColgan (who went on to do Riverdance) were both doing a lot of work for RTE in the folk/traditional space around that time.


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl and RTE
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 04:49 AM

Martin Ryan
"The traditional music archive is probably your best bet for info on this one. I remember the series alright - think I actually taped one of them at the time. Did McColl sing the song he wrote about the Dunne's Store strike?"

That's the one. He used the melody and chorus of a song about the Dingle Puck Goat. I remember it well because he featured that song in an edition of the Songcarriers; the one about ritual songs.


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl and RTE
From: MartinRyan
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 06:26 AM

Must say I would always associate the tune with "The Spanish Lady". I assumed the link with another Dublin incident involving a (single) female was either deliberate or inspired!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl and RTE
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 06:42 AM

I'm not dragging it out again, but the last line of chorus of the Dunnes Stores strike song is something like 'twelve young women and one young man'. Which quoted the number of shopworkers involved.


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl and RTE
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 10:29 AM

Fred,
You say, "Shortly before he died, RTÉ Radio in Ireland recorded a three part biographical series covering Ewan MacColl's entire lifespan. It was called "In His Own Words".
and
"The programmes were actually broadcast posthumously."
So this may not be of any help - but ......
I have some recordings made from RTE Radio 1 in 1988, the year before MacColl died. It's a nine-part series called "Ewan and Peggy" and it began, according to my date on the cassette, on the 6th of June and went on to the beginning of August that year.
I've just listened back to part of the first episode and it begins with Peggy telling how her mother was the first woman to get a Guggenheim Scholarship to study composing in Europe. She goes on to sing "I've Been a Bad, Bad Girl" and to talk about Libba Cotten.
Ewan begins by saying that his background is vastly different from Peggy's. His people were ordinary working folk ...........
It ends with credits that it was presented and produced by John Quinn and had been previously broadcast on FM3 in June 1987.
Any help, or does this muddy the water even more?
bigJ


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl and RTE
From: MartinRyan
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 11:42 AM

Fred:

The confusion re "single" was my fault. Having recorded the song, I'm very familiar with it! It's a case of ten of one and one of the other...

Regards


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl and RTE
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 01:27 PM

Hi John,

That muddies the waters and no mistake. I'd think it unlikely that RTÉ would make two series' about MacColl in such a short space of time, and the material on 'Own Words' was defintely recorded specially. How long are the programmes in the series you've got? If they're 30 minutes each that would make a total of 4 1/2 hours and the one I've got is three hours. It sounds as though RTÉ, faced with the need to make a MacColl memorial, simply removed the stuff about Peggy thus reducing the length of the series by about 33%.

Cheers,

Fred.

Fred,
You say, "Shortly before he died, RTÉ Radio in Ireland recorded a three part biographical series covering Ewan MacColl's entire lifespan. It was called "In His Own Words".
and
"The programmes were actually broadcast posthumously."
So this may not be of any help - but ......
I have some recordings made from RTE Radio 1 in 1988, the year before MacColl died. It's a nine-part series called "Ewan and Peggy" and it began, according to my date on the cassette, on the 6th of June and went on to the beginning of August that year.
I've just listened back to part of the first episode and it begins with Peggy telling how her mother was the first woman to get a Guggenheim Scholarship to study composing in Europe. She goes on to sing "I've Been a Bad, Bad Girl" and to talk about Libba Cotten.
Ewan begins by saying that his background is vastly different from Peggy's. His people were ordinary working folk ...........
It ends with credits that it was presented and produced by John Quinn and had been previously broadcast on FM3 in June 1987.
Any help, or does this muddy the water even more?
bigJ


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