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What is a traditional singer?

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Vic Smith 14 Jan 14 - 08:30 AM
MGM·Lion 14 Jan 14 - 12:31 AM
The Sandman 13 Jan 14 - 06:15 PM
The Sandman 13 Jan 14 - 06:11 PM
MGM·Lion 13 Jan 14 - 05:45 PM
The Sandman 13 Jan 14 - 04:36 AM
MGM·Lion 12 Jan 14 - 05:52 PM
The Sandman 12 Jan 14 - 03:39 PM
MGM·Lion 12 Jan 14 - 03:15 PM
The Sandman 12 Jan 14 - 01:07 PM
The Sandman 12 Jan 14 - 12:41 PM
The Sandman 12 Jan 14 - 12:26 PM
MGM·Lion 12 Jan 14 - 02:28 AM
The Sandman 11 Jan 14 - 05:30 PM
GUEST 11 Jan 14 - 05:09 PM
The Sandman 11 Jan 14 - 04:09 PM
Brian Peters 11 Jan 14 - 03:04 PM
MGM·Lion 11 Jan 14 - 02:52 PM
The Sandman 11 Jan 14 - 02:38 PM
The Sandman 11 Jan 14 - 12:56 PM
MGM·Lion 11 Jan 14 - 12:20 PM
Brian Peters 11 Jan 14 - 10:33 AM
The Sandman 11 Jan 14 - 07:37 AM
Paul Davenport 11 Jan 14 - 06:47 AM
The Sandman 11 Jan 14 - 06:13 AM
The Sandman 11 Jan 14 - 05:43 AM
The Sandman 11 Jan 14 - 05:39 AM
Eldergirl 10 Jan 14 - 09:36 PM
Tradsinger 10 Jan 14 - 10:46 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Jan 14 - 07:14 AM
GUEST 09 Jan 14 - 03:03 PM
Eldergirl 09 Jan 14 - 01:41 PM
Phil Edwards 13 May 09 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,Pat 'the Verse' 13 May 09 - 12:07 PM
Richard Bridge 12 May 09 - 05:10 PM
Stringsinger 12 May 09 - 02:49 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 12 May 09 - 08:26 AM
Gedi 12 May 09 - 08:13 AM
Diva 11 May 09 - 11:13 AM
Diva 11 May 09 - 11:02 AM
BobKnight 11 May 09 - 08:57 AM
Mr Happy 11 May 09 - 08:25 AM
The Sandman 11 May 09 - 07:14 AM
GUEST,glueman 11 May 09 - 07:00 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 11 May 09 - 06:52 AM
Phil Edwards 11 May 09 - 06:32 AM
Phil Edwards 11 May 09 - 06:29 AM
Jack Blandiver 11 May 09 - 05:49 AM
The Sandman 10 May 09 - 01:23 PM
BB 10 May 09 - 09:27 AM
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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 14 Jan 14 - 08:30 AM

The outstanding Scots songwriter, Michael Marra had a record deal signed with a major label. They gave him a free hand with the recording but then rejected Michael's final mixes saying that he sounded 'too Scottish'.
Michael pointed out that he was from Dundee, Scotland and not from one of the 12 American settlements that bear that name.
The record company executives said that they loved the songs and arrangements, but could he go and record them again in a 'more accessible' accent.
Michael told them to stuff their recording contract in a place where the sun did not shine and eventually brought out the album Candy Philosophy as an 'own label' release. In my opinion it is the finest album by a British singer/songwriter.


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Jan 14 - 12:31 AM

V interesting quote, Dick. Indeed, does it not confirm my view of the matter, that record co's & dealers et al regard the US accent as a sort of sine qua non for Pop, departure from which they think liable to affect sales adversely? Ray stresses that in this case it didn't, but that they feared it would.

~M~


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 06:15 PM

here is a quote from ray davies, i think you should pss this on to your friend, michael,
Ray Davies Doesn't Like Being Called an 'English Artist'
by Dave Lifton July 9, 2013 3:17 PM


Although the Kinks have had plenty of success around the world during their long career, they have perpetually been saddled with the tag of being a "quintessentially English" band. In a new interview, frontman Ray Davies admitted that it's been a bit of a burden.

"I feel people call me that when they have nothing to say," he told Ham & High. "I think it's because I've always sung in an English accent. Not mentioning any names, but there are a lot of big artists who sing in this kind of transatlantic drawl."

Davies said that even his record companies have had issues with his vocal stylings, even though they haven't affected his commercial prospects at all, adding, "Back when the Kinks were recording 'Come Dancing,' which was a big hit in the States, the record company actually asked me to sing it in more of an American accent. I just refused."


Read More: Ray Davies Doesn't Like Being Called an 'English Artist' | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/ray-davies-english-artist/?trackback=tsmclip


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 06:11 PM

anyway we agree it is not necessary any more to be popular or commercial to decide to sing popular songs in a fake American accent in 2014, we do, don@t we? I hve given names of performers who have achieved popularit pre and post 1960s, gracie fields, ray davies, ian dury, all of whom were successful without having to put on a poorly imitated american accent, ray davies and ian dury are/ were also songwriters.


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 05:45 PM

Chas & Dave tended to the 'novelty comic song' genre I mention, I should say; and also came 20 years after the demise of the danceband era, which lasted from 20s-early-50s, and was killed stone dead in 1955 by Bill Hailey & Elvis Presley.

Chas & Dave (often billed as Chas 'n' Dave) are an English pop rock duo, most notable as creators and performers of a musical style labelled "rockney", which mixes "pub singalong, music-hall humour, boogie-woogie piano and pre-Beatles rock 'n' roll". For a time, "Rockney" was also the name of their record label, and they achieved several British chart hits, their major breakthrough being "Gertcha" in 1979 - Years active         1975–2009, 2011-present - wikipedia

They were explicitly combining R&R with music hall style to achieve the sort of incongruous effect on which any comedy is based. I honestly can't see they have any place in this particular bit of discourse you & I are engaged in, Dick: they were chronologically right out of the period I was talking of; and the fact that their gimmick was to sing a sort of Rock in a non-American accent as a novelty seems to me to emphasise the fact that US pronunciation is very much the norm. Nobody has tried to say that no singer who doesn't sing American can be popular: but I suggest they can't be "Popular" in the specialist sense which that word carries in musical terms, the name "Popular [later 'Pop'] music". The music subsumed under this name, with cap P, is I should assert pretty well always American in pronunciation ~~ perhaps becoz, as Lennon said, it sells more that way?

~M~


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 04:36 AM

yes, too many, but not all, joe brown was another who didnt and sang in a cockney accent, or chas and dave?


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 05:52 PM

Indeed not; but an awful number seem to fall into it. Look again at the thread I have refreshed about mid-Atlantic... Have you checked out the Max Bacon video? I love it -- always did. & not just coz he was a distant relation that I used to meet at childhood kiddie birthday parties!. He was also a pretty good actor: I remember him playing the fat neighbour in the original W End production of The Diary of Anne Frank.

~M~


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 03:39 PM

well i thought you might enjoy listening to the clips, I enjoyed revisiting them, but you referred to popsinger song writers and quoted some acquaintance of yours, my refernce to the kinks.. waterloo sunset[hardly rock], ian dury not rock.. singing postman not rock, was to illustrate that an american accent is not necessary to be a popular singer song writer performer.


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 03:15 PM

By the time of those, Dick, the rock revolution had happened and the dance bands of the 20s-30s-40s had completely disappeared, along with the American-crooner-type singing style which went with them. All you are doing is demonstrating that to me of which I was perfectly well aware all along anyhow, thank you; and have nowhere suggested that I wasn't. What motivates this compulsion of yours to contradict or find counter-examples to the indisputable facts I have adduced? I have nowhere claimed this music to have had a unique existence with no other sort of music going on simultaneously. There never has been any such music, as every aspect of this forum exemplifies.

The Singing Postman was one of that band of 'novelty singers' often comic, who always existed in parallel to the dance-band ethos I rubricated -- see the Max Bacon link I gave above for another,earlier, example. He was Jewish-accented, the Postman E Anglian: these performers were often exaggeratedly 'dialect' as part of the shtick.

~M~


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 01:07 PM

here is another michael, ian dury singing billericay dickie.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KC7kO6Nwsw withlove from billericay dickie miles


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 12:41 PM

ray davies singe song writer of the kinks, did not sing in an american accent, herehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5J3gX47rHGg


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 12:26 PM

A four track EP made the EP charts in 1965 and, after another EP release by Ralph Tuck, and an album The Singing Postman's Year, he was signed to EMI who re-released earlier songs and recorded new items. He made numerous live and promotional performances, including on Top of the Pops,here he is the Singing Postman[ a singer song writer singing a popular song in a norfolk accent.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqmXLkJ8Bwk


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 02:28 AM

"...American accent. I've met people from outside the folk world who find it hard to sing in any other kind of accent." Brian Peters above
.,,.
Indeed. A dear friend of mine who is a gifted singer-songwriter in the pop genre, Marcie Mycroft, is a N Londoner like myself. She has sites in Reverbnation &c, and several youtubes & is really beginning to make the breakthru ~~ approaches from agents, airtime on indie radio channels, fandom on Facebook, Twitter &c. You can find her by googling. I've asked her why she sings with an American accent when her songs are not in any way specifically American in context, and she replies that she just goes into American-accent mode when she sings and has never, from childhood onwards, been able to do otherwise. "It's just," she sez, "the way songs like mine are sung".

~M~


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 05:30 PM

I did not mention it because I dont think about it, i sing in my natural voice, here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jCTeQdBFP8, I have been singing like this since 1976 and playing folk clubs all over the british isles for 35 years[and it dont seem a say too long], however academics would call me a singer of traditional songs not a traditional singer, PERSONALLY I JUST SING THE SONGS AND ENJOY THEM AND IGNORE PEOPLE LIKE THAT.
Happy New Year to Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 05:09 PM

Picking up on Schweik's postings today, there's been a development in voice technique over the last 20 years you don't mention, particularly in the UK: Natural Voice. It'll take you back to your own roots, and that may or may not involve regional accents. And that, I think, is what makes a traditional singer: they are who they are - and are not who they are not. It's something psychological, built when you learn to talk, and doing something else comes over as "just not natural". It's the problem with the horde of mid-Atlantic clones, they're neither one thing nor another. You lose tone, you lose identity, you lose commitment to the song.


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 04:09 PM

ok michael point taken.


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 03:04 PM

they are all out on their own stylistically.
...Taylor was a good singer but in my opinion no better than Phil Tanner, both had tuneful melodious voices good breath control good diction.In fact I marginally prefer,Tanner, to be fair he may have been younger when recorded.


Yes, Dick, but my point was (and I was agreeing with you) that Taylor sounded different from the other singers in his own neighbourhood.

As for Taylor vs Tanner, the Gower Nightingale shades it for me too. They were both in their seventies when first recorded.


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 02:52 PM

The music hall was a different tradition from the dance bands, Dick. It was the dance band singers like Dorothy Carless, Derek Roy, Len Camber, Georgia Lee, Sam Browne, Evelyn Dall, to name a few who come instantly to mind from all my wireless listening from the 30s-40s that I had in mind. And you will note it was dance bands that I listed in my post. All their singers used US accents. Listen to some old records. They were 'popular' i a different sense from Formy & Lauder whom you mention, in that they sang what was called Popular Music [later abbreviated to Pop], rather than in the native Music Hall genre.

~M~


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 02:38 PM

you'll find that Joseph Taylor was out on his own stylistically, which shows that individual personality and technical flair have a large part to play too." they are all out on their own stylistically.
in Taylor was a good singer but in my opinion no better than Phil Tanner, both had tuneful melodious voices good breath control good diction.In fact I marginally prefer,Tanner, to be fair he may have been younger when recorded.
http://www.last.fm/music/Joseph+Taylor/_/Creeping+Jane


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 12:56 PM

Michael, how about POPULAR music hall singers?Harry Lauder did not sing in an american accent? and then did gracie field or george formby [popular singers both...] sing with american accents, george formby certainly did not. your parents are of definite opinion, I am afraid i disagree
Brian, people are free to sing how they like, what I object to is people providing misinformtion ABOUT THE STYLES OF TRADITIONAL SINGERS it is very clear upon listening to the vast majority of traditional singers from the British Isles,that they did not sing with a smile on the face OR CONCERNED THEMSELVES ABOUT consciously VARYING CHEST AND HEAD VOICES.The vast majority of traditional singers sang in unaffected way they sang naturally without any of the affectations of some members of the uk folk revival.


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 12:20 PM

Much earlier than the fifties I think, Brian. My memory goes back to the mid-30s, the all-American crooning-style vocalists of bands like Geraldo, Henry Hall, Joe Loss, Ambrose*; & American-style songs by British writers like Jimmy Kennedy {Red Sails in the Sunset; South of the Border} & when I commented as a child on the accents [I didn't know about the songs so much then], my parents, b 1901 & 1909, assured me they couldn't remember a time when popular singers didn't adopt US accents.

~M~

*whose drummer btw was my 1st-cousin-in-law-once-removed Max Bacon, also a noted comedian & singer of comic songs -

http:/www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDgl-R1U9Q

- whom I used occasionally to meet at family children's birthday parties &c.


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 10:33 AM

GSS is right - before the advent of radio, the only 'influences' the old singers would have had were other singers in the area. Of course, if you listen to Grainger's recordings from the various singers from Brigg, you'll find that Joseph Taylor was out on his own stylistically, which shows that individual personality and technical flair have a large part to play too.

Any modern singer, unless they grew up in a cave, will have been surrounded from birth by all kinds of musical styles, particularly pop music which, since the fifties, has usually adopted an American accent. I've met people from outside the folk world who find it hard to sing in any other kind of accent.

"Its a question that only a modern 'folkie' would ask."

Not just folkies, Paul. Singers from all fields are often acutely aware of their role models and influences. The difference is between singing unselfconsciously to pass the time - as your grandmother did - and putting on a performance. Not that some traditional singers weren't putting on performances.

"Just sing the song" is fine, but I don't see any harm in considering how your various influences might affect the way you sing. We have this debate here from time to time about the value for modern performers in listening to 'source singers', the point of which - as far as I'm concerned - is not to go around trying to sound like Sam Larner, but to add some extra colours to your palette. Tim Eriksen sings like a rock musician, but he sounds the way he does because he listened a lot to Appalachian singers too.


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 07:37 AM

I doubt if traditional singers sat down and consciously copied another singer, they might have unconsciously picked up something from another singer, generally speaking they just sang ,the personality of the singer might come across in the singing, that is why Sam Larner is so different from Walter Pardon. traditional singers did it their own way or as the song goes "i did it my way", one thing they did not do is consciously think about chest voice, head voice, singing with a smile on the face etc, and if people want to sing with a smile on their face or any other[imo] idosyncratic eccentric style,that is their business, as long as they do not go around the revival folk scene saying or giving the impression at workshops that they are singing in the style of traditional singers, or that their way is the only way.


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 06:47 AM

"A question therefore for all singers of Traditional Folk Song, on what sources, influences & inspirations do you base your own personal style?" What????
Surely by now its obvious. As has been stated above, you just sing the song. If I had asked this question of my grandmother, grandfather or other members of my famjly when they were alive I'd have been met with a puzzled stare. Its a question that only a modern 'folkie' would ask.


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 06:13 AM

The difference i notice between traditional singers stylistically and some uk revival singers, is the lack of affectation.
I have yet to come across a traditional singer who deliberately sang with a smile on their face all the way through a song.
These ideas were dreamt up and foisted on uk revival singers, by a certain section of the uk folk revival.
To be fair to this group their advice on singing technique to do with warm up vocal exercises, and breath control is very good.


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 05:43 AM

listen to this superb
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-C1nc9KXSw


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 05:39 AM

HERE ISone of the finest the gower nightingale, phil tanner, what a magnificent singerhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xVT-vdJL4g . note again his straightforward delivery, tuneful singing good breath control gooid diction, he was one of the best


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Eldergirl
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 09:36 PM

So it's as I suspected; Trad singers sang all the songs they loved because they loved them? And quite possibly because their Grannies taught them as well, of course. ;)


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Tradsinger
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 10:46 AM

When we are talking about traditional singer versus revival singer, there is a whole grey area. Some "traditional" singers have learnt songs from the folk revival and some "revival" singers have songs that they have learnt from parents, grandparents or from "an old boy in the village". And from the point of view of enjoyment for the singer and his/her audience, it doesn't matter a jot.

However, with my researcher hat on, I try to record song performances that, so far as I can tell, have not been learnt through the revival or through recent media. It makes a difference from the academic point of view and I always ask a singer where he/she learnt the song. This means of course that I am less interested in recording some songs than others. That said, it is instructive to note what the whole repertoire of a singer is, folk songs, music hall, pop songs, the lot, something which collectors in previous generations did not note as they were only after what they considered to be the folk song gems.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 07:14 AM

"this was not the same way as some uk revival singers associated with the critics group "
That you Cap's - you really should work on your literacy skills if you wish to remain anonymous
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 03:03 PM

the style of traditional singers has generally been to sing naturally, this was not the same way as some uk revival singers associated with the critics group and who have on occasions given workshops on head voice chest voice varying tone singing with a smile on the face in the manner of bert lloyd, here is a tradtional singer,harry cox sing a tradtional song
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsxG06FMA-Y


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Eldergirl
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 01:41 PM

Visit The Old Songs' Home, and take one or two of the residents out for a spin..
Whoever said Just sing the bloody songs, a wee while back, couldn't have put it better.
Cheers me dears,
X el


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 13 May 09 - 03:19 PM

to try and sing say Parcel of Rogues in my native Wiganese would sound downright stupid

I don't see why. Steeleye Span's version doesn't sound remotely Scottish, but it works. Sincerity's the main thing.


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: GUEST,Pat 'the Verse'
Date: 13 May 09 - 12:07 PM

A traditional singer is someone who sings songs in a traditional idiom. Traditional does not mean 'Old', as I, and my friends have written songs using traditional airs for modern themes, eg; I used 'She lived beside the Anner' for a song called 'The Seaside Tavern', a song about being barred from a pub for singing at a trad session. I used 'Bye the Hush, My Boys' for a song called 'The Curse of the Mobile Phones' and 'Skibbereen' for a song called 'Isoldes Chapel', on the death of Frank Harte.

'Traditional'generally refers to street ballads, comic verse & sea shanties, whether old or new, so long as the air and singing style remains traditional.

However, in the popular mind, (in Ireland & Irish circles anyway), a ballad singer is usually taken to be someone singing accompanied by guitar or banjo in the style of the Clancy Brothers, Dubliners, Furey Brothers, Wolfe Tones etc. As a result of this phenomenon, most traditional style ballad singers now refer to their singing style as 'traditional', so as to differentiate themselves from the commercial folk singers mentioned. In other English speaking countries, where the folk scene is not as commercially driven, the term 'ballad singer' still means what it always did...someone who sings traditional style ballads, usually unnacompanied.

Confused,? I hope not. Anyone, male or female can beconme a traditional singer. All you have to do is to learn the songs, and it doesn't matter a damn whether you learned them from the 'original singer', at a session, from the radio, or from a CD. The most important thing is to learn the song, and then to sing it. Singing the song brings it to life. Leaving it in the pages of a songbook, or in some dusty acrchive recording only condemns it to death!

In short, learn the songs, and sing them ( use your own accent) and pass them on. that is the essence of The Living, Breathing Tradition of 'Traditional Singing'


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 May 09 - 05:10 PM

I am not at all sure that "traditional" has a definition in the sense that "folk" does.

And I fear that the 5 string bajo is the reverse of a bodwerisation. It puts rude bits back in. The Rev. Dr Bowdler's versions of Shakespeare took the rude bits out.


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 12 May 09 - 02:49 PM

Most of the people who decide what is "traditional" are stringent academics. They stifle
creativity in a performance.

Tradition is what lasts. It also is what changes inevitably.

What many folkies consider traditional today was in the time that it was done non-traditional. Cecil Sharp thought that the five-string banjo was a bowdlerization of folk music. Alan Lomax had his hangups about what was traditional as well.

Many so-called traditional performers have lasted because someone thought them
easy to record which means they must have had some performance skills that they acquired somewhere. These performance skills were not given to all who were called traditional hence we don't know a lot about these traditional artists.

Many popular performers who were these so-called "traditional" performers were not considered traditional by some of the people of their time.

This topic is a "black hole" that requires a lot of semantic sorting-out.


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 12 May 09 - 08:26 AM

In England, and many another land, UNACCOMPANIED is surely the key-word here, me tradies.


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Gedi
Date: 12 May 09 - 08:13 AM

I too am in agreement with Hawker Laddie in "just sing the bloody songs".

I tend naturally to sing songs in the way I learned them (heard them) so therefore I sometimes sing in an accented fashion, not to try to be Scottish or Irish or whatever, but simply because thats how I learned them. Now I'm going to feel *very* self concious about some of the songs I do and that I think will only detract from the song and/or the performance.

I can see how someone who adopts say an American accent and tries to sing everything in that accent might sound silly, but on the other hand, to try and sing say Parcel of Rogues in my native Wiganese would sound downright stupid.

All in all I think I'll just carry on as I was.

cheers
Ged


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Diva
Date: 11 May 09 - 11:13 AM

Mind you I've just been described as a "traditon bearer" I just thought it meant old!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Diva
Date: 11 May 09 - 11:02 AM

I am in complete agreement with Hawkerladdie when he says "just sing the bloody songs" but remember Bob, some folk just need the labels and it is SUPPOSED to make it easier to define for the purposes of those who need to clarify where these songs and singers have come from.


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: BobKnight
Date: 11 May 09 - 08:57 AM

Too many definitions - it's all poop - just sing the bloody songs. I can think of very few people who would pass this measure of who is, or isn't, a traditional singer. All from my home town, Aberdeen. Jeannie Robertson, Stanley Robertson, Lizzie Higgins and from Blairgowrie, Sheila Stewart. There are obviously more throughout the UK, but these are the ones I know who have had the songs passed down orally. Half of those mentioned have passed on, and there were many more I knew of in my youth, Belle Stewart, Alec Stewart,Davie Stewart (The Galoot), my own grandmother, etc, etc.


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 11 May 09 - 08:25 AM

.......sings http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_pop_music??


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 May 09 - 07:14 AM

why not Nic Jones singing the Bonny Bunch of roses,I am mystified,please pm me.


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 11 May 09 - 07:00 AM

These arguments have only emerged since the middle classes nicked the tradition. Before then there'd have been no need to quibble and the people would have understood.
Now it's just another pissing contest to replace golf club bragging rights but with more hair.


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 11 May 09 - 06:52 AM

"A question therefore for all singers of Traditional Folk Song, on what sources, influences & inspirations do you base your own personal style?"

That's a question I've been asking myself, as I never listened to any folk music until recently - and after I began singing traditional songs. And I've only been singing traditional songs since last Hallowe'en I think. I did know a bit of Pentangle from many years ago, but I couldn't and don't aspire to sound like Jacqui McShee.

Nevertheless, I'm aware of that there is some vocal affectation of sorts in my singing, albeit quite unconsciously adopted. And I've been wondering about why I sing these traditional folk songs in the way I do?

To a degree, the antiquated language alters ones mind-set, and may contribute to a degree of 'theatre' perhaps. Whether one realises it or no it's akin to wearing an historic costume and adopting a 'part'. This has some effect on me I think, and suspect that plays itself out in the way I sing.

One thing that I'm conscious of, rather akin to choral perhaps, is that I like to enunciate the consonants fairly clearly (though not as terribly crisply as choral) - in part because these are stories and each word I feel needs to be clear to the listener. This is an affectation as I wouldn't speak the G in 'lonG' for example, but I would sing it for clarity. Consonants often open and close words - enunciated consonants I think aid the listener to identify each word clearly. They also add a degree of 'percussive rythm' to something sung unaccompanied.

I am also aware of shaping vowel sounds when singing, slightly differently to the way I might speak them, to adapt them for ease of sound production - so I might sing (for e.g. 'Uuhnd' instead of 'aaaaynd' - it's less stressful on the throat and conserves breath. Certain vowels, if I were to sing exactly as spoken, both sound ugly and do not assist one in moving smoothly to the next syllable. So I wouldn't sing "I" as (as an extended note) exactly as I would speak it because it'd sound like braying, but perhaps lean more heavily on the 'eeee' sound (that is usually clipped in speech) so sung it might come out more like Ah'ee.

Any ornamenation picked up has probably been the consequence of listening to recordings made by others, as well as allowing my voice to 'sculpt' the song by itself.

But it's a tough question to answer overall.

All that said, the accent I sing in is my own - I think!


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 11 May 09 - 06:32 AM

This is, of course, in reply to SS's question just above, not the OP - in other words, I'm describing what I try to do, no more than that.


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 11 May 09 - 06:29 AM

Jacqui McShee more than Maddy Prior; Shirley Collins more than Anne Briggs. Nic Jones singing Lord Bateman, not Nic Jones singing the Bonny Bunch of Roses. Tony Capstick singing unaccompanied, hitting every bar line. John Kelly's relentless Valiant Sailor.

Keep it simple - keep the tone pure, nail the metre and the beat (not that you can't pull it out of shape sometimes). Then make the words live. The words should be doing something, not just hanging on the melody like wet washing - but the melody should be there underneath.


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 11 May 09 - 05:49 AM

I do not agree.in most cases IMO it loses its essence,and that includes Peter Pears singing the water is wide, Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention doing their thing.

But what about Peter Bellamy doing his thing, or indeed Dick Miles doing his? I find both approaches deeply appealing (& indeed inspirational) but to what extent this is a manifestation of a traditional style per se, I remain at a loss to say. Certainly, when I listen to traditional singers I'm not picking up much by way of a stylistic consensus, certainly not to the extend the revival would have us believe there ever was such a thing.

A question therefore for all singers of Traditional Folk Song, on what sources, influences & inspirations do you base your own personal style?


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 May 09 - 01:23 PM

"whilst Folk Song was largely a matter of context, Traditional Song transcends context, and could (and has) made the transition into areas of pop, rock, classical & experimental musics without any loss to its essence which exists irrespective of the stylistic assumptions, or indeed affectations, of Folk Music.
I do not agree.in most cases IMO it loses its essence,and that includes Peter Pears singing the water is wide, Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention doing their thing.


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Subject: RE: What is a traditional singer?
From: BB
Date: 10 May 09 - 09:27 AM

"whilst Folk Song was largely a matter of context, Traditional Song transcends context, and could (and has) made the transition into areas of pop, rock, classical & experimental musics without any loss to its essence which exists irrespective of the stylistic assumptions, or indeed affectations, of Folk Music."

Interesting - I would have said the absolute opposite, traditional song being defined largely by context, and folk song being used in the many ways you describe above.

Barbara


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