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UK 60s Folk Club Boom?

Steve Gardham 26 Mar 19 - 01:55 PM
Vic Smith 26 Mar 19 - 01:34 PM
Jim Carroll 26 Mar 19 - 01:12 PM
Vic Smith 26 Mar 19 - 01:01 PM
Jim Carroll 26 Mar 19 - 11:55 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Mar 19 - 11:52 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 26 Mar 19 - 11:47 AM
Vic Smith 26 Mar 19 - 11:38 AM
GUEST,Peter 26 Mar 19 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 26 Mar 19 - 11:34 AM
Howard Jones 26 Mar 19 - 11:22 AM
Vic Smith 26 Mar 19 - 10:16 AM
The Sandman 26 Mar 19 - 09:50 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Mar 19 - 08:15 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Mar 19 - 07:58 AM
Vic Smith 26 Mar 19 - 07:58 AM
Vic Smith 26 Mar 19 - 07:37 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Mar 19 - 04:17 AM
The Sandman 26 Mar 19 - 04:12 AM
Stewie 25 Mar 19 - 09:34 PM
Howard Jones 25 Mar 19 - 08:12 PM
Jeri 25 Mar 19 - 07:48 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Mar 19 - 06:46 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Mar 19 - 06:46 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Mar 19 - 06:45 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Mar 19 - 06:41 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Mar 19 - 06:40 PM
Howard Jones 25 Mar 19 - 04:15 PM
Vic Smith 25 Mar 19 - 03:55 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Mar 19 - 03:35 PM
Howard Jones 25 Mar 19 - 02:54 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Mar 19 - 02:04 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Mar 19 - 01:50 PM
Vic Smith 25 Mar 19 - 01:12 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Mar 19 - 12:17 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Mar 19 - 10:15 AM
Howard Jones 25 Mar 19 - 05:58 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 Mar 19 - 04:51 PM
Vic Smith 24 Mar 19 - 04:06 PM
Steve Gardham 24 Mar 19 - 03:06 PM
Steve Gardham 24 Mar 19 - 02:56 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Mar 19 - 02:12 PM
Vic Smith 24 Mar 19 - 01:17 PM
Big Al Whittle 24 Mar 19 - 01:16 PM
Dave the Gnome 24 Mar 19 - 12:40 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Mar 19 - 12:40 PM
Dave the Gnome 24 Mar 19 - 12:18 PM
Will Fly 24 Mar 19 - 11:31 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 Mar 19 - 10:34 AM
Vic Smith 24 Mar 19 - 09:46 AM
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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 01:55 PM

Mudcat struggling, but not this thread.

Nothing new is being accomplished on this thread and it appears to be slowing down all of Mudcat. This is, at the very least, a time out. Go make music.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 01:34 PM

To Jim
Thank you. That last post was very helpful. Am I right in thinking that your message is The EFDSS is apparently no longer interested in promoting traditional songs traditionally performed and that is because I say that the EFDSS is apparently no longer interested in promoting traditional songs traditionally performed; no questions, no reasons, no explanations. I have said it and therefore it is fact. Please just accept my authority and we will move on.

To everyone else.
Am I right in being minded in this of the Prime Minister's latest Brexit speech in the House of Commons last night?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 01:12 PM

Cop out Vic
We're doing our job (never had any doubt you were) - EFDSS is not doing theirs - to repeat "because of the fact that EFDSS is apparently no longer interested in promoting traditional songs traditionally performed."
We can spin on this head of a pin forever but the proof of the pudding..... and all that
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 01:01 PM

Jim wrote:-
To those who might be interested - I seem to hit on a seam of folk song lovers who are genuinely interested in the real think so my PCloud box is constantly on the go supplying examples of the real thing to them, and will be for some time to come

This is great news Jim! I feel the same when I answer questions, give additional details or help searchers find what they are after using the Sussex Traditions database. I wonder who gets the more enquiries? Not that it matters because we are both doing exactly the same sort of job. Whatever the numbers, I am sure they are dwarfed by the various responses to the 80,000 plus items of the EFDSS funded "Full English Digital Archive"

Wouldn't it be great if we could say that each in their different ways that
Jim Carroll's PCloud box, Sussex Traditions and the EFDSS Full English are all doing their best in their different ways and scales to bring the real traditional music and song of these islands to generations that were born after traditional music ceased to be an integral part of communities in these islands because the information-rich modern world blocks out the previous way in which communities receive their music and entertainment.

Unfortunately, we cannot do this because of your belief expressed earlier today and many times before that because of the fact that EFDSS is apparently no longer interested in promoting traditional songs traditionally performed.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 11:55 AM

"Did they all migrate to Ireland?
Just a thought"
This one did
I know many who just play the old albums and live on their memories - including some of the best singers and singeresses of yesteryear
Every now and then I am stuck by the though "I thought he/she was dead"
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 11:52 AM

"Clearly the punters who liked Irish music "
Traditional singing, I hope you mean - it's really time that those in England are producing far more traditionally representative singers (and younger) over here than they are doing back home

"when you think there is no interest in it, you expect someone else to make it available."
I expect those whose job description should make them interested should be gathering all this material together - not just ours - that's what they are paid for - not promoting singer-songwriters

"As for getting off the pot, it is not preventing you or anyone else from doing something with the material."
See previous answer

To those who might be interested - I seem to hit on a seam of folk song lovers who are genuinely interested in the real think so my PCloud box is constantly on the go supplying examples of the real thing to them, and will be for some time to come - it's a bit random 'cause I'm responding to requests
Anybody who wishes to be added to my link list can PM me their e-mail address - promise I wont tell the Ed Sheeran fans :->
Jim   
I'm having a great deal of trouble posting to this site - I was totally unable to yesterday
Is it something I've said?
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 11:47 AM

I don't understand how the EFDSS can be blamed for not promoting traditional material if only 15 people show up when they do.

Where are these mythical thousands of followers of tradiional music that left the UK folk clubs and are just waiting for it all to come back?

Did they all migrate to Ireland?

Just a thought


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 11:38 AM

More excuses Vic, and an apparent refusal to recognise the fact that EFDSS is apparently no longer interested in promoting traditional songs traditionally performed
This is your opinion and you are obviously welcome to express it, except of course that you do not qualify it with something like, "In my opinion....". That changes it into a unqualified, unsupported, blatant lie in the eyes of very many members of EFDSS who derive a great deal of satisfaction from the many educational, information-providing, sponsorship and financial support to further their interest in traditional song, music, drama, story-telling and dance that they receive from the organisation.
You seem to feel the need to hurl unsupported but regular criticism at EFDSS, Comhaltas, the majority of singer-songwriters, folk clubs, and the whole gamut of things that you disprove of. Reasoned criticism is one thing and can be helpful in evaluation; wholesale condemnation in perjorative unsupported terms is quite another. For one thing, it changes the focus from the main matter in hand of the thread to your bald statements and the many objections to them. As Joe says, It is boring!.
Joe's intervention at 23 Mar 19 - 09:28 AM and the removal of some of your more bilious posts seemed to clear the air. The next post was my I give a loud sigh of relief and hope that this thread had now been rescued and that something like a civilised exchange of views can be resumed. followed by your Amen to that. The air was cleared. We could, and did, resume discussion of aspects of the subject, yet here you are, only three days later, back in full attack mode, returning with unsupported statements about the EFDSS.
Please could you tell me PM or by posting here what you are trying to achieve?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 11:35 AM

"More excuses Vic, and an apparent refusal to recognise the fact that EFDSS is apparently no longer interested in promoting traditional songs traditionally performed"

The gig in question had exactly the same level of prominance in their press ad as the Eliza Carthy concert a fortnight earlier. More credit to them for risking a totally acoustic gig by an unacompanied singer of trad meterial who isn't well known in Southern England outside of a small group of hardcore traddies. Clearly the punters who liked Irish music used their pennies on one of the three big name, commercially promoted, concerts at other venues during the previous week.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 11:34 AM

Vic Re your posting above 10.16

I would heartily agree with your views I too was there for the evening of Tom's funeral having known him and played alongside him on countless occasions. I am sure you are aware of the you tube clips of the event.

Re rival events in the locality of The House it can be a challenge. The Green Note just down the road has events on seven nights a week including folk and related music also there are good pubs and some with sessions going on not too far distant.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 11:22 AM

Jim, my question was not why you think this material is valuable, but why, when you think there is no interest in it, you expect someone else to make it available.

Do you have evidence that Efdss is apathetic, rather than constrained by funding?

As for getting off the pot, it is not preventing you or anyone else from doing something with the material. What it needs is money.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 10:16 AM

I have no wish to involve a friend further in this discussion
Pity because if I knew more details, I could perhaps offer some suggestions as to why the turn-out was so poor. Often the poorly attended events are mounted by clueless outside promoters. It wasn't at the folk club, was it?Any folk club can have a bad night. Was there some rival attraction on that evening? Particularly in London, this is a major problem.
All the events that I have attended in recent years in the main hall at Cecil Sharp House have been sell-outs. Was there some rival attraction on that evening? Particularly in London, this is a major problem.
One that stands out in my mind was a private party, the wake after Tom Paley's funeral. The people at Cecil Sharp House contacted the family and offered the main hall free of rent for an evening celebration of Tom's life after the funeral because they thought that there would be a lot of people wanting to celebrate his life. They were right! The place was packed. The music was scintillating. People from five countries gave their tributes to Tom and I was delighted to be asked to speak about a man that I had known for 50 years and greatly admired.
I was a very happy man when I drove the minibus I had hired full of 15 of Tom's relatives and friends back to Brighton.
To whoever at the EFDSS has the idea - thank you for s brilliant idea and a very thoughtful gesture.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 09:50 AM

Jim have you tried various county archives?if the material was sorted by counties, they are normally interested in anything relating to county history


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 08:15 AM

"To use a biblical analogy, your complaints are falling on stony ground."
Deaf ears is, I think the term you are searching for Vic - I have been well aware for that for some time now
I have been specific about what happens at Cecil Sharp House and have a fair amount of personal experience to know it little resembles what used to happen when they had a staff who cared about the futute of folk song
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 07:58 AM

SHe was a fine singer of traditional songs - among the most respected
I have no wish to involve a friend further in this discussion
Tat she sang at a folk event in Cecil Sharp House was all that matters to me
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 07:58 AM

Jim -
Why should EFDSS be interested - because that is part of their job description - they are not a music and dance society; they are a FOLK music and dance society - about time somebody reminded them of that fact
If they are not going to piss, they need to get off the pot.


Can we take it, Jim, that you are not a member of EFDSS? You see, I am... and if I am unhappy about something EFDSS related I email them with my complaints. I always receive a reply, normally from a senior figure and it usually apologises, thanks me for taking the trouble and explains the constraints, often financial and/or grant related. At the very least, this gives me an insight into the way they are forced to operate.
You, on the other hand, regularly post your complaints on Mudcat and anyway they are scattergun complaints rather than focussed ones addressing a single issue. As far a I know, no-one in authority in EFDSS ever visits Mudcat.

To use a biblical analogy, your complaints are falling on stony ground.

To use your rather unpleasant urine-related analogy, you are pissing in the wind.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 07:37 AM

Last night I spoke to a friend who sang at a concert of traditional song at Cecil Sharp House recently - to an audience of fifteen people
Jim Carroll


I would like to know the name of that singer, the nature of his repertoire and the promoter (not always EFDSS themselves) before I comment on this and I would like Jim to supply what he knows of the event before I do so. Could you do this for me, please, Jim?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 04:17 AM

"What evidence have you that Sharp actually did any research,"
Oh dear - I suspected his was coming Steve
The act of actually going out and talking to the people who carried the songs is, as far as I am concerned an act of researching (finding out) what folk song was about, without any earlier examples to go by, probably the most important
Based on 'Some Conclusions' alone, he was apparently familiar with other 'researchers' such as Motherwell, who he quotes, he had perused the broadsides he had his own personal collection of them and had obviously compared them to the songs he and his colleagues - he , as I do, found them chalk and cheese, as did later collectors whose work I am exploring at present
He knew the modes and wrote about them at length.
He became aware enough of the the importance of folk songs as the people's art to make efforts to get them into schools
A bit more than your average 'butterfly collector'
One of the great advantages Sharp and his colleagues had over today's researchers (what is left of that once proud band) is that they were there when there were enough old singers to make a hands on assessment of what folk song was and was about, they were in a position to judge whether the material being gathered was really 'the voice of the people' or just something they bought and learned parrot-fashion.
One of the greatest advantages was they were prepared to learn from each other, those who had gone before, and their main benefactors - not like the present somewhat distateful approach of sweeping aside old knowledge to make room for the new
   
I was once given a full set of 'the Journals, through all their various stages, despite their rather unhealthy (in my opinion) move from dealing solely with song, I find them still an essential edition to my knowledge, as I do all the early writings, Gummere, Gerould, Wimberly.... (notably mainly American)
Today find much of today's Journal (not all nowadays) a lone light - an echo of what a folk scene was once about - one that knew what folk song was and didn't make discussions on definition no-go areas, as it has become on a forum which styles itself as being about "Traditional Music and Folklore Collection and Community"

Howard
Why do I think this material important ?
Because of what it is and represents
It needs to be available to all those who describe themselves as being involved in 'folk' - not just our collection but all I have mentioned and much, much more
I find it utterly outrageous that, after nearly seventy years, the result of the magnificent survey of the last of our song and music traditions carried out by the BBC and paid for by the public's money, is still generally unavailable, and what little that was issued has been deleted and forgotten
It should be promoted and used in schools and colleges in the hope (possibly vain, as things stand) that future generations might pick up the ball that our generation dropped
Why should EFDSS be interested - because that is part of their job description - they are not a music and dance society; they are a FOLK music and dance society - about time somebody reminded them of that fact
If they are not going to piss, they need to get off the pot.

Last night I spoke to a friend who sang at a concert of traditional song at Cecil Sharp House recently - to an audience of fifteen people
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 04:12 AM

Jim have you tried various county archives?if the material was sorted by counties, they are normally interested inanything relating to county history


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Stewie
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 09:34 PM

Here's an interesting program that purports to indicate what went on in folk clubs in the
80s. Anderson reckons there were about 500 clubs then.

Click

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 08:12 PM

Re-reading my last post it may come across as a bit confrontational, that wasn't my intention.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jeri
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 07:48 PM

Max emailed something to me earlier that indicated this thread was likely the problem. Huge thread that a lot of people are hitting.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 06:46 PM

Lucky 3 in a row!


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 06:46 PM

That was my 6th attempt at that one.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 06:45 PM

Jim,
What evidence have you that Sharp actually did any research, say to the extent that Baring Gould or Kidson did?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 06:41 PM

Just lost a loaded reply to Vic's Q. In short YES.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 06:40 PM

Mudcat not functioning for me currently. Losing posts or they're only part coming through.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 04:15 PM

I'm in no position to know, let alone try to excuse, the EFDSS's priorities. Nevertheless it is has only a small team trying to do a lot of different things. Like you, I may not agree with all of those things but it is for the trustees and its members to decide the priorities. As Vic said, they seem to be prioritising the more historical stuff first. Your material is in safe keeping, and whilst not widely accessible I assume it should be possible for someone to listen to it at the British Library.

Applying for Arts Council funding, like the Lottery, appears to be a complex process that requires a fair amount of time and resources. Royal patronage I'm afraid won't circumvent this.

As this thread has shown, you are prone to interpreting different views to your own as evidence of a lack of interest in traditional music, possibly even hostility to it. Even if the EFDSS's priorities are different from your does not mean they are doing something wrong. Unless you can show the reason that the EFDSS has rejected your material I am inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.

I'm a bit confused. Why do you want to make this material widely available if you think no one on the folk scene is interested in it? And if that were to be true, why should the EFDSS or anyone else put its time, money and resources into making it available? And assuming that you don't really believe that no one is interested, why not do it yourself?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 03:55 PM

Vic has pointed out the due diligence that Kirst of Riches has to carry out before putting anything online. That all costs money. No institution of this type will take on a project unless it has assurances that the funding is available. I work for a charity, although not in the arts, and I see this at first hand. I also see how complex and difficult applying for funding can be, the range of outcomes a successful project must achieve beyond its immediate ones, and how many very worthwhile projects fail for one reason or another to be win a grant.

Funding through ACE, National Lottery etc. has become a very complex operation. The application forms run to many pages and is so daunting many people are put off. A newish range of professionals has developed who are experienced fund-raisers who know all the ropes, tell applicants how to jump through the hoops and give the meanings to some of the fairly obtuse jargon that some parts of the of form and advice notes use. Demonstrating that you have parallel funding or financial backing can be a mighty problem. Even if the grant is given the assessment and evaluation at the end - which must be completed before the final payments are given, can be very time consuming. Then if the application is not granted, you still have to pay for the 'fund-raising professional' and you can end up out of pocket.

I have been involved in a number of applications in recent years.
For the first one (with ACE) we had one free meeting with the local ACE officer, than we had a paid meeting with an advisor and did the rest ourselves. We were granted a substantial five figure grant. We asked for feedback afterwards and were told that that it was an excellent application an the detailed links to the National Curriculum in the education section were particlarly strong... but then I was a retired head teacher with such information at my finger tips.

The second one (with National Lottery) failed. It was called "too ambitious". A less complicated application is being prepared but I can tell you that the rejection left some hard working people rather dejected.

The third one (with the South Downs National Parks) gained the full amount of £2000 which was the maximum in that category. However, I was one of the four person sub-committee working on the application and when I worked out the hours the 4 had put in and divided it into the grant, it worked out that we had been working for considerable less than the minimum wage.

Crowd-funding might be the answer as Howard suggests. but I always have misgivings with this direction around accountabilty.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 03:35 PM

" but I suspect that funding remains the issue"
I believe it is their priorities that are an issue and they, of all people, are in the position to either mount an appeal for funds for specific projects or go cap in hand to the arts Council - they have always had Royal patronage
There is no sign of them having tried #As I have pointed out, ours and iother collections are ready for use
When we set up Singers Workshop Arcive, which is basically how ours began, I indexed everything that hadn't been already and, when I became computerised, digitised everything, as did others
Bob and Jackie Patten contacted me and gave me a fully indexed copy of their Somerset fieldwork, Charles Parker's and Peggy and Ewan's came fully listed, as did Hugh Shield's and Tom Munnnelly's
If you read what I said, the Howson's were approached by Terry Yarnell (to my knowledge)
These are excuses Howard, I have learned friom past bitter experience that you can't give away field recordings to the present folk scene any more than Rod Stradling can sell them
There is no longer an interest
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 02:54 PM

Obviously I can't speak for the EFDSS and I don't know their reasons, but I suspect that funding remains the issue. The money they have from Heritage Lottery Fund and other sources for the Full English will be ring-fenced for that specific purpose and they can't just spend it as they please.

Vic has pointed out the due diligence that Kirst of Riches has to carry out before putting anything online. That all costs money. No institution of this type will take on a project unless it has assurances that the funding is available. I work for a charity, although not in the arts, and I see this at first hand. I also see how complex and difficult applying for funding can be, the range of outcomes a successful project must achieve beyond its immediate ones, and how many very worthwhile projects fail for one reason or another to be win a grant.

I am surprised you have dismissed approaching the Howsons because they run a record label. I can think of few others who are likely to have a better idea whether any institutions in East Anglia might be interested in having, or financially supporting, your project. They have retired from EAMT but still live in the region and are still very much involved with traditional music.

Whilst I agree it would be better if a national or at least regional institution were to take it on, this may not happen. If it really is as simple as you suggest, then why not do it yourself? Genuine question, not a dig. If all the work of digitising and cataloguing has been done, then the costs shouldn't be that great and could perhaps be covered by crowdfunding.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 02:04 PM

Just so there's no misunderstanding
Our Archive is fully digitised, and indexed
Most of our personal cllection is transcribed textually, some musically
It's a full, redy-to eat meal
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 01:50 PM

"You want someone to store your very important Walter Pardon interview tapes and make them available to researchers etc. "
No Vic, I want them to be taken and used
We put our collection in the NSA and they put them in a cupboard - not what we want
We took our Clare Collection to the County Library and they put them on line
Works for me
THe recording qual;ity of our recordings has been good enough to have been used on around a dozen albums
If this is not a job for EFDSS, who already have the BBC collection, the Pat Shudham Shaw recordings, and numerous others - for listening, why should they not acquire (not buy) those I mentioned (I wish people wouldn't suggest it is only our collection I am concerned about -I have made that clear it isn't)
If these collections are not gathered up they will be lost
Ours was the clollection that inspired the National Sound Archive from almost exclusively gathering non British material to expanding to our indigenous material yet is still lies languishing in a cupboard somewhere

Steve
Was your Sharp comment a question ot do you doubt he carried out any research
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 01:12 PM

Scotland has shown the way with their magnificent 'Kist O'Riches'
The BBCs largest and most important collection o British and Irish material still remains unavailable for public access, as does such important collections like those of Grange, Mike Yates, Reg Hall, Roy Palmer, MacColl and Seeger, Keith Summers, Bob and Jaqqueline Patten....
Pleading poverty o behalf of EFDSS rings very hollow in the face of what they have spent their money on in the way of making sound examples available - I can't fault their work on Sharp's diaries but am puzzled by the enthusiasm for this on the one hand and the tearing down of Sharp's researches by the present researchers on the other.
Either the EFDSS starts doing what it was set up for or somebody else has to if important collections such as those I've listed are not going to remain unused


Jim, there is a major flaw in your thinking here. You want someone to store your very important Walter Pardon interview tapes and make them available to researchers etc. Then you praise the job that Kist O'Riches (Tobar an Dualchais) does in Scotland is doing. If I went to them and asked them to store my recordings of songs and stories recorded from Scottish Travellers, they would say no. They would tell that storage was not their function but that if I would arrange for good quality digitised recordings to be sent to them, they would be delighted to include all the ones that were not duplicating what they already had on line. They would also say that my recordings would have to wait whilst they checked recording quality, duplication of existing items, copyright and ownership issues and they would have to be properly catalogued. This would happen in time but my recordings would have to go to the back of the queue which is held up be funding issues.
Tobar an Dualchais database has over 40,000 oral recordings. The EFDSS Full English Digital Database has over 80,000 items.* Both are wonderful freely available, easily searched facilities. Anyone with an interest in the traditions of Scotland or England should be jumping for joy and discovering the many delights that they offer. Neither think their task is anywhere like complete. Both complain of funding issues that are retarding their work. That is in spite of the fact that that Scottish website can state:-
We are very grateful to all of this year’s funders: Aberdeen Asset Management, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Gaelic Language Promotion Trust, Paulsen Familiae Foundation, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Saint Andrew’s Society of New York State, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scottish Funding Council and University of Edinburgh.

The Full English site seems to me to be approaching their priorites in a historical order point of view with the early collectors being first and the great post-2nd World War collectors having to wait their turn. (Could Steve Gardham put me right on this if my assumption is wrong?)

* One of the differences between Kist o'Riches and Full English is that the former contains examples of the singing of Vic Smith whilst the latter does not!!!


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 12:17 PM

>>>>>>Sharp's Researches<<<<<

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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 10:15 AM

Howard
I agree totally that ours isn't the only archive - far from it,
Some time in the 90s (may have been earlier) a group of us met with the then National Sound Archive in Exhibition road to discuss raising support fo a national folk Archive, the included reps from NSA, Reg Hall, Malcolm Taylor and around dozen others whose names escape me but one was an adviser on raising funding (I still have the minutes)
Eventually the NSA absorbed by the British Library (never been sure of the wisdom of that), and the present sound archive was put on line
As an admirer and regular used of that website, knowing what it potentially available, I know it represents only a fraction of recordings and research on folk song
I'm not pleading a special case for our archive, I am saying it is one of many which will either disappear ot go elsewhere if England (specifically) doesn't get a grip - Scotland has shown the way with their magnificent 'Kist O'Riches'
The BBCs largest and most important collection o British and Irish material still remains unavailable for public access, as does such important collections like those of Grange, Mike Yates, Reg Hall, Roy Palmer, MacColl and Seeger, Keith Summers, Bob and Jaqqueline Patten....

Pleading poverty o behalf of EFDSS rings very hollow in the face of what they have spent their money on in the way of making sound examples available - I can't fault their work on Sharp's diaries but am puzzled by the enthusiasm for this on the one hand and the tearing down of Sharp's researches by the present researchers on the other

Either the EFDSS starts doing what it was set up for or somebody else has to if important collections such as those I've listed are not going to remain unused

Whether this neglect is down to lack of funding or disinterest is worth discussing - I have attempted top give my opinion - disinterest wins hands down if a thread where people would rather discuss Ed Sheeran and Music Hall songs instead of folk songs and ballads and where the views of such a prominent figure in folk song as Martin Carthy are pointedly ignored is anything to go by.

I've suggested what might be able to happen if those still interested in folk song want it to
If people are genuine in their support of EFDSS, why not a fundraising campaign combined with a stream of letters suggesting what needs to be done
If they wont move on it, then somebody has to

I know there are admirable efforts on the part of some regions, but not enough to make a difference
The situation needs to b tackled nationally

By the way , our archive was not the result of two enthusiastic librarians - afr from it
We approached the County Library and they appointed to librarians who had no connection with the music to deal with it
They then approached the Council who appointed two singers to use the collection to get schoolchildren interested

Ireland nationally has become aware of both the cultural value of the Traditional Arts and of its value in drawing visitors to the country
We are lucky enough to live in a County which is, we are told whenever we are asked where we live, "The home of traditional Irish music"   
Last night, after watching the thrilling conclusion to ‘Baptiste’ we moved on to an Irish station where we watched a programme of tradition music played on the streets of our County Town (a tribute to the now quite ill box player Tony McMahon, and then the first of a series of six programmes devoted to mostly young women, unaccompanied concertina players   
Next week it will be women pipers, then flute players, then fiddlers, then box players, then hopefully women singers
This is all down to the fact that the Irish trad music scene not takes its future seriously and is carving its own path
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 05:58 AM

Jim, for all our disagreements here I believe most of us recognise and value the importance of your work and the archives which contain it. However as Steve has pointed out, yours is not the only archive which needs preserving for the future and which is struggling to find hte resources to ensure this.

Your wishes for the Walter Pardon material are admirable but ambitious. I don't think you should attribute the lack of response to a lack of interest, even less of hostility to traditional music. However what you are seeking would require a considerable endowment to ensure not only that the materials could be safely stored but also to allow for their interpretation, and for this to continue for the foreseeable future. Few institutions, including EFDSS, are awash with money and such funding as they have is usually earmarked for particular projects. It seems doubtful that any would be willing to take it on, however much they might wish to, without an assurance that the necessary funding was also available. If, as I understood you to say, the materials are in the British Library then you can at least be reassured that they should be properly looked after.

My guess is that in Clare you were fortunate to find a couple of librarians who took a personal interest in the material and were either able to find funding or (more likely) found ways to do it within their existing budget. When they retired, their successors had different priorities. That is how things often are, I'm afraid.

I agree with Al's suggestion to put the material on-line where it will be accessible to anyone who takes an interest, perhaps together with a website to direct people to the right sources. Such a thing could be done relatively cheaply, on a scale where you might be able to get crowdfunding. It would of course require some considerable effort, and if you have not already done so I would urge you to find some younger enthusiasts who may be willing to help with this and to act as your "literary executors" when you are no longer around.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 04:51 PM

Doesn't answer any of the other problems I mentioned Al - thanks anyway
Jim

Maybe so. Perhaps you are thinking too small though.

You know places like the big shopping centres in England employ an agency to create a cyber town, where people can wander the streets with their computer.

They sell advertising space to finance it.

Its got to be a mini fraction of the price of physical museum.

Plus it can't burn down!


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 04:06 PM

A detailed response to Jim's on Walter Pardon
As I've moaned interminably, we'a attempted to give our archive to people wh can house and use it, without success
I'm a litle reluctant to cherry-pick, but would like the whole archive to find a home where it will not just be stored (we have a loft if it ever comes to that) but will be used as a permanent resource for building repertoires and for research

Storing magnetic tape is a costly business - temperature controlled conditions - reasonably frequent rewinding to prevent print through - check of physical tape deterioration etc. In my opinion it is not the articles themselves that are so important as what they contain. Once several copies have been made in different digital formats and stored on a variety of machine and 'Cloud' destinations (though ultimately they are all a variety of hard drive) then the tapes themselves become less important. They still need to be catalogued however so that librarians/archivists/researchers can access them easily. Then they either have to be fully transcribed (very time consuming and expensive unless you can get good volunteers) or a skilled person needs to provide a synopsis so that all possible research or interest aspects are listed against tape timings. Reg Hall did this for quite a number of tapes from my BBC Sussex interview collection so that when, for example, the Sussex Military History Society approached me for 'World War One' anecdotes, I know exactly which CDr and how far through my long Gordon Hall interview I had to get to get what they were after

An archive of this size needs actively promoting, explaining and, where the opportunity arises, adding to
So you can imagine our problem with the 5,400 plus and growing items on the Sussex Traditions database. Also you will need a good efficient search engine that can do simple and advanced searches - and that is not as easy as it sounds as I am finding.

John and Katie run a business and that's not what we have in mind
They do. Well it is John that runs the Veteran record label as a business and they would not be interested in storing tapes or making digital copies available. Katie (at least until recently) was the mainstay of the EATMT Trust and their website shows that they have an Archive section. This is not a commercial business.
As a matter of interest, John's extensive collection of field recording tapes are now stored and maintained by the British Museum National Sound Library.

I hit on the idea of getting a tradition-based club to take over a copy to use for their residents and audience, but that fell by the wayside - Lewes turned us down flat and won't get asked again
I am rather puzzled as to why you think that a folk club would be as suitable place for valuable tapes to be used by random club members, digital copies perhaps - but this far from the activities that the likes of Valmai & Bryan take on. They run guest nights, sessions, tune-learning nights but they do not operate a folk song archive.

EFDSS would be ideal if they were doing their job
Again I think that they would not see this as part of their role - and the British Museum National Sound Library is within walking distance of their headquaters. On the other hand, if you were to offer to add your material to their remarkable The Full English Digital Archive I'm sure that they would show interest (I'm not sure where they are on post-World Two collections. Certainly their first concern was with the Victorian/Edwardian collectors. Steve Gardham may be able to help on this.)

Clare County Library showed what could be done - they took our Clare Collection, selected the songs, two librarians worked on them for two years and produced a very useable and extensive website
Unfortunately, when the two librarians retired the site became static - we could no longer add to it

This is curious. If two librarians were producing what you call "a very useable and extensive website" as part of their workload, why were they not replaced after the retired?
Obviously, I cannot help your at all with the various Irish institutiona and as always, I steer away from your opinion and comments of the English scene and your ongoing comments on what is and what isn't folk song. Anyway I am responding to the matter surrounding Walter Bulwer because that is what I am interested in. I hope you find some of what I have written helpful.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 03:06 PM

>>>>>>I don't count singing pop songs of yesteryear part of anything other than family entertainment<<<<<<

That's fine, Jim. As it's highly unlikely you're ever going to influence what people sing on the British folk scene we can go with that.


But just for the record and so you don't misconstrue this statement, what the rest of us have agreed on is that in folk clubs you are likely to hear

1) traditional folk songs
2) contemporary folk songs (okay in the folk idiom)

Unfortunately there is no hard dividing line between 2) and a whole swathe of other genres, so other things are going to creep in there occasionally. Like the others on here I'm quite happy with this.

In our experience the vast majority of what one hears in an English folk event still comprises 1) and 2).


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 02:56 PM

Jim,
I will address the positive aspects of your last posting of 12.40.

You are not the only one with a large archive of this sort of material.
Plenty of others would also like a proactive repository for their archive. Like you most are already having partial success, but as you have been informed many times we are in competition with other priorities constantly, especially in these troubled times, facing cutbacks right left and centre.

You complain, in some ways rightly, about the English weakness in comparison with Scotland , Ireland and Wales. This has always been the case with all matters concerning people's heritage. This is largely down to the Irish, Scots and Welsh being traditionally in the shadow of their much more powerful neighbour. The patriotism in the other 3 countries is much more evident than in England. Hence the great lack of interest of successive governments in English folk heritage. We are very lucky to have people at EFDSS who have managed to gather enough funding to put all of the early folksong collections online.

Regarding getting the sort of interest you are asking for, this would require funding. As I say there is a lot of competition and priorities have to be made. Here's a for-instance, if the choice had been between your archive and Carpenter being put online, which would you have gone for? If I tell you that the cost of sorting, cataloguing, indexing, studying, digitising that collection cost the funders hundreds of thousands of pounds that will give you some idea of the scale of operation required. Yes, I'm aware that much of your archive is already processed, but there is still a cost to housing it, both in an institution and online.

I know for a fact because I have been involved in several of the EFDSS projects over the last 5 years and in their limited space premises they have taken in at least 6 large physical collections that needed housing, cataloguing, etc. Archive owners are dropping like flies as you would expect as most of us started in the 60s or before. It won't be long before C#H is bursting at the seams, if it isn't already.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 02:12 PM

"The thing about Soundcloud. "
I think our Clare collection is constructed on Soundcloud
I use freebie PCloud to fulfill requests for material
Doesn't answer any of the other problems I mentioned Al - thanks anyway
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 01:17 PM

we had a story telling session with Tuup from Guyana

What a lovely man! We met him in 2007 in Whitby during one of the four extensive tours that we organised for the great Gambian Kora player, Jali Sheriffo Konteh. Both Tuup and Sherrifo were booked at the lovely Musicport festival there. Sheriffo had a concert spot in the Pavilion Theatre on the Friday night and Tuup was very impressed. He was mainly running workshops and children's events but he had one spot in the main hall; he had a story about a kora player but it would be brilliant if Sherrifo could play gently behind him and then Tuup would move to the side at various places in the story to allow Sherrifo's kora to be brought to the fore and he could play some of his virtuosic flourishes before giving way to Tuup's story again.
Sheriffo's response was his usual one - "No Problem". Well the two artists and the sound crew all had busy schedules do there was no time for a sound check and they just had to do it. You would not have known that this was a seat-of-the-pants job for it sounded like it had been throroughly rehearsed. It was one of many highlights of the brilliant times that we had on those tours.
At the end of the festival, a spontaneous session and party developed in the green room and a session with Tuup playing djembé, Sherrifo the kora and the two fiddlers from the Warsaw Village Band - Happy Days!


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 01:16 PM

The thing about Soundcloud. Everyone all over the world can get access AND
You can inform all the learned institutions in the world of your site and its scope with a single email!

Plus think of all the people who couldn't make it to visit England, or a museum - most of em can make it to a computer to log on to your website.

Just because we're a load of twats on Mudcat, who don't value your weighty words, doesn't mean the entire world is composed of stinkers like us.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 12:40 PM

On the subject of music hall songs I must admit it was with some surprise I discovered a lot of the music I thought was folk was in fact music hall. Previously mentioned "Star of the County Down"; Pretty Polly Perkins and her Geordie counterpart Cushie Butterfield. That just reminded me of another, "Keep your feet still Geordie Hinny". Seeing as even folk aficionados can get confused, is it really so bad to have these songs at folk clubs?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 12:40 PM

Right - sorted (sort of)
Vic
Walter's recordings
As I've moaned interminably, we'a attempted to give our archive to people wh can house and use it, without success
I'm a litle reluctant to cherry-pick, but would like the whole archive to find a home where it will not just be stored (we have a loft if it ever comes to that) but will be used as a permanent resource for building repertoires and for research
All our collecting has involved, where possible, interviewing the singers at length about their approaches to singing, with a great deal of success as far as Walter and some of the Travellers are concerned   
I could, as Al suggests, put it up on PCloud and throw it open, but that, I feel, would be as much a waste of time as has been offering some of it to posters on this forum
An archive of this size needs actively promoting, explaining and, where the opportunity arises, adding to

I'm pretty sure Terry Yarnell (Our Man in Surrey) has approached John Howson - John and Katie run a business and that's not what we have in mind
I hit on the idea of getting a tradition-based club to take over a copy to use for their residents and audience, but that fell by the wayside - Lewes turned us down flat and won't get asked again
There are enough copies to ascertain (in Ireland) to ascertain that the material won't disappear, so no great worries on that front
I have said what I feel about the state of the clubs; It strikes me that the material we hold would be an ideal springboard for putting the folk back into folk - the singing and music, the lectures, radio programmes seminars, deleted albums... and masses and masses of published articles and books
EFDSS would be ideal if they were doing their job - they are not
The scene has no identity any more,and no agreement as to what is meant by folk

Clare County Library showed what could be done - they took our Clare Collection, selected the songs, two librarians worked on them for two years and produced a very useable and extensive website
Unfortunately, when the two librarians retired the site became static - we could no longer add to it
One thing they did manage was to get the council to employ to singers to visit County schools and introduce the kids to Clare songs via our recordings (we had no involvement or say in this)
Out site is widely accessed and local people are now singing teh songs of the now dead singers
The next step is to get Limerick Uni to do the same with the Traveller material - an idea already mooted by one of the instigators of the singing course there who is already involved in Traveller culture
While the scene in England faffs about persuading itself that all is well, that is not going to happen there

I have always believed that the answer to sing, playing and learning from our oral cultures is by taking and using what the singers sang and said - they may not always have been at their peak when they were recorded, but they had something none of us "borrowers" have - first hand experience - I believe that invariably showed up in their singing (sorry - I don't count singing pop songs of yesteryear part of anything other than family entertainment)

'Nuff prating for now - more later
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 12:18 PM

My father was born in Poland as was his mother. His father was born in Russia. My mother was born in Lancashire. Her maternal grandmother was Welsh. Her paternal grandfather was from Staffordshire. And I still think there is nothing wrong or even slightly nationalistic about an organisation that promotes English music and dance. The Irish, Welsh and Scottish all celebrate the culture of their own nations. Why not the English?

The most successful folk festival I ever ran headlined with Roy Bailey. We had a ceilidh with folk rock band. Further entertainment was provided by the Lancashire based Orlek Ukrainian dance troupe and we had a story telling session with Tuup from Guyana and Derek (as featured earlier in this thread) from Lancashire. The story telling was cleverly named Tu-up, one down :-)


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Will Fly
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 11:31 AM

I learned music hall songs at my grandfather's knee - because he used to sit me there and sing them to me. Long before Leonard Sachs and "The Good Old Days - which I also thought was naff.

So I heard songs which I still love today, and perform one or two now and then - "Mary Ellen At The Church Turned Up", "The Postman's Holiday", "'Arry, 'Arry, 'Arry", etc. One of the things I suppose I learned, from listening to their records and knowing the sort of theatres they performed in, was the need to project one's voice and personality when singing and playing. Not volume, necessarily, but pitch and clarity and diction - which they had in spades.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 10:34 AM

For most of our generation - music hall had negative connotations. The songs OAP's sang before they raffled a bag of sugar. Leonard sachs on the cringemaking Good Old Days.

One poor little lad who used to come to me to learn what I knew about Status Quo's guitar style (they were short lessons) his dad was the Chairman of the Music hall Society. His Dad used to dress up like Dan leno and little Dave and the rest of the family were dressed in Victorian attire to make up The good old days audience at The City varieties, leeds.

the game changers for me were the Cosmotheka Duo - the Seally brothers. they made those of who listened understand just why folksong and music hall were so closely intertwined - and really from that, the interdisciplinary nature of folksong.

The late Ian Campbell said to me the thought the Seally lads were the most significant thing to happen to happen in Folk music in ten years at least. ian said, suddenly I realised that my Dad - even though he was singing a Scottish folk song - the style was pure Al Jolson .

And only one version of The bull and Bush....i wouldn't put money on it. how many versions were there of christmas day in the Workhouse? The music hall artistes had to know their audience, had to know their lives, had to speak very directly to them.

Like all serious artists. Give it your attention and you will learn.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 09:46 AM

Hmm OK - but that will mean that I have to go and do the gardening jobs that I have been putting of!


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