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Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?

27 Aug 99 - 06:16 PM (#109141)
Subject: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: Celtic-End Singer

Does anyone know what Glasweigan comedian and singer Matt McGinn is up to these days? Is he retired? Is he dead? I just don't know. I'll never forget "The Red Yo-Yo" or "The Effen Bee".

I miss him.


27 Aug 99 - 06:44 PM (#109150)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: bigJ

Matt died - at a guess - 20+ years ago. Master McVicar, over to you.


27 Aug 99 - 09:15 PM (#109190)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: John Nolan

Matt died in 1977. A 200-page gem is "McGinn of the Calton", published by Glasgow City Libraries. It includes an autobiography, photographs, songs, a foreward by Jimmy McGregor and a very moving introduction by Janette McGinn. ISBN 0 906169 15 1


28 Aug 99 - 09:38 AM (#109266)
Subject: Matt McGinn?
From: kendall morse (don't use)

I heard that Matt died in a car crash. Does anyone have the words to I DONT REMEMBER LOVING YOu ?"


29 Aug 99 - 03:34 AM (#109443)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: Ewan McVicar

Matt, like Arthur Argo, died as I understand in one of those weird living room fires involving too much alcohol and a small electric fire, while separated from his wife. To some minds will immediately occur the idea of spontaneous combustion death, but I've no information on that. Check out also the tribute recording by the Stramash song grouping which was issued by Greentrax Records - lots of good stuff on it.


07 Jul 03 - 05:46 PM (#978569)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: GUEST,Gio

His wife Janette put the record straight in McGinn of The Calton. He died of smoke inhalation after falling asleep with a lighted cigarette in his hand.


07 Jul 03 - 06:11 PM (#978588)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: GUEST,Sarah F

This message just jogged my memory so I have had a look about and here's what's online about the late Great Matt McGinn.

Checkout    www.theballadeers.com      and   www.roots2thefuture.com

Matt McGinn was born in 1928 in one of the poorest areas of Glasgow, into a family of 9 kids. They lived near the Barras, Glasgow's famous market. After having gone to an approved school during the war he became interested in politics. He was a left-wing activist and won a scholarship to Ruskin College, Oxford. That was quite something for a poor Glaswegian !

While studying to become a teacher he won a competition for "Best Folk Song" and when he returned to Glasgow he taught for a while before becoming a full time folk singer / songwriter / actor / writer / poet. He is most famous for his songs which such as; the Red Yo-yo, The Wee Kirkcudrbright Centipede, Magic Shadow Show, Janetta, The Ballad of the Q4, the Ballad of John McLean, The Depth of My Ego and Troubled Waters. He wrote childrens' songs, love songs, funny songs, etc., but first and foremost he was a political animal and he wrote some great political songs, usually with a bit of humour thrown in.

As the previous message said, he died of smoke inhalation after falling asleep with a lighted cigarette in his hand. Glasgow and the world lost a lot in the shape of a down to earth talented man, often referred to as the Scottish Woody Guthrie.   

There is a bit of a Matt McGinn revival going on at present, including awards ceremonies and concerts in Glasgow and New York. Some of his work has been re-released as the "Best of Matt McGinn" and "The Return of The Two Heided Man". The book "McGinn of the Calton" tells of his life and has song lyrics. It's a gem of a book; and he was a gem of a person ! www.theballadeers.com has a bit of info on him.


07 Jul 03 - 07:13 PM (#978635)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: GUEST,Nick

Thanks for all of the plugs for my site (www.theballadeers.com). Matt's youngest daughter Shonagh is very active in keeping the memory of Matt alive. You can actually get copies of "McGinn of Calton" through her. shonaghmcginn@yahoo.es

Shonagh also informs me that they're in the process of making a Matt McGinn tribute album...the only name I can remember is Shane McGowan.

Nick


07 Jul 03 - 07:32 PM (#978649)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: Beardy

I have just returned from the RMT Annual Conference held in a very sunny Glasgow. Every evening there were numerous delegates populating McGinn's Bar, Central Station. The bar is run by Matt's nephew, Paul. The conference was made so welcome Paul became the first pub landlord to receive a presentation for services to the union.

A friendly welcome will be extended to any visitors and there is also frequently folk music until late. There are pictures and extracts of Matts poetry/songs around the walls.


07 Jul 03 - 09:39 PM (#978724)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: Charley Noble

Nice to hear that Matt is still appreciated.

Charley Noble


08 Jul 03 - 01:04 PM (#979125)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: GUEST,Kevin Sheils

Before leaving my job at BT 3 years back one of the people I knew via the internal newsgroup there was, IIRC, a nephew of Matt and he was putting together a web site at www.btinternet.com/~sarsen/matt/index.html

It doesnt appear to have been updated recently but there are some nice piccies in the biography pages that are there


09 Jul 03 - 10:00 AM (#979741)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: GUEST,leo

hey beardy, ive often travelled past that pub and wondered what the connection was, nice to know it's his own family and not just someone using the name to drag in folkies!

incidentally, as an SSP member, congratulations on giving tony's tories a kick up the aerse.


09 Jul 03 - 04:49 PM (#980107)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: Beardy

Well leo go in!!

Tommy Sheridan addressed our conference and came to our dinner/dance so keep the faith.


10 Jul 03 - 04:01 PM (#980787)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: GUEST,mac

There was a Matt McGinn concert in the RSAMD in Glasgow on May 31st and what a night that was ! I was lucky enough to get a ticket at the last minute. It is to be an annual event, with awards going to newcomers / old faves ! On the bill were; Horse, Phamie Gow, St. Francis of Assis School Choir, Mary Khiani Gospel Chior, Partick Beat, Shane McGoan, The McCluskey Brothers, Des McLean, Pat Rolink, Gary Lewis, David Hayman, the Duncan McCrone band, dave Anderson, Andy Duncan, Samantha Seth, etc..



The organisers want to hold a concert in New York next year.


11 Jul 03 - 04:24 AM (#981099)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: GUEST,Josh

I heard Pete Seeger was to be on at the New York gig. I suppose that's to be expected, but what an honour !


11 Jul 03 - 07:52 AM (#981170)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: GUEST,theballadeer

A bit of trivia...Pete was a very close friend of Matt's and his youngest daughter Shonagh's middle name is Seeger.


11 Jul 03 - 10:33 AM (#981252)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: Big Tim

I got in touch with Shonagh, by email, and she's going to check out this thread.


11 Jul 03 - 12:25 PM (#981327)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: GUEST,Agnes

Tommy Sheridan has been known to quote Matt McGinn songs, so I suppose he's yet another fan. His favourite is " he was right side of the people, wrong side of the law ", from the ballad of John Mclean about a Glasgow School teacher who stood up against the establishment.

( Tommy Sheridan is the leader of the Scottish Socialist Party. )


12 Jul 03 - 01:22 AM (#981658)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: Mark Cohen

I once heard that Matt was very pleased with the lovely "Rolling Hills of the Border" as his first "serious" song, and then was mildly chagrined when it was quickly parodied by John Roberts and Tony Barrand as "The Rolling Mills of New Jersey." As a former New Jersey resident, and a sometime writer of parodies and humorous songs, as well as serious ones, this story struck a chord with me. Can anyone attest to its veracity?

Aloha,
Mark


12 Jul 03 - 08:58 AM (#981763)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: GUEST,John T

I knew Matt well and I have heard this story before. I think it's nonsense. I am sure he would have loved to have had any of his songs carry on in any parodied form.

Matt had a whole LP of parodies. To me it wasn't his finest Lp, ( to others it may be though!) but I have no doubt he wouldn't have taken offence to a parody of one of his.

Talking of his finest Lps; most people don't realise how many Lps he released. There was Matt McGinn, Matt McGinn Again, Honesty is out of the Fashion, Sampler, Tinny Can on my Tail, and Take me Back to the Jungle which were all full of his songs. He then released The Two Heided Man, the Two Heided Man Strikes Again and Screwtops are Falling on my Head, which had songs, stories and jokes. The songs on The Two Heided Man and the Two Heided Man Strikes Again include classics such as Depth of my Ego. Apart from the above he also had parts on other Lps ( such as the folk song revival lps ) and singles icluding The Wee Kirkcudbright Centipede.... all too much to mention here.

The book McGinn of the Calton is excellent, and the more I hear and read his work the more I realise that there is still a great amount to be re-discovered.


12 Jul 03 - 09:03 AM (#981769)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: Felipa

Mark, shouldn't that read "the Petroleum Mills of New Jersey" (or New Joisey)?


12 Jul 03 - 03:11 PM (#981929)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: GUEST,pepsi

hey, how does the parody go anyway ?


12 Jul 03 - 06:42 PM (#982017)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: Mark Cohen

Here is The Rolling Mills of New Jersey in the DT, with a copyright notice so there's a reasonable chance it's accurate. I seem to remember hearing another verse that went:

If at times you feel heartbroken
Just go down the stairs and put in a token
And pretty soon you'll be in Hoboken
The heart and soul of New Jersey

I may have learned that from Janet Stecher and Susan Lewis, who used to be 2/3 of "The Belles of Hoboken", then were 1/2 of "Shays' Rebellion," and are now 2/2 of "Rebel Voices." But maybe I learned it from somebody else.

Aloha,
Mark


12 Jul 03 - 06:44 PM (#982020)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: Mark Cohen

PS, Thanks, John T. I'm happy to lay that to rest.

Aloha,
Mark


13 Jul 03 - 05:57 PM (#982514)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: GUEST,Pepsi

The parody is pretty much McGinn style, I'd say !

I just received a copy of the "Best of Matt McGinn"........ what a joy to hear all those classics on an unscratched CD ! Apparently they are the "Best of" only some of his LPs so there must be lots of other classics that I haven't heard yet.


13 Jul 03 - 07:40 PM (#982580)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: GUEST,mac

I forgot to mention the Cameron Brothers sang at the concert at the RSAMD. I don't know why I forgot them; they were excellent and really got the audience going by doing a set of Matt's best "CHORUS" songs.

The Cameron Brothers are from Glasgow and they usually sing some of Matt's songs in their show.

Also, as Beardy pointed out above, McGinn's Bar has been up and running for about a year now, with folk nights being held upstairs. It's in Hope Street, in the same building as the Central Train Station in Glasgow. Paul McGinn, Matt's nephew, is a great host.


19 Jul 03 - 12:21 PM (#986590)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: Big Tim

I've just finished reading "McGinn of the Calton": fascinating, humourous, and sad, in the light of Matt's premature death. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Glasgow, the human spirit and who enjoys a good laugh.                     

MMG joke: he is teaching, the Inspector calls, asks a wee boy "who pulled down the pillars of the Temple"? Wee boy: "well it wisnae me". To MMG: "what have you to say about that?". "Well, if the boy says it wisnae him...". To Head: "what have you to say about that?". Head: "Well MMG knows the boy well, and if he says it wisnae him..." To Education Committee: "what have you to say about that?". "We're sorry, it's a shame, shouldn't have happened, we'll send a couple of joiners round in the morning to fix it up again"!

Also listening to some of Matt's old records: it's like being back inside a 60s folk club.


21 Jul 03 - 02:24 PM (#987591)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: GUEST,theballadeer

Matt's latest press...Dylan meets McGinn


21 Jul 03 - 04:07 PM (#987662)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: Big Tim

In "Calton" Matt relates how he was paid 200 dollars to Dylan's 60 at Carnegie Hall in '62! Full circle or what.

I was planning to be in NYC for St Patrick's Day next year but if there's a McGinn tribute in April, I'd rather hold off and try and get a ticket for that.

Balladeer, could you keep us posted?


22 Jul 03 - 12:35 PM (#988212)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: GUEST

Phil Ferns is the man responsible for organising the Matt McGinn Tribute Concerts and Awards Ceremonies and his website is www.roots2thefuture.com

Of course, the balladers website is    www.theballadeers.com and it is a source of info about numerous Irish and Scottish singers.


22 Jul 03 - 12:50 PM (#988218)
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
From: GUEST,jimboy

The guy that wrote the aricle in the Scotsman couldn't have been at the concert in May because that was much more than a small concert; that was a splendid example of the talent, not only of Matt McGinn, but the talent that a city like Glasgow can offer to the world.

The range of material which just one man had written was astounding and the way it was interpreted through gospel style, drums, pop rythms, people reading poerty, and just good old folk music made for EXCELLENT entertainment. It was a very memorable night and I, like Big Tim, will be looking out to see when the concert is in New York; it sounds like great excuse to re-visit the place.