Radio Ballads To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=14871
13 messages

Radio Ballads

31 Oct 99 - 01:27 PM (#130079)
Subject: Radio Ballads
From: Llanfair

Yesterday I bought two CDs of the Radio Ballads from Virgin in Shrewsbury. They are wonderful. I listened to "The Travelling People" as soon as I got home, and I'm enjoying "Singing the Fishing" now. They are so natural and the songs fit in seamlessly, they are works of art.
Just need to save up for the other 6. Anyone else aquired them? What do you think?
These are a brilliant way of introducing our kind of music to all sorts of people.
Bron. (at present, halfway across the north sea, searchin for those shoals of herring!)


31 Oct 99 - 02:05 PM (#130087)
Subject: RE: Radio Ballads
From: roopoo

I've got the set but I confess I haven't had time to settle down and listen to them. They are still in the wrappers!

mouldy


31 Oct 99 - 04:29 PM (#130130)
Subject: RE: Radio Ballads
From: Doctor John

I have several (mining, road building and railways) and intend to get some more. They really are excellent and have stood the test of time very well indeed. It is a great pity that more of these were not made (too expensive say the BBC) and there must have been other subjects that would have worked: any suggestions of something that might have been? Dr John


31 Oct 99 - 04:37 PM (#130131)
Subject: RE: Radio Ballads
From: Llanfair

The road building one is about the M1, isn't it? I want to get the railway one next. Did they do one about the canals? that would be good. I hadn't realised how many songs that I've known for years came from this series. Hwyl, Bron.


31 Oct 99 - 10:14 PM (#130223)
Subject: RE: Radio Ballads
From: lamarca

Ewen MacColl didn't do a Radio Ballad about the canals, but Jon Raven, John Kirkpatrick and others put together a neat recording called "The Bold Navigators", which intersperses songs and period narrative accounts about your canals in the UK. It was on Broadside Records originally as an LP, and has been re-released recently on CD, by Fellside, maybe? I highly recommend it. George Ward has made a recording of canal songs from the USA; it's fun to compare the two!


01 Nov 99 - 04:02 AM (#130328)
Subject: RE: Radio Ballads
From: Llanfair

Qh, thanks, Lamarca, I'll put that one on my Christmas list with the other radio ballads, sounds good, ta. Hwyl, Bron.


01 Nov 99 - 12:49 PM (#130466)
Subject: RE: Radio Ballads
From: GeorgeH

It seems to me that one reason why there couldn't have been a canals RB is that there was no longer a significant canal industry (and canal tourism was in its infancy).

Anyway, yes, I'm in the fortunate position that my wife bought me the set as a wedding aniversary present (mid-September). And I'm still working through them, in their original order; it's fascinating to follow their development.

One strong impression listening to them is how much they lay down the basis for ALL contemporary documentary making (i.e. TV as well as radio).

A long-overdue (re-)release; all congratulations to Topic.

And as I've pointed out before, there are reviews of many of the series over on Musical Traditions:

http://www.mustrad.org.uk

(each review by a different reviewer)

(assuming these revews have survived MusTrads recent web site trauma . .)

G.


01 Nov 99 - 01:28 PM (#130495)
Subject: RE: Radio Ballads
From: Doctor John

lamarca, very interested to hear the "Bold Navigators" has been released on CD; have any other Broadside recordings? There's "Steam Ballads", "Sporting Ballads" and others I don't have. I've never seen these CD rereleases. Does anyone know who has relased them? Dr Jon


01 Nov 99 - 01:38 PM (#130501)
Subject: RE: Radio Ballads
From: lamarca

Doctor John - checked my copy of Bold Navigators; the CD re-release is on Fellside. I don't have any of the old Broadside LPs except for their sampler, "A Feast of British Folk". I'm trying to lay my hands on affordable old vinyl copies of "Steam Ballads" and "Sporting Ballads" from some of the used LP sources I have here in the States. I hope that Fellside has plans to re-release more of them!


02 Nov 99 - 01:14 PM (#130920)
Subject: RE: Radio Ballads
From: Doctor John

lamarca, I've found "rockinworld" very good for old vinyl folk (in spite of name): they're on the net - expensive but excellent. I have a feeling that Mike Raven (Jon's brother) still has some new Broadside LP's but I can't find his list at the moment. If you're interested in importing from him I'll let you have his address. Crazy ,I import UK records from the States as I can't find them here! Dr John


02 Nov 99 - 01:23 PM (#130923)
Subject: RE: Radio Ballads
From: lamarca

Thanks, Dr. John - I've spent more than a few of my dollars with Charles at Rockinworld! I got a nice CD re-release of Halliard's old stuff put out by Mike Raven from Rockinworld, for example. I sort of stumbled onto British LPs by accident over here in the States in the mid-80's, just as folks like Trailer/Leader, Broadside, etc. were starting to go out of business. I'm just now discovering artists whose work I like as some of the stuff is being re-released on CD, and mourning that I didn't know about some of the records when they were still available. While the CDs are nice, they won't last forever the way my old vinyl copies of Nic Jones and Martyn Wyndham-Read have...


02 Nov 99 - 05:07 PM (#130996)
Subject: RE: Radio Ballads
From: Doctor John

Yes lamarca, the 70's were the golden age for English folk music. At that time I was perversly collecting folkmusic USA, importing Stinson records etc and never bought a single LP of the artists you mention. I only discovered them in the 90's when I heard Nic Jones, Jon Raven etc on programmes like "Folk on Two" on BBC radio. By then the LP's had long gone. Broadside still exists and let's hope Jon Raven will listen to my pleadings and rerelease them (he seems to have started) but Leader/Trailer is another story often seen on the Mudcat and in the folk music press. Thank goodness for Topic! Dr John.


02 Nov 99 - 05:17 PM (#130999)
Subject: RE: Radio Ballads
From: lamarca

Getting back on topic, we bought the entire set (from Wally at Camsco Music - unpaid advert. for great dealer), but so far have only listened to Singin' the Fishin, The Travellers and The Big Hewer. It was so wonderful to finally hear the original source of songs we had loved and been singing for years, like "Fisher Lassies", "Shoals of Herring", "Thirty-foot Trailer", "The Terror Time" and others. When I learn a song, I like to find out as much about the background of the song as possible, whether it's traditional or recently composed, and having the whole Radio Ballad gives a wealth of information and history. Hearing the voices of the people telling their stories in their own words interspersed with MacColl's songs is a treasure. I'm glad Topic re-issued these; A. L. Lloyd, one of its founders, would be pleased.