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Obit: Roy Palmer (1932-2015)

27 Feb 15 - 04:44 PM (#3690304)
Subject: Obit: Roy Palmer
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield

It is with great sadness that I have to report the death of the prolific writer on folk song and folklore, Roy Palmer, yesterday (26 February).

There can hardly be a singer of traditional English folk song who does not have a book by Roy Palmer on his or her book shelves. From Room for Company and Songs of the Midlands in the early 1970s through to books on the songs of soldiers, sailors, industrial works, agricultural workers, Roy always combined meticulous scholarship with the placing of the songs in the historical context of the period. His county folklore books ... from his native Leicestershire to Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire and several other counties ... were always packed with interesting detail.

He will be much missed.

Derek


27 Feb 15 - 04:49 PM (#3690306)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer
From: RTim

I did not get to meet him, but we corresponded a couple of times. I have most of his books and he seemed like a very nice gentleman who knew his stuff.

RIP.

Tim Radford


27 Feb 15 - 05:08 PM (#3690309)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer
From: Anne Lister

I have several of his books and am very sorry to hear of his death. What a legacy he has left behind him.

Anne


27 Feb 15 - 05:12 PM (#3690311)
Subject: RE: 2015 Obit: Roy Palmer
From: Joe Offer

I think I have at least ten Roy Palmer songbooks, maybe twenty. He certainly was prolific, and his work was always of the highest quality.
May he rest in peace.
-Joe-


27 Feb 15 - 05:52 PM (#3690324)
Subject: RE: 2015 Obit: Roy Palmer
From: Steve Gardham

What a sad loss! I have 20 of his books and consult them regularly. I have corresponded with Roy for many years and have contributed songs to his anthologies but only met him sporadically at TSF meetings and conferences. He was always willing to share his knowledge and his prolific output inspired a whole generation of researchers. His relating of folk song to printed sources inspired my own work in this field.

Thank-you, Roy!


27 Feb 15 - 05:58 PM (#3690326)
Subject: RE: 2015 Obit: Roy Palmer
From: Tradsinger

I had heard that he was seriously ill so not a surprise but what a loss to the folk world. My wife and I knew Roy and Pat very well and he was always generous to us in sharing his vast knowledge of folksong. He also came and sang at various Gloucestershire events that we were involved with.

He was a real gentleman - always friendly and helpful and we will miss him greatly.

Condolences to Pat although I doubt that she reads this forum.

Tradsinger


27 Feb 15 - 07:02 PM (#3690337)
Subject: RE: 2015 Obit: Roy Palmer
From: GUEST,henryp

Pat and Roy were more than generous to us. We were never allowed to pass Malvern without calling for tea.

They loved to show off the Malvern Hills, taking us on guided tours in search of bluebell woods and green-winged orchids too.

We would receive postcards from their unusual holiday destinations - Cape Trafalgar and the islands of Ischia and Ushant.

Roy had just announced his retirement from writing. But there is one more book to come - the subject is Crimea.

Henry and Freda


27 Feb 15 - 09:16 PM (#3690353)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: The Sandman

I met him a number of times, I accompanied his singing on my concertina, sadly the recording[brewhouse] appears to have disappeared, lovely man.RIP.DickMiles


28 Feb 15 - 05:13 AM (#3690411)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: GUEST,Mike Yates

Very sad news indeed. I had an email from Roy on the 18th of this month. In part it read, "I've just been correcting the proofs of my swansong,an 80 page book entitled Crimea: The Last Ballad War." I am sure that it will be up to his usual standard. I really am at a loss for words.


28 Feb 15 - 06:35 AM (#3690427)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: GUEST,PeterC

Very sad news indeed. I did correspond with him a few times when researching, and he was always very helpful and generous of his time. I was lucky enough to be on the stage for the ceremony at Cheltenham Town Hall when the Open University conferred an Honorary Degree on him for his services to folklore


28 Feb 15 - 07:02 AM (#3690433)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: mark gregory

So sad ... I learnt so much from his books especially and found him most generous with any queries I had about songs and ballads ... a researcher to the end it seems.


28 Feb 15 - 07:18 AM (#3690442)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: GUEST,Ed

I didn't know him personally.

I 'phoned him uninvited once to inquire about a song and he was an absolute gentleman.

RIP indeed


28 Feb 15 - 08:47 AM (#3690466)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

I met him and contributed to one of his books. He was one of natures Gentleman. How many songs have I learned from him over the years? God rest him, that is Sad news.


28 Feb 15 - 08:57 AM (#3690468)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: RoyH (Burl)

Roy was, as many here have already said, a real gentleman, a scholar to be respected, and a significant contributor to the folk scene by way of his excellent books. I always enjoyed meeting him and am sad to hear of his passing. Thanks you for your gifts Roy. Rest in Peace my friend.


28 Feb 15 - 09:36 AM (#3690481)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: MoorleyMan

RIP Roy, and thanks for everything.


28 Feb 15 - 12:07 PM (#3690514)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: Waddon Pete

Sad news indeed. I also corresponded with him back in the day. A very helpful researcher. I have added his name to the "In Memoriam" thread. My condolences to all who know and love him.

RIP


Peter


28 Feb 15 - 01:02 PM (#3690535)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: GUEST,Gilly

FGB and a good writer too, I have several of his books, 'The Sound of History ' is a masterpiece. They are all well written, meticulously researched and fascinating. RIP.


28 Feb 15 - 01:04 PM (#3690538)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: SPB-Cooperator

Big loss, spoke to him a couple of times at Lancaster Festival. Once introduced a song to which a put my own tune to a text-only version, and went on to mention that some years later I saw another version which Roy had collected, with the tune, and that I still preferred my version - not knowing that Roy was in the second row of the audience. He did take it in very good humour, even though I was acutely embarrassed! The next year when I spoke to Roy, he told me how he came bout the song. Great bloke...


28 Feb 15 - 03:30 PM (#3690574)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: GUEST,Anne Neilson

Lovely to read the comments of those who had direct contact with Roy Palmer, and who appreciated his scholarship.

But also an occasion to look to the future, and to build on his legacy. So please go to it!


28 Feb 15 - 04:26 PM (#3690593)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: Rank

I am indebted to him for his broadside publications and his correlation with history. I came a little late to his books, so most of mine are second hand. I wish I had been able to afford them in 1970 onwards. Sadly missed.


28 Feb 15 - 10:00 PM (#3690640)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: Bat Goddess

What Anne Lister said. I, too, have a number of his books in Tom's (Curmudgeon) and my collection. I never met or corresponded with him, but I feel his loss. But he's left a fine legacy of books.

Linn


01 Mar 15 - 08:37 AM (#3690708)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: GUEST,Susie

That is such sad news. He was an acquaintance of many years and had recently collaborated with the Village Quire on the works of Ella Mary Leather and, letterly, on the folklore of Shropshire, hares and Mary Webb before the first performance of 'Precious Bane'. A sweet man, always delighted to share his immense knowledge and his research. Poor Pat - what a chasm to fill..
Bless him.


02 Mar 15 - 05:55 AM (#3690878)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: GUEST

refresh


02 Mar 15 - 07:22 AM (#3690893)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: GUEST,Mark Dowding

Sorry to hear this news.
I met Roy and Pat a number of years ago when I was doing some research into the work of Harry Boardman and had a very interesting chat with him at his home (I was also visiting someone else in Malvern so took the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone). He gave me a very good introduction to the CD "Manchester Ballads" that I recorded with Chris Pollington that was based on the folder of songs of the same name in collaboration with Harry Boardman. I think he was really pleased that we had done this and brought the songs to a wider audience.
I met him more recently at the launch of his book "Working Songs" at the People's Museum in Manchester. I was surprised how many time my name was mentioned in the references to recorded versions of the songs that he had included. A very generous man and will be sadly missed by many.


02 Mar 15 - 09:01 AM (#3690919)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: Mr Red

He was also a gentle man.
He often popped in to the Putley Folk Festivals that Dave & Annie Jones ran, amazingly he was not there the night I collected "Old England She Needs Soldiers" (song here) in 1992. If he had - he would have collected it. However in my searches for more info he sponsored me for a pass to the Bodleain which did not produce any leads, Roy did. Because he had already written "What a Lovely War" (I got to review it for Folkwrite) it was too late for the book, but, as ever with Roy, it had lodged in his curiosity and 18 months later he came up with a derivative snippet - ever the researcher.
He was very interested when I gave him a recording (off air from the BBC) of Robert Graves singing a version of "The Old Barbed Wire" that RG sang in the trenches. Roy had included several versions but not this one, in "What a Lovely War", he even tried cajoling the Beeb to add to the story but copyright and editing balked that. - I still have the review copy of the book, bare sheets now comb bound. I treasure it, as with the memory of a really helpful guy.
Roy returned the favour when he gave a talk on Shanties and sea songs (possibly at Lancaster Maritime) - he wanted a light-hearted song to make his talk more rounded so he had a few CD's of the "Knittershanty" (song here) to give away and he was pleased with the result.


02 Mar 15 - 09:48 AM (#3690926)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: MGM·Lion

Desolated. Valerie [my late first wife] was features editor of the Teacher Newspaper [NUT] in the 1970s, and Roy was her folk book & record critic at the same time as I was the same for the TES, so we began with much in common. He and Pat and their 3 sons became close friends -- we would stay over in their home in Birmingham, and they would come to see us in Cambridge. When we first met, he had the magnificent title of Headmaster of The Dame Elizabeth Cadbury School, Bournville! He & I would swap songs infinitely, and review one another's work privately by mail, for many years.

I don't think we have seen one another since Valerie died -- I am a bit old to travel these sorts of distances now, and he was exactly my age -- both born 1932.

Adieu old friend.

≈Michael≈


02 Mar 15 - 01:22 PM (#3690969)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: GUEST,henryp

Michael - In the John Cleese film Clockwise, Roy had a part as an extra - playing a headmaster! Regards, Henry


02 Mar 15 - 01:57 PM (#3690979)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: GUEST,henryp

Here is the obituary from the Hereford Times;

Hereford Times


02 Mar 15 - 02:07 PM (#3690983)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: MGM·Lion

Ah, yes -- thanks for reminder, Henry. I remember him in Clockwise!


02 Mar 15 - 02:12 PM (#3690986)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: Harmonium Hero

Sorry to hear this. I have some of his books. I'd have more if I could afford all the books I want. They are always worth looking into for songs/versions and background information. People like him are the backbone of the Revival, without whom people like me, on the other hand, would have much smaller repertoires.
Condolences to his family, friends and those who have benefitted from his scholarship.
John Kelly.


03 Mar 15 - 11:07 AM (#3691169)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: GUEST,Will Palmer

I have just had the pleasure of showing this thread to my grandmother Pat after my uncle emailed her the link to it.

She was very touched and appreciates people's caring.

Will P


03 Mar 15 - 11:29 AM (#3691175)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: MGM·Lion

Will -- Who is your father — Simon, or Adam, or Tom? And which uncle? & please give them all, & Pat, my best regards. They might not know that my wife Valerie died 7 years ago, and I remarried in 2010.

≈Michael Grosvenor Myer≈


03 Mar 15 - 03:09 PM (#3691205)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: GUEST,George Frampton

I met Roy on one if not two occasions at Tradition Song Forum meetings. I was struck by his boundless enthusiasm. I also have a number of his books, but would like to add that he took great interest in whatever YOU were contributing. To my regret, I never did thank him for giving me (unprompted) a photograph of an eponymous pub in the West Midlands when I was researching the mundane subject of treacle mines! Maybe in the next world!


03 Mar 15 - 03:29 PM (#3691212)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: GUEST,Clive Pownceby

'A scholar and a gentleman' in this instance seems totally apt. A sad loss indeed. He will be greatly missed.


03 Mar 15 - 04:36 PM (#3691222)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: GUEST,Paul Knight

I have just read, through tears, all of your touching tributes to my uncle, thank you.
I am extremely proud of everyone in the Palmer side of the family.
They are all accomplished musicians.. I would have trouble playing the triangle!
Yes, Roy was indeed a scholar and a gentleman.
Rest in peace uncle Roy.

Paul Knight
Manager
Wigston Framework Knitters Museum.


04 Mar 15 - 04:27 PM (#3691515)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: GUEST

refresh


05 Mar 15 - 10:17 AM (#3691679)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (26 Feb 2015)
From: Brian Peters

Paul, how appropriate your job title is, for one related to Roy. His book on industrial song, 'A Touch on the Times', was essential to the singer looking for old songs with bite and a social conscience, and the recent 'Working Songs' is even better - a superb piece of work, simultaneously meticulous and impassioned. I've used many of his other books in my time.

I think I had the pleasure of meeting Roy just the once, when he and Pat came to Cheltenham Folk Festival at Henry P's invitation to see 'Sharp's Appalachian Harvest'. A charming and modest man, whose comments on our presentation were much treasured.


15 Apr 15 - 12:37 AM (#3701910)
Subject: Roy Palmer - RIP
From: GUEST,CJB

Obituary from the UK Independent:

RIP Roy Palmer (1932-2015)

Roy Palmer: Author whose passion for social history resulted in esteemed anthologies of folk song and folklore

RIP Roy Palmer (1932-2015)

CJB


15 Apr 15 - 06:03 AM (#3701935)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (1932-2015)
From: GUEST,henryp

And here's another from the Morning Star;

Roy Palmer: Folklorist, Singer And Socialist Educator

Roy Palmer - Morning Star


15 Apr 15 - 12:52 PM (#3702000)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (1932-2015)
From: The Sandman

I would appreciate it if anyone has the copy of the recording where i acompanied him on the concertina.


15 Apr 15 - 06:17 PM (#3702056)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (1932-2015)
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield

This was in The Guardian online a month ago, but so far has not been published in the print edition.

Roy Palmer in The Guardian

Derek


20 Apr 15 - 04:34 AM (#3703092)
Subject: RE: Obit: Roy Palmer (1932-2015)
From: Rain Dog

The obituary was published in The Guardian today Monday 20.4.15