Alert: TONIGHT - Folk Britannia repeated on BBC2 for non-digital viewers

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Java Jive

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Sep 11, 2006, 1:59:06 PM9/11/06
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MUSIC: Folk Britannia

Channel: BBC 2 102

Date: Monday 11th September 2006

Time: 23:20 to 00:20 (starting in 4 hours and 22 minutes)

Duration: 1 hour.

Ballads and Blues.

First of three programmes celebrating the traditional folk music of the
British Isles. The folk revival of the 50s led to political struggles
between traditionalists and left-wing modernists. The birth of skiffle
subsequently ushered in a more bohemian brand of folk music. Contributors
include Peggy and Pete Seeger, Martin Carthy, Bob Davenport and Ramblin'
Jack Elliott.

(Widescreen, Subtitles)

Excerpt taken from DigiGuide - the world's best TV guide available from
http://www.getdigiguide.com/?p=1&r=2105

Copyright GipsyMedia Ltd.


Stephen Kellett

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Sep 11, 2006, 3:27:02 PM9/11/06
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In message <zo-dnXDbX4b...@eclipse.net.uk>, Java Jive
<ja...@evij.com> writes

>Time: 23:20 to 00:20 (starting in 4 hours and 22 minutes)

Thanks. Got myself a freeview box, but my old analog TV doesn't tune
into the output channel of the freeview box. So bought myself a newer
analog TV (cheapskate that I am on stuff like that) and it kept turning
itself off at every now and then (and reception is so poor I couldn't
get any BBC freeview channel anyway!) so I'm back to old 14" TV and 4
channels.

He Ho :-)

So its nice when they put Beeb4 on Beeb2.

Stephen
--
Stephen Kellett
Object Media Limited http://www.objmedia.demon.co.uk/software.html
Computer Consultancy, Software Development
Windows C++, Java, Assembler, Performance Analysis, Troubleshooting

Peter Thomas

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Sep 11, 2006, 8:24:10 PM9/11/06
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In message <zbCERuCG...@objmedia.demon.co.uk>, Stephen Kellett
<sn...@objmedia.demon.co.uk> writes

>In message <zo-dnXDbX4b...@eclipse.net.uk>, Java Jive
><ja...@evij.com> writes
>>Time: 23:20 to 00:20 (starting in 4 hours and 22 minutes)
>
>Thanks. Got myself a freeview box,

must be a blues in that
.....

>
>He Ho :-)
>
>So its nice when they put Beeb4 on Beeb2.
>

Hadn't realised on a first viewing just how much Shirley Collins
detested McColl. Can see why, though. Comic that he, perhaps
unwittingly, pushed people towards proper English stuff for its own
sake. Law of unintended consequences.

--
Peter Thomas

Julian Flood

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Sep 12, 2006, 10:59:30 AM9/12/06
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Peter Thomas wrote:

> Hadn't realised on a first viewing just how much Shirley Collins
> detested McColl. Can see why, though. Comic that he, perhaps
> unwittingly, pushed people towards proper English stuff for its own
> sake. Law of unintended consequences.

There's something self-satisfied about McColl, something that makes my
hand itch to cuff him behind the ear and tell him not to be so pleased
with himself. I wonder how he got on with real working-class people.

JF

Peter Thomas

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Sep 12, 2006, 4:45:22 PM9/12/06
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In message <4506c9ef$0$140$7b0f...@reader.news.newnet.co.uk>, Julian
Flood <jul...@ooopsfloodsclimbers.co.uk> writes
Had a name change, did he not? Deserted from the forces or something?
What was his original background?


--
Peter Thomas

Tony Quinn

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Sep 12, 2006, 5:06:59 PM9/12/06
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In message <y6bsBlEi...@godthoms.demon.co.uk>, Peter Thomas
<peterd...@doubledemon.co.uk.invalid> writes

Jimmy Miller from Salford- the accent was an affectation too
--
When the revolution comes, we'll need a longer wall.

Akura

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Sep 12, 2006, 5:25:01 PM9/12/06
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Funny, I feel exactly the same about Martin Carthy!

Chris Rockcliffe

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Sep 12, 2006, 6:32:58 PM9/12/06
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Peter Thomas12/9/06 21:45

Lordy - not that one again !!!

arrrgh!!!

CR
(sorry Peter, been there over and over)

Paul Burke

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Sep 13, 2006, 3:18:57 AM9/13/06
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Peter Thomas wrote:

> Had a name change, did he not? Deserted from the forces or something?
> What was his original background?

He didn't desert. He was abducted by aliens at a time when it was
neither profitable nor popular. The aliens inadvertently returned a
different person, as at that date their geography was poor and they got
confused between Salford and Glasgow, an understandable error under
wartime conditions. He kept putting his finger in his ear because the
primitive implant was large and uncomfortable, and rattled when he hit
the high notes.

Molly Mockford

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Sep 13, 2006, 3:35:23 AM9/13/06
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At 08:18:57 on Wed, 13 Sep 2006, Paul Burke <pa...@scazon.com> wrote in
<4mppvcF...@individual.net>:

Just as well that it was before the days of anal probes, really.
--
Molly Mockford
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
deserve neither liberty nor safety - Benjamin Franklin
(My Reply-To address *is* valid, though may not remain so for ever.)

Julian Flood

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Sep 13, 2006, 3:39:28 AM9/13/06
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Akura wrote:

>>> Hadn't realised on a first viewing just how much Shirley Collins
>>> detested McColl. Can see why, though. Comic that he, perhaps
>>> unwittingly, pushed people towards proper English stuff for its own
>>> sake. Law of unintended consequences.
>> There's something self-satisfied about McColl, something that makes my
>> hand itch to cuff him behind the ear and tell him not to be so pleased
>> with himself. I wonder how he got on with real working-class people.

> Funny, I feel exactly the same about Martin Carthy!

Really? There's a self-questioning about Carthy, even though he is,
perhaps, as determined in his beliefs as McColl was. I see M Carthy as
genuine, even when he's pig-headed, or wrong -- someone on the radio
talked about him teaching the fingering of a song to a student who asked
after a gig, not something I'd expect from McColl who would enroll you
on a course involving a severe quiz about your ethnic background* and
whether you were therefore entitled to sing the song you were asking
about. McColl comes across as a prig and a fraud and I'd class him up
there with Waugh as one of the most irritating-looking people of the
twentieth century. And yet...

How could a fraud write /The First Time/? How come I like so much of
McColl's music? Perhaps in person he was warm, pleasant, giving, and the
smirk on his face was mere nerves. Heaven forfend that we judge each
other on appearances.

JF
*I'd advise claiming celto-saxon-russo-jewish-English with many distant
cousins in eastern Europe and North America. That way you could play
skiffle and get right up his nose.

Java Jive

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Sep 13, 2006, 3:56:11 AM9/13/06
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Hey, have you been snooping into my family background :-)


"Julian Flood" <jul...@ooopsfloodsclimbers.co.uk> wrote in message
news:4507b44a$0$137$7b0f...@reader.news.newnet.co.uk...

Nick Wagg

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Sep 13, 2006, 4:16:04 AM9/13/06
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"Akura" <paper...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:1158096300.9...@h48g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...

Self-satisfied is not a phrase I would use to describe Martin Carthy.
Comfortable in his own skin? Yes.

As for getting on with real working-class people, I don't know
since I wouldn't class myself as such, but he seemed to be a good
bloke when I first met him at the age of 7 when he kipped on our
floor about 40 years ago. He has always seemed very approachable
and easy to get on with in the intervening years.

Whether he still kips on floors, I don't know, but I hope his old
bones don't have to put up with such maltreatment these days.


Marjorie Clarke

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Sep 13, 2006, 5:07:03 AM9/13/06
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"Nick Wagg" <n...@transcendata.com> wrote in message
news:ee8eo5$obp$1$8300...@news.demon.co.uk...

> "Akura" <paper...@aol.com> wrote in message
> news:1158096300.9...@h48g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
>>
>> Julian Flood wrote:
>>> Peter Thomas wrote:
>>>
>>> > Hadn't realised on a first viewing just how much Shirley Collins
>>> > detested McColl. Can see why, though. Comic that he, perhaps
>>> > unwittingly, pushed people towards proper English stuff for its own
>>> > sake. Law of unintended consequences.
>>>
>>> There's something self-satisfied about McColl, something that makes my
>>> hand itch to cuff him behind the ear and tell him not to be so pleased
>>> with himself. I wonder how he got on with real working-class people.
>>>
>>> JF
>>
>> Funny, I feel exactly the same about Martin Carthy!
>
> Self-satisfied is not a phrase I would use to describe Martin Carthy.
> Comfortable in his own skin? Yes.
>
> As for getting on with real working-class people, I don't know
> since I wouldn't class myself as such, but he seemed to be a good
> bloke when I first met him at the age of 7 when he kipped on our
> floor about 40 years ago. He has always seemed very approachable
> and easy to get on with in the intervening years.

I've always found Carthy an unassuming sort of guy, with no pretensions.
Whether he could get on with working-class people is not really an issue,
because, unlike McColl, he has never claimed to be representing them or
their music or their aspirations.


--
Best wishes,

Marjorie


Stephen Kellett

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Sep 13, 2006, 5:40:44 AM9/13/06
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In message <4507b44a$0$137$7b0f...@reader.news.newnet.co.uk>, Julian
Flood <jul...@ooopsfloodsclimbers.co.uk> writes

>about. McColl comes across as a prig and a fraud and I'd class him up

Well, based on his views I have no right to play those beautiful tunes
from the Auvergne. I think on that basis he is an idiot.

Julian Flood

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Sep 13, 2006, 6:40:07 AM9/13/06
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Java Jive wrote:


>> *I'd advise claiming celto-saxon-russo-jewish-English with many distant
>> cousins in eastern Europe and North America. That way you could play
>> skiffle and get right up his nose.

> Hey, have you been snooping into my family background :-)

There's a lot of it about. Dorothy L Sayers says somewhere that true
Englishmen are mongrels.

JF

Dick Gaughan

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Sep 13, 2006, 7:24:01 AM9/13/06
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In <C12CF42A.8D4CC%chrisro...@scripto99.demon.co.uk> on Tue,
12 Sep 2006 23:32:58 +0100, Chris Rockcliffe
<chrisro...@scripto99.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>Lordy - not that one again !!!

Maybe time for a new newsgroup.

alt.urbanmyths.maccoll.rehash-ad-nauseum

--
DG

Dick Gaughan

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Sep 13, 2006, 7:24:02 AM9/13/06
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In <4507b44a$0$137$7b0f...@reader.news.newnet.co.uk> on Wed, 13
Sep 2006 08:39:28 +0100, Julian Flood
<jul...@ooopsfloodsclimbers.co.uk> wrote:

>How could a fraud write /The First Time/?

Or Shoals of Herring or Sweet Thames or Freeborn Man or .....

>How come I like so much of McColl's music?

You have the ability to look beyond emphemeral bullshit and see
substance? Your ego is robust enough not to have to belittle
someone else's achievements to make yourself feel adequate?

>Perhaps in person he was warm, pleasant, giving,

That was my experience of him. And argumentative, talented,
knowledgable and several other attributes, the usual mix of human
traits, classifiable as positive or negative depending on how you
feel about them.

>and the smirk on his face was mere nerves.

Merely the shape of his face.

>Heaven forfend that we judge each other on appearances.

These days most people judge on little else. Much easier than all
that tedious thinking.

--
DG

Peter Thomas

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Sep 13, 2006, 8:49:05 AM9/13/06
to
In message <41pfg21lj431u9l6n...@4ax.com>, Dick Gaughan
<d...@dickgaughan.co.uk> writes
I rather thought 'not that one again' when I saw my own post, but it has
led to people praising the good in McColl and in Martin Carthy, so may
have been a useful peg for this.

--
Peter Thomas

Julian Flood

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Sep 13, 2006, 10:10:26 AM9/13/06
to
Peter Thomas wrote:
>
> I rather thought 'not that one again' when I saw my own post, but it has
> led to people praising the good in McColl and in Martin Carthy, so may
> have been a useful peg for this.

And him too. Oh, peg, I thought you said Pegg.

JF

Dick Gaughan

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Sep 14, 2006, 10:19:43 AM9/14/06
to
In <4mppvcF...@individual.net> on Wed, 13 Sep 2006 08:18:57

+0100, Paul Burke <pa...@scazon.com> wrote:

>He was abducted by aliens at a time when it was
>neither profitable nor popular.

And transported Myles away where he mutated into a bicycle.

--
DG

Steve Mansfield

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Sep 14, 2006, 3:07:20 PM9/14/06
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"Dick Gaughan" <d...@dickgaughan.co.uk> wrote in message
news:41pfg21lj431u9l6n...@4ax.com...

Or time for a FAQ entry maybe? Dick, could you post or email me the story
(or tell me to bog off to Google Gropes and find it myself of course) and
I'll get it in the doc?


--
Steve Mansfield
http://www.lesession.co.uk - abc music notation tutorial,
the uk.music.folk newsgroup FAQ, and other goodies
http://www.trebuchetmusic.co.uk - Trebuchet - concerts,
ceilidhs and celebrations for NW England and beyond.
Debut CD 'Salvo' now available!


*** To email me see http://www.lesession.co.uk/email.htm ***


Dick Gaughan

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Sep 15, 2006, 12:57:29 AM9/15/06
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In <ILhOg.1377$s4....@newsfe3-win.ntli.net> on Thu, 14 Sep 2006

19:07:20 GMT, "Steve Mansfield" <sfm...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>"Dick Gaughan" <d...@dickgaughan.co.uk> wrote in message
>news:41pfg21lj431u9l6n...@4ax.com...

>> Maybe time for a new newsgroup.
>>
>> alt.urbanmyths.maccoll.rehash-ad-nauseum
>

>Or time for a FAQ entry maybe? Dick, could you post or email me the story
>(or tell me to bog off to Google Gropes and find it myself of course) and
>I'll get it in the doc?

OK, here are a few FUQs about MacColl -

1. Ewan MacColl was born James Miller in Salford. His parents were
Scots, William Miller from Stirling and Betsy Henry from
Auchterarder. His father was a farm labourer turned foundry
worker.

2. MacColl was born and brought up within the industrial working
class. People unsure about this should read his autobiography.
Either he was brought up where he says he was brought up or he
spent several decades later on doing nothing but meticulously
detailed research. Which would mean he wouldn't have had time to
write all those plays, songs and radio ballads or record all those
albums, not to mention touring constantly with Peggy Seeger. Maybe
that was another Ewan MacColl.

3. He changed his name to Ewan MacColl in the early 1930s on
becoming involved with theatre. There was nothing sinister or even
unusual about this. It is extremely common amongst actors to adopt
a stage name different from the one on their birth certificates.
As MacColl was also doing a great deal of writing, there was even
less sinister or unusual about it. It was almost a rite of passage
for Scots writers of the 1930s to adopt a pen name different from
the one on their birth certificates. (For example, two of
Scotland's most famous 20th century writers were born Chris Grieve
and Leslie Mitchell but few would recognise them under those
names.) People who claim he changed his name to avoid National
Service are in error on both chronological and professional
grounds. They are usually people clutching at any old stick with
which to beat MacColl. The reasons why they feel a compulsion to
do this probably lie more within the realm of psychiatry than
music.

4. Attempting to discuss what MacColl did or did not do during
World War II on a Usenet newsgroup where the only possible
relevance to the group's topic is his work is a clear indication
that the one attempting to do so should immediately take two
aspirin and lie down in a darkened room for several months,
avoiding all attempts to use electronic equipment. Then find a
hobby.

5. And now, the greatest MacColl urban myth of them all - Ewan
MacColl did not create a rule in the Singers Club that people
should sing only songs from their own locality. Yes, such a rule
was adopted, but MacColl was not responsible.

6. Anything written about MacColl by Joan Littlewood should be
read with at least one braincell acknowledging the reality that
their marriage and professional relationship ended very
acrimoniously. Less biased sources than either of them are those
who were also involved with Theatre Workshop at the time and have
written about it, for example, Howard Goorney.

--
DG

Peter Thomas

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Sep 15, 2006, 8:11:17 AM9/15/06
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In message <ed9kg291035b2i93d...@4ax.com>, Dick Gaughan
<d...@dickgaughan.co.uk> writes
snip


>
>OK, here are a few FUQs about MacColl -
>
>1. Ewan MacColl was born James Miller in Salford. His parents were
>Scots, William Miller from Stirling and Betsy Henry from
>Auchterarder. His father was a farm labourer turned foundry
>worker.
>
>2. MacColl was born and brought up within the industrial working
>class. People unsure about this should read his autobiography.
>Either he was brought up where he says he was brought up or he
>spent several decades later on doing nothing but meticulously
>detailed research. Which would mean he wouldn't have had time to
>write all those plays, songs and radio ballads or record all those
>albums, not to mention touring constantly with Peggy Seeger. Maybe
>that was another Ewan MacColl.
>
>3. He changed his name to Ewan MacColl in the early 1930s on
>becoming involved with theatre. T

snip


> rite of passage
>for Scots writers of the 1930s to adopt a pen name

snip


> People who claim he changed his name to avoid National
>Service are in error on both chronological and professional
>grounds. They are usually people clutching at any old stick with
>which to beat MacColl. The reasons why they feel a compulsion to
>do this probably lie more within the realm of psychiatry than
>music.


So, a Thespian, and reinvented his persona. The motivation of those who
are, even idly, curious about his background should more properly be
discussed in the pub. As a starter, the fascination is what underlay a
superb artiste who seemed to have generated a fair decree of personal
rancour. All a bit before my time, of course. [By way of establishing
chronology, heard Swarbrick & Carthy in their early days somewhere in
London with impressive oak panelling when I was still at school.]


>
>4. Attempting to discuss what MacColl did or did not do during
>World War II on a Usenet newsgroup where the only possible
>relevance to the group's topic is his work is a clear indication
>that the one attempting to do so should immediately take two
>aspirin and lie down in a darkened room for several months,
>avoiding all attempts to use electronic equipment.

Ah. Had, broadly, this discussion about 1963 with a neighbour of my
parents. It was during a rare Sunday morning [lunchtime and later]
drinks pastry.

She, after a gin or two, about Joan Baez : 'Of course, such a pity that
she takes drugs.'

Myself, daringly as gawky, stammering, teenage son of hosts : 'She sings
as she does. Does it matter if she takes drugs' {these days I might ask
why it matters.]

She: 'Well, er, because...'


>Then find a hobby.

Thank you Mr Gaughan. Currently waiting for the microwave to finish
jacket potatoes before I resume tidying before sister-in-law comes and
younger son returns from a year at UCL. The guitar was briefly played
yesterday, though.


>
>5. And now, the greatest MacColl urban myth of them all - Ewan
>MacColl did not create a rule in the Singers Club that people
>should sing only songs from their own locality. Yes, such a rule
>was adopted, but MacColl was not responsible.

By whom, out of idle curiosity?


>
>6. Anything written about MacColl by Joan Littlewood should be
>read with at least one braincell acknowledging the reality that
>their marriage and professional relationship ended very
>acrimoniously. Less biased sources than either of them are those
>who were also involved with Theatre Workshop at the time and have
>written about it, for example, Howard Goorney.
>

View sources critically. Always good advice. Excellent piece of
narrative, thank you, Mr Gaughan.
.
Howard Goorney. Sounds like an entertaining read. Thank you. Quick
google lead me to wiki, more to find.


And now to lunch.
--
Peter Thomas

Dick Gaughan

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Sep 15, 2006, 12:21:13 PM9/15/06
to
In <lTp5r5Al...@godthoms.demon.co.uk> on Fri, 15 Sep 2006
13:11:17 +0100, Peter Thomas
<peterd...@doubledemon.co.uk.invalid> wrote:

>In message <ed9kg291035b2i93d...@4ax.com>, Dick Gaughan
><d...@dickgaughan.co.uk> writes
>>

>>5. And now, the greatest MacColl urban myth of them all - Ewan
>>MacColl did not create a rule in the Singers Club that people
>>should sing only songs from their own locality. Yes, such a rule
>>was adopted, but MacColl was not responsible.
>
>By whom, out of idle curiosity?

Here's what Peggy Seeger has to say about it.


------- start Peggy quote --------

The Ballads and Blues Club had been going really well since 1953.
I arrived in London in 1956. The club met at the Princess Louise
in High Holborn at that time and there was an impressive list of
residents: Alan Lomax, Ralph Rinzler, Isla Cameron, Fitzroy
Coleman, Seamus Ennis, Bert Lloyd, Ewan MacColl, et al. Bert was
singing English, Australian, N. American and Scottish songs; Ewan
was singing 'Sixteen Tons' and 'Sam Bass' alongside 'Eppie Morrie'
and 'The Banks of the Nile'; I regularly sang French, German and
Dutch songs alongside 'Barbara Allan' and 'Cumberland Gap'. Fitz
and Seamus stuck, respectively, to their Jamaican and Irish
material. Alan only sang songs that he and his father had
collected in the USA. There were many floor singers who came and
went - the Weavers turned up from New York and sang in three or
four different languages; a west London couple came regularly and
sang in Yiddish, a language which they did not speak; two French
students would sing Spanish Civil War songs; and so on. It was a
free-for-all and I will admit that it was a lot of fun. More about
that at another time.

It was that Cockney lad singing Leadbelly who started the rock
rolling downhill. Was it 1960 or so? Yes, it was that poor fellow
whose rendition of 'Rock Island Line' reduced me to hysterical
laughter one night. I was literally doubled over in my seat,
gasping. I had to be taken out of the room. Most unprofessional,
but I couldn't help it. I am North American. Woody Guthrie, Jean
Ritchie, Big Bill Broonzy, Leadbelly, et al, used to come to our
house in Washington. I knew what the song should sound like and
the manner of delivery and the insertion of Cockney vowels into a
southern USA black prisoners' song just sounded funny.

I was reprimanded by several members of the audience at the end of
the evening. When I explained my reasons, one of the French
students pointed out that the insertion of my American vowels into
French songs was also quite laughable. I then mentioned that
Ewan's rendition of 'Sam Bass' verged on parody. My children have
since pointed out that my Scots accent (on a number of
Seeger-MacColl records) is not exactly impeccable. But I am
straying ... the Cockney singer then confessed that he loved
Leadbelly's songs but was losing his confidence in singing them.
He was getting bored. I declared that I preferred singing songs
from the Anglo-American traditions and only sang the
French/German/Spanish songs for 'variety'. The discussion heated
up and was a main topic of conversation for several weeks
following. We laid the matter in front of all the residents and
interviewed the folks who paid at the door on the subject. The
decision to lay down guidelines for what you could sing on stage
was not made by Ewan MacColl - it was made by the residents and
members of the B&B Club (later known as the Singers Club). If it
became hewn in stone - well, that's the way things go.

This policy was meant for OUR club, not for other clubs. The
policy was simple: If you were singing from the stage, you sang in
a language that you could speak and understand. It didn't matter
what you sang in the shower, at parties, while you were ironing or
making love. But on stage in The Ballads and Blues Folk Club, you
were a representative of a culture - you were interpreting a song
that had been created within certain social and artistic
parameters. Incidentally, along with this policy came the request
from our newly-formed Audience Committee that we not sing the same
traditional song more than once every three months ... they were
getting tired of hearing the same songs week after week. This
forced us residents to learn new songs at an unholy rate. But it
brought out lots of new songs and ballads and really got us
thinking about how we sang what we were learning.

------- end Peggy quote --------


Those who had an interest in rubbishing MacColl took this policy -
which, as Peggy says, was developed by Ballads and Blues for their
own club - and propagated the myth of him rushing round the
country forcing folk clubs to adopt the B&B approach as to what
people should or should not sing in them. It always amuses me how
quickly the statement "It is our policy that we ..." can be
transformed via the bush telegraph into "You must ..."
To paraphrase someone whose name escapes me offhand (probably
either Emerson or James), "There is no lie as damaging as a truth
misinterpreted".

Anyway, the idea of MacColl or anyone else turning up at, for
example, the Hare and Hounds in Birmingham or the MSG in
Manchester and attempting to dictate anything to those who became
archetypical folk club "star" performers - like Tony Capstick,
Alex Campbell, Johnny Silvo or Noel Murphy - will bring a wry
smile to anyone who remembers the way folk clubs developed in the
late 60s/early 70s. "Anarchic" would be the wrong word as most
never developed even that level of organised policy regarding
performance content. And a Good Thing it was, too.

--
DG

Stephen Kellett

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Sep 15, 2006, 3:55:05 PM9/15/06
to
In message <mmhlg2950eh8d1p31...@4ax.com>, Dick Gaughan
<d...@dickgaughan.co.uk> writes

>This policy was meant for OUR club, not for other clubs. The
>policy was simple: If you were singing from the stage, you sang in
>a language that you could speak and understand. It didn't matter

Interesting. And this only applied to songs, not tunes? So I could play
tunes from the Auvergne without a problem. Ho hum, seems like the people
that made that Beeb4 program didn't do their research very well, even if
they did manage to interview you for the program.

Julian Flood

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Sep 15, 2006, 4:16:07 PM9/15/06
to
Dick Gaughan wrote:

> It didn't matter
> what you sang in the shower, at parties, while you were ironing or
> making love.

It says more about me than Miss Seeger that I thought about 'Bringing In
the Sheep' when I read that.

> a smile to anyone who remembers the way folk clubs developed in the


> late 60s/early 70s. "Anarchic" would be the wrong word as most
> never developed even that level of organised policy regarding
> performance content. And a Good Thing it was, too.

I went to folk clubs in the early 60s and then not until the late 80s. I
missed all the squabble but, had I been around, I'd have backed Shirley
Collin's side. Her assertion (I've just watched the video) that McColl
and those like him were trying to hijack the genre was, from my point of
view, valid. The music was her music, it did not belong to any political
agenda.

Listen to /My Old Man/. From my point of view McColl's father was a
communist agitator who was prepared to sell this country down the river
if he was ordered so to do by his masters in Moscow. He was one of
Stalin's useful idiots. Listen to the lyrics and he was a poor
hardworking slavey whose work was the only thing of value to the brutal
employers. Folk music is a poor medium for political discussion -- it is
too visceral for realistic assessment of the values*.

Listen to /Harvest Time/. McColl was wrong, but even though he was wrong
it is a great, and I choose the word carefully, song. Wherever people
are oppressed it is valid, even though it is no reliable predictor of
the outcome.

If it came to it, and we had to choose our side of the barricade, we'd
be on different sides of the wall. I'd still be singing your version of
/Crooked Jack/, but I'd still subscribe to view of the American who said
that the difference was one of aesthetics. Is it fun, is it artistic, is
it good to sing, not 'does it conform to the approved values of folk music'.

There was a brief mention of the CND folk songs. <settles into computer
chair, steam rising from ears> Perhaps my life on the nuclear front line
frees me from having to pay lip service to a bunch of idealists who
probably kept the Cold War going, and the Russian working classes
oppressed, for several years. It's just as well I never met John Brunner
which, moving in sf circles as I do, was quite possible. Had I done so I
might have triggered an apoplectic fit. I'm also excused the guilt trip
which many folkies feel when they consider the working class. Been
there, been lower than there, learnt that being confident of your own
values is more important than being told what to think. Anyway, I could
never sing /The H-Bomb's Thunder/ with a straight face.

JF
*But listen to Mark Knoffler's** /I'm Done With Bonaparte/. It's
universal, valid wherever people think that leaders are worth following
regardless of their behaviour because the ultimate goal is worthwhile.

** Yes, that one.

Dick Gaughan

unread,
Sep 15, 2006, 7:21:03 PM9/15/06
to
In <KBWqXTGZUwCFFw$H...@objmedia.demon.co.uk> on Fri, 15 Sep 2006
20:55:05 +0100, Stephen Kellett <sn...@objmedia.demon.co.uk>
wrote:

>Ho hum, seems like the people
>that made that Beeb4 program didn't do their research very well, even if
>they did manage to interview you for the program.

They didn't ask me anything about MacColl. Most of the answers I
gave to the questions they *did* ask me never made it into the
programmes. <naive> Perhaps they had an agenda. </naive>

--
DG

Dick Gaughan

unread,
Sep 15, 2006, 7:21:04 PM9/15/06
to
In <450b08a0$0$143$7b0f...@reader.news.newnet.co.uk> on Fri, 15
Sep 2006 21:16:07 +0100, Julian Flood
<jul...@ooopsfloodsclimbers.co.uk> wrote:

[much snippage of diatribes about Stalin and Willie Miller]

>I missed all the squabble but, had I been around, I'd have backed Shirley
>Collin's side. Her assertion (I've just watched the video) that McColl
>and those like him were trying to hijack the genre was, from my point of
>view, valid.

Julian, how do you know whether anyone else's assertions about
anything happening at that time are valid or invalid if you
weren't around? I wasn't around then either so I make no
judgments about whether Shirley's point of view is correct or not
without any concrete supporting evidence either way.

Especially when the other party's dead and therefore unable to
present the other side? Do you make a habit of forming your views
based on a hearing of only one unchallenged side of an argument?

What I do have concrete evidence for is that at the time he is
accused of trying to "hijack the genre" (whatever the hell that
means in a language I can speak) MacColl was writing stunning
plays which had a profound influence on British theatre, was
deeply involved in a revolution in broadcasting, was helping to
bring to the repertoire of a new generation a wealth of
traditional songs which had been forgotten, and was writing songs
of such power and durability that within a short time they had
been absorbed and were being sung by people all over the place,
many of whom claimed they were traditional. Personally, I wouldn't
mind seeing a few such hijackers around these days if they were
capable of doing all that.

>Folk music is a poor medium for political discussion

Music is a lousy medium for any kind of discussion about anything.

It is a superb medium for expressing one's individual views and
emotions about events in the world around one as has been done by
a host of musicians, from Beethoven and Wagner to Paul Robeson and
Victor Jara to Christy Moore and Ewan MacColl to countless
generations of traditional singers and songmakers in most parts of
the world.

--
DG

Richard Robinson

unread,
Sep 15, 2006, 11:42:26 PM9/15/06
to
Dick Gaughan said:
>
> country forcing folk clubs to adopt the B&B approach

"There will be one sausage, it will be from Walls, and it will be
pink in the middle. Tomatoes will be from a tin." ?

(sorree ...)

--
Richard Robinson
"The whole plan hinged upon the natural curiosity of potatoes" - S. Lem

My email address is at http://www.qualmograph.org.uk/contact.html

Julian Flood

unread,
Sep 16, 2006, 12:17:04 AM9/16/06
to
Dick Gaughan wrote:
>
>
>> I missed all the squabble but, had I been around, I'd have backed Shirley
>> Collin's side. Her assertion (I've just watched the video) that McColl
>> and those like him were trying to hijack the genre was, from my point of
>> view, valid.
>
> Julian, how do you know whether anyone else's assertions about
> anything happening at that time are valid or invalid if you
> weren't around? I wasn't around then either so I make no
> judgments about whether Shirley's point of view is correct or not
> without any concrete supporting evidence either way.

Alas, it fits with my prejudices. Therefore, it must be right*.

>> Folk music is a poor medium for political discussion

> Music is a lousy medium for any kind of discussion about anything.

There are, however, folk songs (if you define widely enough)which teach
biochemical metabolic pathways -- the bounds of the medium are not yet
fully explored.


>
> It is a superb medium for expressing one's individual views and
> emotions about events in the world around one as has been done by
> a host of musicians, from Beethoven and Wagner to Paul Robeson and
> Victor Jara to Christy Moore and Ewan MacColl to countless
> generations of traditional singers and songmakers in most parts of
> the world.

JF <walks off singing>

*We say things with straight faces in Coney Weston.

Phil Taylor

unread,
Sep 16, 2006, 7:40:44 AM9/16/06
to
In article <450b7956$0$136$7b0f...@reader.news.newnet.co.uk>, Julian
Flood <jul...@ooopsfloodsclimbers.co.uk> wrote:


> There are, however, folk songs (if you define widely enough)which teach
> biochemical metabolic pathways -- the bounds of the medium are not yet
> fully explored.

Only biochemical folksong I know goes to the tune of Maria from West
Side Story:

Urea!
I've got a high blood urea
I've been trying all the day
To urinate it all away.
Urea!
Soon they'll come and they'll dialyse me
For the stuff crystallises inside me...

(Written by Dr. Paul Agutter, best known for poisoning the inhabitants
of Edinburgh with atropine in tonic water bottles.)

Phil Taylor

Peter Thomas

unread,
Sep 16, 2006, 7:57:37 AM9/16/06
to
In message <mmhlg2950eh8d1p31...@4ax.com>, Dick Gaughan
<d...@dickgaughan.co.uk> writes
>In <lTp5r5Al...@godthoms.demon.co.uk> on Fri, 15 Sep 2006
>13:11:17 +0100, Peter Thomas
><peterd...@doubledemon.co.uk.invalid> wrote:
>>In message <ed9kg291035b2i93d...@4ax.com>, Dick Gaughan
>><d...@dickgaughan.co.uk> writes
>>> people should sing only songs from their own locality. Yes, such a
>>>rule was adopted, but MacColl was not responsible.
>>By whom, out of idle curiosity?

snip - super Peggy quote from Mr Gaughan, thank you.

Ah for the days of Surrey people attempting the accent of the
Appalachians or somewhere in Scotland. Alex Campbell recorded an LP 'Way
Out West'. From memory, still sounded pretty Scots.

snip


>It always amuses me how
>quickly the statement "It is our policy that we ..." can be
>transformed via the bush telegraph into "You must ..."

snip


> attempting to dictate anything to those who became archetypical folk
>club "star" performers -

...


>- will bring a wry smile to anyone who remembers the way folk clubs
>developed in the late 60s/early 70s. "Anarchic" would be the wrong word
>as most never developed even that level of organised policy regarding
>performance content. And a Good Thing it was, too.

I have this 1960s memory of Danny Denninberg doing the Gresford
Collliery Disaster very distinctively every two or three weeks, and Eric
richly alternating Good Ale, Booze booze the Fireman cried. Also Will
you go lassie, go from someone and the protest/singer/songwritery stuff.
Anarchy, and not so swamped in talent locally that the less perfect
performers doubtful couldn't get an airing.
--
Peter Thomas

Dick Gaughan

unread,
Sep 16, 2006, 10:49:57 AM9/16/06
to
In <AE8A+ABx...@godthoms.demon.co.uk> on Sat, 16 Sep 2006
12:57:37 +0100, Peter Thomas
<peterd...@doubledemon.co.uk.invalid> wrote:

>Ah for the days of Surrey people attempting the accent of the
>Appalachians or somewhere in Scotland. Alex Campbell recorded an LP 'Way
>Out West'. From memory, still sounded pretty Scots.

The two finest renderings of Henderson's "Freedom Come Aa Ye" I
ever heard were rendered respectively in broad Dublin and North
American accents by Luke Kelly and Pete Seeger. I would suggest
that the *real* problem is, not singing in languages/dialects not
native to the singer, but a failure to do sufficient homework into
understanding the nuances of that language as used in the song. To
be fair to Peggy, she does imply this in her comments.

The mere whiff of anyone attempting to tell anyone (in particular,
me) what they should or should not sing is usually enough to hike
my BP several notches :)

There's a hell of a difference between saying "I don't like the
way you sing that" or "I don't think you really understand that
song yet" and saying "You shouldn't be singing that". The former
are fine, the latter an invitation to a very rude retort.

I can understand why people would resent the idea that Ewan might
have done it but I have never, to date, heard a first-hand
verifiable account of him having done it outside the workshop
environment of the Critics Group. I wasn't involved with that and
my own experience of him was extremely positive, but I know most
of those who were and have heard many contradictory opinions which
brand him as everything from a saint to a tyrant.

Whether saint or tyrant is irrelevant to me. MacColl's work speaks
for itself and it's his work I'm exclusively interested in and
regard the rest as gossip. In time, once we're all long gone, it's
his work upon which he will be judged.

--
DG

Dick Gaughan

unread,
Sep 16, 2006, 10:49:59 AM9/16/06
to
In <12gmsl2...@corp.supernews.com> on Sat, 16 Sep 2006

03:42:26 -0000, Richard Robinson <rich...@privacy.net> wrote:

>"There will be one sausage, it will be from Walls, and it will be
>pink in the middle. Tomatoes will be from a tin." ?

"... and Richard is Its Prophet."

I'll join, where do I send the cheque?

--
DG

Dick Gaughan

unread,
Sep 16, 2006, 10:49:58 AM9/16/06
to
In <450b7956$0$136$7b0f...@reader.news.newnet.co.uk> on Sat, 16
Sep 2006 05:17:04 +0100, Julian Flood
<jul...@ooopsfloodsclimbers.co.uk> wrote:

>Alas, it fits with my prejudices. Therefore, it must be right*.

Heh!

Nice to see that someone still knows how to troll properly :)

--
DG

Arthur Marshall

unread,
Sep 16, 2006, 11:15:04 AM9/16/06
to
The message <vi1og21ovflce9qki...@4ax.com>
from Dick Gaughan <d...@dickgaughan.co.uk> contains these words:

A risky question on this newsgroup. No-one has that many chequebooks...

--

Arthur Marshall
Caller for Traditional Dances
nb Lord Byron's Maggot
http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/barndancer

Richard Robinson

unread,
Sep 16, 2006, 12:11:16 PM9/16/06
to
Dick Gaughan said:
> 03:42:26 -0000, Richard Robinson <rich...@privacy.net> wrote:
>
>>"There will be one sausage, it will be from Walls, and it will be
>>pink in the middle. Tomatoes will be from a tin." ?
>
> "... and Richard is Its Prophet."
>
> I'll join, where do I send the cheque?

Cheque ? I never expected to make a prophet on it.

Steve Mansfield

unread,
Sep 17, 2006, 8:10:14 AM9/17/06
to
> Here's what Peggy Seeger has to say about it.
>

Hi Dick

What's the source of that quote from Peggy Seeger?

Cheers

Steve Mansfield

unread,
Sep 17, 2006, 8:22:35 AM9/17/06
to
> Hi Dick
>
> What's the source of that quote from Peggy Seeger?
>
> Cheers

Ah, that was meant to be an email to the DG himself rather than via UseNet,
but never mind.

I'll get the hang of this InterWeb thingie one day (probably just in time
for the massed ranks of herd consciousness WikiWibblers to replace it with
Web 2.0) ...

Dick Gaughan

unread,
Sep 17, 2006, 2:00:14 PM9/17/06
to
In <GWaPg.18720$TF5....@newsfe1-win.ntli.net> on Sun, 17 Sep 2006

12:10:14 GMT, "Steve Mansfield" <sfm...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>What's the source of that quote from Peggy Seeger?

A letter to "Living Tradition" a few years back.

(It's also worth reading her introductions to her songbooks, both
her own and Ewan's.)

--
DG

Nicholas Waller

unread,
Sep 17, 2006, 4:12:33 PM9/17/06
to

Dick Gaughan wrote:
> In <GWaPg.18720$TF5....@newsfe1-win.ntli.net> on Sun, 17 Sep 2006
> 12:10:14 GMT, "Steve Mansfield" <sfm...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> >What's the source of that quote from Peggy Seeger?
>
> A letter to "Living Tradition" a few years back.

It's on their website here:
http://www.folkmusic.net/htmfiles/edtxt39.htm

--
Nick

johnb

unread,
Sep 18, 2006, 5:35:16 AM9/18/06
to

Should some of this be in a separate thread? Or has it all been
discussed before?

Whatever, even in the eighties I came across this attitude of "sing
from your background or it's not valid". A band I used to play in did
a spot at a club (in Birmingham I think) where the main guests were
Gary & Vera Aspey. Gary spoke to us at the end of the night and
expressed his opinion that we shouldn't be singing songs that had
nothing to do with us, that we should only sing songs that had to do
with our own backgrounds (career, where we came from). I said that my
father was a Methodist Minister and consequently I'd never lived
anywhere long enough to feel like I really belonged there, therefore
what was I entitled to sing (apart from the Methodist hymn book)? I
didn't get an answer.

Having said that, I have often heard people doing songs that just don't
sound right, and I think the problem is (as mentioned elsewhere) that
people don't really try to understand what it is they're singing.
Worse still there are many who simply try to copy the version they have
on record. [I have actually been told off for not singing something
precisely the way its author recorded it. Even once been told "that
song should be sung in A, not F#".]

I wish we could implement a rule that stopped people from singing
non-folky songs very badly - but how the hell could you ever define
that? We'll often come across half a dozen who'll agree with us that
"such and such" is awful, then one who enthuses about how great the
same "such and such" was.

[Whoops, sorry. Taking a Monday morning ramble and I think I've lost
my way a bit ...]

Stephen Kellett

unread,
Sep 18, 2006, 6:04:08 AM9/18/06
to
In message <1158572116.3...@m73g2000cwd.googlegroups.com>,
johnb <john...@tinyworld.co.uk> writes

>Whatever, even in the eighties I came across this attitude of "sing
>from your background or it's not valid".

Its the attitude that is not valid. Its bull, pure and simpler. Snobbery
at its most polished.

>precisely the way its author recorded it. Even once been told "that
>song should be sung in A, not F#".]

And if your voice has the required range in F# but not in A? Quite. This
attitude is also bull. There is not "should" - there may be "the
original was sung is A" etc.

Marjorie Clarke

unread,
Sep 18, 2006, 6:43:14 AM9/18/06
to

"johnb" <john...@tinyworld.co.uk> wrote in message
news:1158572116.3...@m73g2000cwd.googlegroups.com...

>
> Should some of this be in a separate thread? Or has it all been
> discussed before?
>
> Whatever, even in the eighties I came across this attitude of "sing
> from your background or it's not valid". A band I used to play in did
> a spot at a club (in Birmingham I think) where the main guests were
> Gary & Vera Aspey. Gary spoke to us at the end of the night and
> expressed his opinion that we shouldn't be singing songs that had
> nothing to do with us, that we should only sing songs that had to do
> with our own backgrounds (career, where we came from). I said that my
> father was a Methodist Minister and consequently I'd never lived
> anywhere long enough to feel like I really belonged there, therefore
> what was I entitled to sing (apart from the Methodist hymn book)? I
> didn't get an answer.

This sounds like just the sort of "thou shalt not..." attitude that Dick is
deploring. I'm not aware of anyone who says that nowadays, although I think
the Aspeys are still on the circuit. A lot of songs would soon become
extinct if this rule was applied -
mining songs- only for miners
shanties - not unless you're a seafarer
country or farming songs - not for town-dwellers
hunting songs - illegal
Star of the County Down - not unless ..... hey, hang about, there could be
some point to this after all!

No, seriously, it wouldn't work, would it? We'd all have to be hunting
around for songs about computers, or divorce, or commuting to work, or tax
credits, or living in Crawley, or holidays in Spain.

> Having said that, I have often heard people doing songs that just don't
> sound right, and I think the problem is (as mentioned elsewhere) that
> people don't really try to understand what it is they're singing.

Very true. That may well be because it's from a linguistic or cultural
background they don't share, or simply that they haven't bothered to think
about what the song means or how it would sound best.

> Worse still there are many who simply try to copy the version they have
> on record.

And that's one more reason that it may sound wrong - the singer may be
attempting it without accompaniment, or without the full band
arrangement/backing vocals they've heard on record, and what they hear in
their heads is not what their audience hears.

[I have actually been told off for not singing something
> precisely the way its author recorded it. Even once been told "that
> song should be sung in A, not F#".]

Aaaaaargh! I hope you told the critic that this was your version, for your
voice, and if he wanted to hear XXX's version he could stay at home and
listen to the record.

>
> I wish we could implement a rule that stopped people from singing
> non-folky songs very badly - but how the hell could you ever define
> that? We'll often come across half a dozen who'll agree with us that
> "such and such" is awful, then one who enthuses about how great the
> same "such and such" was.
>
> [Whoops, sorry. Taking a Monday morning ramble and I think I've lost
> my way a bit ...]

Not at all. I think you've got some good points. I suppose part of the
problem is that most folk clubs nowadays have such tenuous support and
attendance that no one dares suggest any ground-rules or even guidelines
about what sort of song or contributions are most (and least) welcomed, or
how the performances could be enhanced. Anyone who'll get up and do anything
is welcomed and applauded, which is all very worthy and inclusive, but can
lead to some painful moments. It's gone to the other extreme from the "only
from your own background" attitude, and it would be a brave club that tried
to have any sort of quality control. But it's an interesting idea.


--
Best wishes,

Marjorie


Jon Freeman

unread,
Sep 18, 2006, 6:52:52 AM9/18/06
to
johnb wrote:
> Even once been told "that
> song should be sung in A, not F#".]

What was the situation? I've not known people be concerned about what
key another is using unless it's a join in event where G or A might well
be preferred to F# and people also might like to go for an "established"
key, just for reasons of accommodating all the instruments.

Jack Campin - bogus address

unread,
Sep 18, 2006, 7:01:57 AM9/18/06
to
> Whatever, even in the eighties I came across this attitude of "sing
> from your background or it's not valid". A band I used to play in did
> a spot at a club (in Birmingham I think) where the main guests were
> Gary & Vera Aspey. Gary spoke to us at the end of the night and
> expressed his opinion that we shouldn't be singing songs that had
> nothing to do with us, that we should only sing songs that had to do
> with our own backgrounds (career, where we came from). I said that
> my father was a Methodist Minister and consequently I'd never lived
> anywhere long enough to feel like I really belonged there, therefore
> what was I entitled to sing (apart from the Methodist hymn book)?
> I didn't get an answer.

Fair enough, but that directive can be a useful reminder. The British
(and particularly English) folk scene is still suffering from a
cultural cringe that says the only real folk music comes from Ireland
or the American South. There will *always* be some sort of local
tradition you can plug into if you look for it, and shutting up with
"The Fields of Athenry" is an obvious first step towards it.

It isn't just locals who think that way - I know one Scottish bloke
who went to East Anglia for a few years and came back insisting that
there was no folk music from there at all. The pubs there may not be
exactly ringing with Norfolk melodies, but somebody who'd put as much
effort as he had into learning 200-year-old Scottish songs could surely
have noticed *something* of the traditions of his adopted home.

============== j-c ====== @ ====== purr . demon . co . uk ==============
Jack Campin: 11 Third St, Newtongrange EH22 4PU, Scotland | tel 0131 660 4760
<http://www.purr.demon.co.uk/jack/> for CD-ROMs and free | fax 0870 0554 975
stuff: Scottish music, food intolerance, & Mac logic fonts | mob 07800 739 557

Mike Edie

unread,
Sep 18, 2006, 7:13:47 AM9/18/06
to
johnb wrote:
> Should some of this be in a separate thread? Or has it all been
> discussed before?
>
> Whatever, even in the eighties I came across this attitude of "sing
> from your background or it's not valid". A band I used to play in did
> a spot at a club (in Birmingham I think) where the main guests were
> Gary & Vera Aspey. Gary spoke to us at the end of the night and
> expressed his opinion that we shouldn't be singing songs that had
> nothing to do with us, that we should only sing songs that had to do
> with our own backgrounds (career, where we came from). I said that my
> father was a Methodist Minister and consequently I'd never lived
> anywhere long enough to feel like I really belonged there, therefore
> what was I entitled to sing (apart from the Methodist hymn book)? I
> didn't get an answer.

Son of a preacher man, eh? I feel a song coming on ...

johnb

unread,
Sep 18, 2006, 7:14:55 AM9/18/06
to

It was in an informal session and somebody was trying to play along
with me, didn't even check by looking at what chords I was playing and
looked put out when his chord didn't sound right.

I also recall playing a tune in G in an informal session and a guitar
player accompanied us all the way through playing the chords as if in D
and didn't seem to notice :-) When it was pointed out, the reply was
"we *always* play it in D".

Jon Freeman

unread,
Sep 18, 2006, 7:42:48 AM9/18/06
to
johnb wrote:

> I also recall playing a tune in G in an informal session and a guitar
> player accompanied us all the way through playing the chords as if in D
> and didn't seem to notice :-) When it was pointed out, the reply was
> "we *always* play it in D".

Drifting but that's a little more familiar to me. I have on rare
occasions encountered a guitar player who will carry through a set
sequence of chords quite unaware that everyone else is in a different key.

I've never understood that one. I'm lousy (and therefore don't attempt
in sessions) for example at finding chords to fit a number of the Irish
tunes which need more than the straight GCD, etc. so I can understand
people having difficulty finding chords for some tunes but what I can't
figure out is why some people seem to have difficulty in hearing that
the chords they are playing simply do not fit.

Anahata

unread,
Sep 18, 2006, 7:49:43 AM9/18/06
to
johnb wrote:
> the main guests were
> Gary & Vera Aspey. Gary spoke to us at the end of the night and
> expressed his opinion

I'm sure he did. I'd never take him seriously.

> I have actually been told off for not singing something
> precisely the way its author recorded it.

Many excellent songs have been written by authors whose own performances
do nothing for the song and are therefore best not emulated. If it's
supposed to be a folk song you *expect* other people to run with it and
do their own version.

Not that I think a song should be turned into something it isn't. I
entirely agree with Peggy Seeger's views about "female singers lilting
'Ranzo Ranzo Way Away' as if it were a lullaby or a love song" or the
version of Sir Patrick Spens with "four fiddles, two double basses,
drums, electric guitar and unintelligible lyrics".

But maybe my/our mission of making traditional music accessible to those
who aren't familiar with it will fail because I'm not making it into pop
music.

Anahata

Chris Rockcliffe

unread,
Sep 18, 2006, 8:00:47 AM9/18/06
to
Jack Campin - bogus address18/9/06 12:01

> There will *always* be some sort of local tradition you can plug into if
> you look for it, and shutting up with "The Fields of Athenry" is an obvious
> first step towards it.

Don't know about local traditions round here though... we tend to sing
anything and everything.. ...in a remote rural local session two weeks ago
here, a chap started, The Fields of Athenry, singing it unaccompanied and
rather flatly as it happens... I think it is a regular song for the pub...

Half way through the 2nd verse, the landlord - who had been in the adjacent
room - appeared at the door of the session room with a shotgun over his arm
and just stood there staring... absolutely true... !

The chap stopped singing... *That... is more than mind and body can stand*,
says he... damn it - it was a very funny part of an excellent night, (I'm
still laughing now) but yer man was determined to finish the song and did
so...

CR

Mike Edie

unread,
Sep 18, 2006, 8:16:22 AM9/18/06
to
Anahata wrote:

> But maybe my/our mission of making traditional music accessible to those
> who aren't familiar with it will fail because I'm not making it into pop
> music.
>
> Anahata

I'd vote for you on X-Factor.

Mike Edie

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Sep 18, 2006, 9:20:19 AM9/18/06
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I thought I'd start a fresh branch of this thread and get away from The
McColl/MacColl clatter.

Anyway, Al Stewart. He appears very briefly in programme #1 (I think)
and vanishes there after. I Googled him and saw he is playing Cambridge
later this year but tickets are a whacking £25. (£8 cheaper in
Edinburgh!). Well, he's coming from the USA and has a wine collection to
maintain, so more power to him.

What surprised me is that he is also playing the Albert Hall. My
question is: who is he? How come he can fill the Albert Hall? Is he a
big folk cheese? I've barely heard of him and can't think of a single
song he's done that I've heard before. What have I missed? Is he any
good? Rememebr that Daniel O'Donell (shiver) can probably pack the
Albert Hall.

In an interview Al Stewart said "I earn about the same as a doctor". How
far up the folk glitteraty would that put him? I have absolutely no idea
how much your average professional finger-in-the-ear folk musician earns.


Dick Gaughan

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Sep 18, 2006, 9:53:57 AM9/18/06
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In <1158523952....@m7g2000cwm.googlegroups.com> on 17 Sep

Thanks for that Nick. I wasn't sure if it was archived or not but
reckoned if anyone else wanted it they'd track it down :)

--
DG

Julian Flood

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Sep 18, 2006, 9:57:09 AM9/18/06
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Someone wanted to cause trouble to those playing melodeons? Oh, no, that
was E#, wasn't it. E# is the bad key for melodeons.

JF

Julian Flood

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Sep 18, 2006, 10:08:47 AM9/18/06
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Jon Freeman wrote:

>
> Drifting but that's a little more familiar to me. I have on rare
> occasions encountered a guitar player who will carry through a set
> sequence of chords quite unaware that everyone else is in a different key.
>
> I've never understood that one. I'm lousy (and therefore don't attempt
> in sessions) for example at finding chords to fit a number of the Irish
> tunes which need more than the straight GCD, etc. so I can understand
> people having difficulty finding chords for some tunes but what I can't
> figure out is why some people seem to have difficulty in hearing that
> the chords they are playing simply do not fit.

I am hijacking the address of the poster -- it's not him OK, just a
spammer or whatever they call it -- because I'd hate anyone to guess who
I'm talking about. The other day I... he was practicing with a fiddle
player and a squueezebox player. We... they did a whole tune with the
guitar merrily strumming away. that went all right we said and then
discovered I'd been in D, not G.

Are the two close or something? What if you miss out strings and play
parts of chords, do they fit? maybe that's what I'm... he's doing.

Not JF at all, no way. Just a tone-deaf beginner.

Jon Freeman

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Sep 18, 2006, 10:17:26 AM9/18/06
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Julian Flood wrote:

> Someone wanted to cause trouble to those playing melodeons? Oh, no, that
> was E#, wasn't it. E# is the bad key for melodeons.

Lots of keys can be bad or impossible for melodeons*. All they have got
is one or more diatonic rows. Some notes might not exist and where they
exist, accidentals can be awkwardly placed...

*I've found in various debates, there isn't universal agreement on the
name. Some class the chromatic boxes such as a B/C as melodeons,
classing the others as button accordions, others reserve the term
melodeon for the one row boxes, etc.

Nick Wagg

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Sep 18, 2006, 10:19:02 AM9/18/06
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"Mike Edie" <mike...@nospamthankyoumam.com> wrote in message
news:11585859...@storm.cam.harlequin.co.uk...

>
> What surprised me is that he is also playing the Albert Hall. My question
> is: who is he?

I presume he is the Al Stewart of "The Year of the Cat" fame.


Mike Edie

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Sep 18, 2006, 10:23:03 AM9/18/06
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Is there not a thing in blues called "cross harp" referring to playing
in G on a mouth organ when the song key is C?

Consequently I'd think the cross key for G would be D and thus you could
get away with something.

M

PS: I have the musical education of a Neanderthal, so flame away.

johnb

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Sep 18, 2006, 10:24:23 AM9/18/06
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Basic Root-IV-V in key of G : G C D
Basic Root-IV-V in key of D : D G A

So you see they are "related" and may sometimes sound "close enough".

Reminds me of a session player (probably more than one) who annunces
"key of D" when what they mean is "the first note I'm playing is D" and
then off they go in the key of G (or whatever).

I'm lucky enough to have the sort of ear that can pick out the right
chords to most folk things (jazz? no chance :-). It's interesting
when tunes take a step away from the usual Root-IV-V to see what the
guitarists are playing. My favourite is Chief O'Neill's Favourite
where in the B part a tune that started in D lurches into a bar in F
and a lot of (inexperinced?) accompanying rhythm players start looking
round desperately for someone who *has* a clue.

Mike Edie

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Sep 18, 2006, 10:26:43 AM9/18/06
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Yes, but its the "fame" but that puzzles me. Is this an all time classic
record you all have carefully stashed somewhere? I'm 41 year old now and
I've never heard someone say "play Year of the Cat". I've no idea what
the songs sound like generally apart from a few seconds on the telly. He
seemed to have a distinctive voice though. Hence my interest (which
won't stretch to £25).

M:)

Nicholas Waller

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Sep 18, 2006, 10:24:53 AM9/18/06