The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #142469 Message #3289144
Posted By: Jim Carroll
12-Jan-12 - 03:50 AM
Thread Name: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
Bryan (sorry, I know that's the spelling - memory lapse)
No - it certainly isn't a fair description of what happens in pro-anti MacColl arguments - not in my experience anyway. Every one I have witnessed or been involved in has bogged down in personality; I can not recall one single argument which has extended beyond the 'legend of Jimmy Miller' stage.
"So why do people attack him? "
Why did John Brune attempt to sabotage the most influential Radio Ballads - 'The Travelling People' by attempting to include recordings of fake traditional singers (as described by Sheila Stewart in a Living Tradition interview?)
Why has it been consistently claimed that MacColl didn't write Shoals of Herring or Freeborn Man, but stole them from traditional singers and copyrighted them?
Why was it suggested that The Radio Ballads were the creations of Charles Parker and Ewan and Peggy merely wrote the songs (while at the same time claiming that until Parker prsented MacColl to the public he was an unknown and insignificant singer)?
Why is it virtually impossible to get a discussion going on MacColl's work and ideas without getting totally sidetracked by personal attacks, as has happened on this forum over and over again?
You tell me.
"No you haven't."
Yes I have - we can go on with this forever.
I responded to Derek's posting by pointing out that the only evidence of MacColl's opinion of Dylan that has been produced here is the existance of a satirical article written around 1965 (no quotes from it) and a reported private telephone conversation - that isn't "brushing it aside" - that is stating it as it is.
MacColl was one of many at the time who didn't like Dylan's performance (I seem to remember reading Pete Seeger wasn't bowled over by him at Newport). Certainly in my experience MacColl at no time criticised Dylan in public, nor wrote derogatory things of him following the 48 year old one - if that is not true, show me where he did.
You "completely ignore what Frankie Armstrong said in the programme"
I was not around at the time of the break-up of the acting group, so I have no way of commenting on what happened there; my interpretation of MacColl's work on singing comes from my two years membership of the Critics Group and the period following virtually up to his death in 1989.
When I moved to London in 1969 to join the group Ewan and Peggy were generous enough to share their home with me for around a month while I found work and a home of my own - long conversations with Ewan when he should have been working and I should have been jobseeking.
After the break-up of the group, Ewan volunteered his assistance with the London Singers Workshop - another opportunity to see him work up close.
Pat and I interviewed him in detail over a period of six months on his work and ideas as a singer.
We got together recordings of his seminars and what little he wrote for our Singers Workshop archive.
In preparation for my talk at his 70th birthday seminar I interviewd ex members of the group, including Ewan and Peggy on the work they had done and it's successes and failures.
After sixteen years effort I eventually obtained a copy of the 300 hours of recordings of the group meetings, which I have listened to and partially indexed and digitised.
It is all this I have based my opinions of MacColl's work on.
Personally, I don't give a toss whether people share my opinion of MacColl as a singer, and I'm sure the reverse is the case.
I do believe that, for all it's flaws, some valuable work was done by the group that might be of use to others - that is my sole interest in MacColl and his work, and has been for a very long time.