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What first attracted you to folk?

Paul Reade 04 Apr 12 - 02:25 PM
Les in Chorlton 04 Apr 12 - 02:32 PM
Joe_F 04 Apr 12 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,Eliza 04 Apr 12 - 02:50 PM
southcoastsounds 04 Apr 12 - 02:53 PM
JHW 04 Apr 12 - 03:05 PM
Bettynh 04 Apr 12 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,CS 04 Apr 12 - 03:12 PM
Gurney 04 Apr 12 - 04:37 PM
Big Al Whittle 04 Apr 12 - 04:45 PM
skipy 04 Apr 12 - 05:33 PM
GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler 04 Apr 12 - 05:37 PM
Northerner 04 Apr 12 - 05:51 PM
lefthanded guitar 04 Apr 12 - 05:59 PM
Northerner 04 Apr 12 - 06:04 PM
GUEST,Bluesman 04 Apr 12 - 06:21 PM
Cathie 04 Apr 12 - 06:29 PM
GUEST,SRD 04 Apr 12 - 06:36 PM
Tim Leaning 04 Apr 12 - 06:42 PM
GUEST,Howard Jones 04 Apr 12 - 06:43 PM
gnu 04 Apr 12 - 06:52 PM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 04 Apr 12 - 07:15 PM
Phil Edwards 04 Apr 12 - 07:29 PM
Bobert 04 Apr 12 - 07:36 PM
Stewie 04 Apr 12 - 07:59 PM
GUEST,KENDALL 04 Apr 12 - 08:00 PM
Joe Offer 04 Apr 12 - 09:49 PM
Beer 04 Apr 12 - 11:24 PM
GUEST,flush 05 Apr 12 - 08:42 AM
Steve Gardham 05 Apr 12 - 01:22 PM
Will Fly 05 Apr 12 - 02:08 PM
ian1943 05 Apr 12 - 02:15 PM
VirginiaTam 05 Apr 12 - 02:23 PM
MikeL2 05 Apr 12 - 02:56 PM
Owen Woodson 05 Apr 12 - 03:04 PM
Phil Edwards 05 Apr 12 - 03:05 PM
Don Firth 05 Apr 12 - 03:32 PM
Phil Cooper 05 Apr 12 - 03:56 PM
gnu 05 Apr 12 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,sciencegeek 05 Apr 12 - 04:25 PM
Georgiansilver 05 Apr 12 - 05:02 PM
Paul Reade 06 Apr 12 - 03:15 PM
The Sandman 06 Apr 12 - 04:39 PM
Leadfingers 06 Apr 12 - 07:23 PM
SPB-Cooperator 07 Apr 12 - 08:34 AM
bubblyrat 07 Apr 12 - 09:26 AM
GUEST,Essex Girl 07 Apr 12 - 10:54 AM
alex s 07 Apr 12 - 12:01 PM
Stringsinger 07 Apr 12 - 01:01 PM
The Sandman 07 Apr 12 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,petecockermouth 07 Apr 12 - 01:18 PM
Big Phil 07 Apr 12 - 01:36 PM
Little Hawk 07 Apr 12 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,mando-player91 07 Apr 12 - 03:08 PM
Dug 07 Apr 12 - 03:48 PM
Dug 07 Apr 12 - 03:48 PM
GUEST,mando-player91 07 Apr 12 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,Peter hamnett 15 Apr 12 - 12:31 AM
Stilly River Sage 15 Apr 12 - 12:40 AM
GUEST,BigDaddy 15 Apr 12 - 02:49 AM
banjoman 15 Apr 12 - 06:31 AM
GUEST,Carole Bannister 15 Apr 12 - 06:43 AM
Allan C. 15 Apr 12 - 07:48 AM
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Subject: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Paul Reade
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 02:25 PM

The music is an obvious first choice, but we all have our preferences and I don't want to get into another "what is folk" discussion.

When I first went to folk clubs in the 1960s I liked:-

•        The informality
•        The sincerity – no "over-slick" presentation
•        The audience was more involved as a "community" not a concert crowd
•        Clubs tended to be democratic organisations because singers are on a more-or-less equal footing
•        They provide a safe environment where anyone can "have a go" with no fear of abuse, rejection or "rotten tomatoes".


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 02:32 PM

Songs with interesting content
Strong tunes
Acoustic setting
No bullsh*t
Close ties between performers and audience
underground/alternative feel
Left wing/ egaliterian ambiance

L in C#


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Joe_F
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 02:39 PM

Its presence in my childhood environment: my mother's and father's singing, Burl Ives on records & on the radio.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 02:50 PM

'The National Song Book' used in classrooms all over the UK in the early fifties. (Folk songs from the four corners of the British Isles, enthusiastically thumped out on the old piano by our teacher. I can more or less remember every song and every word!)


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: southcoastsounds
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 02:53 PM

1. The music of Peter Paul and Mary, and Bob Dylan (I was about 15 years old at the time I got my first LPs of these artists)

2. Three years later starting to go to Les Cousins club in Greek Street and hearing Bert and John, Roy Harper, Incredible String Band, Roy Harper, Stefan Grossman.

Nothing like it!

Tom


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: JHW
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 03:05 PM

When I left school I got a job. You could do that then. Probably in that first week my fellow new recruit to the North Eastern Electricity Board saw an ad for a Folk Club in Richmond, North Yorks. No idea what a Folk Club was.
We found the back room of the Oak Tree packed out and folks sitting on beer crates, (wooden ones) singing their heads off.
It was the atmosphere that did it. The lively enthusiasm of performers and the copious hand-pulled ale before it was ever under threat and named 'real'.
Not long before I was singing though some years before buying a guitar. Couldn't have carried it on my scooter anyway.

Why I'm still going to pigging folk clubs a much harder question...


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Bettynh
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 03:12 PM

I was a Girl Scout in the 50s and 60s. Singing music was like breathing whenever scouts got together. I graduated high school in the middle of the 60s, and gravitated to music I could sing (my kids think the Grateful Dead are simply a loud folk band and I have to agree somewhat). I think the development of FM radio helped (remember how radical all that "underground radio" was?)


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 03:12 PM

The English folk song tradition, which I actively hunted out on the instinct that "The Irish have traditional songs, so there must be English ones out there too!" And it was only my lack of will to learn how to sing Sean Nos in Gaelic (I could possibly cope with the ornament, but learning another language to sing in was a stretch too far) which inspired me to hunt out English speaking traditional song at all.

I knew NOTHING of folk / traditional music or indeed the revival folk scene (hadn't a clue it existed), had had no exposure to traditional music /song (bar a Pentangle collection in my teens).

Once I'd discovered the songs, I found the scene/community via the internet.

Now I appreciate the scene for the Hobbit folk, it's like stepping into another world going to a folkie do, I love the fuzzy beards and generous spirits, the general liberal-leftiness, and rootsy ethos. Like a balm to the soul.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Gurney
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 04:37 PM

Well, all of the above. The first folk club that I went to featured Barry Skinner and Rod Felton, and I liked the rough-cut and varied music.
Also, I was tired of the audience applauding 'breaks' in Jazz clubs. Still am, though I still like Jazz.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 04:45 PM

The circle of fifths. Inwardly I burned to be accepted by the circle and practice devil worship.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: skipy
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 05:33 PM

Wandered into the "folk tent" at Bardney festival in 1971, Hey Sandy by Harvey Andrews & I was hooked!
HA is playing White Horse folk festival Aug. this year!
Skipy


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 05:37 PM

Much the same as Paul above, plus GIRLS!


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Northerner
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 05:51 PM

I've loved singing for as long as I can remember. My grandmother played violin, church organ and piano. She encouraged me to sing. I used to sing along with my aunt, music from the shows, light classical. My sister and I were both in school choirs. Became interested in folk music through tv and radio in folk revival. Sister went away to college and went to folk club, told me about performers she had seen such as Ewan MacColl. Both of us bought LPs and sang along with them. When I went to university I immediately went along to folk club.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: lefthanded guitar
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 05:59 PM

I've always been drawn first to a well written song. Dylan was the first folk artist I was drawn to, and so many others who followed and/or emulated him; from Phil Ochs to Jackson Browne to Iris Dement, from Steve Earle to Gillian Welch to Pete Seeger, the Cheiftains, the Pennywhistlers, etc. etc.- these musicians were all concerned with presenting a song that clings to your ears and heart- a song that is intelligently crafted yet full of emotion. That is what drew me to folk music. And whether it's been a song handed down by generations of people, or one that bears that stamp of the writer; folk music is the place where I've most often found that which is elegant and eloquent and beautiful in music.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Northerner
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 06:04 PM

The tunes were the big attraction. But I loved the stories in the songs too. My sister had some poetry books, I read them and devoured the Border Ballads. I was thrilled to find that there were actually tunes to go with them.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: GUEST,Bluesman
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 06:21 PM

For me it was a BBC radio programme called "Travelling Folk".

I also loved the Skiffle era of the late 1950's, with performers such as Lonnie Donegan and Johnny Duncan.

My favorite folk group of all time has to be the Weavers.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Cathie
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 06:29 PM

Ross


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: GUEST,SRD
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 06:36 PM

"Singing Together" at primary school.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 06:42 PM

What a lovely thread...

I reckon if there was a folk club with all of you there playing it would turn most anyone into folkies..
What turned me on was
All of the above music,rhythms,the voices and stories .. the ladies and
the chance to be among weirdos in a none threatening atmosphere..
Brilliant


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 06:43 PM

I was learning guitar at a time in the late 1960s when pop music went very weird and psychedelic - not really suitable for a 12 year old with no acces to drugs and knowing only 3 chords on an acoustic guitar. I cam across a book of folk songs which had stuff I could play. That led me to the Spinners on TV and "Folk on Friday" on radio. Eventually I was old enough to start going to folk clubs.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: gnu
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 06:52 PM

My old man used to sing lumbercamp songs and "come-all-yees" he learned when he worked in lumbercamps in the backwoods of New brunswick, Canada in the winter in the 1930s. Then, there were LPs of certain "bands" of Irish roots which led me to explore. It all came together and even moreso when I learned of Acadian music from my mother's side of the family.

I was fascinated with the "traditional" music and it's influence on various genres since then, especially folk in the broad spectrum, although only in certain works in those genres and others... even rap. Yup, I said it... even (c)rap. Although, if I said that in the wrong place, I'd get a cap busted in my ass, know what I'm sayin, dog? Uh... maybe better phrased... I see the influence and find it odd that young artists do not see it and might find it offensive for me to say their music is not truly "original" but influenced by previous music. Yeah, I know that ain't rocket science and is just common sense but ya can't teach a new dog old tricks eh?


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 07:15 PM

The Kingston Trio. My friends and I formed the New BAD Trio in response. We knew there were 3 of us, we knew we were bad (Bob, Art, & Dick) and nobody could play an instrument, circa 1962. Pin-striped shirts. We were Basketball players who had to come up with something for the year-end high school "talent" show. LOL

We had a guitar, Art held it, untuned. Dick "played" bongos, I sang lead. Shaking in front of the whole school as we did our rendition of "Tom Dooley." INSTANT FAME!

1966, 2nd week of February, I began to play the guitar. I did find somebody who knew how to tune a guitar in '62. But those were my Basketball years, so the real start came in '66. Boy those strings were MUCH stiffer than untuned...

Then I met Paul Geremia, Ken Lyon, & others and found out that some people were taking this Folk thing seriously.

Canada brought the introduction to the Brits. And for them, Folk was life itself. Sea shanties,
TRADITIONAL, and lots of history. A learning process for me.

So many wonderful, talented people...Memories...Peace to all...bob


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 07:29 PM

I've been learning and singing songs - in the garden, in the streets, at bus stops, wherever - since I was about ten (I remember singing all three verses of "Vincent" before my voice broke), but somehow I never got it together to sing in front of other people till I was in my forties. And it had to be a folk club, because that was the only place you could go and sing unaccompanied.

After a few years of that, I stumbled on a "mostly traditional" singaround (hi Les!) and everything changed. Where had all these songs been all my life? The melodies! The harmonies! Songs I'd never heard, that sounded like I'd known them all my life! I was hooked, and I've never looked back.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 07:36 PM

Dylan...

B~


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Stewie
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 07:59 PM

The Chad Mitchell Trio.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: GUEST,KENDALL
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 08:00 PM

My 6th grade teacher. I was quite fond of her and she used to sing to us, songs such as Alabama, On the Tombigbe River, Juanita, etc.
Later, Burl Ives and the Weavers.
Folk songs just made more sense to me than the stuff most of my classmates and friends were listening to.

I still refer to it as "Heavy Mental" music.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 09:49 PM

Like Ebor above, I gotta be honest. It was the women. Still is. Folkie women are wonderful.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Beer
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 11:24 PM

Paul,
I think you summed it up beautifully in what you said. No need to add anything. You hit the nail on the head.
Adrien


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: GUEST,flush
Date: 05 Apr 12 - 08:42 AM

One of our scout leaders played guitar and started singing folk songs, I went to the Fox and Goose on Canal Road in Bradford and met Dad Tattersill that was 1965 and I have been singing ever since, someone will have to nail a lid on my coffin to stop me.

I have met some really great friends from all over the world through folk music and had the pleasure to share the stage with some famous ones too, it's like an extended family. I see people at places like Whitby just once a year and it is like you just talked to them last week not a year ago


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Apr 12 - 01:22 PM

Singing Together at school
The Opies books of Children's rhymes and games
American stuff in the 50s, Burl Ives etc.
Family songs
And then the clincher! Hearing the Watersons for the first time c1965.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Will Fly
Date: 05 Apr 12 - 02:08 PM

Mmm... I was a user and an abuser of folk clubs - in a sense. It all started because, more than anything, I wanted to play guitar. In 1964, if you didn't join a band, and if you couldn't afford anything electric, then the folk club offered a fairly safe environment for a solo performer. It was welcoming, reasonably open-minded and a cheap evening out.

I have to say, in all honesty, that the club in my home town was all of those - and it was also very decently and respectably middle-class, being run by a well-bred doctor and a retired lady schoolteacher. Typical and popular guests were Jackie & Bridie and the Spinners. The residents were a nice male/female/male trio who played double bass and guitar and sang and were a kind of twee Peter, Paul & Mary. (I can't hear "Muleskinner Blues" without thinking of them). I found it all slightly unexciting and - before you bring down your righteous folky wrath on me - remember that this was nearly 50 years ago, I was young and rebellious, and my heroes were Big Bill Broonzy, Brownie McGhee, Howling Wolf, Davy Graham, Bert Jansch and similar. I was an arrogant little twat - and sometimes you have to be that to exert your own personality and go your own way.

But, after a while, a short diet of Pete Seeger, and the occasional gig with Alex Campbell, I started joining in the odd chorus song, culminating - one autumn evening - in joining drunkenly in with "Here's good luck to the landlord, Good luck to the Barley Mow" outside the pub at midnight on my stag night.

It's been downhill ever since, really...


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: ian1943
Date: 05 Apr 12 - 02:15 PM

A folk club started in my local pub so I went out of interest but the Damascus Road moment was when I heard two tracks from the red Waterson's record and I had never heard anything like it before, That was in 1969. I started my singing career soon afterwards; I'm still singing and the club, after many re-incarnations, is still running. But I do think that the seeds were sown in the Junior school with Wiliam Appleby's "Singing Together"


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 05 Apr 12 - 02:23 PM

My daughter Andie and her labour of love to learn Child ballads when she was 15 for medieval recreation group, SCA. Next thing I know, she is bringing in Silly Sisters and the like. Then I heard Kate Rusby on WNRN (listener supported indie radio station in Charlottesville VA).    I got into the house after hearing her on radio excited to share a new discovery with Andie and what should she be listening to but the very song I'd heard on radio. A CD loaned to her by one of her SCA friends.

Then I met TSO and guess what? He was into folk too. Introduced me to Grahame and Eileen Pratt which of course I had to share with Andie.

2 years after Andie passed, TSO took me to Rochester Sweeps, into a sing around session and I was utterly besotted again. Love it, love it, can't get enough of it!


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: MikeL2
Date: 05 Apr 12 - 02:56 PM

Hi

........Most of what has already been said above.

I came to folk clubs not as a folk musician but I found the clubs a place where I was able to perform to a (mostly) appreciative audience.

I met up with some other like-minded people and we all got together to enjoy ourselves. Most of the folk music and song grew on me and I gathered another string to my bow (sic).

Oh and the beer helped too !!!

Cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Owen Woodson
Date: 05 Apr 12 - 03:04 PM

What first attracted me? The women and the beer of course and all those shenanigans when the lights went down. Just like Will I too have been going downhill ever since.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 05 Apr 12 - 03:05 PM

I found it all slightly unexciting

I hated folk when I was younger. I was well into Steeleye Span, I got the point of Pentangle, I liked June Tabor and I had time for Shirley Collins, but I hated folk. To me it meant nice songs, well-meaning songs, songs that told you what they were going to say before they said it and then said it anyway, songs that preached to the converted and tried not to upset even them. I liked songs that turned your head around and made you laugh or cry or just left you stunned, wondering what had just happened.

Funny thing is, it turns out the English tradition's absolutely full of 'em.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Apr 12 - 03:32 PM

I was unable to go to public school when I was a kid (polio at age two), so the Pasadena School District sent a home teacher to our house three times a week for a couple of hours each session. Regular curriculum, lots of homework.

But I also used to listen to CBS's "American School of the Air" and heard all kinds of fascinating stuff that most kids who were in school didn't get to hear. From the Wikipedia entry on the ASA:
Tuesdays were devoted to "Folk Music of America" and other musical genres. During 1939-40, Alan Lomax wrote, produced and directed a 26-week historical overview, the "American Folk Songs" series, a survey of English language folk songs from the holdings of his Archive of American Folksongs.
So when, as a teenager, I heard Burl Ives' Sunday afternoon program "The Wayfaring Stranger," on which he talked about American history and sang songs related to his subject of the day, I was already familiar with some of the songs he sang.

Being a regular Saturday afternoon movie habitué (double feature, complete with newsreel, cartoon, and 15 chapter movie serial), I saw a movie called "Glamor Girl" in 1948 or so, featuring Susan Reed as a young mountain girl taken by a promoter to New York to sing folk songs in a night club. Grade Z movie, but it did feature Susan reed and her Irish harp and zither.

So when, at the university, I started dating a girl who was busily teaching herself to play the guitar and learn a bunch of songs from A Treasury of Folk Songs by John and Sylvia Kolb (a 35¢ Bantam Edition drugstore paperback), I got myself a cheap guitar and a copy of the book, and Claire taught me my first chords.

After a few months, I heard that Walt Robertson would be singing an informal concert at a favorite hangout in the University District. The whole story is HERE.

Subsequently meeting Pete Seeger in 1954 and swapping songs with him until 4:00 in the morning at a party after he gave a concert in Seattle, then a few years later, meeting Richard Dyer-Bennet a couple of times and having long chats with him. . . .

Also, people like Guy Carawan, Bob Gibson, Joan Baez, Rolf Cahn, and Barbara Dane blew through town from time to time. Lots of after-concert parties and get-togethers.

I didn't become rich and famous, but I made a decent living, sang regularly in several coffeehouses in the Pacific Northwest and the Bay Area, did a whole bunch of concerts, and some television, mostly educational, but some commercial.

Love it!

If the voice holds out for a bit more, I'm thinking of putting a few CDs together.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 05 Apr 12 - 03:56 PM

My dad took us to see Pete Seeger when I was five. Later, listening to WFMTs Midnight Special I started liking the songs of Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan. I later developed an interest in traditional songs and the guitar styles of Martin Carthy, Nic Jones, etc. As was mentioned above, great stories, strong melodies, the informality between performers and audience.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: gnu
Date: 05 Apr 12 - 04:00 PM

Don... "I'm thinking of putting a few CDs together."

Don't think... do it!


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: GUEST,sciencegeek
Date: 05 Apr 12 - 04:25 PM

there was always music in my house... LPs of classical music & the radio for what was then known as easy listening... though mom also played the piano & taught us the old songs she knew.

the ones I always enjoyed the most turned out to be folk/traditional music. and when mom was able to mail order through Publishers Clearing House and we got Alex Campbell's Best Loved Songs of Bonnie Scotland and A L lloyd & Ewan MacColl's Blow boys Blow.... well, I knew where my musical home was.... lol

been belting out shanties and ballads for the next 40+ years.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 05 Apr 12 - 05:02 PM

I lived in a small village in North Devon... out in the wilds so to speak. All the farmers and labourers would get together to do the harvest one one farm.. then all would move on to the next and so on until all the farms had been harvested. Every Friday night was the end of each harvesting week and all the men would gather at one farm in a barn where cider and ale were in abundance... all would drink as much as they could (or couldn't might be a better explanation) All the men were expected to sing... whether they were accomplished singers or not... and all were clapped for their efforts..... my dad would wait until everyone was so under the influence that they wouldn't notice how bad his singing was. I was very young then... from eight yrs old until I was 11 and went away to boarding school..... (because I was a bit clever). I used to drive the horse and cart whilst the men loaded it with stooks of corn... I also attended the booze up and drunk cider at that young age..... my father having to carry me home many times.... I also was expected to sing. In the early seventies I found a love for Folk Clubbing as I had a good grounding and learnt many songs whilst celebrating the harvest.
If you want to know how those 'barn singing sessions' appeared... take a watch of the film of Thomas Hardys novel "Far from the Madding Crowd".. there is a typical session in it.
It seemed the most natural thing in the world for me to get into the Folk Club scene once I had discovered it.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Paul Reade
Date: 06 Apr 12 - 03:15 PM

Thanks for all your excellent comments.

Some picked up on the glaring omission from my list that started this thread: "... the women ...".

These days, when you go to a folk club it means singing, playing, listening to the music, relaxing and having a drink and chat with friends. The younger you wanted to meet members of the opposite sex, make a name for yourself as a singer, have a lot to drink, show off to your mates, meet more members of the opposite sex etc.

There's been a lot of discussion about getting younger people to come to folk clubs, but when you think about it, if they go to a folk club now, the chances of meeting someone of the opposite sex of a similar age are … approximately nil!

Perhaps the best way to get young people to go to folk clubs is if we old f***s stop going!


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Apr 12 - 04:39 PM

the music, and the idea of home made music, and meeting people.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 06 Apr 12 - 07:23 PM

I was a part tinme Jazzer with Clarinert and Saxophone and in the RAF
Lots of 'interesting' singing some nights in the NAAFI got me primed I think , and The Hootenanny Show on BBC TV in early '64 helped , so when I found the Jazz Club I joined had joint membership with a Folk Club , I HAD to have a look ! Hitchin's Friday Club was run by Louis Killen , and the Guest the first time I went was Redd Sullivan !
That was me hooked straight away


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 08:34 AM

In my childhood (1960s)it would have been the Spinners Christmas show on television.

However, during my formative teens in the 70s my interests moved to pop music, and by 1975 or 1976 a combination of progressive rock and heavy metal.

During Christmas?new year 1979/80 Radio London broadcast a programme or series of programmes which I think was called ten out of ten, which was 10 songs/tunes from each year of the 70s from an eclectic point of view - I think it was biased to more serious than pop music. I think I still have the cassette tapes somewhere.

For the year 1976 one of the songs was Rising for the Moon by Fairport Convention, and this struck a chord with me, and re-awakened my interest in folk alongside other forms of music.

The next LP (first folk LP) I bought was History of Fairport Convention. from that pint I was hooked! At the same time a friend at college introduced me to Al Stewart.

In the summer of 1980, having finished college, I found myself detached form my circle of friends - but I saw in the local newspaper free folk at Ravenscourt Park. While there I found out about something called a folk club, which I went to a few days later - the performers plugging the club were Hammerfolk MK XXVIII or something like that: aka Rod Hamilton, Chris Pearson and Rob (can't remember his other name).

After that the rest is history.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 09:26 AM

As a child, I had always loved "traditional" British tunes ,which I learned to play on the mouth-organ and ( badly !) an old piano-accordion ; Westering Home ,Mingulay Boat Song ,The Lincolnshire Poacher, ....that sort of thing . I found Irish music fascinating as well ; we had a "lodger", a lady from Donegal , who used to tune her wireless in to Athlone , etc., and let me listen to the genuine article . Other favourites were Peter Sellers' "Suddenly It's Folksong" ( "Don't tell me I played a bum note !" and " Mind me harp! - I'll never get to Heaven now !") , and the theme tune from "Para Handy" ( Duncan MacCrae and Roddy MacMillan ) ,which I just learned to play on guitar two days ago ! Don't know the name of it, though ; does anyone out there ?
                      By 1965 I'd joined the Royal Navy ,met a fellow sailor from Sidmouth with similar musical interests , with whom I used to stay in his parents' Cafe ( The Winter Gardens ,Fore Street) ) and was letting the heady ambience of the whole "scene" wash over me ; I even joined the EFDSS ! Marvellous !


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: GUEST,Essex Girl
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 10:54 AM

I'd always sung in choirs since primary school, and remember singing Molly Malone at a cousin's wedding whne very young, but my main influence was hearin the Ian Campbell folk group with Dave Swarbrick in the sixties, along with other great singers such as Frankie Armstrong,Alex Campbell, Ray & Archie Fisher, and The Watersons. I've never looked back.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: alex s
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 12:01 PM

I was well into rock/pop guitar but my girlfriend's brother came home from uni with a classical guitar and sang the Mingulay Boat Song. That was it!
Folk forever, and what a great time I've had since.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 01:01 PM

My stepfather sang a song that he learned while hopping freight cars during the Depression called "Tennesee Blues". He also brought home recordings of Burl Ives, Josh White and Leadbelly. My aunt, who turned into a Reaganite, at earlier times was an avid socialist.
She introduced me to Pete Seeger who sang "Hold The Line" at the Peekskill riots.

I went to a hootenanny (a term coined earlier by Bob Miller, a composer and songwriter in the Twenties and popularized by Pete Seeger), the attendees being Cisco Houston, Woody Guthrie, Bess Lomax Hawes and others including a soon-to-be singing partner, Guy Carawan. I got hooked.

My first guitar teacher, Sam Surace, told me that I should investigate this style of playing with the fingers in the folk manner.

I heard the Weavers blaring from the record stores on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles and was taken with their sound....so much that I joined them in 1963.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 01:15 PM

I heard the Weavers blaring from the record stores on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles and was taken with their sound....so much that I joined them in 1963.
Frank, you are too self effacing.Iam sure they would not have asked you if you had not been very good


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: GUEST,petecockermouth
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 01:18 PM

i never knew it was folk that i loved - john martyn, incredibles, dylan, joni and the rest - then onto lindisfarne, clash, pogues etc. when dylan (and jm etc) stopped being folk i still loved it. i remember seeing neil young on that bbc 2 programme - i think it was the hair that made it the most exciting thing i'd seen on the box. never thought of it as folk and it was much later i found it - and much else- was country, which of course i had always hated as cheesy crap. suppose i never bothered much about labels but now listen to little else but folk and country - as long as its hairy it's ok.
peace,love and revolution -pete


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Big Phil
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 01:36 PM

The playing of Barney McKenna.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 02:09 PM

It was a hot summer day. My father, the hardware store owner, was ringing up the latest sale at the till and talking to Jones, the plumber. I had ducked out the back for a smoke. The street was full of people on their way to a variety of places, but their purposes were not clear to me. Along comes a man driving an old Ford truck. It stalls at the corner. He gets out, pops the hood, and starts cursing and carrying on. I go over to take a look. His rad is boiling over. "I could get you some cold water," I say. He nods. "That would be good," he replies. "Okay, I'll be right back with it." I could go back to my dad's store for it, but that might lead to other things, so instead I go across the street to the barber shop. It's an old-fashioned one with the striped red and white pole outside and those classic barber chairs with black leather and chrome like you see all those Italian barbers using. They shave people here regular, even though you can buy your own electric shaver now, but some men still like to get an old-fashioned shave in this town from a real barber. I reflect on the fact that the word "barber" comes from the Latin word for "beard", so that's what barbers were, they were men who shaved off a man's beard, and they used a straight razor, just like in this place. You gotta know what you're doin' when you use a straight razor.

So, I get a bucket of cold water at the barber shop. They like me there. I bring them our old magazines, so I am considered a friend, I guess.

I take the water back out to the guy with the stalled truck. He gets a funnel and we start pouring it into the hot rad. Steam is flyin' everywhere. Eventually that rad settles down.

He gets into the driver's seat after a bit and starts up the truck and she runs fine.

"Where are y' goin'?" I ask. "I was on my way to Fresno," he says. "You need a repairman?" I inquire. He considers that for a minute or two, then says he could, in fact, so I hop in, and off we go, down the main street of my little town, and I am prayin' with all my might that I may never see that main street again.

Three hours later we are cruisin' down a 2 lane highway that goes past fields filled with fruit trees and migrant workers. I can hear voices singin' Mexican songs in the distance, and the silvery white clouds are passin' over like the armies of God.

We pull into Fresno at 3 O'clock in the afternoon. My new employer hands me a $10 bill, says, "I'll pick you up here at 9 AM tomorrow, right at this spot, okay?"

"Fine with me. See you then." He drives off and I look across the street where there is a place called the "Last Chance Coffeehouse". They have a sign on the window: "Folk, Blues, Poetry, and all the coffee you can drink." There is a girl with long, black hair and a black dress and dark stockings, she looks kinda Latino and she is playin' the guitar and singin' like an Angel. The song she is singin' is called "Queen Jane". I sit down at one of the little tables and just stare at her. She maintains a calm distance, breathin' steady through each verse, her slender fingers workin' magical waterfalls of single notes that unfold like a flower in the dawn. She gives me an inquiring glance as the song comes to its perfect end and she lays down the guitar.

I realize I have finally come home.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: GUEST,mando-player91
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 03:08 PM

I first heard the Weavers when I was five years old. I have been drawn to folk music ever since and Try to get my hands on anything folk since. I also grew up with Arlo Guthrie and a lot of Pete Seeger and Rooftop Singers too.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Dug
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 03:48 PM

My parents. Dad played mouth organ, by mother hummed Irish ballads and the first LP we got on our new record player was 'The Clancy Brothers Live at Carnegie Hall' which the whole family listened to again and again. Quite a few years later we used to go to The Settlers restaurant in Mulgoa and get boozed up singing along to Gary Tooth.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Dug
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 03:48 PM

Err...singing along with Gary Tooth. (That man did so much to bring folk music to people).


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: GUEST,mando-player91
Date: 07 Apr 12 - 05:44 PM

I should also mention that it was also the subject matter of the songs. and the way it was sung and played. also rich with history


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: GUEST,Peter hamnett
Date: 15 Apr 12 - 12:31 AM

Hi Paul, I used to play at the queens in sale, and the railway.
Do you remember Al Lawrence ? Great guitarist. Also at the railway you had a great guy Andy Andrews, whatever haPpend to him??
Don't know if to remember me( Peter Hamnett) I tried to contribute by attempting to sing and play fire and rain, and gold watch blues, badly!!
Did you work on piccadilly approach in the 60/70s? I'm sure I picked you up from work in my reliant Robin more than once!!!
Regards, peterhamnett@hotmail.com


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Apr 12 - 12:40 AM

I was probably born into it. Or as close as can be - when I think back to the earliest things I remember of childhood, the most prominent are of Dad learning the guitar and words to songs and of Mom cooking and sewing. It's just part of life. And as Dad worked to learn the notes, we listened to the words, and it didn't take him long to realize that we learned all of his songs as fast or faster than he did.

Dad would sing to us at night, visit each of our rooms and take requests or sing what he was learning. If there was a pause, as he tried to remember the words, we supplied them.

He has been gone for 15 years and those words are still floating around in my head.

I'd also like to add that some of my childhood heroes are here on Mudcat - Don Firth and Bob Nelson (Deckman) in particular. There are a lot of other names who drifted in and out, but those two were around fairly constantly.

SRS


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 15 Apr 12 - 02:49 AM

A combination of my mother singing "Childe" ballads that had been sung to her by her mother and her mother's sisters (passed down through the ages), the early days of the "Folk Revival," and finally the efforts of groups like Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and Pentangle to bring the old balldas into the era of Rock and jazz.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: banjoman
Date: 15 Apr 12 - 06:31 AM

Seeing Elton Hayes with his "Small Guitar" on a very early black & white TV and wanting to play guitar from that point. Led me to a lot of places and meeting a lot of good people (Pete Seeger/Tom Paxton) to name drop just a couple.Listened a lot to Burl Ives and the Weavers. Had a banjo thrust into my hand at aged 12 and never looked back(Probably a hoard of banjo jokes following)


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: GUEST,Carole Bannister
Date: 15 Apr 12 - 06:43 AM

Folk music for me is a link with the past. I feel there must be a grain of truth in the old legends and songs of magic and its important to keep it all alive.


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Subject: RE: What first attracted you to folk?
From: Allan C.
Date: 15 Apr 12 - 07:48 AM

Like so many others, I was quite taken by the Kingston Trio's "Tom Dooley" that was just hitting the pop charts as my family was getting ready for Dad's reassignment to Rio de Janeiro. I was almost 13. Not long after we got established in Rio - established enough for all of us to participate in building a Heathkit stereo system - Dad had to attend a conference in the U.S.. When he returned, he brought back an armload of LP's to play on the new stereo. Two of the albums were by KT3, their String Along album and the In Concert album. Included also was a Jimmy Rodgers (the Honeycomb one, not the other - unsure of spelling,) album of folk songs. I nearly played the grooves off the three of them.

The stories depicted or implied by the songs captivated my imagination. Songs like "South Coast" "Bad Man's Blunder" and "Lord Randal" blew me away.

There were two American girls, near my age, Marsha and Gail Robertson, who lived in the apartment above. Both played guitar. I was enamored by the girls as well as the guitars. They loaned me one of their guitars for a day or two, showing me how to play a C chord. I was a goner!

My folks bought a guitar for me for my 13th birthday and set me up with guitar lessons. The rest is history.


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