Jim - it might have helped if you had named the individual. The only person I can think you fits at least part of your description is Peter Kennedy, but he did not stand "between us and our folk heritage for four decades" - his horrible little tapes were available and he didn't refuse to pass on information. There certainly wasn't "a tsunami of abuse for "speaking ill of the dead"" - far from it. The obituary on the BBC programme (Last Words?) was surprising honest. If you weren't referring to Peter Kennedy, then this is an example of the problems of making accusations whilst not naming the suspect.