The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #73838   Message #1491195
Posted By: Big Al Whittle
23-May-05 - 08:32 AM
Thread Name: Big Al Whittle - gigs & Website
Subject: RE: Big Al Whittle - gigs & Website
Dear Freda

Sadly I have never visited even that great continent.

However in England there is a great tradition of singing in an American accent that goes back to when American acts became popular on the English music hall at the end of the 19th century and stretches right through to the dance bands that our gradparents and grandparents used to listen to. Certainly when my Mum was washing the dishes or whatever, and broke into Slow Boat to China - it was in an American accent - mind you she was a Dolan from Dublin.

In the folkscene that happened in the 50's and 60's it became fashionable to sing in the accents of Robert Newton's Long John Silver and Walter gabriel - a character in a radio soap called the Archers. there was some attempt to justify this by pointing to the early field recordings - although I (was born in the 1940's) and grew up in a rural area, and nobody i knew sang or spoke in the grotesque village idiot tones adopoted by the revivalists of traditional music.

Also singers from genuinely working class backgrounds like myself and Jack Hudson - also found much that was distasteful in the so called English tradition. Almost invariably the narrator was a victim of cruel treatment and circumstance - if you're at the bottom of the pile as far as society's concerned - that's pretty much the last thing you feel like celebrating. When Johhny Cash stepped onto the stage and said "Hello I'm Johnny Cash" - to a lot of us it said, i am master of my soul, captain of my fate, you cannot defeat my spirit - an epic sense of self that you get quite a bit in Irish/country music - and it seemed a damn site more attractive.

PS I have upgraded the album - PM me your address and I'll send you a copy. And I didn't know about profiles - sorry!