The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #135224   Message #3083401
Posted By: Jim Carroll
27-Jan-11 - 12:00 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req:Jock Hawk's Adventures in Glasgow (MacColl
Subject: RE: McColl or Harry Lauder-Jock Hawk's Adventures
"You blame Alan Lomax for instigating the Americanisation of the revival, "
I don't blame him for any such thing, I credit him with being the first to oppose it - it's largely why we dug up and researched our own repertoire rather than slavishly aping the American one.
I know it was Lomax's idea originally; Lloyd was the first one to say so in my presence, and MacColl always confirmed this, as did Kennedy, who pointed out that he provided the inspiration for the BBC mopping-up collecting campaign.
I know MacColl and Lloyd once sang American material, but they moved on. As I said, I wouldn't be happy to be judged by my actions and opinions half a century ago - would you - or did you emerge onto the folk scene fully formed?
"....of the place of the 5 string banjo in the Scottish tradition"
Unlike the guitar, or bouzouki, you mean, or do you disapprove of all accompaniments - what's your point? I seem to remember Robin Hall once persuading Jeannie Robertson to accept his accompanying her on one of her records (not to mention Kennedy dubbing god-awful accomaniments to field recordings of some of our finest traditional singers) - makes the banjo accompaniment here fade into insignificance, doesn't it?   
In the end, it boils down to somebody who appears to wish MacColl to be remembered (twenty two years after his death), by a piece of singing recorded 50 odd years ago, which was perfectly acceptable then, but may not have stood the test of time.
Personally, I'd rather remember him as the superb singer he was who breathed life into 137 Child ballads and who never, not in the twenty years I knew him anyway, refused to pass on texts of the songs he had researched or written, to anybody who erquested them. Or maybe as the professional singer who devoted a night a week to assist lesser experienced singers for around ten years (while the rest of the 'folk stars' were getting on with their careers.
Or for the generosity he and Peggy showed in opening their home to researchers and singers, giving them/us access to their library, and sound archive.
Or as the professional singer who gave his time, talent and effort to causes like the Anti-Apartheid campaign, the trades unions the CND, the miners, the Anti-Vietnam war protesters, or the anti-fascist movement...... and all the other causes he supported.
I honestly don't remember many other singers who did that, and those who did were mostly associated directy with or influenced by him.
Makes all this pretty shoddy stuff, don't you think?
Jim Carroll