The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #153484 Message #3595616
Posted By: GUEST,jim bainbridge
26-Jan-14 - 06:23 AM
Thread Name: Louisa Jo Killen Celebration 18 Jan 14, Gateshead
Subject: RE: Louis (Louisa) Killen - celebration of life
Louis Killen was arguably the most influential of the younger folk music enthusiasts from the 1950s. He positively ENCOURAGED people like me to listen to such as the Copper family, Jeannie Robertson and the McPeake family, rather than other revivalists & 'folkies'. Whether I learnt anything I'll let others judge, but as usual I listened to the archive programme 'Bowman's Sunday' on RTE radio 1 at 8.30 this morning (www.rte.ie) which reinforced my view of his importance.
Luke Kelly, who sang songs all his life, said he was working (cleaning lavatories, windows etc, not singing!) in Newcastle upon Tyne and went to a 'jazz club' in the city wwhere he heard Louis Killen. Now the Newcastle 'Bridge' folk club' origins (est.1958)were in those jazz clubs, and Luke then realised that (as Ronnie Drew said on the same programme) that having heard such as Louis sing Irish & Scots songs, what the Irish duo were singing were 'folk songs'- Ronnie Drew said he though folksongs were Burl Ives! Even if you never liked the Dubliners, their influence on music in Ireland has been immense, and certainly Louis KIllen was no less than a major revelation to both men.
Louis was highly respected in America, and was no purely 'Geordie' singer- he did Tyneside material very well, but much of his source material was from Southern England.
Pete Wood worked hard at organising this concert in Louis home town of Gateshead, which was homage from grateful Northeast singers and musicians, but it makes even more stark the apparent lack of equivalent events further south, where he was equally respected, or have I missed something?
I refer to Louis as that is how I knew him- I never met Louisa