The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #156154   Message #3679826
Posted By: Jim Carroll
25-Nov-14 - 06:50 AM
Thread Name: New book - Legacies of Ewan MacColl
Subject: RE: New book - Legacies of Ewan MacColl
Fronted a rock band - what planet do you live on Al?
MacColl was born and brought up in the poverty-stricken Salford Engles based his'Condiditions of the Working Class in England' on - his father was an iron oulder (out of work mainly due to his trades union activity) and his mother did what she could to support the family, including, mainlt house and office cleaning.
He left school at 14 and began to educate himself while sheltering from the rain in the reading rooms of public libraries.
His first contact with the media wa when he was discovered by a BBC producer, busking to a cinema queue in Manchester in th 'Hungry Thirties'.
As Fred pointed out, when he and Joan Littlewood st up Theatre Workshop, they played to factory gate audiences, strike meetings, public parks... wherever working people gathered.
He left Theatre Workshop when it ceased being agit-prop and became established in London - he felt that was a betrayal.
One of his early achievements was The Radio Ballads, where he interviewed Railwaymen, roadworkers, deep-sea fishermen, boxers, miners, working-class teenagers and Travellers.
He spent much of his career as a singer collecting from working people, and helping some of us to become singers.
I spent all of my working life wiring houses, working on the docks or on building sites or in pubs, as an electrician - in the half century or so I never met a single worker who "fronted a rock band"   
You must be joking
Jim Carroll