The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #163225   Message #3892001
Posted By: Jim Carroll
03-Dec-17 - 08:56 AM
Thread Name: Radio Ballad Format - who created it?
Subject: RE: Radio Ballad Format - who created it?
While this is up on top, I thought I'd just mention another aspect of the workers voice on the media
Around the time of the Radio Ballads, film-maker, Philip Donnellan started to use the folk music to accompany his documentaries which included 3 film versions of The Radi ballads, The Big Hewer, Singing the Fishing and The fight Game
Other works were: Where Do We Go From Here? on the question of the 'Gypsy menace' (travelling people), Gone For A Soldier (1980), a 105-minute montage of ordinary soldiers' diaries and letters and a 2 part account of emigration from Britain and Ireland, 'Passage West'
Gone For a Soldier created a furore, with 'questions being asked in 'The House'
Probably his best was never released and was only available at private showings; 'The Irishmen', on the navvies working on the road and railways in London.
The Beeb took umbrage at what the navvies had to say about life in Britain and the conditions on the sites, so they sat on it - Irish television showed it as an obituary tribute in 1999.
We learned recently that Donnellan was so worried that his films would be destroyed that he shipped copies of them abroad for safe-keeping
MacColl some of his best work for the The Irishmen; his technique was to listen to recorded actuality and use them to create the songs
Thanks to the fact that it was never seen, many of the songs were not sung around, apart from 'Tunnel Tigers'
I'm pretty sure that another film he did was 'The Singer and the Song', separately filmed interviews with Harry Cox and Sam Larner (they never met)
Hopefully, there are enough pirate copies around to have ascertained that these Gems are not lost forever
Jim Carroll