The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #163664   Message #3907817
Posted By: Jim Carroll
25-Feb-18 - 06:42 AM
Thread Name: Folklore: BBC collecting project 88 years on
Subject: RE: Folklore: BBC collecting project 88 years on
The BBC probably does not hold the collection any more
Their original practice was to keep it (on breakable discs) and smash each one after 3 (I think) uses, replacing the missing ones regularly
Bob Thomson discovered in 1970 that they had ceased to replace them and eventually the collection became inaccessible
The VWM Library had a set on disc - I put it on reel-to-reel tapes for them in the mid 70s but the discs I was copying from were over-used and in pretty poor condition.
The National Sound Archive at the British Library has a set - not sure how accessible that is
The first major commercial use of them was the Folk Songs of Britain series - first on Caedmon, later re-issued by Topic - these were edited heavily, with verses removed from songs to make room for as many songs as possible on 10 LPs
There were rumors that Topic wanted to issue an unedited version of the set, but by then, Kennedy had taken control of them and the price he was demanding for their use was exorbitant - in the end they settled for the Voice of the People series Vic mentioned which bore no relation to the FSB series
Kennedy used them for his own Label - poor quality with no information - shoddy
The BBC's attitude to the collection was, in my opinion, disgraceful
Having embarked on this project, they lost interest in what happened to it and allowed it to be exploited shamelessly
The only time the recordings were officially used was on programmes like the comedy quiz series 'My Music' where they were presented as proof of how crap and "quaint' folk song was - a piss take
In my opinion, the best use ever made of the recordings was an analytical 10 part series presented by MacColl 'The Song Carriers' - never surpassed in 50 years (anybody who wants a copy - please ask).
We also have an important (if indifferently recorded) recording of a lecture by America, Craig Fees on the history of the project - C# House should have a better quality recording, but if anybody wants ours, they are welcome
Jim Carroll