The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #163664 Message #3907828
Posted By: Vic Smith
25-Feb-18 - 07:27 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
Certainly not in the analog form that in did at the time of time of the BBC collecting. It is easy to forget how costly in terms of space, conservation and cataloguing trying to manage a scheme as comprehensive as the BBC archives must have been in the pre-digital age. We must remember that the folk song element was only a tiny part of the archives.
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
Well, not entirely true.
The biggest impact of any folk song series on BBC radio was As I Roved Out. It was before my time but in the extensive amount of interviewing that I have completed with singers and enthusiasts older than myself suggests that that was a major influence on the development of interest in British as well as American song as the revival developed. As well as the MacColl programmes you mention, I was one of many who was able to borrow them for broadcast. I was able to order very many of them from BH to use as illustrations in long interviews with the likes of Reg Hall, Bob Copper and Seamus Ennis on my BBC Radio Sussex programme which was networked to other local BBC stations across the south - and I can assure you that I was not mocking them. I am pretty sure that other regional programmes used them in this way also.
Malcolm Taylor used them in his series on BBC Radio 4 - so did John Howson - so did Dave Arthur. The picture is not as black as is painted in the sentence that I have quoted though there is an element of truth in it. Is there any nation on each that treats its national traditional musical heritage with as much distain as the English do?
My memory of "My Music" is not that it was a 'comedy quiz series'.