The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #105162   Message #4022947
Posted By: Jim Carroll
09-Dec-19 - 03:57 AM
Thread Name: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
"but what is the Ben Harker book called"
'Class Act'

Without the work of Ewan, Bert and other dedicated lovers of folk song, Folk Songs proper would have returned obediently to the Library shelves and archive cupboards when the Music Industry spat it out like chewing gum when they decided there was no more profit to be milked from it
A significan and growing number of devotees took up the baton passed on by Ewan, Bert and their like and ran with it for several decades, producing entertaining, well-attended clubs, excellent literature, thousands of hours of new material and a healthy song-making movement churning out many hundreds of songs
Peggy Seeger launched an irregular new song magazine, 'New City Songster, which ran for twenty issues and made available hundreds of songs from Wisconsin to Woomera, taking in Wolverhampton on the way
All this was part of Ewan's, Bert's, Bill Leader's, Gerry Sharp's, Dave Bland's..... and all those other dedicated people's legacy to future generations
It would be a crying shame to see that legacy wasted (maybe that's a bit to contraverial for this time in the morning)

Ewan wrote very little on his theories, he peferred to put them into practice in hi own singing and in work with others
Some of the best talks I ever heard on the singing of folk songs happened at the end of the CG meetings when Ewan would flop in his chair, say "i'm exhausted", then launch into sometimes hour-long soliloquies on a point that had been raised during the work session
Many of these were recorded and, fife decades later, still have the effect of making the hairs on the back of my neck bristle- as inspiring as they were forty or fifty years ago
I'm organising and indexing all those recordings to be archived properly and pass on to the family
I'm hoping that one of them takes those soliloquies and publishes them - that would be a real monument to Ewan's contribution to traditional song

One of the most detailed published examples of MacColl's work and ideas can be got from the (unfortunately overpriced) 'Legacies of Ewan MacColl' - the last interviews, by Allan F. Moore and Giovanni Vacca
No always the easiest read, but in my opinion, extremely fruitful - and uncluttered by the rumbles of old score-settling

It really is time people started to think about what these people gave us before it's to late to make use of it

"purported quotations"
Are you suggesting Harker faked our quotes or we lied to him ?
Either seems to be par for your course and needs to be nipped in the bud if this discussion is to be allowed to continue in the friendly manner it is at present
We spent around two hours being interviewed by Harker for the book at a weekend in Salford Uni. held in honor of Ewan's contribution to folk song
We also gave an hour's long talk on him and were able to set p a mini-singing workshop for inexperienced singers in order to demonstrate how The Critics Group method worked

If anybody is interested, Dave Arthur quotes some of the things I wrote about my impressions of the Critics Group in his rather pleasing book on Bert Lloyd - he took them from this forum, I'm delighted to say
Jim Carroll