The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #123157   Message #4197778
Posted By: GUEST,twm909
23-Feb-24 - 12:01 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: 'The Singer's Club'
Subject: RE: Folklore: 'The Singer's Club'
The Singers Club's first meeting was at the ACTT premises in Soho Square on 25 June 1961, which was a Sunday (initially it met there on alternate Sundays). Malcolm Nixon continued the B&B there (every Saturday) for about a year thereafter but did not restart following the summer break in 1962. Since at least late-1959, the B&B had run under the title HOOTENANNIES (sometimes varying that title a bit, I believe).

The Singers Club moved to the Pindar of Wakefield around September 1962, presumably following its summer break, and ran on two nights a week. Saturday evenings were mainly for individual singers, Sundays for groups.

The above information comes from contemporary issues of SING and from their occasional club listings inserts (and from the Folk Forum column of MELODY MAKER in late 1962).

I believe the next Singers Club venue was the Royal Hotel on Southampton Row. I still have my ticket for 15 February 1964, which I think was the opening night there. I didn't find it that friendly a place but did return a month later. The person who impressed me most was Tom Paley, though I can't say which of the two nights that was.

When the Singers Club first started, Ewan MacColl wrote an article for SING entitled "Why I am opening a new club". It consisted of five numbered paragraphs. Here is the first of those:

“It is necessary to rescue a large number of young people, all of whom have the right instincts, from those influences that have appeared on the folk scene during the past two or three years – influences that are doing their best to debase the meaning of folk song. The only notes that some people care about are bank notes”.

He continues in a similar vein.