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John Brune FolkSong collector

The Sandman 06 Aug 07 - 05:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Aug 07 - 05:11 PM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 06 Aug 07 - 04:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Aug 07 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 06 Aug 07 - 08:06 AM
The Sandman 06 Aug 07 - 05:42 AM
Folkiedave 06 Aug 07 - 04:47 AM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 06 Aug 07 - 03:51 AM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Aug 07 - 04:42 PM
curmudgeon 05 Aug 07 - 04:30 PM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 05 Aug 07 - 04:27 PM
RoyH (Burl) 05 Aug 07 - 04:22 PM
tijuanatime 05 Aug 07 - 04:20 PM
Malcolm Douglas 05 Aug 07 - 04:16 PM
The Sandman 05 Aug 07 - 03:07 PM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 05 Aug 07 - 02:54 PM
The Sandman 05 Aug 07 - 02:52 PM
GUEST 05 Aug 07 - 02:42 PM
The Sandman 05 Aug 07 - 02:29 PM
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Subject: RE: John Brune FolkSong collector
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Aug 07 - 05:51 PM

no one on this thread has indulged in dancing on Maccolls grave.
Jim Carroll,Bob Peggand living tradition say one thing,you say another.
actually I find the thought of John Brune singing in falsetto and not being detected amusing.
he did in fact own up to what he did,and the end product the radio ballad about the Travellers was still excellent.


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Subject: RE: John Brune FolkSong collector
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Aug 07 - 05:11 PM

Dancing on people's graves isn't something we should indulge in, that's true enough.


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Subject: RE: John Brune FolkSong collector
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Aug 07 - 04:52 PM

McGrath,
I knew a number of the people concerned, including MacColl Seeger and Parker, who were the co-producers and John Faulkner, who performed on the programme. Arch anti-MacCollite Reg Hall (the one who blatantly lied on Folk Britannia about MacColl and Lloyd's 'policy of setting up folk ensembles') was a close friend and admirer of Brune; it was he who first told me the story as an example of MacColl's gullibility - I believed him, you may believe what you like.
While there are still people around who take great delight in dancing on MacColl's grave eighteen years after his death I feel perfectly justified in setting the record straight - you may call it mud-slinging if you wish.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: John Brune FolkSong collector
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Aug 07 - 04:11 PM

God knows the exact truth all these years later - but I can't see anything in either version to justify that kind of attack on John, any more than at Ewan. Why do some of us get off on throwing insults around? Whether at the big fish or the samll fry?


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Subject: RE: John Brune FolkSong collector
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 06 Aug 07 - 08:06 AM

Some people appear to be really, really desperate to cling on to this myth that MacColl 'told people what to sing'. Personally, I think it's a sign of some sort of deep-seated insecurity.

Just relax - he can't get you now - he's been dead for 18 years!!


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Subject: RE: John Brune FolkSong collector
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Aug 07 - 05:42 AM

Thanks, everybody.
I remember playing South Petherton folk club, in the 1980s and briefly meeting John Brunner,the name sounded similiar,so apologies for my confusion.
Jim,when one reads an article in Living Tradition,and the author is a songwriter like Bob Pegg,its not unreasonable to conclude that the facts given are true.
I agree,the Travelling People was a very important radio programme.
probably More important Than the singers club policy,was the booking of traditional singers such as Fred Jordan, Harry Cox, Bob Roberts,Willie Scott at folk festivals such as Sidmouth, Whitby,Fylde, Redcar, Loughborough. and at folk clubs throughout the country.
in my opinion telling people what to sing never works,
although I understand the reason for the singers club policy.,the singers club was only one club,and was not that important,there were undoubtedly more people attending the above mentioned folk festivals than the singers club.


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Subject: RE: John Brune FolkSong collector
From: Folkiedave
Date: 06 Aug 07 - 04:47 AM

Can I add that according to Peggy the policy was decided by a committee of the club - not a decision of Seeger/MacColl's - and that it was NEVER that you sang in your own language - but that you sang in a language you were familiar with or indeed spoke with fluency.

And indeed as Jim points out - it was in part instrumental in opening up the repertoire.


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Subject: RE: John Brune FolkSong collector
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Aug 07 - 03:51 AM

Cap'n,
The story of MacColl interrupting Brune's singing was another of those doing the rounds of the revival and is totally unsubstantiated.
It was club policy that guest singers be encouraged to sing songs from their own national backgrounds, but in the twenty years I was associated with MacColl (attending the Singers Club virtually every week) or through questioning people who knew him far longer than I did, I have never been able to find a single case of him interrupting a singer or of insisting that they sing anything - it wasn't the way he, or any club resident behaved on stage.
The policy was adopted because, as Alan Lomax pointed out, in the early days of the revival there was a great danger of the clubs being swamped by not only American material and accents, but also it was quite a regular occurrence to hear a singer sing a song say, in German, Russian, Yiddish, Polish, Mandarin Chinese.... you name it. Lomax, Lloyd, MacColl, Seeger and the rest felt that the best way to open up the British repertoire was to have a policy which was aimed in that direction. As far as I can see - it worked.
The story about the 'travellers' songs that Brune supplied went as follows: (It is often told as an anti-MacColl story by people who didn't like him, so I have no reason to doubt its veracity) was:
Coming to the end of the preparation for "The Travelling People" MacColl and Parker decided it would be a good idea to try and fnd songs that were specifically Traveller compositions, (we found enough of these among the Irish Travellers) so they put out an appeal for such.
Brune responded with a recording of 'an old English Travelling woman' singing 'Traveller' songs; these recordings were of Brune singing his own songs in a funny voice.
The production team decided that these were good enough to make the point that Travellers were composers as well as singers and musicians, so one of the songs was given to Sheila Stewart to sing for the programme. When it was found to be a fake it was withdrawn. Had it been used as a 'Traveller's own' song it would have undermined the authenticity of the whole programme. God knows, the Travellers had (and have) enough enemies who would have jumped at the chance to point the finger and cry 'fake'.
For many of us, 'The Travelling People' put Travellers on the map and was the reason people like myself became involved with them. The support they got in the sixties, particularly the mass demonstrations at Brownhills after the death of three Traveller children, was largely due to people having heard the programme.
As far as I'm concerned Brune was a vicious prick who summed up much of the vicious prickism surrounding MacColl.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: John Brune FolkSong collector
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Aug 07 - 04:42 PM

John Brunner wrote a few songs too, notably "The H-bombs Thunder", which for some reason doesn't come up under that name anyway in the Digital Tradition, but does on this Digital Tradition Mirror. Tune of Miner's Lifeguard, of course. But not to be confused with John Brune.

John Brune - I knew him years back in the Sixties, via Cecil Sharp House and a spin-off club round the corner at The York and Albany pub. A quirky chap with a good sense of humour and a flexible atitude towards song collecting, (probably) adding in his own verses to, for example, Spanish Ladies and claiming he'd collected them. He was good company.

As for that story in the link, to blame John Brune for that seems a bit thick. Ewan MacColl was a great songwriter and singer, and we owe an enormous debt to him - but he could be extraordinarily arrogant and petty when he chose to be, and this comes across as a prime example.


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Subject: RE: John Brune FolkSong collector
From: curmudgeon
Date: 05 Aug 07 - 04:30 PM

And at least one anti-nuke song of Brunner's was included in the MacColl-Seeger anthology, "Songs For the Sixties." - Tom


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Subject: RE: John Brune FolkSong collector
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 05 Aug 07 - 04:27 PM

There was a UK sci fi writer called John BRUNNER. Here's a link: John Brunner

Cheers

Nigel


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Subject: RE: John Brune FolkSong collector
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 05 Aug 07 - 04:22 PM

It was John Brunner wwho ran the South Petherton festival. He was a folkie, and a sci=fi writer. Burl


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Subject: RE: John Brune FolkSong collector
From: tijuanatime
Date: 05 Aug 07 - 04:20 PM

I think the sci-fi writer you're thinking of is John Brunner, a completely different person as far as I am aware


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Subject: RE: John Brune FolkSong collector
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 Aug 07 - 04:16 PM

John A Brune was Jewish, originally from Austria; he came here as a refugee just before the War, I gather, and certainly lived in South London somehere at one time. He died in April 2001; there is a brief obit at http://www.mustrad.org.uk/news22.htm

Sheila Stewart's account of his run-in with Ewan McColl: http://www.folkmusic.net/htmfiles/inart599.htm

The Roving Songster volume 1 (actually there never was a second volume) contained a mix of Brune's own songs, a few by others (Belle Stewart's 'Berryfields of Blair', for example) and traditional pieces. It was published by Gillian Cook of Collet's record shop in 1965. He also wrote Resonant Rubbish (EFDSS, 1974): how to make basic musical instruments out of junk, from what I recall.

He recorded songs from a number of Travellers; some of these are listed in the Roud Folk Song Index, which you can search for yourself at http://library.efdss.org/

He also did the layout work for the original edition of Marrow Bones, though Frank Purslow told me that Peter Kennedy also had a hand in that. The results weren't terribly good.

Beyond that, I know nothing about him; certainly not whether he also wrote sci-fi. There must be at least a few people round here who knew him, though.


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Subject: RE: John Brune FolkSong collector
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Aug 07 - 03:07 PM

have just read the article in living tradition,couldnt find your letter.
I Think Ewan Maccoll acted incorrectly in interrupting a performer,and telling him to sing songs from Austria,The correct thing to do would have been to wait until people were leaving the club and then had a quiet word of explanation about the clubs policies.
If anybody interrupted me while singing a song,and tried to tell me what to sing,Iwould take strong exception to it.


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Subject: RE: John Brune FolkSong collector
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Aug 07 - 02:54 PM

Sorry Cap'n - dont know,
He did issue a book of his own songs once
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: John Brune FolkSong collector
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Aug 07 - 02:52 PM

Jim,can you tell me which songs he collected from travellers,do you also know whether he was a sci fi writer.


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Subject: RE: John Brune FolkSong collector
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Aug 07 - 02:42 PM

John Brune was the arsehole who professed to be interested in Travellers - and did some collecting from them, but deliberately attempted to sabotage the first and most important radio programme about them,(the Radio Ballad, The Travelling People). He was partly successful as he managed to remove Sheila Stewart from the programme.
More information is to be found from Bob Pegg's article on Sheila Stewart on Living Tradition webpage and my letter published in the following edition
Jim Carroll
    Please remember to use a consistent name when you post. Messages with the "from" space blank, risk being deleted.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: John Brune FolkSong collector
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Aug 07 - 02:29 PM

Can anyone give me information about this folk song collector.,was he also a writer of science fiction,and did he live near South Petherton,in England


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