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2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act

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Vic Smith 17 Feb 18 - 03:12 PM
The Sandman 17 Feb 18 - 02:49 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Feb 18 - 02:38 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 17 Feb 18 - 02:37 PM
The Sandman 17 Feb 18 - 02:14 PM
The Sandman 17 Feb 18 - 02:01 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Feb 18 - 01:58 PM
The Sandman 17 Feb 18 - 01:52 PM
TheSnail 17 Feb 18 - 01:49 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Feb 18 - 01:47 PM
TheSnail 17 Feb 18 - 01:29 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Feb 18 - 11:53 AM
Big Al Whittle 17 Feb 18 - 11:51 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 17 Feb 18 - 11:42 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Feb 18 - 11:04 AM
TheSnail 16 Feb 18 - 07:14 PM
GUEST,Cj 16 Feb 18 - 05:09 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 16 Feb 18 - 03:50 PM
The Sandman 16 Feb 18 - 03:35 PM
The Sandman 16 Feb 18 - 11:37 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Feb 18 - 11:20 AM
Vic Smith 16 Feb 18 - 11:11 AM
The Sandman 16 Feb 18 - 10:32 AM
The Sandman 16 Feb 18 - 10:28 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Feb 18 - 10:27 AM
The Sandman 16 Feb 18 - 10:25 AM
Big Al Whittle 16 Feb 18 - 10:11 AM
Big Al Whittle 16 Feb 18 - 10:09 AM
GUEST,Cj 16 Feb 18 - 08:24 AM
TheSnail 16 Feb 18 - 07:52 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 16 Feb 18 - 07:03 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Feb 18 - 06:25 AM
TheSnail 16 Feb 18 - 05:24 AM
The Sandman 16 Feb 18 - 05:11 AM
Big Al Whittle 16 Feb 18 - 04:44 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Feb 18 - 04:01 AM
The Sandman 16 Feb 18 - 03:38 AM
The Sandman 16 Feb 18 - 03:32 AM
The Sandman 16 Feb 18 - 03:30 AM
GUEST,Cj 16 Feb 18 - 03:25 AM
The Sandman 16 Feb 18 - 03:25 AM
The Sandman 16 Feb 18 - 03:19 AM
Big Al Whittle 15 Feb 18 - 08:23 PM
GUEST,Cj 15 Feb 18 - 06:23 PM
Big Al Whittle 15 Feb 18 - 06:15 PM
Brian Peters 15 Feb 18 - 05:25 PM
The Sandman 15 Feb 18 - 04:23 PM
TheSnail 15 Feb 18 - 03:27 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 18 - 03:04 PM
TheSnail 15 Feb 18 - 02:44 PM
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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: Vic Smith
Date: 17 Feb 18 - 03:12 PM

I find him gratuitously nasty - a sign of low self-esteem in my experience - not unlike necrophilia and shit- throwing

Dick knows Bryan slightly but likes what he has seen, I have known him well for over forty years and have worked with him on quite a lot of projects. We have been fellow members of the organising committee of Lewes Folk Festival for around a decade now and I find him very pleasant company and very easy to work with. Apart from the work on this festival, he puts a lot of hours into being involved in sharing the running of the folk club in Lewes, running regular tune sessions and other events in the town. He is also the webmaster for a number of local folk music websites, I would not like to say how many hours he puts into behind-the-scenes organisation each week but I would reckon that the figure must be at the higher end of those spent by committed folk enthusiasts.

Jim has never met him yet feels able to make the sort of appallingly denigrating judgements in a post that has no discursive content but only contains foul insults.
I address a question to Joe Offer and other Mudcat adminstrators and ask them how far this man is allowed to go with such baseless, damagingly dangerous slurs on a public forum?


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Feb 18 - 02:49 PM

ah but you have not met him, you are judging him on your communications here on the net something that i have not done with you, it is a mistake to judge people when you have not met them, i have also met keith a of hertford, in person he is a -pleasant man with an interest in traditional songs, you have not met him but you insult both bryan and keith though you have never met either of them.


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Feb 18 - 02:38 PM

"I found him to be an agreeable person "
I'm sut=re yiou do - I find him gratuitously nasty - a sign of low self-esteem in my experience - not unlike necrophilia and shit- throwing
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 17 Feb 18 - 02:37 PM

"Why not ask him why there is no place in the UK for Walter any more?"

Unless I have mis-read things, from re-reading the Musical Traditions articles referred to a few days back it would appear that there is a place, at least two in fact which have collections of recordings of Walter Pardon The NSA and the Vaughan Willliams library at Cecil Sharp House.

There would appear to have been several people who have recorded Walter over the years so perhaps the organisations in the UK have what they consider sufficient material already.

In addition I am sure that the excellent collection put out by Rod Stradling on the Musical Traditions label is still available.


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Feb 18 - 02:14 PM

Bryan is a hard working club organiser who along with others also organises workshops. I found him to be an agreeable person and a good performer. Ihavenever met you and as i do not judge people until i have met them in the real world , Iwill not comment o you as a person your behaviour on this thread and others imo diminshes your good actions eg generous help to others on this forum


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Feb 18 - 02:01 PM

I am not a shit thrower Ewan was a polished professional performer an excellent songwriter and a good singer, he was generous with his time but not unique in that respect, one example has been given that of davey graham, so he was not the only one who was generous with his time, he along with others imposed a flawed rule[ i have pointed out the flaws[ before.the rule was proscriptive and as i have pointed out reminscent of the mad hatters tea party, that is criticism of the rule, it is not a criticism of Ewan as a performer or song writer, that is carefu;l criticism plus praise for his abilties, it is not shit throwing.


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Feb 18 - 01:58 PM

"peggy and tom were singing in an accent that was their own"
That's what I said Dick
Nobody hads ever suggested that people should sing songs that originated in their own backyard - most of us don't have access to those songs
Why are you belaboring this point
"Who are you accusing of gross distortion?"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Feb 18 - 01:52 PM

jim you are missing the point agaim, peggy and tom were singing in an accent that was their own[ but not authentic appalchian] at the singers club, yet peggy laughs at someone else singing in their own accent bcause it was not like leadbellys yet it was their own accent.the singers club is beginning to sound like the mad hatters tea party


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: TheSnail
Date: 17 Feb 18 - 01:49 PM

Who are you accusing of gross distortion?


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Feb 18 - 01:47 PM

Ah, the "out of context" defense. Totally meaningless and totally unanswerable."
If I spent the effort you do calling you a liar and saying you have no idea what is happening in you7r club you would have every justification in complaining about my behaviour
You really are a nasty piece of work aren't you Bryan?
You are providing a perfect example of the shit throwers who snapped around MacColl's heels when he was living and are now doing the same now he is dead
Get a life, fori crying out loud
"One of tonight's guests knew Walter Pardon."
Why not ask him why there is no place in the UK for Walter any more?
You ought to be ashamed of yourself Bryan


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: TheSnail
Date: 17 Feb 18 - 01:29 PM

Ah, the "out of context" defense. Totally meaningless and totally unanswerable.

gross distortion of how the group worked

Who are you accusing of gross distortion?

Off for a very pleasant evening at the club. One of tonight's guests knew Walter Pardon.


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Feb 18 - 11:53 AM

"no jim, an a north east american singer singing appalachian songs is no more valid accent wise than a londoner singing geordie songs."
Neiether Peggy or Tom Paley ever attempted an "Appalachian" accent - not in my hearing anyway
As yo so rudely say "stop talking balderdash." and if you re going to continue being so arrogantly rude, stop whining about others
Get a grip
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Feb 18 - 11:51 AM

There was a scouse country and western band in the 1970's who were very good called The Hillsiders.

Made a great album....Okie from Muskogee, She's Mine, Yes Virginia, Crying in the Rain,

Almost a blueprint for how to be a 1970's country band.

Just a different tribe.. They were playing the miners welfares, holiday camps. WMC's and Irish centres. Great singers and musicians.

The music had a great resonance for miners. I remember a 12 year old kid singing in class Merle Travis's Dark as a Dungeon, and the whole class joined in.


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 17 Feb 18 - 11:42 AM

Guest Cj above would appear to have little knowledge about guitar playing. Personally I think that it would take more than 12 hours to learn to play in a completely different tuning.

I never have enjoyed the work of either of the musicians involved but there is no denying that they were, or in Martin's case is still excellent musicians. Neither being crap nor dense.

Yet more uncalled for insults.


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Feb 18 - 11:04 AM

You are now saying that Sandra Kerr, Frankie Armstrong, Brian Pearson, Richard Snell, Phil Colclough were all lying?
And, of course, Peggy Seeger was involved in the programme."
Damn - never noticed that Bryan - I could have sworn that Martin Carthy made the programme and drew the conclusions - silly me !!
AS has been proven over and over again by you, among others, taking statements out of context can prove anything
Themisleading title was enough to show the direction the programme took
"Jim an east londoner is not a cockney unless born within the sound of bow bells. "
Who said they were Dick - what on earth are you referring to
If you're going to continue your aggressive bad behaviour I suggest you desist from it yourself
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: TheSnail
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 07:14 PM

It's a gross distortion of how the group worked
Jim Carroll

You are now saying that Sandra Kerr, Frankie Armstrong, Brian Pearson, Richard Snell, Phil Colclough were all lying?
Me
And, of course, Peggy Seeger was involved in the programme.

Perhaps I'll never know.


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: GUEST,Cj
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 05:09 PM

"davey graham spent a whole 12 hours showin MARTIN CARTHY DADGAD"

12 hours showing him how to detune 3 strings? Wow. Either a crap teacher or a dense student.


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 03:50 PM

Dick,

Used to be the Bells of St Mary le Bow Church in the City of London but some East Enders seem to think it was St Mary at Stratford atte Bow in Bow Road in the East End.
Problem for me is do I or do I not qualify?

"it was an East London lad local to the club according to Peggy"

Just to clarify Ballads & Blues meetings were at that time held at The Princess Louise which is in Holborn which is NOT local to the East End.

The obit linked by TheSnail above also says that MacColl Made an exception for John Baldry. Is that right? John was a regular at the Ballads and Blues and was there at it's final evening as was by co-incidence the lady that Ewan would not allow to sing an American song some years earlier when he and Peggy were regulars at the Princess Louise.


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 03:35 PM

joe henry and billy bragg sing rock island line billy sings in an american accent ,it is a good version stop talking crap,it does not prevent a good perfomance, the singers club with their proscriptive rules, they were so earnest, they seem to have forgotten that most people want to hear just a good perfomance billy bragg proves my point go on to you tube and open your ears and listen it is a good version his american accent does not ruin the performance.
long john recorded rock island line and attended the singers club, and yet you seem to think it was not him
"What made Ewan unique was his desire to share ideas and pass on opinions, information and material"of course that was generous of him ,but he was not the only one doing so ,he was not unique, for example davey graham spent a whole 12 hours showin MARTIN CARTHY DADGAD


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 11:37 AM

Jim an east londoner is not a cockney unless born within the sound of bow bells. Jim, it,is fec kin ridiculous and incorrect.
no jim, an a north east american singer singing appalachian songs is no more valid accent wise than a londoner singing geordie songs., stop talking balderdash.


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 11:20 AM

"feckin ridiculous and incorrect"
Don't know what this ill-mannered outburst is about Dick - you seem happy to behave in the way you've critcised others for bahaving
The young singer was not Baldry - it was an East London lad local to the club according to Peggy
If you can't tell the difference between a Londoner trying to sound like a black American convict and an American singer singing an American song in their own accent you should not be debating this
It was always an issue of trying to sing in a phony accent that had no part in your lives that was the issue
I think I know a dozen shanties and two songs that probably originated in Liverpool
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: Vic Smith
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 11:11 AM

he grew up speaking in one accent at home and another in the street

Don't tell me about it! I use to joke about being bi-ligual is Scots and English according to which parent I was talking to - but it means that the songs of rural Oxfordshire and rural Aberdeenshire both seems to trip easily of my tongue.


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 10:32 AM

Baldry's birth was registered in Brixworth Registration District in Northamptonshire in the first quarter of 1941. He was born to William James Baldry (1915-1990), a metropolitan police constable and his wife, Margaret Louisa née Parker (1915-1989). His early life was spent in Edgware, Middlesex where he attended Camrose Primary School until the age of 11, after which he attended Downer Grammar School, now Canons High School. Just before his death, he attended the school's 40th anniversary celebrations."
that still does not make him a cockney, I WAS BORN CLOSER IN BLACKHEATH ,BUT I AM STILL NOT A COCKNEY, It is rsther liker calling a teesider a geordie, feckin ridiculous and incorrect


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 10:28 AM

by the way it was long john baldry and Baldry's birth was registered in Brixworth Registration District in Northamptonshire, some feckin cockney, for god sake


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 10:27 AM

but all my family were regional accent speakers, as i suspect yours were jim"
I still have a strong Scouse accent - I tend to modulate it when I sing without (hopefully) sounding phony because that's what we were taught to do in school - to "speak properly"
MacColl was often slated for his 'phony' Scots accent, but it wasn't
He grew up in a Scots family surrounded by Scots people - he grew up speaking in one accent at home and another in the street, as did many families of exiles
I had meals with Ewan, Peggy and Ewan's mother and sometimes, when Ewan and Betsy were talking, sometimes you might have been siting in on a Bangladeshi conversation.   
Even now, when I'm on the phone talking to my sisters, Pat will know who I'm talking to because my accent changes
This is a thousand miles away from the phony Mid-Atlantic accents that are used by so many singers - neither fish nor fowl
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 10:25 AM

that was my whole point earlier PEGGY did not know a cockney accent, i belive the singer had a southern accent. anyway the whole thing was ridiculous as well as impolite, there is peggy singing appalaschian songs with a northern american accent, and she laughs at someone singning rock island line with an english accent as for jims remak about interpretation more bull shit, billy bragg interprets the song rock island lin4e very well admittedly he is singing with jo henry, it is a good version imo better than lonnies


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 10:11 AM

correction , when the evening is sspread out against the sky -s'been a long time!


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 10:09 AM

no i'm not saying i'm against regional accents. but all my family were regional accent speakers, as i suspect yours were jim,   you're a scouser, n'est-ce pas?

and you've got to admit its not just phoney American accents that can be toe curlingly embarrassing. Remember all those Americans with Beatle accents around the time of the fab four? my parents and me had lancashire accents.

I think it was my year doing English for A level that I realised the Lancashire accent was taking me weird places.

The first line of TS Eliot's poetry I ever looked at was

Let us go then you and I
When the moon is spread out against the sky.

I read it out loud, and it was at that point I realised I had never used the word 'I' in my life. My accent went...Ah'm doing this or Ah'm doing that.

if you have to change your accent for poetry, why not song?


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: GUEST,Cj
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 08:24 AM

Hey Al, not sure how much of that was aimed at me, but I'm happy for anyone to sing however they like, I merely prefer when they don't do it in somebody else's voice - be it from the otherside of the world or the other side of England.

Each to their own. Personally, I enjoy the personality of the performer. Everyone has their own personality - why try and copy someone else's?

There's a couple near me who sing Gillian Welch songs, attempting her and David Rawlings accents. They get it as close as they can and yep, it has its place, but for me, well, it's more an homage than anything particularly personal or interesting. I mean, it's nice hearing what someone has done in their kitchen, but not particularly thrilling. Singing it as themselves would just add a layer of intrigue and individualism.

But absolutely, each to their own. 'supposed to be fun, after all.

Not on my high horse - that galloped off decades ago.


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: TheSnail
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 07:52 AM

On the other hand, Baldry was there at the time and is likely to have sung Rock Island Line. Peggy's perception of British accents might not have been that great.


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 07:03 AM

Thanks to TheSnail for posting that obit. It's been a long time since I read it.

If Peggy was correct in claiming that the song was sung by a "Cockney Lad" then it certainly was NOT Long John Baldry. John's normal speaking voice was far away from that.

There is an error in the obit re The Steampacket but I won't go there or I'll be accused of thread drift and probably a lot more.


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 06:25 AM

Find you diatribe against regional accents interesting Al - are you suggesting we all shoulfd sing in phony accents that are not our own?Folk songs are stories or thoughts set to music - try telling a story or expressing an opinion in a phony accent and see how many people you convince
Some people need to be a fly on the wall after a Yank or Brit singer has left a session after a Yank or Brit has attempted an "Oirish accent"
I'm pretty sure American or Scots audiences are no different
You can SING in any accent you wish - I don't believe you can INTERPRET any song in any accent other than your own - that's the difference
In fact the Linga Franca of song being American is a relatively new thing - up to the beginning of the 20th century, when pop music overwhelmed folk song in people's culture, people tended to sing in their own accents without feeling the need to copy any other accent
Any performer who can't take friendly criticism needs to stay at home and sing in the bath to their rubber duck
What audiences don't say to your face they'll say behind your back - I know which I'd rather have
If you are able to listen to criticism with an open mind and without resentment from people who come to listen to you you might gain something from it
Thinking yourself above criticism is for Prima Dons and Donas - they've always been a pain in the arse, no matter how good they are

Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: TheSnail
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 05:24 AM

Dick suggests that the "Cockney lad" was Long John Baldry so this is interesting reading - https://www.theguardian.com/news/2005/jul/23/guardianobituaries.artsobituaries
Scroll down for the reference to MacColl but not a Cockney.


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 05:11 AM

by coincidence i sat in Budds cafe in ballydehob this morning the first song was Rock Island Line sung by jo henry and billy bragg, Ienjoed it despite billy singing in a strange accent, it was imo not as good as leadbelly but better than lonnie donegan, but it was a pleasure to hear an american folk song in a public place rather than what is available in most places which is bland 90s pop often the lyrics are banal and the music seems very samey.
on the subject of singers and singing it really is subjective for exam-ple there are two well known uk revialist singers one has a beautiful voice ut in my opinion lacks interpretation, the other is a good interpreter but i cannot take to his voice, then you have singers like Carthy who have good voices and are good interpreters and good accompanists.
in my opinion Peggy was a good singer a good musician a good accompanist and a good songwriter, and generous with her time as was Ewan


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 04:44 AM

I meant getting paid. If you don't get paid, you can't afford decent instruments, recording oppotunities.

What the professional folkies don't get is that their 'natural' accents are as bloody pathetic to actual dialect speakers, as any cabaret artist being Johnny Cash or Tom Jones. American accents are the lingua franca of working class music - has been since American acts became popular in music halls in the 1880's.

Ian Campbell once told me that his Dad's biggest influence as a singer was Al Jolson.   My Mum sang in an approximation of Americanese. Didn't speak that way - but that's how she sang.

My father in law's Derbyshire was impenetrable to me when I first met my wife. Apparently his Dad spoke in an even more unintelligible stain of Derbyshire.

No name no packdrill, but I've sat through evenings of Derbyshire folksong, that were about as convincing as Laurence Olivier's rasta Othello. To date, to my certain knowledge - no one has ever conquered the Eastwood accent in any DH Lawrence production known to man.And considering the eminence of Lawrence's talent - that's a pretty sloppy response by the educated classes.

I'm not saying attempts by middle class folks to sing folk songs is valueless - but for Christ's sake - get off your high horse about pro- singers who venture outside the Hundred Acre wood of English folk club type audiences.

Why do we have such bile towards other singers and artists. And why for God's sake can't you just do your own thing without criticising and telling us about how bloody superior your vision of English folksong is?


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 04:01 AM

"Jim, please answer my question what did you think of the 2 biographies"
Why should I Dick, you haven't answered any of mine?
I think it is a rather meaningless question anyway - like "what do you prefer, a Madras Curry or a sticky-toffee pudding - I like both, they both give me different sensations and satisfy different cravings
Ewan and Peggy came from different backgrounds and both brought different experiences to the music scene - one is no more or less valuable than the other
Peggy introduced me to a totally different aspect of traditional song than Ewan could possibly have done - and vise versa
I became totality hooked on her ballad singing, just as I did with Ewans
I got masses of new information from Ben Harker's book that I didn't know, but I half filled a notebook with critical comments on some of his conclusions.
Harker's problem was that he never knew MacColl so he had to rely on the often contradictory opinions of others, many who also didn't know MacColl
Harker interviewed us and he told us that everybody he had interviewed who had worked with him were incredibly defensive and guarded in what they said even though the acting group had broken up acrimoniously
That was the way it was with MacColl - you took what he had to offer and, if you had any sense, you filtered out that which you were not sure about or didn't agree with - isn't that what you do with every genius (like him or not, that was what Ewan was as far as passing on his analytical approach to performing - I've heard both his enemies and his friends describe him as such).
What made Ewan unique was his desire to share ideas and pass on opinions, information and material.
Of all the things I got from Ewan, it was the desire to pass on anything we have to anybody who would make good use of it that has stuck with me.
Before I moved to London I spent half a dozen week-ends staying with them, copying their recordings - fieldwork, lectures - anything they had was there for the taking
Peggy had a filing cabinet draw of song texts she had assembled from various places, all in multi copies - she told me to help myself as long as I didn't take the last copy of a song so she could make more duplicates for the next person - that's the way they organised their lives
I remember feeling sorry for their youngest son Calum, whose small bedroom had been rigged out with two linked tape recorders so that visitors could use it as a copying studio and a spare bed - every time a visitor turned up he would be turfed out to share a bed with his brother Neil so we could work away for a couple of days
Say what you want about MacColl and Seeger - I never knew another person on the scene who did that (Charlie Parker did to some extent, but he was away from home a lot)
Both Ewan and Peggy have two books on their lives - Ewan has his own 'Journeyman' and Ben Harker's biography
A roughly accurate picture of his life, in my opinion, would be got by reading the two and sorting the wheat from the chaff in both
The same with Peggy - her own book is basically an outpouring of her life, full of personal information without too much analysis - a pleasure to read
Jean Freedman's book is analytical and well researched. with masses of information from others
Jean told us when she interviews us on line that she got the same guarded defensiveness about Ewan from everybody she interviewed
Like Ewan, the two Peggy books work hand-in-hand
Peter Cox's 'Set into Song' is a brilliant analysis of the work that went into the Radio Ballads - a must.
I've yet to read Alan Moore's and Giovanni Vacca's 'The Legacy of Ewan MacColl' - only just got it
It's a waste of time if you read these books uncritically, but it's equally pointless to read them with some of the preconceptions and misinformation that has always surrounded the work of Ewan and Peggy.
They really did have a lot to offer, and they offered it far more readily than anybody I ever met - on the folk scene or anywhare else in my life
They deserve more than the garbage that has been built up around their work - usually by people who offered to share nothing
Jim Carroll
Sorry if this is a mess - a stream of semi-consciousness from somebody who hasn't woken up yet


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 03:38 AM

Brian Peters, can you clarify who made that post about Peggy , IT CERTAINLY WAS NOT ME


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 03:32 AM

but the the rule may have just been for this club, however i was there at the time and the influence spread way beyond that.


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 03:30 AM

Professional[imo] means trying to to a job to as high standard ,that means practising, turning up to a gig on time and not getting drunk so that one cannot [perform well.
it also has a different meaning which is getting paid for doing a job, but i do not think that is the interpretation that is meant in this thread


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: GUEST,Cj
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 03:25 AM

See for me Al, I find UK people singing in American accents ridiculous. Sure, they may be professional, but they're not themselves. It's just Stars In Their Eyes.

Knock away the "seriously" word if you like, but I find the "professional" word just as galling. A professional what? A proffesional mid-atlantic dj?

Eaxh to their own though. And the important thing to remember was, this rule was only for their club. There were hundreds of other clubs where you could wear a cowboy hat and sing about life on the trail.


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 03:25 AM

So it is ironic, singing in your own accent was encouraged yet when a so called cockney lad sings rock island line he is publicly laughed at, the whole episode is reminiscent of the mad hatters tea party


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 03:19 AM

I applaud the "sing in your own accent" ideal. An impression of an Appalachian, Irish, Devon or Jamaican accent is one step away from BnW Minstrels not to be taken particularly seriously
that was exactly what the lad [i believe it was long john baldry] was doing when singing Rock ISLAND LINE.singing it with a south east english accent, PEGGY SEEGER burst out laughing.
I found the anecdotes about Brendan Behan in Journey man particularly intersting, it is a very interesting book.
CJ ,i have nothing to apologise for i have no idea what Jim Carroll looks like i have never met him, I did not name him, he apparantly has black hair i have never attacked anyone whether they were eskimos black haired ginge haired,wering amohican or anything else   if i did meet him I would be polite, say good morning and move on , i have more interesting things to be doing


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 08:23 PM

some of us - don't give a shit about being 'taken seriously'.

but we do take our music seriously. we entertain. and in this way we wring a living as performing artists from the dull earth.

being told to sing in our natural accents is frankly as f---ing stupid as telling Dustin Hoffman playing Tootsie to play the part using his natural accent.The people who wrote the songs we sing have and usually had lives quite as removed from most folksingers lives, as Dorothy was from Dustin.

There are far too many folksingers concerned with being taken seriously rather than applying themselves to doing a decent well presented professional performance.


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: GUEST,Cj
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 06:23 PM

Dick, I'm a fan of your music but that ridiculous post about the ginger man is a disgrace and you should apologise for it.

Regardless of who came up with the idea and how lax the rules were for EM and PS, I applaud the "sing in your own accent" ideal. An impression of an Appalachian, Irish, Devon or Jamaican accent is one step away from BnW Minstrels not to be taken particularly seriously.


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 06:15 PM

Why don't the two of you make out a list each. A list of the issues you disagree with each other about.

Then we can bear that in mind, when you both express an opinion.

I'm sure you are both represent different strands of opinion in the world of traditional folk music.

Its sort of nearly interesting that you disagree with each other.   On the other hand, neither of you agree with me about anything much, but it doesn't make everything valueless that I have to say. And to me you are both GOM of folk music - I cannot conceive of either you holding an insincere or uninformed thought about folk music.

If you can get to the point where you say this my opinion , and I come at the subject from this direction. I think a harmonious and respectful dialogue could be achieved.


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: Brian Peters
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 05:25 PM

Wby is reverance for Peggy Seeger's musicianship sacrosanct? (Ok, she could strum an autoharp.)

Unpleasantly patronising. Peggy is is an excellent banjo frailer and concertina player and, at a time when instrumental virtuosity was less common in the folk music world than it is now, was indeed an instrumentalist others looked up to. Oh, and she's a great singer and a pleasant and generous person. More generous than that comment, certainly.


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 04:23 PM

Jim, please answer my question what did you think of the 2 biographies


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: TheSnail
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 03:27 PM

I was going to avoid engaging with you at all, Jim, but...
You are now saying that Sandra Kerr, Frankie Armstrong, Brian Pearson, Richard Snell, Phil Colclough were all lying?


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 03:04 PM

"I've heard this before but it is rather interesting"
It's a gross distortion of how the group worked
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: TheSnail
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 02:44 PM

I've heard this before but it is rather interesting
How Folk Songs Should be Sung


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