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Folk singers with longest career

Leadbelly 14 Nov 07 - 12:26 PM
The Sandman 14 Nov 07 - 12:34 PM
Folkiedave 14 Nov 07 - 12:43 PM
The Villan 14 Nov 07 - 12:53 PM
pdq 14 Nov 07 - 12:55 PM
Folkiedave 14 Nov 07 - 12:58 PM
John MacKenzie 14 Nov 07 - 12:58 PM
Dan Schatz 14 Nov 07 - 01:04 PM
Kevin Sheils 14 Nov 07 - 01:05 PM
The Villan 14 Nov 07 - 01:11 PM
Little Robyn 14 Nov 07 - 01:30 PM
gnomad 14 Nov 07 - 02:16 PM
theballadeer 14 Nov 07 - 03:01 PM
Newport Boy 14 Nov 07 - 03:05 PM
Rog Peek 14 Nov 07 - 03:11 PM
GUEST,allan s 14 Nov 07 - 03:36 PM
Fidjit 14 Nov 07 - 04:56 PM
Rusty Dobro 14 Nov 07 - 04:57 PM
dick greenhaus 14 Nov 07 - 05:22 PM
oggie 14 Nov 07 - 05:33 PM
Fidjit 14 Nov 07 - 05:38 PM
Rabbi-Sol 14 Nov 07 - 06:58 PM
Sandra in Sydney 14 Nov 07 - 07:01 PM
Brendy 14 Nov 07 - 07:06 PM
GUEST,Mike B. 14 Nov 07 - 08:19 PM
GUEST,Bill the sound 14 Nov 07 - 08:55 PM
quantock 14 Nov 07 - 08:58 PM
Effsee 14 Nov 07 - 10:17 PM
Fred McCormick 15 Nov 07 - 04:25 AM
Grab 15 Nov 07 - 06:46 AM
GUEST,andymac 15 Nov 07 - 07:36 AM
kendall 15 Nov 07 - 08:08 AM
GUEST,woodsie 15 Nov 07 - 11:12 AM
John on the Sunset Coast 15 Nov 07 - 11:52 AM
dick greenhaus 15 Nov 07 - 01:25 PM
Richard Bridge 15 Nov 07 - 04:35 PM
Cool Beans 15 Nov 07 - 05:30 PM
oldhippie 16 Nov 07 - 11:39 AM
Leadbelly 16 Nov 07 - 12:16 PM
Rabbi-Sol 16 Nov 07 - 12:18 PM
Leadbelly 16 Nov 07 - 12:28 PM
Rabbi-Sol 16 Nov 07 - 12:31 PM
Folkie101 16 Nov 07 - 01:34 PM
pdq 16 Nov 07 - 01:44 PM
GUEST 23 May 14 - 03:00 PM
RoyH (Burl) 23 May 14 - 04:43 PM
pdq 23 May 14 - 04:59 PM
Mark Ross 23 May 14 - 06:19 PM
GUEST,Erich 24 May 14 - 02:12 AM
GUEST,padgett 24 May 14 - 03:07 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 24 May 14 - 05:25 AM
Johnny J 24 May 14 - 06:59 AM
The Sandman 24 May 14 - 01:03 PM
Don Firth 24 May 14 - 05:31 PM
GUEST,Anne Neilson 24 May 14 - 05:53 PM
Airymouse 24 May 14 - 06:42 PM
GUEST,Tony Rath aka Tonyteach 24 May 14 - 07:21 PM
voyager 24 May 14 - 08:13 PM
GUEST 27 May 14 - 05:11 AM
Leadbelly 27 May 14 - 06:25 AM
Young Buchan 27 May 14 - 08:23 AM
Stringsinger 27 May 14 - 01:23 PM
GUEST 27 May 14 - 01:49 PM
Leadbelly 27 May 14 - 01:49 PM
Don Firth 27 May 14 - 02:53 PM
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Subject: Folk singers with longest active career
From: Leadbelly
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 12:26 PM

Hi,

productive careers of folk singers are mostly limited because of many reasons.
My answer to this thread might be, although not being comletely sure about this, that Pete Seeger is the one and only. He started in 1940 together with the Almanac Singers ( Woody Guthrie and others)and is active now for more than 60 years.

Any other ideas? Please concentrate on folk. Blues might be another cup of tea.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 12:34 PM

CyrilTawney 50 years,Martin Carthy 47? years.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 12:43 PM

Martin was 17 when he first saw his "muse" Sam Larner in 1959.

Can I offer instead Jim Kroh? Jim is a singer with the Glenrock Carolers http://www.glenrockcarolers.org/ and has sung every Christmas (except for the war years when he missed a couple of occasions because he was abroad) since 1935.

Of course he hasn't done as many gigs as the others - just one spot a year. On the other hand they don't walk 8 miles during each gig!!


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: The Villan
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 12:53 PM

Surely nobody can compete with your answers FolkieDave, with all your knowledgeable books :-)


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: pdq
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 12:55 PM

Bascom Lamar Lunsford lived to be 90 or more and spent his whole adult life collecting and playing folk music. He was as important as anyone in preserving American folk music, which he did for over 70 years.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 12:58 PM

Nice one Les - though as will soon be revealed (my lips are sealed for a few more days) this was based on personal experience.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 12:58 PM

Johnny Silvo?


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 01:04 PM

Our own Kytrad (Jean Ritchie) has been performing for going on 60 years, and that's after she moved North. Doc Watson has probably been performing for close to that long.

Dan Schatz


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 01:05 PM

Colin Wilkie was already well established when I started going to clubs in the 60's and still seems to be going strong in Germany.

He recently became one of my "myspace" friends, bringing back plenty of memories.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: The Villan
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 01:11 PM

Brian Dawson maybe from Lincolnshire


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Little Robyn
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 01:30 PM

Other members of the Weavers have been performing almost as long as Pete - Ronnie Gilbert, Fred Hellerman, Erik Darling and also Frank Hamilton who is lurking around here somewhere.
Hi Frank.
And then Pete's siblings must be catching up too.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: gnomad
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 02:16 PM

How about the late Bob Copper? His involvement seems to have been from around 1930s, and lasted to his death in 2004, aged 89.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: theballadeer
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 03:01 PM

Liam Clancy - 51 years and counting...


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Newport Boy
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 03:05 PM

And there's also Phil Tanner. He was almost certainly singing publicly well before he appeared before the Royal Commission on Land in Wales & Monmouthshire in 1893, and continued until very shortly before his death in 1950.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Rog Peek
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 03:11 PM

Tom Paxton has to be up there, 70 years of age and still touring.

Rog


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: GUEST,allan s
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 03:36 PM

New Lost City Ramblers John Cohen & Tom Paley Iremember them from 1953 at Yale 54 years..


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Fidjit
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 04:56 PM

Tim Hart thouoh not still performing. Maddy no youngster either. Johnny Silvo is in his 70's, but Pete Seeger is a must for top of the list.

Chas


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 04:57 PM

Bill Churchyard, who died last month aged 91, had been singing at the same Suffolk pub since well before WWII. 75 years?


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 05:22 PM

I suspect that Oscar Brand would be the undisputed champ (he was singing in the late 30s) if it weren't for Sam Hinton (who was singing like, forever)


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: oggie
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 05:33 PM

Leon Rosselson must be pushing 50 years on the cicuit and still going.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Fidjit
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 05:38 PM

And I'll be 75 next year !!

Chas


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 06:58 PM

I have to agree with Dick Greenhaus. Not only is Oscar Brand the undisputed champ but he has the longest running folk radio show on WNYC, over 60 years and still counting.
                                                SOL


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 07:01 PM

here in Oz we have Alex Hood who has been preforming since he joined the Bushwhackers, the first Bush Band, founded 1952. Chris was not a foundation member but became a member after joining the original Sydney production of "Reedy River" in 1953.

Bushwhackers 1955, entertaining kids (except for one very bored boy!)

No doubt Bob Bolton can name other & maybe older Oz performers as he knows more of the history of the Oz folk revival than I do.

sandra


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Brendy
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 07:06 PM

Packie Manus Byrne?

He's turning 91 soon....

B.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: GUEST,Mike B.
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 08:19 PM

There was Joe Glazer (labor's troubadour) - active from the 1940s until shortly before his death last year.

Longest running folk group (with no replacements along the way) has to be Peter, Paul and Mary.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: GUEST,Bill the sound
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 08:55 PM

Derek Brimstone must be in the running also Hamish Henderson (sadly no longer with us) I saw him singing in Edinburgh when he was eighty


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: quantock
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 08:58 PM

Shirley Collins? Must be at least 50 years.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Effsee
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 10:17 PM

Jeeze, I feel young again!


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 15 Nov 07 - 04:25 AM

"Longest running folk group (with no replacements along the way) has to be Peter, Paul and Mary."

The Rakes have been going for over fifty years with no personnel changes.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Grab
Date: 15 Nov 07 - 06:46 AM

Davey Graham's career started in 1959. Whether it should still be running has occupied a whole separate thread, though. :-/


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: GUEST,andymac
Date: 15 Nov 07 - 07:36 AM

Saw Louis Killen just a year or so ago, he must be well in there for longevity...
Packie Manus byrne as mentioned, still going strong...
Longest running roup with no changes? One candidate would be the Clutha, been running over 40 years and the only change is that (the fabulous) John Eaglesham no longer performs with them.

Another one might also be Flora McNeil of Barra, active at singing and collecting when Hamish henderson and Alan Lomax went collecting in the early 1950s.

What about Sheila Stewart? I'd wager like most traditional singers, she was singing from a very early age indeed and is now not quite so early-aged..

Bob Davenport must be another who's been round a while.

Then there's the wonderful John Milnes Baker from Connecticut, under appreciated, under-heard and just turned 75. told me a fabulous story last month when I visited of being in Moe Asch's store on Union Sq. and meeting a man with a guitar and wiry hair who was waiting for the start of the Sunday backroom session but was early and struck up a few songs..So John, in 1947 or so, sat alone in the shop, and was entertained by Woody Guthrie..


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: kendall
Date: 15 Nov 07 - 08:08 AM

Gordon Bok, 50 years.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: GUEST,woodsie
Date: 15 Nov 07 - 11:12 AM

The brilliant Wizz Jones is still going strong after more than 50 years on the folk scene


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 15 Nov 07 - 11:52 AM

Dick Greenhaus beat me to Sam Hinton. John Jacob Niles had a career as collector, folklorist and performer that approached sixty years.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 15 Nov 07 - 01:25 PM

Hinton, parenthetically, coined the term folksinger.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Nov 07 - 04:35 PM

He's dead now, of course, but Hugill?


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Cool Beans
Date: 15 Nov 07 - 05:30 PM

Tom Glazer must have performed for 60 years or more.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: oldhippie
Date: 16 Nov 07 - 11:39 AM

Tom Lehrer is still around, although no longer performing.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Leadbelly
Date: 16 Nov 07 - 12:16 PM

Thinking of Tom Lehrer, his "good old friend" Georg Kreisler has to be mentioned. Born in 1922, he made 3 unreleased US-records in 1947.
And he's still on stage. Comes very near to Pete Seeger and some others mentioned.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 16 Nov 07 - 12:18 PM

Nobody mentioned Faith Petric who is way up in her 90s now. She is still performing.

                                                       SOL


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Leadbelly
Date: 16 Nov 07 - 12:28 PM

"She is still performing."

If this is true, Rabbi-Sol, Faith is our top-candidate at the moment.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 16 Nov 07 - 12:31 PM

She does not travel to festivals anymore but she still performs regularly in the San Francisco area where she lives.

                                                    SOL


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Folkie101
Date: 16 Nov 07 - 01:34 PM

Odetta still performs yearly.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: pdq
Date: 16 Nov 07 - 01:44 PM

There may be some question as to what constitutes a "career", but here is...

                         Faith Petric


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: GUEST
Date: 23 May 14 - 03:00 PM

The Rakes are still doing gigs!


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 23 May 14 - 04:43 PM

I started as a professional in 1964. I don't travel as widely as I used to, but I'm still active . I will be 81 in June.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: pdq
Date: 23 May 14 - 04:59 PM

Today, 23 MAY 2014 is Mac Wiseman's 89th birthday.

Happy birthday from all Folk, Country and Bluegrass fans.

He was playing bass for Bill Monroe in the late 1940s. A long time ago.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Mark Ross
Date: 23 May 14 - 06:19 PM

Ramblin' Jack is still going strong at 82. Just saw him perform last night here in Eugene, Oregon.


Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: GUEST,Erich
Date: 24 May 14 - 02:12 AM

Guy Carawan, Roy Bailey.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: GUEST,padgett
Date: 24 May 14 - 03:07 AM

Derek Brimstone, Harvey Andrews, Tom Paley maybe

Ray


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 24 May 14 - 05:25 AM

How about "Yankee Jack" John Short of Watchet who was a shanty man during the time of the American Civil War and still singing up to his death in 1933 at the age of 94.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Johnny J
Date: 24 May 14 - 06:59 AM

Longevity isn't everything.

While the names mentioned above are very worthy, there are many performers on the scene who just are going through the motions and should have retired years ago. Some artists have a relatively short performing/recording span but make a far greater impact in a shorter period of time.

!0 years of brilliance is just as good as a lifetime of mediocrity.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 May 14 - 01:03 PM

I cannot think of any professional perfomers who are mediocre.
mediocrity like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, what might be mediocre to johnny j, might be beautiful to someone else.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Don Firth
Date: 24 May 14 - 05:31 PM

Tom Robbins (Another Roadside Attraction, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Still Life with Woodpecker, others) refers to his career as his "careen."

I like that. I'm hardly world famous, but I think I'm reasonably well-known in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle and environs).

I became acquainted with folk music in the 1940s when I listened to Burl Ives Sunday afternoon radio program, "The Wayfaring Stranger" and saw the movie "Glamor Girl" (1948) featuring Susan Reed. A friend of mine had an album by Richard Dyer-Bennet. Then, in my third year at the University of Washington I started going with a young lady who was into folk music in a big way, teaching herself to play the fine old parlor guitar her grandmother gave her and learning songs from a small paperback that was around at the time, A Treasury of Folk Songs compiled by John and Sylvia Kolb. Looked like fun, so I bought a cheap guitar ($9.95 plus a $5.00 fiberboard case) and a copy of the book, and started learning along with her.

One evening she and I went to an informal concert by Walt Robertson. I was completely enthralled by the variety of songs he sang, and it hit me. I wanted to do that! And I went at it in a big way, hit Walt up for lessons, then studied classical guitar (fast way to learn to use your right hand fingers), took a few voice lessons, and practiced up a storm.

I'd been at it for about three years when I got hired for my first gig. This would have been about 1955. A group of about 250 people. I was scared spitless, but when I finished (they really seemed to enjoy it and let me escape with my life!), I was exhilarated!   And I sang just about everywhere they would let me. In 1959, I was asked to do a series of television programs on Seattle' new educational station, KCTS-TV called "Ballads and Books," funded by the Seattle Public Library. This led to all kinds of jobs, regular coffee house engagements, college concerts, arts festivals. . . .   I was busy.

The most recent concert was with Bob (Deckman) Nelson, in 2007. But since then, I've pretty well hung it up. Within recent years, I've had to haul my carcass around in a wheelchair and it's getting tougher to get places.

But I still practice. Why practice you ask? Because I enjoy it!

Never made any records, but I'd like to. We'll see. . . .

But I think Bob Nelson has me beat. I'd been at it for a year maybe when I met Bob. He was sixteen at the time and had been at it since he was thirteen. He'd met a fellow named Bill Higley (Willowah Willie), who knew Haywire Mac, and Bob started learning the guitar and every song he could gleep off of Bill Higley, and from a big stack of Burl Ives records.

Bob and I worked together, singing concerts and coffee house gigs, off and on, for well over fifty years.

Don (*creak*) Firth


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: GUEST,Anne Neilson
Date: 24 May 14 - 05:53 PM

Archie Fisher, from Glasgow, has been performing professionally from the late 1950s -- both in the UK and the US. He is a fine interpreter of Scottish traditional songs, an acknowledged guitarist and a recognised songwriter too.

He also has an ability to find and promote great songs from other writers.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Airymouse
Date: 24 May 14 - 06:42 PM

I don't know how Tom Lehrer got in to this thread, because I think of him as a rare example to show that there is such a thing as a good singer-songwriter. I have friend who taught a college course in Math for those who don't like Math. One of the assignments was a term paper, for which one student wrote to Tom Lehrer and asked for copies of his publications in mathematics. You might think Tom Lehrer wouldn't bother to reply to such a request, but you would be wrong: he sent a budget of all his papers together with a nice letter. Of course, the math was way over the student's head, but I think the student deserved an A, just for thinking of the idea.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: GUEST,Tony Rath aka Tonyteach
Date: 24 May 14 - 07:21 PM

Willie Nelson - Doc Watson - spring to mind and Wizz Jones has been going since the late 50s In the blues B B King over 80 and still working


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: voyager
Date: 24 May 14 - 08:13 PM

Who cares?

Going to see Joan Baez in July.
50+ years in the music business is good enough for me.

voyager


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: GUEST
Date: 27 May 14 - 05:11 AM

Blues-man James
Eric Anderson has been around since the early 60's (perhaps the late 50's) he is still performing


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Leadbelly
Date: 27 May 14 - 06:25 AM

Funny!

I started this thread from 7 years ago!

Thanks for refreshment,Guest.

Manfred


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Young Buchan
Date: 27 May 14 - 08:23 AM

For a career we have to consider BOTH terminal dates. Sam Larner ceased singing when he was a mere stripling of 87 but we know he first sang in public at age 9.


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Stringsinger
Date: 27 May 14 - 01:23 PM

Hi Robyn,

Thanks for the remembrance.

Sadly, Erik is no longer with us. Ronnie is still in the Bay Area and Freddie, last time I saw him was at Toshi's memorial service sounding great as ever. Guy and Jack are still at it. Peggy Seeger is still performing, good as ever. Oscar Brand, also. My old partner and friend, Ernie Lieberman is still writing and singing.

Dick, I think it was actually Carl Sandburg who predated Sam that invented the term
"folksinger" although it has a German equivalent. "Minnesinger?"


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: GUEST
Date: 27 May 14 - 01:49 PM

It's a little sad looking through the names to realise that since it was started we've lost -

Pete Seeger
Davey Graham
Louise Killen
Brian Dawson
Odetta
Doc Watson.

:(


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Leadbelly
Date: 27 May 14 - 01:49 PM

Hi Stringsinger,

here comes a short article about Minnesänger resp. Minnesaenger taken from Wikipedia:

"Minnesang was the tradition of lyric and song writing in Germany which flourished in the 12th century and continued into the 14th century. People who wrote and performed Minnesang are known as Minnesingers (German: Minnesänger). The name derives from the word minne, Middle High German for love which was their main subject, and an individual song was a minnelied. The Minnesänger were similar to the Provençal troubadours and northern French trouvères; they wrote love poetry in the courtly love tradition in Middle High German in the High Middle Ages."

The actual terms in Germany are Volkssänger (folksinger) resp. Volksmusiker (folk musicians).


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Subject: RE: Folk singers with longest career
From: Don Firth
Date: 27 May 14 - 02:53 PM

I heard that the first person to have used the terms "folk song" and "folk singer" was German philosopher, poet, and literary critic Johann Gottfried von Herder (25 August 1744 – 18 December 1803), who advised composers who wished to write music in a specific national style to listen to "volkslieder, die Lieder alter Völker" (folk song, the songs of the people) for a true "national flavor."

He was also quite adamant that the "volk" did not mean just the "rabble" or "lower classes." Somewhat before his time, he argued for a classless society.

By the way, great book, if you can find a copy:   The Old Troubadour by Gregory d'Alessio.

Don Firth


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