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Relationship between Folk & Country

pdq 28 Jul 08 - 07:58 AM
pdq 28 Jul 08 - 07:59 AM
pdq 28 Jul 08 - 07:59 AM
Midchuck 28 Jul 08 - 08:12 AM
Richard Bridge 28 Jul 08 - 08:28 AM
pdq 28 Jul 08 - 08:30 AM
PoppaGator 28 Jul 08 - 09:27 AM
Big Al Whittle 28 Jul 08 - 09:47 AM
GUEST,LTS pretending to work 28 Jul 08 - 10:44 AM
dick greenhaus 28 Jul 08 - 10:56 AM
pdq 28 Jul 08 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 28 Jul 08 - 02:08 PM
Arkie 28 Jul 08 - 03:57 PM
Richard Bridge 28 Jul 08 - 05:21 PM
M.Ted 28 Jul 08 - 10:46 PM
Stewie 29 Jul 08 - 11:09 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 30 Jul 08 - 12:14 PM
Arkie 30 Jul 08 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,Gene 31 Jul 08 - 01:41 AM
Tangledwood 31 Jul 08 - 03:31 AM
Big Al Whittle 31 Jul 08 - 03:54 AM
Richard Bridge 31 Jul 08 - 02:33 PM
Goose Gander 31 Jul 08 - 03:02 PM
PoppaGator 31 Jul 08 - 03:31 PM
john f weldon 31 Jul 08 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,Peace 31 Jul 08 - 04:03 PM
Desert Dancer 31 Jul 08 - 05:11 PM
Desert Dancer 31 Jul 08 - 05:14 PM
Big Al Whittle 31 Jul 08 - 05:17 PM
pdq 11 Aug 08 - 11:50 AM
Jayto 11 Aug 08 - 12:07 PM
pdq 11 Aug 08 - 12:24 PM
Jayto 11 Aug 08 - 12:29 PM
GUEST,cStu 11 Aug 08 - 07:39 PM
Uncle Phil 12 Aug 08 - 01:12 AM
Genie 12 Aug 08 - 01:51 AM
Jayto 12 Aug 08 - 09:06 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 12 Aug 08 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 12 Aug 08 - 12:24 PM
PoppaGator 12 Aug 08 - 01:11 PM
Jayto 12 Aug 08 - 01:15 PM
M.Ted 12 Aug 08 - 02:55 PM
Jayto 12 Aug 08 - 03:12 PM
Jayto 12 Aug 08 - 03:16 PM
M.Ted 12 Aug 08 - 03:20 PM
M.Ted 12 Aug 08 - 05:02 PM
GUEST 12 Aug 08 - 05:13 PM
Jayto 12 Aug 08 - 05:15 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 12 Aug 08 - 05:21 PM
Jayto 12 Aug 08 - 05:48 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 12 Aug 08 - 06:44 PM
Melissa 12 Aug 08 - 07:23 PM
Uncle Phil 12 Aug 08 - 08:51 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 13 Aug 08 - 12:01 PM
Jayto 13 Aug 08 - 12:08 PM
Stringsinger 13 Aug 08 - 03:48 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 13 Aug 08 - 05:01 PM
Genie 13 Aug 08 - 07:18 PM
Jayto 13 Aug 08 - 07:35 PM
Genie 13 Aug 08 - 07:40 PM
pdq 13 Aug 08 - 07:45 PM
Jayto 13 Aug 08 - 07:50 PM
pdq 13 Aug 08 - 08:18 PM
Jayto 13 Aug 08 - 08:27 PM
Melissa 13 Aug 08 - 09:20 PM
Uncle Phil 13 Aug 08 - 09:47 PM
Genie 13 Aug 08 - 10:36 PM
Desert Dancer 15 Feb 12 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 15 Feb 12 - 11:40 AM
Big Al Whittle 16 Feb 12 - 12:57 AM
Brian Peters 16 Feb 12 - 07:25 AM
goatfell 16 Feb 12 - 07:44 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 16 Feb 12 - 08:10 AM
Young Buchan 16 Feb 12 - 08:37 AM
Brian Peters 16 Feb 12 - 09:57 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 16 Feb 12 - 10:36 AM
Big Al Whittle 16 Feb 12 - 11:05 AM
Brian Peters 16 Feb 12 - 11:37 AM
Brian Peters 16 Feb 12 - 11:37 AM
Bonzo3legs 16 Feb 12 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 16 Feb 12 - 12:33 PM
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Subject: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: pdq
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 07:58 AM

...from a thread with a good chance of being deleted:


Subject: RE: The state of the 'cat
From: McGrath of Harlow - PM
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 07:08 PM

So does this count as a music thread or not?

I think below the line is just as much core Mudcat as above it anyway. Good threads can come out of either - and so can bad threads, of course.
Rules of thumb like "music thread good, BS thread bad" are just as much nonsense as "warm fuzzy thread good, argumentative thread bad".

I agree that the relationship between country and "folk" is potentially interesting. More especially when it come the varieties of both where stylistically they are more or less identical.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: pdq
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 07:59 AM

Subject: RE: The state of the 'cat
From: pdq - PM
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 08:04 PM

The man who started the Grand Ole Opry broadcasts on WSM (November, 1925) said he was playing America's folk music. The term "Country" was once "Country & Western", as distinguised from "Classical", "Popular" and "Rhythm & Blues". They come from the need to separate music into different categories for radio station programming purposes.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: pdq
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 07:59 AM

Subject: RE: The state of the 'cat
From: Richard Bridge - PM
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 04:28 AM

My understanding of the country side of things is distant - it is not my chosen music, but I have read (here) that country is now stylistically distinct from country and Western, and that in some country circles the debate "is teh modern music really country, or s it just pop" is heard - but there is no touchstone equivalant to folk's much argued 1954 definition.

Blues nowadays worries me. How can pretty well any modern musician relate to the concerns expressed or exemplified in most early blues? On the other hand, Chicago blues fathered (IMHO) the great rock and pop era of the late 60s and early 70s although I am less clear of its conection to what was then called "soul".

The absence of discussions related to those communities perhaps indicates that the 'cat has changed (if it was ever like that) much as some would argue that folk has moved on and is no longer the ethnomusicologist's concept that spawned the 1954 definition. Oddly, I went looking the other day for the "folk and blues" mission statement that I was sure I remembered from the days when I first came here, but could no longer find it. Has it gone? Did I dream it?


But I and many others still come here several times a day, so it must be doing something right!


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Midchuck
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 08:12 AM

Don't call me no country singer, those are poison words to me.
'Cause I ain't heard a good country song since 1973.


- Tom Russell, "The Death of Jimmy Martin."

I'd say he's got the cutoff date wrong. I'd call it about 1985. Otherwise, says it all.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 08:28 AM

So how do you know if a song is a country song?


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: pdq
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 08:30 AM

It's played on Country Music stations. Rock, Popular, Classical and Urban (Rhythm & Blues is history) are not.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: PoppaGator
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 09:27 AM

Back when folk music (in the US) was still an "underground" phenomenon, of interest to a small minority of players and listeners, there seemed to be a closer connection, or at least a greater degree of openness, to commericial country-n-western music a la Nashville. I'm thinking of the readiness among guitar pickers, for example, to emulate Merle Travis and Chet Atkins. (I'm also reminded that Johnny Cash appeared as a "folksinger" in the early-60s movie Hootenanny along with Judy Henske, the Brothers Four, and several other early-folk-scare-era acts.)

I would also observe that back when scholarly types living in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, were "discovering" aging folk artists, the rural white players available for discovery were unabashed listeners to the Grand Ole Opry, for whom the old songs they learned from their grandpappies had a degree of influence roughly equivalent to songs learned more recently from the pros broadcasting from Nashville. (Of course, at least some of the songs coming out of Nashville back then came from the families and forebearers of the artists.)

I think it is interesting and revealing that many among the more mature generation of country-music fans have developed a brand of skepticism/ snobbism toward contemporary big-hat commercial country music that is quite similar to the attitude of old-fogy folkies toward various kinds of "new folk." I think that this phenomemon proves that the old songs and the old approach to performing really does offer an essential human and musical quality that is missing from a whole lot of mass-marketed popular music.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 09:47 AM

"So how do you know if a song is a country song? "

You obviously missed the codicil of the Rule Three subsection C in the Blue Ridge Mountain Conference of 1952.

Elisha Maddocs III of Rattlesnake County made the late amendment, "If I frigging say it country music; that's what it is!"


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: GUEST,LTS pretending to work
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 10:44 AM

I'm guessing second cousins, once removed....

If the definition of country is 'your girlfriend dies and the dog runs away' then it's all pretty much the same.

It's all about the state of life with different rhythmns...

LTS


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 10:56 AM

Country Music developed as a performance style of traditional folk music. It wasn't generally accepted into the folk genre until the 1950s, when Lomax released two 10" LPs ("Listen to Our Story" and "Mountain Frolic") culled from early commercial country music, and really became part of the milieu when the Harry Smith "Folkways Anthology" hit the scene.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: pdq
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 12:07 PM

In the summer of 1927, RCA Records executive Ralph Peer conducted auditions in Bristol TN. He signed "Pop" Stoneman and the Stoneman family, A. P. Carter and the Carter family, and Jimmie Rodgers "The Singing Brakeman".

All of these people were given serious recording time on good equipment, something the rural folks seldom got. Their records were promoted, probably on a national basis. They sold well and their success paved they way for other groups who kept the recording industry afloat during the Depression.

Many people date Country Music, as a viable commercial art form, to the Bristol Sessions.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 02:08 PM

A site called Roots Music Report, which some radio programmers send reports to, distinguishes something called "Roots Country," that includes people folk programmers are likely to be attracted to (Tim O'Brien, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle) and something called "True Country," where that's less likely (Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffett, Porter Wagoner), for what it's worth.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Arkie
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 03:57 PM

Two of the artists who gained widespread recognition from the Bristol sessions had many folk songs and old published music in their repertoires. While much of the music sung by Jimmie Rodgers was written by himself or contemporaries he also borrowed to some degree from tradition. In the Jail House Now was a rewrite of an older song. The "Folk" connection to country music was in the earlier days of commercial country music and "folk" songs were sometimes recorded by mainstream artists for several decades. Folk music may have been encouraged in an earlier day as it could be recorded without payment of royalties. The mainstream country music of today bears little resemblance to earlier times and however, regrettable that may be to some of us styles and content of all music genres has tended to change with the times for many generations now.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 05:21 PM

I find that very interesting Arkie as in essence it parallels the 1954 definition, and it tends to gainsay the WLD view, in that the Bristol sessions and the assertion that the music spawned thereout sustained the record industry during the Great Depression indicates perhaps a similar connexion to thepeasantry and/or the industrial propetariat.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: M.Ted
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 10:46 PM

Ralph Peer would not have wanted to avoid paying royalties--he, after all, held the publishing rights to the music that he recorded. And, owing to the folk process, we well know that, say, BF Shelton's version of "Pretty Polly" had significantly different lyrics than Clarence Ashley, so even "traditional" material was, in a sense, new.

Part of the appeal that the Bristol Sessions artists had for Peer was simply that they all came with their own material and arrangements. No need to find songs, no need to score an arrangement for the studio orchestra, no need for the artist to rehearse--you just stuck the performer in front of the mike, and recorded what came out. Of course, sooner or later, you ran out of old songs and needed new ones that sounded like the old ones. AP Carter was a master at rewriting old songs and patching together new lyrics for familiar melodies--

In this way, he really start us off to what we have now--then, as now, the music business was a business, and as such, needed an constant supply of new and (at least slightly) different material to sell--


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Stewie
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 11:09 PM

Country music received very little serious academic attention before the publication of the July-Sept 1965 issue of the Journal of American Folklore (Vol 78, No 309) - the 'hillbilly' issue. The relationship between folk and country is extensively covered in this issue of the journal. Archie Green's essay, 'Hillbilly Music: Source and Symbol' still stands as one of the best short overviews of the importance of commercial country music in the 20s and 30s as a significant reservoir of vernacular music. Other essays in the issue included Ed Kahn 'Hillbilly Music: Source and Resource', D.K. Wilgus 'An Introduction to the Study of Hillbilly Music' and Norm Cohen 'The Skillet Lickers: A Study of a Hillbilly String Band and Its Repertoire'. Today, there are shelves of books devoted to the the examination of 'traditional' country music in all its forms, but the JAF issue stands as a fine starting point for anyone interested in the subject.

--Stewie.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 12:14 PM

Growing up in the forties in central California, I heard a lot of "hillbilly," "roots country," "western swing" or simply "country music" on local radio. Many local residents had migrated to the area from the "Dust Bowl" states. Years later, in college, I took a couple of classes in folk music history and tradition, taught by Gene Bluestein and Peter Everwine, both scholars and performers who had worked with the Lomax team earlier.

All of this music has its roots in the Appalachians, much of it from Scottish, Irish and English traditional songs and themes transplanted to the new world and slowly mutated into what we hear today. Of course, gospel music and the African musical and rhythmic influences played a huge part as well. Consider the Blues tradition and all its great performers - Blind Blake, Josh White, Jesse Fuller, et al.

Was Merle Travis folk or country? Both? Ask the same about Jimmy Rodgers, The Carter Family, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs or Jimmy Driftwood. The lines are often very hard to draw.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Arkie
Date: 30 Jul 08 - 12:56 PM

I would not doubt that Ralph Peer had a financial interest in copyrights and it is well known that A.P. Carter copyrighted traditional music. But I have read several articles about early recording artists who commented that the recording companies wanted original music or folk music to avoid payments on copyrighted material. I personally interviewed one of those artists about a year ago (he is now in his 90s)and got the same information.

Stewie, thanks for the information on the Journal of American Folklore issue. I will see if I can locate a copy.

GuestTJ, the lines between folk and country were once hard to draw. Was Merle Travis folk or country? Merle would have been shocked if someone had labeled him folk. But he was certainly influenced by Kentucky music traditions. Jimmy Driftwood did call his music folk music. He considered himself a folklorist. His music was also heavily influenced by Ozark music traditions.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: GUEST,Gene
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 01:41 AM

Hank Williams was introduced on the Grand Ole Opry at different times as both a Folk Singer and a Hillbilly Singer.

He recorded only one Western Song - 'Cool Water' and a snipet of the Sons Of The Pioneers song - 'Happy Roving Cowboy'.

G


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Tangledwood
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 03:31 AM

While there is music that is definitely folk or definitely country the boundary between them is not defined. That's obvious when you have the same performer appearing at a folk festival and a country muster. A couple of Aussies spring to mind straight off - John Williamson, and The Sensitive New Age Cow Persons.
Some of John Denver's work probably fits the bill too.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 03:54 AM

I think its nice for people who like to study the entrails and lift a finger and see which way the prevailing wind blows and guess at where it came from.

But for most of us - it happens at a visceral level. It has always seemed to me that a song like Flash Company could have been part of Johnny Cash or Jim Reeves's repertoire. We want look our neighbours and friends and family in the eye - sing a song for them, write a song, be understood, and for them to be attracted to what we do.

American country music has been part of the warp and weft and in the consciousness of what people in the Britsh Isles have listened to for a very long time. Longer than any of us have been alive.

Small wonder that The Beatles, the most popular band of the last century made country music a huge element in their appeal.

Folk and American country music - the two genres are bound together very tightly - and they have great areas of confluence.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 02:33 PM

From what TJ says above it seems that much country music was folk music (as defined etc).

Yet from what WLD says part of the reason that I preferred the Stones to the Beatles becomes clear!


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Goose Gander
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 03:02 PM

Here's the article by Archie Green - Hillbilly Music: Source and Symbol - I'm sure it's been posted on some thread(s) previously, but I couldn't find it.

From the Southern Folklife Collection's Hillbilly Music website.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: PoppaGator
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 03:31 PM

Back in the 50s-to-early-60s, many American music lovers in all parts of the US were able to pick up the very strong radio signal that carried the Grand Ole Opry, which meant that hard-core country-music fans could be found even in the urban Northeast, the West Coast, etc.

But I don't think that signal was strong enough to reach across the Atlantic. Kids in Britain who would grow up to become famous rockers ~ especially those in the port city of Liverpool ~ were exposed to American "roots" music through records brought into the country by seamen. Such recordings notably included Blues, R&B, and Rockabilly, all of which were obviously incorporated into rock & roll as it developed on both sides of the Atlantic.

I would argue that the Beatles had only second-hand experience of the most basic American Country genre through recordings that had "crossed over" into the pop-music mainstream: the Everly Brothers, Carl Perkins, etc. I doubt that they had much, if any, experience of the Carter Family, the Louvin Brothers, Ernest Tubbs, Roy Acuff, maybe not even Chet Atkins or Merle Travis.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: john f weldon
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 04:00 PM

Pete Seeger referred to the music he and the Weavers played as "folk". When they got black-listed the righties increasingly preferred the word "country" and the lefties, "folk".

During the fifties & early sixties "country" got more flashy and electrified, while real folkies stayed acoustic. The American South switched from Democratic to Republican, and the music began to seem politically divisive too.

The Hootnanny show respected the blacklist; that's why JC could be on it, but folkies who opposed the blacklist, even if not on it themselves, declined to appear. The show was pretty terrible as a result.

In later years, the rift has healed; Pete got on TV and Bob D sang with Johnny C. Now anyone and can listen to anyone and there's so many in-between forms.

All to the good, I guess, and I do love listening to Emmylou Harris, who sings right and leans left.

And one of my great heroes of the past... ..Uncle Dave Macon... ...who belongs to everyone.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: GUEST,Peace
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 04:03 PM

". . . and I do love listening to Emmylou Harris, who sings right and leans left."

Ditto that, John.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 05:11 PM

We picked up a copy of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Country Music in America" at our local Borders bookstore, remaindered for about $5 or $6. I found it a good overview of the history of country music, from its rural folk origins to bluegrass and contemporary commercial manifestations -- 1920s to the present.

It's published by Dorling-Kindersley and has their high standard of graphics -- great photos and other illustrations.

I believe the chapters were each written by different people who appeared to know their areas. (I had to laugh at the bluegrass chapter, though, for the description of Scruggs-style banjo picking being some sort of pinnacle of evolution of banjo technique.)

A fun coffee-table book, but a good read and reference, too.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 05:14 PM

A bit more on that book: the Country Music Hall of Fame had a big hand in publishing it. More details here.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 05:17 PM

The Stones were always into country music. Country Honk could have been someone like Vernon Oxford, The Girl with Faraway Eyes could have been George Jones. One of their first breakthrough records was Not fade Away   Buddy Holly is very country.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: pdq
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 11:50 AM

Although folk festival favorites, the New Lost City Ramblers specialized in playing, often note-for-note, the works of early rural (country) artists such as the Binkley Brothers, the Arthur Smith Trio and "Uncle Dave" Macon.

I think the evolution was: folk > hillbilly > Country & Western > Country. The latter is almost purely commercial and a type of pupular music, not to be confused with Pop, which evolved from the old Tin Pan Alley writers.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Jayto
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 12:07 PM

I live about 20 miles from where Merle Travis was from. Alot of his early songs were traditional local folk songs or popular songs written by local musicans and writers. Mose Rager, Ike Everly, Kennedy Jones,... and others are the ones that really helped Travis and wrote alot of his early material. So in my book Travis is hard to put in a category. All of those guys (Travis included) would gather at a town called Cleaton Ky and have all night jam sessions on the weekends. There they would swap songs and stories and later Travis took alot of them to the world.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: pdq
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 12:24 PM

I would love to have a CD with some tunes by Mose Rager, Ike Everly and Kennedy Jones. Good stuff whatever you want to call it.

BTW, Art Thieme mentioned a series of concerts in Chicago (early 70s? college?) where Ike Everly played guitar and did "brother duet" singing with Bill Monroe. Unfortunately, that will probably never get to a CD if making money is the goal.

Also, Doc Watson could do a great Merle Travis imitation on his electric (in the 50s) but he continued to do Blue Smoke on an acoustic guitar well into his new "folksinger" days.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Jayto
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 12:29 PM

Blue Smoke was actually written by Merle Travis's brother John Travis. Mr. John played it out of Am and did it slower. He wrote several of Merle's songs. There used to be alot of tapes of Mose Rager floating around here locally. I haven't came across any in yrs now. Mose was studio shy. He would get in a studio and freeze. There was a guy I can't remember his name that came down here from Chicago I think. He set everything up in Mose's living room and recorded him talking and picking. They were great tapes I have no idea where you could get one now though.


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Subject: Tech RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: GUEST,cStu
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 07:39 PM

Off topic: Is there any way of being notified when this topic gets new info?


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Uncle Phil
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 01:12 AM

cStu, if you join Mudcat by clicking on "Membership" you will be able to Trace the thread. Threads you are tracing will be listed on your personal page along with the date and time of the last update.

Thanks to Michael Morris for the extremely interesting links.

A lot of country music, from the '40s through the '70s anyway, was dance music for bars and honky tonks, so one of its characteristics is that it was played at a danceable tempo.
- Phil


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Genie
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 01:51 AM

The difference is, in country music a woman stands by her man. In folk, she kills him.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Jayto
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 09:06 AM

LOL I agree. In Appalchian (well Kentucky in general) music there are so many murder ballads it is crazy. The most disturbing one (for me) was about a kid that went to get to get some wood from a woodpile and was bit by a big rattlesnake and died. I don't remember the name of the song but OMG it is bad. It was so bad I started laughing half way through because I couldn't believe it. Rattlesnakes, Copperheads, and Cottonmouths are all poisonous snakes we have around here. They are plentiful and bad very dangerous. The worst one of them all is the Cottonmouth. You even mention a Cottonmouth (or water moccasin is the other name)and people around here shiver. Kids are warned and taught at an early age to identify them and stay away. I know it is a cautionary tale meant to get kids and teens to stay away and be careful. God it is a bad song though.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 12:15 PM

In the old Robert Duvall/Tommy Lee Jones TV mini-series, "Lonesome Dove," there is a chilling scene where a young Irish lad, fording a muddy and rain-swollen river with the herd, has his horse spooked by Cottonmouths in the water. He is thrown from his horse and badly bitten as numerous snakes swim all around him. He had dreams of returning to Ireland and his family, but died, instead, in his brother's arms. That was the kind of tragic scene that was often commemorated in song in earlier days. It would have made a great cowboy song.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 12:24 PM

Of course: "All music's country music - ain't never heard no city making it ..."

Well, lots of people on here seem to think that a similar quote about folk music makes sense!


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: PoppaGator
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 01:11 PM

Just today, in another thread ("What murder ballads is the saddest?", there's a fair amount of back-and-forth discussion of "Long Black Veil," a Nashville country song from 1959 that was written in such a traditional style that many people seem to believe it's an authentic "folksong."


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Jayto
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 01:15 PM

Yeah I started that thread after we got to talking about sad songson this thread.I can't lie I thought it was a folk song for a long time. Another song like that around here is Miner's Prayer by Dwight Yoakum. Alot of people around here refer to it as an old folk song. It isn't Dwight wrote that one back in the early 80's. It is funny how that happens.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: M.Ted
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 02:55 PM

Just so you know, as far as snakebites go, there are around ten to fifteen deaths per year related to snakebites in the US. Most snakebites are from non-venomous snakes, and, since venomous snakes have the choice of using venom or not, only about half the bites from venomous snakes result in poisoning. Chances of death from a poisonous snake bite, at least in the US, are about one in 500.

The cottonmouth isn't an aggressive animal, and it's reputation is pretty much undeserved.

Curiously, men between the ages of 17-27 are most likely to be bitten, nearly half of the people who get bitten are drunk at the time. Not surprisingly, most of the people who get bitten by snakes attempting to handle them in some way when it happens.

For those of you who are interested, the state with the highest number of snakebites per capita is North Carolina--where there are about twenty snakebites per 100,000 population, which is five times the national average. You can draw your own conclusions from the above.

If you want to get bitten by a poisonous snake, you'll do much better in either Africa or Asia, where the snakes are way more poisonous, and way more people are bitten.

As far as "Lonesome Dove"--I'd be real interested to see where that snakebite story came from. It seems to me that if you were a cottonmouth in a rain swollen river full of cattle, you'd have a lot better things to do than bite an Irishman.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Jayto
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 03:12 PM

I did not say people were dying from copperhead bites. I just said that people are taught from a very young age to avoid them. I know people that have been bitten by them and they all live. They weren't happy but they lived. Almost every time the person was trying to pick up the snake. Sometimes thinking it was dead and other times just being stupid. One guy I know got bit on his wrist. His arm sweeled up and necrosis set in eating away tissue and muscle. We have alot of cottonmouths (not the most in the US but alot). I have ran up on alot of them and have never been bit (knock on wood). At an early age kids are taught to recognize poisonous snakes and avoid them. You have to teach kids this so they will not get bit. I am not claiming that Kentucky has the record anything for snakes. I don't want that title anyway.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Jayto
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 03:16 PM

I meant cottonmouth bites


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: M.Ted
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 03:20 PM


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: M.Ted
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 05:02 PM

I'm just pointing this stuff out because people tend to believe the most extreme things about snakes. When I was a kid, a lot of people would kill any snake that they saw, on the idea that they were a threat.

Snakes are a lot like people, for the most part, they won't hurt anyone unless they are threatened.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 05:13 PM

Sorry I didn't mean to sound harsh. I misunderstood what you meant.
    Please note that anonymous posting is no longer allowed at Mudcat. Use a consistent name [in the 'from' box] when you post, or your messages risk being deleted.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Jayto
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 05:15 PM

That last post was mine. It said guest but it was me.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 05:21 PM

M.Ted:

You are quite right about the snakes biting that unfortunate young fellow (who happened to be a lonesome Irishman). It was never really clear whether the snakes were copperheads or moccasins; the inference seemed to be that they were swarming and enraged because their breeding area was flooded.

I have taken a lot of youngsters hiking and backpacking over the years, in remote mountain and desert areas of California and the southwest. The best anti-snakebite course is, obviously, avoidance. I always tell them, "never put your hand or foot anywhere your eye hasn't gone first. Never reach above your line of sight when climbing and always step up on a rock or log and make sure the path is clear before stepping down." We have never come close to having a snake bite in over 25 years.

As a young boy, I almost learned about coral snakes the hard way. I saw this pretty banded snake, which I thought was a harmless king snake, crossing a trail at a camp in east Texas. I reached down and picked it up behind the head. A camp counselor almost turned blue when he saw what I was holding. No harm, no foul, I suppose....


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Jayto
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 05:48 PM

They can surprise you. My brother and I were leaving a swampy area one day and the very last step coming out of the swamp a cottonmouth lunged at his (my brothers) heel. It missed thankfully. It was under a log we stepped over to get out. Then on the other hand a friend of mine and I were working on a fence on some of his land one day. We were crawling under a log instead of climbing the fence. We had crawled under this log 10 times or better when all of a sudden a very large copperhead came crawling out from underneath. My stomach churned lol but it didn't bother us and I guess we didn't bother it to much either lol.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 06:44 PM

Jayto:

At that same camp, near Woodville, Texas, one of the staff members had a copperhead experience.   Staff were staying in four-man army surplus tents with wooden platforms. He walked out the open end of the tent, started to go down the steps and just just caught sight of a copperhead coiled in a warm spot right at the bottom step. I believe he did an Olympic-class jump, off one leg, no less. He cleared the snake by at least six feet.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Melissa
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 07:23 PM

I worked at a camp where another staff member said she wanted a copperhead..if one of us had a chance, she wanted us to kill it so she could make a hatband.
One evening I did see one on the path on my way to main camp. I wasn't sure she really wanted it and I certainly didn't want to kill it because it wasn't bugging me and it was on the path first.

So, I picked up a big rock and laid it on it's head. Figured I'd give it a fair chance to get away and let the staffer be responsible for releasing it if she didn't want it (if it stayed trapped)

Apparently you can trap them by putting a rock on their head.
She was pleased.

My other snake story (although I'm not sure what these snakes have to do with the topic at hand?) is that when parts of my state flooded in '93, people DID see knots of snakes in the river. I've never heard of that happening and I suppose it had something to do with the water moving quickly and the snakes being grabby..getting tangled on their equally grabby friends and relations.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Uncle Phil
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 08:51 PM

TJ, Camp Urland?


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 12:01 PM

Uncle Phil:

I wish I could recall it. It was the summer of 1953. I remember that the camp was very near Woodville and on a small lake. That location was my first acquaintance with cottonmouths, while both canoeing and swimming. My dad attended that camp years earlier. I still have his patch collection, which includes at least three Urland patches. He was an Eagle Scout in Beaumont in the 1920's. His great-grandfather, John McGaffey, was the first white settler at Sabine Pass back in the 1820's.

I remember that there was a drive-in movie theater at the end of the road leading to the camp. On a Saturday night, we would walk out and sit in front of the projection booth/snack bar to watch movies. I remember it well, because on one such night, I felt something crawling up my leg and nearly had a heart attack. The fellows were all laughing when they saw it was a huge, but harmless rhinoceros beetle. Once, we found ourselves there on "Juneteenth," in the days when it was not a real bright move for white kids to be caught out on that particular night. Different times.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Jayto
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 12:08 PM

I recall fishing one day down on the Tennessee River back when I was a kid. I was sitting at the waters edge on a rock outcropping. My feet were dangling just a few inches above the water. I glanced down and a cottonmouth was directly under my feet in the water. I froze and my heart just about pounded out of my chest. It swam off like it didn't even notice me but I noticed it and then some. I think more people come closer to dying from fright than they do an actual bite lol (I mean that as a joke). Any of the poisonous snakes or snakes in general can be as sweet as a baby kitten I am not gonna touch them or get around them. We have local legends of hoop snakes has anyone ever heard of those or is that just a local myth.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Stringsinger
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 03:48 PM

Alan Lomax's "Cantrametrics" did a study of early Twenties country music and later
examples through the Forties, Fifties, Sixties and found very little difference in many
aspects of the singing and playing styles of the performers.

Mostly, the difference are recording company terms which service their demographics
rather than adequately describe the music they sell.

The term "folk" became a way of presenting the earlier revival pop-groups by these
recording companies. Hence, PPandM, Dylan, Weavers,Brothers Four, Brothers Karamosov etc. became "folk" whereas the traditional country musicians of the early Twenties were
not included in this designation.

"Hillbilly" was another recording company term taken from an early country singing group.

The lines of separation between country and folk are cosmetic. They all stem from the
same source.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 05:01 PM

Jayto:

Not only have I heard of the infamous "hoop snake," which my Dad used to insist on having us believe in, but I remember working on a forest fire crew during the summer of 1959 when our crew chief brought up an even "deadlier" reptile, the "snow snake." When one of the boys asked how to identify it, he said, "It's snow white, is only about 18 inches long and has red, beady eyes and no mouth." One of the more innocent among us asked, "No mouth? How can it hurt you?" The answer, "It crawls up your butt and freezes you to death!"

Those relics rate right up there with left-handed monkey wrenches and sending someone out for 50 feet of shoreline.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Genie
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 07:18 PM

M.Ted said, "As far as "Lonesome Dove"--I'd be real interested to see where that snakebite story came from. It seems to me that if you were a cottonmouth in a rain swollen river full of cattle, you'd have a lot better things to do than bite an Irishman."

Like bite a Scotsman, maybe?

G ?


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Jayto
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 07:35 PM

lol Thank God somone else has heard of the dreaded Hoop Snake. When I was a kid the adults had us believing in those things. I just knew I'd run into one out in the woods and not be able to get away. For those of you that have never heard of them formed a hoop and could roll like a wheel lol. Of course they don't exist but adults like to tease kids about them.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Genie
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 07:40 PM

Then again, there are some good songs (folk and otherwise) about snakes.
As for being "stupid enough" to try to pick up a snake, I have to say I've done my share of that - so far with no results more dire than having a little garter snake piss all over my hand! (Pretty effective defense, that.)

But one time while swimming in the Sandy River near Portland, OR, I saw a darkish snake swimming by and reached out and caught it.   I don't thin we have water moccasins in this area, but I wasn't sure, and when the snake whipped around like it was contemplating letting me find out, I quickly released it.   LOL

Here's a snake folk song that MMario posted (in a thread of another title):
Shake A Snake

Then there's one that I think Belafonte did (?) about a woman who finds a poor snake nearly frozen in the winter and takes him home and feeds him and warms him by holding him to her breast, whereupon he bites her, and as she's dying she asks how he could do that after she'd been so kind to him, whereupon he replies (last line of song),

"Oh, shut up, silly woman!" said that serpent with a grin,
"You knew damned well I was a snake before you took me in!"

(I can't find it here at Mudcat, but I thought it had been posted somewhere.)

Seems even in folk music, the snakes get a bum rap.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: pdq
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 07:45 PM

That song is "The Snake" By Oscar Brown, Jr. Not exactly a folk song, but Cliff Waldron did it "bluegrass" in about 1969.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Jayto
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 07:50 PM

I am surprised snakes aren't more prevelant in Appalachian folk songs. Not just because we have plenty but because of the religous association. There are alot of religous folk songs from this region and I am really surprised snakes don't pop up more often in lyrics. I have never really thought about it until now but this thread has made me think about it. Thanks for the link I am about to check it out.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: pdq
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 08:18 PM

Bill Monroe did a song called "The Little Girl and the Dreadful Snake", credited to one A. Rae Price, PhD. It's been done by some of the progressive bluegrass bands, and even gave the name to the group The Dreadful Snakes, an early vehicle for Bela Fleck and Jerry Douglas.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Jayto
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 08:27 PM

That is the song I was trying to think of. I could not remeber it's name it has been years since I heard it. Thank you very much. That is how this thread turned into a snake discussion lol


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Melissa
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 09:20 PM

Genie:
There's a Native American story like that song..a boy gets old enough to take a daywalk--stops by the elders on his way out and they remind him not to talk to Snake, who is beautiful, persuasive and speaks such pretty words.
Of course, while the boy is trekking around, he finds Snake laying on a rock and ends up carrying him in his bag.
Snake bites him, boy asks why.
Snake says something like 'why didn't you listen to your Elders? You knew I was a snake when you picked me up..'


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Uncle Phil
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 09:47 PM

TJ-
I camped there about a decade after you did - on a cross-border cultural exchange of some kind from Louisiana. I don't remember the occasion or much about the camp, but, like your dad, I came home with a patch. Funny that a mention of Woodville, Texas caused the name of the camp to instantly pop into my mind nearly 50 years later.
- Phil


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Genie
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 10:36 PM

Thanks, PDQ.

I thought "The Snake" was the name of the song, but I also thought for sure it was somewhere in the DT or forum, but I could only find one listing for "snake" in either, when I did a power search.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 11:25 AM

I've just found that Archie Green's seminal article, "Hillybilly Music: Source and Symbol" (referred to by Stewie, above) is available online within the UNC Southern Folklife Collection's online exhibit of the same name:
Hillbilly Music: Source and Symbol is a virtual exhibit space of the Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It draws on images, songs, and texts presented during the April 2003 conference entitled Hillbilly Music Sources and Symbols: Country Music, Cultural Brokerage and O Brother, Where Art Thou? The original exhibit celebrated the publication of Country Music Sources (SFC/JEMF, 2002) by Guthrie T. Meade Jr., Dick Spottswood and Douglas S. Meade.

I've not explored the whole site yet, but it looks like an outstanding resource.

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 11:40 AM

I've always understood the distinction to be largely one of politics and philosophy, though there are significant exceptions in both camps. I always felt it a shame we never had an equivilient to Country in the UK really; maybe we do in Scoland & Ireland, but not in England which has such a rich heritage of Traditional Song which didn't find its way into the broader popular consciousness before it ended up in the academic ossuaries of the revival.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 12:57 AM

There was a huge country music thing going in England. Every miners welfare had a country and western night. There were many professional groups and artists making a full time living from country music - bands like the Hillsiders, Kelvin Henderson - solo artists like Tony Goodacre, Dave Curtis, Royston Jones, Mel Hague. The standard was incredibly high. Butlins Country weekends were well supported.

It was a very working class thing though. Weird really - I remember John Peel going crazy, really creaming his jeans - because some Dutch punk band were sing 'I raised a lot cane back in my youger days, and Mother used to pray my crops would fail....'. Peel obviously didn't realise it was a Merle Haggard song, Lonesome fugitive, that he could have heard evry night of the week at the country music club - which a middle class guy like Peel would never consider attending - the southside of Chicago - no problem, but no one was venturing into the southside of Doncaster.

I was amazed one day when i was supply teaching in Hucknall (a little mining town in Nottinghamshire), and I was taking a music lesson - every kid in the class knew all the words to Merle Travis's Dark as a Dungeon.

I'm not too sure that the rich tapestry of English folk music ever got past the rarefied places like the folk clubs and morris dancing clubs. Maybe in some places like the North East and Lancashire - maybe rural places - I never encountered it much on a street level. Not that its not very good music - but not many of the kids knew any folk songs where I was teaching. the Jamaican kids knew Yellow bird - and some of the songs that I recognised from Cliff of the Spinners doing. The Irish kids and the and the Indian kids seem to have some ethnic thing going - but not many English kids. A few rude playground and football chants - and that was it.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 07:25 AM

"I always felt it a shame we never had an equivilient to Country in the UK really; maybe we do in Scoland & Ireland, but not in England which has such a rich heritage of Traditional Song which didn't find its way into the broader popular consciousness before it ended up in the academic ossuaries of the revival."

I guess that this would be because commercial recording companies decided that 'Hillbilly Music' could be sold back at a profit to the kind of people already familiar with it. The singing tradition remained vibrant in the Southern Mountains well into the 20th century, at a time it was beginning to fall away, at least in England, so maybe there was a stronger market there for the likes of the Carter Family with many old ballads in their repertoire. Also the fact that instrumental accompaniment was rapidly becoming part of the music in the US would have made it more generally accessible.

Meanwhile, over here, no-one thought to make a hit record of Joseph Taylor. And if it hadn't been for the bad old folk revival, most of us would never have heard our old stuff at all. Bob Copper and Walter Pardon's peers were all listening to American music on their radios at the time.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: goatfell
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 07:44 AM

Country music is the same as folk music because both tell stories and are based on life.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 08:10 AM

I'm not saying the Folk Revival was bad, Brian - I'm just being realistic in how it operates in terms of social class, which is something Georgina Boyes confirms quite nicely in The Imagined Village. I might have certain issues with this, but who doesn't? The Left Wing Idealism of Folk rarely squares with the Red Neck realities of Country, though like I say there are significant exceptions.

In any case, when I talk about English Country Music, I'm dreaming of a genre that never happened because English Folk Song never became part of the popular consciousness the way that Scots, American or Irish did (though things do blur rather horribly in Hot-Pot country, but the less said about that the better). Instead, English folklife was primarily urban and randomly rooted in a multi-culturalism which accounts for the gloriously impure realities of true English popular music over the last half-century or so, which remains crucially English - everything from Mersey Beat to the Canturbury Scene to the post-punk glory days of Manchester to UK hip-hop - but also truly Global. I remember back in the day when The Fall recorded their rockabilly tribute to The Container Drivers people were speaking in hushed tones of Country & Northern.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Young Buchan
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 08:37 AM

The relationship of Country to Folk is that of Lizzie Borden to Andrew Borden.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 09:57 AM

"I'm not saying the Folk Revival was bad, Brian..."

No? "Academic ossuaries" isn't the most lavish of praise, in my book. The folk revival as I've known it for thirty-odd years, in all it's vibrancy, inventiveness, community spirit and eccentricity, is about as far from an Academic Ossuary as anything I could imagine.

There are, of course, academics who study English folk music, in the same way that there are academics who study just about any kind of music in the world, not excluding hip-hop, Merseybeat and Country.

And, incidentally, while I've heard plenty of redneck country music (some of the stuff on US Country radio stations is frankly scary), don't forget people like Steve Earle, the Dixie Chicks and Emmylou, who have defied that stereotype bravely.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 10:36 AM

If I thought the Revival was bad, I wouldn't have devoted so much of the last 36 years immersing myself in the perfect joy of the thing. The essential nature of Folk is as reactionary as it is radical, and entirely in keeping with its veneration of the fossil record which is exactly how it should be. So for all its vibrancy, inventiveness, community spirit and eccentricity, Folk remains a conceit of the more enlightened classes, the language of which will always be couched in terms of classification and taxonomy even by more casual practitioners, which wouldn't be the case in (say) UK Hip Hop which is a living breathing creative idiom in its own right. Outsiders may well study it, but their study would be of no interest to the punters. Unlike Folk, which is born from such study and wouldn't exist without it. This accounts for the demographics and the general rarity of the thing, and the all pervading preciousness & occasional (!) churlishness too. But I've got no problem with that whatsoever; I revel in the Academic Ossuaries; there is no greater joy. No Revival Singer of Traditional Songs can be so without being part Academic as well; it's surely integral to the nature of the thing to go rooting from variation to field recording to Broadside to historical record just to give the song the respect it deserves - just look at the Trimdon Grange and Gallows Ballad threads.

As for Country - like I say, exceptions prove rules, but it cuts both ways. There is a worrying increase in Right Wing Folk, just as there's a pleasing increase in Left Wing Country, but I always try and take a wider view of such things.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 11:05 AM

'An ossuary is a chest, building, well, or site made to serve as the final resting place of human skeletal remains. They are frequently used where burial space is scarce. A body is first buried in a temporary grave, then after some years the skeletal remains are removed and placed in an ossuary. The greatly reduced space taken up by an ossuary means that it is possible to store the remains of many more people in a single tomb.'


Not a pony with one hump.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 11:37 AM

Not trying to start a fight, Suibhne - I know you love all this stuff. However...

"the language of which will always be couched in terms of classification and taxonomy even by more casual practitioners, which wouldn't be the case in (say) UK Hip Hop..."

That's not wholly untrue, and of course I plead guilty - although if I were playing a pub gig (which I don't do often these days but have some form at), I think I'd be soft-pedalling the classification and taxonomy. And I didn't hear too much of that at the Folk Awards (on TV) either - they were pretty much indistinguishable from any other kind of award ceremony.

On the other hand, traditional songs by their nature come from somewhere and someone, and it's not necessarily a matter of academic pretension to acknowledge the fact onstage - in much the same way that Dolly Parton, or Cedric Watson, or La Bottine Souriante, or Toumani Diabaté might do.

"This accounts for the demographics and the general rarity of the thing"

I don't think it does - it's more that it sounds so different from most of the music around us that a lot of people just can't get a handle on it.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 11:37 AM

Not a pony with one hump.

Good one, Al.


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 11:46 AM

"worrying increase in Right Wing Folk"

Not to us my friend!!


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Subject: RE: Relationship between Folk & Country
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 12:33 PM

it's more that it sounds so different from most of the music around us that a lot of people just can't get a handle on it

That as well, but when do you meet someone with a casual interest in ballads? That said, the ballad gig we did at last year's Morpeth Gathering was packed out - a real mixed audience of folkies and muggles alike, many of whom we'd picked up on the Procession with our 25-minute peripatetic rendering of Earl Brand but that's another story...

I once disillusioned a couple of my fans by telling them that I didn't actually write my own material - that my stories & ballads were traditional. Even when I tried explaining things they thought I was somehow cheating & I never saw them again! A rare case I grant (fans?!) but it made me think...


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