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In Appreciation of Dolly Collins

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Jack Blandiver 17 Nov 08 - 04:00 AM
Jack Blandiver 17 Nov 08 - 05:54 AM
Spleen Cringe 17 Nov 08 - 12:28 PM
Dave the Gnome 17 Nov 08 - 12:31 PM
Spleen Cringe 17 Nov 08 - 12:38 PM
Amos 17 Nov 08 - 01:41 PM
Jack Blandiver 17 Nov 08 - 02:17 PM
Jack Blandiver 18 Nov 08 - 04:31 AM
Dave the Gnome 18 Nov 08 - 05:35 AM
Sailor Ron 18 Nov 08 - 06:02 AM
bubblyrat 18 Nov 08 - 08:38 AM
Vic Smith 18 Nov 08 - 09:15 AM
Ruth Archer 18 Nov 08 - 09:58 AM
melodeonboy 18 Nov 08 - 10:11 AM
Spleen Cringe 18 Nov 08 - 07:08 PM
Ross Campbell 18 Nov 08 - 11:46 PM
Jack Blandiver 19 Nov 08 - 05:48 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 19 Nov 08 - 07:40 AM
TheSnail 19 Nov 08 - 08:52 AM
Jack Blandiver 19 Nov 08 - 09:49 AM
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Subject: In Appreciation of Dolly
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 04:00 AM

Just landed on the other IAOD thread in smiling anticipation, but dismayed despite my general fondness of the Little Sparrow and her recent spate of Sugar Hill albums especially (Halos and Horns in particular, though I got a bit lost during her overly ambitious take on Stairway to Heaven, any cover of which just has to be ironic, be it Rolf Harris or Frank Zappa...)   

No - let's talk Dolly Collins, whose music has provided the soundtrack to much of my life both child & adult; from The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter to The Transports and all points in between and beyond I remain beguiled by this most beguiling of Folk Musicians about whom I know surprising little. There are the rumours of course - I hear she once wrote a full Roman Catholic Mass, but was a practising Wiccan - and some discussion of these would, indeed, be welcome, if only to build a clearer picture of this mysterious personage without whom the folk world is missing something pretty crucial I'd say.


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Subject: RE: In Appreciation of Dolly
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 05:54 AM

Maybe that should been An Appreciation of Dolly - an mods out there to sort this out by way of disambiguation??


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Subject: RE: In Appreciation of Dolly
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 12:28 PM

This what I had hoped the other thread was about.

I rue that fact that so much of modern trad - if such a thing can be said to exist without eating itself - is becoming so bland and one-dimensional and formulaic. Great musicianship and quality singing, without a doubt, but everything lost in a miasma of Smoothops-friendly Radio Two-ness.

Dolly, on the other hand, brought something unique and otherworldly and downright strange to folk music: and in doing so perfectly complemented those same qualities in her sister's singing. For that we should be truly thankful.

Who, though, are her musical descendants?

I'm hoping for an alt. trad (for want of a better expression) strand to the music to re-emerge - not folk metal or punk folk any such bollocks, but contemporary singers and players who can capture what people like Shirley and Dolly, Ray Fisher (particularly on The Bonny Birdy) Mr Fox and Peter Bellamy had in spades.

Who can name them? No disrespect intended to the more orthodox traddies out there (some of who are very good at what they do), but I'd start my list with Jim Eldon, Venerium Arvum and Alasdair Roberts...


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Subject: RE: In Appreciation of Dolly
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 12:31 PM

I know Shirleys stuff quite well and her work with the Albion Band but must admit I do not know much of Dolly, apart from the name. Must look up some stuff though on IBs recommendation. I daren't say too much though as I started the other thread and may be accused of playing with Dollies too much...

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: In Appreciation of Dolly
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 12:38 PM

Dave - Anthems in Eden or Love, Death and the Lady by Shirley and Dolly (apologies if I'm teaching my grandmother* to suck eggs).

* Could I just point out to other Mudcatters that David el Gnomo is not in fact my grandmother?


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Subject: RE: In Appreciation of Dolly
From: Amos
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 01:41 PM

He probably doesn't suck eggs, either.

BTW I have to say that when I first saw this thread title in thelists, I thought it was about the historic breakthrough represented by Dolly, the cloned sheep. This of course opens the door to a lot of jokes which I will not make.


A


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Subject: RE: In Appreciation of Dolly
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 02:17 PM

Dolly the Cloned Sheep can be seen on display in the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh, stuffed of course. She was cloned in a laboratory within bleating distance of Rosslyn Chapel. Like Inspector Rebus, I don't believe in coincidences...


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Subject: RE: In Appreciation of Dolly
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 04:31 AM

What is it with Mudcat that a thread on Dolly Parton thrives when one on Dolly Collins can barely keep from dropping off the bottom? I'm beginning to lose faith...


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Subject: RE: In Appreciation of Dolly
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 05:35 AM

Ms Parton cannot sink because she wears water wings. At least I think that is what they are...

Thanks Spleen Cringe. I did know that that they sang together but didn't have any album names. I do now:-)

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: In Appreciation of Dolly
From: Sailor Ron
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 06:02 AM

Apart from being madly in love with Shirley Collins [it's O.K. my wife knows]I believe that Dolly was one of the very few musicians who a] understood what English Traditional folk music was about & b] who could use the piano in a truly sesitive way to accompany Shirley's voice. I remember 'Miss' at primary school hammering out, with masses of left hand, Traditional songs on the piano. When in my late teens I 'discovered' EFS, the memory of 'Miss' and her piano convinced me, that whatever the piano was good for, it wasn't for EFS. Then I heard Dolly! As stated previously, where are the musicians around today who can do what she did? Death and the lady is still my favourite L.P


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Subject: RE: In Appreciation of Dolly Collins
From: bubblyrat
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 08:38 AM

I remember seeing Shirley & Dolly Collins live on stage in Exmouth,Devon,in about 1965, I think.I was mightily impressed,I can tell you,and was intrigued by Dolly's famous "Portative Pipe Organ".
       Ex-Sailor Roger..


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Subject: RE: In Appreciation of Dolly Collins
From: Vic Smith
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 09:15 AM

Dolly Collins wrote a most amazing piece of music called Missa Humana with lyrics/libretto by the poet/writer Maureen Duffy. I had the honour of digitising the score for possible performance under the Arts Council SEA devision scheme, Women in Music. I was absolutely bowled over by the whole work but nothing came of it though I was able to play the work in its entireity, albeit in a bleeping computer form, to Shirley and she listened to the whole forty-odd minutes without saying a word with tears streaming down her cheeks. Well, when we came to the incredibly poignant Agnus Dei section I started to cry myself.

Now, years later, there is a possibility that Adam Bushell (he of the classical TACIT ENSEMBLE and the folk band DUCK SOUP) may be able to arrange a performance once he has finished his current Junctions with Jon Boden and John Spiers.

Pray to whatever god you worship - and I will keep my fingers crossed - that this actually happens!


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Subject: RE: In Appreciation of Dolly Collins
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 09:58 AM

"This what I had hoped the other thread was about."

Me too!

Sidmouth FolkWeek 2009 will include a concert in tribute to Peter Bellamy - that's yer actual scoop, that is. Details still being finalised, but I would hope that the fine work Dolly did on The Transports will be acknowledged...


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Subject: RE: In Appreciation of Dolly Collins
From: melodeonboy
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 10:11 AM

"Dolly, on the other hand, brought something unique and otherworldly and downright strange to folk music: and in doing so perfectly complemented those same qualities in her sister's singing. For that we should be truly thankful."

Well said, Spleen Cringe, my thoughts exactly. (And beautifully articulated!)


"being madly in love with Shirley Collins"

Yes, me too, Sailor John.


Insane Beard: I usually tend to disagree with most of what you say, but thanks for starting this thread; it seemed only right after all those people (me included) landed on the Dolly Parton thread in disappointment.


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Subject: RE: In Appreciation of Dolly Collins
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 07:08 PM

Just to refresh, I was listening to "Love, Death and the Lady" today after reading Sailor Ron's comments. "Plains of Waterloo" has to be one of the most sublime moments in the entire canon of recorded UK folk music.

Fantastic news from Vic and Ruth above.

(And could I just add (for the record) that this admittedly so far underpopulated thread is living proof that some UK folkheads can talk about stuff without shouting abuse at each other!!!???)


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Subject: RE: In Appreciation of Dolly Collins
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 11:46 PM

Here's the only YouTube example I could find - from "Love, Death & the Lady", Shirley singing Glenlogie
with Dolly's amazing arrangement. Brilliant stuff!

Ross


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Subject: RE: In Appreciation of Dolly Collins
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 19 Nov 08 - 05:48 AM

Does anyone out there have a recording of the original Anthems in Eden (Anthems Before The Fall), as broadcast on Radio 1's My Kind of Folk in August 1968? That would be nice to hear...


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Subject: RE: In Appreciation of Dolly Collins
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 19 Nov 08 - 07:40 AM

Surprisingly, no-one on this thread has yet mentioned "The Sweet Primroses", which I believe was the first album featuring Dolly accompanying Shirley on the portative organ. Dolly's contribution to Shirley's later album "As Many as Will" is also well worth a mention. As is "The Holly Bears the Crown", where Dolly - along with Shirley, Peter, Heather and Royston - do wondrous things with Christmas carols.

Dolly was a jewel of a musician,and every record she contributed to is a treasure. Vic Smith's revelation here that a major work of hers still remains unperformed and unrecorded is astonishing. What are the Arts Council and the BBC supposed to be for, if not for preserving and promoting our national cultural heritage?

So, here's an idea. Radio Three's "Composer of the Week" slot has been getting quite adventurous in recent years. As well as their more predictable tributes to greats like Bach or Vaughan Williams, they've also honoured Ellington and Mingus as the major 20th century composers which they were. How about Dolly Collins as composer of the week sometime in '09 - with her Missa Humanis as the centrepiece?

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: In Appreciation of Dolly Collins
From: TheSnail
Date: 19 Nov 08 - 08:52 AM

A new CD, The Harvest Years, includes Anthems in Eden and is available from Shirley's website.


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Subject: RE: In Appreciation of Dolly Collins
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 19 Nov 08 - 09:49 AM

Like any other self-respecting music lover, Anthems in Eden has a central place in my collection of CDs (cover misprints and all) - what I'm actually after here is a copy of the original 1968 broadcast of Anthems Before The Fall made the year before the version as recorded for the album.

Any ideas?


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