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What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?

Sleepy Rosie 17 Jan 09 - 03:44 PM
VirginiaTam 17 Jan 09 - 03:45 PM
Leadfingers 17 Jan 09 - 03:50 PM
Sleepy Rosie 17 Jan 09 - 03:53 PM
Ginger Elderly 17 Jan 09 - 03:58 PM
Sleepy Rosie 17 Jan 09 - 04:03 PM
Midchuck 17 Jan 09 - 04:05 PM
Stonebridge 17 Jan 09 - 04:06 PM
Gurney 17 Jan 09 - 05:52 PM
catspaw49 17 Jan 09 - 06:03 PM
Don Firth 17 Jan 09 - 06:14 PM
Phil Edwards 17 Jan 09 - 06:15 PM
Leadfingers 17 Jan 09 - 06:21 PM
Phil Edwards 17 Jan 09 - 06:26 PM
Gurney 17 Jan 09 - 07:04 PM
goatfell 18 Jan 09 - 04:55 AM
Mo the caller 18 Jan 09 - 06:03 AM
Spleen Cringe 18 Jan 09 - 06:18 AM
Sleepy Rosie 18 Jan 09 - 06:20 AM
Surreysinger 18 Jan 09 - 08:03 AM
The Villan 18 Jan 09 - 09:02 AM
Surreysinger 18 Jan 09 - 11:18 AM
Sleepy Rosie 18 Jan 09 - 11:21 AM
The Villan 18 Jan 09 - 01:06 PM
Charley Noble 18 Jan 09 - 04:00 PM
VirginiaTam 18 Jan 09 - 04:34 PM
wysiwyg 19 Jan 09 - 07:06 AM
Piers Plowman 19 Jan 09 - 08:01 AM
Mr Happy 19 Jan 09 - 08:12 AM
Sleepy Rosie 19 Jan 09 - 08:22 AM
Piers Plowman 19 Jan 09 - 08:30 AM
Sleepy Rosie 19 Jan 09 - 08:33 AM
Charley Noble 19 Jan 09 - 09:38 AM
Surreysinger 19 Jan 09 - 10:19 AM
Dave Sutherland 19 Jan 09 - 12:32 PM
GUEST,Scotty 19 Jan 09 - 12:38 PM
Stringsinger 19 Jan 09 - 02:57 PM
Gurney 20 Jan 09 - 04:20 AM
Penny S. 20 Jan 09 - 09:06 AM
TheSnail 20 Jan 09 - 09:14 AM
Gurney 21 Jan 09 - 01:53 AM
VirginiaTam 21 Jan 09 - 02:03 AM
TheSnail 21 Jan 09 - 05:49 AM
BB 21 Jan 09 - 02:34 PM
BB 21 Jan 09 - 02:34 PM
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Subject: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 03:44 PM

I'm a little confused to some of the terminology bandied around by those who knows.

So, please define for me...
What or who exactly is a 'Floor-Singer' (with or without the hyphen)!?


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 03:45 PM

oh dear.... see your previous thread...


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 03:50 PM

A Floor Singer is any one who comes from the floor of a Folk Club to perform , as opposed to a Club Resident , who is ALSO a floor singer but is a Regular at the club .


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 03:53 PM

Ooh, Leadfingers, you're talking way over my head my friend!
I still don't understand. But I'd like to....


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Ginger Elderly
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 03:58 PM

The floor of the folk club, is where the audiece sit as opposed to the stage where the performers are, therefore the term is for someone from the audience who comes onto the stage and performs their party piece or whatever!

Cheers, David.


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 04:03 PM

Okey-dokey, so just a slightly different set-up to the more social and informal 'song session' or singaround scenario.


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Midchuck
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 04:05 PM

I had assumed it was because there are all these folk clubs in England that meet in bars - pubs, to use their term - so you can drink and sing, which doesn't happen much on this side of the pond; the bars want much more "hard-drinking" music. Folkies in the US mostly neither drink heavily nor have much money to spend on drinks at bar prices.

So these people get in the folk club and get drunk, and they're so drunk they're flat on their backs on the floor, with their arms and legs stretched out so they won't sink further. But they still want to sing, so they sing from that position.

That's it, isn't it?

Peter


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Stonebridge
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 04:06 PM

A guest singer is booked and usually paid to sing. The guest will usually sing for most of the evening.
A floor singer turns up unannounced hoping to sing a couple of songs, and does so if he/she gets lucky and is invited to do so. He/she is not paid. Most clubs have guest nights and singers nights. On a singers night, all the music is made by those who turn up on the night. On a guest night the guest is the main attraction, but the club may ask a singer from the floor to do a couple of songs at the start, for example, as a warmup.
"Residents" are people who attend frequently and will sing if asked. The host knows they will be there, and knows they will sing if asked.


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Gurney
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 05:52 PM

Midchuck. Been there, done that!

But what makes you think Pommie club-goers are affluent? ;}


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 06:03 PM

Mainly they sing songs about shoes and flooring and such. Songs like "Tile of My Heart" and "Linoleum I Love You" have long been staples of floor singers. Fats Walltowall had a big hit with "My Big Berber Baby back in the 50's and Johnny Matthis sang "Wipin' My Babies at Home" about his favorite pair of muddy white bucks and how he cleaned them.

Hope that helped..........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 06:14 PM

I was very talented quite early on. I used to play on both the kitchen linoleum and the living room carpet as a baby.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 06:15 PM

How to be a floor singer: you turn up, you get the MC to put your name down, you get called, you do a song or two. You don't get paid, and you still have to pay on the door (and at the bar). On the plus side, you can do whatever the hell you like, since after all there's going to be another floor singer along in five minutes.

How to be a guest: the MC asks you to do a set months in advance; your set is advertised weeks in advance; you turn up on the night, you don't have to pay on the door, you may get the odd drink bought for you and you will get paid. However, you will be expected to do a set in the second half, and quite possibly a short set in the first half as well. You will also be expected to exercise some control over your choice of material, with a view to entertaining the audience.

How to be a resident: you are the MC or one of his mates; you turn up week in, week out; you play a couple of songs to open the night and maybe one at the start of the second half. You will have to be good enough - and entertaining enough - to stand that level of exposure, but not so much so as to outshine the guest. You don't have to pay on the door, may get the odd drink bought for you but won't get paid.

When you get down to it, it's all about money. That and entertainment.


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 06:21 PM

Midchuck - Thats at FESTIVALS , not at Clubs !!


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 06:26 PM

"Residents" are people who attend frequently and will sing if asked. The host knows they will be there, and knows they will sing if asked.

I think it's a bit more than that - to me a resident is a performer, or group of performers, who will turn up regularly and expect to have a regular slot (opening the night, end of first half, start of second half or whatever). About a third of the audience at Chorlton FC on an average night will consist of regular performers, all of whom the MC can call on and generally does - but it's up to him when and in what order we get called, and on busy nights whether we all get called at all.


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Gurney
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 07:04 PM

My opiniion is exacly as Pip says in his 6:15 post. I would add that residents should have a lot of strings to their bow, because they will be seen week-after-week, they will be expected to take most of the load if a guest fails to show up (it happens) and they will be the main attraction on club-nights, probably sometimes be the host, too.
Anything from an experienced floorsinger to a temporarily gig-less professional.
A line from a local resident's song: "You may think that I'm an idiot, but I didn't pay to get iiiin!"


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: goatfell
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 04:55 AM

at the Irvine folk club the floor singers have to pay and the guest doesn't but they do get paid, and we have the same floor singers there all the time, I am one of them, there is myself and guy called Blair Mathison who try and sing different songs along with a lady called Tina March, but the other floor singers sing the same old songs time after time and that well according to me is boring.
but then that is up to them.


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 06:03 AM

We used to go to Nellies when we were in Beverley and Richard (whose obit thread you'll have seen) was great at encouraging people to learn new songs. One way was by having 'theme' nights.


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 06:18 AM

Its a low-level sewing machine.


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 06:20 AM

Lol!


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Surreysinger
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 08:03 AM

SC ... best one of the lot, although I have to admit I quite like the idea of the one of being flat on one's back and singing from the floor in that position !!

Trust you to stir it up while being ever on the quest, Rosie [grins]
Pip ... re the "floor singers have to pay to get in" statement... that depends on the club. In the club I used to do floorspots in at first if you ended up with a spot (always two songs) you had your admission fee refunded. In some other clubs floorsingers get in for a reduced admission fee, and in yet others again you just get the immense privilege of being able to stand up and air your tonsils, and count yourself lucky to have achieved a spot.

In other words ... a bit of Heinz 57 varieties, I would have said.


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: The Villan
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 09:02 AM

This is a real Floor Singer


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Surreysinger
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 11:18 AM

No it's not that's a treadle machine ... the one that I've got sitting on the floor at the mo in the sitting room (how appropriate) is a hand machine ... and at the moment it'd definitely a floorsinger


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 11:21 AM

I've got both! And I do use the hand cranked machine on the floor. But then I tend to pretty much live on the floor at home myself. So maybe I'll end up singing on the floor too....


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: The Villan
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 01:06 PM

ROTFLMAO


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 04:00 PM

Well, when one is late for a thread like this he can only sit back and chuckle over the posts.

Some of the wit exhibited here has definitely floored me. But let me add that, in my humble opinion, the best floor-singers in the States are renown for their tongue-in-groove techniques, not to be confused with tongue-in-cheek. Skill with the hydraulic hammer is also much admired. Vinyl virtuosos are generally scorned by we traditionalists.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 04:34 PM

oh! I thought you meant floor singe r


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 07:06 AM

"I sing to the floooors, but they don't listen to me....."
-Paint Your Wagon II

~S~


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 08:01 AM

According to an article in the Compleat Maypoler, "floor singer" is actually a corruption of the Old English term "Flor Synger", whereby "flor" is derived from the Latin word "flora" for plants or flowers. Hence comes the tradition that "floor singers" traditionally place flowers in their hair before coming onto the stage.

The tradition survives today in America and John Philips' song, made famous by Scott McKenzie, "If You're Going to San Francisco, Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair", is, of course, an oblique reference to floor singers.


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 08:12 AM

..........Hmmmmmmmmnnnnnnnn, heard some really flawed singers over the years!!


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 08:22 AM

If that's genuine Piers P, then I jolly well think it's a tradition that aughta be revived!

If and ever I do get up on stage, I'll be sure to get me some flowers first.

Though for those chaps without a lot of hair left *on their heads*, would beards suffice?


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 08:30 AM

Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Sleepy Rosie - PM
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 08:22 AM

"If that's genuine Piers P, then I jolly well think it's a tradition that aughta be revived!"

No floor singer would ever dream of appearing on stage in a biker bar where music is performed without at least a sprig of wisteria in his or her hair!

"Though for those chaps without a lot of hair left *on their heads*, would beards suffice?"

A bald floor singer, with practice, can easily balance an African Violet or an aspidistra in a pot upon his head while singing.

Otherwise, duct tape has saved many a floor singer from the shame of appearing flowerless.


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 08:33 AM

LOL!!


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 09:38 AM

Nor would one want to appear "deflowered."

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Surreysinger
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 10:19 AM

Oh nice one Piers!! !ROFL ....


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 12:32 PM

Some very good definitions here which should answer Rosie's question; however I would just like to add that in some clubs the residents also set out the room, put up the posters, take the money on the door, take turns in MC-ing the night, orgainse the raffle, clear up after the night is over, and pay to get in. Well, at least at our club they do!


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: GUEST,Scotty
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 12:38 PM

In Scotland you have to have a flair for it. (Scottish joke!)


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 02:57 PM

A floor singer may be taking his/her musical life in his/her hands. Bad sound, unless the venue is acoustic, bad accompaniment by the band who doesn't know the singer, a skeptical audience who has not heard of said performer and has not been set-up to receive what they do, which indicates to me that a floor singer might literally wind up prone on the floor depending on the quality of his/her performance.

I think an audience has to be prepared for what they are going to receive.

Frank


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Gurney
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 04:20 AM

PP talks utter rubbish! Or utters talk rubbish. A real floorsinger would never twine flowers in his/her hair. They would dry them and smoke them*, washing them down with what they call real ale, which is folktalk for faulty fishing-tackle.

*The flowers of certain shrubs only.


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Penny S.
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 09:06 AM

You find the place where the floor creaks in the right key. Then you sing along with the floor rocking in time with the song to accompany it.

Penny


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: TheSnail
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 09:14 AM

We are having some problems adjusting to the floor in our new venue at The Elephant and Castle. The floor in The Lewes Arms was gently undulating with a sort of sloping beach up to the fireplaces at the north end. You needed to choose your spot to suit the song. The floor in the Elly is perfectly flat so nobody knows quite where they are.


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: Gurney
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 01:53 AM

Snail, is that before or after closing time that they don't know where they are?


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 02:03 AM

Brilliant.... now if only something like that could be constructed. Singer stands on undulating carnival Fun House shaky floor stage.

When s/he goes flat, the floor singer operator moves levers to make the singer's melody go where it should.

I would pay to see that.


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: TheSnail
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 05:49 AM

You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.

Dean Martin


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: BB
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 02:34 PM

'Drunken shall no man be called who rises from the floor,
For no man shall be called drunk who still can call for more.'

Padstow Drinking Song (trad.)

Barbara


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Subject: RE: What Exactly is a Floor-Singer?
From: BB
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 02:34 PM

Sorry, going rather OT there, but couldn't resist!

Barbara


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