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BBC4 Folk America series

Related threads:
Peter Paul & Mary on BBC4 (43)
Old Time Music on BBC 4 (36)
Review: Tom Paxton on BBC4 (4)


Desert Dancer 31 Jan 09 - 02:03 PM
Will Fly 31 Jan 09 - 02:05 PM
Desert Dancer 31 Jan 09 - 02:06 PM
Desert Dancer 31 Jan 09 - 02:08 PM
Will Fly 31 Jan 09 - 02:15 PM
NormanD 31 Jan 09 - 02:16 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 31 Jan 09 - 03:52 PM
GUEST,woodsie 31 Jan 09 - 04:01 PM
Folkiedave 31 Jan 09 - 04:11 PM
Desert Dancer 31 Jan 09 - 04:37 PM
Will Fly 31 Jan 09 - 05:23 PM
Folkiedave 31 Jan 09 - 06:16 PM
Liz the Squeak 31 Jan 09 - 06:26 PM
GUEST,buspassed 01 Feb 09 - 07:26 AM
Liz the Squeak 01 Feb 09 - 07:35 AM
VirginiaTam 01 Feb 09 - 07:47 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 01 Feb 09 - 08:08 AM
GUEST,BanjoRay 01 Feb 09 - 08:18 AM
greg stephens 01 Feb 09 - 08:19 AM
VirginiaTam 01 Feb 09 - 08:36 AM
wyrdolafr 01 Feb 09 - 09:13 AM
GUEST,buspassed 01 Feb 09 - 10:22 AM
wyrdolafr 01 Feb 09 - 10:50 AM
Liz the Squeak 01 Feb 09 - 10:55 AM
GUEST,Jim Knowledge 01 Feb 09 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,buspassed 01 Feb 09 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,Harry 02 Feb 09 - 07:15 AM
manitas_at_work 02 Feb 09 - 07:20 AM
TinDor 02 Feb 09 - 08:08 PM
Desert Dancer 03 Feb 09 - 04:46 PM
Desert Dancer 13 Aug 09 - 11:38 PM
GUEST,Redxl7 14 Aug 09 - 04:18 PM
BK Lick 21 Aug 09 - 11:24 PM
BK Lick 21 Aug 09 - 11:30 PM
BK Lick 21 Aug 09 - 11:36 PM
GUEST,Redxl7 22 Aug 09 - 12:29 AM
BK Lick 22 Aug 09 - 02:55 PM
BK Lick 22 Aug 09 - 03:36 PM
Desert Dancer 22 Aug 09 - 09:53 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 23 Aug 09 - 10:06 AM
MGM·Lion 23 Aug 09 - 06:16 PM
GUEST,LegendZero 08 Apr 12 - 11:01 AM
GUEST 08 Apr 12 - 01:56 PM
Tootler 08 Apr 12 - 05:06 PM
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Subject: BBC4 Folk America series
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 31 Jan 09 - 02:03 PM

There have been some comments on the individual programs thus far, but I thought I'd direct attention to the series as a whole: on BBC 4, Folk America. Here's the schedule.

There's lots of material available online, unfortunately, none of the video is available to us in the U.S. :-( What descriptive text there is is under the "Episode Info".

So, you Brits should keep telling us all about it! And, I guess those of us on the left side of the pond should lobby BBC America or PBS to share it with us...

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: Will Fly
Date: 31 Jan 09 - 02:05 PM

My sister lives in Tucson and was begging me to send her tapes of the programmes. Illegal, of course... :-)


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 31 Jan 09 - 02:06 PM

Comments on the series, to date:

"Peter Paul & Mary on BBC4"
"Rambling Jack on the box"


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 31 Jan 09 - 02:08 PM

Will, who's your sister?? Should I know her? (I've in in and around the Tucson folk scene for quite a while, now...)

And, illegal? Not if it's for private use... Finding a compatible player is the problem.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: Will Fly
Date: 31 Jan 09 - 02:15 PM

Hi Becky - no reason you should know her - she's not a musician and I don't know if she ever goes to folk gatherings. However, I have the wherewithal to make recordings which are compatible with US equipment. PM me.


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: NormanD
Date: 31 Jan 09 - 02:16 PM

Last night's episode was exceptionally good. It examined the political nature of the folk song movement, from the 1930s to the early-50s anti-left witch hunts. Woody Guthrie, and the New York musical circle, was a focus, with good time devoted to Josh White, Ledbelly and, of course, Paul Robeson (Peekskill was covered in some detail).

They played a snatch of Woody's "This Land Is Your Land", one of the "hidden" verses that are just coming into wider recognition. I have a copy of this (on the Smithsonian box set), but it is not as clear as the one they played. Is there another version, or was it cleaned up?

An exceptionally good series. I'm sure that it will be shown on those US tv channels that broadcast BBC material. If not, shout for it!


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 31 Jan 09 - 03:52 PM

Just finished watching the second in this series of three. Both programmes have been excellent and the talking heads actually knew what they were talking about most of them having been there. The BBC deserves a vote of thanks from all of us.

Great stuff

Hoot


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: GUEST,woodsie
Date: 31 Jan 09 - 04:01 PM

Excellent stuff and it can be viewed again on bbc iplayer. Can you americans not view it online on the bbc iplayer?


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: Folkiedave
Date: 31 Jan 09 - 04:11 PM

I have just watched it on I-player.

Perhaps a bit more on the record collecting work of Harry Smith would have been nice.

Dave


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 31 Jan 09 - 04:37 PM

Can you americans not view it online on the bbc iplayer?

Nope. :-(

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: Will Fly
Date: 31 Jan 09 - 05:23 PM

I've just ordered a 6-CD box set of Harry Smith's records of the period - from the US as it's cheaper to have it shipped here than buy it here.


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: Folkiedave
Date: 31 Jan 09 - 06:16 PM

The UK agent was down in N. London and about £40.00 for the set. If anyone else wants the set (there is a quick glimpse of it on the show) then I will search out the seller/agent.


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 31 Jan 09 - 06:26 PM

I've been enjoying this series immensely... especially the ones that focusing on the early days. Interesting how many of the songs featured I actually knew, having sung them at school, without realising they were classified as American Folk songs.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: GUEST,buspassed
Date: 01 Feb 09 - 07:26 AM

I did hope the series might include Native American music and the Early Settlers church music, so far one fleeting mention of the Native American. What's the problem BBC4? Sloppy research or what?


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 01 Feb 09 - 07:35 AM

No, just different categories. Native American music is classified as 'world' and early Settlers Church music is 'Religious'. As this is a series entitled 'Folk', their non-inclusion is not a surprise.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 01 Feb 09 - 07:47 AM

I have seen one show of the series. I hope they show the whole thing again I will record it. Brilliant as was much fo the Jools Holland Later Folk America show after. Buddy Guy, Odetta, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Blind Alabama Boys, Johnny Cash among a few others. Was wonderful.

Copy paste this link

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00h6xmd/b00h6xkz/Later..._Folk_America/

There is another thread shich has link to Pete Seeger singing some of the banned lyrics on the Mall at Obama's Inauguration.

For Pete's Sake - Sing!


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 01 Feb 09 - 08:08 AM

This series as I see it seems to tell the story pretty well. Native American music may have had a very small influence on what we tend to think of as American Folk Music but no more than that of the German, Italian, Scottish, English etc etc etc. Apart from tune titles such as Senaca Square Dance, Indian War Whoop, Lost Indian, Cherokee Shuffle etc which all seem to come from non native Americans I hear vry little influence. Admittedly there were probably one or two full blooded native Americans that made it on to disc but even these along with their mixed blood relatives seemed to play the usual "non-native" repertoire.

Hoot

PS. Yes I do know of Peter LaFarge and Buffy Sant Marie.


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: GUEST,BanjoRay
Date: 01 Feb 09 - 08:18 AM

I sat down and watched the whole of the Springsteen Pete Seeger fiasco this time - I couldn't bear more than a couple of songs, the first time I saw it, so I thought I'd better give it a fair chance to prove itself. It was dreadful. If I'd been in the audience I don't think I'd have joined in the booing, but I'd have been sorely tempted. Beautiful sensitive subtle songs turned into football chants.
Cheers.
Narrow Minded Old Fart.


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 Feb 09 - 08:19 AM

GUEST Hootenanny is surely absolutely right.If you want influential Native Americans, try Charlie Patton, the legendary blues singer who I belive had very little black ancestry at all. Wasn't he a Cherokee? As was Leadbelly, in large part, or so they say.
But in terms of cultural influence, progammes like these are surely
right to ignore Native American music, not to mention a lot of European immigrant stuff. The "American folk" that was dominant around the rise of the "folk scene" in the 60's was what the documentaries are about. And this music can be accounted for pretty much by a mix of British/Irish and black African sources. With a dollop of Spanish and French for melodic content.


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 01 Feb 09 - 08:36 AM

I think it is just wrong that US can't view the BBC iplayer. It is because UK residents pay TV license tax which funds BBC programmes. As one of the licensees I have no problem with these shows being made available globally.

There are supposedly ways around the problem, using proxyservers (some of them charge).   If you want to go through the bother, Google "watch iplayer in US."


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: wyrdolafr
Date: 01 Feb 09 - 09:13 AM

Virginia Tam wrote: "I think it is just wrong that US can't view the BBC iplayer. It is because UK residents pay TV license tax which funds BBC programmes".

I don't think it's wrong at all. You more or less explained why in your second sentence.

I personally can't even use iPlayer myself even though I'm helping to fund it as I'm not on a broadband connection. The same goes for a lot of digital content/format like HD too. I'm not really sure why I should pay for it and not have access to it but people who don't have to pay for it in the first place can have access to it.

The BBC aren't unique in blocking like this either. US-based sites can also lock out non residents. I know HBO have definitely done this in the past, for example.


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: GUEST,buspassed
Date: 01 Feb 09 - 10:22 AM

Who classes Native American Indian music as 'World Music'? Does that mean of foreign origins? Sounds like the rewriting of the Native American culture into obscurity continues!


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: wyrdolafr
Date: 01 Feb 09 - 10:50 AM

GUEST,buspassed wrote: "Who classes Native American Indian music as 'World Music'? Does that mean of foreign origins? Sounds like the rewriting of the Native American culture into obscurity continues!"

Well, to be fair, I think World Music is becoming more and more used as a taxonomic umbrella that covers 'folk'/'native'/'whatever'. National Geographic, for example, list British Folk under 'World Music'. Wikipedia defines 'world music' as including folk/native musics and states: Most typically, the term world music has now replaced folk music as a shorthand description for the very broad range of recordings of traditional indigenous music and song from around the world.

Whilst I have a tin-foil hat for everyday of the week myself (and ones of a heavier thickness for the night-time), I don't think the BBC are part of some conspiracy to marginalise or rewrite "Native American culture".


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 01 Feb 09 - 10:55 AM

Er... Amazon UK, HMV, Virgin (before they were Zavvi and collapsed), Foyles... all have Native American music classified as 'World'... I know because I had the jolly task of hunting some down for someone last summer.

World Music tends to mean all those traditional music genres that don't fall into other categories and are not mainstream, such as Indian music, Chinese, Japanese and African tribal music. I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying that's how it is. Some places may have it labelled as 'World/Folk' (as Amazon UK does) but it's not what your average folkie is looking for.

Native American culture is not being 'rewritten into obscurity' - Amazon UK alone has 197 items for sale under 'Native American music', it's just not folk.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 01 Feb 09 - 11:17 AM

Afore I tell you this I must `ave `it the wrong Key.
Anyway I `ad this Indian bloke in my cab the other day, fevvers an` all. `E told me `is mum called him "District Nurse" `cos that was the first thing she saw after `e was born.
Anyway `e said, "Could you take me to the BBC Studio `cos they want to record some traditional Indian music, `specially the Rain Dance songs".
I said, " Yeah, no problem, Broadcasting `ouse, `ere we come. What`s this music like then when its not at `ome?
`e leapt around in the back of the cab to the tune of a very `aunting melody. I didn`t understand a word if it but it pissed down!!

Whaddam I Like??


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: GUEST,buspassed
Date: 01 Feb 09 - 02:22 PM

Well as long as all those wonderful people at HMV make their lazy uneducated marketing decisions then all will be well. For some anyway!


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: GUEST,Harry
Date: 02 Feb 09 - 07:15 AM

Dear Guest BanjoRay...personally I thought the Springsteen Sessions Band was brilliant..the audience weren't booing, 'twas a drawn out "Bruce"...


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 02 Feb 09 - 07:20 AM

No good compalining about it now, I reckon they've been doing it about 20 years now. As for the BBC clssifying Native Anerican music as "World", what else are they going to do - it's hardly indigenous music from the BBC's (that's British Broadcasting Corporation in case you didn't know)point of view? NBC, Fox etc might have a different viewpoint and classify the Watersons (say) as "World" ( i don't suppose the Watersons woud object)but it's all relative.


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: TinDor
Date: 02 Feb 09 - 08:08 PM

Good to see the Leadbelly stuff


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 03 Feb 09 - 04:46 PM

(I've just sent a note to Joe suggesting this thread and the Old Time Music on BBC 4 thread be combined. When I started this one I first did a filter search for "Folk America" and missed the other one... they don't overlap much in chronology of posts, yet.)

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 11:38 PM

Someone has posted this program (in 10 minute increments) on YouTube:
start with episode 1 and follow the links there.


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: GUEST,Redxl7
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 04:18 PM

I watched all 3 parts on Google Video, good stuff!


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: BK Lick
Date: 21 Aug 09 - 11:24 PM

As Desert Dancer wrote, the program is now available on Youtube. There are twelve parts:
  • PART ONE: From the Carter Family's "When The World's On Fire" to Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land", another brilliant documentary from the BBC. This part features Alan Lomax, Leadbelly, Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie.
  • PART TWO : The influence of Woody Guthrie Pete Seeger and American Communism, leadbelly and Josh White. Some fascinating musical and political history from the BBC.
  • PART THREE : The war years, Pete Seeger, Leadbelly and Josh White. The rise and fall of the Almanac Singers. Bleeker Street and Greenwich Village.
  • PART FOUR : Continuing the series through the 2nd World War. Woody Guthrie, Pte Seeger, Josh White, Jean Richie.
  • PART FIVE: From the Almanacs to the Weavers, communist witch hunts, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly.
  • PART SIX: Paul Robeson; McCarthyism strikes the death knell for the Weavers; Josh White; Burl Ives; Pete Seeger; Ramblin' Jack Elliot.
  • PART SEVEN: From The Kingston Trio to Joan Baez via The New Lost City Ramblers.
  • PART EIGHT: Joan Baez, Washington Square, Greenwich Village, Bob Dylan. The populist folk movement shines its light on the New York scene and the likes of Joan Baez and Bob Dylan reach a wider audience.
  • PART NINE: The civil rights movement, Newport Folk Festival, Bob Dylan.
  • PART TEN: From Harry Smith's Anthology Of American Folk Music to the Newport Folk Festival. Featuring Fred McDowell, John Hurt, Tom Paxton, Bob Dylan, Roger McGuin, The Byrds etc. Priceless.
  • PART ELEVEN: Bob Dylan goes electric. The Byrds do Dylan. Everything changes.
  • PART TWELVE: The late sixties and the folk movement morphs into psychedelia. However, the hard core keeps the sound of 20th century folk alive.


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: BK Lick
Date: 21 Aug 09 - 11:30 PM

Ah rats, I messed up PART ONE.


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: BK Lick
Date: 21 Aug 09 - 11:36 PM

Also messed up PART NINE.


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: GUEST,Redxl7
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 12:29 AM

Well you could just make it easy on yourself and watch it on google video, all three parts, just an hour each


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: BK Lick
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 02:55 PM

Wonder what three-hour video GUEST,Redxl7 watched.
Searching for "American Folk History" at Google Videos returns only the twelve 10-minute clips linked above.


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: BK Lick
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 03:36 PM

Oh, I found it -- and it does contain more. The twelve YouTube clips do not include the first of these three hour-long videos:
PART ONE
Part one of a three-part documentary series on American folk music, tracing its history from the recording boom of the 1920s to the folk revival of the 1960s. The opening part looks at how, in the 1920s, record companies scoured the American south for talent to sell. This was a golden age of American music, as the likes of the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charlie Poole, Dock Boggs and Mississippi John Hurt burst onto record, eager to have a share in the new industry and the money it made, only to lapse into obscurity when the depression hit at the start of the 30s. Contributors include Judy Collins, Steve Earle, Tom Paxton and Pete Seeger, surviving relations of 1920s greats such as Mississippi John Hurt, the Carter Family and Uncle Dave Macon, plus three actual survivors of the era - guitarist Slim Bryant, banjoist Wade Mainer and Delta bluesman 'Honeyboy' Edwards
PART TWO
In the depression of the 1930s, John Lomax found convicted murderer Leadbelly in a southern jail. Leadbelly's music was never quite as pure and untouched by pop as Lomax believed, but it set a new agenda for folk music, redefining it as the voice of protest, the voice of the outsider and the oppressed. Dustbowl drifter Woody Guthrie fitted the mould perfectly and the two of them teamed up with Lomax's son Alan, Pete Seeger and Josh White - a group of friends who believed 'they could make a better world if they all got together and just sang about it'. Their songs and their radical politics took them to high places of influence, but brought about their downfall in the blacklisting 1950s. Contributors include Pete Seeger, Rambling Jack Elliot, Anna Lomax, Tom Paxton, Roger McGuinn, Woody Guthrie's sister and daughter and Josh White's son.
PART THREE
In the 1960s a new generation, spearheaded by Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, took folk to the top of the charts and made it the voice of youthful protest. Whilst the northern folk revivalists helped bring civil rights to the south, the Newport Folk Festival brought the old music of the south to the college kids in the north. However, when Dylan turned up at Newport in 1965 with an electric guitar things would never be the same again. With Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Judy Collins, Robbie Robertson, Stephen Stills, Country Joe McDonald, Roger McGuinn, Odetta and Tom Paxton.


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 09:53 PM

Cool. It looked like the John Lomas start of the YouTube videos wasn't the real beginning.


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 23 Aug 09 - 10:06 AM

Relax all you folks in the UK. The whole lot is being shown again this coming Saturday night on BBC4.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Aug 09 - 06:16 PM

Does anybody else remember a cartoon from the late-1940s/early-1950s, in [I think] the English humorous magazine "Punch", of the backwoodsman plucking his ole guitar and singing, "I got those ol' John & Alan Lomax ain't been around yet to record me blues"? Can anyone name the cartoonist?


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: GUEST,LegendZero
Date: 08 Apr 12 - 11:01 AM

Liked the series. I was however, very disappointed to not hear one mention of Bluegrass music or Bill Monroe. That was a glaring error on the part of the show creators to leave out one of the most popular and American forms of folk music.


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Apr 12 - 01:56 PM

You can view BBC iPlayer from overseas, e.g. the USA if you use ExpatShield first. This sets up a PVN with a UK IP address fooling iPlayer into thinking that your computer is in the UK. There are variations of this app.

Also there are apps. for the Mac.

If you use get_iplayer too you can download the said video file without DRM.

A broadband connection is best otherwise any streaming or downloads will be slow.

The whole BBC folk series is also available from various P2P torrent sites. Google around and you might find some.


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Subject: RE: BBC4 Folk America series
From: Tootler
Date: 08 Apr 12 - 05:06 PM

It was an interesting series but like the equivalent programs on UK folk music they were more interested in the "celebrity" end of the business and largely ignored the grass roots, especially in the last program. I also failed to understand how they could ignore the contribution of the Carter Family.


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