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etiquette re: 'the late' in cd notes

meself 18 Sep 09 - 10:35 AM
Andy Jackson 18 Sep 09 - 10:43 AM
open mike 18 Sep 09 - 10:43 AM
doc.tom 18 Sep 09 - 11:30 AM
bankley 18 Sep 09 - 11:41 AM
meself 18 Sep 09 - 12:19 PM
Tangledwood 18 Sep 09 - 06:17 PM
Joe Offer 18 Sep 09 - 06:32 PM
George Papavgeris 18 Sep 09 - 06:56 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Sep 09 - 07:21 PM
Leadfingers 18 Sep 09 - 07:50 PM
Artful Codger 19 Sep 09 - 04:32 PM
Barbara 19 Sep 09 - 04:47 PM
Charley Noble 19 Sep 09 - 07:38 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Sep 09 - 07:57 PM
Dan Schatz 19 Sep 09 - 08:03 PM
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Subject: etiquette re: 'the late' in cd notes
From: meself
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 10:35 AM

I'm working on the notes for a CD (remember those?). Sadly, the longer it takes me to get this project completed, the more musicians and folklorists acknowledged in the notes have shuffled off this mortal coil. It's reached the point at which of perhaps a dozen people whom I have met and whom I have credited in some way in the notes, only one or two are still alive. So I'm soliciting opinions on the use, or not, of the term "the late" before the names of deceased persons, in this context.

Some points to consider:

1)        It sometimes strikes me as a little careless, if not callous, when "the late" is not put before the name of a deceased person, although I've not infrequently encountered that omission in liner notes and music commentaries.
2)        In my notes, the cumulative effect of all these "the late"'s is dreary, and cumbersome stylistically.
3)        Where do you draw the line? Obviously, Michael Jackson is "the late" – but what about Elvis? And if Elvis, what about Robert Johnson? What about O'Carolan? What about some obscure personage who was the source of a song collected in 1952, and who is probably long since dead – but may still be alive – "the possibly late …."?

Now, I'm not tying myself in knots about this – in fact, in writing the above, I've come to the tentative decision to put a general, generic acknowledgement of the passing of "many of those mentioned", either at the beginning or end of the notes. But I'm going to go ahead and post this, because I am interested in what other people think.


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Subject: RE: etiquette re: 'the late' in cd notes
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 10:43 AM

Amazing how often you find the answer just by posing the question to a third party.
For my money a gentle acknowledgement at the end along the lines of "many of those mentioned" does the job beautifully.


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Subject: RE: etiquette re: 'the late' in cd notes
From: open mike
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 10:43 AM

perhaps you could put birth and death years (1930-1999) to indicate the years they lived if you can get that info....

i find that many of the musicians whose songs i play on my radio show are no longer with us in life...even more glad to have recordings of them to listen to and share...


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Subject: RE: etiquette re: 'the late' in cd notes
From: doc.tom
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 11:30 AM

Always beware of copy-checking - the late Johnny Collins had to go through every copy of his LP Free & Easy (1982) deleting 'the late' from in front of 'Walter Pardon' in the sleeve note to Old Brown's Daughter because Walter wasn't dead already, yet.


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Subject: RE: etiquette re: 'the late' in cd notes
From: bankley
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 11:41 AM

if your well dressed and dead, you could be 'fashionably late'

otherwise I'd rather be shaby and early


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Subject: RE: etiquette re: 'the late' in cd notes
From: meself
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 12:19 PM

uh, yeah ... me too ... even "shabby" and on time ...


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Subject: RE: etiquette re: 'the late' in cd notes
From: Tangledwood
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 06:17 PM

Whatever notes you make today are potentially wrong by tomorrow if too specific, and hopefully your CD will be around for many years more than that. Miskin Man's suggestion seems to cover that likelihood very nicely and could be combined with some kind of thanks to them.


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Subject: RE: etiquette re: 'the late' in cd notes
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 06:32 PM

Maybe it's different in different places, but I see no reason to acknowledge the death of anyone unless it's pertinent - especially on CD notes, where space is at a premium. If you sing a song by Rodgers & Hart, do you have to acknowledge that they're dead? - I don't see any value in it, but maybe we Midwesterner Californians have a different view of things.
Now, if you sing or record something by someone who is recently deceased, I think it would be nice to say something in tribute - something more than just "the late."

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: etiquette re: 'the late' in cd notes
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 06:56 PM

I agree with Joe on this. Provided that being "late" has no bearing on the particular piece (and it very rarely does), mention of the fact is at best superfluous and can even be considered as mild name-dropping (as it implies a connection of sorts, that you knew or met the person).

Sometimes of course it can have a bearing on the piece, as in "you can hear in the chorus the glorious bass of the late XXXXXX" - in other words last chance to hear, sort of thing.

But what we do in this world is not undone just because we die, which was precisely the reason for my lines "...for though history can be forsaken, and no music made with broken fife, still this moment now can not be taken - celebrate the miracle of life". The achievement remains, whether the achiever is "late" or not.


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Subject: RE: etiquette re: 'the late' in cd notes
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 07:21 PM

Why not just Old Joe Clark (d.)


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Subject: RE: etiquette re: 'the late' in cd notes
From: Leadfingers
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 07:50 PM

If you are just crediting Writer or Source , I feel adding 'The Late' is superfluos . If , on the other hand its someone who was playing on the recording who has gone to the Great Singaround in the sky , the fact that they are no longer with us is probably worth mentioning !


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Subject: RE: etiquette re: 'the late' in cd notes
From: Artful Codger
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 04:32 PM

With some preposterous copyright laws now, which expire based upon the date of the author's death, rather than on the date of publication, having the death dates in the notes may be of great use to future generations, who then don't have to search for biographies of largely forgotten artists to determine if a composition is in public domain. Sonny Bono, you a**wipe.


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Subject: RE: etiquette re: 'the late' in cd notes
From: Barbara
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 04:47 PM

I agree with Joe et al -- at least in part because I think songs and singers are timeless -- if your CD is around for years, the rest of the folk will have shuffled off the mortal coil too. Mishkin has it, if you want to acknowledge people's passing, and if the reason you are singing their song is in memory of someone who has recently died, say that in the liner notes.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: etiquette re: 'the late' in cd notes
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 07:38 PM

I suppose if "The late Joe Blow" is not in fact deceased, you could send out a black bag team to tidy up the problem.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: etiquette re: 'the late' in cd notes
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 07:57 PM

Zip to RIP


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Subject: RE: etiquette re: 'the late' in cd notes
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 08:03 PM

Whatever you do, make sure the person you describe as "the late" is actually dead.

In all seriousness, it's really not necessary. You could do a nice dedication to all the musicians and influences - many of whom were part of bringing this music to the world - that are no longer with us.

Reminds me of something Townes Van Zandt - excuse me, the late Townes Van Zandt - once said. He wrote a blues for Blaze Foley. "I don't think of Blaze as dead," Townes told his audience, "just late. 'Course, this is as late as he's ever been."

It must have been a good joke, because I heard Townes make it two or three times in Austin.

Dan


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