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Buckinghamshire Singers Field Recordings

Kevin Sexton 10 Nov 09 - 04:56 AM
GUEST,Jim Martin 10 Nov 09 - 06:16 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 10 Nov 09 - 06:40 AM
treewind 10 Nov 09 - 07:18 AM
bubblyrat 10 Nov 09 - 07:27 AM
Folkiedave 10 Nov 09 - 07:27 AM
GUEST,Gadaffi 10 Nov 09 - 11:35 AM
Kevin Sexton 10 Nov 09 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,Jim Martin 11 Nov 09 - 10:18 AM
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Subject: Buckinghamshire Singers Field Recordings
From: Kevin Sexton
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 04:56 AM

I am keen to obtain copies of a small number of sound recordings held in the BBC archive.
(I already hear you gasp at my false optimism!)
I have already approached the British Library and the National Archive (via the Charles Parker Archive at Birmingham Central Library) who tell me they do not have the BBC's authority to make copies. (Otherwise, I suspect they might; The British Library certainly offers a transcription service, provided you can provide evidence of lack of copyright.) I am currently awaiting a reply to my enquiry of the BBC, but do not anticipate success.

So, I throw myself at the mercy of fellow enthusiasts like you. Can anybody supply me with copies of the recordings listed below? If you first wish to satisfy yourselves that I am not going to do anything 'naughty' with them, see below my reasons for wanting them.

1) I am enthusiastic about English & British traditional song and often sing in a small way at folk clubs and festivals.
For 26 years I have been a resident of Winslow, Buckinghamshire, a county not noted for its wealth of traditional song. (Indeed, all the famous collectors seem to have bypassed it completely.)
So I was delighted to discover that the BBC Archive contains sound recordings of traditional singers in Winslow (where I live) and its immediate vicinity – namely:
•        Amos Beckett, a Winslow man
•        Ted Lambourne & Ted Keen from North Marston, 2 miles away
•        Mrs C A Perry from Loughton,10 miles away
•        and May (Mary) Bennell from Amersham, 20 miles away.
The recordings were made in the 1950s, probably by Seamus Ennis.

As to the reasons why I seek copies of these recordings, they are purely out of interest in the sphere of English traditional song. I would like to 'do my bit' in making local people aware that the singing tradition survived in the area until after the war (and still does if you search very, very hard).
I am increasingly realising the value of these old recordings and would hope to influence others similarly. There are Becketts, Keens and Lambournes in my immediate locality and some of these people are very likely to be relations of the performers. They may well be able to provide me with information on these singers which I could put together in some form of presentation for local people/voluntary organisations, as a glimpse of the 'living traditions' that survived in the local area not so very long ago, in the days before commercialism dictated the nation's tastes in music and song.

2) I list below the recordings which I have identified from the British Library records and in which I am interested. They are prefixed by their BBC Archive Number and suffixed by the letters BL, followed by the appropriate BL reference number – in case that helps.

18139         Amos Beckett - Watercress girl ; Wild rover;
        Ted Lambourne - Herring Song ; Old Johnny Bigger ; Won't you buy a broom?:
        BL 9CL0007314        (recorded 1952 - Winslow, Bucks - and not 'Wilmslow' as the Charles Parker Archive has it!))

18140         Amos Beckett - Broken token (1)
        Ted Lambourne - Blackberry Grove
        Ted Keen - Maid freed from the gallows (2)
        BL 9CL0003043 ; 9CL0003044 : 9CL0007313
        (recorded 1952 – Winslow & North Marston, Bucks)

18141         Amos Beckett - Three poachers.
        BL 9CL0003045        (recorded 1952 - Winslow, Bucks)

21149        Mrs C A Perry - May-day carol ; description of May-Day customs.
        BL 9CL0030335 ; 9CL0030337        (recorded 1954 - Loughton, Bucks)

22422        May (Mary) Bennell - Barbara Allen ; Farmyard song II (Farmer's boy) ;
        May-day carol.                BL C777/5 S2 C20 & 9CL0028065
        (recorded 1954 - Amersham, Bucks)

23930         Amos Beckett - The Robber
        BL 1LP0194472 ; 2LP0074832 ; 2LP0074833
        (recorded 1952 - Winslow, Bucks)

In addition, the BL has an unidentified recording of Amos Beckett as part of the Ewan McColl & Peggy Seeger Collection (BL C102/294).


3) A few of these recordings were previously published by Folktrax but are now unavailable. I know of the following:

BECKETT, Amos - Buckinghamshire\ unacc singer\ 1952 -- rec by Seamus Ennis, Wilmslow Winslow 25/6/52:
RPL 18141 "Watercress Girl" "Wild Rover" "Young Maid Walking" (Young & Single Sailor) & "3 Poachers Poor" - rec by Seamus Ennis 25/6/52:
RPL LP 23930 "The Gallows Tree" (or "Maid freed from the Gallows")

BENNELL, Mrs May - Buckinghamshire\ unacc singer\ 1954 - bn 14.6.1891 -- rec by Seamus Ennis, Amersham 17/10/54:
RPL 22422 "May Carol" "Farmer's Boy"(Farmyard Song) "Barbara Allen" & "The Fox" –
FTX-501 "Barbara Allen" .

In addition, there is a Topic recording of Barbara Allen on 12T160 The Folk Songs of Britain, Vol 4, The Child Ballads 1 – but only 2 verses! I already have this.


4) I have no intention to disseminate copies of these recordings. Even my diehard 'folkie' acquaintances would probably put these singers towards the bottom of a pretty long list. But I would like local people to have the opportunity of hearing them and knowing about the existence of these singers.
I believe that copyright law does not prohibit the making of copies where that material is not to be offered for sale. In any case, if there were any commercial value (eg for me) in disseminating these recordings, then they would likely have been published by now, as is the case with other items in the Sound Archive by better-known traditional singers.
Furthermore, I have read that there is "in law, no copyright in an oral performance or a transcription of such" and that "copyright in sound recordings in the UK is still 50 years from the making" of them. If so, I feel justified in my request.

5) If anybody can help, you may wish to contact me out of the glare of public gaze at:
kevin@sexton10.freeserve.co.uk   I am, of course, happy to reimburse costs, etc.


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Subject: RE: Buckinghamshire Singers Field Recordings
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 06:16 AM

Suggest you also put on here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbradio2/F2142825


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Subject: RE: Buckinghamshire Singers Field Recordings
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 06:40 AM

Kevin,

What a wonderful aspiration - I wish you every success!

I can't help you, I'm afraid, but I wonder whether you've spoken to the English Folk Dance and Song Society about this - perhaps they can point you in the right direction (?)


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Subject: RE: Buckinghamshire Singers Field Recordings
From: treewind
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 07:18 AM

Specifically, talk to (or email) Malcolm Taylor the librarian at RVW memorial Library in Cecil Sharp House. There may be recordings, but much more likely there may also be written transcripts of songs in the library. Be aware that a huge amount of stuff that was collected wasn't published, and some of the collectors weren't famous, but the stuff is there all the same if (with some help from the staff) you know where to look.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Buckinghamshire Singers Field Recordings
From: bubblyrat
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 07:27 AM

You can always come along to Marlow Bottom Acoustic Club on a Wednesday night ( next two weeks at the Prince Albert, Frieth,near Lane End),where you can listen to the noted and respected traditional unaccompanied singer (and to us something of a "doyen",) Buckinghamshire's DICK FROST, now in his 70th year and still going strong ; he might even know of those of whom you speak !!


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Subject: RE: Buckinghamshire Singers Field Recordings
From: Folkiedave
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 07:27 AM

And the person you need to talk to at the British Sound Archive is Janet Topp-Fargion


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Subject: RE: Buckinghamshire Singers Field Recordings
From: GUEST,Gadaffi
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 11:35 AM

Personally, I've always found Malcom Taylor at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library very helpful. Try him.

Many BBC recordings were made by the late Peter Kennedy and found their way on his Folktracks cassettes, so you could try there. I understand it is Topic Records' intention to put these out on CD at some time in the future.

Short of that, good luck!


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Subject: RE: Buckinghamshire Singers Field Recordings
From: Kevin Sexton
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 01:21 PM

Thanks for suggestions to date:
Jim Martin : not sure my implicit request for 'pirate' copies of recordings would sit comfortably on the website of the corporation that holds the rights.
Shimrod : thanks for the encouragement. I may need plenty!
Shimrod, Treewind & Gaddafi : silly me; now why didn't I think of that ? Thanks for the contact name.
Bubblyrat : have been meaning to come along for ages. Two of your regulars keep suggesting it and only last Saturday they were telling me about Dick Frost. See you soon.
Folkiedave : thanks for the name. Will try.

Has anybody actually got these recordings?


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Subject: RE: Buckinghamshire Singers Field Recordings
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 10:18 AM

I thought you might say that!


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