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Rambling Syd Rumpo (Kenneth Williams)

Related threads:
Rambling Sid Rumpo/Kenneth Williams-seek recording (13)
Lyr Add: Rambling Sid Rumpo (x 2) (41)
Rambling Syd Rumpo (25)


Smedley 01 Jan 10 - 06:58 AM
Smedley 01 Jan 10 - 07:06 AM
Acorn4 01 Jan 10 - 08:00 AM
The Sandman 01 Jan 10 - 10:51 AM
John MacKenzie 01 Jan 10 - 10:54 AM
Smedley 01 Jan 10 - 11:47 AM
Murray MacLeod 01 Jan 10 - 11:55 AM
Smedley 01 Jan 10 - 11:59 AM
Smedley 01 Jan 10 - 12:00 PM
Murray MacLeod 01 Jan 10 - 12:08 PM
alanabit 01 Jan 10 - 12:51 PM
Bat Goddess 01 Jan 10 - 02:21 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 01 Jan 10 - 06:50 PM
Smokey. 01 Jan 10 - 07:13 PM
Jim Dixon 01 Jan 10 - 11:36 PM
Smedley 02 Jan 10 - 02:32 AM
Shanghaiceltic 02 Jan 10 - 02:51 AM
Seamus Kennedy 02 Jan 10 - 03:11 AM
Mavis Enderby 02 Jan 10 - 04:10 AM
VirginiaTam 02 Jan 10 - 04:14 AM
Ruth Archer 02 Jan 10 - 06:08 AM
GUEST 02 Jan 10 - 06:57 AM
GUEST,PeterC 02 Jan 10 - 07:00 AM
Smedley 02 Jan 10 - 09:33 AM
Bert 02 Jan 10 - 03:42 PM
Liz the Squeak 02 Jan 10 - 06:08 PM
bubblyrat 03 Jan 10 - 09:48 AM
The Sandman 03 Jan 10 - 09:56 AM
Smedley 03 Jan 10 - 10:24 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Jan 10 - 10:50 AM
Dave Roberts 03 Jan 10 - 11:15 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 03 Jan 10 - 11:43 AM
Smedley 03 Jan 10 - 01:36 PM
Snuffy 03 Jan 10 - 07:14 PM
EnglishFolkfan 03 Jan 10 - 09:59 PM
Dave Roberts 04 Jan 10 - 03:34 AM
Hamish 04 Jan 10 - 04:29 AM
Bryn Pugh 04 Jan 10 - 05:25 AM
Smedley 04 Jan 10 - 06:15 AM
Tim Leaning 04 Jan 10 - 06:21 AM
Nigel Parsons 04 Jan 10 - 07:16 AM
Bryn Pugh 04 Jan 10 - 08:16 AM
GUEST,Jon Dudley 05 Jan 10 - 07:27 AM
GUEST,Ebor.Fiddler 05 Jan 10 - 04:21 PM
Stringsinger 05 Jan 10 - 04:25 PM
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Subject: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Smedley
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 06:58 AM

A question primarily for British folkies ''''of a certain age''''.

Recently I've been listening to the 1960s BBC radio comedy series Round The Horne. One of its recurring & most popular characters was a '''folk singer''' rejoicing in the name of Rambling Syd Rumpo. Each week he would sing a parodic folk song, usually based on a well-known tune but with new lyrics that both parodied folky conventions & revelled in innuendo.

I've often wondered how this comedy was received at the time by those involved in folk. Was anyone offended ? Was it irrelevant ? Did it show how much folk had mainstream recognition (because you can't parody the really obscure in a mainstream show) ? Was anyone in particular on the folk scene being targeted ?

The songs are hilarious to me now (and I guess I ought to dig up a link for anyone curious but unfamiliar - give me a few minutes) but, as Mudcat sometimes shows, folky folk can be thin-skinned at-times. Folky folk can also, of course, have the grace and good=temperedness to laugh at themselves.

Any thoughts/recollections/observations received with interest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Smedley
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 07:06 AM

Three vintage slices of Rambling Syd......


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAx6QSotyg8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJUhjF8A-ME&feature=related


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFtHzqyd4cg&feature=related


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Acorn4
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 08:00 AM

Rambling Sid seems to be going through a bit of a revival at the moment -I've heard several of his songs done at singarounds recently.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 10:51 AM

I imagine kenneth WilLiams [RAMBING SYD] knew of traditional singers because of the radio ballads,The name probably stems from Rambling Jack Elliot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 10:54 AM

It was fun, and we enjoyed it.
Remember,that was back in the days, when taking offence at the merest imagination of a slight, or a non PC remark, had yet to become a growth industry.
We could laugh at ourselves then, and if we were offended we made allowances, and didn't rely on others to complain on our behalf, either!


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Smedley
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 11:47 AM

Interesting thoughts - thank you. I have to confess that even now, if I hear a floridly earnest gent going full-tilt at a ballad or somesuch, I silently think 'he;s a bit Rambling Syd'......


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 11:55 AM

Rambling Sid Rumpo was based directly on A.L.Lloyd


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Smedley
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 11:59 AM

The plot thickens! Was that admitted by the writers, or guessed by Lloyd, or just widely known ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Smedley
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 12:00 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 12:08 PM

It was widely known at the time.

Lloyd and McColl were the only two singers in the genre to make any kind of public impact at the time, (they both worked for the BBC on and off)


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: alanabit
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 12:51 PM

The late Rick Fielding, who was much loved himself around here, was also a fan. It was Kenneth Williams at his best.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 02:21 PM

A Mudcat Secret Santa from a few years ago sent me a double cassette tape set (a BBC radio collection). It's WONDERFUL!

Thank you for reminding me I need to listen to it more often. And, because it's tape and not CD, I have to PLAN to listen to it somewhere when I have a tape player close at hand.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 06:50 PM

I have Rambling Sid's original LP, now preserved in protective packaging, but copied to CD which I still listen to regularly.

I don't think anybody ever resented being gently parodied by Kenneth Williams. It was a sign that one had arrived at the "Big Time".

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Smokey.
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 07:13 PM

The songs were written by Marty Feldman and Barry Took, and there is an unbelievably cheap CD available here. Essential listening for discerning afficionados of English folk music.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 11:36 PM

This is not BS.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Smedley
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 02:32 AM

Well I did wonder about that - but I was concerned about musical purists (not that there are ANY of those in here.........) complaining if I listed it as a music thread. I'd be perfectly happy if it was re-classified.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 02:51 AM

During the quiet hours (middle and morning watches) when we were on patrol the skipper sometimes allowed Round the Horn and the Goon Show to be piped to the after compartments. many of us at the time could quote the scripts verbatim. This was in the 70's and the RN supplied tapes for each boat when we went on patrol.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 03:11 AM

Kenneth Williams' guitar player was brilliant on the radio shows.
For a time I thought it was Kennethe W himself playing, until Rick Fielding told me otherwise.
"And now, my dearios, it's time for a rollicking sea-shanty..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 04:10 AM

Being a resident of famous Lincoln town I've always had a liking for the Song of the Bogle Clencher. Much the same goes on now but the prices have gone up....

Pete.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 04:14 AM

Though I am a relatively new folkie and prone to be thin-skinned about this new found affinity, I found this delightful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 06:08 AM

I've loved Rambling Syd for many years. I even asked for a CD for Christmas a couple of years ago. The thing that makes the character so priceless is that Marty Feldman and Barry Took were conversant enough with traditional music to make the parodies quite accurate - it wasn't the typical, lazy "finger in the ear and Arran jumpers" sneeriness that folk often receives from the mainstream media - it was very sharply observed.

Maybe the audiences loved it just because of the innuendo in the songs and the funny accent - after all, they loved Julian and Sandy without having to know all that much about the Soho gay sub-culture and polare. But I also think that part of their enjoyment came from the fact that folk music was much more mainstream at the time because of the kinds of programmes MacColl and Lloyd (and Bob Copper) were producing for the radio - the audiences probably got a lot more of the "folk jokes" than a contemporary mainstream audience would.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 06:57 AM

In it's day it was a huge romp. So over the top we took it as a hoot. The show's inuendo was at many levels, not all of it obvious, which is what made it so universal. But the Ramblin Syd Rumpo did coincide with Ramblin Jack Elliot's time in London (if my memory holds) and it did not detract from his image. I enjoyed both at the level they presented. I was not a folkie then because I was so young at the time (he says) and family weren't either.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 07:00 AM

With a regular folk spot on the TV Tonight programme I think there was a far more widespread, if low level, understanding of the genre than there is now.

At the age I was then Julian and Sandy were just two men doing funny voices, it was great to rediscover them when I was older.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Smedley
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 09:33 AM

Yes, I think the 'profile' of folk was such that the humour was recognisable. And it's good to hear that nobody (that we've heard from so far) bristled & got grumpy. I wonder if the same would happen today.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Bert
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 03:42 PM

...It was Kenneth Williams at his best...

Kenneth Williams was such an all round genius that everything he did was the best.

Did you ever hear him speaking gibberish, he went on and on in different languages, you could understand which language he was speaking without understanding a word that he was saying.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 06:08 PM

Thank you for this - I downloaded the Rambling Syd Rumpo from Amazon's UK site, and it's cheered up what has been a day of very mixed emotions.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: bubblyrat
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 09:48 AM

I just posted on a thread about genealogy,where I mentioned that some of my boring forebears were "Cord Wanglers", as KW aka RSR used to say ! I'd quite forgotten about the Bogle Clenchers !


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 09:56 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dct_VJNLvAk
I posted this last march,in case you missed it, and was accused of being a humourless pedant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Smedley
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 10:24 AM

Well yar boo sucks to those who called you that. (I hadn't discovered the joys of Mudcat then, or at least I don't think I had.)   The consensus this time round seems to be notably pro-Rumpo.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 10:50 AM

Agree with Smedley. Can't see anything the remotest bit either humourless or pedantic about Dick's post. Those who made such accusations were guilty of infamy, infamy...


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 11:15 AM

I think I'm right in saying (and I'm sure I'll be shot down in true Mudcat style if I'm not) that the guitarist on the original Rambling Syd 'Round The Horne' recordings was none other than Bert Weedon of 'Play With Yourself In a Day' fame.
Rambling Syd is a folk icon and anyone who disagrees is 'irony impaired', to use a phrase coined in another thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 11:43 AM

As alanabit observed, this has been discussed before (without the BS prefix). On that occasion Rumpo's creation was ascribed to Marty Feldman's dislike of folk music.

Rambling Syd Rumpo.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Smedley
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 01:36 PM

Many thanks for the link to the earlier thread - interesting stuff. And if anyone wants more info on Polari, ask away!


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Subject: RE: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Snuffy
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 07:14 PM

And another Rambling Syd thread


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Subject: RE: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: EnglishFolkfan
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 09:59 PM

I don't know if this linking is allowed on here but for those with a Spotify (online music site) account (either free with ads or paid ad free) you will find:

The Very Best of Rambling Sid Rumpo
Kenneth Williams
24 tracks

http://open.spotify.com/album/7DdWCH7BIhDcdRvpAHI8EI

Sadly I don't think Spotify is available in the US yet.

On there you will find lots of the BBC musical stuff ~ oh and also Bert Weedon, Marty Feldman and lots more Kenneth Willams

I grew up in a family where listening to BBC radio, especially the comedy shows (it was how I learnt about different kinds of humour) was part of our daily routine, Sunday teatime was 'Sing Something Simple' with the Cliff Adams Singers ...... and when we finally got a TV there was Robin Hall and Jimmy Mcgregor singing folk songs which was accepted by everyone we knew as 'normal', sometimes we kids would try singing them in the playground the next day.

Right I''m off to brush up on some more black & white nostalgia ......


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Subject: RE: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 03:34 AM

EnglishFolkfan,

I was interested in your mention of Robin Hall and Jimmy Mcgregor.
You're right, they used to appear on the 'Tonight' programme presented by Cliff Michelmore ('the next Tonight will be tomorrow night...') and enjoyed by all.
Most people of my generation will cite The Spinners and their ilk as their first introduction to folk music, but RH and JM were there first.
Also on the same programme was Cy Grant, performing topical calypsos, an art form taken up a little later by Lance Percival.


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Subject: RE: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Hamish
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 04:29 AM

There's a lot of Syd (Rumpo) in Sid (Kipper).

I have been known to sing the one about the Cordwangler. But not often.


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Subject: RE: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 05:25 AM

At risk of (slight ?) thread drift, how KW and Hugh Paddick got away with some of the Palare comments is beyond me.

Still, I s'pose Palare wasn't generally well known - if known at all - outside the "gay demi-monde", so that "doing the dishes" would be lost on anyone not familiar with Palare.

Interesting, I think, that 'goolis' is the polite word for 'em, in Romani.


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Subject: RE: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Smedley
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 06:15 AM

The most outrageous Polari gag they got away with was one about how well they could perform on a 'cottage upright'.


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Subject: RE: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 06:21 AM

I know its been said but That man Williams was a genius and The world is better for having had him in it.


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Subject: RE: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 07:16 AM

Polari = The queens' english'!

Cheers
nigel


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Subject: RE: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 04 Jan 10 - 08:16 AM

Nigel - LOL !


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Subject: RE: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 07:27 AM

I think Ruth is partly right about Rambling Syd being a comment on material being produced with a trad. music base...although at that time although Bob Copper was involved in broadcasts he never made programmes per se. unlike MacColl, Kennedy, Lloyd and co. Bob always said that it was a lot to do with the BBCs inspired decision to instigate the collecting programme with himself, Peter Kennedy, Seamus Ennis and others and their being in and around BH and meeting regularly to present their latest 'finds'. There were many 'smell of the country' and much imaginary scraping of boots jokes by the likes of Gilbert Harding whenever the 'collectors' walked into one of the BBC pubs like The George or The Stag - so it was well discussed around the Corporation. This was rich material for people like the writer Barry Took and too good to miss for a regular slot on 'Round the Horne'. Polari too would have been quite common currency for those in the know at that time in London.


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Subject: RE: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: GUEST,Ebor.Fiddler
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 04:21 PM

And we sang the stuff in '60's Folk Clubs - I have at least one tape, for sale to any potential blackmailees of certain parishes!

(See me after the lesson, boy!)


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Subject: RE: Rambling Syd Rumpo
From: Stringsinger
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 04:25 PM

Ramblin' Sandy Pinckney from the Mighty Wind.


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