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First Folk Song(s) You Heard

voyager 16 Jan 11 - 12:26 PM
kendall 16 Jan 11 - 12:59 PM
Taconicus 16 Jan 11 - 01:11 PM
Little Robyn 16 Jan 11 - 01:22 PM
el_punkoid_nouveau 16 Jan 11 - 01:34 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 16 Jan 11 - 01:48 PM
GUEST, topsie 16 Jan 11 - 01:59 PM
Beer 16 Jan 11 - 02:45 PM
Taconicus 16 Jan 11 - 03:01 PM
Janie 16 Jan 11 - 03:18 PM
Graham_Pirt 16 Jan 11 - 03:28 PM
Don Firth 16 Jan 11 - 03:36 PM
topical tom 16 Jan 11 - 03:47 PM
Dave MacKenzie 16 Jan 11 - 03:56 PM
Tootler 16 Jan 11 - 04:11 PM
SPB-Cooperator 16 Jan 11 - 04:16 PM
Young Buchan 16 Jan 11 - 04:47 PM
Deckman 16 Jan 11 - 04:50 PM
Richard Hardaker 16 Jan 11 - 05:04 PM
Herga Kitty 16 Jan 11 - 07:26 PM
Leadfingers 16 Jan 11 - 08:42 PM
GUEST 16 Jan 11 - 10:01 PM
Bobert 16 Jan 11 - 10:20 PM
Janie 16 Jan 11 - 11:11 PM
BrooklynJay 16 Jan 11 - 11:14 PM
Ebbie 17 Jan 11 - 01:45 AM
Clontarf83 17 Jan 11 - 02:12 AM
jacqui.c 17 Jan 11 - 08:19 AM
Steve Shaw 17 Jan 11 - 08:28 AM
Dave Hanson 17 Jan 11 - 08:34 AM
GUEST, topsie 17 Jan 11 - 09:14 AM
IanC 17 Jan 11 - 12:30 PM
Pulseroom 17 Jan 11 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,Doc John 17 Jan 11 - 01:15 PM
Bill D 17 Jan 11 - 02:36 PM
Lighter 17 Jan 11 - 02:52 PM
tritoneman 17 Jan 11 - 04:08 PM
Janie 17 Jan 11 - 08:19 PM
Steve Shaw 17 Jan 11 - 08:29 PM
Janie 17 Jan 11 - 09:55 PM
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Subject: Folklore: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: voyager
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 12:26 PM

Where does this music come from?
How do we find the songs, the stories?
What do we remember (early songs)?

For this Baby Boomer (my family was not musical) -
Harry Belafonte - Day-O (early school program)
Johnny Horton - Battle of New Orleans (early record)
Delia/Pasing Through - (camp songs)
Dick Darby the Cobbler - (Appalachian Music film)

voyager


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: kendall
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 12:59 PM

Buryl Ives,The Fox.


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Taconicus
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 01:11 PM

On the radio, the Kingston Trio, Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley

But before that, public elementary schools in the 1950's and early 1960's often had "assembly" period where the entire school would gather and sing songs (from a songbook like Four by Four) which certainly included folk songs, though at that age I didn't identify them as such.


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Little Robyn
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 01:22 PM

Not counting all the Nursery Rhymes, the Weavers were on the radio in the early 50s with Wimoweh, Zenazena and Kisses sweeter than wine.
My Dad had a Grundig tape recorder for awhile and he recorded them.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: el_punkoid_nouveau
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 01:34 PM

Oh, the things for which the BBC can be held responsible! I guess it must have been about 1963 - or even earlier! - there was a serial on Children's Hour, about a drummer girl/boy in the early 19th Century.

No prizes for guessing what they used as the theme tune - Polly Oliver. I remember distinctly listening to it in the kitchen, using my parent's old bakelite radio, and asking my Mother about the theme tune. She told me it was a folk song... and that was it - I was hooked!

epn


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 01:48 PM

Difficult question: I didn't join the folk scene here in England until my late thirties, and some of the E. trads now in my repertoire I somehow? knew - school or boy scouts in Australia...I'm not sure..?


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 01:59 PM

If we are counting nursery rhymes, then either 'Pattacake, Baker's Man' or 'This Little Piggy' would have been sung to me at less than a year old. At that age I wouldn't have known whether a song was 'folk' or not, but would 'Oh my darling, Clementine' count?


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Beer
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 02:45 PM

Live: My mother singing Frozen Charlotte
Battery radio: Jim Reeves Bimbo
ad.


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Taconicus
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 03:01 PM

would 'Oh my darling, Clementine' count?
That old howler? I'm afraind so.
;-)


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Janie
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 03:18 PM

Gosh, I don't know.   I just grew up with it.   

We learned all kinds of songs that I now understand are folk songs in class from 1st grade on. Stuff like Go Tell Aunt Rhoady, Sweet Betsy From Pike, Ol' Dan Tucker (lots of cowboy songs, Westerns being the thing on television and in movies.) My eastern Kentucky grandfather sang old hymns in a fine hillbilly voice as he worked around the yard from my earliest memory. We watched the broadcasts of WSAZ's (Huntington, WV) "Saturday Night Jamboree" from when it started broadcasting in 1953 (I was 2 years old,) listened to Ralph Stanley on WOAY, watched the Flatt & Scruggs show, and listened to the Grand Ol' Opry from before I can actually remember.

So I'm guessing the first songs I likely heard were folk songs, but I sure couldn't tell you what the first were. And I certainly didn't think of it as folk music.

By age 6 or 7, I didn't like most of it. Hick music. (I lumped it all together as country.) Was embarrassed by it, just like I was embarrassed by my hillbilly accent - but Daddy controlled the TV and the radio dial. In the 50's and 60's the mass media portrayal of Appalachian people (really, of rural people in general,) and West Virginians and people from eastern Kentucky in particular were extremely negative, and I internalized those negative messages. I sang in school chorus for 6 years, where we worked very, very hard to not sing like we talked.

Probably the first folk music I heard that I identified as folk music was from the KT, probably Tom Dooley. Mom and Dad went nuts over the Kingston Trio, and bought each of their 1st 5 albums as soon as they were released. Now, I did like the KT, and the other commercial revivalist folk groups, and the whole family gathered every Saturday night when "Hootennay" came on the air. T'wern't a hillbilly twang or mountain voice ornamentation to be heard. That sounded good!

It wasn't until the early or mid '70's that I finally came to love the sounds of a good hillbilly voice singing a mountain ballad or an old hymn. I worked hard to eliminate any hint of nasal mountain or country out of my singing voice when I was young. I wanted to sound like Joan Biaz or Joni Mitchell (only an octave or two lower.) I have got some of the country back, but not the mountain.

Not what you were asking, Voyager, but this is the direction thinking of your query led me.

Janie


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Graham_Pirt
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 03:28 PM

My grandmother singing Dance to your daddy, and lavender's blue, which sixty years later I put on my CD with my son Sam. The music goes on


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 03:36 PM

My sisters and I used to know a few songs like "Clementine" and such when we were kids. Then, in the late 1930s, when I was only a bit larger than a rug rat, I may have heard some of Alan Lomax's folk music programs on "American School of the Air," which I used to listen to.

The first songs I recall hearing that were identified as "folk songs" were in the mid-1940s, when I heard a radio program by Burl Ives on Sunday afternoons. He talked about events in American history and sang songs that grew out of them. One program about the building of the Erie Canal, along with songs like "I've Got a Mule and Her Name is Sal," and "The E-ri-e Canal."

Then, in my second year of college circa 1952, I fell in with questionable company. . . .

Walt Roberts0n, Claire Hess, Ric Higlin, Dick Landberg, Sandy Paton (who was living in Seattle at the time), and a few others.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: topical tom
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 03:47 PM

Aside from childhood songs and lullabies, the first folk music I heard was the record "The Weavers at Carnegie Hall" and the second record I listened to was Pete Seeger's "Darling Corey". I had heard occasional country-folk songs, eg. Jimmie Rodgers and The Carter Family earlier, though. In retrospect, a great introduction to folk music.


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 03:56 PM

I can't remember, I was too young, but it was probably in Gaelic.


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Tootler
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 04:11 PM

Apart from Nursery rhymes, a whole host of songs my Grandmother used to sing while doing the housework. My Grandparents had a collection of sea chanties on 78 which I used to play and I particularly remember hearing "Leave Her Johnnie" and "Rio Grande". There were others, but those two particularly stick in my mind.

Later, there was "Singing Together" at primary school. My next serious encounter with folk music was at University and that's where I really became hooked, though I did drift away for many years and it was not until I joined the Folkworks Caedmon Folk classes the year before I retired that I properly came back again, though I had bought some cassettes and CDs from time to time before that.


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 04:16 PM

Ever in my life, it would have probably been something in music lessons at school.

Then there was hrmpph years of the Spinners christmas show.

My current interest in folk music I can pinpoint to one song when Radio London broadcast a show called something like 10 out of 10 - i.e. popular music over the previous 10 years. The track in question was Fairport Convention's Rising for the Moon, so I suppose that was what turned me back on to folk.

The first folk song I listened to live (apart from when Fairport did a support to Led Zeppelin at Knebworth) was either sung by Traitors Gate or Hammerfolk Mk XXXVVVIIII (or whatever line up) in the summer of 1980 at Ravenscourt Park. From there I discovered folk clubs, and th eres tis history.


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Young Buchan
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 04:47 PM

My mother sang Dabbling in the Dew - probably when I was still dabbling in the womb.


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Deckman
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 04:50 PM

1953 ... Bill Higley (AKA "WilliWaw Willy) sang the Foggy Foggy Dew." It's been downhill ever since. bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Richard Hardaker
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 05:04 PM

Not counting songs sung at school or heard on the radio, I can pin down my first encounter with live, untamed folk song to a precise date; Christmas eve 1966 when I came across a wild & well oiled bunch belting out mostly Irish stuff in the Exchange pub in Harrogate. This disreputable establishment is now now long gone. Even a 'genteel' spot like Harrogate had its share of rough pubs.
The song that sticks in my mind was "Leaving of Liverpool" which was the first song I learned to perform in public a year or so later.


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 07:26 PM

Not counting songs sung at school, it was the Nightingale (and they kissed so sweet and comforting).

Kitty


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Leadfingers
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 08:42 PM

LOTS of songs I heard in the early days made NO real impact - Then I saw 'The Hootenanny Show' on BBC TV in 1964 ! I was a Jazz Sax and Clarinet man til then !!


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 10:01 PM

Celtic Collection CD, Hills Of Connemara from here

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Celtic-Collection-1-Various/dp/B00007K39H/ref=sr_1_6?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1295233282&sr=1-6

I would die to get the boxset again :(


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 10:20 PM

I really don't consider Johnny Horton's "Battle of New Orleans" all that folkie... It was played on the rock 'n roll am stations..

Not sure what the 1st was 'cause I really can't figure out exactly what folk was back then...

Was "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore" folk... If so, when ever it came out...

No, how about "Tom Dooley"??? That was earlier... Was that folk???

I donno???

B~


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Janie
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 11:11 PM

Well that's the thing, Bobert. Lots of songs are actually trad. songs, just not performed as trad. songs. ( oh dear, this could veer into what is folk.)

Nevermind.


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 11:14 PM

My earliest memories (late 1950's) would have to be The Weavers, Leadbelly, Burl Ives and Theodore Bikel. I'm thinking albums/artists rather than indididual songs. There were others in my childhood memories (Harry Belafonte, Limeliters, Chad Mitchell Trio, and more), but the aforementioned were the absolute earliest I can recall.

But songs? Hmmmm. Wimoweh, Godnight Irene, On Top of Old Smoky, Kisses Sweeter Than Wine, Old Paint (The Weavers). Those might just have been the earliest, if I had to actually choose.

It all came from my late mother. She liked folk music and was a college classmate of Oscar Brand's (Brooklyn College, class of 1942). I really do owe it all to her.

Still have those albums - and lots more!

Jay


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Ebbie
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 01:45 AM

My, my, my- y'all are so much younger than I. My earliest memories of songs were those from the 40s my mother and dad sang around the farm. Songs like 'Goodbye, my Lover, Goodbye', 'Little Blossom', 'Skip to ma Lu'- that whole era. Lots of Prohibition songs, lots of Great Depression songs.

Growing up the way that they did, I have no idea how or where they learned those songs. No radio, no concerts, no live shows.

It just occurred to me: In the 'olden' days the Amish had what they called 'Play Parties', communal events with tunes they danced to. They swept out a hay barn and the 'young folks' danced 'til dawn. Whether they were square dance type or contra dance I don't know- I don't even know if they played instruments - it was way before my time. But maybe that is where they learned those songs.


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Clontarf83
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 02:12 AM

Brought up in Ireland in the 1950s--60s you would think I was steeped in it. Not so--Irish music was regarded as "barbarian" by my classically trained mother and uncle. The first I heard was the Clancy brothers singing the Holy Ground. Then I heard Ronnie Drew and the Dubliners and it was game, set, and match.


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: jacqui.c
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 08:19 AM

Dance To Your Daddy and Lavender Blue on Listen With Mother in the 50s, Lonnie Donegan singing The Battle Of New Orleans and Tom Dooley in the late 50s and many folk songs that we learned at school about the same time.


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 08:28 AM

The first song that grabbed me by the throat was Raggle Taggle Gypsy by Planxty, on a compilation vinyl album called All The Folk That Fits. That song just crackles. I've never been the same since.


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 08:34 AM

I'm 64 years old and I seem to have known ' So Long It's Been Good To Know Ya ' all my life, looking back, it must have been The Weavers on the radio when I was very very young.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 09:14 AM

The first time I came across something labelled as "folk" rather than just "songs" was probably Robin Hall and Jimmy McGregor on "Tonight".


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: IanC
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 12:30 PM

My Dad used to sing to me from when I was very little. The songs he sang were eclectic (basically anything he fancied singing), so I'm not sure what you would count as "folk" but he did sing traditional songs. I don't know which was the first one, though because I can't remember.

:-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Pulseroom
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 12:45 PM

Annie's Song, Tom Paxton. I still sing it on occasion.


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: GUEST,Doc John
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 01:15 PM

We sang English folk songs at school, all cleaned up of course: Barbara Allen, Blow the Man Down, Blow Away the Morning due etc. Horrible performances, of course, but I liked the songs. The more operatic singers like Peter Pears and Joan Sutherland rather detered me.
I liked the sound of Elton Hayes and Shirley Abacaire on the BBC, who sang, although not always folk songs, in a folk way, which I liked. Whatever that means, of course. Heard Burl Ives on Children's Favourites and popular singers - such as Michael Holiday - who sang what sounded like folk songs.
Then I heard Jean Ritchie on the BBC; now there was someone who sounded just about right.
The skiffle arrived - some wonderful, some really dreadful.
Like to think I heard Woody Guthrie in Children's Hour when I was 3; well, I may have done!


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 02:36 PM

about 1951 we sang "Little Mohee" and "Oh, Susannah" and a couple others in 6th grade music class. I suppose I'd heard a few bits of others earlier, but can't place them in time. I do know I READ "Down in the Valley" in a book in 1947...but wasn't aware of the tune.


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 02:52 PM

"The Streets of Laredo," as sung in an episode of the "Hopalong Cassidy" TV series, 1954 or '55.


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: tritoneman
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 04:08 PM

I grew up with a lot of folk music records being played at home. Skiffle was in vogue too. Some of my earliest recollections are Pete Seeger singing 'Deep Blue Sea'; Richard Dyer-Bennet, 'The Vicar of Bray'; Alan Lomax, 'Get Along Little Dogies'; Rory and Alex McEwen, 'The Lowlands of Holland' That sort of stuff...


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Janie
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 08:19 PM

Steve Shaw, you jogged a memory of a neighbor girl and I swinging and singing in my back yard, probably about age 9 or so.   We were singing Raggle Taggle Gypsy-O. I haven't a clue from where we learned it.


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 08:29 PM

I think I heard Raggle Taggle Gypsy by Planxty in about 1980. I must have heard a lot of folk songs before that, but that was the one that changed my life. I remember all that "Singing Together" at primary school in the 50s. Ones that stick in my mind from then are Westering Home, Sweet Polly Oliver, Bonnie Dundee, Oh No John, Dashing away With The Smoothing Iron - that sort of thing.


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Subject: RE: First Folk Song(s) You Heard
From: Janie
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 09:55 PM

I don't know exactly how old that memory is - I could have been as young as 8, but no older than 10, and probably 9 or 10. That would make it 1958-1961, in a rural area right outside of Charleston, WV. I remember we were kind of vague on some of the lyrics, and argued about what the words of some lines were, which suggests we learned it from a recording and could not quite make out the words. I don't remember the two of us ever making a habit of sitting down with records to learn songs.

It is a cipher.


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