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Searching for Lambs - who's the singer?

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SEARCHING FOR LAMBS


Related threads:
(origins) Martin Carthy: Searching for Lambs (26)
Help: Searching for Lambs recording (15)


GUEST,Claire 06 Jul 11 - 08:17 AM
GUEST 06 Jul 11 - 08:34 AM
The Sandman 06 Jul 11 - 09:18 AM
Noreen 06 Jul 11 - 09:32 AM
The Sandman 06 Jul 11 - 10:39 AM
The Sandman 06 Jul 11 - 10:47 AM
The Sandman 06 Jul 11 - 10:48 AM
GUEST,Claire 06 Jul 11 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,PeterC 06 Jul 11 - 12:57 PM
The Sandman 06 Jul 11 - 01:51 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Jul 11 - 03:58 PM
Fred McCormick 06 Jul 11 - 04:36 PM
The Sandman 06 Jul 11 - 06:23 PM
MGM·Lion 07 Jul 11 - 12:12 AM
The Sandman 07 Jul 11 - 06:48 AM
Brian Peters 07 Jul 11 - 07:16 AM
greg stephens 07 Jul 11 - 07:24 AM
MGM·Lion 07 Jul 11 - 07:29 AM
Fred McCormick 07 Jul 11 - 10:48 AM
Fred McCormick 07 Jul 11 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,Matey 07 Jul 11 - 12:51 PM
Kevin Sheils 07 Jul 11 - 01:18 PM
Fred McCormick 07 Jul 11 - 02:30 PM
Kevin Sheils 07 Jul 11 - 06:17 PM
Fred McCormick 08 Jul 11 - 06:02 AM
GUEST,Chris Goddard 11 Jul 11 - 03:25 PM
Kevin Sheils 12 Jul 11 - 03:30 AM
GUEST,Chris Goddard 12 Jul 11 - 05:22 PM
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Subject: Searching for Lambs
From: GUEST,Claire
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 08:17 AM

Someone on the 'I Need To Know' Board on IMDb is trying to find out the identity of the man singing 'Searching for Lambs' at the end of the 1952 John Mills film 'The Long Memory'. The entire film is on YouTube and the song can be heard towards the end of this clip:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEp1o9HGFnY
Can anyone identify the singer?
Thanks, Claire


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 08:34 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEp1o9HGFnY

Just at the very end.


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 09:18 AM

diificult but it is not Harry Cox, I would suggest checking out versions collected before 1951, sounds like someone from the home counties, so alfred williams collections of upper thames, or surrey collectors might be a good starting place.
it does not sound like an east anglian or west country singer.


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs
From: Noreen
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 09:32 AM

Starts at 7.35 into the clip.

Singer not familiar to me, sorry.

I'll PM Joe to ask for 'identify singer' or some such to be added to the thread title, if that's ok?


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 10:39 AM

gardiner collected 6 versions in cornwall hampshire and sussex, sharp collecte six.
could it be edwin thomas of allerford minehead somerset recorded by kennedy and m karpeles n 1952 and broadcast on midsummers morning on bbc 17782


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 10:47 AM

edwin thomas according to kennedy sang a slightly different version , but the date would be about right particularly as it was played by the bbc.
hammond collected one version in somerset 1905.
joyce collected one with a differnt first verse.
goerge spicer recorded a version in 1956, but it does not sound like him, the accent is not far out but he generally sang lower than that.


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 10:48 AM

my guess is edwin thomas or george spicer.


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs
From: GUEST,Claire
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 11:42 AM

Thank you so much for all the responses! I will post this thread on IMDb.


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 12:57 PM

I would guess George Spicer, accent sounds like Kent or Sussex.


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 01:51 PM

YES,but it sounds too high,for George, and he wasnt recorded until 1956 by kennedy, this film was made 1952, perhaps edwin thomas had a home counties accent, that ac cent sounds old surrey to me


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs - who's the singer?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 03:58 PM

It's Edwin Thomas of Allerford, Somerset, Recorded for the BBC on 3.5.52.
There is a version in the Sharp mss also collected from Edwin Thomas of Dulverton, Somerset 29.4.1914 (Same singer or relative??)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs - who's the singer?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 04:36 PM

George Spicer never sang Searching for Lambs. He had a song called Searching for Young Lambs (Roud 1437. Laws O9) which he did indeed record for Kennedy in 1956, and again for Mike Yates in 1972. However, while this is a pastoral idyll, very like SFL, it is an entirely diferent song.

The only field recording of SFL (Roud 576) I could trace is the one by Edwin Thomas. I've got some recordings of Edwin Thomas, including SFL, but I'm damned if I can remember what he sounded like. If I can find the tape I'll have a listen.

However, while the song snatch is too brief and indistinct to concoct any theories on, I couldn't say that it sounds particularly like a traditional singer to me.

Also, the Thomas recording was made 3 May 1952. If the film in question came out that same year, that doesn't leave much time for the recording to be catalogued and for the director to discover it, get permission to use it, incorporate it into the film and release it. (Having said that, I looked up Rotten Tomatoes, which is probably the best source of film data on the Internet. According to them it was released in 1953.)

Also, as far as I know, the version which everybody sings was collected by Sharp and Karpeles from Mrs Sweet of Somerton, Somerset, and the performance in The Long Memory has the same tune.

I'll know more when I can locate the tape, and hear the Edwin Thomas tune, but my guess is that the snatch we hear was rcorded by some prototypical folk revivalist, perhaps someone who was working on the set of the film.

Does any more of the song occur anywhere else in the film?


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs - who's the singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 06:23 PM

a prototypical folk revivalist?doesnt sound like burl ives, or bert lloyd
my guess is Edwin Thomas,even though i havent heard him sing it is not george Spicer, who i have heard.
a version of the song was recorded from Edwin Thomas, by Peter Kennedy for midsummer morning BBC, 1952.
if it was an actor singing it I very much doubt he would have put on a home counties or london accent,neither would a prototypical folk revivalist, this sounds like a traditional singer.


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs - who's the singer?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 12:12 AM

Noteworthy that the last line of first verse sung here differs from the 'generally known' version, with "summer time" instead of "sun did shine" as the rhyme? Will this provide any sort of clue to the version used, I wonder?

Agree with Dick that this sounds like a traditional singer with a London/Essex rather than more remotely regional accent.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs - who's the singer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 06:48 AM

slightly reminscent of charlie wills, but accentis not right although its a long time since i heard charlie wills


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs - who's the singer?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 07:16 AM

However, while the song snatch is too brief and indistinct to concoct any theories on, I couldn't say that it sounds particularly like a traditional singer to me.

I thought that too, at first hearing. At the risk of looking a berk when someone finds the smoking gun, there seems to me a hint of RP about the phrase 'house and home' just before the fade-out, and the word 'summer' sounds a bit posh too.


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs - who's the singer?
From: greg stephens
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 07:24 AM

It is too much of a coincidence that the singer is singing the familiar Sharp collected tune spot on, but with changed words, and also in a rather metronomic "learned off the dots" way. I will also stick my neck out and say this is an educated revivalist/actor, and not a source singer.


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs - who's the singer?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 07:29 AM

There sounds to me a soupçon of an attempt to imitate a sort of music-hall, rather than traditional folk, style. I am rather reminded of, say, Gus Elen singing The 'Ouses In Between.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs - who's the singer?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 10:48 AM

Right. I've found the smoking gun and that is not Edwin Thomas singing in the film.

1.Edwin Thomas sings with a distinct west country accent and a noticeable traditional style.

2.He is in my opinion a far better singer than the one on the film soundtrack.

3.


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs - who's the singer?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 11:54 AM

Sorry folks. The smoking gun just fired my missive before I'd had chance to finish it. To continue, here's the entire posting.

Right. I've found the smoking gun and that is not Edwin Thomas singing in the film.

1.Edwin Thomas sings with a distinct west country accent, not Essex or Home Counties, and with a noticeable traditional style.

2.He is in my opinion a far better singer than the one on the film soundtrack.

3.Edwin Thomas does not sing Searching For Lambs, Roud 576, on the tape I've got. What he sings is Searching For YOUNG Lambs. Roud 1437. Laws O9. As I pointed out above, this is a different song altogether.

To confuse matters, Roud lists a song under the title Midsummer's Morning, allegedly sung by Edwin Thomas and collected by Kennedy and Karpeles, and gives it the Roud 576 number.

It could be of course that he sang both songs, but I don't think so, and I think just for once Steve Roud has got this one wrong. (Sorry Steve, but the Folksong and Broadside Indexes have a total of around 300,000 records. Nobody can input that amount of data without making just a few slip ups.)

Anyway, my reason for not thinking that ET sang both songs is that he sang seven songs to Peter Kennedy and Maud Karpeles. I have 6 of them, namely:

Searching for young lambs
Reynard the fox
Barbara Allen
Miller's last will, The
Henry, the poacher
Three gypsies

The one I am missing, and it could well be on another tape, is Thorneymoor Woods. Logically therefore, if I've got 6 of his songs, including Searching For Young Lambs, he could not have sung Searching For Lambs as well, if the seventh song was Thorneymoor Woods. That doesn't mean he didn't know the song or sing it to Kennedy on another occasion of course. However, Roud is pretty exhaustive, and I can find no mention of any other songs recorded from Edwin Thomas mid 20th century.

Curiously enough, there is what I presume to be another Edwin Thomas listed for Dulverton (about 20 miles from Allerford where Kennedy's Edwin Thomas was from), whom Sharp collected 4 songs from in 1914. I'm left wondering whether the older Thomas might have been the younger Thomas's father, especially as they had two songs in common - Thorneymoor Woods and Reynard The Fox. In fact that would be 3 if young Edwin did in fact sing Searching For Lambs as well as Searching For Young Lambs.

BTW., Robert Hamer, who directed the film was also the director of at least one Ealing classic; the wonderful Kind Hearts and Coronets. Unfortunately, his career went down from there, possibly catapulted by alcoholism and by the fact that he was a homosexual at a time when homosexuality was taboo, and he died aged 52. A sad loss to English cinema. But given the not very common surname, I can't help wondering if he might have been related to Fred Hamer, and if that's where the Searching For Lambs connection comes in. Well, it's a thought.


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs - who's the singer?
From: GUEST,Matey
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 12:51 PM

It's also sung at the beginning of the film, three minutes in, with a second verse. On a film noir website someone has asked a similar question and the response given is that it's called 'As I roved out one May morning.'


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs - who's the singer?
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 01:18 PM

The earlier snippet is more interesting in that the song is clearly being sung by the old beachcomber who is seen at the end with the rifle.

Whilst it could have been dubbed the singing voice sounds very close to the actor's spoken voice so may well have been sung by him. I have seen a cast list but haven't time to sit through the whole film to get the character's name.


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs - who's the singer?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 02:30 PM

Kevin,

You could very well be right. Here's a list of credits for the movie. Can't say I recognise anyone who might have been our prototypical folkie.

John Mills ... Phillip Davidson
John McCallum ... Supt. Bob Lowther
Elizabeth Sellars ... Fay Lowther
Eva Bergh ... Ilse
Geoffrey Keen ... Craig
Michael Martin Harvey ... Jackson (as Michael Martin-Harvey)
John Chandos ... Boyd
John Slater ... Pewsey
Thora Hird ... Mrs. Pewsley
Vida Hope ... Alice Gedge
Harold Lang ... Boyd's chauffeur
Mary Mackenzie ... Gladys
John Glyn-Jones ... Gedge
John Horsley ... Bletchley
Fred Johnson ... Driver
Laurence Naismith ... Hasbury
Peter Jones ... Fisher
Christopher Beeny ... Mickie
Ernest Clark ... Proscecuting Councel (uncredited)
Henry Edwards ... Judge (uncredited)
Arthur Mullard ... Policeman (uncredited)
Denis Shaw ... Shaw (uncredited)
Julian Somers ... Delaney (uncredited)
Russell Waters ... Scotson (uncredited)

Produced by
Earl St. John .... executive producer
Hugh Stewart .... producer

Original Music by
William Alwyn   

Cinematography by
Harry Waxman   (photography by)

Film Editing by
Gordon Hales   

Casting by
Weston Drury Jr.   (uncredited)

Art Direction by
Alex Vetchinsky   (as Vetchinsky)

Costume Design by
Joan Ellacott   

Makeup Department
George Blackler .... makeup artist
Biddy Chrystal .... hair stylist (uncredited)

Production Management
Denis Holt .... production manager

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert Asher .... assistant director
David W. Orton .... assistant director (as David Orton)
Christopher Sutton .... third assistant director (uncredited)

Art Department
Bert Gaiters .... property master (uncredited)
Brian Herbert .... chief draughtsman (uncredited)
Arthur Taksen .... set dresser (uncredited)

Sound Department
Gordon K. McCallum .... sound recordist
Winston Ryder .... sound editor
C.C. Stevens .... sound recordist
Bill Daniels .... dubbing crew (uncredited)
Basil Fenton-Smith .... boom operator (uncredited)
John Salter .... assistant boom operator (uncredited)
George Willows .... sound camera operator (uncredited)

Special Effects by
Bill Warrington .... special effects (as W.Warrington)

Camera and Electrical Department
James Bawden .... camera operator
John Alcott .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Jack Atcheler .... focus puller (uncredited)
Ian Jeayes .... still photographer (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department
Dorothy Edwards .... wardrobe supervisor: women (uncredited)
Bob Rayner .... wardrobe supervisor: men (uncredited)

Editorial Department
Derek Armstrong .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Anthony Harvey .... second assistant editor (uncredited)

Music Department
Muir Mathieson .... conductor

Other crew
Arthur Alcott .... production controller: Pinewood Studios
Barbara Cole .... continuity
Teresa Bolland .... production secretary (uncredited)
Ken Green .... publicist (uncredited)
Bill Kirby .... location manager (uncredited)


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs - who's the singer?
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 06:17 PM

Yep that's the list I saw but apart from the obvious names I've no idea who the beachcomber is unless I watch the whole film (or at least up to the part he's named).

Anyone out there who has time (or knows the film well enough) it has to be one of the lower down parts I guess.

Just before posting I did a bit more and I'm going with "Michael Martin Harvey ... Jackson (as Michael Martin-Harvey)" now that I've read the wikipedia article on the film I see that's the name of the beachcomber.

According to imdb he is

Michael Martin-Harvey was the only son of the celebrated Edwardian actor-manager Sir John Martin Harvey. Highly artistic his interests extended to dance, the stage, poetry, painting and pottery. Not blessed with the conventional good looks of his famous father, he merely paddled in the shallows of film, often cast in 'character' roles.

sounds likely to me.


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs - who's the singer?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 08 Jul 11 - 06:02 AM

He was certainly paddling in the Long Memory.


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs - who's the singer?
From: GUEST,Chris Goddard
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 03:25 PM

Yes - that's Michael singing. He was my cousin.


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs - who's the singer?
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 03:30 AM

Horse's mouth then! Thanks Chris.

Glad my Sherlock Holmes moment bore fruit. Just listening to the final part before the end might have suggested an overdubbed field recording but the phrasing of the song near the start was clearly recorded specifically for the film, suggesting the actor.

Good fun though.


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Subject: RE: Searching for Lambs - who's the singer?
From: GUEST,Chris Goddard
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 05:22 PM

Michael specialised in these minor character parts but brought considerable insight to them. I think this is one of his best. He was always an eccentric and lived a life full incident. Sadly, he died before I was aware of his existence...


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