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popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad

The Sandman 17 Nov 11 - 08:31 AM
GUEST,leeneia 17 Nov 11 - 08:37 AM
r.padgett 17 Nov 11 - 09:21 AM
Big Al Whittle 17 Nov 11 - 11:19 AM
johncharles 17 Nov 11 - 11:25 AM
dick greenhaus 17 Nov 11 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,Big Nige 17 Nov 11 - 11:36 AM
stallion 17 Nov 11 - 11:47 AM
Richard Bridge 17 Nov 11 - 11:56 AM
dick greenhaus 17 Nov 11 - 02:25 PM
Bert 17 Nov 11 - 03:16 PM
GUEST,Howard Jones 17 Nov 11 - 03:21 PM
The Sandman 17 Nov 11 - 03:24 PM
The Sandman 17 Nov 11 - 03:26 PM
The Sandman 17 Nov 11 - 03:32 PM
The Sandman 17 Nov 11 - 03:34 PM
Spleen Cringe 17 Nov 11 - 04:23 PM
Will Fly 17 Nov 11 - 04:41 PM
The Sandman 17 Nov 11 - 04:46 PM
The Sandman 17 Nov 11 - 04:48 PM
GUEST,SteveG 17 Nov 11 - 04:53 PM
Will Fly 17 Nov 11 - 04:54 PM
The Sandman 17 Nov 11 - 04:54 PM
The Sandman 17 Nov 11 - 04:59 PM
GUEST,SteveG 17 Nov 11 - 05:02 PM
GUEST,josepp 17 Nov 11 - 05:06 PM
Will Fly 17 Nov 11 - 05:08 PM
GUEST,SteveG 17 Nov 11 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,SteveG 17 Nov 11 - 05:18 PM
Spleen Cringe 17 Nov 11 - 05:30 PM
dick greenhaus 17 Nov 11 - 05:59 PM
GUEST,999 17 Nov 11 - 06:51 PM
GUEST,999 17 Nov 11 - 07:06 PM
dick greenhaus 17 Nov 11 - 08:08 PM
GUEST,999 17 Nov 11 - 08:52 PM
The Sandman 18 Nov 11 - 06:30 AM
GUEST,999 18 Nov 11 - 06:52 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Nov 11 - 06:54 AM
Spleen Cringe 18 Nov 11 - 07:03 AM
GUEST,BIg Nige 18 Nov 11 - 07:04 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 18 Nov 11 - 07:04 AM
The Sandman 18 Nov 11 - 07:44 AM
johncharles 18 Nov 11 - 07:51 AM
TheSnail 18 Nov 11 - 07:53 AM
The Sandman 18 Nov 11 - 07:58 AM
johncharles 18 Nov 11 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,Big Nige 18 Nov 11 - 07:59 AM
The Sandman 18 Nov 11 - 08:02 AM
GUEST,Big Nige 18 Nov 11 - 08:06 AM
TheSnail 18 Nov 11 - 08:18 AM
johncharles 18 Nov 11 - 08:31 AM
Spleen Cringe 18 Nov 11 - 09:07 AM
johncharles 18 Nov 11 - 09:12 AM
The Sandman 18 Nov 11 - 09:13 AM
The Sandman 18 Nov 11 - 09:16 AM
The Sandman 18 Nov 11 - 09:19 AM
r.padgett 18 Nov 11 - 09:30 AM
johncharles 18 Nov 11 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 18 Nov 11 - 09:37 AM
Vic Smith 18 Nov 11 - 10:03 AM
BTNG 18 Nov 11 - 10:39 AM
Vic Smith 18 Nov 11 - 10:49 AM
The Sandman 18 Nov 11 - 11:01 AM
Morris-ey 18 Nov 11 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Big Nige 18 Nov 11 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,erbert 18 Nov 11 - 11:49 AM
Vic Smith 18 Nov 11 - 12:08 PM
Elmore 18 Nov 11 - 12:57 PM
r.padgett 18 Nov 11 - 02:02 PM
The Sandman 18 Nov 11 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,SteveG 18 Nov 11 - 02:16 PM
The Sandman 18 Nov 11 - 02:17 PM
johncharles 18 Nov 11 - 02:38 PM
The Sandman 18 Nov 11 - 02:40 PM
GUEST,SteveG 18 Nov 11 - 02:57 PM
The Sandman 18 Nov 11 - 03:11 PM
Morris-ey 18 Nov 11 - 03:14 PM
John P 18 Nov 11 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,John from Kemsing 18 Nov 11 - 03:38 PM
The Sandman 18 Nov 11 - 03:47 PM
johncharles 18 Nov 11 - 04:10 PM
GUEST,999 18 Nov 11 - 04:50 PM
Bert 18 Nov 11 - 05:17 PM
dick greenhaus 18 Nov 11 - 05:25 PM
Spleen Cringe 18 Nov 11 - 07:08 PM
John P 18 Nov 11 - 07:21 PM
BTNG 18 Nov 11 - 08:01 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 18 Nov 11 - 08:36 PM
The Sandman 19 Nov 11 - 06:32 AM
Will Fly 19 Nov 11 - 06:40 AM
johncharles 19 Nov 11 - 06:44 AM
The Sandman 19 Nov 11 - 08:16 AM
GUEST,999 19 Nov 11 - 08:30 AM
dick greenhaus 19 Nov 11 - 09:14 AM
The Sandman 19 Nov 11 - 10:42 AM
Bert 19 Nov 11 - 11:17 AM
Vic Smith 19 Nov 11 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 19 Nov 11 - 11:50 AM
The Sandman 19 Nov 11 - 12:43 PM
The Sandman 19 Nov 11 - 12:44 PM
GUEST,Big Nige 19 Nov 11 - 12:45 PM
dick greenhaus 19 Nov 11 - 01:24 PM
Bert 19 Nov 11 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 19 Nov 11 - 01:47 PM
Bert 19 Nov 11 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 19 Nov 11 - 01:56 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 Nov 11 - 02:01 PM
The Sandman 19 Nov 11 - 02:18 PM
Bert 19 Nov 11 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,Big NIge 19 Nov 11 - 02:31 PM
Bert 19 Nov 11 - 02:44 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Nov 11 - 03:16 PM
The Sandman 19 Nov 11 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,Howard Jones 19 Nov 11 - 08:23 PM
GUEST,Big Nige 19 Nov 11 - 08:24 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 Nov 11 - 09:37 PM
The Sandman 20 Nov 11 - 04:52 AM
Vic Smith 20 Nov 11 - 06:42 AM
Will Fly 20 Nov 11 - 06:50 AM
Spleen Cringe 20 Nov 11 - 07:12 AM
Will Fly 20 Nov 11 - 07:22 AM
johncharles 20 Nov 11 - 07:35 AM
r.padgett 20 Nov 11 - 07:45 AM
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Subject: popularisation and commercialisation of
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 08:31 AM

Is it inevitable that roots and trad music when it is popularised, becomes commercialised in the sense that its original form alters to cater for a popular taste, and thus metamorphises into something further from its roots?.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 08:37 AM

No.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of
From: r.padgett
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 09:21 AM

Could be! I have a fb entry on this currently too!

New recording techniques, better mixing and quality could be making a product which is certainly more marketable to the public in general. This is great for those elite artists but what about "folk" music?

An interesting debate could ensue!

Ray


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 11:19 AM

Well if its popular. it will have a commercial value - just given the laws of supply and demand.

I'm not really sure what you mean. Everything that enters the commerce chain is by definition commercialised.

My Joe Heaney cd cost me ten times as much as my Frank Sinatra one did. Twenty quid and two quid respectively. So you could say Joe was ten times more commercialised than Frank.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of
From: johncharles
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 11:25 AM

Earwig O again.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 11:33 AM

yes. Not that it's necessarily bad, but it certainly drifts further from its roots.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of
From: GUEST,Big Nige
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 11:36 AM

Trouble is these days anyone who can play three chords, writes a song, and then calls themself a folk singer. If you look up and down the Clubs and Festivals there are dozens of them, all claiming to represent the tradition, when all they are really doing is using Folk as a platform for their own dreary ramblings. Plastic Folkies!


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of
From: stallion
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 11:47 AM

Oh big Nige , has ever been thus! Someone wrote a parody of the "The Boxer", about learning two chords and becoming a folksinger, can't think for the life of me who it was. Someone will put us right, I know "Suicide" Bill used to sing it and, prodigious songwriter as he was, I don't think he wrote that one.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 11:56 AM

That's how folk music becomes altered in transmission and stays current in a community.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 02:25 PM

The point is that commercialization moves folk song out of its community.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of
From: Bert
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 03:16 PM

GUEST,Big Nige, you are full of 'it'.

I rarely use more than three chords for a song and here is a few of my titles. Some of which are quite folky.

Plastic Flower Seeds
The Espresso Machine (Tune - The Spinning Wheel)
Silicone Cindy (Tune - Cindy)
Size Doesn't Matter
My Cart has a Mind of its Own (Parody of My Heart has a Mind of its Own)
Exponential Blarney (Tune - Five Nights Drunk)
Mid-Life Crisis
Phallic Fencepost
The Car Behind (Tune - Five Nights Drunk)

Anyway, I'd rather be a Plastic Folkie producing songs than a Plastic Critic.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 03:21 PM

When roots and folk music ever does become popularised, we'll let you know the answer.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 03:24 PM

correct, and can sometimes alter the nature of the music, for example a record producer could say play it this way or that way, or we will add strings to this bit to make it a hit.
there was a lot of difference between let us say frank profitts tom dooley and peter paul and marys


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 03:26 PM

Howard, it has already happened, cast your mind back to all around my hat, tom dooley.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 03:32 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqInvZ9hY9Y all around my hat, words deliberately altered, in fact two songs were combined, the original all around my hat has nothing to do with the song farewell she.
what is the purpose of the rock percussion, other than to make it palatable to young consumers.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 03:34 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqInvZ9hY9Y


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 04:23 PM

I'm all for it. We have this great repository of songs and I reckon anyone can do them anyway they like. I might not always like the results, but that's okay, too.

Check this out: Richard Hawley sings Ellan Vannin. Lovely.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 04:41 PM

Play what you like - how you like. If you do something different with the music and thereby create something new and different, what does it matter? The listening public will be the arbiter, whatever you do.

I can happily sit down and listen to Lead Belly singing "Grasshoppers In My Pillow" - and then enjoy Davy Graham's take on it in his "Leaving Blues" with percussion and double bass added. Totally different - equally great. The existence of DG's version doesn't negate LBs or make it disappear.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 04:46 PM

but my point is not whether i am for it or against it, that is irrelevant it is whether in the process of getting altered it is taken away from its roots, if by popularising roots music we take it way fron its roots have we done a disservice to the music by altering, or by inciting musicians to alter it to make it a hi and make themselves lots of money.
Ellen vannin was written by hughie jones ,so it is not relevant it is a modern composed song


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 04:48 PM

furthermore richard hawley is breaching copyright, by offering ellen vannin for sale ,has he asked hughie jones?


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 04:53 PM

There you go, and here's me thinking the 'popular taste' was the 'root'! Dick, I think if you look close enough you'll find in most cases the 'original form' WAS intended to cater for 'popular taste'.

Now where do the 'English and Scottish POPULAR Ballads' fit into your theory?


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 04:54 PM

Dick, the answer to your question is in my reply: The existence of DG's version doesn't negate LBs or make it disappear. - i.e. the existence of modern or even 'commercialised' versions of traditional music doesn't make the original (if there is such a thing) disappear. It still exists - and, actually, it might get brought more to people's attention by the newer version.

You can't do a disservice to music, no matter what you do. It exists. It is. It may get obscured sometimes by history or by temporary lack of interest, but it's still there. And all taste is totally personal - you can't legislate for it, except in totalitarian states.

Why worry about it? You asked the question. That's my answer - for what it's worth!


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 04:54 PM

The Ellan Vannin Tragedy
Music and Text by Hugh E. Jones (Wee Huge Publications)
        

Listen to the Song - MP3 or Watch the Video

(If you enjoy this short low bitrate MP3 sample, take a look at our CD. The FULL song is featured in high quality stereo together with 19 other tracks.)

On the morning of 3rd December 1909 the SS Ellan Vannin of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. left the Island at 01.13 bound for Liverpool. She was carrying 15 passengers, 21 crew plus mail and 60 tons of cargo. In command was Captain James Teare of Douglas with 18 years of experience. At departure the weather was not particularly rough, and though the barometric pressure was falling, the captain did not expect any trouble. As the passage progressed the weather rapidly deteriorated and by 06.35 when she arrived at the Mersey Bar the wind had increased to storm force 11 with 20 foot waves. She foundered between the Mersey Bar and the Q1 buoy on the Mersey approach channel. She filled with water and sank by the stern. All passengers and crew were lost.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 04:59 PM

richard hawley cannot even be bothers to check properly, it took me 5 minutes of my time to confirm it was written by hughie jones.
will, you dont get my point it is no longer roots music if its nature/style gets changed to pander to popular/hit parade/tin pan alley taste, by having to hange to be commercially succesful its nature changes it is no longer what it was.
it has absolutely nothing to do with what i like or dont like


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 05:02 PM

Dick,
You gave 'All Round my hat' as an example. This is a popular song from the early nineteenth century. I can show you the sheet music! By popularising it once again it is going back to its roots!


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 05:06 PM

Yes, I think commercializing takes it further from its roots. Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" was based on a Willie Dixon tune and it certainly went on to become a foundation stone of hard rock and metal. T.Rex's "Jeepster" is a reworking of Howlin' Wolf's "You'll Be Mine." "Jeepster" was certainly a foundation stone for glitter rock and punk.

So, yeah, commercializing takes it out of the realm of roots music. Whether or not it does a disservice to roots is up to the listener. Personally, I say no. I've also written songs that sound rootsy but actually swiped riffs and melodies from modern rock songs. Works both ways.

Often, someone who is a big fan of a certain rock band read about this roots influence on them and starts to listen to that influence and becomes a fan of that too. So, I see nothing wrong with commercializing the stuff as long as you tip your cap to the giant shoulders upon which you stood.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 05:08 PM

Dick - I most certainly get the point you're making - and I repeat mine, which you don't seem to see:

It doesn't matter what you do to any music by way of style or interpretation. Everything exists side by side. If I rock up a traditional ballad with drums, bass, electric guitars and a reggae rhythm, it doesn't alter the fact that the original exists. You're not moving the music away from its roots so that it becomes obscured - you're adding another dimension to it. You're implying that a "commercial" version somehow changes the nature of the original - which, of course, it can't do. If you then want to call the commercial version of the tune "reggae" (for example), then do so.

Is "Whisky In The Jar" somehow not what it was because Thin Lizzie gave it a kick up the arse? Of course it is - it's "Whisky In The Jar".


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 05:10 PM

The song (or theme) Farewell she/he has been traced back to a 17th century pop song which over the centuries has ben twisted and turned by many broadside hacks for commercial gain. Another one going back to its roots.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 05:18 PM

Whiskey in the Jar in its well-known form owes its great popularity and longevity to having been printed endlessly by just about every 19thc printer in every town. Even the likely original 'Patrick Flemming' is only known from an 18thc broadside.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 05:30 PM

GSS, obviously Richard Hawley credits Hughie Jones as the songwriter of Ellan Vannin on his False Lights From the Land e.p. where he featured this song along with a version of Shallow Brown. All the necessary clearances and so on will have been sorted out prior to release via MCPS, and to suggest otherwise is just silly. And I know it's not a traditional song! I just used it as a recent example of a song that's become part of the folk 'canon' being reinterpreted in a different style...

I could equally have pointed towards Nick Cave singing the Lichtboy's Lassie. Or Shelagh McDonald's wonderfully funky Dowie Dens of Yarrow.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 05:59 PM

Steve-
Folk music can be (and has been) defined as the musical expression of a cultural group or society.The "original form" catered to the popular taste of that particular society. Commercialization generally involves changing it to cater to the taste of a more general population, outside of that society. If it's your culture's music, you don't think of it as folk music, it's just music.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,999
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 06:51 PM

When any music stops 'speaking' to people it loses its currency and begins to disappear. ANY music, not just folk or roots music. I know people who are still in love with AC/DC, Cream, etc. But on a greater scale, while some of their stuff is still great, we can see that much of it was and is basically shite. People could sit around and make lists about the 100 greatest songs of the 20th Century. I've seen some of those lists and I like maybe 10% of the stuff that's listed, whether that be in the area of folk or rock or hard rock or bebop or big band or blues or, or, or.

Thin Lizzy's WitJ was pretty good, but my hearing of it was informed by the versions I listened to or played in the 1960's, and while it's certainly different, it is as Will Fly said still WitJ.

Electric instruments are not going to be uninvented. I'm happy that the songs themselves are still being sung/done, and even if the arrangements break with tradition, well, that's just the way it is. Sometimes commercialism results in people being exposed to music they would never have heard in any other way.

PP and M were responsible for many traditional songs being kept alive, as were the Kingston Trio, Limeliters and some others. Judy Collins and Joan Baez have both done trad songs in 'updated' forms. They made the songs accessible to people and for some that resulted in them delving into song origins and history.

However, that said, I was shocked and somewhat horrified to hear/see Barbara Ann being used in a barbeque sauce TV commercial.

Bar bar bar bar barbeque
Bar bar bar bar barbeque
etc

My remark at the time was "Is nothing sacred anymore?"

IMO


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,999
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 07:06 PM

Listen to this. More people know the words than ya can shake a stick at.

And that's what I mean. These kids/young adults in the audience are singing their music, our music. Ain't that a good thing?


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 08:08 PM

Wotthehell does "good" have to do with it?


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,999
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 08:52 PM

Isn't it a good thing that younger people are singing a trad type song?


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 06:30 AM

we are not talking about good or bad , but whether when something is taken away from its roots via commercialisation or treatment it is no longer roots music.
peter pears singing waly waly, yes its still waly waly but it aint roots music, because its treatment has turned it away from its roots.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gHTw9XjKMc


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,999
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 06:52 AM

Good Jesus!


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 06:54 AM

Define "roots."

Define "golden age."


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 07:03 AM

A folk song is a folk song. It doesn't stop being one when played on unexpected instruments, given a different arrangement or sung in a non-approved non-folk voice. For that matter, I'm not convinced that most of the stuff that passes for authentic and rootsy on the folk scene is anything of the sort - we're just conditioned by familiarity to make that assumption.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,BIg Nige
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 07:04 AM

Stallion, I think it was written by the late Fred Wedlock, not 100% about that but he certainly used to sing it.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 07:04 AM

The way folk songs and tunes are treated by folk revival musicians is in most cases very different from the way they were originally performed in their "roots" environment. Do you object to this as well, or is it just "tin pan alley" versions?

Is this any more "authentic" than Steeleye Span, or Peter Pears for that matter?


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 07:44 AM

who is talking about objecting?
here is another example, this version was a mega seller.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5SyTVrxFjc&feature=related
very differnt from frank proffits version, very different from its roots


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: johncharles
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 07:51 AM

There have been a number of these folk preservation threads recently.
The extreme defensiveness of some of the purists does nothing to serve their cause, rather it emphasises their insularity, and causes friction with the more liberal approach to music most people seem to have.
I have listened to a lot of "traditional" music recently and you know what; some of it is really not very good and could only benefit from a new interpretation by someone who could actually play and sing well.
Controversial I know, but go and listen to some of the archived material. As has been said earlier the original will always be there.
john


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: TheSnail
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 07:53 AM

I've heard tha when Frank Proffitt heard The Kingston Trio's version of Tom Dooley, he went outside and cried. He thought they were taking the piss out of him.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 07:58 AM

Howard,
I do not claim that my music is authentic, and I am sure steeleye span were not claiming their music was authentic, I am talking about the transformation of music FROM ITS ROOTS, in order for it to be commercial.
please do not personalise the issue,[my version of burlingtin fair is not relevant] you made an inaccurate claim earlier in the discussion about trad and roots music never being popularised, now you have put one of my videos up, in an attempt to personalise the discussion.
my recording of burlinton fair has not been a commercial hit unlike the versions i put up of allaround my hat[uk top ten] and tom dooley a hit version recorded in 1958 by The Kingston Trio. This version was a multi-format hit, reaching #1 in Billboard, the Billboard R&B listing, and appearing in the Cashbox country music top 20.
I do not consider my version of burlington fair to be either authentic or commercial.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: johncharles
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 07:59 AM

Dear Snail
Just listened to Tom Dooley by the Kingston trio on you tube. I can see why Mr Proffitt might want to cry.
john


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,Big Nige
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 07:59 AM

Why would he think that? and Bert (above) I think you've proved my point.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 08:02 AM

john charles, this is not a folk preservation thread it is this:
Is it inevitable that roots and trad music when it is popularised, becomes commercialised in the sense that its original form alters to cater for a popular taste, and thus metamorphises into something further from its roots?
the above is not a folk preservation thread, in fact it is the opposite a discussion about change.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,Big Nige
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 08:06 AM

If it were not for the Kingston Trio's version of Tom Dooley, we probably not be talikng about it today. They could sing and play well, as you say, so why the jibe about crying? don't get it.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: TheSnail
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 08:18 AM

Not a jibe, Big Nige, I have every reason to believe it is a true story.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: johncharles
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 08:31 AM

The sense of the discussion being about preservation versus change is clear. It may not be present in the initial post but is certainly present in the subsequent discussion. It is disingenuous to deny previous discussions/arguments of a similar nature on Mudcat and to claim ambivalence about wether commercialisation is good or bad.
john


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 09:07 AM

GGS asks: "Is it inevitable that roots and trad music when it is popularised, becomes commercialised in the sense that its original form alters to cater for a popular taste, and thus metamorphises into something further from its roots?"

I reckon a lot of these songs were once popular. Then they because unpopular. In terms of wider culture they remain unpopular. Every now and again one slips through the net and becomes popular again. This is what we're trying to do with Spencer the Rover by the Woodbine & Ivy Band, which you can listen to on Soundcloud and judge for yourself: we'll plead guilty m'lud to trying to interest a non-folk audience as much as we're trying to interest a folk audience. Although it shares a tune with the Copper Family version, the arrangement - featuring a full band including bass, drums, guitar, pedal steel, trumpet, piano and a 12 piece choir - is contemporary folk rock (though it wears an abiding love of 1972 on its sleeve!).

Any arrangement that isn't purely about unaccompanied singing is a metamorphisis of some sort. Most of the old songs that are still sung have metamorphisised into a late 20th/early 21st century folk scene style of one variety or another - a 'sort of' commercialisation in that it's about making the song palatable to that audience. I think that unless we are conciously trying to mimic the approach of the old countrymen and women we know from field recordings, we will inevitably change how the songs are presented. And that's fine.

I guess the commercialisation comes into play if we are also trying to make some sort of a living from doing so - and I think this is only a (possible) problem if energy is expended trying to dream up a sure fire hit-making formula (a process usually doomed to failure), rather than simply doing what feels right. With The Woodbine & Ivy Band, above, many of the members have played rock, indie, jazz, country, improv and all sorts of different music, so those influences are inevitably going to seep in when they play a folk song.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: johncharles
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 09:12 AM

Spleen cringe
great version of spencer the rover
Love the bass
john


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 09:13 AM

The dubliners recorded seven drunken nights, AND IN MY OPINION this is an example of a song that became a hit, that was not altered significantly to be commercially successful,MERELY [PUTTING BOTH SIDES OF THE COIN.
If i remember correctly, shoals of herring[contemporary song , but traditional sounding reached number 8 in the hit parade in early sixties but was not altered significantly or in a commercial way from how it was presented on the radio ballads.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 09:16 AM

john charles you can interpret it how you like, i am trying to have a discussion about change not preservation, and so far i have provided examples which [imo] illustrate both points of view.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 09:19 AM

going back to tom dooley, i have heard a fairly close version to the original by frank warner which was until fairly recently available on rainbow quest on you tube, it was superior in my opinion to the kingston trio version.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: r.padgett
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 09:30 AM

LOL

Very interesting thread gentlemen!

Songs from the tradition and contemporary folk songs will no doubt go through many stages of change and development. I am a words person although I am totally aware of the accent on musical arrangements which is favoured. Sometimes however the arrangements seem to take over (the words) and tunes are often changed due to key changes!

Folk song is folk song. Should they have their tunes changed to help commercialisation? and is this a good thing?
Ray


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: johncharles
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 09:32 AM

I think someone must have altered the song "seven drunken nights" along the way, as the original words are not quite as catchy.
'Why, you old cuckold, blind cuckold,         can't you very well see?
         These are three milking-cows,         my mother sent O me.'
         'Heyday! Godzounds! Milking-cows with bridles and saddles on!
         the like was never known!'
         Old Wichet a cuckold went out, and a cuckold he came home.
(http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/child/)
Interestingly "Radio Telefis Eireann refused to play the song, due to its "questionable" content (1967)"
john


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 09:37 AM

Dick, I am not trying to personalise the discussion. I am simply pointing out that the way the music is performed by revival musicians is different from the way it was performed in the tradition. The way you and I perform the music has moved it away from its roots - perhaps not as far as Steeleye in one direction or Britten in another, but its just a matter of degree. As for "commercialisation", you are a professional musician, I am semi-pro - we both get paid to perform, we've both made albums which we hope to sell. Isn't that commericalism?

The folk revival has commercialised the music and moved it away from its roots, although I'm not sure that one is either a cause or effect of the other. Do you include this in your question (and implied criticism) or are you just referring to those interpretations which manage to break outside the small world of the folk revival?


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Vic Smith
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 10:03 AM

Bryan Creer wrote:-
"I've heard that when Frank Proffitt heard The Kingston Trio's version of Tom Dooley, he went outside and cried. He thought they were taking the piss out of him."


I'd imagine that Bryan heard this when he came to hear Jeff Warner's show From The Mountains To The Sea - the show where Jeff tells the story of the amazing folk song collecting work done by his parents, Frank & Anne Warner. I do the sound inserts of the field recordings for this show so I have a copy of the script. In it Jeff quotes a 1959 letter from Frank Proffitt to Frank Warner:-

"I got a television set for the kids. One night I was a-setting looking at some foolishness when three fellers stepped out with guitar and banjer and went to singing Tom Dooley and they clowned and hip swinged...I began to feel sorty sick, like I'd lost a loved one. Tears came to my eyes, yes, I went out and.balled on the Ridge, looking toward old Wilkes [County] land of Tom Dooley...I looked up across the mountains and said, 'Lord; couldn't they leave me the good memories...?"


Alan Lomax had access to the songs collected by the Warners and he used a number of them in his 1947 book Folk Song USA including Tom Dooley; it was from this book that The Kingston Trio learned the song.
Elsewhere in the show, Jeff states:-

The story of the Dooley recording is long—and for another time—but Lomax' s publisher and the Kingston Trio's Capitol Records settled a suit out of court in 1962, and from that settlement, Frank Proffitt made enough to build a new house there in Watauga County.


So in the end it seems as though Frank Profitt did pretty well out of the commercialisation of a song that he learned from his dad and nobody claims that he actually wrote.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: BTNG
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 10:39 AM

Ewan MacColl made no secret of the fact that he disliked every single cover version of his song, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.The song entered the pop mainstream when it was released by the Kingston Trio on its 1962 hit album New Frontier, and many many others had coverd the song, the most famous or infamous depending your point of view, was cover was that of Roberta Flack in 1972 Despite his complaining, he seemed to make a fair bit of dosh from the royalties.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Vic Smith
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 10:49 AM

BTNG wrote:-
"Despite his complaining, he seemed to make a fair bit of dosh from the royalties."


Well, the houses in the part of Beckenham where he lived in the 1960s were very expensive and the two cars that were always parked in the drive or outside were pretty swish. I lived about 50 yards away in a rented student flat for some of that time in the only run-down divided-into-flats house in the area.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 11:01 AM

BTNG wrote:-
"Despite his complaining, he seemed to make a fair bit of dosh from the royalties."

Well, the houses in the part of Beckenham where he lived in the 1960s were very expensive and the two cars that were always parked in the drive or outside were pretty swish. I lived about 50 yards away in a rented student flat for some of that time in the only run-down divided-into-flats house in the area.
JESUS CHRIST when will people stop having a go at Ewan, those houses were not very expensive at the time, my brother lived in one about 1969 and he was a doctor at Guys hospital,23 aldersmead road, Beckenham. Doctors in hospitals did not get paid anything exorbitant, Certainly nothing like politicians.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Morris-ey
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 11:06 AM

If something is not popular it won't survive; if it is popular it might survive; if it is popular and commercial it will survive.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,Big Nige
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 11:25 AM

QED Morris-ey, spot on, think the Kingston Trio/Tom Dooley situation
proves your right!


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 11:49 AM

"Is it inevitable that roots and trad music when it is popularised, becomes commercialised in the sense that its original form alters to cater for a popular taste, and thus metamorphises into something further from its roots?."


ok.. dunno.. give up.. so tell us the correct answer ???


maybe try a 'multiple choice' for us next time..


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Vic Smith
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 12:08 PM

Wrong end of the stick again, I'm afraid. No-one is having a go at anyone; well, I'm certainly not.
It happens that Ewan MacColl was able to enjoy a good life style and standard of living at that time and a good proportion of his income came from royalties from some of his excellent compositions being taken up by very popular artists who shifted a lot of vinyl. He didn't keep this a secret; he saw to it that all his songs were properly documented and published so that royalties would be properly and easily paid. It has been pointed out that he didn't always like the way these artists treated his songs - and if you listen to some of these recordings, you can but agree with him.
And does anyone really believe that the houses in the better outer suburbs of London within walking distance of a railway station were not beyond the affordability of the person on an average working salary?


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Elmore
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 12:57 PM

Yes


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: r.padgett
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 02:02 PM

Traditional song can still survive if not main stream popular, tho!
Folk clubs have perpetuated these songs for the last 50 years or so!

Revivalist singers continue to re arrange both contemporary and trad songs largely thro their musical ability.

Just seen a fb thread where Bellowhead and Cliff Richard are commenting (dunt know what they said tho!)

However the Bellowhead phenomenon has taken folk music into pop music. Steeleye Span of course did so too!
I think this is an exceptional circumstance, aqmd good luck to 'em but does it do anything for "folk" music?


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 02:13 PM

If something is not popular it won't survive; if it is popular it might survive; if it is popular and commercial it will survive.
not true.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 02:16 PM

Howard,
I was just about to say exactly the same thing in answer to DickG's point.
I'd certainly also like to see DickM speak up and tell us his views precisely, as if we didn't know from previous threads.
Dick, if you personally don't like the success these people achieve there's nothing wrong with that. It's just that you're obviously in a very small minority. In the 60s I was a blatant purist, even did some very immature things in the name of that, but I eventually grew out of it, I think!

I sometimes get het up over the nepotistic media coverage of folk, but hell! there's some great music in there and at least some of them deserve their success. Somebody must be buying their albums and going to their concerts, and as someone has said it's introducing a helluva lot of young people to the music.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 02:17 PM

how has modern jazz survived?it is not popular or commercial, how has modern art survived it is not popular.
your comment is simplistic and a sweeping generalisation.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: johncharles
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 02:38 PM

"how has modern jazz survived?it is not popular or commercial, how has modern art survived it is not popular."
Here is me thinking we were talking about;
"Is it inevitable that roots and trad music when it is popularised, becomes commercialised in the sense that its original form alters to cater for a popular taste, and thus metamorphises into something further from its roots?. "
john


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 02:40 PM

john,replying to morrisseys statement, get a grip or have a pimms


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 02:57 PM

Just to clarify.
Dick, which of these are you not happy with?

Success
Making money
Altering the songs
Adding accompaniment
Adding OTT accompaniment
All of them
Some of them
Something else entirely.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 03:11 PM

Steve, I am neither happy or unhappy about any thing on your list.
This has nothing to do with my likes or dislikes.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Morris-ey
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 03:14 PM

Good Soldier: how has modern jazz survived?it is not popular or commercial, how has modern art survived it is not popular.
your comment is simplistic and a sweeping generalisation.


My aphorism was not meant to be taken too literally (always a mistake on a folk music board) so to explain to the harder of understanding:

If something has too few practitioners it will die;

If it has sufficient practitioners it might survive;

If it has sufficient practitioners and is something that sufficent people want to buy it will certainly survive until fashions change.

Jazz, like folk, is a niche market where there are enough amateurs to keep it going - some can even make a living from it.

Modern art is beyond my understaning but can be hugely commercial.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: John P
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 03:24 PM

This thread seems to assume that anyone would play any type of folk music for commercial reasons. I don't actually know anyone who says, "I want to get rich. I think I'll play folk music." The real situation is that everyone who plays folk music plays it because they love it, and they play it however they want to. Their playing style is informed by the society they live in. Which is a very traditional way to play . . .


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 03:38 PM

There is very little new in this world. Guy Mitchell was successfully commercialising and popularising songs based on "traditional" material when I was a youngster.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 03:47 PM

This thread seems to assume that anyone would play any type of folk music for commercial reasons. I don't actually know anyone who says, "I want to get rich. I think I'll play folk music." The real situation is that everyone who plays folk music plays it because they love it, and they play it however they want to. Their playing style is informed by the society they live in. Which is a very traditional way to play .
   mostly true, but not entirely, however some start off playing the music because they love it, then when they realise how difficult it is financially, and if they get the opportunity, they become prepared to compromise artistically, i am sure the kingston trio would have preferred not to have the do wahs in the back ground, but were persuaded to do so by the record producer.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: johncharles
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 04:10 PM

GSS you can't assume neither that people become prepared to compromise artistically for money, nor that the Kingston Trio did'nt like what they were doing.
john


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,999
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 04:50 PM

"in the process of getting altered it is taken away from its roots, if by popularising roots music we take it way fron its roots"

##########################################

'Easily grown plants from cuttings would include English ivy, goldfish plants, wandering jew, pothos, crown of thorns, swedish ivy, prayer plant, brugmansia.

Most anything viney is really easy to grow from cuttings. Other plants you can easily grow from dividing baby plants from mother plants.

As soon as your little plants start to show rootbuds switch them into potting mix, before they grow long water roots. Water roots will rot in soil and your cuttings have to grow soil roots to survive and thrive in a pot.'

##########################################

'The Christmas carol What Child Is This? has the same chords and melody as Greensleeves, but has another text: What Child Is This?

Some Greensleeves song trivia:

The musical form of Greensleeves is called a romanesca.

The song is supposedly written by Henry VIII for a woman he tried to seduce, called Anne Boleyn.

Lady Greensleeves was a prostitute, green sleeves were worn by prostitutes as a sign of their profession.

The melody of Greensleeves can be heard in the coda of the Beatles song All You Need Is Love.

The song has been played by many artists and bands, including Leonard Cohen, Rainbow, John Coltrane, Yngwie Malmsteen, The Scorpions, Vanessa Carlton, Neil Young, Jethro Tull, Al Di meola and Jeff Beck.'

###############################################

No comment.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Bert
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 05:17 PM

Isn't it amazing how people like Big Nige can put down a whole class of musicians without having heard most of them.

Their powers of clairvoyance must be absolutely incredible.

Or more likely they just don't know what they are talking about.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 05:25 PM

Coimmercialized folk music (probably starting with the Weavers) was what got many of us, who are interested in trad music, started. I think that the fact that it drifted from its roots is inarguable.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 07:08 PM

"How has modern jazz survived? It is not popular or commercial. How has modern art survived? It is not popular."

Well... I think a lot of people do make a living playing modern jazz, so on that level it must be pretty commercial. And I'd wager that it's probably more popular than folk music. Not science, I know, but far more people I know have a copy of John Coltrane's 'A Love Supreme' in their collection than any folk music.

Meanwhile, try telling Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and a host of other modern artists that modern art is not popular. Again, it's far more popular than folk music.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: John P
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 07:21 PM

Any singing of a traditional song is different than the roots it sprang from. Since it's not being sung in the village it came from during the time it was current in that village, it has changed. It doesn't matter, however, if it's a stupid arrangement or a really good one. Some versions sound very folky to us, some sound like bad pop music, some sound like classical music.

If the question is really "Has it left its roots?" the answer is yes, of course. Adding the concept of pop arrangements to the question doesn't change or add anything to the question.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: BTNG
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 08:01 PM

Well that's that then, all wrapped up neatly and filed in the archives


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 08:36 PM

Captain Byrd's Eye

It is always warming to view your contributions to these threads.

It is most unfortunate you were born 1.5 generations too late.

If you had been squeezing the box 60 years sooner...

Well...you would not today, be ...a mid-ranking "Schweike"

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

The Salvation Army kettles are available for giving or taking. I suggest you drop by for a meal.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 06:32 AM

here are some examples of commercialisation that do not compromise the music, alistair andersons concertina workshop tutor, john kirkpatricks melodeon tutor, pete seegers banjo tutor, geoff bowens fiddle tutor or any tutor that shows exisisting traditional styles, is not compromising the music, yes, they are making money, but they are providing an insight into different styles of playing, they are providing insight into the roots of the music.
so commercialisation doesnt necessarily have to compromise the music.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 06:40 AM

Yeah - but sometimes it's fun to bugger about, just for the hell of it, Dick. Nothing nicer than getting roots music into a nice compromising situation and giving it a little squeeze in the linen closet, eh? Even giving it a sexy little pat on the bum, from time to time.

It's nice to be naughty... :-)


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: johncharles
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 06:44 AM

Mr Fly, a cold shower will soon get you back to your roots.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 08:16 AM

is it allowed under the 1954 definition


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,999
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 08:30 AM

1954 wasn't so much a definition as a stopping place.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 09:14 AM

If Anderson, Kirkpatrick and Bowen are commercial, we need another word for performances by Lonnie Donegan, Peter Paul & Mary, The Kingston Trio and others.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 10:42 AM

well they are only commercial in the sense that they dont do it on a unpaid basis, it depends what interpretation of commercial you want to use.
my interpretation is someone whose main purpose is to make their music a hit , but then i had comments from howard jones, trying to suggest my version of burlington fair was[which i have given for free on you tube] was no different from steeleyes all around my hat., howard clearly uses some other interpretation of commercial


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Bert
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 11:17 AM

It's nice to be naughty... :-)

Will Fly, Actually the roots of many traditional songs were naughty. They got cleaned up so that they could be published. Wasn't that commercialization?


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Vic Smith
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 11:49 AM

Bert wrote:-
"Wasn't that commercialization?"


No, that was bowdlerisation.
Our North American friends will want a "z" instead of the "s"


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 11:50 AM

1954 - don't give a monkeys arse hair roots - I was born in 58 !!!!

so bring on the vintage valve amps fuzz boxes and analog synths !!!!


yeah, but no digital synths.. I'm still a 'trad' folkie....


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 12:43 PM

i would not consider John Howson veteran tapes as commercialising the music, yes , people have to buy the cds ,but they are getting traditional songs and tunes from traditional singers without a record producer trying to turn them into a top ten hit.
do you understsnd howard jones?


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 12:44 PM

100, sorry leadfingers


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,Big Nige
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 12:45 PM

Re Bert above, thats the problem Bert I've heard too many off them, Clubs and Festivals alike. I just happen to think the hackned three chord Triad wears abit thin after awhile, sorry if your are offended by that.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 01:24 PM

" popularisation and commercialisation" don't simply man that people charge money to hhear the music; it geenerally refers to adapting the music to fit the tastes of a wider audience (i.e. one that's used to "pop")


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Bert
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 01:43 PM

Nige, You need to get along to a songwriter's club, you will find a lot of good talent.

But wherever you go you will find some who are less talented, that should not be an excuse to criticize all songwriters.

As for 'wearing a bit thin' that also applies to guitarists who all they can do is show off a succession of their latest riffs. That doesn't mean that we should denigrate all guitarists.

Most folk songs can be adequately accompanied by three chords. As Woody is reputed to have said something like "The best of us manage with two", or was that Pete Seeger?

Of course many traditional singers don't use any chords at all.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 01:47 PM

whatever the leading purpose of the opening 'question'..

this thread debate basically seems to be boiling down to whether
any 'artist' who wants to have a bit of creative fun with trad 'folk' music,

should be regarded as either a 'dirty promiscuous slapper' or a 'conniving gold digging whore'....?????


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Bert
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 01:50 PM

Hmmm pfr. You've got me there, Which of those am I? ;-)


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 01:56 PM

Dunno about anyone else here, but i know I don't have the social charm to ever hope to get much work as a gigolo..

so I suppose my filthy future in 'folk' would be more in tune with an amateur 'readers wives' approach to music making...


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 02:01 PM

Thats how music is. Tonic, sub dominant, dominant - sometimes a relative minor.

The song starts and ends in the middle. Soetimes it goes up, sometimes it goes dowm Occasionally theres a sad bit.

Its a bit like objecting to boiling point being hot and freezing point being cold. All triangles having three sides.

Life is a three chord trick. If you can't find what you need with three chords. You're not looking hard enough.

Ewan MacColl wrote a classic song with two chords. Big Bill Broonzy played three chords with more class that Andrew lloyd Webber can get out of a symphony orchestra. (And I bet a musician like Lloyd Webber would agree with me).

Heaven is three chords and the truth. Some people sound shit with twenty chords. Some ethic musicians and modern classicists can bang two dustbin lids together and justify it.

Theres nothing wrong with the basic geometry of music. It can save us all.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 02:18 PM

if only i could find a song with one chord.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Bert
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 02:24 PM

The Barley Mow can be accompanied with one chord which is why I usually sing it acapella.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,Big NIge
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 02:31 PM

Bert, Sorry mate but am surrounded by them, in my area we have got Song Writers Clubs, Song Writers Courses, Song Writers Sessions etc etc, and from a Intrumentalists perspective,(which is what I am), it seems they border on being a mutual admiration society. I am continually asked what do I think of this song or that song etc, and what I say and what I really think are usually two different things. Of course there are good singer songwriers, my personal favorite is Paul Simon, and he uses a lot more than three chords. Most amateur self penned songs could be improved substantialy by adding in a few colour tones like augmented, diminshed, b and sus9's, flat 5's,etc etc. Too much emphasis on words not enough on music.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Bert
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 02:44 PM

...it seems they border on being a mutual admiration society.... I've been to some of those too. They will never improve though, unless you do say what you really think.

By the way, Where do you live? If it's anywhere near Colorado Springs, you could come along to The Front Range Songwriters.

Here's what I was told by Rick Fielding when I wanted to follow his practicing tips.

Bert..Do Not attempt these things at home! T'will destroy your naive charm, and songwriting innocence!! Love your CD by the way.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 03:16 PM

Pastures of Plenty, Woody Guthrie. One chord.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 05:41 PM

pastures of plenty has two chords tonic and related minor based on 6, eg d major b minor


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 08:23 PM

The point I was trying to make is that it's not just commercialisation that's moved the music away from its roots. The reason folk music dwindled almost to nothing was because popular taste changed. For it to become popular again, even among a relatively small number of people on the folk scene, it had to adapt.

The way the music is performed in folk clubs is very different from how it was performed in the tradition. I chose that clip of Dick's singing to illustrate a typical revival folk performance - that's the sort of thing I do too, as do most amateur and professional folk performers. Whether the style is "folk", electrified like Steeleye, or classical like Britten, it's still moved away from the roots. Dick's performance in that clip (or mine here for that matter) is no more authentic than Steeleye's or Britten's interpretations.

That's not a criticism. I love the way folk music is performed in the revival. It's certainly closer to the roots than some other interpretations, which I guess is what GSS is getting at.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: GUEST,Big Nige
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 08:24 PM

Bert, I'm in the UK mate. a long way from Colorado Springs U'm afraid, but thanks for the invite. Not very good with words but can play a bit, so may be we could have we could have helped each other. Take Care


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 09:37 PM

Paul Downes once told me he did a gig with Ronnie Drew. Ronnie was pissed as the proverbial newt, but sang a mesmeric version of Shoals of Herring whilst just bashing an E chord throughout.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 04:52 AM

apologies, steve , pastures of plenty can be played with one chord, or one chord with a six added, it is a great song, and a good one for starting children singing and playing.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Vic Smith
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 06:42 AM

It might be just me but the current vogue amongst young singers for singing songs to the drone of a Shruti Box - effectively one chord - seems to be a retrograde step. If a song can be sung to one of those contraptions then to my ears it would be better sung unaccompanied.
The only advantage of a Shruti Box would be to hold a singer to a key when they might otherwise drift.... but that is not necessarily the end of the world in traditional singing. Listen to Sarah Makem singing I Courted A Wee Lass (The first track on Volune 1 of "The Voice of the People). Her pitch shifts slightly up and the over-compenates drifting down below her opening pitch. It is still a magnificent example of traditional singing.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Will Fly
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 06:50 AM

I'm not a great fan of shruti boxes either but I suppose that singing with one is on the same principle playing as the smallpipes - which have a two or three drones and a chanter.


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 07:12 AM

I love 'em. Then I'd also like to hear more use of sitars, tablas and harmoniums in English folk... ;-)


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: Will Fly
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 07:22 AM

Harmoniums - now you're talking!


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: johncharles
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 07:35 AM

Ah! the harmonium. Father arrives home after a good sunday afternoon drink and young son (me) is summoned to pump the harmonium while father strokes the keys to accompany his renditions of Nelly Dean and Abide with me; Happy days.
john


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Subject: RE: popularisation and commercialisation of roots/trad
From: r.padgett
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 07:45 AM

Never knew John!!

Ray


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