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Who got them started? (as folk singers/musicians)

Clifton53 03 Nov 99 - 12:32 AM
Rick Fielding 03 Nov 99 - 12:48 AM
ddw 03 Nov 99 - 01:14 AM
Bugsy 03 Nov 99 - 02:02 AM
roopoo 03 Nov 99 - 02:43 AM
Clifton53 03 Nov 99 - 02:55 AM
Metchosin 03 Nov 99 - 03:03 AM
Owlkat 03 Nov 99 - 04:05 AM
Vixen 03 Nov 99 - 08:32 AM
Davey 03 Nov 99 - 09:41 AM
Allan C. 03 Nov 99 - 10:28 AM
Rana 03 Nov 99 - 11:02 AM
Rick Fielding 03 Nov 99 - 11:02 AM
Roger in Baltimore 03 Nov 99 - 11:05 AM
Clifton53 03 Nov 99 - 11:21 AM
KathWestra 03 Nov 99 - 11:24 AM
kendall 03 Nov 99 - 12:40 PM
kendall 03 Nov 99 - 12:51 PM
Magpie 03 Nov 99 - 01:01 PM
kendall 03 Nov 99 - 01:37 PM
kendall 03 Nov 99 - 01:39 PM
Fortunato 03 Nov 99 - 02:01 PM
selby 03 Nov 99 - 02:10 PM
Bill Cameron 03 Nov 99 - 02:16 PM
lamarca 03 Nov 99 - 02:29 PM
Lonesome EJ 03 Nov 99 - 02:47 PM
Llanfair 03 Nov 99 - 03:10 PM
kendall 03 Nov 99 - 03:30 PM
_gargoyle 03 Nov 99 - 09:18 PM
ddw 03 Nov 99 - 11:22 PM
roopoo 04 Nov 99 - 03:35 AM
Roger the skiffler 04 Nov 99 - 05:07 AM
Ian Stephenson 04 Nov 99 - 05:54 AM
Ringer 04 Nov 99 - 07:50 AM
Wolfgang 04 Nov 99 - 08:08 AM
kc 04 Nov 99 - 01:03 PM
JedMarum 04 Nov 99 - 01:45 PM
Seaross 04 Nov 99 - 05:05 PM
Eric the Viking 04 Nov 99 - 05:30 PM
Bugsy 04 Nov 99 - 09:23 PM
roopoo 05 Nov 99 - 05:44 PM
little dorrit 06 Nov 99 - 02:44 PM
wildlone 06 Nov 99 - 06:07 PM
Mbo 06 Nov 99 - 06:31 PM
Art Thieme 07 Nov 99 - 11:55 AM
Caitrin 07 Nov 99 - 08:44 PM
Mike 08 Nov 99 - 02:32 PM
RoyH (Burl) 09 Nov 99 - 02:32 PM
Patrish(inactive) 10 Nov 99 - 11:21 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 03 May 02 - 05:21 AM
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Subject: Who got them started?
From: Clifton53
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 12:32 AM

Hello folks. I was wondering, if I may pick some brains out there, who, what, and how did you become folkies? For me, my brother turned me on to Bob Dylan's early records, Joan Baez, Woody, etc. The first Dylan record, I STILL blast it on my stereo to this day,although,I understand he was not the main guitarist on it. I realize folk was alive and well long before he came along, I was just curious as to anyone elses story, how they came to love folk. By the way, I've been posting some stuff and asking some questions here on Mudcat,and I neglected to introduce myself. My name is Danny, I live here in the jungles of Jersey. U.S.A., and some folks call me Clifton.(It's a long story). I've been playing guitar for almost thirty years,although it doesn't really show.

Since I've started posting, I am shocked to find out how little I know. And I still haven't figured out how to make a new paragraph on this bloomin' thing.

Anyway, what are your stories? How did you start listening to this massive body of work we call folk?

Clifton


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 12:48 AM

Pete Seeger and the Weavers for me. If the Dylan album you're referring to is just titled "Bob Dylan", he sure IS the only guitarist and the playing is exceptional! Likewise the singing. I know a lot of folks will violently disagree with me but I think that album was HUGE!

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: ddw
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 01:14 AM

I Clifton. First time I've seen one of your posts, so I'll say a belated welcome.

I blame Richard Capps. When I was a little shaver in the hills of N.C., Richard married my older sister. He was a whisp of a man, about 5'9" and so skinny he'd hum in a wind, but he played mandolin and had a baritone voice that could only be measured with a seismograph. And he loved folk music, particularly old-timey mountain music. But he used to do a version of John Henry (he claimed it referred to a worker on the tunnel at the east end of the Swanannoa Tunnel, about five miles east of where we lived) that made me think he was there.

On Saturdays, Richard would often come to get me and we'd set off to some picking session he'd heard about or was invited to, usually on somebody's porch or lawn or -- if it was raining -- in the shed or barn. I was only about seven or eight, but I thought some of the people Richard picked with were really great. There was a blind fellow who was just something else on guitar and banjo — everybody called him Doc and it wasn't until years later I learned his last name was Watson. And there was Frank, who played a fretless banjo and did really funny things with the tones. I understand he made one of them for Pete Seegar, too.

There were bunches of others, too. Played all kinds of music, with Richard right in the middle of it.

Break to teenage years.

I got into rock'n'roll for a few years, switching at night to the "race" station, WLAC, Nashville, TN and back to the white "covers" in the daytime. Then started working as a DJ, playing R&R all the time. Got sick of it real quickly and quit listening to much of anything except WLAC's R&B late at night.

Then a friend — the first avowed Communist I ever knew — turned me on to Josh White and Leadbelly. Also the Kingston Trio came on the scene and — tho' it wasn't what I now consider "folk," it was better than rock'n'roll and I started singing in a group aping their stuff. That, as they say, was the slippery slope.

So here I am, almost 50 years later, coming back to what Richard helped me discover, still convinced it's the only musical form worthy of SERIOUS MUSICIANS — as opposed to a lot of others who have forgotten what music is and think it's all that technical expertise with no feelings in it.

Geez, was that long-winded. But your question just tweeked a need to sorta thank Richard by telling you just one of the wonderful things he did for me over the years. He's not around any more for me to thank personally.

Good picking,

david


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Bugsy
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 02:02 AM

Alex Campbell, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, all helped me discover folk music in 1964/5. Then once discovered, Derek Brimstone, Steve Benbow, Tom Paxton, Bill Munro, Bill Clifton, Wizz Jones, Bert Jansch and a host of others.

Such halcien days......

cheers

bugsy


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: roopoo
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 02:43 AM

A bit vague, really. I was brought up by parents who had very eclectic tastes, but with a tendency towards the classical, although my dad really liked Joan Baez. He was an Irishman, raised in Scotland, and fiercely proud of this. (He had left Ireland at 3 weeks of age). So with my own tastes as a teenager added in, I had a fairly broad base, but with no real preferences. I had a year of Scottish country dancing at the local nightschool when I was 17, and spent a while listening to nothing but what I know now to be commercialised Scottish folk music. It wasn't until 1981, when we were due to emigrate, that I suddenly realised that I was going to miss British (especially English) folk music and traditions more than anything else. Not that I really knew much about them! I don't know where I got this idea from, although my husband had just joined a group of Plough Play mummers - Calverton Real Ale and Plough Play Preservation Society, who I think are still active - initially for the inevitable pub crawl, and I had got used to all the trappings of this. So I started listening to the excellent weekly radio programme put out by Radio Trent. Then, just before we left the country, he started doing Morris. We sought out the S. African sides and joined. By this time we were hooked. We spent our journey home in our rickety Land Rover listening to Steeleye Span and Ashley Hutchings' "Morris On" and the Jubilee Morris Men's practice tape in between story tapes for the kids! We even danced "Saturday Night" (Bledington) in the camp site at Kisangane (Zaire) on Christmas night as best we could for two people and four "ghosts"! Then we got back into the real world when we returned and here I am, now a Mudcatter.

mouldy


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Clifton53
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 02:55 AM

Rick: The album "Bob Dylan" was huge! A breakthrough in any place and time! Of course, I've never met the man, and it is plain that those songs and the way they are played is incredible! But do we know for sure it is HE on guitar on each song? Just taking one example,"In My Time of Dyin" fer instance, was he capable of playing like that at that time?

They didn't worry about liner notes or credits too much in those days. Have I been mislead? Are the biographies BS? I defer to your knowledge.

Clifton


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Metchosin
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 03:03 AM

Hi, I guess I first got interested when I was three and demanded that my mother sing Kumbalumba for me. Turned out, after a lot of trials, that it was Come my love come, the chorus of Down in d' Canebrake, one of the songs in my grandfather's repetoire and I've been mishearing the words ever since. We spent all family holidays at my grandparents singing to my grandfather on banjo and violin (he sang a sort of mixture of songs of the sea and American south and my grandmothers songs were straightt off the boat from Dundee) .We've kept the tradition alive for the last 50 years, my brother now doing the honours on mandolin, guitar and bodhran, in a local pub here with a group called the Walter Bodega Band. I have the curse or knack for remembering? the words and the tunes and also useless radio jingles of thirty and fourty years ago. During my teens I got tired of the fluff cheese on radio and started heading back to folk and blues again at a local coffee house, in the early to mid sixties, where they would bring in acts like Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee. It was also the first place where I heard a very short haired young musician named Valdy do a regular stint. (I think he sang Piddling Pete) And of course a bit later there was Dylan, Baez, Donovan, Pentangle, Steeleye Span et al. In the seventies I blew out my vocal chords trying to outsing my brother on sea shanties such as Haul Away Joe and got into classical music and opera after admonishing my daughter not to do what her mother had done and take proper vocal training. The Celtic revival got me back to folk songs again, with such groups as the Pogues, Capercaillie,Altan,The Tannishill Weavers and the best dam group of that genre in the last 15 years, Old Blind Dogs. I'm interested in all kinds of folk music and have recently rediscovered some beautiful Russian ones sung by Ivan Rebroff (incredible three to four octave vocal range) I recently had the pleasure of attending a Russian friend's birthday party and listening to a very skilled musican play the Bandura, accompanied by low humming and a variety of other Russian musicians singing their folk songs and was moved to tears. When it comes to the "music of the people" there are no language boundaries. It tells a tale and stirs the soul. .


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Owlkat
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 04:05 AM

Hello. My name is Mart, and I'm a folk musician. I blame Tom Rush for my fall from grace. There was a record sale at a big music store in Montreal where I grew up, and they were clearing out folk stuff. Oscar Brand, Limeliters, you name it. One dollar each. I was only thirteen. Just a kid, really.What did I know? I had five dollars to spend, and I bought an Oscar Brand, a Mark Spoelstra,a Mark Hamilton, a John Caraway, and last but not least, a Tom Rush album. You know, the one with him standing on a hill overlooking a railroad yard, and lighting up a cigarette, wearing a fringed suede jacket and a pair of suede cowboy boots, with his trusty guitar at his side. That was it. My destiny was clear. I knew what I had to do. My life changed completely, and from that moment on, I lived to look like that picture. To feel like that picture. To be that picture. I know, I know. Drugs or alcohol would have been cheaper. I've tried to stop. Really, I have. I even bought some Nirvana tapes. It's no use, though. My closet is full of acoustic instruments. I wait till everybody's asleep and I stare for hours at Singout reprints. I know all the words to Alice's Restaurant!!! It's too late for me, but if you know someone in a similar situation, or you may be in a similar situation and if you're in a similar situation, all you gotta do is go to the shrink wherever you are, and say, shrink:..."sing with me now. It's easy. The words go just like this." He he he!!! Stop me before I sing again!!! ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Vixen
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 08:32 AM

Great Idea for a Thread--

My dad, mother, and two of my aunts got me into folk music while I was too young to know better...I got addicted at a very young age. My dad was playing harmonica all over the place; songs like the Irish Washerwoman and Nellie Gray and Scotland the Brave. In his spare time, he would make up lullabies for me. My mother, meanwhile, was teaching me to play the "hi fi" with "LPs" of Baez, Dylan, PPM, Kingston Trio, Leadbelly, Odetta, New Lost City Ramblers, Pete Seeger, Burl Ives, Tom Lehrer, and who knows who else I've forgotten. Then there are the two aunts. They played guitars and sang songs from Woody Guthrie, the Carters, and the Weavers. I was always trying to get my friends to play "hootenanny" which, since I was too shy to sing in front of them, and they didn't know any of the songs, was always a failure!

I've since met up with the music Bonnie Raitt, Kris Kristofferson, Phil Ochs, John Prine, and a bazillion others. I'm hopelessly hooked. I enjoy r'n'r, and r'n'b, and c/w, and classical...but folk is the music of my heart.

V


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Davey
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 09:41 AM

I was just into my first job in '63, and had been listening to rock 'n roll and country music, when a friend introduced me to Dylan and Joan Baez.. When I first listened to Dylan I thought, "he can't sing worth a damn." but the more I listened the more he grew on me.

Then my friend loaned me a guitar and a book of simple 2 & 3 chord songs, like Oh Mary Don't You Weep, and in about a month I was playing a few of them, but then my friend demanded his guitar back, so I had to buy my own, a cheapie with strings a mile above the fretboard that caused pain pain pain, but I persevered, because here was something I could do myself.

Then I got hooked on the Oscar Brand TV show, Let's Sing Out, and fell in love with his 12-string guitar. I bought one of my own, and that's all I played until I got a 6-string about 2 years ago.

Along the way I picked up harmonica, tenor banjo, mandolin, and bouzouki.

Early musical influences, Dylan, Baez, PP&M, Gordon Lightfoot, some country artists who were somewhat folkie, like George Hamilton IV, Roger Miller. Current influences, Jerry Rasmussen, Gordon Bok, James Keelaghan, Jody Stecher, Rick Fielding, a few East Coast groups. Looking forward to retirement (about 5 yrs) so that I can do more music than I do now....

Keep on singing... Davey... (:>)


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Allan C.
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 10:28 AM

We had a thread long ago about this. But many people have arrived here since then. It is good to hear about them as well. Here is the old thread:

What Got You Started?


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Rana
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 11:02 AM

Hi,

From the "progressive" rock era of the early '70s I started listing to English folk rock - Fairport, then Steeleye (still remember great concert at B'Ham Town Hall with the early line-up). Then it just progressed.

Rana


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 11:02 AM

Davey, I was an influence? Thank you.

Clifton. Yep it sure IS Bob, and yes, he WAS that good. There are many live tapes floating around from that time and although he was quite drunk on some of them and didn't pay enough attention to being in tune, he could PLAY. For whatever reasons he never took any of the styles he played on that album further, and by the time I saw him (about a year and a half later) he pretty much strummed in dropped D the whole concert.
One of the things that impressed me from the first album was his "dynamics". The playing ebbed and flowed, and the rhythm was spot on. Better than most 19 year olds. The old J-45 with the dead strings helped define his sound as well.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 11:05 AM

Thanks Allan, I knew it was there somewhere. I won't bother to read my old post, so I might be redundant. I loved the music of the Kingston Trio as soon as I heard it and I immediately wanted to learn guitar. I started on my brother's Gibson Les Paul (electric). I lobbied strongly for a guitar for Christmas and was blessed with one.

I sang and sang and played and played all through high school. This was just prior to the Beatle's breakthrough. Dick Cerri had a folk music show on WAVA in Arlington, Va., I think it was Sunday night. I lobbied for a tape recorder (reel to reel in those days) and "the family" received one next Christmas. We could barely receive WAVA, but I recorded tons of the shows and would listen to them and try to learn the songs.

I borrowed every book the local library had that had "folk music" in it.

I am not sure folk is the only music for serious musicians. To me, it is the music of the people and is accessible to most anyone with a modicum of ability and is very tolerant of those with less than that. The songs, the traditional ones, have been burnished and polished until they roll easily out of the mouth without the hard, sharp edges of new songs. They move towards simplicity through the folk process.

And the first LP I bought was that Tom Rush record spoken about above. I remember it listed all these "blue collar" jobs Tom had had. Took me years to realize they were probably all "summer jobs" not careers.

I'm a bit of an outlier here since I do like some of the current singer/songwriters, but I have noticed that I tend to stick with the "simpler" ones and I am not attracted to singing diaries.

But I have listened to a wide variety of music long enough to appreciate traditional music and I dearly love the blues although they don't always love me back.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Clifton53
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 11:21 AM

Reading the earlier thread(thanks Allen), I remembered another event similar to one there. I was in sixth grade I think, when the teacher says were going to take a break, and this girl named Ellen hauls out this strat with a small amp. Everyone was delighted of course,as she stood in front and sang something called "Sinner Man".

She was really very talented for a young girl and became even better in high school. But up until then, music was something someone else did. Tragically, she was killed in college in a car wreck. I really think she might have made it.

Rick, thanks for the info. It's funny, I have a J45 myself, and someone told me I sound like Dylan with a voice. I've always liked his voice however and have defended him in many bloody battles.

Peace

Clifton


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: KathWestra
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 11:24 AM

Twice a week, when I was a little kid of about three years old living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, my mom would tune the radio to the University of Michigan's station, where there was a program called "Festival of Song" hosted by "The Singing Lady." We listened together and sang along with all the songs, which were culled from folk traditions all over the world. It was there I first heard and learned the "Skye Boat Song," "Marching to Pretoria," "The Ash Grove," and many more. We sang those songs together at home, with Mom playing the piano and Dad singing along, and in the car on trips between Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, where my parents' parents lived. Once, we even attended "Festival of Song" as members of the live studio audience. A Big Moment!

That background provided fertile ground for my meeting, in 1970, of Sandy and Caroline Paton. By that time I was a high-school student. They did a concert in Grand Rapids, where I then lived, and I flipped -- for them and for the music they sang. I couldn't get enough. I scoured the Grand Rapids Public Library for recordings (George and Gerry Armstrong's "Simple Gifts" was a major inspiration). I bought every Folk-Legacy record I could afford, and listened until they wore out. Went to concerts by Jean Ritchie, the Boys of the Lough in G.R. Drove down to the Ark in Ann Arbor and heard folks like Utah Phillips for the first time. Made a pilgrimage to the Fox Hollow Festival in Petersburg, NY (a magical festival that Sandy & Caroline had encouraged me to attend), where I heard members of the "Golden Ring" crowd (Ed Trickett, Gordon Bok, the Armstrongs, Harry Tuft, Joe Hickerson, Michael Cooney...). I was well and truly converted.

In the summer of 1974, Sandy and Caroline hatched a plot to rescue me from the Calvinists of Grand Rapids and get me to the East Coast, where I've been ever since, soaking up the music, constantly hearing and learning new things, meeting new folks like Rick Fielding, and loving it all! Kath


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: kendall
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 12:40 PM

my earliet influence was Buryl Ives back in the mid 40's. Then came The Weavers, Kingston Trio, Gordon Bok who got me on stage on a regular basis, and the Patons who were kind enough to record me. Since then there have been too many to mention, but near the top Utah Phillips, Tom Paxton, Trickett Bok and Muir Bob Zentz and yes, I've been in love with Joan Biaz for years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: kendall
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 12:51 PM

my earliest influence was Burl Ives back in the mid-'40s. Then came The Weavers, Kingston Trio, Gordon Bok who got me on stage on a regular basis, and the Patons who were kind enough to record me. Since then there have been too many to mention, but near the top Utah Phillips, Tom Paxton, Trickett Bok, and Muir, Bob Zentz, and yes, I've been in love with Joan Biaz for years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Magpie
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 01:01 PM

A television broadcasting of a Dubliners concert. I was six, and we taped it on my wee tape recorder. When they did their showpiece where #1 strums(I think) the guitar with one hand, and doing the chords on #2's banjo, while #2 picks the banjo with one hand while bowing #3's fiddle with the other and so on, until the last one is fed a pint while playing two others' instruments. THe tapr recorder was sitting on the coffe table, recording not only the concert, butalso my brother flushing the loo, and meself saying: When I grow up, I want to do that!

Magpie


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: kendall
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 01:37 PM

my earliet influence was Buryl Ives back in the mid 40's. Then came The Weavers, Kingston Trio, Gordon Bok who got me on stage on a regular basis, and the Patons who were kind enough to record me. Since then there have been too many to mention, but near the top Utah Phillips, Tom Paxton, Trickett Bok and Muir Bob Zentz and yes, I've been in love with Joan Biaz for years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: kendall
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 01:39 PM

can someone tell me why this junker wont send the post until I hit it twice, then it sends it twice?


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Fortunato
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 02:01 PM

Vernon, Clarence, Matthew ***** of Honey Run, Va. USA, my grandfather and uncles. First songs: Leather Britches and Brown's Ferry Blues. Skeets Foster, local country singer Wash. DC. Roy Harding, Wash. DC, banjo guitarist. Later on in high school in the 60's, like Roger in Baltimore, I heard Dick Cerri's show and discovered much the music my family and friends played was "folk music". After that my experience was much like the other North Americans with the Folk Revival. I still have my grandfather's guitar. I played it for a few years with a old time band, and we played Leather Britches, of course.


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: selby
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 02:10 PM

A POTTED HISTORY Many Many years ago a guy called Mike Soar was very intrested in the very beginings of the UK folk revival.On a Saturday he would go to Hull I think to a folk club there and arived back home juat before last orders in my local.He would be persuded to get his guitar out and a impromtu singaround would start I always enjoyed these but left the area.When I returned back home there was a folk club running with Mike still involved I started going ended up running it with my wife. THE REST AS THEY SAY IS HISTORY Keith


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Bill Cameron
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 02:16 PM

(Uh, Kendall, cause you hit it twice? What happens if you only hit it once? You don't get any visual response from the screen, just immediately hit the back button and then refresh to see if it went through...just a guess.)

As far as the topic at hand...I got interested in playing guitar when I was 14, 1970 or so. My parents who had moved to Ottawa from the Maritimes shortly before I was born, had a stack of records of Ed McCurdy, (only clean ones) Tom Kines, Allan Mills, Omar Blondahl etc. as well as Kenneth McKellar. I just always thought those songs were neat and learned a bunch of them like Lukeys Boat, Kelligrews Soiree, Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor. Imagine my surprise years later when it got cool to like this stuff!

Fortunately for me, I fell in with a Unitarian youth group (LRY) where playing guitar was a social plus, and to this day, I use it as a crutch and occasional weapon (see my post in Gigs from Hell).

Of contemporary songwriters, I started off learning John Fogerty (CCR), Dylan, Murray McLauchlan and Bruce Cockburn. Those guys still hold up. Somewhere along the way--early to mid 80's--I finally started to find my own voice, initially in the early Celtic revival, influenced at that point mostly by Archie Fisher and Dick Gaughan. Now I eschew genres, sort of--I just look for songs with a lot of heart and guts (pleasant image that), and if a song speaks to me in that way, I can usually Cameronize it to suit my limited range and overly busy guitar style.

Bill


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: lamarca
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 02:29 PM

Although we didn't make homemade music in our family, my parents listened to lots of different kinds of music as I was growing up in the 60's and 70's- classical, opera, pop/folk like Simon&Garfunkle, etc.,

When I went away to college, one of my boyfriends was an engineer for the college radio station with access to their record library, and he also did sound for the Oberlin Folk Music Club concerts, keeping tapes of the concerts that he liked. Between Scott's tapes of stuff from the library and the concerts, I got exposed to a lot of eclectic stuff, like Barrand & Roberts, Boys of the Lough, Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention. Being a rock fan of Jethro Tull, Genesis, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, The Strawbs, etc., I gravitated more to the British folk/rock stuff, but also liked the "weird" acoustic stuff John & Tony sang.

Fast forward to grad school. Instead of studying for my Cell Biology mid-term, I'm trying to find the lyrics to "Crazy Man Michael" on Fairport's Liege and Lief album. Thinking (incorrectly, it turned out) it's some kind of traditional folk song, I go to the University library, and check out volumes 1-5 of something called "The English and Scottish Popular Ballads" by Francis J. Child.

It was all downhill from there. Once I found the originals of the songs my favorite British folk/rock bands recorded, I started buying records by Martin Carthy, Nic Jones and other revival singers that were more "traditional". I joined a ceili dance club to meet men, and started buying records of Irish music by Planxty, The Bothy Band and De Danaan. I started buying books of songs, again, mainly from the British Isles.

Then a couple of my ceili friends dragged me to the FSGW's Open Sing, and here were whole bunches of people actually singing these songs for fun! I stayed in the background for a couple months, singing on choruses, then finally screwed up my courage and sang "The Female Drummer". People actually clapped, and everything. I was lost.

More records. Haunting used bookstores for ballad collections. Joining the FSGW and running for the Board. Digging ditches to drain a field for our local festival (which is how I met my now husband and musical partner).

I don't have the long history and knowledge of folk music that some of my friends have, but it's added a depth and richness to my life. I'm trying to learn more about our own American traditional musics, from Appalachian to blues to conjunto to ...zydeco!, but my first love will always be for the English and Irish songs I fell for in my 20's.


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 02:47 PM

When I was a kid in the 50's, it was not unusual to hear Folk Music on the radio, right next to RocknRoll. My first impression of Folk was that it was music played by three guys in sweaters, one of whom had a stand-up bass. They usually sang something like John HEnry in this kind of excruciating vibrato harmony that tended to make me nauseous. Burl Ives and Glenn Yarborough were the kind of Folk Musicians that grown ups liked, and that(along with the damned vibrato) put me off most of it.

When the 60's revival hit, suddenly people like Dylan, the Byrds,Fairport and others shook up the Folk Music world,not just taking the music to it's roots, but making it resonate with the young people at that time.Blues, through people like the Yardbirds, Cream and Zeppelin, also experienced revival. It was via these rock sources that I gained an appreciation for Folk and Blues music. LIving in Kentucky, I also gained a love for Bluegrass and older Country. My tastes are still fairly eclectic, and I like my Folk and Blues with fire, and a heavy dose of the traditional roots in both styles. I'll take Art Thieme, not Glenn Yarborough. And I'll take Robert Johnson, not Eric Clapton.


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Llanfair
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 03:10 PM

"In Manchester, that city of cottons, twists and twills" I was inspired by a friend at school who knew loads of songs, learned the basic 3 chords from the Bert Wheeldon book, and started going to the clubs, singing on singers nights. At the MSG in Manchester I saw Carthy and Swarbrick doing "Byker Hill"live, and have been totally hooked ever since.
I used to go to Harry Boardman's club regularly, and even did a few gigs myself.
Then I got married and had kids.
But I'm retiring (very, very early) at the end of the month, so watch this space.
Bron.......an ageing hippy looking forward to a new life!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: kendall
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 03:30 PM

speaking of vibrato...remember Mrs. Miller? talk about a voice that would shatter Tupper ware.


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: _gargoyle
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 09:18 PM

A wind-up phonograph in the garage with Byrle Ives records at age 4

Discovering anthologies of American Folk by the music section in college.

Meeting Mr. Ives (accidently - after hitching a ride from a broken down truck in SF) at a train station in Layme N.M. when he picking up a guitar - and I was toting a squeeze-box)

Discovering I,IV,V


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: ddw
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 11:22 PM

didn't Mrs. Miller dye her hair, take some steroids and go on the road as Barbra Streisand? Or was it Sheryl Crowe?

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: roopoo
Date: 04 Nov 99 - 03:35 AM

Now who's showing their age with Mrs Miller?! Didn't she transmute into Russ Conway on the Billy Cotton Band Show?

mouldy


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Roger the skiffler
Date: 04 Nov 99 - 05:07 AM

This thread is seriously creeping: but before Mrs Miller was Winnie Attwell. [I'm a Meade Lux Lewis man myself! (not to mention Jerry Lee Lewis!).]


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Ian Stephenson
Date: 04 Nov 99 - 05:54 AM

I think my first encounter with folk was whe I was 9 and started guitar lessons with my primary school teacher, Mrs Norman. She does a great job teaching chords and strumming, and even a bit of finger picking with any kids interested in starting guitar. She gets the kids to play John Denver songs and accompany themselves in concerts that the school puts on. The same year I was dragged along to Whitby Folk Festival by my mam and Dad, who had got a taste for folk by listening to Steeleye Span and other bands. I went along to some of the kids workshops and wasn't that impressed, because it was kind of nerve racking being thrown into a big cold hall with tens of kids that you didn't know. The next year at whitby I was bought a season ticket, and went along to a marvellous set of workshops run mainly by Jenny Shottliff, and Ben and Joe Broughton. It was FANTASTIC. There I met loads of other young folkies who I'm still good friends with today. Now I run the Young Session workshops at Whitby and its really satisfying.
Sam pirt also helped alot by starting a band with me!
Ian (Yes....I am only 17!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Ringer
Date: 04 Nov 99 - 07:50 AM

When I was a boy (40-ish years ago), at school on a Monday morning (11:00 am) we'd listen to a BBC "Home Service" schools programme called "Singing Together", hosted by William Appleby. Many of the songs we sang together (from a little white pamphlet renewed every term) were folk-songs - eg "The Keeper" (Jacky-boy, master, sing-ye well, very well...), "High Germany", - and some folk-ish songs like "Banks & Braes". There was also some crap, like "My love's an Arbutus", but the folk-songs were by far the best. Does anyone else remember William Appleby & Singing Together?

When, later, we listened to Bob Dylan, PP&M, etc and began attending folk clubs, the English songs stood out for me, and I've never looked back. Been through all the phases (Fairport, Steeleye, etc) but remained true to English songs, these days enjoyed in smoky pubs with large quantities of warm beer. Still sing (badly) High Germany & The Keeper (and many more); still listen to early Dylan (specially that first album) and Fairport, Steeleye. Still fondly remember W Appleby & Singing Together.


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 04 Nov 99 - 08:08 AM

a link to the old What got you started? thread.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: kc
Date: 04 Nov 99 - 01:03 PM

I was just laughing because I'm nineteen and I grew up in Alexandria, VA, and my dad played Music Americana with Dick Cerri every Sunday night while we lived there. This was 1980-1987. I am marveling at Roger in Baltimore and Fortunato who say they listened to the same show in the '60's. Growing up on that music was great. I'm not a singer, but I can't count the number of songs I know all the words to, just from my dad's tapes of that show. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: JedMarum
Date: 04 Nov 99 - 01:45 PM

My dad loved to sing. My mother and he got us all singing family favorites, I guess this wasn't typical folk stuff, but definately the participatory and vocal aspects of music so important to the folk tradition.

Later when I started playing guitar, I started listening to Kingston Trio, Chad Mitchell Trio, Pete Seeger, Theodore Bikel, many of the old TV show Hootenanny favorites. These people all captured my interest. Later on, as I started singing I was learning tunes from Bob Dylan at the same time I was learning Beatles. Soon came Tom Rush and Tom Paxton, Doc Watson and BB King, Muddy Water and Maybelle Carter, Stevie Wonder and Steven Stills! As I was learning and developing my musical tastes, there was a veritable cornucopia of musical styles available to me! I see from these threads that many of the Mudcatters likewise have varied backgorunds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Seaross
Date: 04 Nov 99 - 05:05 PM

I was the youngest of 4 brothers growing up in the late 50's & early 60's in Austin, TX. At our house we had an interesting mix of records by Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash and the Kingston Trio. When my brothers left home, I inherited all of the Kingston Trio albums; they took the others with them. In addition, Austin provided a wide variety of musical influences including gospel, blues, jazz, conjunto, honky-tonk,traditional ballads, cowboy songs, etc. etc. Among the local talents was Carolyn Hester who appeared frequently on local TV before going off to make the big time and to help Bob Dylan get on at Columbia. Austin's thriving mix of musicians attracted many other folkies including New Yorker Jerry Jeff Walker and Janis Joplin. This mix led to the Kerrville Folk Festival, attracted Willie Nelson and his brand of "outlaw country", and even led to Austin City Limits, which originally featured mostly local acts.

My tastes have gone in many different directions, but what I truly enjoy is the "folk era" type sound of mainly acoutiscal insturments playing behind voices that you can hear and understand the lyrics of the songs, whether it is Leadbelly, Bob Gibson, the Weavers, The Clancy Brothers, Ian Tyson, or even the much maligned Kingston Trio.

It has been an interesting trip viewed from here on the "Third Coast" a long ways from either Berkeley or the Village.


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 04 Nov 99 - 05:30 PM

I suppose listening to Burl Ives when I was little,followed by Lonnie Donigan and Big Bill Bronzy. Then I heard Ian Cambell, Alex Cambell, Alexis Korner,Woody Guthrie , Pete Seegar.( By the way any one got words and all the chords to WHO KILLED NORMA JEAN? PLEASE?)and Dylan, Donovan, Simon and Garfunkel. By then I was hooked, I really got into Al Stewart who is still one of my heroes. Mostly my introduction was American based I still have an Oscar Brand LP and many other early vinyls like Gordon Giltrap's first on transatlantic, Josh McRea and Owen Hand. I nearly lost my emerging interest at the age of about 7-9 when we had to do scottish country dancing at school, but then we moved on to English folk song and dance, sang lots of tradditional English tunes which are very rarely sang in any school today. Though I still get my guitar out and sing all sorts to my classes. I even had a kid saying "Ride on" was the most beautiful song he had ever heard and wanted to sing it with me at the end of school year concert. I teach in a special school so folk is still reaching everywhere.Then it was Richard Digance, Steelye,Fairport etc etc-The rest is history. I used to sing lots of Irish and contemporary folk even THE WILD ROVER-but never no more! There would be much to tell to work out a chronological development of my folk music appreciation. Eric-the Viking.


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Bugsy
Date: 04 Nov 99 - 09:23 PM

Oh! and, back in the '50s, who could not have been influenced by Cy Grant's calypsos on BBC's Tonight.

cheers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: roopoo
Date: 05 Nov 99 - 05:44 PM

Little correction. I meant Mrs Mills when I said Mrs Miller!

mouldy


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: little dorrit
Date: 06 Nov 99 - 02:44 PM

sounds terribly twee now, but The Spinners on the BBC many years ago, then Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention , most people remember when Lennon was shot I remember when Sandy Denny died. Then Nic Jones who is a God and Richard and Linda Thompson


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: wildlone
Date: 06 Nov 99 - 06:07 PM

Burl Ives,Josh White, Pride of my vinyl collection the early Josh White 10 inch lps. Skiffle, Dylan, Donovan, Benbow. That was the early years, then Fairport/Steeleye, Cyril Tawney, Yetties.
But most of all folks my mother who was a player until athritis set into her hands now she only sings.
But she still listens to Hendrix.


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Mbo
Date: 06 Nov 99 - 06:31 PM

Well, my musical interests are various and sundry, and it would take a whole thread to talk about all of it, but I'll just talk about the stuff that applies to the 'Cat. Since a VERY early age, I grew up listening to Country Music, when it was GOOD! I can't think of going to kindergarten and first grade without thinking of all those early 80's County tunes--my mother was a Hank Williams Jr. and thusly a Hank Williams Sr. junkie, so much of my childhood memories are of those great tunes. Other favorites were Ronnie Milsap (I LOVE that man), and I'll never forget "America" by Waylon Jennings. From then on I've listened and been influenced by classical music, opera, dixieland jazz. Skip ahead to me at fourteen, I started playing the classical guitar, but as a beginning basic guitar player, I was taught using Happy Traum's guitar method. This had me playing then unknown tunes like "Sinner Man," "Railroad Bill," "Shady Grove," "The Frozen Logger," etc. Being hungry for more music, I must have checked out every folk music book from every military library on the island of Okinawa, most of the musical being beyond my playing abilities. As time passed, I became more of a CLASSICAL guitarist, I also took up the fiddle, but still kept an interest in the folk. Skip ahead to me a seventeen, when I started playing my steel string guitar and *gasp* singing at the same time. I had by this time stopped listening to country music (It was getting stupid) and started listening to 70's rock. When the NPR program "The Thistle & Shamrock" hit the airwaves in my home town, I was drawn in. Since then, I've been getting deeper & deeper into Celtic music, as well as looking back at older music groups. Just to give credit where credit is due, the song "Closer" by The Corrs caused me to write my own song. Most of my music today is influenced by the likes of Dougie MacLean, Andy M. Stewart, William Jackson, Robin Laing, Battlefield Band, as well as The Beatles, the Electric Light Orchestra (greatest band in the world!), Jim Croce, and now, America. Whew! Hope I didn't bore you. But that's what GOT ME STARTED.

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 07 Nov 99 - 11:55 AM

A guy with battery jump cables. I was almost frozen before he showed up.

Art


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Caitrin
Date: 07 Nov 99 - 08:44 PM

Cool, Ian...there's another high school type out here. I thought I was the only one.

I got started on folk music with Steeleye Span when I was a little kid. I knew all the words to Misty Moisty Morning byt he time I was 4. After that was Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. I've started listening to more traditional Scots, Irish, and English music as I've gotten older, and I just started learning to play some this year. Folk is not only beautiful, it's also some of the most fun music I know. I love rock, country, and countless other musical types, but folk is what makes my heart dance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Mike
Date: 08 Nov 99 - 02:32 PM

I strikes me that there is so much thats been around that it's hard to limit to a list, but what about Ralph Mc Tell? and come to think of it what about all those Black, Blind and (now dead) delta guys, Big Bill, Hurt, Rev Garry etc What about C Pool. All my heros as well as Dylan, Nic Jones etc


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 02:32 PM

a nice thread this. I suppose the names given as starting points or influences depend upon the persons age. For someone like me, at 66 years, it must be folks like Burl Ives ( so often derided and underrated by present day folkies, but hugely influential, credit where it's due) Josh White (also the target of blues purists,but he opened the door for wider acceptance for others to follow up) Both these guys were magic to me. They added to the novelty and country singers I already enjoyed, such as Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams, and the wonderful Frank Crumit. The Weavers hit when I was a teenager. I loved their stuff, especially because they brought the name Seeger into my ken. Ever after I was on the lookout/listenout for anything with the tag 'folk' attached but had little idea that it flourished in England. Luckily I heard an old soldier sing 'McCafferty' in my army days and then my search for British stuff began in earnest. I've been going ever since, and loving it. I notice from some of the replies that occasionally people are embarrassed about their early exemplars. No need folks! It ain't where you start, it's where you go. I'm still happy to say Thank You Mr Ives, White, MacColl, LLoyd, Seeger, Cox, Tanner, Larner, and many more. My grandmother's knee never sang, so somebody had to do it for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Patrish(inactive)
Date: 10 Nov 99 - 11:21 AM

It was my mate christine - she was too scared to sing on her own and forced me to improvise a harmony for Donovans' "On a wagon bound for market" which was nice....

Actually Joni Mitchell is really the one, but as I have not really started its all a bit previous.???

Patrish


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Subject: RE: BS: Who got them started?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 03 May 02 - 05:21 AM

I notice a lot of peeple mention Steeleye Span, I have just bought one of their CD's (A Stack of Steeleye Span), it is really good, loads of great drumming on it, it was 5 pounds from Andys Records in Hull, I would recomend it to anyone.

I suppose I got my interest in folk music from my grandparents, they used to listen to The Fivepenny Piece, Roger Whittaker, Ralph McTell, and I remember Mike Hardings TV show, this was around 1973.john


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