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Ken Stubb's - Willetts on Forest Tracks

Andy Jackson 25 Oct 13 - 07:43 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 25 Oct 13 - 09:42 AM
Vic Smith 25 Oct 13 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 27 Oct 13 - 09:50 AM
GUEST,GUEST Virgil Philpott 27 Oct 13 - 03:15 PM
Andy Jackson 28 Oct 13 - 03:36 AM
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Subject: Ken Stubb's - Willetts on Forest Tracks
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 07:43 AM

Ken Stubbs' Willetts Recordings out now on Forest Tracks

I posted on another thread the other night about a song, Beware Chalk Pit, on the Forest Tracks label. Although a founder member of the Forest Tracks record label back in 1970 I don't have that much to do with the running of it nowadays. I'm happy to leave that to the capable hands of Paul Marsh.
A recent discussion as to what Forest Tracks is up to these days prompted me to check out the website. I was delighted to see that Paul has been busy! He has produced a milestone twin CD of the The Willett Family
Released last month and launched at an evening in Lingfield on the 14th September, the tracks are from previously un-issued field recordings by the much undervalued Ken Stubbs.
Sadly Ken did not live to see his collection released on Forest Tracks but he knew that Paul would be digitising his complete collection and was happy that selections from it would be issued on Forest Tracks. (Mudcat Ken Obit thread here)
In usual Forest Tracks style there is a full 32 page accompanying booklet with short biographies of the singers, exclusive interview with Ken, song texts and previously unseen photographs by kind permission of the Willett family. Obviously many years of painstaking work.
This is only the first of several projects from the Ken Stubbs collection and the remainder will be made available via the FT website as MP3s in due course.
This was not meant to be a blatant advert but you must agree it's very exciting and I wanted to share it with you. And of course it means a whole lot of new songs to learn


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Subject: RE: Ken Stubb's - Willetts on Forest Tracks
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 09:42 AM

Musical Traditions have just issued a 2 CD set of Ken Stubbs's Willett Family recordings. Not all of the Forest Tracks items are included, but there are additional recordings made by Paul Carter & myself. What is going on? Surely the two companies should have known!

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Subject: RE: Ken Stubb's - Willetts on Forest Tracks
From: Vic Smith
Date: 25 Oct 13 - 10:28 AM

Circular received from Rod Stradling on Wednesday 23/10/13:-

Dear Friends, Musical Traditions Records new release:

The Willett Family : Adieu to Old England

Topic Records released their first ever LP of English traditional singers in 1963 - The Willett Family: A Roving Jouneyman. They acknowledged the help of Ken Stubbs, who first located and recorded the Willetts.

Musical Traditions Records are now - 50 years later - very pleased to be able to present those first 31 Ken Stubbs recordings of Tom, Chris and Ben Willett, plus 4 tracks from elsewhere, making this the complete recorded repertoire of the Willett Family ... generally accepted as amongst the finest English Gypsy singers ever recorded.

2 CDs - 35 tracks, 101 minutes, MTCD361-2 + 28 page integral booklet in DVD case.

Available from the MT Records website at £16.00

Rod Stradling
Musical Traditions Records
with on-line credit/debit card purchasing at:
Musical Traditions Internet Magazine at:
1 Castle Street, Stroud, Glos GL5 2HP, UK
01453 759475 Mobile: 0793 099 1641

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Subject: RE: Ken Stubb's - Willetts on Forest Tracks
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 09:50 AM

Rod Stradling has just put this out:

Re: The Willett Family CDs - an apology
Every year I get email notifications of the WOMEX events, and friends like Ian Anderson and Ben Mandelson extol the virtues of the 'networking' opportunities they provide. I have never bothered - having neither the time nor the money involved, and thinking that it would be extremely unlikely that there might be anyone there with a record company like mine. I would guess that Paul Marsh, of Forest Tracks Records, may have felt much the same. A pity, really ... since our attendance might have avoided a highly improbable and extremely embarrassing faux pas for both of us.
Because we have both released essentially the same double CD in the past month - without either of us being aware of it! Yes, both Forest Tracks and MT Records have just released double CDs of The Willett Family, from the recordings made by Ken Stubbs in the 1950s. Both are presented in DVD cases together with substantial booklets.

This is not the place to go into the details of how this happened - a lack of communication, stretching right back to the '70s and '80s, and running seamlessly right on to 20013. Suffice it to say that both of us were horrified to discover, just this week, that this had happened, and that we were, individually, completely unaware of the other's work on these releases. Nor were we capable of understanding how it had happened until we were able to compare notes on the processes that led up to our publications.

You may be able to imagine how we felt - and how we do feel about the possibility of both sets of CDs being reviewed in the same publications! Paul Marsh joins me in apologising to our respective customers, and to everybody else who'll be having a great laugh about this ... we suppose we deserve it!

However, what doesn't deserve it are the two splendid double CDs of some of the greatest English Gypsy singing ever recorded. We hope that you will buy a copy of one or the other of them.

Rod Stradling and Paul Marsh - 27.10.13

I suppose that I will have to get both sets, because there are a few different tracks on each set. But I will not be laughing at Rod or Paul. Sadly, these thing happen and I can only hope that it won't stop either of them issuing similar material in the future. They deserve support, not derision.

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Subject: RE: Ken Stubb's - Willetts on Forest Tracks
From: GUEST,GUEST Virgil Philpott
Date: 27 Oct 13 - 03:15 PM

Totally agree with Mike Yates last comment - though I do think those boys at CERN's Large Hardon (sic) Collider need to drop Higgs Bosun and start doing some serious work on Sod's Law...

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Subject: RE: Ken Stubb's - Willetts on Forest Tracks
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 28 Oct 13 - 03:36 AM

What a gentlemanly outcome to an embarassing situation. Thank you Mike especially for your last comment, these are two hard working chaps, devoting to bringing the best of the Tradition to us all, more power to their elbow.

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