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Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough

G-Force 06 Feb 14 - 07:42 AM
Rain Dog 06 Feb 14 - 07:51 AM
GUEST,henryp 06 Feb 14 - 08:19 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 06 Feb 14 - 08:47 AM
GUEST, topsie 06 Feb 14 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,henryp 06 Feb 14 - 05:53 PM
GUEST,Jon Dudley 07 Feb 14 - 03:55 AM
GUEST,Jon Dudley 07 Feb 14 - 04:05 AM
Leadfingers 12 Feb 14 - 05:45 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Feb 14 - 06:25 PM
GUEST,John from Kemsing 12 Feb 14 - 06:37 PM
Leadfingers 12 Feb 14 - 09:01 PM
Dave Hanson 13 Feb 14 - 04:17 AM
Dave the Gnome 13 Feb 14 - 05:51 AM
MartinRyan 13 Feb 14 - 06:13 AM
C Stuart Cook 13 Feb 14 - 06:36 AM
Will Fly 13 Feb 14 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 13 Feb 14 - 09:49 AM
Vic Smith 13 Feb 14 - 10:00 AM
GUEST,matt milton 13 Feb 14 - 03:00 PM
The Sandman 16 Feb 14 - 11:00 AM
Steve Gardham 16 Feb 14 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 17 Feb 14 - 06:53 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 17 Feb 14 - 08:10 AM
GUEST,henryp 17 Feb 14 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,Hotenanny 17 Feb 14 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 17 Feb 14 - 12:27 PM
The Sandman 17 Feb 14 - 02:34 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Feb 14 - 02:50 PM
GUEST,henryp 19 Feb 14 - 02:40 PM
Brian Peters 19 Feb 14 - 03:01 PM
GUEST 19 Feb 14 - 04:30 PM
Will Fly 19 Feb 14 - 04:53 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Feb 14 - 08:06 AM
Dave Hanson 20 Feb 14 - 10:00 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 20 Feb 14 - 12:26 PM
Betsy 20 Feb 14 - 06:46 PM
GUEST,henryp 20 Feb 14 - 10:14 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Feb 14 - 02:46 AM
GUEST 21 Feb 14 - 06:15 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 21 Feb 14 - 09:01 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 21 Feb 14 - 10:08 AM
GUEST,henryp 21 Feb 14 - 10:54 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 21 Feb 14 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,henryp 21 Feb 14 - 11:30 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Feb 14 - 01:10 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Feb 14 - 02:47 PM
GUEST 21 Feb 14 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 22 Feb 14 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,henryp 22 Feb 14 - 04:38 PM
GUEST,Jack Warshaw 31 Mar 15 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,CJB 01 Apr 15 - 06:12 AM
GUEST,Natural History Of Folk ... 01 Apr 15 - 06:36 AM
Rain Dog 02 Apr 15 - 08:48 AM
GUEST,CJB 02 Apr 15 - 05:51 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Apr 15 - 06:57 PM
GUEST,Susie 03 Apr 15 - 01:05 AM
GUEST,CJB 03 Apr 15 - 06:09 AM
GUEST 03 Apr 15 - 06:30 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Apr 15 - 06:45 AM
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The Sandman 03 Apr 15 - 03:25 PM
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GUEST,Jack Warshaw 06 Apr 15 - 03:25 PM
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Subject: Natural history of folk (BBC radio)
From: G-Force
Date: 06 Feb 14 - 07:42 AM

BBC Radio 2 are starting to trail a new series 'Natural History of Folk', presented apparently by David Attenborough on Wednesday nights.

Anybody got any more details of this?


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio)
From: Rain Dog
Date: 06 Feb 14 - 07:51 AM

As a prelude to the Radio 2 Folk Awards, which are on Wednesday 19 February at the Royal Albert Hall and live on Radio 2, Sir David Attenborough recalls his early TV career, producing The Song Hunter a traditional music series presented by Alan Lomax – and how these influenced natural history programmes.

Attenborough is renowned for bringing spectacular nature into the nation's living rooms, but his first television series, broadcast 60 years ago, was quite different - and yet not unrelated. As a young producer, Attenborough made The Song Hunter- six programmes presented by the American folk music collector Alan Lomax (who had recorded Leadbelly and Jelly Roll Morton) - in which traditional musicians from all over Britain and Ireland sang and played.

The Song Hunter was broadcast live so no longer exists, but Reg Hall saw the programmes on the army base where he was doing his National Service. This was a life-changing experience and he went on to work with and record several of the musicians featured. Prompted by such recordings, Attenborough recalls the trials and wonders of the enterprise, like how Lomax blew the budget bringing half a dozen women from the Hebrides to perform their tweed Waulking songs.

At this time, the corporation was engaged in great endeavours - the BBC Folk Music and Dialect Recording Scheme. Peter Kennedy, Seamus Ennis, Hamish Henderson and Bob Copper were employed to gather songs, tunes, tales, customs and dialects. They travelled all over Britain and Ireland and recorded 700 people aged from six to 96. Some these turned up in The Song Hunter.

So Attenborough's career began with folk music. More than this, the way that the material was gathered - searching for, finding, waiting for and recording people in their natural environment – has much in common with the way that, to this day, natural history programmes are made.

Some of the personnel and the equipment overlapped. Peter Kennedy did pioneering work recording birdsong with the parabolic microphone he used for recording musicians. The BBC issued LPs of folksong and LPs of birdsong made by the same people, with the same gear, sharing the same office.

Attenborough, Copper and Kennedy recount these days in previously unbroadcast recordings. Chris Watson, who works with Attenborough today, considers the parallels of natural history sound recording and the collecting of music and, to Attenborough's delight, there is remarkable music by some of the people he first broadcast 60 years ago in The Song Hunter.

Presenter/ Sir David Attenborough, Producer/ Julian May for the BBC

Wednesday 12 February

10.00-11.00pm

BBC RADIO 2

Natural history of folk


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio)
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 06 Feb 14 - 08:19 AM

It was live, it was the Beeb, so naturally no tapes still exist - Radio Times


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio)
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 06 Feb 14 - 08:47 AM

That snipe at the Beeb is hardly fair. Tape is expensive; storing it archivally is even more so. Can you name any other broadcaster that did better at the time?


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio)
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 06 Feb 14 - 09:05 AM

In the early 1950s, at infant school, we were recorded playing and singing 'The Farmer's in his Den' - I wonder if it could have been part of that scheme.


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio)
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 06 Feb 14 - 05:53 PM

"It was live, it was the Beeb, so naturally no tapes still exist"

Not my words, Jack, but David Crawford in the Radio Times. If you feel strongly, send your objections to the Editor.

Whether the comment is fair or not, there are still no tapes left, so none will be heard in this programme.


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio)
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 07 Feb 14 - 03:55 AM

The story of the BBCs collecting programme really is worthy of some detailed documenting. The roles of Brian George, Frank Collinson et al are all important along with that of a young David Attenborough. An equally young Chris Chattaway produced a documentary programme 'Away from it all' from the Coppers temporary home in Cheriton, Hampshire, in which the redoubtable Turp Brown can be heard singing. As I've said elsewhere on Mudcat, Bob Copper confirmed that, with tape being at a premium, much was wiped, if for example it was thought that 'better' versions (either of recording quality or because it was an 'inferior' or incomplete song) were already in the archive. Sounds dreadful but that's the way it was - thank goodness we do have a wealth of material preserved from those days. Rather nice that the collectors' results were aired on prime time radio shows like ' Country Magazine' etc. back in the day. The collectors meetings in 'The Stag' or 'The George' when they got together to share the fruits of their labours with the BBC, were legendary. Don't forget either BBC employees and radio actors like John Sharp (who later played Ezra Biggins in 'All creatures Great and Small') who lived in the country and often acted as 'talent scouts' pointing the collectors to notable singers who frequented their local pubs. Of course once the music was being heard on radio, the public began to write in too, amongst them a fifteen year old schoolgirl from Sussex, Shirley Collins…but that's another story.


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio)
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 07 Feb 14 - 04:05 AM

I forgot to say that apart from what Bob told us and what he wrote in 'Songs and Southern Breezes' I know little about the collecting scheme. It would be for a proper scholar to dig through the BBCs written archive (which I believe is extensive) when I think a fascinating story would ensue. There must be a few people still around who were working for the Beeb back in the day.


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 05:45 PM

Anyone who can get BBC Radio 2 on Listen again , this is WELL worth while !! 2230 on Wednesday 12 th . A LOT of original recordings as well as reminiscence !!


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 06:25 PM

Absolutely magic! Held me spellbound for the full hour. The OP suggested it was a series. I got the impression it was a one-off?


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio)
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 06:37 PM

It is an absolutely fascinating programme, especially the tales of David Attenborough having to overcome the attitude of the BBC hierachy of the time in respect of televising something as commonplace as "folk music". It is a must for anyone with an interest in the genre and the recordings of the singers and musicians who we came to see later in the folk clubs are a real treat.


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 09:01 PM

Listen Again


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio)
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 04:17 AM

I thoroughly enjoyed it, pity David Attenborough didn't know the difference between Ewan MacColl and Ian Campbell, he went on about Ewans voice etc, the played Ian singing ' The Shoals of Herring ' and again later said it was Ewan.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 05:51 AM

I have not listened yet but have every intention of doing so. I must admit having a bit of giggle when I heard it advertised. I was just picturing the venerable Mr A, safari jacket and all, peering from between the slats of a chair and whispering in hushed tones,

"Here we have that most elusive of creatures, the traditional folk singer, in his natural environment. He is currently displaying his winter coat of Aran wool and impressive facial hair. Note how he regularly drinks from the pewter vessel he carries on his belt and screws up his eyes in concentration when the tribe begin their communal chants. Wait! What is this. There seems to be an interloper, covered in denim and carrying a strange six stringed instrument. Could this be one of the tribes deadly enemies? The contemporary singer?"

Camera pans back to contemp. and traddy circling each other with deadly stares... :-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio)
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 06:13 AM

Just so long as he keeps away from the mating rituals... ;>)>

Regards


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio)
From: C Stuart Cook
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 06:36 AM

It was excellent. Sniping is pointless given the time, the equipment available and the new birth of the whole enterprise.


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio)
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 07:08 AM

pity David Attenborough didn't know the difference between Ewan MacColl and Ian Campbell, he went on about Ewans voice etc, the played Ian singing ' The Shoals of Herring ' and again later said it was Ewan.

Don't necessarily blame Attenborough for that, Having recorded his script, the musical extracts will have been edited in later, either by the producer or by a technician. DA may not even have heard the final product before it was broadcast.


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio)
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 09:49 AM

I agree with Will that the musical samples were almost certainly not left to David Attenborough. To be even more nit picking the opening recording of Estil C Ball of Rugby Virginia was not made until 1959.
The TV programmes were broadcast 1953/54. Earlier recording of Estil 1938-42 made by John and Alan Lomax were/are available but I guess that the 1959 stereo recordings being of a better quality may have influenced the producer. Not a criticism, just an observation. Likewise I believe Ian Cambell to have been a far better singer than the song's author.
I wonder if there is any chance that the radio series "As I Roved Out" could be ferretted out. If the BBC were serious about an archive of folk music surely they still have these recordings. They made it worthwhile to get out of bed and listen on a Sunday morning.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio)
From: Vic Smith
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 10:00 AM

An excellent programme, overall.
A few slip-ups have been mentioned and I think it was unfair to play Shirley Collins (which I was expecting given DA's well-known total admiration) and her sister Dolly without mentioning their names.
I was somewhat bemused by the fact that I had met or had made friends with the vast majority of people in the programme - many of them no longer with us.


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio)
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 03:00 PM

Listening to the programme it really did sound like the music was added to the programme by somebody else - a researcher or whoever. There were no "continuity announcements", as it were. So it's not really David Attenborough's fault that it was implied that Ian Campbell's singing was Ewan MacColl, or that the Collinses weren't credited.


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Subject: D Attenborough presenting bbc folk prog
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 11:00 AM

imo a very unsuitable choice, if we have David Attenborough why not David Icke.


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Subject: RE: D Attenborough presenting bbc folk prog
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 11:11 AM

Why not Dick Miles?
Already 2 threads on this, Dick!


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 17 Feb 14 - 06:53 AM

Perhaps they "chose" David Attenborough because the programme was about a series of six TV shows which he produced.
What is your gripe Dick?


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 17 Feb 14 - 08:10 AM

David Attenborough's interest in the world's folk music has, understandably, become buried under his interest in the world's natural history. However, I do recall that he presented a fascinating and authoritative radio series on world music back in the mid seventies. Does anyone remember it?


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 17 Feb 14 - 11:19 AM

Was going to suggest David Icke for a programme on spirituals - but mysteriously lost control of my computer!


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,Hotenanny
Date: 17 Feb 14 - 12:01 PM

Fred I am sure the one's that I remember were in the late 1950's broadcast on a Sunday afternoon about 3.00 p.m. I believe he used a group recorded in the Pacific Islands as a signature tune.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 17 Feb 14 - 12:27 PM

Dunno about Sunday afternoons, but I'd have been a bit too young to have taken much notice in the 1950s. I was into skiffle and rock 'n roll and Lonnie Donegan and Tommy Steele in those days. God, what a wasted youth.

No. These were definitely broadcast midweek of an evening around 1976. I remember particularly because I was living in Portrush, Co Antrim at the time and I used to listen to the programmes and then make my way to the Central Bar for a refreshing pint of Guinness.


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Feb 14 - 02:34 PM

Hoot, he is unsuitable,if he cant tell the difference between the singning of MacColl and Campbell,thats my gripe,


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Feb 14 - 02:50 PM

As a matter of interest, David Attenborough presented programmes on traditional music before he embarked on wild-life ones, though many of them were on the more exotic traditions.
The MacColl mistake was understandable in a BBC which often gives programmes on specialised subjects to people who haven't a clue.
Jin Carroll


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 02:40 PM

Fisherman's Friends - That sound has graced not only the Port Isaac, but the Royal Albert Hall and the BBC Folk Awards, where their harmony singing greeted guests in the foyer.

"David Attenborough came in," recalls the group's oldest member, 76-year-old Peter Rowe, "He stood there until someone said, 'You'd better come in,' and he said, 'No, I'm enjoying myself here.' And he stayed there right until the end."


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: Brian Peters
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 03:01 PM

Finally got round to listening to this, just before iplayer culls it. A really interesting programme, but a pity about the MacColl mix-up, since the clip was featured prominently. As for David Attenborough, he might not have come over as an expert, but was definitely an enthusiast. There were some good anecdotes, and it was lovely to hear Bob Copper with one of his reminiscences.

A nice surprise to find a programme on such a left-field topic.


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 04:30 PM

One hour left to listen, and the program is 57 minutes! Here t'is:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03trp25 (fast forward through the first 3 min of news...)


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 04:53 PM

Hoot, he is unsuitable,if he cant tell the difference between the singning of MacColl and Campbell,thats my gripe,

Dick, as someone who used to work for the BBC and saw programmes of this sort being constructed, I said above that it was highly unlikely that the mix-up was Attenborough's, which Hootenanny concurred with.

So - to say that he is "unsuitable" for an error which probably wasn't his is unreasonable. It was obvious from listening to his reminiscences and recollections that he had a very good knowledge of the people of the day.


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Feb 14 - 08:06 AM

There is a strong argument in favour of the argument that since the BBC destroyd the features department, sacked Charles Parker, ended the Radio Ballads because 'The Travelling People' was beyond their political pale, stopped making programmes of the quality as those 'Folk Music Virtuoso' 'The Lament', 'Songs of the People', 'The Song Carriers'.... and all the other wonderful programmes by Lloyd, John Levy, Deben Batacharia.... (even then, isolated to 'The Third Programme' or regional channels)... that perhaps they have no real interest in folk music whatever and all they are comfortable with is presenting folkie knees-ups.
Attenborough's programme (nit- picking slip aside) was a wonderful blast from the past (and maybe a glimpse of things to come if they ever got around to recognising that folk music had some importance.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 20 Feb 14 - 10:00 AM

It appears to me that presenters don't listen to what they are playing and the track in question being mis-labled.

In his BBC Radio 2 show about the best folksongs of the 20 century, Mike Harding did exactly the same thing, he played Ian Campbell's excellent version of Shoals Of Herring and twice said it was Ewan MacColl.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 20 Feb 14 - 12:26 PM

Dave,

As mentioned a couple times above it seems very likely that the recordings used on this programme were inserted after David Attenborough had submitted his narrative.

It seems pretty common at present for recordings to be made at different times in different places and for things to be put together by somebody else. I know of a session guitar player who sometimes records his parts at home and e-mails them in to be added to other musician's parts.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: Betsy
Date: 20 Feb 14 - 06:46 PM

Mistakes ??? Campbell / McColl etc ..I've never made one and I don't suppose you have either.
What I couldn't quite grasp was ....was this a single Programme or were there other programmes to follow the 12th Feb.
I personally loved it - mistakes an' all.


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 20 Feb 14 - 10:14 PM

It's a single radio programme to recall a series of six television programmes broadcast sixty years ago.

And the name Jimmy Miller adopted was Ewan MacColl.


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Feb 14 - 02:46 AM

"And the name Jimmy Miller adopted was Ewan MacColl."
I think we know that
Maybe the programme makers didn't - that's why they made the mistake
Perhaps to avoid future mistakes we'd better let them know that Bob Dylan is really Robert Zimmermann and John Pandrich is now Johnny Handle
A bit early to remind them about - Louisa-Jo yet I suppose - ho-hum!!
I enjoyed the programme too
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Feb 14 - 06:15 AM

Hootenanny wrote:
"As mentioned a couple times above it seems very likely that the recordings used on this programme were inserted after David Attenborough had submitted his narrative."

I would imagine that every single radio documentary is put together in the same way as this programme. And TV documentaries - the narrators add their voice over commentary in the studio when the film's finished.

Derek


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 21 Feb 14 - 09:01 AM

oops, that last post was from me...


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 21 Feb 14 - 10:08 AM

From: GUEST,henryp. "And the name Jimmy Miller adopted was Ewan MacColl."

I'm not sure what the relevance of Henry P's comment is, but Ewan MacColl's given name was Jimmie Miller, not Jimmy.


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 21 Feb 14 - 10:54 AM

Thank you, Fred. Every mention of Ewan MacColl leads to disagreement!

You have to read the thread to see the relevance, but it's not difficult.

Will you be at The Cooperative any time?


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 21 Feb 14 - 11:23 AM

Derek, Exactly. I was responding to Dave Hanson's remarks "It appears to me that presenters don't listen to what they are playing".

Obviously the presenter was not listening, he almost certainly was not there when the songs were inserted.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 21 Feb 14 - 11:30 AM

Mistakes, I've mad a few...

It is extraordinary that the confusion over Ewan MacColl's life should begin with his birthplace and his name.

There are some who believe that his name was originally James Henry Miller. His mother was Betsy Miller, née Henry.


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Feb 14 - 01:10 PM

"His mother was Betsy Miller, née Henry"
Actually (hoping not to add to the unnecessary confusion) her name was Betsy Miller Née 'Hendry'
I've always been fascinated to know why his abandoned name is so important to some people -
Anyway, must go - there's an Ethel Gumm film on the tele tonight!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Feb 14 - 02:47 PM

"The story of the BBCs collecting programme really is worthy of some detailed documenting. "
Absolutely
We recorded a lecture on the project some time in the early 90s given at the VWM Library by an American named Craig Fees who had researched the project in depth.
There was a diplomatic skirting around Peter Kennedy's behaviour, but apart from that, it was extremely informative.
If Malcolm Taylor the librarian, who organised the talk, hasn't got a recording, we have.
Fascinating stuff.
im Carroll


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Feb 14 - 02:56 PM

Let's see if we can go a little further.

He married Joan Maud Littlewood (Maudie).

In 1955 she put on a production of The Good Soldier Schweik, which brings us back to where we started!


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 22 Feb 14 - 02:29 PM

This habit of presenters doing their spoken bit and then the techies putting in the content (song, poem or whatever) could clarify a few queries I've had over the years. Maybe this practice explains a lot if it also applies to regular music programmes. Certainly I couldn't see Mike Harding siting for hours listening to most of the crap he used to have on his programme- don't know about the new chap, have never heard him.


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 22 Feb 14 - 04:38 PM

The new chap does it live from Salford.


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,Jack Warshaw
Date: 31 Mar 15 - 01:01 PM

Charles, often credited with being the father of the modern radio documentary made a great many programmes beside the radio ballads, sometimes outside the BBC, perhaps even using BBC equipment to work on them. Not lost, but buried in the Birmingham Library's Charles Parker Archive are the overt anti-war programmes he made with the Critics Group, intended for transmission to GIs in Vietnam. My role in them, with other CG members was field recordist, co-script writer, songwriter, singer, musician and actor, all welded by Charles into a hard-hitting opus which our state controlled broadcasting system could not handle and now can only be listed to at Birmingham Library. When I heard the clip of the CG being encouraged to produce anti-war material by Ewan MacColl in "How Folksongs Should be Sung" I thought the actual material would make a great follow-up. But the Beeb would have none of it. So I have posted a copy of my original tape of one of the programmes, called "Off Limits" on my Soundcloud page, https://soundcloud.com/jackaro/off-limits-2
       etnam.


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,CJB
Date: 01 Apr 15 - 06:12 AM

Thank you for posting Off-Limits-2." What a brilliant programme and amazing survival. I certainly think that these 'lost' programmes should be revived and placed into the public domain where they belong; not locked away in a dusty archive inaccessible to anyone. Other Radio Ballads that have made a miraculous reappearance recently are 'The Jewellery,' 'A Cry From The Cut,' and 'Romeo & Juliet.' Please consider uploading any more that you have. CJB.


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,Natural History Of Folk ...
Date: 01 Apr 15 - 06:36 AM

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/hdkqnqea6h6g0fj/AAC31FzrWPdbkrIl2d_Z6Izda?dl=0


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: Rain Dog
Date: 02 Apr 15 - 08:48 AM

There was a short item about Charles Parker on Broadcasting House BBC Radio 4 on Sunday 29th March. Starts approx. 17.30 into the programme and last for about 5 minutes

Broadcasting House


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,CJB
Date: 02 Apr 15 - 05:51 PM

Re: "There was a short item about Charles Parker on Broadcasting House BBC Radio 4 on Sunday 29th March. Starts approx. 17.30 into the programme and last for about 5 minutes"

Not much about Charles Parker though. And the clips were a bit haphazard. No mention of the Radio Ballads "Cry from the Cut" nor from "Off Limits." And the short clip of Sam Larner was strangely out of place. Not worth the effort of listening to.

CJB


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Apr 15 - 06:57 PM

"Not worth the effort of listening to."
Not really surprising.
Because Charles and Ewan refused to remove the suggestion that Travellers who refused to conform should be "exterminated" (this from a Birmingham J.P.) from the end of 'The Travelling People', the Radio Ballads as MacColl, Seeger and Charles conceived them, they became an embarrassment to the Beeb establishment.
The Features Department was wound down and Charles was sacked - bet there's no mention of that either.
One of Charles' most memorable programmes in his latter days was, 'The Iron Box', based around the murder of American Civil Rights activist, George Jackson - I can't ever remember that getting a repeat airing, as good as it was.
The more recent 'Radio Ballads' as well-meaning as they were, were comfortably 'safe' and as such, somewhat ineffectual.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,Susie
Date: 03 Apr 15 - 01:05 AM

My mate Julie Henigan stayed with me for 6 months back in the early 80s when she was cataloguing the Charles Parker Archive in Birmingham. She's on Facebook, if anyone wants to contact her - in KS, USA.


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,CJB
Date: 03 Apr 15 - 06:09 AM

But Off Limits (2) was a remarkable programme about the colour / race / poverty issues surrounding the Vietnam War. Sh!t I well remember those days and incidents - and yet learnt a hell of a lot from the programme. Now the recording is in the public domain where it belongs. Jim - do you know anyone who has 'The Iron Box' perchance?


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Apr 15 - 06:30 AM

BTW "Off Limits" is here:

https://soundcloud.com/jackaro/off-limits-2

Info. on the Radio Ballad "Travelling People" is here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/radioballads/original/travellingpeople.shtml

And then there is the "Ballad of the Miners Strike" - still available - at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00r33b2

BTW what was the programme mentioned in the comments called "Close the Coalhouse Door"?

CJB


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Apr 15 - 06:45 AM

"Jim - do you know anyone who has 'The Iron Box' perchance?"
As a matter of fact....!!!
Will contact you.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,CJB
Date: 03 Apr 15 - 02:27 PM

16 November 1971 20.30

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/search/0/20?adv=0&q=%22iron+box%22#search

A Story of Our Time

The Iron Box

The Prison Life and Death of George Jackson , author of Soledad Brother, shot down in San Quentin, 21 August 1971 ' Failure ... means our crowbar has struck the iron box containing the treasure.'

ALEXANDER SOLZHENITSYN

Compiled and introduced by Godfrey Hodgson from tape and documentary records of the events which led up to his death, including interviews with the Soledad Three, their relatives and counsels, and with the Prison Authorities, made available by Pacifica Radio, Berkeley, California

Producer CHARLES PARKER


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,CJB
Date: 03 Apr 15 - 02:32 PM

BTW here's info. about "Close the Coalhouse Door"

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/search/0/20?adv=0&q=%22Close+the+Coalhouse+Door%22#search

Likely well lost now!!


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Apr 15 - 03:25 PM

"Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Feb 14 - 02:56 PM

Let's see if we can go a little further.

He married Joan Maud Littlewood (Maudie).

In 1955 she put on a production of The Good Soldier Schweik, which brings us back to where we started!"
How, does it do that?


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,CJB
Date: 03 Apr 15 - 04:44 PM

Much better programme with MacColl, Seeger and Parker at Archive.org:

Free University Day 5_5 - Resonance 104.4 FM

https://archive.org/details/FreeUniversityDay5_5

Peter Cox: The Radio Ballads. The series of landmark radical works made fifty years ago for British radio are discussed by .the author of "Set Into Song: Ewan MacColl, Charles Parker, Peggy Seeger and the Radio Ballads."

Duration: 69:29


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Apr 15 - 05:02 PM

The legacy of Charles Parker and Ewan MacColl et al lives on. This is a favourite Radio Ballad of mine as part of the BBC's Abolition season in 2014. As Pete Seeger once remarked "The Power of Song" ...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/shropshire/content/articles/2007/03/17/abolition_sound_the_jubilee_feature.shtml

http://www.bbc.co.uk/shropshire/content/image_galleries/sound_the_jubilee_gallery.shtml

You can listen to the programme via the website above.


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Apr 15 - 05:41 AM

The Iron Box


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,Jack Warshaw
Date: 06 Apr 15 - 03:25 PM

Huge thanks CJB for the Off Limits 2 comment and the work you put in to improving the audio. The programme was produced by Charles Parker at Ewan and Peggy's house in Beckenham, Kent. The writing was mostly done collectively by those participating. Actuality was recorded or assembled by Charles and myself- Charles taught me how. Two tape recorders were set up. Charles used one as the singers and musicians used their instruments, with actuality segments coming in on cue and vice versa while the second machine recorded the section live. Charles then took the tapes away to link, cross fade, and work his magic to produce the final programme. Participants were: Charles, Peggy, Me, Brian Pearson, Buff Rosenthal and Steve Mooring. They were intended for clandestine transmission in Vietnam. We knew the N Vietnam Charge d'Affaires Nguyen Van Sao. The search for how artists passionately opposed to the war could make a difference and the N Vietnam connection made it happen. Of the 4 Off Limits made, I think this was the most successful.

Several years later, on the eve of Saigon's liberation, Combine, the group formed by break-away Critics Group members, wrote and presented "The Vietnam Victory Show" using the techniques of interwoven historical fact, commentary and song to tell the story of the liberation struggle from 1945 to April 1975.


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,CJB
Date: 07 Apr 15 - 02:03 PM

Fascinating history. There's a link here on how other Radio Ballads were made.

http://www.cpatrust.org.uk/bham_ballads/

Meanwhile I'm wondering if there is a recording of "The Vietnam Victory Show" please?

Also are there any more "Off Limits" programmes please?

They deserve a greater exposure than locked away in the dusty archives.

CJB


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Subject: RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough
From: GUEST,iain
Date: 08 Apr 15 - 06:58 AM

When I first started to read the thread my immediate thought was why cannot David Attenborough step aside and make room for younger talent.
However it was an education to realise he actually first started recording folk singers back in the day when for the BBC anything hinting at ethnic was regarded as crawling about under a stone.
   He is to be congratulated for his success. Can anyone answer if he wore his safari suit for making the program?


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