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A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?

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THE SEAMEN'S HYMN


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lamarca 17 Nov 99 - 02:51 PM
Rana 17 Nov 99 - 03:19 PM
Bruce O. 17 Nov 99 - 03:50 PM
Rick Fielding 17 Nov 99 - 04:12 PM
KathWestra 17 Nov 99 - 04:19 PM
Bruce O. 17 Nov 99 - 04:23 PM
Bruce O. 17 Nov 99 - 04:39 PM
Art Thieme 17 Nov 99 - 04:40 PM
bigJ 17 Nov 99 - 05:17 PM
Bruce O. 17 Nov 99 - 05:21 PM
lamarca 17 Nov 99 - 05:22 PM
John Moulden 17 Nov 99 - 07:10 PM
lamarca 18 Nov 99 - 09:50 PM
Lorraine 19 Nov 99 - 06:53 AM
bob schwarer 19 Nov 99 - 08:23 AM
Melodeon 19 Nov 99 - 05:29 PM
Rick Fielding 19 Nov 99 - 10:07 PM
Sandy Paton 19 Nov 99 - 11:38 PM
sophocleese 19 Nov 99 - 11:58 PM
Bob Bolton 20 Nov 99 - 03:39 AM
John Moulden 20 Nov 99 - 05:30 AM
GUEST 26 May 03 - 02:10 PM
Karen J 26 May 03 - 05:15 PM
Desert Dancer 27 May 03 - 03:04 PM
Dave Sutherland 27 May 03 - 04:20 PM
Folkiedave 27 May 03 - 06:42 PM
Art Thieme 28 May 03 - 12:07 AM
Dave Bryant 28 May 03 - 11:34 AM
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Subject: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: lamarca
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 02:51 PM

As an American lover of British Isles folk song, I am constantly tripping over Bert Lloyd's influences in the English folk revival. I have many of Lloyd's recordings, and his books "England and Her Songs(?)/The Singing Englishman" and "Come All You Bold Miners". I am interested in his links between labor and folk music, because my husband and I sing a lot of occupational/work songs, and he is a wonderful source for many of them from the British perspective.

I'm also just curious to hear some stories and get a better historical sense about his role in English folk music. Some of my questions are serious, some just gossipy:

1. What was Lloyd's role in starting/running Topic records?

2. What songs and/or song collections does Lloyd deserve credit for finding and/or giving wider exposure?

3. When was Lloyd in Australia? What did he do there (other than collect Australian songs)?

4. Lloyd seems to have loved "allegorical" songs (read double-entendre bawdy here). He also seemed to have "discovered" and promoted a whole slew of attractive, talented, young female singers like Frankie Armstrong and Anne Briggs. Any good gossip here?

5. What other singers did Lloyd help gain prominence? I have heard he was helpful and supportive of Ashley Hutchings' folk-rock endeavors - true?

6. Lloyd collected songs in Albania, Yugoslavia and the Balkans. Are the English revival recordings of folk songs with weird rhythm structures like "Sovay" and "The Handweaver and the Factory Maid" (in 5/4) traditional, or did Lloyd blend in Balkan rhythm patterns? Someone told me that if there was a reference to "misty mountains" in a folk song (like "Anathea"), it probably had been meddled with by Bert Lloyd. What are some other songs he arranged and/or doctored?

7. Are there any books about the British folk revival which talk about the relative roles of Lloyd, Ewan MacColl, Peter Kennedy and others? Did they get along with each other?

I'd love to hear from any 'Catters who actually knew and/or worked with him, or who have (reasonably) accurate stories to pass along!


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Rana
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 03:19 PM

Hi, Can't answer your questions but I typed in A.L. Lloyd, and Bert Lloyd on Google and got these sites which may be useful. The second one may be promising.

http://hum2mac1.murdoch.edu.au/watersons/lloyd.html http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/brocken1.htm#lloyd

Cheers Rana


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 03:50 PM

The only time I talked to him (1976) it was for about 10 to 15 minutes and was all about songs, not his history. No stories, but he kindly posed for a photograph for me. Perhaps the best I ever took, but I couldn't find it on a recent search.


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 04:12 PM

Hi Lamarca. Strictly from an anecdotal point of view, everyone I've talked to who knew (or even met) Bert Lloyd, said that he was a pleasant and friendly man. A number have said that MacColl could be distant and often seem pre-occupied, especially if he was talking to someone either uninformed musically or on the other side of the political fence (MacColl was certainly proud of his Communism long after many others gave up on it). At his level of fame I suspect though, that many many people wanted a piece of him and it's understandable if he was choosing his new friends carefully.
Upon first hearing Lloyd I found his tendency to sing constantly sharp more than just irritating. After a few years my ear adjusted (the recordings certainly didn't) and I can still listen to "The Cruel Ship's Captain" in total awe.
Rick


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: KathWestra
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 04:19 PM

Hey Mary --
Re #4. I, like Bruce O., met Bert Lloyd when he came to Washington in 1976. He did a house concert at Helen Schneyer's home, where I was living at the time. When we met, he said he was pleased to meet me and "liked [my] bodice." Don't know if he used that line on the aforementioned attractive young female foksingers, but ...
Kath


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 04:23 PM

lamarca, on a 2nd try I finally found his obit, 3 pages in Folk Music Journal (of EFDSS), 1983. If you want it I can xerox it and send it, but I don't have an address for you. You can phone it to me at 301-869-3581 before 7 PM, or 301-593-6267 after 8 PM tonight, or tomorrow or Friday at the first number.

PS: I also have a review of his 'Come All ye Bold Miners' in FMJ, and probably have one for his 'Folk Song in England', but have not looked for that yet. Let me know if you want them, too.

Albert Lancaster LLoyd, 1908-82


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 04:39 PM

I should have seconded Rick's comments, about LLoyd being friendly. My evidence about the origin of the tune "Jamaica" (L. Price file on my website) had proved him wrong on comments made on the tune in FMJ, but that didn't seem bother him at all, and he thought it was a lovely song when I gave him a copy. [Who has never been wrong; even God sometimes changed his mind according to the Bible.] I missed the house concert that Kathy mentioned and only saw him at the Smithsonian's Bicentenniel Folk Festival on the Mall.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE COCK-FIGHT
From: Art Thieme
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 04:40 PM

I heard Bert Lloyd give a lecture in Mandel Hall of the University of Chicago in '76 too I think. Met him afterwards & he was quite personable. We discussed the song he did about the cockfight---on the Riverside Champions And Sporting Blades album. I had learned it a few years before. The song had some class-consciousness to it. The bird owned by the miners defeated the one the lords brought to the party. I'd love to've done a workshop with Tom Russell so I could do this one to set up his song "Gallo Del Cielo".

Come all you colliers far and near,
I'll sing of a cockfight--when and where?
Out on the moors I heard him say,
Between the black and the bonny gray.

The first to come in was the lordly lads,
They came with all the money they had,
"If our good bird--he gets fair play,
We'll make mincemeat of the bonny gray."

The cocks went to it--1---2---3,
And the charcoal black got struck in the eye,
They picked him up, but he would not play,
And away we carried the bonny gray.

With his silver coat and his silver wing,
He's fit to fight in front of the king,
So hip hooray, hooray, hooray,
Away we carried the bonny gray.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: bigJ
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 05:17 PM

Hi lamarca, I have a feeling that Dave Arthur - editor of the magazine 'English Dance and Song' of the EFDSS - is working on a biography of Bert. He can be contacted e-mail at arthur@twins.co.uk. His biographical notes for the CD 'Classic A.L. Lloyd' on Fellside FECD 98 are worth reading too,


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 05:21 PM

Dave Arthur did the obit. in FMJ


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: lamarca
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 05:22 PM

Art, I think Topic just re-released that album as "English Sporting Songs" on CD, so we have a copy. Here's the listing from the Topic Discography site (a neat place itself...)

TSCD495 Bold Sportsmen All Ewan MacColl, A L Lloyd, Roy Harris Card Playing Song. The Bold Gambling Boy. Gaelic Football. Creeping Jane. Morrissey and the Russian Sailor. The Cock Fight. The Sporting Races of Galway. Sovay the Female Highwayman. Turpin Hero. The Saucy Bold Robber. Old Bob Ridley. Reynard the Fox. Stewball. The Turpin - Sugar Ray Fight. The Football Match. Govan Pool-Room Song. Heenan and Sayers.

I really like the Tom Russell song, too - we have a tape of Katie Lee singing it, and it's wonderful!

Rick, I like listening to Lloyd's singing, but feel vaguely guilty about it - it's so quirky, that I couldn't explain to anyone else WHY I like it, and feel people would think I'm weird (they'd be right, of course...)


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: John Moulden
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 07:10 PM

Bert Lloyd was among the first singers I heard (on record) - my first girlfriend bought me the LP of songs from The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs - I love it and his singing; quirky, yes and sometimes it misses but he had a commitment to the song without what I felt was Ewan MacColl's solemnity.

His broadcasts on the BBC Third Programme, like "The voice of the Gods" or "The Folk Music Vituoso" - were sometimes a bit tangential but brilliant in their range of examples and often in their insights.

Ian Russell edited a volume of essays called "Singer, Song and Scholar" (Sheffield Academic Press, 1986) in which Leslie Shepherd contributed "AL Lloyd - a personal view", Roy Palmer, "AL Lloyd and Industrial Song", Vic Gammon, "AL Lloyd and History" and Dave Arthur, "AL Lloyd 1908 - 1982: an interim bibliography - two pages of books and nine of articles and essays (many of which appeared in Picture Post) Dave is still biographising.

A group of us invited him to Belfast in the early 70s to give a talk and concert. He was a lovely man and, as some of the anecdotes have indicated, very fond of young women but never, so far as I know, behaved in any but a fatherly way. I think the most impressive thing about him was that he was the first of the English scholars who knew that singing was more important than study - and the first of them to be a really good singer.

I also met him at some of the early Keele Folk Festivals - the prdecessor of the (English) National. Very knowledgable, very approachable ; he wore his learning lightly.

I have just this evening listened to the new Topic "English Drinking Songs" which combines several earlier vinyl releases but has at least one item I have never heard him sing before.


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: lamarca
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 09:50 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Lorraine
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 06:53 AM

Thank you lamarca for starting this thread. I'm enjoying it.-Lorraine


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: bob schwarer
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 08:23 AM

Is there a source for Topic recordings in the US?

Bob S.


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Melodeon
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 05:29 PM

If you want to get an insight into Bert LLoyd's thinking read 'Folk Song in England' published by Lawrence & Wishart 1967. It iwas published in association with th Worker's Music Association.

Melodeon.


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 10:07 PM

OK, for me here's one of the finest benefits of the mudcat. Usually I credit the exceptional writing (and I'm willing to accept the fuzzy-wuzzy threads with a smile) on political and social issues. But at least 30 times this year it has motivated me to hunt through the thousands of records and dig out (my) collected works of an artist, stay up ALL night and just listen. Last night was A L Lloyd. Bloody Magnificent! Not a great singer in the way that some might want, still as sharp as a scalpel, but MAN could he sell the song! I listened to his ballads, silly songs, and sea Chanteys til five am. Who the hell needs sleep!
Rick


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 11:38 PM

I'm pretty sure Wally Macnow has them at www.Camsco.com. He's also participating in the "give a bit back to the Mudcat" when a Mudcatter buys from him. So... Go for it! Look 'em up in the Mudcat shop.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: sophocleese
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 11:58 PM

Hi lamarca, about strange time signatures. English folk music often has strange rhythms, like 5/4 or 5/4 mixed with 4/4 and 3/4, it wouldn't all have come from other countries.


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 20 Nov 99 - 03:39 AM

G'day Lamarca,

One interesting thing about A L Lloyd is that he did not collect Australian songs - even though a vast number of folkies talk about the "A L Lloyd: collected versions &c. In his time as a lad out in Australia on some sort of assisted passage (a bit better than being a "remittance man") we worked on outback stations and heard folksongs.

He certainly appreciated them - and they may have influenced his future involvement in folk song and the workers' movements - but he did not even write them down. He admitted this in a letter to Australian Folklorist John Meredith in the 1960s, after Merro queried his use of what was obviously the carbon copies of John Meredith / Nancy Stewart / Russel Ward collected material, forwarded to the EFDSS (English Folk Dance & Song Society) during the latter part of the 1950s.

He obviously had no tunes, as they could not afford to send reels of tape in those days, so he treated the songs just like he treated British material- he put English tunes that he knew and performed them. The exception is the shearing "Belter" Lachlan Tigers, which he had heard and remembered - and now is sung by every bush band in Australia.

The great thing that he did was to perform and popularise the Australian material. There was a lot of bad feeling aomong Australian collectors because the "real" tunes were lost and there was a general feeling that "premature" use of collected material "muddied the waters" for the collectors still working in the field.

On the occasion when i did meet him, I found him quite pleasant and dedicated to his view of the role of folklore. However, mention of Bert Lloyds name in the right end of folkdom is a dead cert starter for an all-in fight - to this day!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: John Moulden
Date: 20 Nov 99 - 05:30 AM

Bob Bolton's very illuminating message illustrates what I said about Lloyd knowing that singing was more important than study. He tended to make songs singable even to the point of making things difficult for "other" folklorists.
Was it he who quoted Vaughan Williams (I can't find the quotation in any of V-W's writings) "The practice of altering folk songs is an abominable one and I'd trust nobody to do it but myself."?


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: GUEST
Date: 26 May 03 - 02:10 PM

Speaking of A.L. Lloyd, as we were, does anyone know what has happened to Dave Arthur's Biography? Has it found a publisher yet? I would dearly like to read it.

Chris


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Karen J
Date: 26 May 03 - 05:15 PM

I met AL Lloyd in 1971. I was doing my degree dissertation at Essex University on "the class struggle as reflected in the songs of miners". I phoned AL Lloyd and was invited to interview him at his home in Greenwich. He had a beautiful Georgian house. I remember a room with his collections of reel-to-reel tapes stacked from floor to ceiling. I often wondered what happened to all his Eastern Europe field recordings. He was very welcoming and served me tea.


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 27 May 03 - 03:04 PM

Thanks for bringing this thread back up.


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 27 May 03 - 04:20 PM

Bert Lloyd was president of The North East Folk Federation while I was secretary and as he wanted to be an "active figurehead" we corresponded on a number of occasions and I found him teriffic to work with. I also saw him live on various occasions and he was a captivating performer either singing, storytelling or lecturing. In conversation, mainly about songs or music, he spoke with an undisguised enthusiasm and never simply gave a one word answer. We also talked about football once and he proved knowlegable on that subject as well! Regarding his work and relationship with Ewan MacColl, MacColl always described him as "a very gifted man". To get a more detailed insight it is worth reading MacColl's autobiography "Journeyman" (Sidgwick & Jackson - London).Plus T.V. documentaries "What Did You Do In The Strike"(ATV)Rythms of the World's "Ballad of Ewan MacColl" (BBC2) or the tribute to A.L.Lloyd "Bert"(C4)in which MacColl talked at length about Bert.
Yes, Lloyd put his own tunes to various sets of words and undoubtedly did a bit of re-writing as well; but there are people out there now singing "Jack Orion", "Sovay" and "The Demon Lover" who have never heard of Bert Lloyd....so did he do such a bad thing?
Dave S


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 27 May 03 - 06:42 PM

I met him a couple of times and concur with everything said about him.

There is a very good article here:http://cjtm.icaap.org/content/25/v25art2.html which does seem to tell you a lot about the man. It is not as academic as it may look at first sight.

He was also an excellent raconteur, I once pickd him up from the train for a Cleethorpes festival (first or second I think) in the old days of it being on the pier and he kept a festival audience fascinated for about two hours with songs and stories.

He was a linguist of course and just post-1945 war I think, worked with Bert Hardy on the Picture Post as a journalist and when Hardy took his famous photographs it was Bert Lloyd who wrote the words. I vaguely remember Hardy talking on the radio and paying great tribute to him - Lloyd would chat to people and distract them whilst Hardy took the pictures and Hardy said without Lloyd he would never have got such great shots.

Dave


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 28 May 03 - 12:07 AM

I really liked his singing. The tale always came through first---before the singer. Still, the style was unique and just abrasive enough to promt my wife, Carol, to say just about every time I put his records on, "Oh, that man always sings so sharp/flat whatever."---But it never hit me that way and I was always glad when she had said it--because I knew she'd not mention it again. It was simply so great to have a version of that particular very fine song to hear and get lost in that any blemish in the vocalizing didn't penetrate my overall joy for having found this closeted esoteric cul de sac of English language musicality. Bert Lloyd's "The Death Of Lord Nelson" will always stand as some sort of balladry high point for me----as will his unique version of "Waltzing Matilda", "The Lime Juice Tub", "Bluey Brink", "The Dark Eyed Sailor" and so many of the big ballads. I have a very hard time with revisionest writers who find ways to pick away at those who were my mentors.

Long live Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway and A.L. Bert Lloyd.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 28 May 03 - 11:34 AM

I got to know Bert quite well, and often drove him to and from gigs. For many years I ran a folk club at Blackheath which was not far from his home, so I booked him for gigs quite a few times.

Bert's singing was not to everyone's taste, but I loved the expression he could get into that high-pitched quavery voice, which always seemed to have a sort of chuckle in it. I once heard someone describe him as having a "Wicked" old voice and knew exactly what they meant (although of course the term has aquired a different connotation these days). I particularly enjoyed his skill in telling humorous yarns ie "The Sleeve Job" = it was worth waiting for the anticlimatic conclusion.

If you chance to see the Gregory Peck version of "Moby Dick" look out for (a rather younger) Bert, who also is to be heard leading a shanty.


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: curmudgeon
Date: 29 May 03 - 07:27 AM

Thanks for that link, Dave; great background and information. In "Moby Dick," Lloyd, adorned with fake whiskers, actually led two shanties.


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Nerd
Date: 29 May 03 - 11:06 AM

There's a sequel to the above article

here


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 29 May 03 - 04:35 PM

A wonderful thread about a wonderful man. I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with Bert, working, and presenting him in clubs and festivals. I recall the brilliance of his conversation and his breadth of knowledge on many subjects quite apart from folk music. His folk knowledge was huge, though to quote Greg Stephens, Bert 'Wore his learning lightly'. He was never patronising and was always ready with information or guidance. He did believe that the best things to do with songs was to sing them. This was the motivation behind his rewriting and "cobbling together" of texts, a practise he readily admitted. A goodly number of his rewrites are being sung regularly throughout the folk revival. That seems like a good thing to me. As for his voice, well it wasn't as smooth as most of those in the 'Best Male Singer' thread, but when he sang you knew what the story of the song was about. There was a feeling of enjoyment about his singing too. I once saw his voice described as 'mirthful'. Not a bad description. He's well up there in my top ten. I could write a posting here that would take half an hour to read so I'll leave it now except to say that in my opinion his influence on the folk revival was entirely to the good. We all owe him much. I will never forget him. Last Fall I did an 'I Remember Bert' workshop for the NY Pinewoods Club, not academic, just memories and anecdotes. It was taped, I believe the club has copies avsailable.


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 May 03 - 07:04 PM

BEFORE (yes, I am shouting) this information dies someone very tactful adn persuasive ought to talk to Barry Walker in depth about this. In view of historical accidents I am not the right person. Jacqui however did say he was an old letch.


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: curmudgeon
Date: 30 May 03 - 08:17 AM

Thanks for that link, Nerd. Are there any more like it?


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Nerd
Date: 30 May 03 - 03:55 PM

To add to what Burl is saying, however, Bert was not ALWAYS ready to admit that he had tinkered with a song. There are several instances of his falsifying the provenances of his songs, including "The Recruited Collier" and "One of the Has-Beens." Dave Arthur mentions a time when his published notes differed pretty wildly from what he wrote in his field notes! However, on balance he has been a giant force for the good in the revival, no question!


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 31 May 03 - 05:55 AM

Hi Nerd, (an inappropriate name given the quality of your postings)I didn't know that about those songs. In fact I've not heard of 'One of the Has-Beens' at all, I'd welcome some information on it. My opinions are from aquaintance with Bert, I haven't studied his work very deeply. I do know from conversation and from reading his books and sleeve notes that he could offer conjecture as fact sometimes. I used his own phrase about 'cobbling together' to describe what he did with songs. He never denied it, not to me at any rate, in fact he was quite proud that his 'cobbling' had given new life to some moribund songs. Bert, like all of us, had his flaws, but yes, he was a 'giant force for the good in the revival'. Thanks for the link into those Canadian journal pieces. Excellent.


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Nerd
Date: 05 Jun 03 - 10:55 AM

Burl,

The reference to "One of the Has-Beens" is made in an article Dave Arthur published recently in the EFDSS magazine Root & Branch. You probably haven't heard it because it was one of the Australian songs Lloyd collected in the late 1920s/early 30s. According to Dave A, Lloyd's private notes said that the song came from a vaudeville actor. When he published the song, he claimed in the published work that it was from a teamster; Dave suggests this is because a teamster would have been considered a more authentic source.

The Recruited Collier was one of the songs Lloyd published in Come All ye Bold Miners, and it's pretty common now in the revival (Kate Rusby has recorded it twice, for example). It's pretty clear that Bert created it with reference to an original by Robert Anderson, but he claimed to have it from a collier named Jim Huxtable. The original song was not about a colier at all, but a ploughman; Bert made the changes in order to produce an example of "industrial folk song," an idea to which he was both attracted and ideologically commited in the 50s. This argument was first made by Roy Palmer in the book Singer, Song and Scholar edited by Ian Russell. I have since found additional support for Palmer's theory.

I'm currently working on my own article about another of Lloyd's creations, which he claimed to have collected from Tom Cook of Eastbridge. It's a rather involved argument, so i won't get into it too deeply here...


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 06 Jun 03 - 07:20 AM

Nerd, I look forward to seeing that article. Where will it be published? Burl


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Nerd
Date: 07 Jun 03 - 02:40 AM

Burl, I've PM'd you more info on my work.


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Susan of DT
Date: 07 Jun 03 - 10:28 PM

(dick greenhaus here:)
There are only four CDs of Bert Lloyd current as far as I can tell: Leviathan (whaling songs), English Drinking Songs, Bold Sportsmen All and the new re-release of Songs from the English Book of Penguin Folk Songs (there was one, The Essential A.L. Lloyd, that went out of print and there's a joint sea song one with MacColl.)

All available at CAMSCO --dick@camsco.com or 800/548-FOLK (3655.)


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 08 Jun 03 - 09:34 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: GUEST,skb@atdial.net
Date: 30 Nov 03 - 03:15 PM

Overwhelmed by the Bert Lloyd memories. I was lucky to work/sing with
him, Ewan & Peggy (more!) in such projects as The Ballad of John
Axon (now a Topic CD -- I sing the Manchester Rambler Song plus share in the many intricate choruses); BBC Radio Bold Nelson's Praise
(produced by Charles Parker of Radio Ballads fame); and I "share"
tracks on some of the Topic Sampler LPs (these were 33.3rpm but
sized like the 45s)Sampler #3 (or #2?) has Bert singing the
Overlander with convincing [sez who] Oz-twang; I do The Young Sailor Cut Down in His Prime (gtr acc Leon Rosselson). Bert wrote the sleeve
notes for my Topic solos ("The Liverpool Packet" and "Songs for Swinging Landlords To") RE-the many refs to Bert's politics
I should mention that of those involved in the Ballad of John
Axon, only Parker was NOT a party member!!
Nearly forgot there was much activity with the WMA (Workers Music
Association) highlight being on the same stage as Paul Robeson

RE-Bert's morals [sic]Well he lliked the ladies (who don't?)&
enjoyed (chastely) my wife's company, yet was never a Shagger Steve Norris. Bert enjoyed the "risky" ballads (I once stood in for him when
he was sick -- I sang "My Husband's Got No Courage in Him" which
he taught me -- and I still do a fair Bert "falsetto"

Much more -- but dinner is ready

Stan Kelly
www.feniks.com/skb/
www.sarcheck.com/skb/index.htm
707-765-9020
2100 E Washington, #103
Petaluma, CA 94954


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 30 Nov 03 - 04:17 PM

Good to hear from Stan Kelly. Not heard him sing in years, which is a pity because he could do areally good job. He dropped out of the scene far too early. Come back Stan. Or put out some recordings at least. Burl


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: GUEST,JOHN OF ELSIES BAND
Date: 01 Dec 03 - 11:01 AM

Bert used to hold what could be termed "Singaround" evenings in a pub near his home in Greenwich which is where we met, ("Richard the Third" maybe ??). He was a most engaging, welcoming and congenial man and always seemed to have time for everyone interested in the tradition. I recall that is also where I met Barry Walker and from there, "The Railway Tavern" at Catford. Everything else is history and I have much to thank Bert for.


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 01 Dec 03 - 12:21 PM

John, the pub was the "Richard" I (often known as "The Tolly" - the brewery who owned it before Youngs) which is in Royal Hill - where the Lachenal Concertina firm was based.

Are you sure you mean "The Railway Tavern" at Catford ? The Catford Folk Club was for many years at "The Rising Sun" - where your mates "Legacy" were a resident group. I ran a club at "The Railway Tavern" Blackheath, even nearer to Bert, and he was a fairly regular guest.


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 01 Dec 03 - 12:50 PM

I first met Bert while working at C# House in the 1960s and he helped and encouraged me tremendously when I first started out as a music journalist. He used to send me lengthy, single-spaced screeds of typed 'notes' which I plagiarised shamelessly.

Fortunately I didn't personally find him a 'letch' - I think he reserved this for the female 'stars' rather than the behind-the-scenes workers.


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: GUEST,JOHN OF ELSIE`S BAND
Date: 02 Dec 03 - 05:35 AM

Dave,
    It certainly was "The Railway " at Catford, by the bridge, just aways from the dog track. It was there I met Dave Watts, Robin and Stephen Gray, Tony Deane and most everybody else in the SE folk club scene but I agree that all others you mention were an important factor at the time. The number of clubs we had at our disposal, all within a very easy travelling distance was remarkable: little wonder we got to see so many of the prominent artists performing then.


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: GUEST,skb@atdial.net
Date: 03 Dec 03 - 05:59 PM

Burl: thanks for yr note. I'm now 74 (Old Wheelchair Got Me!)
but still spin the odd Come All Ye (e.g., with Shay Black at the
Berkeley-Irish Starry Plough & the SF son-of-Edinburgh Castle until it closed)

Quick recall (which I hope has not been coloured by time) concerns
Bert's Picture Post period. He told me that if the Reader-Letters
column was running low, he would invent some pseudonymous (Angry Major from Bishops Stortford etc) correspondence on topics aimed
to trigger real responses. One such that always worked was
"Should pets be allowed in Church during services"

Related tale: he often reviewed his own works using the alias
J. Worthington (or similar?)

Best Christmas greetings to youse all

Stan (L'pool Lullaby**) Kelly
** aka Mucky Kid which did well recorded by Cilla Black,
Judy Collins, Ian Campbell...
WHICH REMINDS ME -- Are Shirley/Dolly Collins still around?
If so, would love to be back in touch


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 03 Dec 03 - 10:47 PM

Threads like this one are what keeps me comin' back to scroll through these threads. Folks who are legendary to me show up all the time with their insights. I come away feeling I actually know you.

Thanks to y'all.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: GUEST,skb@atdial.net
Date: 03 Dec 03 - 11:58 PM

Burl, me again!
Re-my "long absence" I should mention that I've written ~16
books (in 7 languages), mainly on computer topics which may
not grab youse -- plus a monthly col in UNIX Review running
since 1984, now continued web-wise at www.sarcheck.com
(click to Stan Kelly-Bootle's SODA [Son of Devil's Advocate]
and these often mention folk & related topics
The strange overlap of computer- & folk-lores is exploited in my
The Computer Contradictionary (MIT Press, 1995)eg
I gave my love an Apple
That had no core
I gave my love a platform
That had no floor
I gave my love a program
That had no end
I gave my love an upgrade
With no cryin'

How can there be an Apple etc etc

An Apple's MOS memory don't use no core
A platform that perfect it has no flaw
A program with GOTOs it has no end
And I lied about the upgrade with no cryin'

All tergevver nah

Stan Kelly


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 04 Dec 03 - 03:11 AM

I wished I had met him. Listening to an album he did with Ewan MacColl, "Whaling Ballads," was how I fell in love with sea music. It remains my all-time favorite recording of sea songs.

There are some mentions of him in Ewan MacColl's autobiography, "Journeyman." Not much detail on their collaborations, but the book is very much worth reading in any case, with MacColl's views on the UK folk revival. It includes a photo of him and Lloyd singing together at MacColl's "Ballads and Blues" folk club. Journeyman is out of print, but check www.bookfinder.com, which shows different online bookseller's offerings. It sometimes shows up there.

Chanteyranger

ps. Hello to Burl!
       To Stan Kelly: I head alot about you from Shay. Hope to see you at the Starry Plough next time you're there.


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 04 Dec 03 - 04:35 AM

Great to hear from you Stan - I think I first heard you sing nearly 40 years ago at "The Enterprise" Hampstead. I was also in the computer industry (or Data Processing as the commercial side was called in those days) although I was a comparative beginner having only written my first program (IBM 1401) in 1962. I can still remember my surprise when I went to a BCS meeting and the guest speaker, Stan Bootle, turned out to be the same bloke as the Stan Kelly who I'd heard singing a week or so earlier.


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Dec 03 - 05:16 AM

Hi Stan
Sadly Dolly Collins passed over some years back but Shirley is still with us and looking lovelier than ever but not singing any more.
There is a fairly recent photo and interview with Shirley here


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 04 Dec 03 - 11:12 AM

Of course for a while, Shirley was living at Blackheath not that far from Bert's home in Crooms Hill.


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: GUEST,skb@atdial.net
Date: 05 Dec 03 - 05:21 PM

Vic: Loved the Shirley Collins interview. Give her a HUGE HUG from
me. First time we met she was with Alan Lomax (gritch/curse)
Following tales will jog pleasant memories

1. At our first duet at C# House, she introduced me thus:
Stan and I are incompatible -- he has the income & I'm pattable

2. We were both in Dominic Behan's "Cantata of Christ the Worker"
for BBC TV (wonder if there's any trace of that left behind?) It was
Dom's "answer" to Ewan/Peggy's Radio Ballads. Shirley played the Virgin Mary & I was St Peter (perfect casting!!!)
The BBC had a religious observer on the set to prevent any heresies!
Dom opened with
Twas Mary from Joseph conceived in the year of one
Jesus the finest & bravest of history's son
Born in a manger in Bethlehem gave unto him birth
Then fled from the soldiers of Herod who for them searched

The "censor" objected to the "from Joseph" bit -- but after a
threatened strike failed, Dom chnged it to
Twas Mary conceived [several nyas] all in the year of one

3. So many venues & pints consumed. Blues/Ballads at a
crowded room above a Soho pub. And the victorian splendours
of a noisy Princess Louise (near the Pru) Always dreamed that
Shirley's RambleAway was aimed at me!
I still meet Ramblin' Jack (a regular back then) at Mill Valley's
SweetWater club. In his cups (wot's new?) he always introduces
me as the author of "In My Liverpool Home" (which is by Pete
McGovern, of course) and I have to say NO, I wrote "I Wish I
was Back in Liverpool" -- they all sound the same to Jack!

Back to Bert. Below the surface peace/comradeship/kumbaya there
were inevitable personality clashes. Stan Hugil scorned the
Lloyd/MacColl shanty-renditions. As a true clipperman, he used
to say "Them two would get seasick in a Sevvy Park rowing boat"
And Bert was aghast when Pete Seeger did he wood-chopping worksong
at the Albert Hall while chopping real wood on stage! Even Bert and Ewan had the odd snipes (eg on the origins of the FourLoomWeaver)
and both disliked Dominic's bawdy/boozy/stageIrishisms

But I'm rambling on
Stan Kelly


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 05 Dec 03 - 06:08 PM

fantasric !


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 Dec 03 - 06:57 PM

Hey! Let's have a bit of a thread drift to Dominic Behan!
I was involved in a rather shortlived Morning Star folk club in Islington in the early 70s. (Another Behan brother Jimmy was a maintenance worker at the paper's premises).

One night Martin Carthy was booked and in the middle of the set, Dominic strolled/staggered in. Martin wisely stepped aside to allow Dominic his "floor spot", after which he loudly exited, presumably to the next pub along Upper Street.

Now, it's my belief that our folk world must allow room for all types of 'music of the people' and I disagreed wholeheartedly with those who tut-tutted at the temporary interruption of Martin's set.

Impolite Dominic may have been but this does not diminish his vallidity. Audience short-sightedness and intolerance may well have contributed to the early demise of this club which did not last long enough to get round to booking Bert Lloyd.


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 06 Dec 03 - 02:26 AM

Stan -

What did Stan Hugill object to? Was it their use of instrumental accompaniment? The pacing of their singing? (there is a very fast Whup Jamboree on the "Blow Boys Blow" album). Personally, I'm inspired by MacColl and Lloyd's renditions, but then again I'm no Hugill, and I'm very curious as to Hugill's objections.

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: GUEST,skb@atdial.net
Date: 06 Dec 03 - 04:15 AM

Chanteyranger
I think it was the reaction of a real chanteyman who objected to non-seafarers "putting on the agony" (to borrow a phrase from Pete Seeger)
Hugill's voice, of course, had lost its edge when he started
recording so I always assumed some "sour grapes" in view of Bert &
Ewan's stronger & more vibrant vocal chords!
In the other direction, Bert often scoffed at Stan's lack of
"scholarship" in Stan's magnum opus (Shanties of the Seven Seas)
Not in a nasty way but, again, you can see how clashes occur
BTW Bert once reviewed Dominic's "Posterity be Damned" with
the headline "Nothing to declare"
And even Ewan & Bert often quarrelled eg on the source of FourLoom
Weaver.
Here again you feel it was Bert's superior knowledge versus
the less-informed "folk"
I loved them all

stan kelly


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: GUEST,skb@atdial.net
Date: 06 Dec 03 - 04:23 AM

Dave Baker -- thanks for the memories
Write to me off-line & we can swap some computer-related yarns

O shit -- I wrote a piece on Shirley Collins which seems not to
have reached MudCat -- got some weirdnesses when I hit Submit
Could it be lurking in a MudCat black hole?

Ain't this fun?

stan kelly


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 06 Dec 03 - 03:04 PM

Thanks Stan. Fascinating stuff!

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: GUEST,skb@atdial.net
Date: 07 Dec 03 - 12:14 AM

Chanteyranger
forgot to mention that Stan Hugill & I did a chantey record for
HMV (that gives my age away?)
I think we each "took the lead" on diverse tracks
For the chorus Stan dragged in the usual suspects
The LP was named after his book Shanties of the 7 seas"
I'll do a google when I have the time
Wonder if HMV's successors (EMI??) kept the master tapes?
BTW Like Bert Lloyd, Stan H had an eye for female pulchritude
Last time we met he had quite a young Canadian lass IN TOW!
which stopped him "chasing" my then wife, Peggy!

ALSO: I recorded Stan for my ECHOES of MERSEYSIDE LP (a special project commissiomed by the L'pool Echo -- Nat Joseph's Transatlantic
Records did the editing/production from months of my roaming with a
Nagra)-- Stan speaks of the L'pool seaman's swagger & I merge in
a snatch of STORMALONG

Where are you residing? Way back I took part in several
chantey sessions here in San Francisco -- on board the
Beuceleth (spelling?) which is still a tourist attraction
in SF harboour

stan kelly


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 07 Dec 03 - 02:22 PM

Stan -

Shanties From The Seven Seas is now available on CD from Ken and Jan Larner in the UK. Small world; I went to a chantey sing at Hyde Street Pier for my first time back in november, '89, and liked it so much I became a park ranger there beginning in '92, and since 1996 have been leading the monthly chantey sings there aboard the Balclutha and C.A. Thayer. I live in Berkeley.

Sorry for the thread drift, folks. Stan, I didn't realize you live so close and had past connections to the chantey sings. PM me your home contact info if you'd like.

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: GUEST,skb@atdial.net
Date: 08 Dec 03 - 01:14 PM

Chanteyranger
small world indeed
I'm at Valley Orchards, 2100 E Washington, #103, Petaluma
CA 94954
707-765-9020

stan kelly


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Dec 03 - 06:08 PM

Stan-

Tom Hall just reminded me of this wonderful update to this thread, which I'd missed while visiting music friends in Australia.

Now the mystery question I'd like to pose to you (which bounced off Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger) is who wrote "Pity the Downtrodden Landlord"? It's usually attributed to a B. Woolf and the tune to Arnold Clayton, and the copyright was held by the Workers Music Association. It was composed some time around 1940 by the Unity Theatre Group for some kind of musical special event and has now spread to folk clubs around the world. Any clue who Woolf was/is?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble
Roll & Go Sea Music
Richmond, Maine


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 14 Dec 03 - 07:46 PM

No, but I'd love to know!


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 14 Dec 03 - 07:55 PM

Jim Ward would be the person to ask. He used to be involved with Unity Theatre and is often to be seen round and about.

Another lead might possibly be the singer and former EFDSS assistant librarian Clive Woolf. Could have been his grandad..or something.


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Dec 03 - 08:39 PM

Here's the link to the "Origins of Pity The Downtrodden Landlord" thread that I started as "Landlady's Daughter" years ago. Clive Woolf could be a promising lead if Countess Richard would PM an e-mail address. This is one major mystery which hasn't been cracked yet!

Here's a hot link to the old thread:Origins of Pity the Downtrodden Landlord

I must recently heard this song at a music jam in Sydney, Australia, at John and Jenny's house. Nice BBQ!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble, aka Landlady's Daughter


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 09:56 AM

Is Jim Ward also known as "The Broadside King"? If so I've already queried him a few years ago when he was a featured performer at the Cecil Sharp House.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 15 Dec 03 - 10:10 AM

No, that's John Foreman! There are similarities though in age and repertoire. Can't recall ever seeeing them in the same place together, but I'm fairly sure they must know each other.


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Subject: RE: A.L. Lloyd:History and anecdotes?
From: GUEST,skb@atdial.net
Date: 17 Dec 03 - 10:23 PM

I've been emailing hors-de-liste with Charley -- told him I would try find my ancient TOPIC Record "Songs for Swinging Landlords TO" --
no luck yet. I'm sure the sleeve-notes etc (probably by Bert Lloyd)
would reveal origins of "Pity the Downtrodden Landlord" which is the highlight [sez who?] with Leon Rosselson on PIANO backing my sarcastic warbling. TOPIC were usually careful to render due acks to the authors/composers. Anyone out there gorra copy of my LP
(though EP sized)? PAX VOBISCUM
Stan Kelly
PS Has anyone started a separate thread on Dominic Behan?
"If they asked me I could write a beuk!"
before the neurons fade away!


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: nutty
Date: 18 Dec 03 - 03:17 AM

This site gives some info regarding the history of the song ......
CLICK

In brief, it says (although the whole article is worth reading)..........

The song Pity The Downtrodden Landlord [Woolf/Clayton] was written during the war and became something of a
staple left-wing satirical song in the late-1940s and early-1950s. At a time of chronic house shortages and before
pre-fab and Council House building had yet reached a climax, landlords were often viewed from the left as
class-ridden parasites [see the later Stan Kelly Topic EP: Songs for Swinging Landlords To, TOP60]. The biting
satire of the song became something of a political rallying flag for those who wished to see the advance of public
ownership in property:

    "...You are able to work for your living
    And rejoice in your strength and your skill;
    So try to be kind and forgiving
    To a man whom a day's work would kill;
    You can work, and still talk to your neighbour;
    You can look the whole world in the face;
    But the landlord who ventured to labour
    Would never survive the disgrace.

    So pity the downtrodden landlord
    And his back that is burdened and bent;
    Respect his grey hairs, don't ask for repairs,
    And don't be behind with the rent!"

It was published in sheet music form by the WMA from the war onward, with a catalogue number of 9029, price 6d.


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Dec 03 - 09:03 AM

Nutty-

Thanks for the link above to background information on the Workers Music Association and the early stages of the folk music revival; it's more extensive than what I had access to 20 years ago. I did correspond at the time with Alan Bush, president of the WMA, but he couldn't provide more information on B. Woolf.

I don't know if you had checked my "hot link" above to the "Origin of Pity the Downtrodden Landlord" thread. If so you would see much the same information displayed about the song and the Unity Theatre group. The frustration, I have is that no one seems to be able to nail the first name of the composer or tell me anything about him/her.

Please post new information or leads on that thread.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 20 Dec 03 - 04:01 AM


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: GUEST,skb@atdial.net
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 06:48 PM

All has been quiet for TOO long.
There's a snide reference to Bert Lloyd in Dominic Behan's novel "The Public World of Parable Jones." (Fontana Paperbacks) page 40
"Even the pusillanimous Bert Lloyd had been found with men and sheep..."
Dom's revenge for Bert's scathing review of "Posterity Be Damned!"
Bert's summary: "Nothing to Declare."
I know -- I was there with them while recording the Ballad of John Axon
Stan (Liverpool Lullaby)Kelly


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Aug 04 - 11:38 AM

If you find a copy of Penguin Poetry of the Forties, you will find our hero in a different guise, as translator of the French surrealist poets.

Not a lot of peoople know that.

I always think there is something slightly surreal about a folk tradition that doesn't really stretch back as far as our parents(perhaps I should say my parents at least)- a bit like the railway train shooting out of the chimney grate in somebody or others picture.

Best of luck with your project.


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 08:19 AM

I must say condemming Bert Lloyd for not being a proper seamna sounds a bit unfair. Wasn't he on a whaler or a merchant ship for a while?
Anyway, Sovay is 'spiced' (to use his own term) with Balkan phrasings of his.


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 11:19 AM

I'm glad that someone has revived this thread - my perception is that we're in great danger of forgetting Bert altogether!
At a ballad session, at a recent festival, a number of singers credited their renditions to Martin Carthy (nothing wrong with that - except that they all sounded like MC!). I reflected that a generation ago the credits would have gone to Bert; even MC was known to get the occasional song from Bert (with full credits, of course).
Recently an old friend lent me some tapes made in the Folk Club we both attended in the late 60s. The best and most electrifying recordings were of Bert. Even though I had been there, and enjoyed Bert's singing enormously, listening to these tapes from a more mature perspective, I realised what a brilliant performer he was.
I recall a smallish man, in late middle age (probably the same sort of age that I am now!), looking like a bank manager or your favourite uncle. I always think of him in a suit and tie but I am not sure if my memories are correct on this point.
Anyway, he would arrive at the club, from the London train, and launch into an evening of songs and stories which was quite incredible in terms of novelty and variety. He was also a great wit with a sly and understated sense of humour.
Recently an image has begun to form in mind of a sort of travelling magician; a deceptively ordinary looking person who could entertain an audience with a seemingly endless succession of wonders and marvels.
Bert gets criticised, these days, for not revealing his sources, but, like all the best magicians, I think that he was very reluctant to give away the secrets of his trade.


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: GUEST,Karen Jonason
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 04:29 PM

I posted an anecdote in '03. I have since found out that AL Lloyd's Eastern European recordins are all held at Goldsmiths College.


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 04:44 PM

Most of his papers are held there. There is a general description at

http://www.aim25.ac.uk/cgi-bin/search2?coll_id=5503&inst_id=29


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 06:37 PM

Bert Lloyd was a monumental figure, a giant in the folk revival world I came of age within. (Ewan as well) Strange revisions and historical takes on people are one of the things that rub me completely wrong about this time we are in. I'm afraid there is nothing to be done about it. More modern people, from whatever era, will always either ignore aspects of history or re-do history in the light of their own P.C. beliefs and/or religions. How better to explain the hundreds of Christian religions---or the divergent branches of Islamic thought---or the many ways one can be Jewish now. Once in a while the new take/spin is put forth to put out a new and better version of history---possibly because it actually might be a better, more factual, more accurate version. Many times it is for the money a new book or DVD or CD-Rom might generate. Especially after someone dies---the spate of new things to buy about a person is often simply a travesty of opportunistic promotions. Truth is served sometimes. But false truths that are put forth for ulterior, possibly selfish, motives are much too plentiful.

Pardon my excess verbage, but where A.L. Bert Lloyd is concerned, minimizing his many contributions is way off the mark.

But good and bad things will survive in this world. George Bush may go down in history as greater than either Washington or Lincoln. Thomas Jefferson might become a devil in peoples' eyes because he fathered an out of wedlock child whose mother was a slave. Older people will decry the changes taking place, and try to hold on to the things they think are valuable. --- This will often have little to do with what is good or bad, right or wrong, moral or immoral.

As my brother, Richard, says in a recent cyber column he wrote (called Islands In The Clickstream if you want to search for it)---and I paraphrase---The new takes over from the old slowly -- "one death at a time!"

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: shepherdlass
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 07:38 AM

If you want to get some of the facts about A L Lloyd, you can go to any of the histories of folk revival, like Georgina Boyes' "The Imagined Village" and Mike Brocken's "The British Folk Revival". These will give you a lot of the dates, the links with the Workers' Music Association and Topic, etc. But be warned that they often come from particular ideological standpoints and are not always flattering to the man. You just have to take what you can from these things and work out where your own opinions lie. Also, there was a book edited by Ian Russell, called "Singer, Song and Scholar", which contained some very good articles on Lloyd.


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: GUEST,Georgina Boyes
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 05:52 PM

Re my 'particular ideological standpoint' - would 'shepherdlass' like to specify what that is?


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 11:08 AM

I can remember a conversation which I had with Bert while driving him back from St Albans Folk Club many years ago. He claimed that the UK "Folk Revival" of the 60s/70s, was actually contrived by a group of people (which included him) and was not a spontaneous happening. I forget who all the other names were, but I must admit he put a very solid case for it being the truth.

Perhaps there should be a blue plaque on a certain house in Crooms Hill, Greenwich.


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: shepherdlass
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 05:36 PM

Hi Georgina

I've been keen to contact you for such a long time, but until now haven't known how to.

I wasn't denigrating your standpoint - merely pointing out that all critical studies necessarily involve making judgements and that someone who's looking for some straightforward facts has to follow their own opinion as regards these judgements.

As I remember, you pointed out that, no matter how much the "second revival" was supposed to differ from the first, ultimately the prescriptions laid down by Cecil Sharp (or at the very least, his TENDENCY to prescribe) shaped the thinking of all the leading revivalists who came after - and that Lloyd was no exception. All of this affected women's role in folk music (and I do see feminism as a very important strand in your book), it allowed the mediation and objectification of what was once a functional part of communities, and it subtly shaped our imagined Englishness. Please correct me if I've got this wrong, and forgive the fact that I've rashly tried to sum up a full-size book in a sentence. All I wanted to emphasize in this thread was that yours is a study of revival and mediation and not a straightforward account of Lloyd's life, so sorry if you took this as implied criticism!

Please would you PM me with contact details if you'd like to continue this discussion because I'm in the middle of a related research project and would very much appreciate your advice?

Cheers
Jude


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 05:50 PM

It's no criticism to say that the UK folk revival was "contrived" by a few individuals. If so, thank God they were able to pull it off!
Without the enthusiasm of Lloyd, MacColl, and many others, all that music would be effectively dead.


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: shepherdlass
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 05:57 PM

Lighter at Work - Yes, Lloyd, MacColl, Sharp and all did ensure that lots of music was available for future generations. Good thing. But it's also good to be aware of how they selected and arranged and changed that music. This is not necessarily an "either-or" situation. I'm sure it's possible to be glad there were revivals and yet be able to analyse and critique them.


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 06:29 PM

Georgina isn't a member, so no personal messages; but you can find contact details at http://www.coopeboyesandsimpson.co.uk/.


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: shepherdlass
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 01:34 AM

Thanks Malcolm - trust me not to think of that!


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 14 Nov 06 - 04:11 AM

Did Lloyd collect "The Blackleg Miner" or did he write it?


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Nov 06 - 05:42 AM

According to "Come All Ye Bold Miners" - As sung by W.S. Sampey, Bishop Auckland Do. Durham. 18-11-49. It doesn't say by whom it was recorded.

The search for mining songs via the National Coal Board which resulted in the first publication of "Come All Ye Bold Miners" was after that date, so it couldn't be part of that.

Bert Lloyd also comments in the book - "The Durham song has become quite widespread since its appearance in the first edition of the present work and the tune has taken on variant shapes".


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 14 Nov 06 - 07:16 AM

It seems to have no origin. I guess many song's don't?


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 15 Nov 06 - 08:19 AM


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Nov 06 - 04:51 AM

when I was a child ,living in BLACKHEATH, I often used to play with his children , My parents like Bert were members of the communist party,and we always bought his recordings,,never thinking I would end up a professonal folk singer.DickMiles


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: greg stephens
Date: 16 Nov 06 - 06:08 AM

It would be very interesting if someone were to research the influence of Lloyd on the younger singers of the revival; get the reminiscneces down while they are still available. My impression is that the most influential singers of the revival, the Watersons and Ann Briggs, were partially under his control in terms of repertoire, approach etc. "Control" is perhaps the wrong word: more a light but crucial touch on the tiller now and again when needed. llyoyd was certainly a Communist and not averse to making changes to songs for ideological reasons, but he basically liked folksongs for themselves. The Watersons and Briggs classic repertoire, for example, was by no means Red. Far from it. "General Wolfe", "Fathom the Bowl" and "Blackwaterside" summed up that era as much, or more, than "THe Blackleg Miner".


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 16 Nov 06 - 12:07 PM

An earlier contributor to this thread described Bert Lloyd as being pleasant and personable whilst Ewan MacColl was somewhat distant and preoccupied. Actually, I had the opposite experience.
When Lloyd's book, 'Folk Song in England', came out in 1967 I bought a copy and when he came to my local folk club shyly approached him (I was 19 at the time) and asked him if he would sign it. He replied that he normally only signed books for close friends or family but he would (deign to) 'autograph' my copy - he then scrawled his name on the flyleaf. I still feel that this was an unecessarily pedantic and curmudgeonly response, especially when you consider how relatively expensive hardback books were in those days.
I should also add that he was brilliant on that particular night and I forgive him!

I also met Ewan MacColl on several occasions and always found him to be very attentive and polite. I confess to being a somewhat gauche youth, and must have asked him many stupid questions - but he always went out of his way to give me considered answers. On the last occasion that I met him we had a long conversation (about botany of all things!) and he seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say. At the end of that evening he regaled us with some fascinating stories about collecting with Alan Lomax (what I would give to have a recording or transcript of those stories!).


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: greg stephens
Date: 16 Nov 06 - 12:16 PM

McColl, anecdotally, was a rather forbidding figure in public, didactic mode. But much more approachable in a one to one setting.


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 16 Nov 06 - 07:19 PM

Dolly died in 1995 - Shirley is very active still, touring a couple of shows

She has her own website - I am sure you could gewt in touch through there.....


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: elfcape
Date: 16 Nov 06 - 08:50 PM

My most vivid memory of Bert dates from around 1977 when he came to Cambridge, MA and gave a lecture and a concert.

The lecture was about Bartok's quartets and their provenance in his collecting. It was in the Music Building at Harvard in the afternoon.

Keeping in mind that Bert was a folksinger to the wider world, and one who held a place where the culture was Western European, and that that place was, perhaps, not quite as "high class" as that of those who went into completely foreign cultures and brought back arcane bits, the faculty and students came, but there was an atmosphere of not quite unqualified academic approval.

Bert came armed with a tape player and cassette.

Now many of us know how many pitfalls lie in that combination, especially when one really needs complete control.

Not for Bert. Not only did the little tape machine work, not only could it be heard by everyone in the room, but Bert's understanding of the rituals of the academic ecosystem was complete. He had parsed the quartet movements he wanted to use exactly, and found precisely the most convincing excerpts from Bartok's recordings to illustrate the connections. And he stood there in his suit and tie as though it was the most comfortable environment in his world.

In essence his lecture was just another academically successful presentation, like any of the hundreds I'd attended over the 6 years I passed through a musicology program.

But the presenter was Bert, not any of the myriad scholars accepted in the ethnomusicological world of the time.


After doing his academic task, Bert then swept off to perform in the world which we might consider more comfortable - 200 people crushed themselves into the dining room of one of the Harvard Houses for an evening of English traditional songs. No tape recorder, no lectures - not what we were there for. Instead we heard shaggy dog story after yarn after tall tale - the most groaner punch lines, bawdy puns, and, in between, a song or two or three. Bert did his Bert thing for us for a couple hours and brought the house down. Time vanished while we roared and giggled at the puns and punch lines. The Bert Lloyd of Bartok's heart rending quartets was nowhere to be found, except for the few of us that had actually crossed over the line between that Bert and the folksinger one.

What a contrast.

And what consummate professionalism.


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: Amos
Date: 16 Nov 06 - 10:32 PM

This thread is a treasure, and I hope there will be even more added to it. It is the kind of gathering spot of telling memories which show the Mudcat at its very best.

A


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Nov 06 - 03:25 PM

My last memory of Bert was the night he turned up at The Singers Club having just come from a function at the Rumanian Embassy. Kitted out in his best Embassy going gear – dress-suit, dickie bow and starched shirt, he appeared at the door of the club-room sporting a beatific smile and swirling an enormous brandy glass, having obviously partaken of the same liberally throughout the evening.
He made a bee-line for Ewan and Peggy who were on the stage, only to be stopped abruptly in his tracks by his wife Charlotte's cry of "AL-BERT"
Bert was a fascinating man and I was extremely disappointed when the much anticipated biography never appeared.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 25 Oct 11 - 05:04 PM

Just been re-reading this terrific thread with huge enjoyment. I must ask - Does anybody know when or if that biography will come out? I want it. Burl.


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 25 Oct 11 - 05:23 PM

It's listed: Bert: The Life and Times of A. L. Lloyd [Library Binding] by Dave Arthur, available for pre-order at Amazon (and elsewhere). 20th April 2012 given as publishing date.

Mick


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 26 Oct 11 - 05:54 AM

Thanks for the info Mick. Much obliged. Burl.


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Oct 11 - 06:26 AM

Belatedly ~~ I have only been on the Cat for 3 years ~

I visited Bert at his Greenwich home in the 70s, & did a long interview which appeared in Folk Review, Sep 74. Unlike the young lady who went there to interview him above somewhere, he forgot{?} to offer me a cup of tea, but was perfectly affable all the same {we did, in fact, know one another tolerably thru the club scene}. My interview made a fair impact at the time ~~ I recall Ailie Munro of the school of Scottish Studies remarking that it had given her a lot of insights.
When Bert died, I wrote his obit for The Guardian; it got a bit messed about by a smartarse obits editor who looked him up in Grove and added in some inaccuracies which he found there without ref back to me, at which recollection I have just spat yet another bucketful of blood! But Charlotte Lloyd & their daughter, whom I met not long after at a memorial concert for him, remarked (I think sincerely ~ sounded so anyhow and they didn't have to say it) that it had been their favourite among his obits as the one by someone who knew him & what he had been about.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?
From: mark gregory
Date: 21 Apr 12 - 02:45 AM

Bert: The Life and Times of A.L.Lloyd by Dave Arthur is being launched on 31 May 2012 at

Venue: Cecil Sharp House
Start Time: 7:30:PM

Music by Dave Arthur and his band, Martyn Wyndham Read and Iris Bishop.


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