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Who are the experts on Appalachian songs

Sean Belt 07 Jul 14 - 01:39 PM
Uncle_DaveO 06 Jul 14 - 03:21 PM
Uncle_DaveO 05 Jul 14 - 02:24 PM
Uncle_DaveO 05 Jul 14 - 02:11 PM
Uncle_DaveO 05 Jul 14 - 01:22 PM
Joe Offer 05 Jul 14 - 01:06 PM
The Sandman 05 Jul 14 - 12:54 PM
Airymouse 05 Jul 14 - 08:44 AM
Joe Offer 05 Jul 14 - 02:11 AM
GUEST,Bob Bethke 05 Jul 14 - 12:37 AM
GUEST,Gerry 05 Jul 14 - 12:34 AM
GUEST,Stim 05 Jul 14 - 12:23 AM
GUEST 04 Jul 14 - 02:26 PM
Don Firth 04 Jul 14 - 02:11 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 04 Jul 14 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 04 Jul 14 - 10:46 AM
Airymouse 04 Jul 14 - 10:45 AM
GaryG 04 Jul 14 - 10:40 AM
Bill D 04 Jul 14 - 10:33 AM
Jack Campin 04 Jul 14 - 10:21 AM
GUEST,Russ 04 Jul 14 - 10:03 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 04 Jul 14 - 09:59 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Jul 14 - 09:41 AM
Airymouse 04 Jul 14 - 08:28 AM
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Subject: RE: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: Sean Belt
Date: 07 Jul 14 - 01:39 PM

Airymouse,

You might contact Barry Bergey at the NEA. Barry has been working with American traditional songs and tunes for many, many years and is quite knowledgeable.

Alternatively you might also contact Jane Vidrine (of the Magnolia Sisters. Jane also has an interest and knowledge of Appalachian music and collecting songs.


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Subject: RE: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 06 Jul 14 - 03:21 PM

+


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Subject: RE: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 05 Jul 14 - 02:24 PM

As to Heave Away, My Jolly Lads, I find it on Washington Label, WLP 724, titled Whaling Ballads, sung by Ewan McColl and A.L. Lloyd, with banjo and guitar by Pete Seeger, and harmonica by J. Cole. Again, I don't find a copyright notice.

Gee, I wish I still had a disc player capable to playing these and lots of other old recordings in my library!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 05 Jul 14 - 02:11 PM

Well, I found Sod Buster Ballads, a twelve-inch
33 Long-Play, issued by Commodore, Album CR-10. On the other side of
the same disc was Deep Sea Chanteys and Whaling Ballads, CR-11..

The Sod Buster Ballads included The Dodger Song, Ground Hog, House of the Rising Sun, The State of Arkansas, and Hard, Ain't it Hard? Lee Hayes sang The State of Arkansas.

The flip side, Deep Sea Chanteys, etc., included Heave away my jolly lads, We're all bound away , The Coast of High Barbary, Blow the Man Down, Blow Ye Winds, Heigh-Oh, Away Rio, The Golden Vanity, and Haul Away Joe.

The other two singers I'd disremembered were Lee Hayes and Millard Lampell on Sod Buster Ballads, and Peter Hawes and Millard Lampell on Deep Sea Chanteys etc.

I don't find a copyright notice on either side, nor on the shuck.

I've not yet found the Richard Dyer-Bennet disc.

See my next post as to "Heave Away, My jolly lads".


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Subject: RE: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 05 Jul 14 - 01:22 PM

Airymouse, a few of those songs sound VERY familiar:

State of Arkansas. Oh my name is Sanford O'Brien and I come from Rockford town

I know that with the first verse as . . .
"Myyy name is Charley Brannon,
From Charleston I come.
I've traveled this wide world over
Some ups and downs I've had
I've traveled this wide world over
Some ups and downs I've saw,
But I never knew what mis'ry was
Till I hit old Arkansas."

I learned The State of Arkansas in the 50's from an LP by performed by Pete Seeger, Woodie Guthrie, and two others whose names escape me at the moment. I'm not sure, but I think that at least one of those unremembered singers later were part of The Weavers. The LP was
a reissue of two earlier 33's.

and

There was a wealthy merchant,
in London he did dwell.
He had a lovely daughter, the story I will tell. . .


Richard Dyer-Bennet recorded (more than once, I think) a song which
started like this:

"There was a wealthy merchant
In London he did dwell.
He had a pretty woman
The tailor loved her well.
With a rawdy tawdy tawdy
A rawdy tawdy tee"

and then there is

Oh where are you going my pretty fair maid (2)
I'm going to milking sir she said


A well-known shanty includes the following, after
the singer-narrator meets a pretty fair maid:

"Oh where are you going, my pretty fair maid?
I unto her did say.
Heave away, my jolly lads
We're all bound away
I'm going a-milking, sir, she said,
All in the month of May.
Heave away my jolly lads
We're all bound away."

After he finds that she has no fortune to bring to
a new husband, he says,

"Then I cannot marry you, my pretty maid,
I unto her did say.
Heave away, my jolly lads,
We're all bound away.
Nobody asked you, sir, she said,
All in the month of May,
Heave away my jolly lads
We're all bound away."

I think I can come up with the singer of that one, and with the titles of the respective LPs, maybe the labels and the years.
If I can find those, I'll post them a little later.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Jul 14 - 01:06 PM

Airymouse, a number of your songs are very unusual versions, although I was able to tie almost all of them to other traditional songs. I hope you'll post each song in the thread with other versions of that song - I moved your message on "Old Crump" over to the Cromwell thread.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Jul 14 - 12:54 PM

pretty fair maid at first glance would appear to be a version of the copper family song a fair maid walking in her garden, but the song was a scottish song before bob copper put it in his song book.


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Subject: RE: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: Airymouse
Date: 05 Jul 14 - 08:44 AM

I just want to thank you all for the good advice, and especially Joe Offer for magically changing my post to provide links. We have company from Hawaii this weekend, but on Monday I will pursue the leads and start on Joe Offer's homework assignment. To clarify, I am trying to find out which of the versions of songs I know are already known. It may be that they are all known.


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Subject: RE: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Jul 14 - 02:11 AM

Airymouse, your starting this thread was good motivation for me to get to work studying the songs on the CD you sent me. I was wondering if your "pretty Fair Maid" who's going milking, is a version of Dabbling in the Dew. It has elements of lots of different songs, including "Gypsy Davy" and Pretty Little Pink - and, of course, Pretty Fair Maid. Perhaps it would be an idea to post your lyrics for this one in a new thread, so we can explore it further.

Note that I've changed the songs in your list into links. When we're exploring a number of songs, it's probably best to do them individually, one thread per song.

Your "Old Crump" is clearly a version of the song we have posted as Oliver Cromwell. Could you post your version of the lyrics in the "Cromwell" thread?

You bring up a number of very interesting songs to explore, and the versions you have are all very interesting. Please post your versions in the appropriate threads. If you want MP3s posted for any of the songs, I can do that.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: GUEST,Bob Bethke
Date: 05 Jul 14 - 12:37 AM

Joe Hickerson (Archive of Folk Culture, retired) could likely and quickly identify all of these songs. He is on Facebook. Maybe directing him to your inquiry would get a reply.


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Subject: RE: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 05 Jul 14 - 12:34 AM

"Man of Constant Sorrow" is very like some versions of "East Virginia" that have been discussed here at Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 05 Jul 14 - 12:23 AM

If you've collected all those ballads, maybe the answer to the question you've asked is "You".

Given that, you should contact, and possibly even join The Virginia Folklore Society You will likely find some people there who are interested in seeing what you've got, and even more likely to want to
hear you play it.

There are of course, the Folklore and Ethnomusicology Depts at U of Penn, Indiana, Berkeley, and UCLA, and, of course, the Smithsonian.

Just curious, but how do you know these versions haven't been collected if you don't know who collects and archives them?


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Subject: RE: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 14 - 02:26 PM

Try under the name

Archive of Folk Culture


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Subject: RE: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Jul 14 - 02:11 PM

Whatever happened to the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress? Isn't this still around?

I was under the impression that it was a permanent archive.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 04 Jul 14 - 11:00 AM

Sorry. You posted your list while I was compiling my posting about the Roud Numbers. All I can say, as an enthusiast rather than an expert, there are only two titles in there that I don't recognise. Otherwise they look very kosher and very interesting.

You say you learned these from people in Virginia etc. If said people have never been collected from before, what you've got could be a very worthwhile haul indeed.

I'd urge you to get them all recorded ASAP, digitally if possible, and then find a suitable archive in which to deposit them. The Library of Congress perhaps?


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Subject: RE: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 04 Jul 14 - 10:46 AM

Airymouse. You might want to try running a few titles past Steve Roud's Folk Song Index and seeing what it comes up with. http://www.vwml.org/search?ts=1404485134291&collectionfilter=RoudFS;RoudBS#


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Subject: RE: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: Airymouse
Date: 04 Jul 14 - 10:45 AM

Well, actually I'm the old geezer., Here are a few lines from a few of the songs I have in mind, not all of which have been recorded:
  • State of Arkansas. Oh my name is Sanford O'Brien and I come from Rockford town
  • Man of Constant Sorrow. Her hair was of a darksome color her lips were of a cherry red, her breasts were of a snow white color, where many a night I lay my head. I'd rather be on top Black mountain, where I know the sun refuse to shine...
  • Sabbath Dress. She was so good so very good, so good I do declare
  • Jack Munro. There was a wealthy merchant, in London he did dwell. He had a lovely daughter, the story I will tell. Hoof ma lily hoof oh-oh hoof ma lily hoof
  • Oh where are you going my pretty fair maid (2) I'm going to milking sir she said, with a ha ha ha ha ha ha
  • King William was King James's son... Here comes a light to light you to bed and here comes a hatchet to chop off your head
  • Cutty Wren Where are you going says cosy mosy, where are you going says Jack a thread nosy, where are you going says brothers all three
    I'm going to the woods says willy waly
  • Old Crump Old crump's dead and in her grave um um in her grave. There grew and old apple tree over her head.... Long came an old man to gather them all
    Factory Boy In Johnson City where I did dwell, the factory boy I loved so well
  • Pea pod song. In a pea pod once lived five little peas tender and tasty and juicy as could please but one was naughty and started to tease and frightened the four other little green peas
  • Where do you go my honey. Where do you go my pretty little miss oh where do you go my honey....
    Put my knapsack on my back my rifle on my shoulder, go and fight in the Mexican war and there I'll be a soldier
I appreciate your running this list by Mike Yates. The "biographical details" would be completely misleading, because all these songs are learned from other people in Virginia, Pennsylvania,and Georgia; most are from VA.


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Subject: RE: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: GaryG
Date: 04 Jul 14 - 10:40 AM

When the mountains were isolated from the outside world it was possible to go out and collect English and Scottish ballads in almost the pure form. The majority of settlers in the Appalachian Mountains were of Scot-Irish descent. There are very few areas of these mountains that remain insular. Today that 75 year old geezer might sing you something he heard on the radio or down at the feed and seed. I love those old ballads and I am very interested to see what responses you get.


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Subject: RE: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: Bill D
Date: 04 Jul 14 - 10:33 AM

One of the 'newer' voices is Elizabeth LaPrelle, who learned from and with Ginny Hawker and Sheila Kay Adams, as well as from musicians near her home in southern Virginia.


Sheila Kay is one of the most respected & knowledgeable voices around these days.


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Subject: RE: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Jul 14 - 10:21 AM

Jeff Warner might be interested.

http://www.jeffwarner.com/


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Subject: RE: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 04 Jul 14 - 10:03 AM

Interesting question.

Depending on what you mean by "Appalachian", "songs", and "evaluate"
the short answer is "no."

If you think the song might be a traditional ballad you can look for it in Child's "The English and Scottish Popular Ballads."

If you find it, or it looks like a variant of one of the ballads, the only further evaluation required is your own. If you like it enough to add it to your repertoire you can introduce it with its Child number and the name of your source. Ballad singers often do that.

It has been a while.

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 04 Jul 14 - 09:59 AM

Is this a hypothetical question, or does it relate to someone you've actually recorded?

As it happens I'm meeting Mike Yates tomorrow, so if you could post a few titles, plus a few biographical details of the singer I'll raise it with him.

In any case, I'd suggest it's the quality of the songs, rather than whether they exist in other sources which is important here.


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Subject: RE: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Jul 14 - 09:41 AM

John Cohen and Stephen Wade in the U.S. both spring to mind.
Mike Yates in the U.K knows his way around that sort of thing.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: Who are the experts on Appalachian songs
From: Airymouse
Date: 04 Jul 14 - 08:28 AM

Suppose you made a field recording of a 75-year old geezer, who sang versions of Appalachian old songs you couldn't find in any of your books or records or on the internet. Is there some place you could send your field recording, where a panel of experts would evaluate the geezer's songs? If there is no such panel, to whom would you send your field recording?


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