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Folk Singer Name Change

GUEST 22 Feb 15 - 10:51 PM
Noreen 22 Feb 15 - 11:54 PM
Reinhard 23 Feb 15 - 12:11 AM
GUEST 23 Feb 15 - 04:01 AM
Doug Chadwick 23 Feb 15 - 04:38 AM
Leadfingers 23 Feb 15 - 04:40 AM
GUEST,Mark Bluemel 23 Feb 15 - 04:52 AM
G-Force 23 Feb 15 - 05:06 AM
Michael 23 Feb 15 - 05:16 AM
Musket 23 Feb 15 - 05:33 AM
Roger the Skiffler 23 Feb 15 - 05:47 AM
Mr Red 23 Feb 15 - 05:53 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Feb 15 - 06:05 AM
GUEST,Reinhard 23 Feb 15 - 07:04 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 23 Feb 15 - 08:02 AM
GUEST,Ellen Vannin 23 Feb 15 - 08:07 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 23 Feb 15 - 08:13 AM
GUEST,Ellen Vannin 23 Feb 15 - 10:11 AM
The Sandman 23 Feb 15 - 10:45 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Feb 15 - 10:57 AM
GUEST,Ray 23 Feb 15 - 11:04 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 23 Feb 15 - 11:29 AM
GUEST,Ray 23 Feb 15 - 11:33 AM
Bat Goddess 23 Feb 15 - 12:30 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 23 Feb 15 - 12:49 PM
The Sandman 23 Feb 15 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,Phil 23 Feb 15 - 12:55 PM
Mark Ross 23 Feb 15 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,LynnH 23 Feb 15 - 01:28 PM
GUEST,# 23 Feb 15 - 01:42 PM
Dave Sutherland 23 Feb 15 - 02:36 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Feb 15 - 03:00 PM
sleepyjon 23 Feb 15 - 03:01 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Feb 15 - 03:27 PM
The Sandman 23 Feb 15 - 04:07 PM
GUEST 23 Feb 15 - 04:18 PM
The Sandman 23 Feb 15 - 04:20 PM
TheSnail 23 Feb 15 - 04:33 PM
GUEST 23 Feb 15 - 04:43 PM
The Sandman 23 Feb 15 - 04:54 PM
RTim 23 Feb 15 - 05:07 PM
GUEST,Phil 23 Feb 15 - 06:07 PM
olddude 23 Feb 15 - 06:12 PM
olddude 23 Feb 15 - 06:15 PM
GUEST,The Artist Still Known As Severn Savage 23 Feb 15 - 07:27 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 23 Feb 15 - 08:24 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 24 Feb 15 - 02:44 AM
Backwoodsman 24 Feb 15 - 02:50 AM
GUEST 24 Feb 15 - 04:38 AM
The Sandman 24 Feb 15 - 12:32 PM
GUEST 24 Feb 15 - 01:05 PM
GUEST 24 Feb 15 - 01:38 PM
RTim 24 Feb 15 - 02:08 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Feb 15 - 03:02 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 24 Feb 15 - 03:07 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 24 Feb 15 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,henryp 24 Feb 15 - 04:02 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Feb 15 - 04:36 PM
GUEST 25 Feb 15 - 02:19 AM
GUEST,CS 25 Feb 15 - 03:04 AM
Bonzo3legs 25 Feb 15 - 03:05 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Feb 15 - 03:07 AM
GUEST,CS 25 Feb 15 - 03:08 AM
GUEST 25 Feb 15 - 04:17 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Feb 15 - 04:34 AM
GUEST,Musket 25 Feb 15 - 04:43 AM
GUEST,cs 25 Feb 15 - 08:26 AM
GUEST,Ian Hendrie 25 Feb 15 - 01:10 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 26 Feb 15 - 12:25 PM
GUEST 26 Feb 15 - 01:21 PM
Vic Smith 26 Feb 15 - 02:24 PM
Jim Carroll 26 Feb 15 - 03:10 PM
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Subject: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Feb 15 - 10:51 PM

Why is it that folk artists change their names? From old Ewan Maccoll (Born Jimmy Miller) to the modern Jon Boden(born Douglas Oates)why do these artists change their names?


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: Noreen
Date: 22 Feb 15 - 11:54 PM

Now that would be strange if Jon Boden was born Douglas Oates- as that was also the given name of the singer/composer/producer known to us as Jim Moray.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: Reinhard
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 12:11 AM

Please check your facts before you ask questions, especially as an anonymous guest who might be suspected to be a troll.

Ewan MacColl, not Maccoll, was born James Henry Miller, not Jimmy.
Jim Moray, not Jon Boden, was born Douglas Oates.

To your question, "[a] performer will often take a stage name because his/her real name is considered unattractive, dull, unintentionally amusing or difficult to pronounce or spell, or because it has been used by another notable individual or because it projects an undesired image. Sometimes a performer adopts a name that is unusual or outlandish to attract attention. Other performers use a stage name in order to retain anonymity." (Wikipedia)

Again according to Wikipedia, James Miller changed his name to Ewan MacColl "influenced by the Lallans movement in Scotland".

In the case of Jo Freya, she changed her name from Jo Fraser "as a condition of joining the actors' union Equity, which does not allow two of its members to share the same name". (Wikipedia)


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 04:01 AM

Is it important?
I often wonder why nobody questions why Bob Dylan changed his name from Zimmermann - can't remember anybody questioning why - he certainly has never been criticised for doing so, though MacColl was throughout his life in traditional song; he certainly never was when he was prominent in the theatre - maybe it's an inbuilt quirk in the folkie persona!
For many years I was listening to and enjoying the singing of Johnny Handle without realising he was really named John Pandrich - finding this out didn't make one iota of difference to my enjoyment of his singing.
One of MacColl's great critics, who always made a point of mentioning MacColl's name-change was Karl Dallas, despite the fact that he appeared on the scene in the singing duo, Fred and Betty Dallas.
All very silly really
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 04:38 AM

… born Douglas Oates

I'm not surprised that anyone saddled with the name Douglas would want to change it. I'm often called Dougie, which I put up with, though I prefer Doug. In fact, I've grown to quite like it but I hate the name Douglas.

When it comes to changing names, I can't even think of a Mudcat handle that suits me more than Doug Chadwick. If I get to be a famous folk singer, you can look for me under that name. I'm not likely to become an actor but if I do and Equity won't take me with my own name then I just won't join.

DC


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 04:40 AM

I am aware of the problem with Equity not permitting two artists of the same name to be registered , and also the problem 0f Non Viable original names - I know one Folk Artist who's 'real' name is Boreham .
Would YOU book Michael Boreham for an entertainment ?


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,Mark Bluemel
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 04:52 AM

Doug: If you need a change of name, just use the porn or blues name rules.

Francis Butch aka Flatulent Pineapple Clinton


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: G-Force
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 05:06 AM

Richard Digance used to joke that he changed his name to make it more memorable, and that his real name was Tex Moonbeam.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: Michael
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 05:16 AM

I believe that Jim's full name is all of the above; James Douglas Moray Oates, so he probably decided that was a wee bit too long.

Mike


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: Musket
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 05:33 AM

Quite a few change their name to get in Equity, as especially for pro folk singers, bit part acting can bring in a few needed pennies. Brian Dewhurst became Brian Preston for example, in order to be seen playing darts in the background of The Rovers Return....

I had a stage name when I was in rock bands. My PRS membership is still in that name and it is a aka name that the bank accepts cheques in the name of for that matter. (A long time since I had one though..)

Why did I do it? Dunno. Seemed a good idea at the time, but for that matter, showing my arse in Burtons window for a publicity shot seemed a good idea at the time too. The printers advised not using it as we didn't have permission from Burtons, members of the public could see my arse and we were committing at least two crimes by doing it, so the photos were never used.

Happy days.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 05:47 AM

I hide behind my Mudcat "handle" and also Tonedeaf Lime Clinton and Thimbles O'Hooligan to protect my loved ones from guilt by association!

RtS


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: Mr Red
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 05:53 AM

Ewan MacColl, not Maccoll, was born James Henry Miller, not Jimmy.
as it says in his book of "traditional" songs "from the singing of Jimmy Miller". It is as he sees it, why would we question it. Other than an "in" joke maybe causing endless debate on integrity and authenticity.

FWIW The Equity union rule applied when Jimmy Miller became Ewen MacColl. Ewen was a budding playwright/actor and there was an actor with his name at the time. His mother was Scottish.

Why am I Mr Red here? Corporate identity. It relates me to my website. There is no hiding with my name anyway, but I do try to make it harder in the context of identity theft, the miscreants will move on to less diligent people.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 06:05 AM

"Ewen"
Ewan MacColl - get it right.
Ewan learned many of his songs from his parents before he changed his name - hence Jimmy Miller.
He first came to public notice singing "ancient ballads and songs in English and Scots Gallic" to cinema queues in the depression.
There is, as far as I am concerned no question on "integrity and authenticity" other than in the minds of those who would make it so.
I knew MacColl's mother as a singer and I had described to me his father William as having hundreds of "queer old songs and pieces" by contemporaries, notably, Eddie and Ruth Frow, founders and curators of the Salford Working Class History Centre.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,Reinhard
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 07:04 AM

Maybe I'm nitpicking, Mr Red, but the original poster wrote "*born* Jimmy Miller". Jimmy may have been MacColls nickname but his birthname was James.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 08:02 AM

This must be the most fatuous thread since the last time this subject came up.

For the record, Karl Dallas was christened Karl Frederick Dallas, in celebration of Karl Marx and Friederich Engels. He doubtless feels perfectly comfortable using both handles.

For another record Diana Dors' real surname was Fluck. Now there's a name change everybody ought to be able to understand.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,Ellen Vannin
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 08:07 AM

Karl Dallas was christened?


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 08:13 AM

Ellen Isle of Man. Possibly not, but his birth was certainly registered.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,Ellen Vannin
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 10:11 AM

Well done Fred, first one to spot that! I was just surprised by the idea that Karl would have had a church naming ceremony.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 10:45 AM

why do they change their names?why not ask the ones who are still alive bob dylan, johnny handle, saffron summerfield,the answer might be different from different people, as far as i am concerned it is not important


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 10:57 AM

i changed my name to overcome the height restriction....


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 11:04 AM

This thread reminds me of the attitude prevalent in many folk clubs way back in the 70s when any form of "professionalism" was frowned on by many.

Why shouldn't folk singers change their names? - many other performing artistes do and have done for years - Marian Morrison, Reginald Dwight, Harry Webb and Mike Bray to name but four!


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 11:29 AM

I've never liked the name "punkfolkrocker"... [makes me cringe every time I see it..]

I might change it to "PFR" - that sort of sounds more young and modern and techno dance hip hop drum 'n' bass wicked....????


My real name is actually quite common in the music industry;
a serious jazz musician - a movie soundtrack composer - a trendy record producer - etc

.. and I'm not one of them...

Though by rights, as I'm probably older and ought to claim seniority,
those imposter buggers should change their names just to clear the way
in case I ever release my musical masterwork...!!!

Btw.. quarter century ago when I was desperately skint enough
to try making a few quid from advertising telesales in central London,
the team manager made it clear I needed to invent an alias for phone calling;
and that would be the name commision cheques would be made out to
so I could cash them in the bank down the road which they had an 'arrangement' with.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 11:33 AM

Just to be pedantic, MacColl wasn't "born" anything. His birth was registered under the name James H Miller; "Henry" was his mother's maiden name. He married Maudie J Littlewood in 1935 and his name is again registered as "James H Miller".


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 12:30 PM

Why does anyone change their name? There are probably as many reasons as there are people who change their names.

My parents named me Linda. Very popular name in the late '40s, early '50s. I got tired of having 4 or 5 other Lindas in every class in school. I found out in 1970 that if you change 3 characters or fewer, you don't need to go through probate to change your name. (By the way, this was right after I married and took my husband's surname -- never did THAT again!) So I changed my first name to Linn because I liked the double "N" thing, used it for 7 years (to make it legal) and changed it with everybody including the IRS.

After I got my family name (Schulz) back after I divorced my first husband, I swore I'd never change my name again. Tom kept his maiden name (Hall) so I did, too. Occasionally we hyphenated it to avoid confusion, but mostly not.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 12:49 PM

..apparently/allegedly....

..long term signing on for unemployment benefit might account for many singers/musicians adopting 'stage names'
during previous decades......???


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 12:53 PM

the persons music is the most important thing.
MacColl has left a legacy of many fine songs, his name change is [imo] insignificant.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,Phil
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 12:55 PM

My personal favorite isn't a folkie. "Thurl Ravenscroft" (You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch and Tony the Tiger's voiceover for donkey years, Luboff Choir & The Mellomen) people just assumed he changed it.

Cool parents I guess.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: Mark Ross
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 01:09 PM

Utah Phillips used to joke that his name wasn't Phillips, it was Zipper. He changed it so you wouldn't see in the music trade papers "Zipper opens in Chicago." The joke took on an altogether different dimension when one evening when he told that joke and his fly was open.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,LynnH
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 01:28 PM

Then of course there are cases like Louisa Jo Killen..............


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,#
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 01:42 PM

I once spoke with Herbert Balldiddler Clusterfuck about upscaling his name, but alas . . .


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 02:36 PM

Penis Laurie Lesbian was told that he wouldn't make it in show business unless he changed his name. So he compromised and found fame as Dick Van Dyke.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 03:00 PM

George Burns changed his name five times before he found an act that was successful - a chance to be born annew!


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: sleepyjon
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 03:01 PM

Back in about 1970 people grumbleed about Ewan MacColl's alias because he was so high profile about authenticity - you could sing only songs from your "own tradition" in his Singers' Club - and he was very scathing about anyone who made a "performance" of a folk song, so the assumed name thing rang a bit false. I don't recall anyone ever explaining that in his case it was a legitimate Equity requirement - probably none of the folkies ever knew. Maybe Karl Dallas could comment?

SJ


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 03:27 PM

"you could sing only songs from your "own tradition" in his Singers' Club "
Only the residents - and it wasn't a requirement - we were encouraged to do so.
Peggy explains this policy at length in a letter to The Living Tradition some years ago (see the response to our letter 'Where Have All the Folk Songs Gone?' - archived on L.T. website.
The idea originally came from Alan Lomax who, when he first met MacColl and Lloyd,, found they were singing everything, including American stuff, in phoney accents.
He berated them for it and said that they should be opening up the British repertoire - they did, and the result was a large portion of the folk performers stopped trying to sound like Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie and got their repertoire and their styles from nearer home.
As far as I'm concerned, that was the best thing that happened to the British folk scene when I came onto it.
MacColl's antipathy towards Dylan was not his singing, but the fear that audiences would revert back to copying the Yanks with mid-Atlantic accents.
He regarded Dylan as a mediocre singer (can't argue with that) and a somewhat pretentious poet, which he has now admitted he was.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 04:07 PM

In my opinion Dylan wrote a number of good songs, although I think MacColl was a better songwriter and singer.
the letter was in the musical tradtions not the living tradition. the policy did not just apply to the residents, it applied to ALL SINGERS FROM THE FLOOR here is PeggySeegers letter .

Ewan MacColl Controversy - by Peggy Seeger
I confess, I confess! I was the one who started the whole 'policy' debate. The Ballads and Blues Club had been going really well since 1953. I arrived in London in 1956. The club met at the Princess Louise in High Holborn at that time and there was an impressive list of residents: Alan Lomax, Ralph Rinzler, Isla Cameron, Fitzroy Coleman, Seamus Ennis, Bert Lloyd, Ewan MacColl, et al. Bert was singing English, Australian, N. American and Scottish songs; Ewan was singing 'Sixteen Tons' and 'Sam Bass' alongside 'Eppie Morrie' and 'The Banks of the Nile'; I regularly sang French, German and Dutch songs alongside 'Barbara Allan' and 'Cumberland Gap'. Fitz and Seamus stuck, respectively, to their Jamaican and Irish material. Alan only sang songs that he and his father had collected in the USA. There were many floor singers who came and went - the Weavers turned up from New York and sang in three or four different languages; a west London couple came regularly and sang in Yiddish, a language which they did not speak; two French students would sing Spanish Civil War songs; and so on. It was a free-for-all and I will admit that it was a lot of fun. More about that at another time.

It was that Cockney lad singing Leadbelly who started the rock rolling downhill. Was it 1960 or so? Yes, it was that poor fellow whose rendition of 'Rock Island Line' reduced me to hysterical laughter one night. I was literally doubled over in my seat, gasping. I had to be taken out of the room. Most unprofessional, but I couldn't help it. I am North American. Woody Guthrie, Jean Ritchie, Big Bill Broonzy, Leadbelly, et al, used to come to our house in Washington. I knew what the song should sound like and the manner of delivery and the insertion of Cockney vowels into a southern USA black prisoners' song just sounded funny.

I was reprimanded by several members of the audience at the end of the evening. When I explained my reasons, one of the French students pointed out that the insertion of my American vowels into French songs was also quite laughable. I then mentioned that Ewan's rendition of 'Sam Bass' verged on parody. My children have since pointed out that my Scots accent (on a number of Seeger-MacColl records) is not exactly impeccable. But I am straying… the Cockney singer then confessed that he loved Leadbelly's songs but was losing his confidence in singing them. He was getting bored. I declared that I preferred singing songs from the Anglo-American traditions and only sang the French/German/Spanish songs for 'variety'. The discussion heated up and was a main topic of conversation for several weeks following. We laid the matter in front of all the residents and interviewed the folks who paid at the door on the subject. The decision to lay down guidelines for what you could sing on stage was not made by Ewan MacColl - it was made by the residents and members of the B&B Club (later known as the Singers Club). If it became hewn in stone - well, that's the way things go.

This policy was meant for OUR club, not for other clubs. The policy was simple: If you were singing from the stage, you sang in a language that you could speak and understand. It didn't matter what you sang in the shower, at parties, while you were ironing or making love. But on stage in The Ballads and Blues Folk Club, you were a representative of a culture - you were interpreting a song that had been created within certain social and artistic parameters. Incidentally, along with this policy came the request from our newly-formed Audience Committee that we not sing the same traditional song more than once every three months… they were getting tired of hearing the same songs week after week. This forced us residents to learn new songs at an unholy rate. But it brought out lots of new songs and ballads and really got us thinking about how we sang what we were learning.

Shortly afterwards, the Critics Group was formed, at the behest of several singers who also found that they were losing their way in singing traditional songs. We began to attract singers who wanted to study folksinging. You know, there is no set discipline for folksinging - it's an 'anything goes' area even though real dyed-in-the-wool field singers are very specific about how they sing and what they sing. The purpose of the Critics Group was to make it possible for the singers who had not been brought up in the 'folk' tradition to sing the songs in a way that would not abrogate the original intention of the makers. It was an attempt to keep the folksongs folksongs, not turn them into classical pieces or pop songs or anything-goes songs. We analysed accompanimental and vocal styles, tried to expand our abilities to sing in different styles so that we could tackle different kinds of songs (within the languages and dialects that we spoke) and still keep the songs true to themselves. Once again, we were not initially telling other singers how to sing - just deciding how WE were going to sing. If we became evangelical and sounded dictatorial, well - that's the way things go. The intentions were honourable.

I must admit that I am still going that way and tend to be rather intolerant of female singers lilting 'Ranzo Ranzo Way Away' as if it were a lullaby or a love song; of a band of instrumentalists producing 'Sir Patrick Spens' (which had been unaccompanied for several centuries) with four fiddles, two double basses, drums, electric guitar and unintelligible lyrics. It was such a good song… but OK. Just don't call it folk song. And while you're at it, listen to some of my own early recordings - say on the Fellside album "Classic Peggy Seeger". Listen to me in my early years singing so fast that even I (who know the words of the songs) cannot understand what I am singing. Or listen to me accompanying Ewan on sloshy guitar or overharmonising with him on 'Lassie Wi' the yellow Coatie'. We all do these things in our youth and before we have understanding (just wish I hadn't recorded them). Ewan did this himself in his early recordings and never pretended that he didn't. What he was really trying to do in his later years (and I will be the first to admit that sometimes we could both be hamfisted about it) was encourage understanding of where these songs came from and how easy it is to ruin them, to turn them into something else. Kind of like what's happening to the earth right now. We're all doing just what we want to a beautiful piece of natural art (aka nature) - and only just now beginning to worry about having to live with the mess. Unfortunately, that's the way things go. And so many of the intentions are not honourable.

I've done my share of 'changing' the folksongs. Had to. I wasn't brought up on the front porch of a cabin in the Appalachians and I don't care to pretend that I was. I had a middle-class classical musical training and that's hard to shake. But I don't pretend to be a folksinger or that the folksongs (as I sing them) are 'ur' versions. I am a singer of folksongs and I hope that my lullabies are lullabies and the words of my ballads are intelligible. Ewan MacColl was one step nearer to being a folksinger than I, having been brought up in a Scots community in Salford. He is a man who is a perfect example of the old saying "stick your neck out and someone will chop your head off". I didn't know, until after he died, just how many enemies and ex-post-facto critics we had made. WE. Please remember that he and I were in this together and you can now aim your missiles at someone who is still here and who is quite articulate on the matter. Pity more folks didn't have the courage and the knowledge to talk with him while he was alive. He was actually an interesting, approachable person and was happy to talk to anyone who approached with a less-than-hostile attitude. I learned so much from those years… and, of course, I am biased! I am also fed up with people who criticise him with only hearsay and second (third, fourth, umpteenth) knowledge on which to base their opinions.

The editor wants to know "Who are Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie?" They were members of the Critics Group for most of the life of that group. They were two of the most loyal, industrious and intelligent members by far. It is possible that they have inherited some of Ewan's intransigence and argumentative temperament (that's the way things go?) but there is no doubt that their work in the folksong world has been invaluable and dedicated. Most of the collectors who've done that have had a kind of tunnel vision, without which their work would not have been as productive. They stuck their necks out and their heads are getting chopped off. They are in good company.

Like Ewan, I've always got lots more to say but I don't care to argue all this out nitty blow by gritty blow. By the way, I'm just finishing up a book of his songs. 200 of them. 'The Essential Ewan MacColl Songbook' (Music Sales, autumn 2000). Those of you who have followed or partaken in this controversy might find my long critique of him as a person and an artist enlightening. It won't be what you expected from the person who was his lover and working partner. Information is on my website: www.pegseeger.com.

Peggy Seeger, Asheville
North Carolina
Living Tradition Homepage.
Peggy states quite clearly "if you sang from the stage", so the policy was not confined to residents only, in the interests of truth and accuracy let us get it right


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 04:18 PM

Blind Funk Earwax had a good handle but he ran afoul of the law and that killed his career.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 04:20 PM

Here it is again, in the interests of accuracy and TRUTH it applied to all singers WHO SANG ON STAGE in the club, quote from Peggy Seegers letter to musical traditions not to be confused with a a diFferent magazine called living tradition.,
This policy was meant for OUR club, not for other clubs.
The policy was simple: If you were singing from the stage, you sang in a language that you could speak and understand. It didn't matter what you sang in the shower, at parties, while you were ironing or making love. But on stage in The Ballads and Blues Folk Club, you were a representative of a culture - you were interpreting a song that had been created within certain social and artistic parameters. Incidentally, along with this policy came the request from our newly-formed Audience Committee that we not sing the same traditional song more than once every three months… they were getting tired of hearing the same songs week after week. This forced us residents to learn new songs at an unholy rate. But it brought out lots of new songs and ballads and really got us thinking about how we sang what we were learning."
That is what Peggy Seeger wrote.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: TheSnail
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 04:33 PM

Stewart Granger's real name was James Stewart.

Thought you might like to know.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 04:43 PM

So the Ewan MacColl name change from James Miller had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that James Miller deserted from the Army during World War Two then? Very strange that he was not pursued after the war as M.I.5 certainly knew about Miller - probably thought that he was a better "asset" on the loose.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 04:54 PM

correction to my previous posts the letter appeared in living tradition, apologies to Jim Carroll however the policy did not apply to residents only it applied to ALL who sang from the stage


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: RTim
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 05:07 PM

As I understand the situation - Doug Oates changed his name to Jim Moray because his sister, Jackie Oates, and he applied to be BBC Young Folk Artist of the year when the rules stated that siblings should not apply in the same year.

Does anyone agreed with this?

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,Phil
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 06:07 PM

Is that the same Peggy Seeger that's half-sister to the late-great Pete Bowers?


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: olddude
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 06:12 PM

Changing mine to Bob Dylan hoping royalty checks may show up in my mailbox


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: olddude
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 06:15 PM

If you keep changing your name you may be able to stay ahead of the tax man. However the artist formerly known as Prince and is now Prince again maybe didn't do a good job of changing it.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,The Artist Still Known As Severn Savage
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 07:27 PM

I tried a career as a Pop Singer under the name of "Norman D. Spears", but alas, I picked the wrong French province and the rest is history, or at least historectomy (history once removed).....


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 08:24 PM

i've just thought of a name that could work as career bridge between folksie entertainment and pop showbiz..

.. and it don't appear on google as though anyone is already using it...

"Rolf Glitter".... ermmm..


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 24 Feb 15 - 02:44 AM

I think Prince stopped using the name Prince for a while and instead just released things with a symbol instead of a name (causing the media to describe him as The Artist Formely Known As Prince - or Symbol - or even Squiggle) for contractual reasons. I presume the arguments with his record company eventually got sorted out so he reverted to his original stage name!!


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Feb 15 - 02:50 AM

He should change his name to 'Ponce'.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Feb 15 - 04:38 AM

" So the Ewan MacColl name change from James Miller had absolutely nothing to do...."
You've had the reason why many of the left chose not to fight in WW2 (give them a again if you want) - you chose to ignore them
Why did you change your name to "Guest" - in the hope of being invited to a party, maybe?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Feb 15 - 12:32 PM

Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger gave a lot of their time trying to help others within the Critics Group, they were generous with their time and had some very god ideas about performing singning etc, that should be acknowledged.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Feb 15 - 01:05 PM

One thing to chose not to fight for whatever reason you may care to mention. It is a completely different thing to enlist then desert and you must admit that if you are going to desert from the Army in time of war and go on the run a change of name might come in handy as well as adopting a "Scottish" accent and claiming to all and sundry that you are a native of Auchterarder in Perthshire as opposed to Salford Manchester.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Feb 15 - 01:38 PM

"It is a completely different thing to enlist then desert and you must admit that if you are going to desert from the Army in time of war "
Been there - done that - see the altering position which caused the confusion surrounding the support for World War Two among the left
My father 'listed to fight Fascism in 1938 in Spain - they gave him a secret service record as a "premature Antifacist and had him blacklisted from work - it very much affected our childhood as he had to leave hoe to find work.
The Government of the day appeased Hitler right up to the eve of the war, until they had no alternative but to fight
The left identified the war as being Imperialist until The Soviet Union (the only Workers State) was invaded, then they supported it - the confusion arising from the change of policy led to the Sectertary of the Community Party resigning his position - that's how traumatic it was for the 'believers'.
MacColl did not "adopt" a Scottish accent, his parents both had broad Scots accents (I couldn't understand Betsy easily in 1968) and he grew up in a household of people speaking in a similar manner.
MacColl was found singing old ballads in broad Scots and in Scots Gallic at the beginning of the thirties - SFA to do with the war.
Several of my family grew were born in Liverpool and at a later date, moved to Ireland - they now speak with Irish accents and consider themselves Irish.
His claim to come from Auchterarder (where his mother originated) may well have been a career boost (again SFA to do with the war), but Ken Goldstein, the producer of many of Ewan's early albums, once suggested that is might have been a misunderstanding on his part when he wrote the album notes.
All this is fairly pathetic, don't you think - the man was a great singer and a generous sharer of his knowledge and the products of his researchers (I don't know a single individual on the folk scene to have devoted a fraction of time or energy that MacColl and Seeger did for less experienced singers, if there was anybody, enlighten me).
Both of them deserve recognition for that fact and consideration of their work - not this shit.
You are one of the "name-change knockers" - how come we don't know who you are - modesty or what?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: RTim
Date: 24 Feb 15 - 02:08 PM

Regarding being brought up in a house where the parents speak in a Broad Scots accent - a friend of mine born in Canada has two parents who both continue to speak in their great Scots accents (even thought they now live in Cornwall) - but he sounds totally North American!!

So what does this prove - Salford was different?

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Feb 15 - 03:02 PM

"So what does this prove"
Doesn't prove a thing - some people pick up their accents at home, others in the street - simple as that.
Making a rule of who does what is either stupid or (as in this case) agenda-driven.
MacColl was reported in D G Bridson's book, 'Propero and Ariel', to have been found singing busking for pennies from a cinema queue in a broad Scots accent and in Scots Gallic in 1931 - before his Theatre Workshop days and before his career i folk song was even on the horizon - and certainly before he deserted from the army.
He was described as singing "Scots songs, Border Ballads, folk songs and Gaelic songs he had learned from his mother".
From conversations I witnessed between Ewan and Betsy, he slipped from ne accent to another naturally and with ease.
I tend to do the same - I left home with a broad Liverpool accent, within a month that had become tinged with a Mancunian one, I never picked up much of a London one in 30 years, but it did become tingeed with Irishisms because of the company I kept, which deepened when we moved here, but nowadays, my partner Pat always knows when I am talking to my sisters on the phone because I revert to my original accent - broad Liverpool - mone of this is self conscious or deliberate and it certainly isn't because I'm on the run from the army!
By the way guest, "It is a completely different thing to enlist then desert" - MacColl didn't "enlist" - he was conscripted in July 1940 and had deserted by October.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 24 Feb 15 - 03:07 PM

just my opinion [???]...

Conscription should be outlawed and classed as an international war crime...


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 24 Feb 15 - 03:46 PM

Surely the idea that he changed his name to hide from the authorities is a bit far fetched. Putting yourself in the limelight either on stage or radio etc is hardly hiding away even if you have changed your name


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 24 Feb 15 - 04:02 PM

I don't know if Helen (Richardson) O'Connell sings, but she plays a Hohner Pokerwork and fronted the Nottingham band called Patti O'Doors and The Sunloungers.

That band split but formed a new band Kelly's Heroes, who are still going. She is not to be confused with Patty O'Doors, the Irish drag queen.

Melanie Harrold is founder of The Singing Body and leader of the Trade Winds choir. As a folk singer, she toured extensively as Joanna Carlin.

In another career, she featured in the Hank Wangford Band as Irma Cetas from Nogales, Mexico, the Vera Lynn of the North Sea Oil Fields.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Feb 15 - 04:36 PM

"Conscription should be outlawed and classed as an international war crime"
Drink to that any day
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 02:19 AM

"Surely the idea that he changed his name to hide from the authorities is a bit far fetched. Putting yourself in the limelight either on stage or radio etc is hardly hiding away even if you have changed your name"

Not far fetched Allan at all:

"Very strange that he was not pursued after the war as M.I.5 certainly knew about Miller - probably thought that he was a better "asset" on the loose."

The police have used known felons like this for ages, not so unusual at all that security services have done the same.


Married under his real name before the war the clue as to reason for change of name would be when he started using the name MacColl.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 03:04 AM

Name changes for artists of all kinds represents an important part of an artist 'branding' themselves to suit a certain market I would think.

So far as folk singers in particular are concerned, I'd guess professionals may change them in order to sound more 'folky' and working class? More akin to the names of the old singers.

Having a stage name or pen name is all a part of constructing the right persona to match what one creates and sells.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 03:05 AM

Thank goodness for Richard Thompson!


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 03:07 AM

Ho hum - our anonymous guest chooses to remain anonymous while at the same time, berating somebody else for doing he same.
When MacColl was conscripted h caught the attention of the officers by his (at first, somewhat too subtle for them) lampooning of army life, but putting on skits for the soldiers and perfoming songs like Browned Off - he also acquired an MI5 record.
When he left the army, he continued his public political work (hardly going into hiding) - that public statement of his views remained a major factor of the rest of his life - C.N.D., Anti-Apartheid, Anti- Vietnam War, the miners strike.... and affected the personal opportunities that his chosen careers might have otherwise brought.
I find that an admirable decision to make.
This is all spitefully petty stuff.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 03:08 AM

Apart from class, there's also the idea of racial identity to consider. Zimmerman was one, but there have been a number of Jewish artists who have adopted Irish stage names I believe.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 04:17 AM

I have the name of a fairly famous folk artist and therefore feel that I HAVE to change my name should I post on Mudcat or should I wish to inflict myself on an unwitting audience. I'm sure others must do the same. Is there another Martin Carthy out there performing under a pseudonym?


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 04:34 AM

"I have the name of a fairly famous folk artist "
Now there's a thing - it's ok for you to post incognito (and slag off a fellow artist who's dead dead for thirty years) yet when MacColl does the same he is attributed with all sorts of motives
In twenty odd years I never heard MacColl slag off fellow=-performers the way you clowns do.
For a troll, you're a bit of a pratt!
"Irish stage names "
"Dylan" was a Welsh poet.
Jim Carrll


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 04:43 AM

On the subject of Prince, a friend of mine, pissed off with those at his local folk club having sly "folk police" digs whenever he sang a contemporary folk song, got up and sang, unaccompanied and with finger firmly in ear, Prince's Purple Rain.

Of course, since then, I introduce him as "the artiste formally known as a crock of shit "


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,cs
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 08:26 AM

Zimmerman assumed the surname Dillon (with that spelling) falsely claiming it as his mother's maiden name before the spelling was changed to Dylan. Dillon is an Irish surname.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,Ian Hendrie
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 01:10 PM

For information : I was the Guest with the 'fairly famous folk singer's name' (not Ian Hendrie obviously). Maybe I made an error of judgement (UK politician's speak for 'mistake') by posting anonymously.

I was NOT the Guest who did any 'slagging off' of anybody. Indeed, I find people who misuse message boards and abuse others rather sad and am using message boards where this happens less and less.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 26 Feb 15 - 12:25 PM

Seemingly Dillon can be of either English or Irish origin. Name was first recorded in England as Dilun in 1138 according to the Surname database.


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Feb 15 - 01:21 PM

"I was NOT the Guest who did any 'slagging off' of anybody"
Apologies - the error was mine
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: Vic Smith
Date: 26 Feb 15 - 02:24 PM

25 Feb 15 - 04:34 AM
For a troll, you're a bit of a pratt!
"Irish stage names "
"Dylan" was a Welsh poet.
Jim Carrll


I hope that this is a typo rather than someone actually changing their name in the middle of a thread!

I think that the problem of changed names really becomes a problem when the name is adopted by more than one person. An example from television comedy:-
* On "Monty Python" there were a number of sketches about Arthur Penis.
* On "Alas Smith and Jones" there was a sketch about Arthur Penis - a different person!

Confusing! Will the real Arthur Penis stand up!


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Subject: RE: Folk Singer Name Change
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Feb 15 - 03:10 PM

Was thinking of changing my name to Carrl Dallas!
By th
e way - don't know if I am misremembering it, but I could swear I heard an interview with Bob Dylan where he attributed his pseudonym to Dylan Thomas - he's someone tat has never really interested me, so I could be wrong on this.
Jim Carroll


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