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Sam Lee on BBC Radio

Rain Dog 27 Mar 15 - 04:41 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 27 Mar 15 - 05:54 AM
GUEST 27 Mar 15 - 06:43 AM
Rain Dog 27 Mar 15 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,Hmmm. 27 Mar 15 - 07:10 AM
Tradsinger 27 Mar 15 - 07:21 AM
Vic Smith 27 Mar 15 - 07:37 AM
Vic Smith 27 Mar 15 - 07:56 AM
GUEST 27 Mar 15 - 08:03 AM
RTim 27 Mar 15 - 08:11 AM
Steve Gardham 27 Mar 15 - 08:19 AM
GUEST,Joan Crump 27 Mar 15 - 08:25 AM
GUEST 27 Mar 15 - 08:36 AM
GUEST 27 Mar 15 - 08:39 AM
Tradsinger 27 Mar 15 - 08:51 AM
Vic Smith 27 Mar 15 - 08:53 AM
Vic Smith 27 Mar 15 - 09:09 AM
GUEST,Jim Knowledge 27 Mar 15 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,Joan Crump 27 Mar 15 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,Reynard 27 Mar 15 - 10:47 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 27 Mar 15 - 10:59 AM
GUEST 27 Mar 15 - 11:21 AM
GUEST,JC 27 Mar 15 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,Reynard 27 Mar 15 - 11:52 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 27 Mar 15 - 11:52 AM
Vic Smith 27 Mar 15 - 12:04 PM
GUEST,JC 27 Mar 15 - 12:11 PM
GUEST 27 Mar 15 - 12:59 PM
Rain Dog 27 Mar 15 - 01:12 PM
Steve Gardham 27 Mar 15 - 02:54 PM
GUEST,JC 27 Mar 15 - 03:40 PM
The Sandman 27 Mar 15 - 03:51 PM
Steve Gardham 27 Mar 15 - 04:51 PM
Bonzo3legs 28 Mar 15 - 01:00 PM
Steve Gardham 28 Mar 15 - 02:37 PM
The Sandman 28 Mar 15 - 03:06 PM
Steve Gardham 28 Mar 15 - 03:15 PM
Vic Smith 29 Mar 15 - 06:26 AM
Steve Gardham 29 Mar 15 - 08:14 AM
Bonzo3legs 29 Mar 15 - 08:36 AM
GUEST,neil bostock 05 Oct 15 - 10:15 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Oct 15 - 11:10 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Oct 15 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,neil bostock 05 Oct 15 - 02:12 PM
Steve Gardham 06 Oct 15 - 09:39 AM
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Subject: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: Rain Dog
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 04:41 AM

Sam Lee was on the Today programme yesterday, Thursday 26.3.15, on BBC Radio 4. It was approx. 6 minutes following him on a trip to some of the travelling community in Wexford. It was an unusual item to hear at approx. 08.30 in the morning.

The Sam Lee item starts at 2 hours 26 minutes

Today programme Thursday 26.3.15

He was also on the folk show on BBC Radio 2 Wednesday evening talking about his new album and performing some songs

BBC Radio 2 - The Folk Show


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 05:54 AM

I heard the Today item. Nothing but a plug for a new Lee album. Not the sort of thing I expect to hear on the Today Programme. It sounded as if Lee was the first guy to record the music of travelers and that he was rescuing it from oblivion. No mention of the work of serious collectors such as Mike Yates or Jim Carroll to mention just two. Mike recorded travelers in England and Scotland over a number of years and much of his material was issued by Topic. I know Jim did some recording in England but carries on the work in Ireland which I would assume includes the traveling community.
I use the word "serious" as these two men were not collecting with the intention of commercial success.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 06:43 AM

Hootenanny, Mudcat needs a "like" button. :)


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: Rain Dog
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 06:58 AM

'twas ever thus. How many times have programmes of 30 or 60 minutes been discussed here and people have said it did not mention this or that. The album was the hook to hang the tale but it was still nice to hear this subject mentioned at such a time and on such a programme. It was a good start to the day.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: GUEST,Hmmm.
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 07:10 AM

I would like to see evidence for even a fraction of the things Sam Lee claims to have done and collected. Then perhaps people in the folk world could take him seriously and treat a radio piece like this as cause for celebration, rather than suspicion and discomfort.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: Tradsinger
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 07:21 AM

I have no problem with someone in the folk world trying to get higher profile for the music and drawing attention to your own recording is one way of doing it. As for collecting - yes he has recorded songs from gypsy singers and he is a catalyst for promoting folk music. And he is the right side of 40!

No, he is not the first person to record songs from gypsies. Mike Yates and Jim Caroll have already been mentioned. You could also mention Alice Gillington, Cecil Sharp, Vaughan Williams, Peter Kennedy, Peter Shepheard, not forgetting yours truly, and others. I think Sam is building on the work of these collectors.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: Vic Smith
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 07:37 AM

Well, I have heard a lot of the recordings that Sam has collected and seen some the videos that he has made of the singers and as with all song collectors, I am very glad that they have done this work and that they have shared their riches with us.

I would like to see evidence for even a fraction of the things Sam Lee claims to have done and collected.
Well, one of the ways that you could have heard these was to have attended - as I did - the well-attended and well publicised Song Collectors Collective at Blackheath last weekend. On the Saturday, there was a gathering of some of the singers that have provided him with songs and stories and on the Sunday there were prominent collectors from a variety of fields giving presentations including Lucy Duran, Alistair Anderson and Shirley Collins. The thankless work of organisation of the weekend was by Sam and James MacDonald and I, for one, think that they are due a huge vote of thanks.

No mention of the work of serious collectors such as Mike Yates or Jim Carroll to mention just two.
In the short piece, Sam was asked about his collecting work and the songs that he chose from them to put on his album. Sam is much younger and less experienced than Mike or Jim, but talk to him and you will find that he is as much of a fierce advocate of traveller culture as the other two.

I feel that the two knocking comments are unfair to a young man who has a great deal to offer both as a performer and as an advocate of traditional song.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: Vic Smith
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 07:56 AM

This photo was taken at the Song Collectors Co-operative gathering on Sunday.
It's a public interview of Shirley Collins by Sam Lee about her collecting work in the southern states of the USA with Alan Lomax in the 1950s
That's me at the back feeding in the recorded music that Shirley had chosen to illustrate what she was saying.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 08:03 AM

From what I can tell, the event last week was largely about the work of others, rather than Sam Lee's collecting. Sam Lee makes a lot of claims for his own "collecting" work that are, as far as I can see, completely unsubstantiated. Where are these songs that "Sharp overlooked", and where is the evidence? What are the songs that Sam Lee sings "that know one else sings" and what does that mean, exactly?

If this material is what it claims to be, it should be collected in a way that can be reviewed academically. The songs should be cross-referenced against other known versions, connections to songs collected in the same geographical places should be made, and it should be a resource available to all. Is that what Sam Lee is doing? As far as I can see, it is not. Instead he parades members of the gypsy community in front of people, much the way Lomax paraded Big Bill Broonzy in front of the British public, and hopes to gain some sort of credibility from the association.

Sam Lee is not presenting us with recordings of gypsy singers; he is recording their songs with his own "interpretations". Similarly he recently crowd-funded his album; one of the offers he made, for £150, was an audience with a real live gypsy. This is crass and exploitative, and the sort of scheme that Peter Kennedy would have been proud of.

There is no substantial body of work here. But there is an awful lot of self-promotion. It saddens me to see people who should know better sucked in by yet another folk example of the emperor's new clothes.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: RTim
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 08:11 AM

I think if you are going to be critical of someone in a public forum like this, you should at least sign your name at the bottom of the piece so we all know who you are!!

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 08:19 AM

You have heard from Tradsinger, one of this country's greatest living collectors. I know both Sam and Tradsinger well and know how valuable their work is, along with others mentioned. If gaining publicity and 'crowd-funding' means that this valuable work can continue I am all for it.

GUEST! You mention Peter Kennedy. All of us would agree with your assessment of his contribution, BUT, and it's a big but, most of us are still grateful that he gathered so much material that might have been lost. There are many critics of Sharp's methods and the way he promoted the material under false premises, but not one of us would deny the wonderful contribution he made and the publicity he gained for it.

It's easy to snipe like this from an anonymous position. What's your contribution to the subject???


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: GUEST,Joan Crump
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 08:25 AM

I no longer have an active Mudcat account. But I have no problem signing my name to my comments above.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 08:36 AM

So, Steve: while many would agree that PK's sins were mitigated by his contributions, where is Sam Lee's contribution? Where is the evidence, the body of work? It's a very simple question, and one I have been asking for years. When it is produced, is reviewed, and his claims for its significance and uniqueness confirmed, I will happily shut them up on the subject. In the meantime, I (and most people I know) remain unconvinced. And while that is the case, I will continue to see Sam's activity as exploitative.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 08:39 AM

By the way: if he were crowd funding an album of gypsy recordings with the sort of activity above, I'd be all for it. But he isn't: he's crowd funding a Sam Lee album, for the greater glorification of Sam Lee. Part of the problem is his failure to separate his own career ambitions from this allegedly altruistic life's work. And it's why I continue to believe it to be exploitative.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: Tradsinger
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 08:51 AM

Sam Lee's collecting can be heard on this website
http://songcollectorscollective.co.uk/. Lots of evidence there of what he had achieved. So he has his own take on folk music and his role in it? Well, we all have that. I agree with Vic - if his BBC interview gets people talking about the music and wanting to know more, then good.

BTW, I am in discussion with the British Library Sound Archive to get my recordings put on line, including a lot of gypsy material. There's a heap of admin to get through but it should happen in 2016. Also this year, the "Single Gloucester" project will be putting a lot of material on line, including, again, songs collected from Gloucestershire gypsies. Watch out for announcements in the folk media.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: Vic Smith
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 08:53 AM

From what I can tell, the event last week was largely about the work of others, rather than Sam Lee's collecting. Sam Lee makes a lot of claims for his own "collecting" work that are, as far as I can see, completely unsubstantiated.

You are right! Sam had arranged a programme that 'was largely about the work of others'. Why should it be only about Sam's work? Sam was enthusiastic in introducing his guest speakers and effusive in his praise of their work in thanking them at the end. The morning session over-ran and lunch was late, so Sam cut his own prepared presentation which was the first thing in the afternoon programme so that the other guest speakers would have their full allocated time. In fact I don't think that Sam's collecting work was mentioned once on Sunday. It was a meeting of the Song Collectors Co-operative, not the Sam Lee Fan Club.
I must agree with what Steve Gardham says about the importance of Peter Kennedy's work even if we question his methods. A study of important folk song collectors will show that they all bring an agenda with them to their work - political, musical, socio-political etc. Many have been severely criticised as a result but as Steve says "most of us are still grateful...."

Our anonymous GUEST seems to be bearing a grudge against Sam. To me this seems to be unhelpful.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: Vic Smith
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 09:09 AM

Also this year, the "Single Gloucester" project will be putting a lot of material on line, including, again, songs collected from Gloucestershire gypsies. Watch out for announcements in the folk media.

These things never seem to happen in isolation. I am on the steering committee for something new and similar in my locality; Sussex Traditions have not finalised the format of their website yet but I will be noting it on Mudcat when it has, Steve Roud and Shirley Collins are amongst the trustees. The first project, led by Laura Hockenhull, will be to digitise and transcribe the fairly large Tony Wales collection to make it available on-line.

At a recent meeting with Pete Heywood, he was picking my brains over his plans for something similar for Ayrshire/South-East Scotland.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 10:16 AM

I `ad that Sam Lee in my cab last night. `e looked like `e`d lost a bob and found a tanner.
I said, "Evening Sam. It looks like your old gypsy songs programme didn`t go down a bundle on that Mudcat, did it?"
`e said, "You`re right there Jim. I thought all the folk punters would go cock-a-`oop but they tell me it`s all been done before."
I said, "Only too true, and one of `em sounded like `e was making it up on the spot on the strength of a promise of a couple of pints."
`e said, "Oh, `im. `e`s been doing that for years. I thought I could get `im in as a "stocking filler" but it looks like I`ve been rumbled!!"

Whaddam I Like??


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: GUEST,Joan Crump
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 10:17 AM

Vic, I am neither bearing a grudge nor anonymous. My initial points still stand. The conference did nothing to establish the various claims Sam has made for his work repeatedly in the national press. A, that he has a body of unique work that he has collected. B, that he has collected songs that "only he knows". C, that he has collected songs "overlooked by Sharp".

Sam is undoubtedly charming, and has managed to attract some impressive names to the song collectors' project. This does absolutely nothing to establish his own credentials as a song collector, or indeed to reveal this collection of unique songs he has allegedly assembled. All I ask, and that I have been asking for several years, is that the work be presented, and that those who are in an appropriate position have the opportunity to evaluate its value in the context of other collectors and collections. I was told this would happen with the launch of the song collectors' website. But it didn't happen. This is not a grudge, it is a genuine enquiry. It has still never been satisfied. And still Sam lee continues to build a career based partly on his alleged work as a song collector. So where's the work?


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: GUEST,Reynard
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 10:47 AM

Virtually all of the recordings can be downloaded from their Sound cloud account, which is linked from the SCC website:

https://soundcloud.com/song-collectors

The participants in the SCC are volunteers and (as far as I know) not generally academics or librarians so there is obviously a lot of work to do in terms of properly cataloging the recordings, but I think it's unfair to suggest that none of their work has been revealed.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 10:59 AM

To "Guest" somewhere above.

Alan Lomax paraded Big Bill Broonzy ?????

I saw Bill twice maybe three times in concert. He was not paraded by anybody. He was appearing on the same bill as a British jazz group and touring with them. On one tour he appeared alongside gospel singer Brother John Sellers. Bill had been a professional performer for years and when his style of blues was becoming a little less popular in the Chicago clubs he found that by going back to the less uptown style blues he could continue making a reasonable living performing and touring in concert at home and abroad. Nothing wrong with that.

Are you confusing Broonzy with Leadbelly ????

Good to see that Shirley is still getting good mileage out of her Lomax trip. Nothing wrong with that either.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 11:21 AM

I'm going on (what I remember of) George Melly's response to BBB's first trip to the UK, which he details in his autobiography - he loved BBB, but thought Lomax's proprietary and rather condescending way of introducing him around the music scene very distasteful.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: GUEST,JC
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 11:26 AM

Reynard, I am not talking about all of the participants. I am specifically talking about the body of work Sam Lee claims to have collected. A few soundcloud clips does not a collector make. I've hung out with friends who are Gypsies. I've recorded some songs, some stories, some oral history...I am not a collector, nor would I ever presume to call myself one.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: GUEST,Reynard
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 11:52 AM

JC- With respect, I'm not sure if I understand what your definition of a collector is.

If you have "recorded some songs, some stories, some oral history", then I think I might describe you as one, even if you don't think you deserve the title! That would be especially true if you had published some of that work- as Sam Lee appears to have done via soundcloud, admittedly in a rather haphazard and uncatalogued way (so far).

I believe that Sam Lee's "body of work" as a collector is indeed there on the Soundcloud link ie: several recordings of singers that he has "collected" in person.

I don't take any particular side in this, but I am struggling to see why he can't be called a "collector" even if you don't like the way he is personally making use of the material in his own work.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 11:52 AM

Guest,
I have to admit I don't think I was at the first Broonzy visit and it's been a while since I read "Owning Up". Guess it's time to read it again. Many memories and laughs there.
I know Lomax was around here in the fifties and I have no doubt that what you say re Melly and his opinion is correct.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: Vic Smith
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 12:04 PM

Joan,
Could I first of all apologise for the cross-posting. When I was typing my post at 27 Mar 15 - 08:53 AM, you had not revealed your GUEST identity.

I would support strongly the post by Reynard that the Song Collectors Collective Soundcloud site is a fascinating, valuable resource, whether it was recorded by song collectors or enthusiastic amateurs. Over 500 recordings - songs, singers talking about their songs, interviews. They give a great insight into the singers and the communities that their songs survive in.
Now you write, I am not a collector, nor would I ever presume to call myself one. and neither would I though I have made many hours of recordings of traditional singers in their own communities in several countries.
I am reminded of the most recent meeting of the Sussex Traditions steering committee that I mentioned above and Steve Roud speaking. I can't remember his exact words but the gist of what he said was:-
I am not interested in the semantics of who is and who isn't a song collector, but I do know that there are people round this table - enthusiasts - who have made recordings that others would regard as valuable. I also know that people round this table who know of others that have such recordings that we would regard as important to the cultural heritage of this county. In the fullness of time, I would like this committee to be able to assess all such recordings so that we can make them available on our proposed website.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: GUEST,JC
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 12:11 PM

Reynard, i think he has substantially overstated both the body of work he has collected, its quality and its uniqueness in order to promote himself and his own singing career. He has made grandiose claims which, as far as I can tell, have never been substantiated or even put to the test because the "collection" has never been presented in any format that can be appropriately scrutinised.

On the song collectors' website there were Gypsy singers singing Adele, and several songs by Cuthbert Noble (a very fine singer, but he hardly needed to be either discovered or collected). The whole thing feels like smoke and mirrors to me.

If and when the whole body of work is presented, cross-referenced against something like the Roud collection, and put into context next to the work of other contemporary collectors, I will be delighted to revise my opinion. In the meantime, I feel that Sam is presenting himself as something he isn't, and is taking a lot of people for a ride.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 12:59 PM

Lee, like Sharp, is a fine publicist. As much as a lot of his self glorification pisses me off I am happy to forgive it if it gets one new person into the folk scene.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: Rain Dog
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 01:12 PM

From: GUEST,JC - PM
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 12:11 PM

"In the meantime, I feel that Sam is presenting himself as something he isn't, and is taking a lot of people for a ride."

Would that be in a caravan by any chance?

I don't really understand what you mean by that comment. Who is he supposed to be fooling and why? I bought his first cd because I liked the songs that I heard. I might well buy the second one too but I don't see how I am being fooled or taken for a ride.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 02:54 PM

Anybody else agree with Crump the Grump?

Joan, Sam made known and made available to all on TSF his material collected from southern travellers a few years ago. He also enlisted our help in identifying and classifying the songs. He's a young lad, for Christ's sake, trying to make a living at it, God help him! I invited him to a folk in education seminar in York about 4 years ago and gave him top spot amongst a lot of distinguished older speakers. He not only acquitted himself magnificently, he showed he knows his stuff when it comes to the song background. I might also add so does his partner in crime, James MacDonald, who delivered a brilliant presentation at the last Sheffield TSF meeting.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: GUEST,JC
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 03:40 PM

He's not that young, though, is he, Steve the Peeve? I guess it's all relative in folk, though. I think there are people who have bought into the hype, and those who haven't. Before someone is regularly pontificating to the national media about the rarity of the songs they've collected and the stuff that "even Sharp missed", I think the evidence should be made more widely available and its claims interrogated. I've heard too many examples of these claims which are, frankly, bullshit, and observed several examples of questionable and unethical practice. If you choose to keep sewing the invisible cloak to the glory of Sam Lee, good luck to you.

And with that, I'm out.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 03:51 PM

I have not listened to the programme yet, but i have no problems with anyone publicising themselves whilst publicising the collection of songs.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 04:51 PM

We're not glorifying anyone. We're encouraging a keen new generation to join us in our quest to find, study and make available this wonderful material. Any addition to the fold is very welcome!


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 28 Mar 15 - 01:00 PM

"If this material is what it claims to be, it should be collected in a way that can be reviewed academically" - what absolute bollocks, they are just songs for Clapton's sake, just songs, nothing academic about them.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Mar 15 - 02:37 PM

Don't be silly, Bonzo!

They are not JUST songs, they are also historical artefacts.

Sam is quite rightly using the songs in both spheres, as entertainment and as historical artefacts. Don't be so narrow-minded!


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Mar 15 - 03:06 PM

one thing they are not something JUST to be preserved, once they are preserved and they are not sung and they do not evolve, THEY ARE MUSEUM PIECES.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Mar 15 - 03:15 PM

Absolutely, Dick, which is why both aspects are important.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: Vic Smith
Date: 29 Mar 15 - 06:26 AM

Joan wrote -
"On the song collectors' website there were Gypsy singers singing Adele"


... and there's also everything from I've Got A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts to Your Cheating Heart but around 95% of the songs are - without getting into the old arguments - what enthnomusicologists would describe as 'folk songs' and I would reckon that is a very high proportion indeed, including some that I had never heard and some - like Willy O'Connor - Lord Courtown that I consider to be exquisite and worthy of comparison with the best field recordings.

When I recorded Jane & Cameron Turriff, they sung superb versions of Mill'O Tifty's Annie and The Golden Vanity but also I Belong To Glasgow and Jimmy Rogers' songs.
When I recorded Scan Tester, he played some step dance tunes that he had learned from his brother before the First World War but also Puppet on a String.
To record and report everything that a traditional singer or musician sings or plays is honest and to imply - as some of the early collectors implied - that the tradition existed in a separate enclosed bubble is a deception.

Brian Matthew, the Sussex song collector, always said that it was always how and not what the old singers and musicians delivered that was important - that what they brought to more modern material told us a great deal about their style... about how they managed to make it their own that was important. Certainly Scan gave Puppet... the feeling of a functional dance tune.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Mar 15 - 08:14 AM

Well said, Vic!


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 29 Mar 15 - 08:36 AM

Jolly jolly jolly good, well done old boy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: GUEST,neil bostock
Date: 05 Oct 15 - 10:15 AM

Hello, Folk Police. Jeez, I saw Sam for the first time last week, supporting Patty Griffin in New York. I had never heard of him before, and I was literally blown away. Brilliant. And I have been listening to traditional music for 50 years, from Ewan and The Watersons to Bellowhead, and I had not heard any of the 10 songs that he sang before. So I am guessing he is doing something right in unearthing rarely heard songs.

Gosh -- he's a shameless self promoter!! What a crime against folk music!! Give me a break. He's good looking, has great ideas, sings like an angel, and finds interesting songs. I'd promote myself too. Making a living as a singer and performer is not mutually exclusive to being a serious student of the music and its history.

Lighten up people.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Oct 15 - 11:10 AM

Not particularly impressed by Sam Lee following a recent programme on him on Irish radio.
I find his singing idiosyncratic and unlistenable - which is, I know, a personal opinion, but I found some of his statements iffy, to say the least
According to the programme, work on recording Travellers didn't really begin till the 1990s (bang goes Tom Munnelly, Hamish Henderson, Mike Yates, Pat and I and that beautiful early Topic album of The Willet Family... not to mention the BBC recordings in the early 1950s)
The programme included Sam singing an incredibly distorted version of a song we recorded from blind Travelling woman, Mary Delaney, giving the impression that he had got it from her and giving incorrect information about her - it almost certainly came from our CD, 'From Puck to Appleby'
Sam is entitled to sing these songs however he chooses, but I expect a little more recognition and respect for those also involved in the work
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Oct 15 - 11:34 AM

"Lighten up people."
Meant to add - having opinions contrary to those who go along with the 'flavour of the month' superstars is not "folk policing" - some people refer to it as having taste.
Lighten up yourself.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: GUEST,neil bostock
Date: 05 Oct 15 - 02:12 PM

Fair enough, but contrary opinions were not what I was referring to. Comments like, "he is crowd funding a Sam Lee album, for the greater glorification of Sam Lee" strike me as ridiculous. Or is obscurity the goal? Should Steeleye Span not have popularized the genre? While recognizing the importance of preserving a cultural heritage, this music is also entertainment. My 30 year old daughter, who has little interest in traditional music, saw Sam Lee supporting Patty Griffin at the Town Hall in New York, and fell in love with the songs, his singing, the instruments, and him (not necessarily in that order) To a young girl raised on eclectic indie singer-songwriters like Damien Rice and Laura Marling, Sam Lee made perfect sense to her, in a way that Jon Boden and Bellowhead wouldn't (I tried, she hated it).

So "lighten up" I guess was directed at this concept that folk music and commercialism are mutually exclusive, or that an artist has to be anti-market and anti-success and anti-money to be authentic.


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Subject: RE: Sam Lee on BBC Radio
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Oct 15 - 09:39 AM

Jim,
Completely agree. His singing and arrangements are not my cup of tea, but I have an enormous amount of respect for his knowledge and what he is trying to do.
'According to the programme'...... BBC researchers can be notoriously off the mark, but this isn't necessarily down to Sam.

My own most recent encounter with the BBC was being aboard the BBC commissioned tug during the Queen's Jubilee Parade on the Thames, and the BBC's coverage there was absolutely appalling (IMHO).

I am totally with you on the recognition and respect aspect and Sam is usually very careful with this one so please give more details. I thought I had 'From Puck to Appleby' but I can't find it. Was it a Mustrad CD?


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