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Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015

Steve Gardham 31 Oct 15 - 04:14 PM
Steve Shaw 31 Oct 15 - 05:27 PM
Matthew Edwards 31 Oct 15 - 05:39 PM
Steve Gardham 31 Oct 15 - 06:36 PM
Will Fly 01 Nov 15 - 04:36 AM
The Sandman 01 Nov 15 - 05:59 AM
GUEST 01 Nov 15 - 06:03 AM
Dave Sutherland 01 Nov 15 - 06:54 AM
GUEST,Clive Pownceby 01 Nov 15 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,keith price 01 Nov 15 - 08:06 AM
RoyH (Burl) 01 Nov 15 - 08:58 AM
MartinRyan 01 Nov 15 - 10:08 AM
Vic Smith 01 Nov 15 - 11:08 AM
Lighter 01 Nov 15 - 02:02 PM
Matthew Edwards 01 Nov 15 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,# 01 Nov 15 - 02:26 PM
Dave the Gnome 01 Nov 15 - 02:29 PM
Thomas Stern 01 Nov 15 - 04:24 PM
GUEST,Mary Katherine 02 Nov 15 - 12:22 AM
fat B****rd 02 Nov 15 - 04:22 AM
GUEST,bigJ 02 Nov 15 - 05:32 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 02 Nov 15 - 06:59 AM
GUEST,Dave Eyre 02 Nov 15 - 08:37 AM
GUEST, ^*^ 02 Nov 15 - 09:22 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 02 Nov 15 - 02:30 PM
GUEST,Dave 02 Nov 15 - 03:04 PM
Matthew Edwards 02 Nov 15 - 04:37 PM
MoorleyMan 02 Nov 15 - 05:11 PM
Herga Kitty 03 Nov 15 - 07:10 AM
GUEST,guest,geoff speed 03 Nov 15 - 07:29 AM
GUEST, ^*^ 03 Nov 15 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,Doc Rowe 16 Nov 15 - 07:33 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Nov 15 - 07:48 AM
Steve Shaw 16 Nov 15 - 07:56 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 16 Nov 15 - 07:59 AM
RTim 16 Nov 15 - 08:24 AM
GUEST,Matthew Edwards 16 Nov 15 - 08:58 AM
GUEST,Phil Edwards 16 Nov 15 - 09:30 AM
Steve Gardham 16 Nov 15 - 09:31 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 16 Nov 15 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 16 Nov 15 - 10:20 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Nov 15 - 10:44 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 16 Nov 15 - 11:20 AM
Will Fly 16 Nov 15 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,Clive Pownceby 16 Nov 15 - 12:01 PM
Vic Smith 16 Nov 15 - 12:21 PM
Vashta Nerada 16 Nov 15 - 12:40 PM
Brian Peters 16 Nov 15 - 12:45 PM
Vic Smith 16 Nov 15 - 12:52 PM
Vic Smith 16 Nov 15 - 01:04 PM
Mr Happy 16 Nov 15 - 01:11 PM
MoorleyMan 16 Nov 15 - 02:46 PM
Bat Goddess 16 Nov 15 - 04:36 PM
GUEST,# 16 Nov 15 - 05:02 PM
Joe Offer 17 Nov 15 - 01:47 AM
Dave Sutherland 17 Nov 15 - 02:44 AM
fat B****rd 17 Nov 15 - 02:47 AM
Rob Naylor 17 Nov 15 - 03:24 AM
GUEST,John Moulden 17 Nov 15 - 07:39 AM
MartinRyan 17 Nov 15 - 07:54 AM
GUEST,Derek schofield 17 Nov 15 - 11:20 AM
Vic Smith 17 Nov 15 - 12:49 PM
Geoff Wallis 17 Nov 15 - 01:18 PM
Waddon Pete 17 Nov 15 - 03:42 PM
GUEST,His sister Jean 17 Nov 15 - 04:33 PM
Steve Shaw 17 Nov 15 - 06:41 PM
GUEST,Gillian and family 18 Nov 15 - 05:38 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 18 Nov 15 - 07:29 AM
GUEST,moira(flyingcat) 18 Nov 15 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,John J (Not a guest) 18 Nov 15 - 05:17 PM
GUEST,Peta Webb and Ken Hall 18 Nov 15 - 06:24 PM
GUEST,His Family 19 Nov 15 - 10:39 AM
GUEST,henryp 19 Nov 15 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,Wirral Unite Community Branch NW/96 19 Nov 15 - 02:22 PM
MikeL2 19 Nov 15 - 02:47 PM
GUEST,Wirral Unite Community Branch NW/96 19 Nov 15 - 05:26 PM
Jack Campin 19 Nov 15 - 06:04 PM
GUEST,Mike O'Leary-Johns...... 21 Nov 15 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,Colin Haworth 23 Nov 15 - 03:01 AM
GUEST,Neville Grundy 25 Nov 15 - 01:53 AM
Brian Peters 25 Nov 15 - 10:40 AM
Matthew Edwards 25 Nov 15 - 11:47 AM
Matthew Edwards 07 Dec 15 - 06:10 PM
GUEST,Gill Barrie 07 Dec 15 - 07:29 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Dec 15 - 10:31 PM
GUEST,Mike Yates 08 Dec 15 - 02:25 AM
Rog Peek 08 Dec 15 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,Peta Webb 22 Dec 15 - 09:30 AM
Vic Smith 22 Dec 15 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,Freds Neice/Gill 10 Mar 16 - 04:28 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Mar 16 - 08:28 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Mar 16 - 09:35 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 Mar 16 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,gill 11 Mar 16 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,Gill Barrie 12 Mar 16 - 10:39 AM
GUEST,Doc Rowe 14 Mar 16 - 03:50 AM
GUEST,Peta Webb 14 Mar 16 - 08:03 AM
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Subject: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Oct 15 - 04:14 PM

Just read on the Mustrad website that Fred has been in hospital for a few weeks and is likely to be in for some time with lung/cardiac problems.

He's in Arrowe Park Hospital, Wirral, Merseyside.

Hopefully he has access to a computer. Sorry to hear this, Fred, and here's hoping for a swift recovery.

Scroll to Nov. 16 for the report of Fred's death. RIP, Mr. McCormick. We're glad we were able to know you here at the 'cat.


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Subject: RE: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Oct 15 - 05:27 PM

Get well, Fred. Your sanity is sorely needed here!


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Subject: RE: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 31 Oct 15 - 05:39 PM

Sadly Fred can't use his computer in the ward, and he is getting rather worried by the backlog of emails waiting for him!
However that is the least of his worries at present. He is missing all the news and gossip so if people would like to leave messages for him please post them here and I will take them to him.
I saw him this afternoon; he was rather tired but quite cheerful.
Matthew


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Subject: RE: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Oct 15 - 06:36 PM

Thanks for that, Matthew. Please send him our best wishes. If he's not fit and well by the 21st we'll be thinking of him at the TSF meeting in Hull.


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Subject: RE: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: Will Fly
Date: 01 Nov 15 - 04:36 AM

My best wishes to Fred, and I hope he's out and about soon - and back on Mudcat!

Will


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Subject: RE: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Nov 15 - 05:59 AM

Get Well Soon.


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Subject: RE: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Nov 15 - 06:03 AM

Yes, get well soon!


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Subject: RE: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 01 Nov 15 - 06:54 AM

Get well soon from all at Tigerfolk


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Subject: RE: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: GUEST,Clive Pownceby
Date: 01 Nov 15 - 07:59 AM

Fred, you'll be pleased to learn that on my recent first visit to the famed Thursday PM 'Belvedere' singaround in Liverpool I sang Child Ballad 94, thus maintaining your policy if not your high standard of delivery!
Get well very soon, old chum.


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Subject: RE: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: GUEST,keith price
Date: 01 Nov 15 - 08:06 AM

Hope to see you at the Belvedere before too long Fred.

Keith


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Subject: RE: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 01 Nov 15 - 08:58 AM

Sorry to hear that you are poorly Fred. Here's hoping for a swift and complete recovery. I sent you some stuff about an Australian singer named Duke Triton some while ago. I forgot to put a note in with them but maybe you guessed they were from me. I'm trying to get a CD of his from Oz, when I do I'll burn you a copy. I believe you are interested in the Wobblies, and the songs of Joe Hill. I've got a copy of the original 'Little Red Songbook', signed 'to comrade Roy Harris'. If you're interested in seeing it when you get out I'll send it up to you. In the meantime Fred, concentrate on getting well. I'll be thinking of you. All the best, Roy.


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Subject: RE: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: MartinRyan
Date: 01 Nov 15 - 10:08 AM

Best wishes, Fred.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: Vic Smith
Date: 01 Nov 15 - 11:08 AM

We thought that we were going to have the pleasure of your company at the King & Queen weekend in November. Now it seems that this is not to be. Get well soon Fred and I'm sure that we will catch up somewhere before long.


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Subject: RE: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Nov 15 - 02:02 PM

Yes, Fred, do get well soon. We need you here!


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Subject: RE: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 01 Nov 15 - 02:23 PM

I paid a very brief visit to Fred today to take him a printout of the messages on this thread; he was pleased to receive them and thanks everyone for their kind wishes. We were both rather bemused by the anonymous guest post, but I took it as a sort of collective voice for all the nameless and unidentified who post here.
Matthew


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Subject: RE: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: GUEST,#
Date: 01 Nov 15 - 02:26 PM

Card on the way to Fred from Canada. Get well, because being sick really sucks.


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Subject: RE: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Nov 15 - 02:29 PM

Get well soon and get out of there, Fred. Unhealthy places, hospitals!


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Subject: RE: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 01 Nov 15 - 04:24 PM

Hi Fred - hope you are making a rapid recovery and will soon be
back on the list! Best wishes, Thomas.


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Subject: RE: Oct 2015: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: GUEST,Mary Katherine
Date: 02 Nov 15 - 12:22 AM

Best wishes winging your way from out here in sunny southern California!


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Subject: RE: Oct 2015: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: fat B****rd
Date: 02 Nov 15 - 04:22 AM

Best thoughts from Dunfermline, Fred.


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Subject: RE: Oct 2015: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: GUEST,bigJ
Date: 02 Nov 15 - 05:32 AM

And all good wishes for a speedy recovery from the Isle of Man where I can hardly see the keyboard for fog this morning!
bigJ


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Subject: RE: Oct 2015: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 02 Nov 15 - 06:59 AM

Like everyone else here, Emma & myself wish Fred a speedy recovery. And, once again, our thanks,Fred, for making our stay in Liverpool last year so much brighter.


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Subject: RE: Oct 2015: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: GUEST,Dave Eyre
Date: 02 Nov 15 - 08:37 AM

Sorry to hear this!


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Subject: RE: Oct 2015: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: GUEST, ^*^
Date: 02 Nov 15 - 09:22 AM

Hospitals have been known to 1) have computers for patients to check in on or 2) allow laptops and have a hospital WiFi available. Is neither of those an option at this facility? I hope you'll check into that (assuming contact with Mudcat and other online music sites is considered a healthy activity for Fred!)

Get well soon, and please, someone post an address to the hospital so more of us can send cards along.


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Subject: RE: Oct 2015: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 02 Nov 15 - 02:30 PM

Thinking of you, Fred - I hope you are soon well, and send healing wishes. We miss you -

Bonnie x


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Subject: RE: Oct 2015: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 02 Nov 15 - 03:04 PM

There is an online form for messages for patients:

http://www.wuth.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/contact-us/patient-messages/

I am slightly surprised that he can't use a computer as I had an email message from a patient in Arrowe Park about two weeks ago. Maybe it depends upon which ward.


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Subject: RE: Oct 2015: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 02 Nov 15 - 04:37 PM

I'm not sure whether there actually are restrictions on using a computer in the ward, but in any case using one would probably be rather a strain for Fred at the moment and he needs to have time to recover fully. Once he is on the mend I'm sure he'll be back online.

The full postal address for cards is Ward 33, Arrowe Park Hospital, Arrowe Park Road, Upton, Wirral CH49 5PE. If anybody is thinking of visiting please check with the hospital as there are some restrctions due to viral infections.

Several of us who sing at the Belvedere in Liverpool with Fred have been visiting, as have comrades from the Liverpool Socialist Singers, as well as other friends, Members of Fred's family have been visiting daily as well, but for the moment please be aware that visits can be quite tiring for Fred. Fred is very grateful for all the cards and messages so please do keep them coming.
Matthew


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Subject: RE: Oct 2015: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 02 Nov 15 - 05:11 PM

Only just picked up on this - sorry to hear the news but may I add my very best wishes for a speedy recovery, Fred.


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Subject: RE: Oct 2015: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 03 Nov 15 - 07:10 AM

All best wishes for a speedy recovery from me too!

Kitty


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Subject: RE: BBC sound archives
From: GUEST,guest,geoff speed
Date: 03 Nov 15 - 07:29 AM

dear fred
    do get better soon.look to seeing you and the dog soon.


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Subject: RE: Oct 2015: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: GUEST, ^*^
Date: 03 Nov 15 - 10:13 AM

Thanks, Matthew! You understood my questions perfectly. That hospital form is interesting, it asks for (but doesn't necessarily like) an email address. Keep trying, it apparently eventually goes through.


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Subject: RE: Oct 2015: Fred McCormick in Hospital
From: GUEST,Doc Rowe
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 07:33 AM

The saddest and most upsetting of news . Have just heard that Fredhas lost that fight. He was in our thoughts over the weekend at The musical Traditions cebrations so it has an even stronger impact as we all signed a card ti be sent to him. Thanks Fred for all the sings, company,tirades and friendship. RIP.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 07:48 AM

That is very sad. RIP, Fred. You will be greatly missed here and elsewhere. Condolences to all his loved ones.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 07:56 AM

We've lost a great bloke. Best wishes to all his family and friends.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 07:59 AM

Very sorry to hear the news...


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: RTim
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 08:24 AM

Sorry to hear the bad news      RIP Fred.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,Matthew Edwards
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 08:58 AM

Fred was very much in the thoughts of everyone at the Musical Traditions party over the weekend and it is a shame that he won't see any of the lovely messages in the card that was to be sent to him. I will give the card to his family to let them know just how well Fred was loved and respected.
I shall miss Fred terribly; besides being a fine singer and songmaker, he was very generous at sharing his knowledge. He always loved a good argument and I shall miss his lively comments. The weekly sessions at the Belvedere pub in Liverpool will be much quieter without his songs and obscure jokes - but I hope some of us will still carry out his project of singing all the Child ballads. Rest in peace old friend, Matthew


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,Phil Edwards
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 09:30 AM

I never knew Fred except by repute, and I'm very sorry to learn that I never will. I'll sing a Child ballad in his honour the next time I'm out.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 09:31 AM

I haven't known Fred anywhere near as long as some of you, but all the same I'm devastated. We will remember him at Saturday's TSF meeting in Hull which I know he would have been at given half a chance. Please pass on condolences to the family from the Traditional Song Forum.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 10:17 AM

As everyone says, this is really sad news. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends. Mike & Emma.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 10:20 AM

This is indeed very sad news. In recent years, he's been a regular reviewer for English Dance & Song magazine. But I've known him since ... well, impossible to say. I am sure I met him on the Liverpool scene when I was a teenager in the late 60s and into the early 70s... and I've been seeing him round and about ever since... he will be much missed....
Derek


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 10:44 AM

A collection of threads Fred had contributed to

Fred's threads

His contributions were always worth reading


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 11:20 AM

Sad news- didn't know Fred well, but a knowledgeable, friendly and sociable man- will miss him at gatherings of folk subversives everywhere RIP Fred


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Will Fly
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 11:23 AM

Another good man gone. RIP.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,Clive Pownceby
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 12:01 PM

He is simply irreplaceable - what a fund of knowledge (and opinions) we've lost. Conversations we had and memories of the early '70s Liverpool Folk Scene that hooked me in, come flooding back. He was always good value, always ready to chide me for not booking x,y or z at The Bothy and by implication critical of most of the people I did book! If one received a compliment from Fred,it was well-earned.
A gentle spirit though underneath and a private person. He loved his dog/s.
I'll be at Thursday's Belvedere with something from his beloved Child collection.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Vic Smith
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 12:21 PM

I like Jim Bainbridge's description of him as a 'folk subversive' and he was a strong advocate of the tradition in music song & stories. Add to that he was a political subversive. A man of the left who would not stand for any leftish cant that got in the way of clear thinking. I met him at those TMSA festivals in the late '60s and have been in contact with him ever since. We always had a good long talk at all those MT club weekends in Central London. As has been already mentioned, he was much in everyone's thoughts this last weekend at the King & Queen in London; I think he would have been pleased to be in the thoughts of so many friends at the time of his death.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Vashta Nerada
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 12:40 PM

Here are Fred's logged on messages and GUEST, Fred McCormick messages.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 12:45 PM

Yes, 'folk subversive' is good but, lest it get obscured by the well-deserved tributes to his knowledge and love of argument, Fred was a damn good singer too.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Vic Smith
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 12:52 PM

Yes, 'folk subversive' is good but, lest it get obscured by the well-deserved tributes to his knowledge and love of argument, Fred was a damn good singer too.

.... and a fine songwriter with an individual recognisable style.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Vic Smith
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 01:04 PM

Fred at the Keith Summers weekend in May 2013


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Mr Happy
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 01:11 PM

I met & enjoyed his songs many times at Frodsham FC, The Prospect at Weston & various gatherings.

A great guy, famous for writing the 'Bacon Butty' song!

R.I.P.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 02:46 PM

Sad news indeed. I regret not knowing him better, for on the evidence of the few occasions I came across him he was charming, knowledgeable and friendly - and, as above posts testify, a fine singer and writer of songs. He will be missed. RIP, Fred.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 04:36 PM

Another good man gone. I knew him mostly through Ballad-L and here at Mudcat. As Dave the Gnome said, his posts were always worth reading.

Sincere condolences to his family and many friends.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,#
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 05:02 PM

Sincere condolences to Fred's family and friends.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Nov 15 - 01:47 AM

I got this in an email:

Sadly Fred passed peacefully away last night with his family around him.
We would like to say thank you to everyone for your cards and well wishes, it meant a lot to Fred and to us. I will email you arrangements once they are set.

--
Gill Barrie
( freds neice )


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 17 Nov 15 - 02:44 AM

We were actually in the process of a committee meeting of Tigerfolk when the sad news came through so we all found out together; we had been asking Corinne Male who had been at Musical Traditions over the weekend if there was any further news. Fred was a great friend of the club and we were always pleased to welcome him either as a guest or when he just came over from Liverpool to hear a particular performer that we were presenting. He will be sadly missed by us all. RIP Fred.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: fat B****rd
Date: 17 Nov 15 - 02:47 AM

Condolences and best thoughts to Fred's family and many friends. RIP Mr. McCormick
Charlie


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 17 Nov 15 - 03:24 AM

Sad to hear this. Condolences to his family and friends.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 17 Nov 15 - 07:39 AM

Fred and I were acquainted from his days at the University of Ulster in the late seventies and although of late we had had a few differences I never lost sight of his enthusiasm, integrity and ability. When it was reported that he was ill, I wrote to remind him of these things and to say how much I appreciated his qualities . While I'd like to join with the condolences to his family, my best thought is to be glad to have, possibly, lent him some sense of his worth in his last hours. I'm sad at his passing, it leaves me less.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: MartinRyan
Date: 17 Nov 15 - 07:54 AM

Well said, John. I remember sharing accommodation with the two of you at Ballyliffin many years ago - arguing over the bacon and sausage!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,Derek schofield
Date: 17 Nov 15 - 11:20 AM

Lovely comments John.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Vic Smith
Date: 17 Nov 15 - 12:49 PM

Rod Stradling writes a brief obituary on his Musical Traditions website. He writes -
Fred McCormick 1946-2015 [Fred McCormick]
If you've read the News Page recently, you'll perhaps not be surprised, but I'm very sorry to tell you that my friend - and one time deputy editor of this magazine - Fred McCormick, died in hospital on 15th November at 21:10. His writings have been absent from these pages for some years as he became involved in numerous other projects that took up much of his time but, looking back, I can find over 60 reviews and six articles he wrote for us. You can find them via the Search facility on the Home Page.

It would be unreasonable for me to suggest the 'best' examples of his always informed and often passionate writing, but I found a phrase in his review of a couple of Irish sean nós CDs which was so typical of the man - 'Don't be put off by the language barrier. Music is its own form of empathy and it transcends all the difficulties of human communication.' I would also recommend Fred's contribution to the "Ten Records that Changed My Life" article, which tells you a lot about the man, and the whole of his Introduction section to the Joe Heaney Interview is a fine example of his academic writings.

To me, he was a constant paradigm for how to write well about traditional music. I will miss him enormously.

Peta Webb is writing a proper obituary for Fred, which will appear here in due course.

I took Rod's advice and re-read his Ten Records that Changed My Life written eight years ago. A surprise was to find that Fred's choices were placed next to me own - I had forgotten that - but it is easy to agree with Road about the quality of Fred's writing in that article:-
Ten Records that Changed my Life
Choices (with reasons) from MT contributors
Fred McCormick


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2]    Radio Ballads: The Travelling People - Argo
3]    The Manchester Angel - Topic
4]    The Folksongs of Britain: Songs of Courtship - Topic
5]    Ulster's Flowery Vale- BBC Radio Enterprises
6]    Grand Airs of Connemara- Topic
7]    The Living Tradition: Romania - Argo
8]    Old Time Music at Clarence Ashley's Volume 2 - Folkways
9]    Radio Ballads: Singing the Fishing - Argo
10]   Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 5, The Emperor

That was a pretty neat idea of Mike Yates'. Not only does he get to know how old everybody is, and what they were doing, and where and when, but he also finds out who has the greatest number of ideologically unsound skeletons in the closet. Well, the sooner the subpoena is answered, the better. Here's my confession, closeted skeletons not excluded.

For the record (every pun intended), I was fifteen in 1961, between the trial of Lady Chatterley and the Beatles first LP, as Philip Larkin almost said. That is important for it meant that I grew up in post war Britain during a time of moderate affluence, and economic security, but also at a time when the embers of empire continued to smoulder, when people still believed in the immutability of the social order, and when their cultural horizons were firmly fixed by their position on the ladder of social class.

My family, and practically everyone I knew were on the bottom rung. What's more, the powers that were had decreed that we were there because we were too thick to be anywhere else. To the administrators and employers and educators of post war Britain, the 'working man' (and woman) was incapable of independent thought and action. We could not create. We could not lead. We could not question. We could only follow.

The result was that millions of people just like me grew up not knowing who the hell we were. The working class communities, which at one time had given meaning and stability and identity to people's lives, had largely dissipated. What's more, I knew nothing of the history of my ancestors or where I had come from, because the only history I had been taught was that of grasping monarchs and colonial wars. Equally, although we had the music lesson and the art lesson, and the English lesson, all these things taught me about artistic culture was that it had been made by a few individuals of such towering genius, that it could only be appreciated and understood by the people who were clever enough to rule us. Thus the education, which was actually supposed to improve the minds of the masses was in reality a neat and tautological form of social control.

Like practically everyone else in this wasteland, I sought refuge in pop music. In fact, by the time I reached fifteen, I had amassed a tidy collection of 45 rpm records of luminaries such as Cliff Richard, The Shadows, John Leyton and Helen Shapiro.

Then Pye Records secured the British rights to the Chicago based Chess catalogue and The Best of Muddy Waters dropped like a bombshell.1. My apologies for not quoting catalogue numbers but many of these gems have gone to the graveyard, to be replaced in my collection by CD transfers.1 Well, it wasn't quite that simple. I'd had a sudden and jarring revolt against the inanities of pop music some months earlier, and set off in search of something a little more meaningful. For a while I tried to interest myself in modern jazz. That didn't work, but the experience brought me into contact with the blues, and the blues was the first music I'd ever heard which seemed to speak directly to me. The Best of Muddy Waters was the first of many incursions I made into the Pye International R 'n' B catalogue, and it was quintessential. It was music which had been brought up from the Mississippi delta by migrating post World War II Negroes and hardened and toughened and electrified and amplified to suit the dance halls and mean streets of Chicago, and it thrilled me to the very depths of my soul. To a dissolute white kid from the mean streets of a concrete housing estate, this music seemed tailored to echo the way that I felt.

I bought many more blues LPs over the next few years. They weren't all from the Chess stable by any means. But while CBS brought me Robert Johnson and Son House and Big Joe Williams, and Storyville brought me John Henry Barbee and Juke Boy Bonner, the orange and gold label of Pye International's R 'n' B series ran through my record collection like Blackpool ran through rock.

I'd be less than honest if I didn't tell you the next big influence in my life was Joan Baez. I'd discovered the American singer-songwriter movement of Dylan, Paxton, Simon etc., via the blues, and that naturally led me to those early Vanguard LPs of Ms B's. Joan Baez didn't sing much in the way of contemporary protest of course. She sang nearly all traditional American and British songs and I was absolutely gobsmacked by the purity of her singing. Such gobsmacking can be attributed to youthful inexperience and the fact that I hadn't yet heard Harry Cox. When I did, I ditched those Vanguards. Even so, Joan Baez inculcated in me a lifelong passion for the beauty and simplicity of folksong.

June 1966 found England on its way to winning the World Cup, and it found me in the Domestic Mission, Mill Street, Liverpool; the only 'dry' folk club I ever admit to attending. I was there to hear Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger. Although I'd been drawn into the folk revival by this time, I was having a lot of trouble making sense of it. What was folksong ? Why did it have to be hundreds of years of old ? And if it did, how did all these modern protest songs fit into the equation ?

Then MacColl started talking. He described how he and Peggy had been recording Gypsies and Travellers for the radio ballad, The Travelling People, and how they had recorded Caroline Hughes, a Dorset gypsy. She had given them no less than 75 ballads and songs, including the splendid We Poor Labouring Men.

O, some do say the farmer's best, but I do need say no;
If it weren't for we poor labouring men, what would the farmers do?
They would beat up all their old odd stuff until some new come in
There's never a trade in old England like we poor labouring men.


"Immediately afterwards", MacColl continued, "we recorded some people from a housing estate who were protesting about all these tinkers and down and outs who were camped in their neighbourhood. We asked the protesters why they didn't like Travellers and they said they'd got no culture. We'd just recorded 75 ballads and songs from one single individual. Yet these people probably all went home and watched Coronation Street, while they complained about Travellers having no culture".

The import of what MacColl had said didn't sink in at once. That took several years of reading Thompson, Engels and Orwell on the English working class, Marx on alienation, Michels on oligarchy, Steinbeck on Oklahoma migrants, Lloyd on English folksong, and every tract on working class life I could lay my hands on. The picture which emerged from all this showed that the working class had a history and a culture and an identity just like everybody else; that we had become estranged from these things by industrial capitalism; and that the consequence of that estrangement was that the working class had been denied the means of artistic expression.2. For a detailed discussion of MacColl's theoretical stance, see http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/heaney.htm#intro2

But if full blown enlightenment lay in the future, Ewan MacColl's The Manchester Angel had been released a few months earlier, and contained many of the songs he sang that night. I was enraptured by it, and by its stories of pseudo-blind beggars and shepherds and sheep stealers and forest outlaws, and of night visitors and abandoned lovers. Ewan MacColl never did realise his vision of a socialist world, with a free unfettered working class once more united with its musical heritage. And I nowadays find myself rejecting many aspects of his thinking. But by all let this be heard. Ewan MacColl, more than anyone else removed the blinkers which had been placed on me by a state education system, and got me thinking and got me reading, and gave me the wherewithal to discover who I am. Thanks Ewan.

There was something more. The notes to The Manchester Angel contained names; the names of the people who had sung these songs to collectors anything up to six decades previously. Who were they and what did they sound like?

At first finding out wasn't easy. The few records of traditional singers, which had been released in Britain, were expensive and hard to come by, and for all I knew, contained uncertain glories. Surely an amateur singer, with nowhere more auspicious to perform than his village pub, couldn't hope to equal the best that the revival had on offer.

They could and they did. In the USA, Caedmon Records had released a ten LP set of field recordings in 1961. They were erroneously titled - for they contained more Irish material than anything - The Folksongs of Britain. In 1968, Topic Records of London began releasing them to considerable acclaim, and at a more affordable price than the Caedmon imports. I bought the first volume, Songs of Courtship, and it literally stood my world on end. It was everything those Joan Baez LPs should have been and weren't. It was pure and pastoral and its gently flowing musical eddies spoke vividly of mountain streams and moorcocks and false brides and faithful lovers. There was the cranky outpouring of the farm worker who was considered too socially inferior to marry the girl he'd got pregnant; there was the story of the ardent young man ploughing through frost and snow to be with the girl he loved; and there was the song of another girl, abandoned by her soldier paramour, who was ready to sell everything she had to buy her love a sword of steel; one which just might see him safely through the wars. Is go dtéidh tú mo mhúirnín slán.

Most compelling of all was the fact that the people on these records weren't millionaire superstars. They were farm workers, housewives, tinsmiths and travellers. They were ordinary people. My people. Nothing I have heard before or since has had anything like as profound an effect on me.

Record No 5 is a strange one. In those days department stores used to carry record sections, and the one in Debenhams, Birkenhead, had some pretty tasty items. One day I found a record on the BBC's Radio Enterprises label, called Ulster's Flowery Vale. It was the digest of a pair of programmes on traditional music and song from Northern Ireland. In spite of its tacky cover painting and tacky sleeve notes, I recognised enough names among the participants to give it a spin in the store's listening booth.

It wasn't the greatest record in the world, and the presence of one or two showy big names was off putting to me even that far back. Yet there were some terrific ensemble tracks from Cathall McConnell, Tommy Gunn and Sean McAloon, and several marvellous vocals from Sarah Makem and Geordie Hanna.

Ulster's Flowery Vale was pivotal for three reasons. Firstly, I was captivated by the songs on it. They were more lyrical and ornate than many of the ones I was growing used to, and some of them were set to indescribably beautiful melodies. They were wide and weighty and long and flowing and often had startling turns in them. Indeed, the eight vocal tracks on that LP were the earliest inklings of what would become a lifelong fascination with the songs and singers of Northern Ireland. Secondly, I hadn't up to then heard, or indeed enjoyed, much Irish music. So that was the start of another life long love affair. Finally, with this record I found I was identifying more closely with the music and songs of Ireland than with either of its neighbours. Perhaps that was just a function of my Irish ancestry and the Irish sentiments of my family, but I had just got to see the place.

I wound up in Carna, Conamara, not knowing anything about Conamara, and unaware even that Irish was still the first spoken language there. I got the tent up and repaired to a nearby pub for a lunch time drink. There was a row of fishermen standing at the bar and talking in a language that this stranger certainly didn't know, when one of them burst into song. The singing was unlike anything I'd come across before. Even the Cork and Hebridean singers I'd heard on The Folksongs of Britain couldn't have prepared me for the exotic, floral delivery, the massive ornamentation, the continually shifting rhythms, and the harsh, nasal impassioned timbre which are so typical of this part of Conamara. During the course of that afternoon, perhaps half a dozen singers unleashed their burdens of song while I sat there like a startled rabbit. This was living tradition. This was a night's boat journey and a day's hard drive from my home on Merseyside. Yet it was so unfamiliar it could have come from another planet.

Like The Manchester Angel, Grand Airs of Connemara marked a pivotal point in my life, rather than being the point itself. Nevertheless, I bought that latter disc immediately I got back to England and wallowed in the singing of Seán 'ac Donncha, Pádraic a Catháin and Tomás a Neachtain, to say nothing of the clear crystal tones of Festy Conlan's whistle. And when Topic eventually got around to sending out the booklets of that LP, I was able to wallow in the resplendent translations. Grand airs indeed, and grand singing, and grand texts as well.

By this time I was reaching something of a crisis in my attitude to folk music. I had never wholly subscribed to the 'it's gotta be British' brand of chauvinism which marked that phase of the folk revival. Even so, the cosy world of the revival had up to now circumscribed my musical interests, and I was beginning to feel that circumscription was turning into constraint. Not only had I become far more interested in the tradition than the revival, I had begun charting Gaelic waters, and I had started to wonder what lay outside the navigable areas. There was a whole world of folk music outside of these islands. Why not explore some of it ?

That was easier said than done. There was no world music movement in those days and, even if I could have afforded a foreign holiday, I didn't fancy sitting in some European cafe while a bunch of paid professionals performed ersatz versions of the real thing. Then I discovered a bookshop in Liverpool which had a sale of classical LPs on various esoteric labels. Among the works of Schoenberg and Stockhausen, I found half a dozen different volumes from a series on Argo called The Living Tradition. I picked the one which covered Romania, possibly because its cover photograph showed a caravan full of the wildest looking Gypsies I'd ever seen. Unfortunately, not all the contents were as wild as those Gypsies. Some of it was the self same urban cafe music which I'd been anxious to avoid.

The rest of it wasn't. There were frenetic wedding dances, staggering two part polyphonies, and a verbunkos (army recruitment melody), played slowly and hair raisingly while the village dogs barked in accompaniment. I'd hit a gold mine.

Over the next few months, and starting with the rest of the LPs in that sale, I bought every record of ethnic music I could lay my hands on. I thrilled to the sound of Peruvian harps, wallowed in the tortured strains of flamenco, marvelled at the intricacies of Bulgarian bagpiping, and sat in open mouthed astonishment at a vocal orchestra in the form of a group of Italian dockers. And I remember being infuriated at the stuffy attitudes of my folk singing confreres. No. It wasn't British and they weren't going to listen to it. Not for the first time, I began to feel that the folk revival wasn't the place for me.

Yet if I rejected revivalist sentiments towards the non-English speaking world, I did concur with expressions of anti-Americanism. That was understandable, for the efforts of MacColl and Bert Lloyd to nativise the revival were directed much more at pseudo-Americans than at pseudo-Bulgarians.3. Which is not to say that huge swathes of the revival didn't miss the point. MacColl and Lloyd were in no way opposed to American folksongs. They were merely opposed to their performance by people who were culturally too far removed from the scene of the action to interpret those songs adequately.3 Moreover, the USA, with its involvement in Vietnam, its record on civil rights, and its stifling of left wing opinion, was seen as a political pariah. On top of that there was the problem of American cultural imperialism. I wasn't the only one who felt we were being buried by the stuff.

Then, the week after I discovered those Living Tradition LPs, I walked into the Liverpool Communist Party bookshop and found that they were also having a sale. This one yielded up a solitary Folkways LP. Old Time Music at Clarence Ashley's Volume 2, it was called, and the line up included Doc Watson, Clint Howard, Fred Price and of course Clarence Ashley. I'd heard a lot about Watson and Ashley and figured it was worth risking thirty bob on.

Wasn't it just! Old time fiddle tunes! Banjo songs! Fugueing hyms!. Absolutely devastating, the whole damned disc. To this day I am uneasy about the political attitudes which permeate old time country music. But the stuff just blew me away. And it opened a door which led me into the incredible labyrinth which is the traditional music of the USA.

Record number nine represents a return to these shores, or rather to these waters, in the form of the third of the radio ballads; Singing The Fishing. A friend of mine, Paddy Doody, now alas deceased, used to keep open house on a Sunday. I'd go round there and we'd sit and drink coffee and Paddy would talk with great animation about Blind Gary Davis and Séamus Ennis and The New Lost City Ramblers and the Yorkshire village carols we'd recently discovered. Argo Records had started issuing the radio ballads on LP, and one day Paddy asked me if I'd heard any of them. I said I hadn't and he pulled Singing The Fishing from one of the stacks of records he'd got stashed all over the floor. I sat there stoned, while the vivid interplay of song and speech and chorus and instruments unravelled across the carpet. There was young Sam Larner reliving the excitement - and the dread - of his first days at sea. There was Ronnie Balls relating the pride and satisfaction of coming into harbour with a big catch of herring. There were the seamen and the fishwives and the fishermen's wives, and the tales of cruel usage and economic slump. And there was old Sam Larner describing, a storm at sea with all the pungent graphic living detail you'd expect in an Émile Zola novel.

"There was great seas a'comin'. Now and then they'd peel you know and break. And once they break, look out. So I stood in the wheelhouse along the skipper. I was there the whole blessed night, me and the skipper. The chaps down below are cryin'. They were these young chaps, you know. Well, once she shipped the sea. I said "Ted, look out. Here's one a'gonna get us". Eh, that come roaring along. I bet you our boat stood on our hend like that ! I bet you she stood up like that !"

I bet you my hair stood on its end like that.4. For more on the radio ballads, visit http://www.mustrad.org.uk/reviews/rad_bal.htm4

Well, there they are, or nine of them at least. I didn't include Gael Linn's wonderful double CD, Michael Coleman 1891 - 1945, or The Songs of Elizabeth Cronin or the Alan Lomax anthologies, Sounds of the South and Southern Journey, or Music in the World of Islam or Scottish Tradition, or Voice of the People, or the Folkways Anthology of American Folk Music or The Woody Guthrie Library of Congress Recordings. Neither did I mention Murderers' Home or the Harry Cox EFDSS LP, English Folk Singer or Topic's Folk Music of Albania or the Doc Watson Vanguards or that incredible trio of Tangent LPs of Ethiopian field recordings. Fabulous records all of them, and absolutely seminal. But they weren't the ones which changed my life.

Anyway, before I get thrown out of here, I want to introduce you to record number ten. Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 5, The Emperor; Stephen Bishop Kovacevich with the London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis conducting. Yes I know this is supposed to be about traditional music, but that was the first compact disc I ever bought and the first one I ever played and the first one I ever heard. It turned my life around because I realised the potential of digital recording for the very first time. Here was a means of preserving not just the great historical recordings of Beethoven and other composers, but of preserving in non-corruptible form, all the traditional music which is being extinguished all over the planet.

Around twenty years have passed since that first meeting, but I can still remember the almost physical shock of hearing the orchestral sound in far greater detail and clarity than I would ever have thought possible. Digitisation of the analogue master had revealed whole chunks of the score which even the best hi-fi vinyl audio players couldn't get at. The whole thing was so vivid that I felt as though I could reach out and shake hands with every single one of the musicians. And that is what my life as a record collector has been about. Sure I've met the odd opinionated schmuck along the way, and the odd dollop of self-indulgent rubbish done up to look like a serious release. But what is that compared with the fact that Woody Guthrie still drops in on me almost forty years after he died? So do Joe Heaney, Phil Tanner, Belle Stewart, Dillard Chandler and many others. I even had Joseph Taylor call round the other evening, and he serenaded me with some of the songs which he recorded for Percy Grainger all of ninety nine years ago. You know what? These guys will be singing these songs for ever more. They'll be here till doomsday in the afternoon.

"And of course there must be something wrong
In wanting to silence any song."
Robert Frost
Notes:

    1.   My apologies for not quoting catalogue numbers but many of these gems have gone to the graveyard, to be replaced in my collection by CD transfers.

    2.   For a detailed discussion of MacColl's theoretical stance, see http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/heaney.htm#intro

    3.   Which is not to say that huge swathes of the revival didn't miss the point. MacColl and Lloyd were in no way opposed to American folksongs. They were merely opposed to their performance by people who were culturally too far removed from the scene of the action to interpret those songs adequately.

    4.   For more on the radio ballads, visit http://www.mustrad.org.uk/reviews/rad_bal.htm

Fred McCormick - 3.1.07


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Geoff Wallis
Date: 17 Nov 15 - 01:18 PM

Good grief, I was just thinking the other night that it was time that I gave Fred a bell for one of our occasional chats and now I discover that the beggar's gone and died on me!

Fred was one of the most inspirational, humanitarian, knowledgeable, and talented people that I have ever been privileged to know. We shared political sympathies, a love of both the blues and Ireland's traditional music and song, and lots of laughter about the absurdities of the world (and, especially, some of the bizarre characters which inhabit it).

He really will be very much missed.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 17 Nov 15 - 03:42 PM

Very much missed indeed. My condolences to all those who know and love him. I have added his name to the "In Memoriam" thread.

RIP

Peter


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,His sister Jean
Date: 17 Nov 15 - 04:33 PM

Thought all my tears had been shed, that is until I read the lovely, wonderful tributes to my little brother. Freddie. This was a side to him we didn't really know, never knew what fantastic friends he had, or indeed how well thought of he was but this is not totally unexpected, he was gifted, well read, fought for everything and everyone he felt were being were being unfairly treated. The world has lost a good man.

He will be missed by not only his family but by all his friends.
We hope to meet some of you at his celebration of life. Jean


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Nov 15 - 06:41 PM

Cor, talk about those shuddering coincidences. I was sitting in me garden one morning in a rare burst of late October sun about three weeks ago, listening to Radio 3, when I heard a record that was so good that I immediately went and bought it there and then. I just never do that sort of thing... Beethoven's Emperor Concerto, Stephen Bishop-Kovacevich, Colin Davis! I knew Fred only from his erudite and fair-minded posts on Mudcat, but, from now on, when I play that CD, I shall raise a glass in my head to Fred. If the sun's below the yardarm, it'll be a real glass! :-)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,Gillian and family
Date: 18 Nov 15 - 05:38 AM

Happy Birthday Uncle Fred McCormick peacefully sitting beside a log fire with Ben at his side in the great Ale House in the sky with a pint of ale in each hand. R.I.P. from your loving family Gillian, Brian, Jennifer, Matthew, Ben, Lily and Michael.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 18 Nov 15 - 07:29 AM

I am so very very sorry to hear this. He will be sorely missed. R.I.P. Fred.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,moira(flyingcat)
Date: 18 Nov 15 - 01:31 PM

Malc and I loved to be around Fred, he was inspiring, so knowledgeable with a real, good sense of humour.
We'll miss him.


Moira and Malc


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,John J (Not a guest)
Date: 18 Nov 15 - 05:17 PM

Very sorry to hear about Fred's passing. I first met Fred at the Belvedere - sings there just won't be the same without him.

My condolences to his family and all who knew him.

JJ


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,Peta Webb and Ken Hall
Date: 18 Nov 15 - 06:24 PM

Fred was a great mate of ours and we have been trying to get together an obituary for, not knowing there was this wealth of affectionate messages on Mudcat.
So glad that Fred had so many friends and admirers and so pleased that the family has got to read all of these too. Latterly Fred had to be on the non alcoholic wine, but we'll raise a glass to him now!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,His Family
Date: 19 Nov 15 - 10:39 AM

We would like to thank everyone for their condolences and its been lovely to read all the posts.

Fred's Celebration of life will be held at Landican Crematorium (CH49 5LW)on 7th December at 2.30pm.

Afterwards I hope we will have a chance to meet you all at
Misty Blues, Manor Road, Wallasey (CH44 1BY)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 19 Nov 15 - 11:35 AM

Fred posted;

In the meantime if anybody wants to read [Joe Hill's] life story, there's a book called The Man Who Never Died; The Life, Times & Legacy of Joe Hill, American Labor Icon by William M Adler. Bloomsbury. 2011. I haven't read my copy yet, so I can't comment, but I'll make sure I get round to before Nov 19th.

Thinking of you both.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,Wirral Unite Community Branch NW/96
Date: 19 Nov 15 - 02:22 PM

Fred was an active member of our Branch. He was popular and very well liked by all who knew him.

We are deeply saddened to hear that Fred has passed on, he will be greatly missed by us all. Our thoughts are with Freds family and friends at this sad time.

Branch members will be present at his service Dawn- Branch Secretary


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: MikeL2
Date: 19 Nov 15 - 02:47 PM

Sorry to hear the sad news. Great man and well respected.

R.I.P Fred

In sadness

Mike


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,Wirral Unite Community Branch NW/96
Date: 19 Nov 15 - 05:26 PM

Wirral Unite Community Branch NW/96 are holding our next meeting on Friday 4th December at 1pm. We meet at

4 St Anne Street
Birkenhead
CH41 3HX

This meeting will be totally informal, we will just be celebrating Freds life- we would like to invite you to attend.

Please advise me if you would like to attend in order to organise light refreshments.

unitewirral@yahoo.com

Thank you

Dawn- Branch Secretary


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Nov 15 - 06:04 PM

I only know Fred through his messages on forums like this, but he was one of the best and I will miss him a great deal. Sadly I can't make it down to the Wirral for that commemoration but I wish I could. Best wishes to his family, you had somebody special.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,Mike O'Leary-Johns......
Date: 21 Nov 15 - 11:48 AM

Only just heard the news.
It has all been said .just wanted to say Knowing was a privelage .
Mike


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,Colin Haworth
Date: 23 Nov 15 - 03:01 AM

A few years ago, when Frodsham Folk Club was in an old stable behind the Queens Head I told Fred that I had some Seamus Ennis recordings I'd made over the years, at the Trawler and elsewhere. He said he'd like to hear them but that he was a bit tied up with a few things, but that he'd be in touch when he had a spare moment. He did this about 2 years ago and I went to see him and his Greyhound at his house in Moreton and the recordings were passed on to him. He told me about the Belvedere and I've been going there as often as I can ever since. My father, Leslie Haworth had re-written some of the Child ballads in the light of present day connections to the original (he had full sets of both Child and Bronson), and Fred got a bit confused when I'd sing some of these. " Which one is that meant to be from?", he'd say.
I had put him on my prayer list.
May you rest in peace Fred


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,Neville Grundy
Date: 25 Nov 15 - 01:53 AM

I've known Fred in recent years through progressive causes and the monthly singaround I run in the Lion, Moorfields, Liverpool. Fred came most months and I was impressed by his great knowledge of folk song in general, as well as enjoying the songs he chose to sing for us.

I'm very sad we have lost a good singer and a good comrade. My sympathy to his family and all his other friends.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Brian Peters
Date: 25 Nov 15 - 10:40 AM

Belated thanks to Vic Smith for quoting that lengthy article from Fred's pen on November 17th. A wonderfully warm, well-informed, articulate, passionate and moving piece of writing.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 25 Nov 15 - 11:47 AM

Just to confirm details for the funeral; there will be a humanist celebration of Fred McCormick's life at Landican Cemetery and Crematorium, Wirral in the South Chapel at 2:30pm on Monday 7 December 2015. If you are coming the family have asked people to wear something red (a scarf, or tie for example) in tribute to Fred's political beliefs. The celebration will include some examples of the very different kinds of music which Fred loved so much.

The postcode for the crematorium is CH49 5LW. If you are coming by car follow directions to Heswall from M53 Exit 3 and there is a small map on the Wirral Council website,Landican Cemetery and Crematorium.

There is no nearby railway station, but if you are travelling by train to Lime Street or Birkenhead there is a direct bus service from Liverpool centre via Birkenhead to Landican every 10 minutes on routes 471 and 472 to Heswall.

There will be a gathering after the service at Misty Blues (formerly the Regency Suite) in Manor Road, Wallasey, CH44 1BY, on the corner with Grosvenor Road near Liscard shopping centre. There should be lifts available from the crematorium, but there is also a bus service from Arrowe Park Hotel, which is a short walk from the crematorium, on routes 413 and 414 to Seacombe and New Brighton respectively.

There will be a buffet meal, and a chance to share memories of Fred and to sing, say, or play something to give him the send-off he wanted.

Please send any condolences to Fred's niece Gill Barrie at 23 Frobisher Road, Leasowe, Wirral CH46 2RB.

Matthew


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 07 Dec 15 - 06:10 PM

Well there was a good crowd to say farewell to Fred today. Peta Webb sang 'Our Ship is Ready' beautifully for him in the chapel, and we listened to his voice again afterwards on recordings which was very moving indeed. Ken Hall sang the 'Bacon Butty' for us, and then we all joined in with the Liverpool Socialist Singers in some rousing anthems. We sang some more songs for Fred and shared a few stories. It was lovely to meet Jean and Gill, and all Fred's family, and I think that he got the send-off he would have loved.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,Gill Barrie
Date: 07 Dec 15 - 07:29 PM

Thank you to everyone for giving Our Fred a good send off The Liverpool Socialist Singers did him proud as did Peta Webb with her beautiful haunting "our ship" at Landican Thank you to everyone xx


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Dec 15 - 10:31 PM

Thank you for reporting back for those of us who are way far away and couldn't attend.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 08 Dec 15 - 02:25 AM

Sorry that I could not have been there. I wanted to do something, though. So Musical Traditions' new CD "I Wish There Was No Prisons" (MTCD372) is dedicated to Fred's memory. I like to think that he would have enjoyed listening to it.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Rog Peek
Date: 08 Dec 15 - 09:43 AM

We were away during November, so I've only just picked up on this.

Very sorry indeed to hear this sad news. Belated condolences to all of Fred's family.

RIP

Rog


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,Peta Webb
Date: 22 Dec 15 - 09:30 AM

Obituary of Fred McCormick now posted on Musical Traditions Internet Magazine.
http://www.mustrad.org.uk/obits/fred_mco.htm
Also see him in the background of a video of the Sheffield Carols on Youtube : Sheffield Carols, David Burbidge, Holly and Ivy,Dungworth 2008
Happy memories !
Peta


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Vic Smith
Date: 22 Dec 15 - 09:56 AM

....and I have just submitted an obituary which will appear in the next edition of Living Tradition.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,Freds Neice/Gill
Date: 10 Mar 16 - 04:28 PM

Fred McCormick in his will hoped that his music & library collection would be taken by Liverpool University this however is not possible.
On Sat-Sun 18th & 19th March I am holding an open house at his home
2 Orchard Grange Moreton Wirral Ch46 6DZ
I am hoping that his friends will come and take whatever music/books and leave a donation which will go to one of Freds charities.
I hope people can pass this around, and hope to see you.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Mar 16 - 08:28 PM

I hope you are able to find another institution that might fulfill this request. Please take a look (or friends, offer suggestions!) before you break up his collection. I've sent a couple of emails, hoping to get a response.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Mar 16 - 09:35 AM

I sent a note to a BBC music researcher who sent the following suggestions regarding Fred's collection:

If you haven't already done so, I think it would be a good idea to contact the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at The English Folk Dance and Song Society, Cecil Sharp House, Regents Park Road London NW1 (you'll find it all online of course)

Another person who may have some ideas is Steve Roud:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Roud

sroud at btinternet dot com


Please contact these folks BEFORE you let the bulk of charismatic items in Fred's collection just walk out the door. Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Mar 16 - 09:56 AM

Good suggestions, Acme.

Gill, let us know what Fred's feavourite charities were so we can contribute anyway. Sorry if I missed that being posted up the thread but it may be good to remind people anyway.

Dave.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,gill
Date: 11 Mar 16 - 03:12 PM

I have emailed efdss to see if they can help, the problem is it's such a behemoth and it spans such a wide range both music & books I don't really think anyone could take the whole of it unless it's a buyer and then it's just going to get broken up anyway which I don't really want to do but it's a lose/lose situation, thats why I suggested the open house so that whoever comes and takes away what they want it will be treasured. On the down side I will have to get the house sorted sooner rather than later as I can't afford to pay 2 lot's of council tax.
Cheers


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,Gill Barrie
Date: 12 Mar 16 - 10:39 AM

I am asking for donations in cash or cheques made out to myself as there a few different small charities that we want support in Fred's name
Cheers
Fred's open house is on 19th & 20th March 10-00am until 4.00pm
Refreshments will be provided.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,Doc Rowe
Date: 14 Mar 16 - 03:50 AM

Saddened to hear that Institute of Popular Music at the University of Liverpool were unable to accept Fred's wishes of depositing his material and am horrified to hear that it is to be broken up. This confirms my own belief and decision not to deposit my archive with institutions - despite many requests and suggestions over the years. Currently, as age and infirmity is increasingly making me aware, I am attempting to slow down many of my activities and concentrate on making my collection accessible and sustainable – this is yet another warning call!
Deeply troubled, however, as I'm sure many of you are that his life's interest will be split up as he clearly intended it to be kept. Because of this, rather like knowing a performer's complete repertoire, I do feel it important that even if the material will no longer be accessible from one source, to know what was held. Could I suggest that a note [inventory?] be made of the items – particularly as they are removed – that, rather like the singer's repertoire at very least we would have an idea of the collection that Fred had; material that he considered and held dear.

Fred was a great friend and colleague and I do already have a discrete collection of his tapes in the archive that he deposited with me years ago. Could I request that any unique personal material – writings, memorabilia, scripts, programmes, any of his personal writings, 'rants and raves', recordings etc. be kept together and separately from anything that is published or might be commercially available elsewhere. My archive would be happy to keep this safe as a Fred McCormick section for future access or, indeed, if a relevant institution might be found later for it to be kept together. Did we try the Working Class Library in Salford, for instance?

Fred did have some rare material and I know received the late Keith Summer's record collection. I don't know whether they are so identified but again I anticipate, by breaking up this collection,we will have lost testimony and tribute to another great enthusiast and collector. I am often saddened to see items on EBay identified as being from the library of Hamish Henderson, Ewan MacColl, CECTAL, etc. it would be a sad day to see this happen with Fred's collection.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred McCormick Nov 2015
From: GUEST,Peta Webb
Date: 14 Mar 16 - 08:03 AM

Yes, it would be helpful to have a list of the charities.


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