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The singers club and proscription

The Sandman 21 Jan 16 - 02:10 PM
The Sandman 21 Jan 16 - 10:26 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 21 Jan 16 - 09:27 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Jan 16 - 04:23 AM
GUEST,Musket 21 Jan 16 - 03:54 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Jan 16 - 07:15 PM
The Sandman 20 Jan 16 - 05:56 PM
GUEST, 34 20 Jan 16 - 04:11 PM
The Sandman 20 Jan 16 - 03:59 PM
The Sandman 20 Jan 16 - 03:53 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Jan 16 - 09:19 AM
TheSnail 20 Jan 16 - 08:38 AM
The Sandman 20 Jan 16 - 08:29 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Jan 16 - 07:50 AM
The Sandman 20 Jan 16 - 07:24 AM
GUEST 20 Jan 16 - 04:50 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Jan 16 - 03:35 AM
The Sandman 20 Jan 16 - 03:10 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Jan 16 - 07:42 PM
TheSnail 19 Jan 16 - 05:07 PM
The Sandman 19 Jan 16 - 03:18 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 19 Jan 16 - 03:04 PM
The Sandman 19 Jan 16 - 02:51 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Jan 16 - 01:06 PM
The Sandman 19 Jan 16 - 12:40 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Jan 16 - 11:20 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 19 Jan 16 - 10:43 AM
Vic Smith 19 Jan 16 - 09:45 AM
TheSnail 19 Jan 16 - 09:08 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Jan 16 - 09:04 AM
MGM·Lion 19 Jan 16 - 08:41 AM
MGM·Lion 19 Jan 16 - 08:40 AM
The Sandman 19 Jan 16 - 08:14 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Jan 16 - 06:48 AM
The Sandman 19 Jan 16 - 05:56 AM
TheSnail 19 Jan 16 - 04:55 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Jan 16 - 04:27 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 19 Jan 16 - 03:37 AM
GUEST,R Sole 18 Jan 16 - 07:15 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Jan 16 - 07:10 PM
The Sandman 18 Jan 16 - 06:28 PM
The Sandman 18 Jan 16 - 06:18 PM
Jack Campin 18 Jan 16 - 06:13 PM
GUEST 18 Jan 16 - 10:19 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 18 Jan 16 - 09:46 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 18 Jan 16 - 09:21 AM
TheSnail 18 Jan 16 - 08:21 AM
GUEST 18 Jan 16 - 07:05 AM
TheSnail 18 Jan 16 - 06:40 AM
GUEST 18 Jan 16 - 06:38 AM
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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Jan 16 - 02:10 PM

Roy Harris, who went professional in 1965, after having a very successful Sidmouth Festival, also encouraged singers to research songs, and organised NTMC In Nottingham.
Roy was a skilled performer who had a real ability to get audiences joining in chorus songs.
NTMC had a more rigid policy [as I understand]than the Singers club and like the singers club was successful for a considerable number of years.


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Jan 16 - 10:26 AM

Although to keep this in perspective, it's also worth recalling that the 'proscription policy' applied to a particular club, at a particular time (50 years ago!) - a club which had specific objectives and formulated a policy which helped it to meet those objectives.
True, but many other singers went and found an indigenous repertoire, without ever going near the singers club. They spent time visiting Cecil Sharp House where they looked and found songs from their own back ground, and went out to folk clubs and sang those songs.
Cyril Tawney was one of the older singers who encouraged younger singers to seek and look for certain material.


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 21 Jan 16 - 09:27 AM

"I have heard it described as wanting people to play music from their tradition, ..."

Phew! For a moment there I thought we were going to get into (yet another) endless, sterile, nit-picking debate about what constitutes one's own tradition. Luckily Jim came to the rescue with his statement that:

"Basically it was Britons performing British material at first, though the suggestion that they used their own accents rather than say 'oirish' or 'Mummerset'"

That's probably all you need to know.

Although to keep this in perspective, it's also worth recalling that the 'proscription policy' applied to a particular club, at a particular time (50 years ago!) - a club which had specific objectives and formulated a policy which helped it to meet those objectives.


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jan 16 - 04:23 AM

"I get it. you have to be over a certain age to even care. "
More dishonesty - but there again, you're not into apology or withdrawal either
Same offer of £1000 toyour favourite charity of you come up with an occasion that I ever said tat Muskie - desperation seems to have set in.
It is you who have dismissed us "tit-trouser" as irrelevant
Give us a break (or post when you've woken up properly)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 21 Jan 16 - 03:54 AM

I get it. you have to be over a certain age to even care.

Meanwhile as some have pointed out, folk clubs are stuffed with younger people now for whom MacColl is a historical figure. Last night at a local club four of the singers weren't even born when he died. When a sixteen year old sings a MacColl song and calls it a Stereophonics song because she got it from her Dad's album, who am I to say otherwise? It is a Stereophonics song, (ditto Roberta Flack, Elvis, Sinatra, Rod Stewart..)

It's that oral tradition that some on here rattle on about but rally against when they experience it.


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jan 16 - 07:15 PM

" I have heard it described as wanting people to play music from their tradition,"
Basically it was Britons performing British material at first, though the suggestion that they used their own accents rather than say 'oirish' or 'Mummerset'
The policy was to concentrate on the British repertoire that had been made available through The BBC 1950-54 collecting project.
On one of my first visits to Ewan and Peggy's home to copy their tapes they gave me access to half a dozen tapes from the Beeb collection and suggested that if I wanted to expand my small repertoire there was plenty there to choose from.
Peggy also had about ten folders in the filing cabinet, of songs in alphabetical order she had typed out for their own research - they were for the benefit of anybody who came to the house to work.
she had made multiple copies of each and the last of each was marked 'final copy' so she could replace it as they ran out.   
We still have typed Xeroxed copies of about a dozen songs I took away around 1968.
As I've said, when Lomax first came to Britain Ewan and Bert and virtually everybody else on the scene was singing American songs, largely recorded by The Library of Congress - Lomax tore a strip off them for "neglecting their own tradition".
Both Ewan and Bert took his point and ,as far as I'm concerned, the policy worked and loads of people started singing British material - a great help in this was the ten-series Caedmon series of albums, 'Folk Songs of Britain' (Lomax was instrumental in getting this produced); it was later released on the British label, Topic.
On Ewan's 70th birthday he was given a symposium in London - Pat and I were there when Alan and Ewan sat in front of an audience and discussed the beginning of the revival - this was one of the points covered.
There was no objection to taking say Irish, Scots or American song of British origin and singing them in your own accent - I have a couple of dozen Scots songs in my repertoire, lots of Irish and a couple of American ones - I've had to work on them to fit my Scouse-ish accent - just added 4 Scots onesa and one America one (Hedy West's 'Fair Rosamund', which I almost osmosised from hearing Peggy sing it so often).
Eventually it was not so much about national origin as accent - once we started work in the Critics Group analysing and relating to the songs we found that they just didn't work in an accent that wasn't your own.
Ewan and Peggy actually did a Folkways album entitled 'Two-Way-Trip', swapping British and America versions of songs - in my opinion, it was their least successful album - neither managed to pull the accents of for the choruses - they never did it again, to my knowledge.
Said this before but, much of the animosity Ewan felt towards Dylan was based on a fear that, having pushed British songs to the fore, Ewan worried that the situation would revert back to as it was pre-Lomax.
When I first got involved at the beginning of the sixties, the scene was swimming with Joanie clones and Dylan doublers - I found clubs like The Wayfarers in Manchester and the occasional trips to the Singers a bit of an oasis.
Sorry about the arguments - it won't happen again if I can help it.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jan 16 - 05:56 PM

As i understand it if you were american it was ok to sing american songs at the singers club, for example it was ok for peggy seeger and tom paley to sing songs from the appalachian mountains even though they were from the east coast, of course they were and are very good performers. Ewan sang songs from Scotland he was born in salford but his mother was scottish and he had heard her singing the scottish songs at home, I do not think he sang many lancashire or manchester traditional songs, I dont think he sang lancashire dialect songs either. Harry Boardman used to sing lancashire songs and used to sing an intersting song called cob coaling


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: GUEST, 34
Date: 20 Jan 16 - 04:11 PM

OK, I'm bored now with people sniping at each other.

I do have a question about the idea of proscription, however. I have heard it described as wanting people to play music from their tradition, and also as wanting people to play music from their locale. Was the idea that an Englishman should sing songs from England, or that songs from Sussex should only be sung by people from Sussex? There's quite a difference, especially given the huge numbers of people from various parts of the country who moved to cities to find work.

And what about me, an American? Would this proscription say that I shouldn't do songs from my tradition, which is very definitely British? Most of the laws, customs, and social traditions in America are directly from Britain. That is our dominant culture, or at least it has been through most of our history. It is, in a very real way, our tradition. I feel much more socially connected to English music than I do to Cajun or Country/Western or most of the other indigenous American folk music. I started out playing the blues, and have continued to do so privately, but have never felt the desire to perform it. Appalachian music is pretty good for me, but it is a direct descendant of British music, and I really feel more at home playing music from England, and somewhat from Scotland.

Comments? Ideas?


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jan 16 - 03:59 PM

Jim, in any electrical circuit appliances and wiring will burn out to protect fuses.


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jan 16 - 03:53 PM

"Who the hell do you think you are wth your bloody aggression2",
There speaks a pacific, calm voice, Mr Tranquillity himself, a man rarely roused to name calling.
I know you used to be an electrician but it sounds like you are all sparked up with crossed wires.


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jan 16 - 09:19 AM

"Enough." I understand; having distorted what I say, you are now doing a runner.
A "piece of work" is the one who claims "You have a certain amount of status and can do (and are doing) far more damage than they ever could." - then does a disappearing act
Substantiate your claim or stand with your friend, Good Soldier Schweik as a Porky vendor.
Who the hell do you think you are with you bloody aggression?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: TheSnail
Date: 20 Jan 16 - 08:38 AM

Jim Carroll
And above all, the refusal to respond to what I have actually said (an occasional promise that they will "when they have time", but so far, nothing but somewhat defensive nastiness).
The dishonesty of these arguments always astounds me and leaves me with a desire to open all the windows and let some fresh air in.
What have these people got against folk music if they have to go to such lengths to avoid straightforward discussion?


You are a piece of work aren't you Jim. Enough.

At least you've got Akenaton on your side. That must make you happy.


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jan 16 - 08:29 AM

Jim, I spend most of my time on an unpaid basis as a Festival organiser.


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jan 16 - 07:50 AM

No apology, no withdrawal of lie, no conversation
Go away and promote yourself |Dick - it' what you do most
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jan 16 - 07:24 AM

what a lot of twaddle,in my opinion you have an agenda, and this 0pinion is based on your haste to be negative about folk clubs, the perfect example was the cellar upstairs, you very rarely visit folk clubs, your experience is very limited yet you RUSH to post with something negative which gives the impression [my words were give an impression] that it is always like it was on your one visit.
the damage was done before your apology, think, before you post.
I believe that you do want folk clubs only to perform folk songs, [you have made remarks in the past about what it says on the tin]I believe you are purist, I do not believe you want to shut down music venues.         
I too have opinions about what folk clubs should be promoting, and in my experience there are some good[ A SUBJECTIVE JUDGEMENT BASED ON TATE] folk clubs and some not so good, in 50 years it was always that way.


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jan 16 - 04:50 AM

Missed a bit:
That I am embarked on a "campaign against current folk club organiser"
All 'makkie ups', as the Scots Travellers say.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jan 16 - 03:35 AM

"you persist in attempting to give the impression that it is ALWAYS crap, "
Why do you do this Dick- why do you lie?
I have never said that the Cellar Upstairs is ALWAYS crap - £1000 to your favourite charity if you can produce a single example of my saying so.
I said that my last visit there was disappointing, I said why and have now accepted that I hit it on a bad night and apologised.
The people I hang out with are the type who are gracious enough to accept apologies - I doubt if you will ever be one of them.
Now how about your producing an example of my saying what you claim or an apology for your accusation - I won't hold my breath - you don't seem to be that sort of feller.
Your post is fairly typical of the nonsense that has been aimed at me here - that I want to close down music venues, that I want a purist folk scene, that I have invented my own definition of folk song, that I don't like other music, that I want clubs that perform only folk songs...... all inventions, every single one of them.
And above all, the refusal to respond to what I have actually said (an occasional promise that they will "when they have time", but so far, nothing but somewhat defensive nastiness).
The dishonesty of these arguments always astounds me and leaves me with a desire to open all the windows and let some fresh air in.
What have these people got against folk music if they have to go to such lengths to avoid straightforward discussion?
Now - how about a withdrawal of what you have just said - on second thought, I suppose an apology was a bit too much to ask from you!!
JIm Carroll


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jan 16 - 03:10 AM

Why, do you do it, Jim? you belittle folk clubs, you rarely visit them, and when you occasionally visit one, for example THE CELLAR UPSTAIRS, your experience is completely different from mine, yet you persist in attempting to give the impression that it is ALWAYS crap, when you know perfectly well that it is the haunt of professional musicians like Tom Paley.


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 07:42 PM

"But you love it Jim because it give you more ammunition in your campaign against current folk club organiser"
Why do you do this Bryan?
I have never ever mentioned "organisers" my criticism is the way the sene as gone
Rather than respond to what I have actual;ly said - you invent a scenario.
You said some time ag that you "didn't have time" to respond what I put of of our MacColl inteview now you have time - still no response to what I put up
You were too bus#y last week - still no response - just smokescreens of your own creation.
You don't agree with what I say, fine, kindly have the balls to tell me why ad stop ducking and diving.
R.sole made a statement that is fairly common yet you still don't have the bottle to condemn it outright.
Very praiseworthy, I'm sure - akes me want to rush to join the queue to get into your club!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: TheSnail
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 05:07 PM

"Are you saying that you think that the Copper Family sing "finger in ear farming dirges "?
Tsk Bryan - bit beneath you - you know damn well I'm not - I object to eejits summing up folk song in that manner, which is what this particular braindead was doing

Jim, R.Sole did not mention the Coppers. You did.

It's an often expressed point of view, "finger in ear" "drony old singers", "tit trousers", "boring old songs, "too-long ballads".... all expressing a dislkike of the songs and occasionally the people who were generous to give them to us - just thought we owed it to make an effort, whoever expresses it - maybe not.
But you love it Jim because it give you more ammunition in your campaign against current folk club organiser with your conviction (despite any amount of evidence to the contrary) "that the revival has divorced itself from folk music." Life is too short to bother with the R.Soles of this world, or the Muskets for that matter (although there only seems to be one of him these days). You have a certain amount of status and can do (and are doing) far more damage than they ever could.


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 03:18 PM

he was born in east haddon, is that northants?
Jim, The singers club had high quality residents, they also would have benefited from TV coverage, Two contributory factors towards success. The fact that everyone was striving to learn new songs and not repeat themselves was a good policy, and Ewan was right to encourage and promote that, everyone was practising and trying to improve, that is good in any genre of folk music whether it blues or Traditional indigenous, Ballads OR Shanties OR Bothy ballads


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 03:04 PM

No Point scoring, no pissing contest, but I don't think the maths in the above posting add up.

It might be of interest to those not aware of the facts and who read the pages referred to above but Long John Baldry was one of the London practioners of Blues during the 1960's and his bookings were handled by Malcolm Nixon from at least 1960 until 1965. He was a regular performer at the Ballads & Blues Club and in fact headlined on the last night.

I have seen it suggested that the "Cockney blues singer" that Peggy found amusing was Long John. Anybody that knew John should be able to detect that he was no Cockney.


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 02:51 PM

Change is inevitable, but I couldnt be definite about whether it would or would not, in some places proscription works, maybe in others it wouldnt, but you are right there are many forms of proscription.
lets face it blues clubs proscribe too, I could not go into a Blues club sing a traditional ballad or a Shanty and expect to be asked to sing the next week.


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 01:06 PM

"was not just the residents of the club but all the singers to which the policy applied, is that correct or incorrect, Jim?"
May have ben fifty yars ago Dick - I wasn't around at the time
I fist attended the Singers in November 1963 (the day after Kennedy was shot).
Have to say there wasn't much sign of it then, but certainly, when I began to get down to London more often a few years later, it was as Peggy said it was, for the residents only.
I seem to remember that Long John Baldry had been a guest at the singers around then - I know Ewan admired him as a singer.
As I say - in my time it was never a rule, it was a guide.
I would have no great objection if it was compulsory for all singers in the very early days, Ewan and Bert were trying to get the British repertoire off the launching pad, but once it was established there was room to relax.
I found it interesting to read how the audiences dropped off when the club became a policy one, then built up again.
I remember being torned away from The Pindar of Wakefield because there was no room and having to queue at other times.
I queued for an hour to get into see Ewan and Peggy at Samson and Barlow's in Liverpool and had to book in advance when they came to Manchester.
Whenever I saw them at The singers, they played to more-or-less full houses. The Singers - a sign for me that whatever they did before I saw them, it seems to have worked, which seems to contradict any claim that a policy club drove people away.
If you say that things have changed and it wouldn't work today, fine, it seems to make my point that the revival has divorced itself from folk music. unless, of course, you are arguing that folk song no longer has a relevance - different argument altogether.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 12:40 PM

It was interesting, but I am still puzzled, I got the impression from the article, that it was not just the residents of the club but all the singers to which the policy applied, is that correct or incorrect, Jim?


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 11:20 AM

"I gave them the attention I thought they deserved".
It's an often expressed point of view, "finger in ear" "drony old singers", "tit trousers", "boring old songs, "too-long ballads".... all expressing a dislkike of the songs and occasionally the people who were generous to give them to us - just thought we owed it to make an effort, whoever expresses it - maybe not.   
"Are you saying that you think that the Copper Family sing "finger in ear farming dirges "?
Tsk Bryan - bit beneath you - you know damn well I'm not - I object to eejits summing up folk song in that manner, which is what this particular braindead was doing
Thanks for the link - haven't managed to find the time to read the book in full yet
Had to smile about John being regarded as one of the best Irish fiddlers though - not sure by who.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 10:43 AM

To The Snail;

Thanks for the link to that as you rightly call it "interesting page".


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: Vic Smith
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 09:45 AM

Bryan,
I have a copy of that book if you would like to read it in its entirety. I could also email you a copy of the review that I wrote of it in fRoots which surprised me from the number of positive emails that I got for the review from prominent people in traditional song circles.


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: TheSnail
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 09:08 AM

Jim the person who used the phrase "finger in ear farming dirges " signs on as GUEST,R Sole. I gave them the attention I thought they deserved. Looking back, I see that they made no mention of the Coppers. The only person to associate them with the phrase was you -
I think the most telling statement so far on this thread is "finger in ear farming dirges " and the most depressing is the silence following it - "roll over the Coppers"
Are you saying that you think that the Copper Family sing "finger in ear farming dirges "?

maybe it's o.k. down there in Lewes.
I have never heard anyone in a folk club audience say anything of the sort.

Changing the subject slightly, I came across this interesting page. It's amazing what you find when you are looking for something else.


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 09:04 AM

Don't disagree with that Mike, Jeannie became a victim of collectors who told her that her slow, drawn out style of singing was magnificent and here singing became slower and slower - compare some of the earliest recordings (don't think it was down to Hamish, b. t. w.
But that's a bit beside the point really; singers like Jeannie were not part of our folkie world - you don't go to them, ask them for their songs, then pull their singing apart publicly - it's both ungracious and, certainly from the point of view of a collector, self destructive - not the way to win songs and influence people.
We had a nasty 'incident' some time ago when a reviewer took the opportunity while reviewing one of our albums of field recordings, to take revenge for past differences, which included virtually ignoring the singers and their songs (in probably the longest review I've ever read), or taking a pop at them personally - "why does he sound like a woman" is not the type of thing you say about an elderly West Clare farmer.
It meant that we were reluctant to follow up the work we had originally done with that particular man, which lost us access to his manuscript collection of songs.
The behaviour was repeated by the publication some years later with another group of singers and another collector.
Don't know if any of the singers, or their relatives saw any of the reviews, but it shouldn't have happened - as I say, their agenda is not ours.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 08:41 AM

... Relevant here, it seems to me, as another instance of 'proscription'.


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 08:40 AM

Must admit, following a bit of potential drift, that I could never greatly admire Jeannie Robertson's performances. She certainly had fine clear voice & diction, & strong dramatic sense; but not all the mannerisms rang true to me. I have heard it suggested by other Scots that they suspected she had been got at by Hamish Henderson, who seems to have been ambivalently regarded by some, to sing in the manner he considered correct for a traditional Scots singer.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 08:14 AM

Correction to my earlier posts. Which should read,chacun à son goût.


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 06:48 AM

"For the second time of asking, Jim, what are you suggesting I howl about?"
For the second time - I gave you a quote from one of the protagonists here describing the type of singing Bob Copper regaled us with for so long as ""finger in ear farming dirges " .
Can only say, he wouldn't have got away with it in my day - maybe it's o.k. down there in Lewes.
I have a recording here of a meeting held circa 1965 in London to discuss the folk scene.
During its course, a leading folkie, who shall be nameless for fear of upsetting his friend, described Jeannie Robertson as an appalling singer - the meaning erupted into anger and ended up in chaos.
How I long for the days when folk song elicited a bit of passion!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 05:56 AM

I met Ewan a number of times, I booked them at my folk club, I did a support for them at a concert and had a long conversation with both of them they were pleasant and polite on all those occasions.
A relative of mine experienced their helpfulness and generosity, all this I have explained to you before.
I mentioned the reason why I did not choose to go to the singers club.,


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: TheSnail
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 04:55 AM

Bryan - look forward to your howls of protest.

For the second time of asking, Jim, what are you suggesting I howl about?


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 04:27 AM

"I doubt any of the 70+ people in the room would have recognised some of the self serving arrogance on here"
And I doubt if anybody who turn up for traditional music in the five sessions a week at our local pubs would recognise what you describe as folk music - whoops, apologies, you haven't actually given a description of what we'd find if we made an effort to turn up to your club other than "whatever we choose to put on" - no way to run a piss-up - in a brewery or anywhere else.
I am into folk music to promote folk music, not to put bums on seats for any old kind of music.
If you ask me what kind of music I mean by folk, I'll gladly tell you in as much detail a you want, or I'll point out to you where you can fing recordings of it or hundreds of collections of folk songs - or even record labels over the last dive decades devoted to it,; Topic, Folkways; Tangent; Claddagh, Library of Congress Smithsonian.....
Or books on it - The Ballad and the Folk; Folk Songs of the Upper Thames; English Folk Song, Some Conclusions; Folk Songs of the Northeast; THe Greig Duncan Folksong Collection (8 large volumes of that one!!!!).....   
If I wanted to learn about your "folk music", where can I find the information, who is there to explain it to me?
You certainly haven't.
When we interviewed MacColl, he said, "the greatest threat to the future of folk song is if it falls into the hands of people who don't like it"; "finger in ear farming dirges " suggest to me that it might have and Muskie's rather despicable attacks on elderly traditional singers rather confirm that.
What on earth type of music are you talking about - if you are unable to describe it and justify your description of it, how can you claim it has a future other than, whatever we choose to put on next week.
At least you have had the bottle to describe your club as a "music venue".... it certainly isn't a folk club.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 03:37 AM

"Yet I doubt few if any had heard of the singers club or indeed Mudcat."

Yes, 'R Sole', ignorance is bliss - especially to the wilfully ignorant!

Charming name, by the way, but I should point out that it does very little for your credibility.


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: GUEST,R Sole
Date: 18 Jan 16 - 07:15 PM

Meanwhile, tonight at a folk club..

I doubt any of the 70+ people in the room would have recognised some of the self serving arrogance on here. Everything from what Jim Carroll and two or three more would grudgingly call folk to songs the other few hundred on Mudcat would call folk. Yet I doubt few if any had heard of the singers club or indeed Mudcat.

GSS asked at the outset if proscription has any place in clubs. Sure, if you want to fuck up successful music venues!


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Jan 16 - 07:10 PM

"Mike and Peggy Seeger."
Doesn't matter - tyhe same thing stanmds, even more so - Mike wasn't just a regular guest, he was Peggy's brother - your story just doesn't hold water - it was a joke
"I was there, you were not there."
I knew both of them forr over twenty years (still see Peggy) you did not
I get tired of sneery sides from someone who nether knew the man nor cared for his singing
You can repeat your "praise" of Ewan's songwriting as many times as you like - doesn't mean a thing to me, I really don't care what you thought of him as a singer, songwriter gardener, scrabble-player.....
I've given you a list of what we did at the club you described as "ephemeral"
Address that, if you must - not really interested in any more sniding
You once threw a wobbler when I had the temerity to say what I thought of your singing (after I became extremely tired of your constant self-promoting) - yet you feel free to snide ad snipe at someone who has been dead for over a quarter of a century =- give us a break Dick
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Jan 16 - 06:28 PM

Jim, the other inaccuracy in your post, they were not on stage together. Peggy was busy in conversation with someone else[ as I have explained to you at least once before]it was the break at half time, I know what happened, I was there, you were not there.


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Jan 16 - 06:18 PM

I do not hate anyone.Neither am I knocking anyone, i am explaining why I decided not to go to the singers club, it seems like Musket had a similiar experience.
Jim, you are once again incorrect with your facts, it was not that album at all it was an album by Mike and Peggy Seeger.
Ewan was a fine songwriter and a very skilled performer, Shimrod thinks he was a great man, chacun sa gout.


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Jan 16 - 06:13 PM

How would proscription work today, if at all? What would you proscribe? What would or could it do to help people enjoy music?

It seems to be ubiquitous in my local 70s-nostalgia guys-with-guitars scene. If you turn up to try anything traditional (i.e. not in the Neil Young/Eagles/Dylan/Richard Thompson/Ralph McTell idiom) you won't get formally told off for it, you'll just get cold-shouldered by prats who put their guitars down and make no attempt to pick the piece up, however simple it may be. So you won't try for very long.

It works. It means those guys are heading for the eventide home in the safe knowledge that they'll never be challenged to learn anything that isn't already in their record collection. They enjoy it that way.


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jan 16 - 10:19 AM

"As I thought! This is really a MacColl knocking thread, "
It was a bloody joke - the idea that he would insult an album by Peggy and Tom Paley seriously while Peggy was on stage is bloody nonsense - they were long term partners and respected each others work absolutely - Dick's "experience" defies all logic.
Ewan actually gave me the album, among others while I was doing electrical work there - I still have the copy signed by both of them
Some people really do need a sense-of-humour transplant, but it's a great example of how these rumours get started
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 18 Jan 16 - 09:46 AM

"The reason I chose to not visit The Singers Club was as a result of a conversation with the "great Ewan MacColl"... Why would I want to spend my evenings with a man over twice my age, who on my first meeting with him appeared to be authoritarian."

As I thought! This is really a MacColl knocking thread, isn't it, GSS? Even though he's been dead for over a quarter of a century, you still hate him, don't you? I wonder if, before you met him, a few of your wannabee-LeadBelly/Guthrie/Dylan mates had told you that he was an evil man who TOLD OTHER PEOPLE WHAT THEY COULD or COULDN'T SING (horror)!!??

At your next gig you will need to look closely at the audience because his ghost might be among them marking your performance out of ten! Scary stuff!


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 18 Jan 16 - 09:21 AM

"I think proscription to have been ultimately harmful ..."

Bollocks! Who did it harm?

It applied to a particular club, at a particular time - a club which had specific objectives and formulated a policy which helped it to meet those objectives.

Having said that, all of the best clubs that I attended - including the first one that I ever attended, in my home town - had policies (usually unwritten) which might be described as "proscriptive". But those policies were about taste and a common understanding of the musical genre that the members of the club (both performers and audience) were interested in and enjoyed. It was NEVER, as the 'everything-is-folk' brigade continue to insist, about compulsion or restriction.


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: TheSnail
Date: 18 Jan 16 - 08:21 AM

What, pray tell Jim, would you like me to howl about?


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jan 16 - 07:05 AM

"THE SINGERS CLUB has not left a legacy.It was ephemeral."
The residents of the Singes Club researched and launched the London repertoire into the revival, presented the Waterloo Peterloo project with their album, established theme and poetry and sing evenings evenings as far back as the mid-sixties.
Bert and Ewan, as residents, introduced Industrial songs into the revival at the beginning of the early sixties, the women residents produced 'The Female Frolic' project and album and the rest of the residents, John and Sandra, Terry Yarnell, Frankie Armstrong and Bob Blair all produced their own albums.
Ewan and Peggy released The |Long Harvest (10 albums) and Blood and Roases (4 albums) - arguably the best sets of Child ballads ever.
On Argo, Ewan, Peggy and the Critics Group co-operated with actors in producing 20 albums of poetry and song for schools ('Poetry and song (14 albums) Voices (6 albums).
The Singer residents put on 6 'living newspaper' shows (The Festival of Fools' at the end of the year which ran for two weeks each time.
Peggy produced 20-odd songbooks of newly composed songs to be sold at the club which introduced 100s of new songs into the revival from all over the world.
Ewan, with the residents of the club established a self help group for less experienced sings which led to similar being set up in various parts of the country
Our own archive includes about twenty Singers Club evenings and 200 plus recordings of Critics Group meetings, all of wich ill be archived and made available soon....... yup Dick, fairly "ephemeral.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: TheSnail
Date: 18 Jan 16 - 06:40 AM

Hootenanny I'll take that as a "No" then. Entirely within your rights of course but it would be interesting to know.


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Subject: RE: The singers club and proscription
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jan 16 - 06:38 AM

"Actually, I was at a Copper Family house concert on Friday evening"
Delighted to hear it Bryan - look forward to your howls of protest.
Jim Carroll


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