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Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s

Les in Chorlton 26 Apr 16 - 06:26 AM
G-Force 26 Apr 16 - 07:10 AM
GUEST,Senoufou 26 Apr 16 - 07:17 AM
Kampervan 26 Apr 16 - 07:20 AM
Will Fly 26 Apr 16 - 08:15 AM
Stanron 26 Apr 16 - 10:24 AM
Dave the Gnome 26 Apr 16 - 10:42 AM
Les in Chorlton 26 Apr 16 - 11:36 AM
The Sandman 26 Apr 16 - 12:01 PM
MGM·Lion 26 Apr 16 - 12:48 PM
MGM·Lion 26 Apr 16 - 12:51 PM
Les in Chorlton 26 Apr 16 - 01:13 PM
MGM·Lion 26 Apr 16 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,Derrick 26 Apr 16 - 01:39 PM
Les in Chorlton 27 Apr 16 - 03:19 AM
Mr Red 27 Apr 16 - 04:05 AM
Les in Chorlton 27 Apr 16 - 04:45 AM
Rob Naylor 27 Apr 16 - 06:17 AM
Mo the caller 27 Apr 16 - 06:32 AM
MikeL2 27 Apr 16 - 11:42 AM
babypix 27 Apr 16 - 12:28 PM
The Sandman 27 Apr 16 - 04:21 PM
Little Robyn 28 Apr 16 - 12:08 AM
Howard Jones 28 Apr 16 - 04:10 AM
Rob Naylor 28 Apr 16 - 04:49 AM
Pete from seven stars link 28 Apr 16 - 06:27 AM
GUEST,MikeOfNorthumbria (sans cookie) 28 Apr 16 - 06:52 AM
Rob Naylor 28 Apr 16 - 07:08 AM
GUEST 28 Apr 16 - 08:40 AM
JHW 28 Apr 16 - 03:22 PM
The Sandman 28 Apr 16 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 28 Apr 16 - 08:56 PM
The Sandman 29 Apr 16 - 05:33 AM
Will Fly 29 Apr 16 - 05:50 AM
GUEST,RickS 29 Apr 16 - 07:06 AM
Teribus 30 Apr 16 - 05:05 AM
DMcG 30 Apr 16 - 06:41 AM
The Sandman 30 Apr 16 - 10:27 AM
GUEST,Desi C 01 May 16 - 02:17 PM
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Subject: Review: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s &
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 06:26 AM

Why did folk clubs multiply in the 60s & 70's?

The reason I ask is that I enjoyed folk clubs in the 60s & 70s and I think it would be good to understand why they worked then - only to collapse in the 80s & 90s.


1. The effect of Skiffle – revealing a genre of music quite different from chart pops
2. The regional effects of groups like MacColl & Seeger & friends, The Spinners, The Ian Campbell Folk Group, The High Level Ranters and others
3. An available collection of folk songs via magazines, books and EFDSS/CSH/RVWML
4. We could sing unaccompanied or with simple guitar chords AND without a PA
5. Rooms were available in pubs – young people could quietly have an under aged drink
6. The rest of us could simply drink
7. Chart pops were looking at blues and folk – Dylan, Donovan, New Seekers, Peter, Paul & Mary.

Any other views?


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s &
From: G-Force
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 07:10 AM

I think you meant the Seekers, not the New Seekers.

Reason 7 was the main one in my case - Dylan and Donovan hitting the charts not long after I got my first guitar and realised I was never going to be Chuck Berry.


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s &
From: GUEST,Senoufou
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 07:17 AM

I was a hippy in the late sixties/early seventies, and went to several folk clubs. You're right about the reasons you give above, Les. Also, I think we were into all things 'ethnic', and that included traditional songs, as well as long monsoony clothes and Native American headbands, Jesus sandals, Indian woven bags and so on.

There were also many 'protest' songs in a folk genre which in those days moved us deeply. We were beginning to get worried about War, Racism, Poverty and Injustice and the songs of Dylan et al expressed our thoughts.

There wasn't much piped music in pubs then, and you could hear a folk singer without amplification above the fairly quiet hubbub.

Happy days...!


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s &
From: Kampervan
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 07:20 AM

To everything...there is a season

Sorry, couldn't resist.


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s &
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 08:15 AM

I started going to folk clubs in the mid-'60s purely and simply because it was somewhere I could go to perform. I didn't really care what was on the agenda - and I actually didn't care for a lot of what was on at my local club in Lancaster. I saw the Spinners there - didn't like them; saw Jackie and Bridie there - didn't like them either. Too mumsy for my taste. But I did also see performers like Alex Campbell and Spider John Koerner, and Swarb and Carthy, and thoroughly enjoyed them.

I was very, very selfish - really just used the venue as somewhere to play guitar and sing and learn how to do it live in front of an audience. Which was what a lot of people did if they didn't join a band. I didn't have amplification - couldn't afford it - so I couldn't join a band. As soon as I managed to afford my DeArmond pickup and a Watkins amp, I started playing in pubs with other musicians.

Later on, when I moved to London, I got back into the acoustic scene by haunting the Cousins (as well as electric blues venues like the Marquee and Klooks Kleek) because I lived the guitar magic of Graham, Jansch, Renbourn, Al Stewart, John James, etc.

So, for me, they served a purpose. Whether they serve that purpose now for young musicians is a question I can't answer. But I suspect sessions and open mics have taken over.


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s &
From: Stanron
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 10:24 AM

As someone who 'missed' rock 'n roll in the late 50s the popular music at the time was totally naff until 1962 and the Beatles. Even then most of it was manufactured rubbish.

Discovering folk clubs as naff free places where everyone sang together was wonderful. The punk generation, ten years later, thought naff free included silly haircuts, pins in the skin and appalling music (and spitting?).

Generations change. Their experiences are different and as a result their needs are different.

Maybe after we've all popped our clogs another generation will emerge that likes sitting together in unfussy surroungings and making music together.


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s &
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 10:42 AM

It was the 60's. Everyone was trying to multiply with everyone everywhere :-)


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s &
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 11:36 AM

Thanks folks, I think this is a really fundamental point that Stanron makes:



Discovering folk clubs as naff free places where everyone sang together was wonderful


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s &
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 12:01 PM

effort. lots of performers started their own clubs, booked other club organisers if they were good enough.
plus left wing and communists like maccoll, ted poole, bert lloyd, put alot of effort into organising and also encouraging and helping performers
if young performers do not start running clubs and festivals there will be nowhere for them to do gigs. degree courses need to emphasise this and teach young performers how to organise events


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s &
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 12:48 PM

Re the thread title -- it should surely read 50s, 60s, 70s. The OP mentions skiffle as his first point. Skiffle groups -- Vipers, Russ Cray & Hylda Syms, Henry Morris Group, Chas McDevitt, Easy Riders, Donegan &c — all originated and flourished from the mid-1950s; I have confirmed this on Wikipedia. And it was from these that the folk club scene emerged. I regularly attended the succession of clubs that operated at the Princess Louise, the Cranbourn, the Bread Basket &c, from 1955 onwards.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s &
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 12:51 PM

... & even played washboard & rhythm guitar in one of the groups mentioned above!


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s &
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 01:13 PM

Couldn't agree more Mr/Ms Lion. Thing is the title of a thread can only contain so many characters - I was going for 60s & 70s but ran out of characters.


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s &
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 01:24 PM

Mr, Les -- or it would be 'Lioness', eh? My name, as many of my old folk·scene and journo acquaintance will know, is Michael Grosvenor Myer. The identity of my initials with a well-known film company is not entirely adventitious, as Louis B Mayer, the second M of MGM (despite slight variation in the spelling probably down to a slip of the pen on part of some immigration official in the Port of London or on Ellis Island) was actually my first-cousin-twice-removed; ie my paternal grandfather's first cousin.

End of drift. Shall revert to normal-size type hereafter.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s &
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 01:39 PM

One reason given to me when I helped run a club in Plymouth in the early seventies was a reflection of social attitudes of the time.
We had many young sailors and Royal Marines amongst our members,
one reason they liked it was it was a place they could meet young women in a pub.The girls could come to the club on their own at a time when many pubs still frowned at young woman in pubs on their own.


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 27 Apr 16 - 03:19 AM

Thanks Derrek,

I think that whole social thing of people between 16 and mid -late 20s meeting together was really crucial. Hard to sum up but still crucial. Did we become part of some minor cult? I don't mean that unkindly but 'Folkies' did become a recognisable group - at least to each other. We knew we could go to folk clubs miles away, meet like-minded people and be made welcome.

Out of this grew Folk Festivals like Whitby and Sidmouth where again we could meet like-minded people and be made welcome.


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: Mr Red
Date: 27 Apr 16 - 04:05 AM

What Les said plus

Fashion.

I know its not politic to say there are fashions in Folk but IT was a fashion and within it - who sings the Wild Rover any more - not as fashionable is it?


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 27 Apr 16 - 04:45 AM

Yes, fashion Mr Red. I know their was a dress 'fashion' of sorts; Jeans, T shirts but much worse - collarless shirts, waistcoats, big belts, dodgy hats. I must have been aware of this. I remember my sister in law saying something like I was going to get you one of those sleeveless jackets - you could go to your folky dos in it. I was horrified at the idea that we would dress up to go to a folky event.

But the thing is many of us did! But worse ................. we still do. We have been to 6 or 7 Shrewsbury Folk Fests - brilliant Fest loads of great music but the dress code is alarming:

Tie dye, Festival T shirts, big boots, waistcoats, dodgy hats, bandanas, layers of wildly coloured shirts, blouses and blankets. Strange leather adornments and jewelry.

Maybe I am just too uptight to join in but I wonder how people make it from their front door to the car to drive to the Festival with out being seen by the neighbors or what they would say if met by the office manager or whoever?

OK serious thread drift


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 27 Apr 16 - 06:17 AM

Good Soldier Schweik: if young performers do not start running clubs and festivals there will be nowhere for them to do gigs. degree courses need to emphasise this and teach young performers how to organise events

Young performers DO run events these days...they just happen not to be "folk clubs". I'm in Devon this week and have a choice of open mics or sessions in Seaton (2), Axminster, Bridport, Lyme Regis, Crewkerne or Honiton, all within 25 mins drive of where I'm staying, and all but one run by young people (under 35).

My young friend Elijah runs a whole group of open mics under a single "trade name", covering quite a swathe of Devon, Dorset and Somerset.

When I go home to Kent there are at least 4 open mics that I know of in the town where I live, all run by young people. There are also 2 venues which showcase young local musicians, a free May bank holiday local showcase called "Unfest" and an August bank holiday showcase running for 3 days called "Local and Live". Most of the organisers there are under 35.

There is a folk club in Seaton that runs every couple of weeks, and often clashes with one of the open mics, but the folk club ends at 1030 and the open mic goes on until midnight, so I can often get to both :-). I'm usually one of the youngest at the Seaton event, and it's definitely NOT run by young people. Nor are the more "folky" events which run in my home area around Kent and Sussex.

Apart from the Ditchling session (which Will Fly plays no small part in) which is lively, varied and always interesting, the few folk clubs that I get time to visit in my home area these days are mostly quite staid and, to be honest, youngsters would mostly find them a bit boring (I've taken young musicians along in the past and they've never returned).

Different times, different solutions! I imagine in 40 years people will be wondering why the few remaining open mics are populated by people in their 60s and 70s, whilst the youngsters are merrily linking their implants into VR gigs and festivals.


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: Mo the caller
Date: 27 Apr 16 - 06:32 AM

"We knew we could go to folk clubs miles away, meet like-minded people and be made welcome."

And still can. When I was caring for MIL in Beverley and feeling quite cut off from my 'real life' in Cheshire I went to a folk club at Nellies and Hull folk dance club. The days after both of these someone spoke to me as I was shopping (and taking MIL's bet to the bookie). Very heartening.
The festivals Les mentioned also mean that where-ever you go (to dance, anyway) you are likely to see faces you recognise.


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: MikeL2
Date: 27 Apr 16 - 11:42 AM

Hi

I came into folk " by the back door really ".

i played piano as a result of following my father who played in several dance bands.

Although I enjoyed learning to play in dance bands I really wanted to play to listening audiences.

This was just at the time of Lonnie Donnegan. So I bought a cheap guitar and learned a few chords and we formed a group at work. Yes we even used a tea-chest base !!

I then moved into rock and pop music and played in a few reasonably successful bands. I was also interested in jazz and tried that also.

I played rugby and our club held a folk night and after training I went into the room to hear the music. I enjoyed the easy-going atmosphere and as I listened and watched the guests Harvey Andrews and Graham Cooper I talked to the guys running the club and I got a spot as a singer at the next folk night.

I think this is why the clubs were successful because then encouraged people to join in and enjoy themselves.

Why are they fading out ?? Many reasons I guess but that's another thread which has been covered her previously.

Cheers

Mike


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: babypix
Date: 27 Apr 16 - 12:28 PM

Perhaps a better question is why they proliferated in the first place. I'm not being smarmy. What was happening at this time in history which lent itself to a youth culture which was clearly "not your parents' music" may be a big key to the answer. When singer-songwriters of the late 60s and 70s came on the scene, there seemed to be a brief meeting of the minds between parents and youth-oriented radio music-- in the US, Neil Diamond, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, and Gordon Lightfoot, music was being consumed by adults and kids alike. Maybe there was less need for a particular venue in which "kids" could hear "their" music--- "their" music was now everywhere to be found...


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Apr 16 - 04:21 PM

here is an example of open mics.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLNtDMPegkY. different times, different solutions , what a lot of poppy cock.
in the sixties and seventies, folk club performers had to know their words without lyric sheets,and often managed to perform well and sing audibly and well without amplification and louder than their accompaniments, if this is a typical example it is not a solution to anything, all it is, is a pleasant background sound that beer festival drunkards can talk over, music to get oblivious too.


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: Little Robyn
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 12:08 AM

Here in NZ I think it was a little different - the growth of Coffee Bars (no music allowed in pubs, which closed at 6pm anyway) and academics who had been overseas after WW2 and brought back ideas and records which were introduced to students in the late 50s/early 60s. Yes, we started with guitars and skiffle, also Kingston trinity and the Weavers. Hank Walters, an American working in Wellington, had a great collection of folk records and would hold regular parties where he handed out song sheets for everyone to join in.
Mary Seddon ran a coffee bar in Wellington called Monde Marie and she would hire singers to entertain the patrons.
I joined the Teacher's Training College Folk Club and we listed to Hank's records and learnt songs which were mostly American, often protesting against segregation or nuclear weapons or wars and fighting. The University Folk Club followed a similar path and in 1965 the first Wellington Folk Festival was held. All the singers were locals or people from overseas who had come here to live.
Overseas singers such as William Clauson, Nina and Frederik and Elizabeth Schwarzkopf had toured NZ in the 50s but in 1964 someone brought out Judy Collins, Josh White, the Smother's Brothers and Bud and Travis for a concert in the Town Hall. Wonderful!
It became fashionable to go to the coffee bars, to sit chatting in a smokey dimly lit room (with white string criss-crossing a black ceiling). The Chez Paree and the Balladeer were the other two that offered folk music but the Balladeer closed in November 1967 and Mary closed the Monde in 1970 - possibly because NZ had voted to allow pubs to stay open until 10pm.
From about 1968 the Folk Song Cellar recordings were played on National Radio - at around midnight on Saturdays and that exposed our singers to a wealth of British material which was quickly added to our repertoire.
In 1969/70 several Wellington clubs (Kapiti, Port Nick, Wellington FC) combined to form the Folk Centre and a suitable venue was found to house various activities - concerts, workshops, parties, Morris dancers and even a wedding (ours) in 1984.
But music promoters stopped being interested in folkies in the 70s and "folk music" was no longer 'the fashion'. Although the folk festivals were growing bigger, the clubs were growing smaller - the people who had run them for years got tired of doing all the work and 'new blood' wasn't so keen to take on a thankless task each week.   
A few pubs become open to having music and with alcohol now available to singers and listeners, the coffee bars lost their folk patrons.
Wellington Folk Centre struggled to pay the rent and eventually closed in the late 1980s.
Today the Devonport Folk Club in Auckland is probably the biggest (and best) folk club in the country but many pubs around NZ have weekly music sessions, attracting all kinds of music and performers from beginners to seasoned regulars with years of folk singing behind them.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: Howard Jones
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 04:10 AM

I discovered folk music by accident. Just as I'd learned to play the guitar much pop music had become weird and psychedelic, and wasn't very accessible to me as a 12 year old with my 3 chords. I came across a book of folk songs, and took to it because it was music I could play. However this also coincided with a period when folk was part of the wider popular music culture, it wasn't a niche interest as it is now. The Spinners had their own TV programme.

As Will has pointed out, folk clubs provided an environment where you could go to perform, and to learn the skills. Even as an inexperienced performer you could find yourself supporting a nationally-known guest, most of whom were very supportive and encouraging. This encouraged floor-singers to aim for high standards - the idea that it was enough simply to attempt to sing and never mind the quality hadn't yet taken hold.

Fashion moved on, and folk ceased to be part of mainstream culture and became a minority interest for enthusiasts. That generation grew older together, and started to find that work and family commitments kept them away from folk clubs. This affected quite a large number at around the same time. Younger performers weren't exposed to folk music the way we had been, but had punk instead as their musical outlet, so the generation which was dropping out of the clubs wasn't being replaced.

This is certainly what happened to me, and when I returned after several years away I found that there were far fewer clubs, most offering only low- to average-standard floorsingers, or guest concerts with no opportunity to perform myself. This isn't for me, and I now very seldom go to folk clubs. Most of my music is now in sessions or playing with a ceilidh band.


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 04:49 AM

Good Soldier Schweik: different times, different solutions , what a lot of poppy cock.
in the sixties and seventies, folk club performers had to know their words without lyric sheets,



Here are some pics from a "proper" folk club I attended last week:

Folk Club In Devon

As you can see, nearly everyone's using lyric sheets! (I'm not, though :-) )

And no, I don't think your link is a typical example of an open mic.


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 06:27 AM

Folk club finishing with communal song...rocking all over the world ..!    Like it rob!


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: GUEST,MikeOfNorthumbria (sans cookie)
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 06:52 AM

The scene:

A bar, anywhere, any time.

The characters:

Two elderly gents, gazing dismally into half-empty beer glasses.

The Conversation:

Vladimir: 'Ah, the ... [insert item of your own choice] ... isn't like it it used to be in the Good Old Days'

Estragon: 'In another twenty years, "now" will have become the Good Old Days. But we won't know it, because we'll be gone.'


Historical Note:

At family gatherings when I was a little lad, my parents and their siblings used to reminisce endlessly about how great things were in the days 'before the war'. Later, when I read about the Great Depression, the rise of Fascism, and the drift to global disaster, I wondered how the heck Mom and Pop could have enjoyed the 1930s so much. The answer was, of course, because that was when they were young.

One thing most young people have always needed is a place to hang out - to gossip and flirt with each other - to stop being somebody else's son or daughter and become somebody in their own right. For many kids today the only place is a park bench or a bus shelter. For some it's a youth club (often run by religious evangelists or political activists seeking new recruits). And for some it's the local cafe - or if they look old enough, the local bar.

A long, long time ago, for quite a few young people, the place to hang out was a folk club. But eventually musical tastes changed, new social opportunities appeared, and most of the audience moved on, leaving the performers to entertain each other (and argue endlessly about who were the true believers and who were the heretics).

So here we are, older but not much wiser, wasting valuable time and energy reminiscing about the good old days (which in truth weren't always as good as we remember them).   Meanwhile, we are living in what will probably become the good old days of tomorrow - let's enjoy them while we still can.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 07:08 AM

Pete...I've heard similar at Foot's Cray....I wish I could get up there now and then. Was hoping to make it more often this year, but once again I seem to be getting up at 0415 on a Tuesday to travel to Devon, so need to be in bed early Mondays :-(


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 08:40 AM

England is full of creative people. The folk clubs of the '60's provided a broad highway for all types of people. in the 70's the scene began to fragment into Derek Brimstone type entertainer clubs and the Martin Carthy type traditional music venues.

The highway was no longer quite as broad. Although some singers like Bernard Wrigley seemed to straddle the divide - the attitude wasn't quite as Come All Ye.


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: JHW
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 03:22 PM

I loved it. First night in a bar so full we sat on (wooden) beer crates.
I think I'd love to go to a Folk Club now like they were then, but if I could would I enjoy it the same - or have I changed too much as well?


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 05:24 PM

a proper folk club, not typical of folk clubs where I play, which are geust booking folk clubs
GO AND VISIT GOODS FOLK CLUBS LIKE BODMIN OR THE WILSONS CLUB.
JHW, you are a good performer


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 08:56 PM

In So. California...

There were "open Mic" nights....and they rotated from club to club. They were not BARS but, coffee-houses. The ID required was age 16.

Monday - Golden Bear - Huntington Beach
Tuesday- Light House - Redondo Beach
Wednesday - a strange mix of places on Santa Monica/Sunset
Thursday - Ice House - . Pasadena

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

A more thorough discussion is found in earlier threads.


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Apr 16 - 05:33 AM

To go back to the original question, the standard was high, you had to do a good floor spot to be allowed on again,no reading from bits of paper, good folk clubs these days that book guests are very different from the club rob naylor chose to portray, which i presume is a singers club.
if a club today books the likes of peggy seeger or martin carthy or martin simpson they expect high standrard,they do not expect reading from bits of paper, those high quality performers learned their art in the high quality "guest booking clubs" of the sixties


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: Will Fly
Date: 29 Apr 16 - 05:50 AM

With respect Dick, the original question was not about standards - it was about the reason behind the upsurge in folk clubs existence in that period. I don't think anyone who was around in those days (like meself) would argue with your statement about high standards, but it wasn't the original question.

I wonder how many of the clubs, like my home town club - Lancaster Folk Stir - grew from clubs that were originally folk dance society clubs. When I started to go that one, the committee/organisers were elderly ladies and gents from the folk dance world. More and more younger people started to attend as the folk idea grew, but it was still a bit unadventurous musically.

Having said that, one of the regular attendees was the great Sam Sherry, and I feel privileged to have seen him performing.


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: GUEST,RickS
Date: 29 Apr 16 - 07:06 AM

My memory from when I started going to them in '65 was that they were very hip places - the dancehalls were full of mods, but what they used to call the underground ( ie those in the know ) were picking up on Dylan, Baez, Buffy Saint Marie, Davey Graham & acoustic blues players like Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee; to me, this all had a compelling 'authenticity' compared with mass-appeal music, & folk clubs were certainly far less aggressive places than the dancehalls, at least in Reading, where I lived, & our local level of musicianship was very high
    by the 70s, my recollection is that they were becoming a bit more factional ( eg trad vs contemporary ) & that they were a bit old hat - & I don't think the likes of Steeleye Span in the charts helped the cause any ..


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: Teribus
Date: 30 Apr 16 - 05:05 AM

Presumably because back then they actually played "folk music" which required no amplification which made it a type of place accessible to anyone, you didn't have to be in a band to do it.

This went into decline as I suppose everything does, but "folk music" then degenerated into a catch-all performance opportunity for former wannabe pop singers reliving their youth, failed or failing musicians from practically every other musical genre.

I do not go to a folk club to listen to an endless stream of 50s, 60s, 70s or 80s pop songs bashed out with widely varying competence by people using crib sheets because nobody knows the words.


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: DMcG
Date: 30 Apr 16 - 06:41 AM

I think you also need to look at what the competition was. In the UK, there were only two television channels. Even a substantial town (like my origin in Middlesbrough) had few cinemas - four, if I remember rightly; these days most cinemas have more screens than that. Obviously, there were no video games, etc, etc. So if you went out, you may find your only choice was between a pub with music and a pub without.


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Apr 16 - 10:27 AM

why did folk clubs multiply in the sixties and seventies?
original question, there are a number of answers.........1. a lot of har work and promotion by club organisers.[people like macColl Lloyd TED POOLE,Vic Smith
2. the high quality of performance by all singers including floor singers.
3 Relative economic prosperity.
4. The commercialisation of the music.


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Subject: RE: Why did Folk Clubs multiply in the 60s & 70s
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 01 May 16 - 02:17 PM

I think Skiffle must take come credit in kicking it off, that led to young people wanting to play acoustic guitar. Next was the move to hiring rooms in pubs instead of rather straight laced clubs in curch halls and private halls. Next was the ban the bomb movement CND, folk gave them a musical voice and bred protest singers. Ewan McColl at the same time developed the singers clubs which bred many British Folk Singers, while at the same time the big Festivals like Woodstock bred the American Folk movement. It was really a combination of many social and political factors coming together at the right time, probably the most importand and richest era of music we've ever had, I doubt it will ever be equalled, certainly never been matched


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