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early US collections of folk songs

Airymouse 02 Nov 16 - 11:33 AM
Steve Gardham 02 Nov 16 - 03:35 PM
Lighter 02 Nov 16 - 04:20 PM
GUEST,,gargoyle 02 Nov 16 - 07:48 PM
Airymouse 02 Nov 16 - 10:58 PM
GUEST,Mike Yates 03 Nov 16 - 03:56 AM
leeneia 03 Nov 16 - 02:57 PM
Steve Gardham 04 Nov 16 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,Stevebury 04 Nov 16 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,,gargoyle 04 Nov 16 - 07:01 PM
Airymouse 04 Nov 16 - 10:46 PM
Steve Gardham 05 Nov 16 - 03:54 AM
Hrothgar 05 Nov 16 - 06:36 AM
Lighter 05 Nov 16 - 07:24 AM
Steve Gardham 05 Nov 16 - 08:50 AM
Lighter 05 Nov 16 - 11:28 AM
Richie 05 Nov 16 - 12:45 PM
Steve Gardham 05 Nov 16 - 05:53 PM
Stevebury 05 Nov 16 - 06:39 PM
Steve Gardham 05 Nov 16 - 07:38 PM
Lighter 05 Nov 16 - 07:48 PM
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Subject: early US collections o Southern folk songs
From: Airymouse
Date: 02 Nov 16 - 11:33 AM

I have a relative taking a course, Introduction to Southern Roots Music, who has been told the following:"Folk music was first collected for publication in William Francis Allen's "Slave songs of the United States" (1867). Black spirituals got most of the attention until an Englishman named Cecil traveled southern Appalachia.."
I know that versions of some of the songs Sharp collected appear in earlier US publications, for example, Henry Shoemaker's "North Pennsylvania Minstrelsy" or J Fingers, "Cowboy Songs and Sea Chanties," but I admit these publications were not specifically about Appalachian music. What's your feeling about what my relative is being taught?


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Subject: RE: early US collections of folk songs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Nov 16 - 03:35 PM

Missouri Folklore Society, spring of 1903 started recording ballads from Missouri , and by the end of the year they had started collecting in earnest. The songs collected then though weren't actually published in a book till Belden was published in 1940. I don't think Sharp started collecting in the mountains till about 1916 and his stuff wasn't published in full till 1932.


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Subject: RE: early US collections of folk songs
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Nov 16 - 04:20 PM

E. C. Perrow published a collection of "Songs and Rhymes from the South" in the Journal of American Folklore, 1912-1916.

John A. Lomax was the first major collector of American folksongs. His book of "Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads" appeared in 1910 - with an introduction by Theodore Roosevelt.


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Subject: RE: early US collections of folk songs
From: GUEST,,gargoyle
Date: 02 Nov 16 - 07:48 PM

You will find an excellent collection in the bibliography of:

On Highway 61
by Dennis McNally
Counter Point, Berkley, 2014

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

You will find within the recent Mudcat posts a rebuttal of my praise for 61 however, the scholarship is solid and fits your interests.


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Subject: RE: early US collections of folk songs
From: Airymouse
Date: 02 Nov 16 - 10:58 PM

My father was born in Greenville, which is about 20 miles off of Highway 61. I couldn't find your praise for Highway 61 or the rebuttal, but I learned a lot hunting. I'm going to buy a used copy.


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Subject: RE: early US collections of folk songs
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 03 Nov 16 - 03:56 AM

Here is an extract from an article that I wrote about Cecil Sharp:

"It is interesting that (in 1915) Sharp appeared to be unaware of (folksongs in America), especially as there were already other collectors apart from Mrs Campbell working in the Appalachians. State Folklore Societies had been founded in North Carolina and Kentucky in 1912, in Virginia in 1913 and in West Virginia in 1915. New York collector Josephine McGill spent the summer of 1914 searching for songs in Knott and Letcher Counties, Kentucky; although she did not publish the results of her work until 1917. In 1916 Sharp was probably aware that Loraine Wyman and Howard Brockway were also collecting in several Kentucky Counties."

Mrs Campbell had already collected some 200 songs from Appalachian singers before she met Cecil Sharp in 1915.


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Subject: RE: early US collections of folk songs
From: leeneia
Date: 03 Nov 16 - 02:57 PM

I once got a facsimile of a book, c. 1812, called "Reilly's Flute Melodies." In the introduction, the editor said there were many books of American popular music published in the early days (19th century, probably even 18th.) The trouble is, the copies didn't survive.

By "popular music" I mean the music people were singing at the time. We could consider most of it folk music by now. Sad to say, most of it is lost.


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Subject: RE: early US collections of folk songs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Nov 16 - 09:11 AM

The layman's perception over here is that Sharp was the first man in the field, but as we have seen collecting was under way well before he came along. I think it's fair to say that Child's pupils gave some stimulus to the collecting of songs, initially the Child Ballads, in the decade before 1900. As Mike has pointed out state folklore societies were collecting songs as part of their folklore collecting in the 1900s.


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Subject: RE: early US collections of folk songs
From: GUEST,Stevebury
Date: 04 Nov 16 - 05:38 PM

There seem to be several different kinds of early US collections of folksongs:
(1) collections by intentional 'outsider' collectors,
(2) manuscript collections, and
(3) songsters.

(1) William Francis Allen's "Slave Songs of the United States" (1867) is the earliest example of the first type which I know of. And certainly there were many other collectors before Sharp.

(2) Early manuscript 'collections' were made presumably for the writer's own use. Examples of which I happen to be aware of include:
* The journal of Timothy Connor, an American privateer imprisoned by the British from 1777-1779, includes some 56 songs. It was published as "A Sailor's Songbag" (George Carey ed., 1976, University of Massachusetts Press).
* Lewis Jones, a whaleman from Long Island, compiled a manuscript of song texts between 1845 and 1850. The manuscript is in the East Hampton NY Library, and has not been published.
* Gale Huntington identified many songs recorded in the journals of 19th century whalemen ("Songs the Whalemen Sang" (1964) and "The Gam" (2014)).
* Stuart M. Frank also collected songs from 19th century whalemen's journals ("Jolly Sailors Bold" (2010)
* The Stevens-Douglass manuscript from western New York dates from 1841-1856 (published as "A Pioneer Songster", ed Harold W. Thompson, 1958, Cornell University Press).
* "Family Songs" includes words and music to a dozen traditional songs sung by the Allen family of Massachusetts, compiled and privately published by Rosa G. Allen in 1899. [Yes ? the same Allen family as "Slave Songs of the United States"!]
* Various collectors have also drawn on early manuscript sources in their published collections.

(3) Songsters were small cheaply printed collections of popular songs. Some were traditional. Others, especially after around 1860, were mostly more recent popular songs. (Of course some of these 'popular' composed songs became 'folk songs' and were later collected from oral tradition.)
* "The Green Mountain Songster" was published 'by an old revolutionary soldier" in 1823. Some of the contents were included in "The New Green Mountain Songster" by Flanders, Ballard, Brown, & Barry (1939).
* A series of "Forget-Me-Not Songsters" was published in the 1850s, and they included many traditional songs. Norm Cohen has published an extensive analysis in "The Forget-Me-Not Songsters and Their Role in the American Folksong Tradition," (Norm Cohen, American Music, Vol. 23, No. 2 (Summer, 2005), pp. 137-219). [ http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/the-forget-me-not-songsters--norm-cohen.aspx ]
* The American Antiquarian Society has more than 1,000 songsters; nearly 300 were published before 1821, while the remainder were published before 1877.
* The Center for Popular Music, at Middle Tennessee State University, also has a large collection of songsters, collected by Kenneth Goldstein.
* The Center for Popular Music has also published Norm Cohen's "A Finding List of American Secular Songsters Published Between 1860 and 1899" (2000). It identifies hundreds of songsters, and libraries where they can be found.
* Some American songsters are available online; the only listing I am aware of is at http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/browse?type=lcsubc&key=Songsters&c=x

So there are lots of "early collections" out there.


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Subject: RE: early US collections of folk songs
From: GUEST,,gargoyle
Date: 04 Nov 16 - 07:01 PM

Sincerly Sorry,

The book review "Highway 61" and reply have been lost on the Mudcat.
I searched and they were not there.

HOWEVER, they were, however briefly, on The Mudcat, within the past three months.

The postings were pure academic...the rebutal was solid.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Perhaps, a "clone" can revive the server from that date? Or explain a copy-right or other problem?


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Subject: RE: early US collections of folk songs
From: Airymouse
Date: 04 Nov 16 - 10:46 PM

To Gargoyle: Nothing to be sorry about. I really did enjoy the hunt. I searched through your posts and I kept coming on topics that were interesting, even though they clearly were not en route 61.
To Stevebury: Thank you for your fascinating post. I wish I had known about Lewis Jones, because I used to live in a hamlet called Wainscott, which isn't very far from East Hampton.


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Subject: RE: early US collections of folk songs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Nov 16 - 03:54 AM

The Lewis Jones (obviously not our English expert) material looks interesting but I can't imagine that Frank/Huntington have not been there. Have they?


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Subject: RE: early US collections of folk songs
From: Hrothgar
Date: 05 Nov 16 - 06:36 AM

Jack Thorp published "Songs of the Cowboys" around 1905, I think.


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Subject: RE: early US collections of folk songs
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Nov 16 - 07:24 AM

1908. The first published collection of cowboy songs. Words only, some songs written by Thorp.

Pamphlet, limited circulation.

Before Lomax, however - who lifted some of Thorp's songs.


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Subject: RE: early US collections of folk songs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Nov 16 - 08:50 AM

Jon,
Are you au fait with the Jones Ms? Description, listing of titles?

Steve, whilst your lists are very useful I get the impression the OP was only really wanting section 1.


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Subject: RE: early US collections of folk songs
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Nov 16 - 11:28 AM

Steve, no. Legman mentions a "Jones-Conklin" ms. that seems to fit the description, but I've never been able to locate it.

Will investigate further!


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Subject: RE: early US collections of folk songs
From: Richie
Date: 05 Nov 16 - 12:45 PM

Hi,

Don't forget Child published some US ballads in English and Scottish Popular Ballads (1882-1898) which was the impetus for collecting in the US among many early collectors.

Newell's Games and Songs of American Children (1883) pre-dates namy of the collections mentioned,

Richie


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Subject: RE: early US collections of folk songs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Nov 16 - 05:53 PM

A bit of geography here would be helpful for us from across the pond.
When it says NY does it mean the state or in the city itself?

And perhaps even more important have we a member who still lives close to East Hampton? Heather Wood springs to mind. If she doesn't see this I can contact her.


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Subject: RE: early US collections of folk songs
From: Stevebury
Date: 05 Nov 16 - 06:39 PM

* I agree that the OP was talking about category 1. But as I'm discovering, there are a variety of other, older "collections" of "folk music" out there.

* Yes, the manuscript is referred to as the "Jones-Conklin" manuscript. There is a copy of the Jones-Conklin manuscript in the Indiana University library.

* New York city or state? In general, it depends on the context. The Jones-Conklin manuscript is from the far eastern end of Long Island [well east of New York city], which had a thriving whaling industry in the 1840's and 1850's. The Stevens-Douglas manuscript is from western New York state [the frontier in those days].


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Subject: RE: early US collections of folk songs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Nov 16 - 07:38 PM

If they have a copy in Indiana Uni Library I would think the Ballad List people would be aware of it. If nobody here has access I could contact them easily.

A list of the 'Family Songs' might prove useful.

And is anyone going through the songsters flagging up any trad songs that weren't reprinted in multiple copies? Most of them seem to be just repeating the same material but if we don't check them we might miss something important like an unique version. Wehmann's version of Bramble Briar springs to mind. I have a few Am songsters but they contain nothing exciting.


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Subject: RE: early US collections of folk songs
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Nov 16 - 07:48 PM

Perhaps the "Indiana University" at issue is the one in (yes) Pennsylvania.

The one in Bloomington came up with nothing when I inquired some years ago.


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