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UK 60s Folk Club Boom?

Jim Carroll 12 Feb 19 - 01:34 PM
Vic Smith 12 Feb 19 - 01:46 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Feb 19 - 02:03 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 12 Feb 19 - 03:22 PM
Iains 12 Feb 19 - 04:15 PM
The Sandman 12 Feb 19 - 05:03 PM
Vic Smith 12 Feb 19 - 05:38 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Feb 19 - 05:45 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Feb 19 - 05:53 PM
GUEST,Larry Poole 12 Feb 19 - 11:17 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 13 Feb 19 - 02:25 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Feb 19 - 03:03 AM
GUEST,Observer 13 Feb 19 - 03:24 AM
GUEST,Sol 13 Feb 19 - 03:37 AM
Jack Campin 13 Feb 19 - 03:39 AM
The Sandman 13 Feb 19 - 03:43 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 13 Feb 19 - 04:02 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Feb 19 - 04:25 AM
Iains 13 Feb 19 - 04:28 AM
Jack Campin 13 Feb 19 - 04:56 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Feb 19 - 05:26 AM
Iains 13 Feb 19 - 05:33 AM
Jack Campin 13 Feb 19 - 05:47 AM
GeoffLawes 13 Feb 19 - 05:49 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Feb 19 - 06:04 AM
Jack Campin 13 Feb 19 - 09:26 AM
Tunesmith 13 Feb 19 - 09:48 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Feb 19 - 10:02 AM
Jack Campin 13 Feb 19 - 10:20 AM
Tunesmith 13 Feb 19 - 10:35 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Feb 19 - 11:01 AM
Big Al Whittle 13 Feb 19 - 12:20 PM
GUEST 13 Feb 19 - 12:33 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Feb 19 - 12:40 PM
The Sandman 14 Feb 19 - 01:23 AM
Jack Campin 14 Feb 19 - 03:48 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 14 Feb 19 - 04:23 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Feb 19 - 06:38 AM
The Sandman 14 Feb 19 - 07:16 AM
r.padgett 14 Feb 19 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,Peter 14 Feb 19 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,Peter 14 Feb 19 - 10:40 AM
John MacKenzie 14 Feb 19 - 01:40 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Feb 19 - 01:46 PM
John MacKenzie 14 Feb 19 - 02:48 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Feb 19 - 03:03 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Feb 19 - 03:08 PM
Vic Smith 14 Feb 19 - 03:32 PM
Dave the Gnome 14 Feb 19 - 03:43 PM
Big Al Whittle 14 Feb 19 - 04:04 PM
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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 01:34 PM

"set up by the self appointed self important Folk Music Police."
I thought we weer going to keep insulting out of these arguments
The only "folk police' here are those who try to close arguments by insulting them down
Pack it in please Hoot - no point in asking the other user of the term to do so
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 01:46 PM

I thought we were going to keep insulting out of these arguments
So did I and I don't like it - but the one in question is sort of vague and non-specific and it is not directly targetted at anyone.
It is the insults that are clearly directed at a person or persons that the mods will quickly delete.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 02:03 PM

Insulting of any sort is quite likely to get these threads closed
We have already had our fill of 'folk police' directed at individuals in these rec ent discussions to damn well know who they are aimed at
Please try to behave like adults
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 03:22 PM

Jim,

You are doing it again. Did I mention you? It is my belief as you have stated previously that you didn't get into the music until 1966, twelve years after the event which I alluded to.

I don't understand he "abd" in your post is that an abbreviation or just a slip of the fingers?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Iains
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 04:15 PM

Put very simply some people use their own discretion to decide whether a particular composition is folk music or not. They take great exception to those that would dictate a rigid defintion.
Below are two definitions that to my mind embrace the dichotomy for some and represent the fusion to others.
1)music that originates in traditional popular culture or that is written in such a style. Folk music is typically of unknown authorship and is transmitted orally from generation to generation.

2)The second meaning of "folk music" is a particular genre of music. The roots of this genre are in traditional music, but it is by no means all traditional. ... There are a number of different types of music which can be considered part of folk music, including traditional, acoustic, bluegrass, Celtic, roots, and old-timey.

The two represent a circle that cannot be squared. Therefore there is no point in arguing over it.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 05:03 PM

Jim, you are happy to throw the insult at me, yet you dont like it when others just mention it without mentioning your name. on this forum you behave like a child throwing its toys out of the pram


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 05:38 PM

Only one person has had an insult deleted by the mods in this thread.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 05:45 PM

>>>>>The two represent a circle that cannot be squared. Therefore there is no point in arguing over it.<<<<<

It's never stopped 'em before!


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 05:53 PM

I've always had problems using the word 'definition' when it comes to describing genres. The bit in the middle 'finit' relates to the adjective 'finite' which at least implies rigid boundaries that can't be crossed. So all examples of the genre are either 'definitely' inside or outside the 'definition'. I much prefer the Venn diagram approach.

I'm happy to use the 54 descriptors in my research work, but I'm also very happy to use the world-wide commonly accepted idea of what folk music is when discussing it with people who would recognise it, i,e, the vast majority of the planet.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,Larry Poole
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 11:17 PM

Bluegrass isnt folk music, but a modern commercial style created by Bill Monroe.
You berate the loss of folk clubs, but no one even knows what they are here in the States.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 02:25 AM

I don't think that Bill Monroe was trying to produce " a commercial style" when he created Bluegrass, he was simply following his musically muse.
The same could be said for many music genres. For example, was Bach thinking commercially when he became one of the main architects of the Baroque movement? Or, Scott Joplin thinking commercially when he "invented" ragtime?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 03:03 AM

"You are doing it again. Did I mention you?"
It doesn't matter who you mentioned Hoot - terms like "folk police" turn intelligent discussions into childish mud-slinging sessions and suppress friendly eexchanges of ideas whether they are aimed at individuals or just ideas they disagree with
I didn't come here to discuss wither your "folk policeman" is bigger than anybody's "snigger snogwriter" - we should be above that level of behaviour
Let's move on eh ?
o individual has to decide what "their" definition of folk song is - we've already got one of them, in spite of the latest fad to attempt to de-define it and lump it in with popular music in general
I've spent the last year or so working on Irish Child Ballads
Some if the ones I have been dealing with were sung by non-literate Travellers who hvae kept them alive for centuries as an essential part of their culture - a way of expressing themselves as human beings
Others were sung by rural dwelling land workers, small farmers and fishermen who carried them through their lives, along with their FOLK STORIES, FOLK MUSIC, FOLK DANCES AND FOLK LORE, and claimed them as their own
At present I am working on a batch taken by starving Irish men and women fleeing The Famine, to America and Canada
Many of these people could hardly read and write, for some, English was their second language, if they spoke it fluently at all - yet they cherished and kept alive centuries old songs and stories, identified them as important and claimed them as their own   
A few years ago I stumbled across the fact that Irish Travellers and rural dwellers in most towns in Ireland made songs in their thousands to record everyday incidents of their lives, from revolution and land wars to local railways and shipwrecks
I have no reason whatever to believe that British people didn't do exactly the same - they were certainly capable of it and had the desire to do so
For me, these identify (if people have problems with the term "define") what folk songs are - what they have always been regarded as - THE SONGS OR THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE
If anybody has a better way of defining "folk" they are entitled to put it (preferably without the childish name-calling) - that's what we are here for (that's what I'm here for anyway).

I have been accused of having a political agenda here - I can think of no greater "agenda" than to rob British people of their having made our folk songs
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 03:24 AM

For example, was Bach thinking commercially when he became one of the main architects of the Baroque movement? Or, Scott Joplin thinking commercially when he "invented" ragtime?"

I would suppose that would depend on what Bach's, or Joplin's, full time job was at the time. Now for J.S.Bach we have the following:

Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period, which spanned from 1600 to 1750. - So he was a full time musician.

For Scott Joplin - Scott Joplin (November 24, 1868 – April 1, 1917) was an African-American composer and pianist. Joplin achieved fame for his ragtime compositions and was dubbed the King of Ragtime. Sometime in the late 1880s he left his job as a railroad laborer and travelled the American South as an itinerant musician. He went to Chicago for the World's Fair of 1893, which played a major part in making ragtime a national craze by 1897. - so another full time musician.

I believe that both in their own way hoped that their "style" in both composition and in performance would guarantee that they, in their own way, stood out from the pack in order to secure their living. Is that commercial?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,Sol
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 03:37 AM

Btw, I love "snogwriter".
Definition: a composer of intimate love songs?
:-)


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 03:39 AM

The fact that a song was collected from an illiterate in the late 20th century is no evidence at all that it was handed down orally for centuries. Illiterate people know people who can read song texts and staff notation. In the case of notation for instrumental dance tunes, this is a stone cold cert and it's often dead easy to work out which printed editions were involved in the chain of transmission that led to a specific performance learned by ear.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 03:43 AM

tunesmith, Earal scruggs not bill monroe, created a new style of banjo playing which was thumb melody with continous sound [no gaps]. Lynn scruggs whao was a genius at marketing called it bluegrass, after the nickname for kentucky.
Jim you were happy to use the term folk police and direct it at me, you are a man of double standards.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 04:02 AM

Bill was the genius who put it all together.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 04:25 AM

"The fact that a song was collected from an illiterate in the late 20th century is no evidence at all that it was handed down orally for centuries."
Who's talking about the late 20th Century Jack - the oral versions of these songs date fack a century or so earlier than that.
The ones I'm working on now date back to the years following the Irish famine - Burns was collecting songs form Scots peasants earlier than that
Up to the middle of the 19th century literacy was an largely an urban phenomenon and the percentage of people who could read was fairly small
I find the idea of a farmworker going along to the local literate and asking him to interpret the printed words of a song rather.... well!
Travellers were overwhelmingly non-literate and largely outsiders yet they were the most important carriers of our biggest ballads
THe tunes were largely randomly chosen - few ready available printed versions came with tunes
As far as I can make out, the songs that were taken from print (we hae no idea how many were) were given tunes already in use

When push comes to shove, we have no idea who made our folk songs and never will
Our knowledge of the oral tradition dates back only as far as the work done by Sharp and his team, and that is both sparse and gathered at a time when the tradition was being remembered or iften reported from an earlier generation rather than taken down as a living art form
As things stand, we have only common sense as a guide as to who made our folk songs   
It's common sense to me that, rather than the urban, desk-bound hacks (poor poets) working under conveyor-belt conditions having made them, it is far more likely to have been the soldiers, sailors, farm-workers.... rural poor in general that make up the subjects of the songs who were the most likely authors
It took geniuses like Steinbeck, Sinclair and Noonan (Tressell) to write convincing accounts about working life - the hacks with their massed volumes of unsingable songs were as far from that as you could possibly get
If you accept that 'ordinary' people were capable of having made the songs, then you have to concede that they have a far more convincing claim than anybody else

I was extremely patronisingly described as "starry eyed when I quoted MacColl's last moving statement at the end of 'The Song Carriers' series

"Well, there they are, the songs of our people. Some of them have been centuries in the making, some of them undoubtedly were born on the broadside presses. Some have the marvellous perfection of stones shaped by the sea's movement. Others are as brash as a cup-final crowd. They were made by professional bards and by unknown poets at the plough-stilts and the handloom. They are tender, harsh,, passionate, ironical, simple, profound.... as varied, indeed, as the landscape of this island.
We are indebted to the Harry Coxes and Phil Tanners, to Colm Keane and Maggie MaccDonagh, to Belle Stewart and Jessie Murray and to all the sweet and raucous unknown singers who have helped to carry our people's songs across the centuries."


MacColl's view was that of virtually all the folk song scholars, so presumably they were all "starry eyed" too
The accusation was aimed at the entire folk repertoire, from 'Frog and the Mouse' to a Second World War song - it has since been adapted to include only the songs being collected from a dying tradition - doesn't leave me with a great deal of confidence in the accuser, I'm afraid.
MacColl's summing up has been verified for me in thirty odd years field work of interviewing singers who lived through oral singing traditions - I'm happy to continue to accept it until a more rational one is produced
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Iains
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 04:28 AM

FOLK POLICE????

Anyway, the bottom line is that people can't have it both ways; if, as is often claimed, we still have a living folk tradition, then it is legitimate to identify some of MacColl's songs as 'traditional', even though he never made such a claim. If we don't, it isn't - simple as that.
"Who defines folk?"
The term has been defined and fully accepted by those working on the subject since 1846, when it was first used (and immediately generally accepted) by William John Thoms. The 1954 definition was merely a fine tuning to specifically apply it to song and music (this also was immediately widely accepted by those working in the field).
To date, it has never been re-defined to the satisfaction of those involved. The necessary consensus for re-definition does not exist, so the existing one stands and continues to be documented.
So who gets to define it? Nobody - it's been done
Jim Carroll

"Who defines folk?"
The term has been defined and fully accepted by those working on the subject since 1846, when it was first used (and immediately generally accepted) by William John Thoms. The 1954 definition was merely a fine tuning to specifically apply it to song and music (this also was immediately widely accepted by those working in the field).
To date, it has never been re-defined to the satisfaction of those involved. The necessary consensus for re-definition does not exist, so the existing one stands and continues to be documented.
So who gets to define it? Nobody - it's been done
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 04:56 AM

The fact that a song was collected from an illiterate in the late 20th century is no evidence at all that it was handed down orally for centuries.
Who's talking about the late 20th Century Jack


You were. You were describing songs you'd collected.


the oral versions of these songs date back a century or so earlier than that.

You can only know that if somebody wrote them down - if they stopped being purely oral at that moment.


The ones I'm working on now date back to the years following the Irish famine - Burns was collecting songs form Scots peasants earlier than that

And he published them. In books which sold in enormous numbers and got to the remotest corners of the English-speaking world within 10 years of his death. So everybody everywhere learned his versions. Found a version of "A Red Red Rose" that doesn't derive from his?


Up to the middle of the 19th century literacy was an largely an urban phenomenon and the percentage of people who could read was fairly small

It didn't take many. And we know there were enough to provide a living for itinerant chapbook sellers.


I find the idea of a farmworker going along to the local literate and asking him to interpret the printed words of a song rather.... well!

I can't help your lack of imagination. Anybody who could read the Bible could read a chapbook (though perhaps not all of them would want to). That's not a bunch of elite experts.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 05:26 AM

"You were. You were describing songs you'd collected."
Actually I wasn't - I was describing information we collected, particularly on local song-making, which had all but disappeared
The songs we collected sung by singers who learned them at the beginning of the twentieth century
We know of the existence of an oral tradition as far back as The Venerable Bede - passing songs orally probably predates that
I doubt if the sipngs Burns collected were sokld in enourmous numbers - his own poetry was but Johnson's 'Musical Museum' was somewhat confined in its sales, I would have thought - immaterial anyway
The people Burns Collected his songs from were highly unlikey to have bought them back as, even in Scotland, rural literacy was thin on the ground
One of the pieces we ded gether was from a Traveller ballad seller (the last gasp of the broadside trade) who described taking songs from the oral tradition (his fathers mainly) and reciting them to a printer who then made ballad sheets of them to be sold around the markets of Kerry - an oral tradition in print
I've been told that English farmworkers were far too busy to spendd time making songs, now I'm being told they had time and money to buy broadsides and run around looking for someone to teach them to him
You seem hell bent on wiping out any idea that working people made their songs - I thought I was the one with the "agenda"
Not convinced Jack, and I can't see wy you are
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Iains
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 05:33 AM

In 1907 Cecil Sharp observed that the transmission of folk songs and the forms they took when they were collected and attested was the result of three factors: continuity, variation, and selection. These factors were expanded on in 1954 by the International Folk Music Council, which wrote that:

    Folk music is the product of a musical tradition that has been evolved through the process of oral transmission. The factors that shape the tradition are: (i) continuity which links the present with the past; (ii) variation which springs from the creative impulse of the individual or the group; and (iii) selection by the community, which determines the form or forms in which the music survives.

    The term can be applied to music that has been evolved from rudimentary beginnings by a community uninfluenced by popular and art music and it can likewise be applied to music which has originated with an individual composer and has subsequently been absorbed into the unwritten living tradition of a community.

    The term does not cover composed popular music that has been taken over ready-made by a community and remains unchanged, for it is the re-fashioning the re-creation of the music by the community that gives it its folk-character.


One immediate problem I have here is evolved through the process of oral transmission For the last century at least it would probably more correct to substitute aural for oral. If this is true then variation which springs from the creative impulse of the individual or the group becomes a deliberate reinvention. I would suspect the more accurate interpretation may be that words are misheard and the tune is slightly mistaken as the song travels from one person to another. Today when a mobile phone can capture both sound and vision flawlessly how can such evolution of a song/tune occur unless deliberate? This would take away a degree of spontaneity that is sort of implicit in the traditional view of song evolution and make it a deliberate cold blooded massacre of the original.
The 1954 definition takes no account of the impact of modern technology on it's perception of the folk process.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 05:47 AM

I doubt if the sipngs Burns collected were sokld in enourmous numbers - his own poetry was but Johnson's 'Musical Museum' was somewhat confined in its sales, I would have thought - immaterial anyway

I deal with one consequence of that every week - pricing early editions of his works (which always included the songs he collected along with the original stuff). By the time you get to the 1812 editions they're not worth beans.

There is any amount of corroboration that he was a household word all over Britain, Ireland and North America long before the end of the French war. Allusions to his life and work in letters and newspaper articles never needed footnotes. To a lesser extent you could say the same about Tannahill, Campbell, Moore, Dibdin - singable folk-ish poetry got everywhere.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 05:49 AM

I remembered incorrectly when above I said I think the commentary of "Travelling For A Living"refers to 2 or 3 hundred folk clubs " the commentator actually estimates three or four hundred clubs, up and down the country. This is said 12 minutes from the start of the film


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 06:04 AM

Burns was on small collector - you seem to have honed in on him to make a far wider point and ignored everything else that has been said.
Collectors and researchers have never questioned that the fol made their songs - Motherwell even warned about tampering with the songs the people made

If you don't believe the folk made folk songs than you need t say that is what you believe and explain why you hold it
This is shadow-boxing Jack

This, from a newspaper cutting (I thin The daily Express) of around 1960 when the club scene was just beginning to flourish
Jim Carroll

SOME STRANGE FACTS ABOUT THE LATEST CRAZE……
JUST HOW INNOCENT ARE SIGNS LIKE THIS
By PETER BISHOP
A NEW TEENAGE CRAZE IS SWEEPING BRITAIN—FOLK MUSIC. BEARDED, DUFFLE-COATED YOUNGSTERS SQUAT ON THE FLOOR OF CELLAR CLUBS LISTENING TO FOLK SONGS TELLING OF LOVE, OF DEATH, OF OPPRESSION.
There are more than 200 of these clubs in Britain, with 250,000 members. More clubs open every week.
But this boom has some people very worried. For many of the movement's big names—singers, agents or record sellers—are either Communists or they hold extreme left-wing views.
And it is feared that, with folk music attracting more and more young people, there is a danger of their being wooed by Red propaganda. Just how great is that danger? Last week I took a close look at the folk music world.
There is no doubt that the Communist and left-wing element among its leading personalities is powerful.
For example, Topic Records, Ltd., of Hampstead, London, the leading company specialising in folk music, is controlled by a top intellectual Communist.'
He is 62-year-old Alan Bush, a rugged, bearded composer of serious music. His work is familiar and well liked in Russia. He has been there many times as a composer, conductor and as a fraternal; representative at the congress of Communist Composers.
Folk music fans who want to buy the latest records can go to a shop in New Oxford Street specialising in folk songs. It is owned and run by Collet's Holdings, Ltd. Collet's also run several book shops selling left-wing publications.
The company was once described in the Communist "Daily Worker" as a "commercial firm, but not a capitalist one," with its directors taking neither dividends nor profits.
The Folksong Agency, in Paddington, London, represents such top artists in the folk field as Ewan MacColl, Dominic Behan and Peggy Seeger.

'REVOLUTIONARY'
It is run by Bruce Dunnett, a Communist. He told me: "I have been a member of the Communist Party for many years.
"But I can assure you that politics and folk music don't mix.
"There are left revolutionary songs, of course. But then there are also traditional songs, songs of love and songs of protest.
"I am interested only in promoting and developing interest in folk music.
“If I or any other Communist, or Tory for that matter, tried to trot out dogma at a folk music club or concert they would soon tell me to shut up."
Mr. Dunnett agreed that folk music circles have a definite left-wing atmo¬sphere.
"That is because most folk songs have been, and are even now being, created by ordinary working people," he said.
The biggest name among folk singers in Britain is Ewan MacColl, a. bearded ex- playwright from Salford, Lancs, and a Communist,   
He sings in clubs up and down the country on such themes as the sad Irish workmen who laboured on the Ml, and on Timothy. Evans, the man hanged for a murder which some people; believe he did not commit.

CANDLELIGHT
MacColl, aged 45, told me: “Of course there are Communists and left-wing people who go to folk-song clubs.
"But then there are also Tories, Socialists, and Liberals. They go to listen to the music, not politics.
"They are inclined to tie in¬dividualistic, who would make known their objections if they thought attempts were being made to organise them politically or any other way."
Another folk singer is Karl Dallas. He specialises in the guitar and contributes articles to the "Daily Worker."
Now let's take a look at one of the clubs. The 200-strong Swindon Folksingers Club is run by, Ted Poole, aged 37, and his wife, Ivy. Mr. Poole is a Communist. He told me:
"The music we sing is left-wing because it comes from the workers.
"Most of the songs reflect the thoughts, emotions, oppres¬sions, passions and struggles of the working peoples."
The club meets on Friday nights in a candle-lit room at the rear of the Greyhound, Hotel, Swindon. It costs 2s. 6d. to join and admission to sessions is 3s.—non-members 4s
Mr. Poole added: “There is no sinister political motive in the background."
Finally, I talked to 42-year-old Eric Winter, folk singer, journalist, authority on folk music, and editor of a lively folk song magazine called "Sing."    .
He told me: "It's true to say that folk music and the clubs have a strong left-wing atmosphere.
"Many people who enjoy folk music are anti-Bomb, anti-apartheid, anti most things
“They’re not sure what they are for- but they would resent any attempt to introduce politics of any sort.”
So even if the Communist Party is contemplating a planned program to recruit from the folk-singing fans, it seems they will be out of luck.
BUT CLEARLY, IT IS A SITUATION WHICH NEEDS WATCHING


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 09:26 AM

The point is not who made them (which is often unknowable and not a very interesting question) but how they were transmitted. You are saying that print never figured in the process. I am saying that it almost always did; that songs moved to and fro between oral transmission and paper. Steve Gardham has documented the process quite thoroughly - you can trace features in orally collected songs which have to have gone through a known printed version.

For tunes, Dunlay and Greenberg's book on Cape Breton fiddle music goes into the sources quite well. So does Alois Fleischmann's "Sources of Irish Traditional Music", though he's less interested in tracing through the whole process.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Tunesmith
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 09:48 AM

Jack Campin said : "The point is not who made them (which is often unknowable and not a very interesting question)"

Are you saying that knowing something about the person who wrote a folksong is " not a very interesting question"?
Surely, not.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 10:02 AM

"and not a very interesting question"
Not to you maybe - I think that, if they are to be recognised as 'The Voice of the People' it is pretty important to have some idea as of whether 'the people' wrote them or not
That may not interest you - it does me.

"You are saying that print never figured in the process."
Where did I ever say that ?
I've just described exactly how print figured in the process by the Travellers trade of ballad selling
Steve Gardham has produced earliest printed versions which says nothing whatever about whether they existed before those dates
Some of the ballad motifs occur in Homer we recorded a Cante-fable which echoes a tale dating back to Ancient Egypt, The Constant Farmer's Son/Bramble Briar features as one of Boccaccio's Tales, Lord Gregory has been linked to Chaucer and Lord Bateman to Thomas Becket's father
I these stories have been around that long, there is no reason why they shouldn't have existed as songs
MacColl includes Broadsides as a method of both distribution and creation - I have no argument with that
What I do have an issue with is to what extent.
teve Gardham has now arrived at his late 19th century dating - had he do so in the first place I would have no great is with it though I may quibble about the percentages
He has admitted that the oral tradition/broadside transmission/creation claim is a two-way street I can only see one-way traffic
We simply don't know definitively and can only make an educated guess based on what little we do have and the work of previous researchers, including those who were in the position to find out whether the songs they were researching originated on the then active broadside presses - Child's "diamonds in a dunghill" statement made it clear where he stood
The distressing thing about the new crowd is that they have set about dismantling and debunking he pioneers to fit their own idea in - a process started by the once discredited Dave Harker   
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 10:20 AM

You are saying that print never figured in the process.
Where did I ever say that ?


Here:

I've spent the last year or so working on Irish Child Ballads
Some if the ones I have been dealing with were sung by non-literate Travellers who hvae kept them alive for centuries


You're implying transmission was entirely oral.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Tunesmith
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 10:35 AM

"You're implying transmission was entirely oral"
Really? What about the word "some"?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 11:01 AM

Thanks tunesmith
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 12:20 PM

'I'm sorry officer...'

'I wonder if you realise back there you were going Ralph McTell miles an hour in a Ewan MacColl restricted zone. Youg feller me lad, you could have caused a nasty accident causing death or serious injury to innocent folk traditions....'


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 12:33 PM

The people Burns Collected his songs from were highly unlikey to have bought them back as, even in Scotland, rural literacy was thin on the ground

Not so. One of the greatest benefits of overthrowing the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland's Reformation was the establishment at the insistence of the new Presbyterian Church, of schools in every parish in every village and town. These schools were free and open to all. By the turn of the 17th century Scotland, as far as its general population went was the most literate country in Europe.

Quite a number of songs written by Burns were written to save pipe tunes which due to the times could so easily have disappeared forever. He also sometimes adapted local stories for the lyrics of the songs put to these.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 12:40 PM

Happy to accept your word on that Guest Don't think it changes my general point though
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 01:23 AM

though I may quibble about the percentages."
you are a regular quibbler.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 03:48 AM

Quite a number of songs written by Burns were written to save pipe tunes which due to the times could so easily have disappeared forever. He also sometimes adapted local stories for the lyrics of the songs put to these.

That's not true. Burns got his tunes from published sources - he didn't need to write the tune down when sending a song to a publisher, he could just name it and the publisher could easily find it. I don't think there is any song in his entire output that used a Highland pipe tune - the pipe tunes he did use were Lowland ones also current as song airs or fiddle tunes.

He also didn't use rare tunes. He generally picked currently fashionable ones: it made sense to ride the wave when something like "Miss Admiral Gordon's Strathspey" was being played everywhere.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 04:23 AM

I started going to folk clubs around 1970, when I was still at school. At that time I lived in Essex, and in addition to the Chelmsford club referred to in Hagman's list, there was also a club in Brentwood (run by Geoff and Pennie Harris) and a singers' club at Blackmore. Later a club started up at Margaretting. There were one or two other fairly shortlived clubs, including "contemporary folk" club in Brentwood. My school had its own folk club in partnership with a couple of other nearby schools, which was where I first began performing. I could easily visit at least three clubs a week, and several more with a little more effort.

Despite the concerns expressed about "left-wing indoctrination" I was aware of very little political activity and most people were interested in singing traditional songs rather than ones addressing modern social issues.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 06:38 AM

Howard
Unfortunately (maybe) politics of one sort or another goes through both traditional song and the revival as 'Blackpool' goes through rock - the very idea of a 'Voice of the People' is a politico/social statement in itself
The few patriotic songs in the repertoire are poltical statements in favour of the status quo
Our poaching and transportation songs are responses to the enclosures, songs of social misalliance are statements on class differences
The ballad, Tifitie's Annie reflects the changes being wrought when the power of the gentry was being replaced by that of the merchant class...
While not commenting on these situations,they certainly reflect them - some of the singers had no illusions of how political they were
Harry Cox sang 'Betsy the Serving Maid' for Lomax and spat out, "And that's what they thought of us - worthless"

The revival was largely set into motion by politicos, first the Workers Music Association (which later established Topic), Lloyd, MacColl, Henderson... even Luke Kelly wore his politics on his sleeve
It's as hard to separate the early revival from C.N.D. as it is the Civil Rights Movement from its songs
The earliest songs published are the largely anonymous ones to be in Thomas Wright's 'Political Songs of England from the reign of John to that of Edward II
MacColl, Seeger, Rossleson and the rest weer borrowing from a very old tradition to make their songs
I think the problem sometimes is that they disapprove of the "wrong type of political songs".
You want to see political songs at their most effective, try Terry Moylan's magnificent 'The Indignant muse'
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 07:16 AM

Howard,there were two clubs in Brentwood, the second was not as you describe contemporary, this was at the railway, i used to sing there regularly and i sang trad unaccompanied material, i never saw you there ever, i met you first at chelmsford, there was also a club at havering , where i booked yourself, nic jones,doloreskeane and john faulkner, colin cater tom mconville bob fox, all trad, but the booking policy was mixed


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: r.padgett
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 10:29 AM

Was there not a club at The Castle at Brentwood?

Ray


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 10:36 AM

@Sandman
I think you are a bit out on the timeline.

The club at The Railway was earlier, I think it had already folded when I first went to Brentwood Folk Club as a teenager in 68. Certainly nobody ever mentioned it as a place to go. The "contemporary" club ran at the Arts Centre in the 70s.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 10:40 AM

Ray
That was the club that Howard mentioned, run by Geoff and Pennie around 1970 and previously by Nic Jones,


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 01:40 PM

Do you know. I stopped visiting Mudflap for a long time, due largely to the type pettiness which has sprung up in this thread.
Sadly having decided to return a bit more often, I find the the same people seem to be flaunting the same chips on the same shoulders as they always have.
FFS get a grip, and either grow up or take your inability to see anybody else's point of view, somewhere where it doesn't impinge on ordinary decent folkies.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 01:46 PM

If you can't discuss folk song on Mudcat where can you discuss it - or maybe we shouldn't and go with the flow?
Jim Caroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 02:48 PM

There's discussing folk song, and then there's pontificating, not to mention the inability to admit that someone else might have a valid point. It's not so much the discussion, it's the puerile tone of it.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 03:03 PM

"There's discussing folk song, and then there's pontificating
No John
There's discussing and there's standing on the sidelines telling others what they should and shouldn't be discussing
Join in or don't - you can't have it both ways
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 03:08 PM

Isn't it strange that those who shout "folk police" loudest are quite of those who fit the description best ?
Maybe not !
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 03:32 PM

John Mackenie wrote:-
Do you know. I stopped visiting Mudflap for a long time, due largely to the type pettiness which has sprung up in this thread.

I see this as a real problem on Mudcat. It seems to me that there are fewer people posting on Mudcat than there used to be. I know that I post much more rarely than I used to. I reckon that if I were to leave Mudcat for half a year and then came back, then before logging on I could predict who would be saying what about who actually wrote the folk songs in the first place, about the niceties of definition and who was feeling insulted by who and why. Circumlocutive exchanges from entrenched positions would continue to prevent resolution of discussions.

Meanwhile we would be six months further down the road to Global Warming Armageddon and we still could not be sure which songwriter's compositions were acceptable in folk clubs.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 03:43 PM

That's what I just can't get to the bottom of, Vic. Why are some contemporary compositions acceptable while some are not? Who gets to decide which is which? If folk clubs are non prescriptive, who enforces what is acceptable? And if it sounds like folk, looks like folk and smells like folk, what the **** does it matter who wrote it anyway?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 04:04 PM

I went to folk clubs that everybody seems to have forgotten.


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