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UK 60s Folk Club Boom?

Dave the Gnome 24 Mar 19 - 02:55 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Mar 19 - 03:15 AM
Dave the Gnome 24 Mar 19 - 04:14 AM
The Sandman 24 Mar 19 - 04:40 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 Mar 19 - 05:30 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Mar 19 - 05:38 AM
Will Fly 24 Mar 19 - 05:58 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Mar 19 - 06:16 AM
Will Fly 24 Mar 19 - 06:25 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 Mar 19 - 06:40 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Mar 19 - 06:47 AM
Will Fly 24 Mar 19 - 06:59 AM
Vic Smith 24 Mar 19 - 07:04 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 24 Mar 19 - 07:07 AM
Vic Smith 24 Mar 19 - 07:18 AM
Steve Gardham 24 Mar 19 - 09:24 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Mar 19 - 09:36 AM
Vic Smith 24 Mar 19 - 09:46 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 Mar 19 - 10:34 AM
Will Fly 24 Mar 19 - 11:31 AM
Dave the Gnome 24 Mar 19 - 12:18 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Mar 19 - 12:40 PM
Dave the Gnome 24 Mar 19 - 12:40 PM
Big Al Whittle 24 Mar 19 - 01:16 PM
Vic Smith 24 Mar 19 - 01:17 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Mar 19 - 02:12 PM
Steve Gardham 24 Mar 19 - 02:56 PM
Steve Gardham 24 Mar 19 - 03:06 PM
Vic Smith 24 Mar 19 - 04:06 PM
Big Al Whittle 24 Mar 19 - 04:51 PM
Howard Jones 25 Mar 19 - 05:58 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Mar 19 - 10:15 AM
Steve Gardham 25 Mar 19 - 12:17 PM
Vic Smith 25 Mar 19 - 01:12 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Mar 19 - 01:50 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Mar 19 - 02:04 PM
Howard Jones 25 Mar 19 - 02:54 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Mar 19 - 03:35 PM
Vic Smith 25 Mar 19 - 03:55 PM
Howard Jones 25 Mar 19 - 04:15 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Mar 19 - 06:40 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Mar 19 - 06:41 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Mar 19 - 06:45 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Mar 19 - 06:46 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Mar 19 - 06:46 PM
Jeri 25 Mar 19 - 07:48 PM
Howard Jones 25 Mar 19 - 08:12 PM
Stewie 25 Mar 19 - 09:34 PM
The Sandman 26 Mar 19 - 04:12 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Mar 19 - 04:17 AM
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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 02:55 AM

I'm reminded of John Miles

Music was my first love, it will be my last
Music of the future, music of the past

Not a folk song but has a grand sentiment :-)


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 03:15 AM

"Jim himself has a lot of very useful information of this sort, particularly concerning Walter Pardon."
Yes I have, and have been trying to give it away for several decades now - the waves of indifference have been deafening
I see little reason to continue trying
Some of Walter's recordings have been lying somewhere in a cupboard in The British Library since the 1980s and while this indifference (and even hostility) towards what our traditional singers have to offer, will probably continue to lie there
The only reason I can see, to become involved in such a project as Vic described, would be to put some life into what appears to me to be a 'Dying Culture', otherwise it can only be a trip down memory lane for those who were there
Walter's views of what 'folk song' means seems to have been rejected, certainly by the researchers, and I would guess that very few of the younger singers have ever heard of him - his albums are mainly deleted with little chance of their being resurrected and there is very little of him on line

I have just been sorting out out Harry Cox recordings, mainly those made by Bob and Grace Thomson and others, a little before he died - fascinating stuff
Alan Lomax recorded Harry at length, singing and taking - one particular interview my Lomax and MacColl stands out, but there are others
I'm pretty sure from quick visits that much information lies in the Goldstein recordings
I've always wondered whether Kennedy and his team did any more than head-hunt songs - I know for certain some was done - if there is more, it lies with the rest of the Kennedy collection awaiting a customer
Recording stories of those who talked to traditional singers is certainly one way of collecting information, but it seems a long-winded way of going about thing while there is still a lot of 'horses mouth' information to be gathered

I also read the EFDSS survey of young people's involvement in English (the EFDSS never went in for British or Irish) clubs - on the surface, very heartening, but remembering Rod Stradling's editorial comment: "The EFDSS seems to be almost entirely interested in this new 'folk' music - EDS now contains almost nothing related to traditional music and song": it doesn't leave me with much hope for the future

I came to the conclusion some time ago that if folk song (the real stuff) is to have a future in England, it will only be achieved when people sort out what is is and what they want to do with it - maybe a Real Folk Song Society' to replace the one that seems to have forgotten what folk song is

There has been a certain irony during this discussion - I was castigated as having "personally insulted people" by critcising EFDSS -
Steve leapt on his chair and demanded an apology when I suggested that the EFDSS wasn't doing its job
I was involved when the EFDSS refused to shift premises because of its respect for 'Dear Cecil', yet now the work of Sharp and his contemporaries have gone by the board as "idealistic", "unrepresentative" and "outdated"
The music that is now claimed to be folk has nothing to do with that researched, collected and anthologised by Sharp and his colleagues - even Child as become someone who didn't know his folk ballad arse from his formal poetry elbow

It seems to me that an urgent visit to our folk roots is very much in order
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 04:14 AM

Maybe the clue is in the name as to why they don't do British or Irish. The English Folk Dance and Song Society. This does pose an interesting question though. Have the traditions of other nations, brought by immigration, now been assimilated into English Folk Culture? I would like to think so. Maybe if folk clubs were to showcase more West Indian or Pakistani or, more recently, East European folk music, alongside English music of course, they may begin to attract a wider audience. Just a thought.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 04:40 AM

Dave , i mentioned that some 35 years ago at a meeting which was chaired by jim lloyd no one took any notice


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 05:30 AM

The thing is, theres not many of us come from just one place racially.

I was born and grew up in Lincolnshire, but none of my family were.

One night on the way to a gig, Christy Moore came on the radio.

He said, the worst thing you can do as folksinger is turn your back on your roots.

all very well for you, i thought, your family always lived in Ireland, where you were born.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 05:38 AM

"British or Irish. The English Folk Dance and Song Society."
To pretend that folk songs, and particularly ballads do't have their counterparts elsewhere and that foreign oral traditions have nothing in common with English ones is as blinkered 'Little English' as you can get
The early EFDSS co-operated with foreign fellow researchers to the point of stumping up a workable definition
It's always struck me how far advanced America and several of the Eastern European researchers into the traditions were (Bronson and Child were Yanks), Child corresponded with Scandinavian researchers
Ireland had a far longer living tradition than did Britain
You expand your knowledge by travelling and meeting strangers, not waitinbg until they come to you, and certainly 0not skipping up and down the Main Hall of Cecil Sharp House
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Will Fly
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 05:58 AM

Roots - hah - don't talk to me about roots!

Born in Lancashire, raised in Glasgow, back to Lancashire, college in Leeds (passport job, that last one), 9 years in London, 40+ years in Sussex.

Roots? Mmm... Most of my father's ancestors were Lancashire miners or weavers. Most of my mother's were East Anglian backsmiths or tailors. But I've never been down a mine or struck an anvil in my life - though I did make a few shirts in my younger days. So the idea of me singing songs about mining or smithing - or making shirts - has always struck me as a ludicrous one.

My childhood musical "roots" were of the family sat round my grandparents' piano, belting out songs from the 1920s and 1930s - their era - with the occasional great-aunt turning up with a banjo and giving us music hall stuff, comic songs and popular stuff from George Formby and Gracie Fields. Then the radio gave me big bands, Django Reinhardt, Bill Haley, Lonnie Donegan, Les Compagnons de la Chanson and a thousand others.

The idea of exploring music from everywhere, in all styles and of all periods, is one that has been embedded in my consciousness from those early days and is there still. I just can't resist a good tune.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 06:16 AM

Nothing you write diminishes in any way the 'roots' nature of folk song
They may hav originated from blacksmiths and sailors, but the emotions and experiences they express are both universal and timeless, something that can be still used by all to communicate their own feelings
That's what our centuries old ballads have been sung continuously over all those centuries and why there are over 200 versions of Barbara Allen
You can't say that about 'Down At The Old Bull and Bush', nor will you ver be able to
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Will Fly
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 06:25 AM

My post, Jim, was not about diminishing folk song in the slightest - it was about the difficulty, for me, of having roots that mean something musically to me, given my upbringing.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 06:40 AM

'there are over 200 versions of Barbara Allen
You can't say that about 'Down At The Old Bull and Bush', nor will you ever be able to'

I admit that would be a challenging conversation for many of us.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 06:47 AM

"My post, Jim, was not about diminishing folk song in the slightest"
I didn't think it was Will - I have great respect for what you have to say and the experience it seems to derive from
The problems with long arguments is that you end to pick up things that are said and apply them to past comments - is that as complicated as it sounds ?
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Will Fly
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 06:59 AM

Not complicated in the slightest, Jim - quite understandable.

Without trying to sound like a wet lettuce, one of the annoying things about my childhood and upbringing was the constant moving from one place to another - country to country, town to town - the uprooting of friendships, the sense of not really belonging in the area where I lived. To this day if someone says, "Where are you from, originally?", I suppose I would answer "Lancashire" - but I feel little affinity with it. Living in Scotland made a big impressions on me as a kid, and life in cities like Leeds and London also left their mark.

I've been in my Sussex village for 40+ years - so I'm not quite a foreigner...


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 07:04 AM

"Jim himself has a lot of very useful information of this sort, particularly concerning Walter Pardon."
Yes I have, and have been trying to give it away for several decades now - the waves of indifference have been deafening
I see little reason to continue trying


No, Jim. You must! Any recording of Walter Pardon is important to those of us who care about these things. Have you tried contacting the
East Anglian Traditional Music Trust? The first sentence on their website states:-
Our website is a resource for the Traditional Music, Song, Dance and Customs of East Anglia, the Eastern regions of the British Isles. We promote, research and create projects about traditional music performed in East Anglia in the past as well as looking at how our traditions continue to be passed on into the the 21st Century.

... and your material should be of prime importance to them. Sadly, the administrator is no longer the estimable Katie Howson; she has recently retired, but after a dip when she first left, the organisation seems to be getting on its feet again. Have a good look through the website and see if this is the sort of place that would be suitable for your precious material. Alternatively, we will be spending a weekend with Katie and John quite soon and - with your permission - we could take this up with them to see what they suggest.

Some of Walter's recordings have been lying somewhere in a cupboard in The British Library since the 1980s and while this indifference (and even hostility) towards what our traditional singers have to offer, will probably continue to lie there
... and this is very sad. I went to a presentation be their chief archivist at a WOMAD festival a couple of years ago and they are clearly doing a lot of great work. The problem is that our atrocious government has been cutting their funding year by year in a decade of pernicious austerity and they are still in the situation where more material of all sorts is coming in more quickly than they can process and categorise it, so their current main concern is to provide proper storage conditions for material and hoping for better funding in the future. I would have to say that this is a pretty disgraceful position for what is still one of the richest countries in the world


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 07:07 AM

"Les Compagnons de la Chanson" referred to by Goon Harry Secombe as "The Mushrooms of Chance",

I remember seeing his shaving act at The Hackney Empire where some of my very early musical roots came from. Two Ton Bessie O'Shea and her ukelele, Max Wall who Malcolm Price told me owned a lovely old Martin guitar and various other left over artists from the Music Hall era.

I believe one or maybe two people here consider music hall somewhat low-brow and not worthy but that was the material that brought much pleasure to the earlier generations in my family.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 07:18 AM

Will Fly:-
I've been in my Sussex village for 40+ years - so I'm not quite a foreigner...
Bloody Incomers!!! Coming to our county and diluting our racial purity!

signed
Vic Smith
(Sussex resident for 51 years. Four grandparents from Shetland, Scotland, England and Ireland. Born in Edinburgh, with a naval father so as a boy lived in Winchester, Leith, Gosport, Ayrshire, London, Oxfordshire, Portsmouth and so can justly claim to be Sussex through and through.)


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 09:24 AM

Roots.
My grandparents had large repertoires of songs which I recorded in the 60s before they passed on. Only one song among them (Derby Ram) perhaps 2, would have been accepted as part of the 54 corpus. Most are music hall songs or parodies of them from the 1890s. Luckily I don't have any prejudice and sing a sizable number of their songs and have done so in folk clubs since the 60s. My mother (95 and still alive) had a smaller repertoire including 'Still I Love him' in an apparently unique version which we both still sing. (It's going on our next album). My uncles sang folk songs they learnt during WWII in the Navy. I sing some of these, not all totally blue (and I don't mean navy blue). I know how lucky I am.
Roots.
I was 15 before I went beyond Yorkshire's boundaries and I still live only a couple of miles from where I was born.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 09:36 AM

Will reply later Vic - when the .... sun goes in
Can't think of a way to get out of weeding the drive
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 09:46 AM

Hmm OK - but that will mean that I have to go and do the gardening jobs that I have been putting of!


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 10:34 AM

For most of our generation - music hall had negative connotations. The songs OAP's sang before they raffled a bag of sugar. Leonard sachs on the cringemaking Good Old Days.

One poor little lad who used to come to me to learn what I knew about Status Quo's guitar style (they were short lessons) his dad was the Chairman of the Music hall Society. His Dad used to dress up like Dan leno and little Dave and the rest of the family were dressed in Victorian attire to make up The good old days audience at The City varieties, leeds.

the game changers for me were the Cosmotheka Duo - the Seally brothers. they made those of who listened understand just why folksong and music hall were so closely intertwined - and really from that, the interdisciplinary nature of folksong.

The late Ian Campbell said to me the thought the Seally lads were the most significant thing to happen to happen in Folk music in ten years at least. ian said, suddenly I realised that my Dad - even though he was singing a Scottish folk song - the style was pure Al Jolson .

And only one version of The bull and Bush....i wouldn't put money on it. how many versions were there of christmas day in the Workhouse? The music hall artistes had to know their audience, had to know their lives, had to speak very directly to them.

Like all serious artists. Give it your attention and you will learn.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Will Fly
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 11:31 AM

I learned music hall songs at my grandfather's knee - because he used to sit me there and sing them to me. Long before Leonard Sachs and "The Good Old Days - which I also thought was naff.

So I heard songs which I still love today, and perform one or two now and then - "Mary Ellen At The Church Turned Up", "The Postman's Holiday", "'Arry, 'Arry, 'Arry", etc. One of the things I suppose I learned, from listening to their records and knowing the sort of theatres they performed in, was the need to project one's voice and personality when singing and playing. Not volume, necessarily, but pitch and clarity and diction - which they had in spades.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 12:18 PM

My father was born in Poland as was his mother. His father was born in Russia. My mother was born in Lancashire. Her maternal grandmother was Welsh. Her paternal grandfather was from Staffordshire. And I still think there is nothing wrong or even slightly nationalistic about an organisation that promotes English music and dance. The Irish, Welsh and Scottish all celebrate the culture of their own nations. Why not the English?

The most successful folk festival I ever ran headlined with Roy Bailey. We had a ceilidh with folk rock band. Further entertainment was provided by the Lancashire based Orlek Ukrainian dance troupe and we had a story telling session with Tuup from Guyana and Derek (as featured earlier in this thread) from Lancashire. The story telling was cleverly named Tu-up, one down :-)


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 12:40 PM

Right - sorted (sort of)
Vic
Walter's recordings
As I've moaned interminably, we'a attempted to give our archive to people wh can house and use it, without success
I'm a litle reluctant to cherry-pick, but would like the whole archive to find a home where it will not just be stored (we have a loft if it ever comes to that) but will be used as a permanent resource for building repertoires and for research
All our collecting has involved, where possible, interviewing the singers at length about their approaches to singing, with a great deal of success as far as Walter and some of the Travellers are concerned   
I could, as Al suggests, put it up on PCloud and throw it open, but that, I feel, would be as much a waste of time as has been offering some of it to posters on this forum
An archive of this size needs actively promoting, explaining and, where the opportunity arises, adding to

I'm pretty sure Terry Yarnell (Our Man in Surrey) has approached John Howson - John and Katie run a business and that's not what we have in mind
I hit on the idea of getting a tradition-based club to take over a copy to use for their residents and audience, but that fell by the wayside - Lewes turned us down flat and won't get asked again
There are enough copies to ascertain (in Ireland) to ascertain that the material won't disappear, so no great worries on that front
I have said what I feel about the state of the clubs; It strikes me that the material we hold would be an ideal springboard for putting the folk back into folk - the singing and music, the lectures, radio programmes seminars, deleted albums... and masses and masses of published articles and books
EFDSS would be ideal if they were doing their job - they are not
The scene has no identity any more,and no agreement as to what is meant by folk

Clare County Library showed what could be done - they took our Clare Collection, selected the songs, two librarians worked on them for two years and produced a very useable and extensive website
Unfortunately, when the two librarians retired the site became static - we could no longer add to it
One thing they did manage was to get the council to employ to singers to visit County schools and introduce the kids to Clare songs via our recordings (we had no involvement or say in this)
Out site is widely accessed and local people are now singing teh songs of the now dead singers
The next step is to get Limerick Uni to do the same with the Traveller material - an idea already mooted by one of the instigators of the singing course there who is already involved in Traveller culture
While the scene in England faffs about persuading itself that all is well, that is not going to happen there

I have always believed that the answer to sing, playing and learning from our oral cultures is by taking and using what the singers sang and said - they may not always have been at their peak when they were recorded, but they had something none of us "borrowers" have - first hand experience - I believe that invariably showed up in their singing (sorry - I don't count singing pop songs of yesteryear part of anything other than family entertainment)

'Nuff prating for now - more later
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 12:40 PM

On the subject of music hall songs I must admit it was with some surprise I discovered a lot of the music I thought was folk was in fact music hall. Previously mentioned "Star of the County Down"; Pretty Polly Perkins and her Geordie counterpart Cushie Butterfield. That just reminded me of another, "Keep your feet still Geordie Hinny". Seeing as even folk aficionados can get confused, is it really so bad to have these songs at folk clubs?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 01:16 PM

The thing about Soundcloud. Everyone all over the world can get access AND
You can inform all the learned institutions in the world of your site and its scope with a single email!

Plus think of all the people who couldn't make it to visit England, or a museum - most of em can make it to a computer to log on to your website.

Just because we're a load of twats on Mudcat, who don't value your weighty words, doesn't mean the entire world is composed of stinkers like us.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 01:17 PM

we had a story telling session with Tuup from Guyana

What a lovely man! We met him in 2007 in Whitby during one of the four extensive tours that we organised for the great Gambian Kora player, Jali Sheriffo Konteh. Both Tuup and Sherrifo were booked at the lovely Musicport festival there. Sheriffo had a concert spot in the Pavilion Theatre on the Friday night and Tuup was very impressed. He was mainly running workshops and children's events but he had one spot in the main hall; he had a story about a kora player but it would be brilliant if Sherrifo could play gently behind him and then Tuup would move to the side at various places in the story to allow Sherrifo's kora to be brought to the fore and he could play some of his virtuosic flourishes before giving way to Tuup's story again.
Sheriffo's response was his usual one - "No Problem". Well the two artists and the sound crew all had busy schedules do there was no time for a sound check and they just had to do it. You would not have known that this was a seat-of-the-pants job for it sounded like it had been throroughly rehearsed. It was one of many highlights of the brilliant times that we had on those tours.
At the end of the festival, a spontaneous session and party developed in the green room and a session with Tuup playing djembé, Sherrifo the kora and the two fiddlers from the Warsaw Village Band - Happy Days!


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 02:12 PM

"The thing about Soundcloud. "
I think our Clare collection is constructed on Soundcloud
I use freebie PCloud to fulfill requests for material
Doesn't answer any of the other problems I mentioned Al - thanks anyway
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 02:56 PM

Jim,
I will address the positive aspects of your last posting of 12.40.

You are not the only one with a large archive of this sort of material.
Plenty of others would also like a proactive repository for their archive. Like you most are already having partial success, but as you have been informed many times we are in competition with other priorities constantly, especially in these troubled times, facing cutbacks right left and centre.

You complain, in some ways rightly, about the English weakness in comparison with Scotland , Ireland and Wales. This has always been the case with all matters concerning people's heritage. This is largely down to the Irish, Scots and Welsh being traditionally in the shadow of their much more powerful neighbour. The patriotism in the other 3 countries is much more evident than in England. Hence the great lack of interest of successive governments in English folk heritage. We are very lucky to have people at EFDSS who have managed to gather enough funding to put all of the early folksong collections online.

Regarding getting the sort of interest you are asking for, this would require funding. As I say there is a lot of competition and priorities have to be made. Here's a for-instance, if the choice had been between your archive and Carpenter being put online, which would you have gone for? If I tell you that the cost of sorting, cataloguing, indexing, studying, digitising that collection cost the funders hundreds of thousands of pounds that will give you some idea of the scale of operation required. Yes, I'm aware that much of your archive is already processed, but there is still a cost to housing it, both in an institution and online.

I know for a fact because I have been involved in several of the EFDSS projects over the last 5 years and in their limited space premises they have taken in at least 6 large physical collections that needed housing, cataloguing, etc. Archive owners are dropping like flies as you would expect as most of us started in the 60s or before. It won't be long before C#H is bursting at the seams, if it isn't already.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 03:06 PM

>>>>>>I don't count singing pop songs of yesteryear part of anything other than family entertainment<<<<<<

That's fine, Jim. As it's highly unlikely you're ever going to influence what people sing on the British folk scene we can go with that.


But just for the record and so you don't misconstrue this statement, what the rest of us have agreed on is that in folk clubs you are likely to hear

1) traditional folk songs
2) contemporary folk songs (okay in the folk idiom)

Unfortunately there is no hard dividing line between 2) and a whole swathe of other genres, so other things are going to creep in there occasionally. Like the others on here I'm quite happy with this.

In our experience the vast majority of what one hears in an English folk event still comprises 1) and 2).


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 04:06 PM

A detailed response to Jim's on Walter Pardon
As I've moaned interminably, we'a attempted to give our archive to people wh can house and use it, without success
I'm a litle reluctant to cherry-pick, but would like the whole archive to find a home where it will not just be stored (we have a loft if it ever comes to that) but will be used as a permanent resource for building repertoires and for research

Storing magnetic tape is a costly business - temperature controlled conditions - reasonably frequent rewinding to prevent print through - check of physical tape deterioration etc. In my opinion it is not the articles themselves that are so important as what they contain. Once several copies have been made in different digital formats and stored on a variety of machine and 'Cloud' destinations (though ultimately they are all a variety of hard drive) then the tapes themselves become less important. They still need to be catalogued however so that librarians/archivists/researchers can access them easily. Then they either have to be fully transcribed (very time consuming and expensive unless you can get good volunteers) or a skilled person needs to provide a synopsis so that all possible research or interest aspects are listed against tape timings. Reg Hall did this for quite a number of tapes from my BBC Sussex interview collection so that when, for example, the Sussex Military History Society approached me for 'World War One' anecdotes, I know exactly which CDr and how far through my long Gordon Hall interview I had to get to get what they were after

An archive of this size needs actively promoting, explaining and, where the opportunity arises, adding to
So you can imagine our problem with the 5,400 plus and growing items on the Sussex Traditions database. Also you will need a good efficient search engine that can do simple and advanced searches - and that is not as easy as it sounds as I am finding.

John and Katie run a business and that's not what we have in mind
They do. Well it is John that runs the Veteran record label as a business and they would not be interested in storing tapes or making digital copies available. Katie (at least until recently) was the mainstay of the EATMT Trust and their website shows that they have an Archive section. This is not a commercial business.
As a matter of interest, John's extensive collection of field recording tapes are now stored and maintained by the British Museum National Sound Library.

I hit on the idea of getting a tradition-based club to take over a copy to use for their residents and audience, but that fell by the wayside - Lewes turned us down flat and won't get asked again
I am rather puzzled as to why you think that a folk club would be as suitable place for valuable tapes to be used by random club members, digital copies perhaps - but this far from the activities that the likes of Valmai & Bryan take on. They run guest nights, sessions, tune-learning nights but they do not operate a folk song archive.

EFDSS would be ideal if they were doing their job
Again I think that they would not see this as part of their role - and the British Museum National Sound Library is within walking distance of their headquaters. On the other hand, if you were to offer to add your material to their remarkable The Full English Digital Archive I'm sure that they would show interest (I'm not sure where they are on post-World Two collections. Certainly their first concern was with the Victorian/Edwardian collectors. Steve Gardham may be able to help on this.)

Clare County Library showed what could be done - they took our Clare Collection, selected the songs, two librarians worked on them for two years and produced a very useable and extensive website
Unfortunately, when the two librarians retired the site became static - we could no longer add to it

This is curious. If two librarians were producing what you call "a very useable and extensive website" as part of their workload, why were they not replaced after the retired?
Obviously, I cannot help your at all with the various Irish institutiona and as always, I steer away from your opinion and comments of the English scene and your ongoing comments on what is and what isn't folk song. Anyway I am responding to the matter surrounding Walter Bulwer because that is what I am interested in. I hope you find some of what I have written helpful.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 04:51 PM

Doesn't answer any of the other problems I mentioned Al - thanks anyway
Jim

Maybe so. Perhaps you are thinking too small though.

You know places like the big shopping centres in England employ an agency to create a cyber town, where people can wander the streets with their computer.

They sell advertising space to finance it.

Its got to be a mini fraction of the price of physical museum.

Plus it can't burn down!


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 05:58 AM

Jim, for all our disagreements here I believe most of us recognise and value the importance of your work and the archives which contain it. However as Steve has pointed out, yours is not the only archive which needs preserving for the future and which is struggling to find hte resources to ensure this.

Your wishes for the Walter Pardon material are admirable but ambitious. I don't think you should attribute the lack of response to a lack of interest, even less of hostility to traditional music. However what you are seeking would require a considerable endowment to ensure not only that the materials could be safely stored but also to allow for their interpretation, and for this to continue for the foreseeable future. Few institutions, including EFDSS, are awash with money and such funding as they have is usually earmarked for particular projects. It seems doubtful that any would be willing to take it on, however much they might wish to, without an assurance that the necessary funding was also available. If, as I understood you to say, the materials are in the British Library then you can at least be reassured that they should be properly looked after.

My guess is that in Clare you were fortunate to find a couple of librarians who took a personal interest in the material and were either able to find funding or (more likely) found ways to do it within their existing budget. When they retired, their successors had different priorities. That is how things often are, I'm afraid.

I agree with Al's suggestion to put the material on-line where it will be accessible to anyone who takes an interest, perhaps together with a website to direct people to the right sources. Such a thing could be done relatively cheaply, on a scale where you might be able to get crowdfunding. It would of course require some considerable effort, and if you have not already done so I would urge you to find some younger enthusiasts who may be willing to help with this and to act as your "literary executors" when you are no longer around.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 10:15 AM

Howard
I agree totally that ours isn't the only archive - far from it,
Some time in the 90s (may have been earlier) a group of us met with the then National Sound Archive in Exhibition road to discuss raising support fo a national folk Archive, the included reps from NSA, Reg Hall, Malcolm Taylor and around dozen others whose names escape me but one was an adviser on raising funding (I still have the minutes)
Eventually the NSA absorbed by the British Library (never been sure of the wisdom of that), and the present sound archive was put on line
As an admirer and regular used of that website, knowing what it potentially available, I know it represents only a fraction of recordings and research on folk song
I'm not pleading a special case for our archive, I am saying it is one of many which will either disappear ot go elsewhere if England (specifically) doesn't get a grip - Scotland has shown the way with their magnificent 'Kist O'Riches'
The BBCs largest and most important collection o British and Irish material still remains unavailable for public access, as does such important collections like those of Grange, Mike Yates, Reg Hall, Roy Palmer, MacColl and Seeger, Keith Summers, Bob and Jaqqueline Patten....

Pleading poverty o behalf of EFDSS rings very hollow in the face of what they have spent their money on in the way of making sound examples available - I can't fault their work on Sharp's diaries but am puzzled by the enthusiasm for this on the one hand and the tearing down of Sharp's researches by the present researchers on the other

Either the EFDSS starts doing what it was set up for or somebody else has to if important collections such as those I've listed are not going to remain unused

Whether this neglect is down to lack of funding or disinterest is worth discussing - I have attempted top give my opinion - disinterest wins hands down if a thread where people would rather discuss Ed Sheeran and Music Hall songs instead of folk songs and ballads and where the views of such a prominent figure in folk song as Martin Carthy are pointedly ignored is anything to go by.

I've suggested what might be able to happen if those still interested in folk song want it to
If people are genuine in their support of EFDSS, why not a fundraising campaign combined with a stream of letters suggesting what needs to be done
If they wont move on it, then somebody has to

I know there are admirable efforts on the part of some regions, but not enough to make a difference
The situation needs to b tackled nationally

By the way , our archive was not the result of two enthusiastic librarians - afr from it
We approached the County Library and they appointed to librarians who had no connection with the music to deal with it
They then approached the Council who appointed two singers to use the collection to get schoolchildren interested

Ireland nationally has become aware of both the cultural value of the Traditional Arts and of its value in drawing visitors to the country
We are lucky enough to live in a County which is, we are told whenever we are asked where we live, "The home of traditional Irish music"   
Last night, after watching the thrilling conclusion to ‘Baptiste’ we moved on to an Irish station where we watched a programme of tradition music played on the streets of our County Town (a tribute to the now quite ill box player Tony McMahon, and then the first of a series of six programmes devoted to mostly young women, unaccompanied concertina players   
Next week it will be women pipers, then flute players, then fiddlers, then box players, then hopefully women singers
This is all down to the fact that the Irish trad music scene not takes its future seriously and is carving its own path
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 12:17 PM

>>>>>>Sharp's Researches<<<<<

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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 01:12 PM

Scotland has shown the way with their magnificent 'Kist O'Riches'
The BBCs largest and most important collection o British and Irish material still remains unavailable for public access, as does such important collections like those of Grange, Mike Yates, Reg Hall, Roy Palmer, MacColl and Seeger, Keith Summers, Bob and Jaqqueline Patten....
Pleading poverty o behalf of EFDSS rings very hollow in the face of what they have spent their money on in the way of making sound examples available - I can't fault their work on Sharp's diaries but am puzzled by the enthusiasm for this on the one hand and the tearing down of Sharp's researches by the present researchers on the other.
Either the EFDSS starts doing what it was set up for or somebody else has to if important collections such as those I've listed are not going to remain unused


Jim, there is a major flaw in your thinking here. You want someone to store your very important Walter Pardon interview tapes and make them available to researchers etc. Then you praise the job that Kist O'Riches (Tobar an Dualchais) does in Scotland is doing. If I went to them and asked them to store my recordings of songs and stories recorded from Scottish Travellers, they would say no. They would tell that storage was not their function but that if I would arrange for good quality digitised recordings to be sent to them, they would be delighted to include all the ones that were not duplicating what they already had on line. They would also say that my recordings would have to wait whilst they checked recording quality, duplication of existing items, copyright and ownership issues and they would have to be properly catalogued. This would happen in time but my recordings would have to go to the back of the queue which is held up be funding issues.
Tobar an Dualchais database has over 40,000 oral recordings. The EFDSS Full English Digital Database has over 80,000 items.* Both are wonderful freely available, easily searched facilities. Anyone with an interest in the traditions of Scotland or England should be jumping for joy and discovering the many delights that they offer. Neither think their task is anywhere like complete. Both complain of funding issues that are retarding their work. That is in spite of the fact that that Scottish website can state:-
We are very grateful to all of this year’s funders: Aberdeen Asset Management, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Gaelic Language Promotion Trust, Paulsen Familiae Foundation, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Saint Andrew’s Society of New York State, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scottish Funding Council and University of Edinburgh.

The Full English site seems to me to be approaching their priorites in a historical order point of view with the early collectors being first and the great post-2nd World War collectors having to wait their turn. (Could Steve Gardham put me right on this if my assumption is wrong?)

* One of the differences between Kist o'Riches and Full English is that the former contains examples of the singing of Vic Smith whilst the latter does not!!!


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 01:50 PM

"You want someone to store your very important Walter Pardon interview tapes and make them available to researchers etc. "
No Vic, I want them to be taken and used
We put our collection in the NSA and they put them in a cupboard - not what we want
We took our Clare Collection to the County Library and they put them on line
Works for me
THe recording qual;ity of our recordings has been good enough to have been used on around a dozen albums
If this is not a job for EFDSS, who already have the BBC collection, the Pat Shudham Shaw recordings, and numerous others - for listening, why should they not acquire (not buy) those I mentioned (I wish people wouldn't suggest it is only our collection I am concerned about -I have made that clear it isn't)
If these collections are not gathered up they will be lost
Ours was the clollection that inspired the National Sound Archive from almost exclusively gathering non British material to expanding to our indigenous material yet is still lies languishing in a cupboard somewhere

Steve
Was your Sharp comment a question ot do you doubt he carried out any research
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 02:04 PM

Just so there's no misunderstanding
Our Archive is fully digitised, and indexed
Most of our personal cllection is transcribed textually, some musically
It's a full, redy-to eat meal
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 02:54 PM

Obviously I can't speak for the EFDSS and I don't know their reasons, but I suspect that funding remains the issue. The money they have from Heritage Lottery Fund and other sources for the Full English will be ring-fenced for that specific purpose and they can't just spend it as they please.

Vic has pointed out the due diligence that Kirst of Riches has to carry out before putting anything online. That all costs money. No institution of this type will take on a project unless it has assurances that the funding is available. I work for a charity, although not in the arts, and I see this at first hand. I also see how complex and difficult applying for funding can be, the range of outcomes a successful project must achieve beyond its immediate ones, and how many very worthwhile projects fail for one reason or another to be win a grant.

I am surprised you have dismissed approaching the Howsons because they run a record label. I can think of few others who are likely to have a better idea whether any institutions in East Anglia might be interested in having, or financially supporting, your project. They have retired from EAMT but still live in the region and are still very much involved with traditional music.

Whilst I agree it would be better if a national or at least regional institution were to take it on, this may not happen. If it really is as simple as you suggest, then why not do it yourself? Genuine question, not a dig. If all the work of digitising and cataloguing has been done, then the costs shouldn't be that great and could perhaps be covered by crowdfunding.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 03:35 PM

" but I suspect that funding remains the issue"
I believe it is their priorities that are an issue and they, of all people, are in the position to either mount an appeal for funds for specific projects or go cap in hand to the arts Council - they have always had Royal patronage
There is no sign of them having tried #As I have pointed out, ours and iother collections are ready for use
When we set up Singers Workshop Arcive, which is basically how ours began, I indexed everything that hadn't been already and, when I became computerised, digitised everything, as did others
Bob and Jackie Patten contacted me and gave me a fully indexed copy of their Somerset fieldwork, Charles Parker's and Peggy and Ewan's came fully listed, as did Hugh Shield's and Tom Munnnelly's
If you read what I said, the Howson's were approached by Terry Yarnell (to my knowledge)
These are excuses Howard, I have learned friom past bitter experience that you can't give away field recordings to the present folk scene any more than Rod Stradling can sell them
There is no longer an interest
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 03:55 PM

Vic has pointed out the due diligence that Kirst of Riches has to carry out before putting anything online. That all costs money. No institution of this type will take on a project unless it has assurances that the funding is available. I work for a charity, although not in the arts, and I see this at first hand. I also see how complex and difficult applying for funding can be, the range of outcomes a successful project must achieve beyond its immediate ones, and how many very worthwhile projects fail for one reason or another to be win a grant.

Funding through ACE, National Lottery etc. has become a very complex operation. The application forms run to many pages and is so daunting many people are put off. A newish range of professionals has developed who are experienced fund-raisers who know all the ropes, tell applicants how to jump through the hoops and give the meanings to some of the fairly obtuse jargon that some parts of the of form and advice notes use. Demonstrating that you have parallel funding or financial backing can be a mighty problem. Even if the grant is given the assessment and evaluation at the end - which must be completed before the final payments are given, can be very time consuming. Then if the application is not granted, you still have to pay for the 'fund-raising professional' and you can end up out of pocket.

I have been involved in a number of applications in recent years.
For the first one (with ACE) we had one free meeting with the local ACE officer, than we had a paid meeting with an advisor and did the rest ourselves. We were granted a substantial five figure grant. We asked for feedback afterwards and were told that that it was an excellent application an the detailed links to the National Curriculum in the education section were particlarly strong... but then I was a retired head teacher with such information at my finger tips.

The second one (with National Lottery) failed. It was called "too ambitious". A less complicated application is being prepared but I can tell you that the rejection left some hard working people rather dejected.

The third one (with the South Downs National Parks) gained the full amount of £2000 which was the maximum in that category. However, I was one of the four person sub-committee working on the application and when I worked out the hours the 4 had put in and divided it into the grant, it worked out that we had been working for considerable less than the minimum wage.

Crowd-funding might be the answer as Howard suggests. but I always have misgivings with this direction around accountabilty.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 04:15 PM

I'm in no position to know, let alone try to excuse, the EFDSS's priorities. Nevertheless it is has only a small team trying to do a lot of different things. Like you, I may not agree with all of those things but it is for the trustees and its members to decide the priorities. As Vic said, they seem to be prioritising the more historical stuff first. Your material is in safe keeping, and whilst not widely accessible I assume it should be possible for someone to listen to it at the British Library.

Applying for Arts Council funding, like the Lottery, appears to be a complex process that requires a fair amount of time and resources. Royal patronage I'm afraid won't circumvent this.

As this thread has shown, you are prone to interpreting different views to your own as evidence of a lack of interest in traditional music, possibly even hostility to it. Even if the EFDSS's priorities are different from your does not mean they are doing something wrong. Unless you can show the reason that the EFDSS has rejected your material I am inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.

I'm a bit confused. Why do you want to make this material widely available if you think no one on the folk scene is interested in it? And if that were to be true, why should the EFDSS or anyone else put its time, money and resources into making it available? And assuming that you don't really believe that no one is interested, why not do it yourself?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 06:40 PM

Mudcat not functioning for me currently. Losing posts or they're only part coming through.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 06:41 PM

Just lost a loaded reply to Vic's Q. In short YES.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 06:45 PM

Jim,
What evidence have you that Sharp actually did any research, say to the extent that Baring Gould or Kidson did?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 06:46 PM

That was my 6th attempt at that one.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 06:46 PM

Lucky 3 in a row!


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jeri
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 07:48 PM

Max emailed something to me earlier that indicated this thread was likely the problem. Huge thread that a lot of people are hitting.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 08:12 PM

Re-reading my last post it may come across as a bit confrontational, that wasn't my intention.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Stewie
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 09:34 PM

Here's an interesting program that purports to indicate what went on in folk clubs in the
80s. Anderson reckons there were about 500 clubs then.

Click

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 04:12 AM

Jim have you tried various county archives?if the material was sorted by counties, they are normally interested inanything relating to county history


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Mar 19 - 04:17 AM

"What evidence have you that Sharp actually did any research,"
Oh dear - I suspected his was coming Steve
The act of actually going out and talking to the people who carried the songs is, as far as I am concerned an act of researching (finding out) what folk song was about, without any earlier examples to go by, probably the most important
Based on 'Some Conclusions' alone, he was apparently familiar with other 'researchers' such as Motherwell, who he quotes, he had perused the broadsides he had his own personal collection of them and had obviously compared them to the songs he and his colleagues - he , as I do, found them chalk and cheese, as did later collectors whose work I am exploring at present
He knew the modes and wrote about them at length.
He became aware enough of the the importance of folk songs as the people's art to make efforts to get them into schools
A bit more than your average 'butterfly collector'
One of the great advantages Sharp and his colleagues had over today's researchers (what is left of that once proud band) is that they were there when there were enough old singers to make a hands on assessment of what folk song was and was about, they were in a position to judge whether the material being gathered was really 'the voice of the people' or just something they bought and learned parrot-fashion.
One of the greatest advantages was they were prepared to learn from each other, those who had gone before, and their main benefactors - not like the present somewhat distateful approach of sweeping aside old knowledge to make room for the new
   
I was once given a full set of 'the Journals, through all their various stages, despite their rather unhealthy (in my opinion) move from dealing solely with song, I find them still an essential edition to my knowledge, as I do all the early writings, Gummere, Gerould, Wimberly.... (notably mainly American)
Today find much of today's Journal (not all nowadays) a lone light - an echo of what a folk scene was once about - one that knew what folk song was and didn't make discussions on definition no-go areas, as it has become on a forum which styles itself as being about "Traditional Music and Folklore Collection and Community"

Howard
Why do I think this material important ?
Because of what it is and represents
It needs to be available to all those who describe themselves as being involved in 'folk' - not just our collection but all I have mentioned and much, much more
I find it utterly outrageous that, after nearly seventy years, the result of the magnificent survey of the last of our song and music traditions carried out by the BBC and paid for by the public's money, is still generally unavailable, and what little that was issued has been deleted and forgotten
It should be promoted and used in schools and colleges in the hope (possibly vain, as things stand) that future generations might pick up the ball that our generation dropped
Why should EFDSS be interested - because that is part of their job description - they are not a music and dance society; they are a FOLK music and dance society - about time somebody reminded them of that fact
If they are not going to piss, they need to get off the pot.

Last night I spoke to a friend who sang at a concert of traditional song at Cecil Sharp House recently - to an audience of fifteen people
Jim Carroll


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