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UK 60s Folk Club Boom?

Big Al Whittle 14 Feb 19 - 04:04 PM
The Sandman 14 Feb 19 - 04:45 PM
Iains 14 Feb 19 - 05:28 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Feb 19 - 06:51 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Feb 19 - 06:56 PM
Hagman 14 Feb 19 - 07:56 PM
Dave the Gnome 15 Feb 19 - 03:02 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 19 - 03:21 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 19 - 03:40 AM
John MacKenzie 15 Feb 19 - 04:48 AM
Iains 15 Feb 19 - 05:08 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 19 - 05:15 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Feb 19 - 05:21 AM
John MacKenzie 15 Feb 19 - 05:24 AM
Howard Jones 15 Feb 19 - 05:44 AM
Howard Jones 15 Feb 19 - 05:58 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 19 - 06:08 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Feb 19 - 06:53 AM
Vic Smith 15 Feb 19 - 07:27 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 19 - 07:49 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Feb 19 - 07:51 AM
Vic Smith 15 Feb 19 - 08:12 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 19 - 08:15 AM
Vic Smith 15 Feb 19 - 08:30 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Feb 19 - 08:32 AM
John MacKenzie 15 Feb 19 - 08:34 AM
Vic Smith 15 Feb 19 - 08:45 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 19 - 09:28 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 19 - 09:33 AM
Steve Gardham 15 Feb 19 - 09:45 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Feb 19 - 09:49 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 19 - 10:02 AM
The Sandman 15 Feb 19 - 10:08 AM
Steve Gardham 15 Feb 19 - 10:09 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 19 - 10:19 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 19 - 10:25 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Feb 19 - 10:30 AM
Rain Dog 15 Feb 19 - 10:40 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 19 - 10:47 AM
GUEST,John from Kemsing 15 Feb 19 - 10:49 AM
Vic Smith 15 Feb 19 - 10:59 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Feb 19 - 10:59 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 19 - 11:46 AM
Vic Smith 15 Feb 19 - 12:05 PM
Big Al Whittle 15 Feb 19 - 12:11 PM
Vic Smith 15 Feb 19 - 12:32 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 15 Feb 19 - 12:33 PM
Jack Campin 15 Feb 19 - 12:41 PM
Steve Gardham 15 Feb 19 - 01:06 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 19 - 01:55 PM
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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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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 04:45 PM

Folk festival do not seem to be doinmg as well as they used to


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Iains
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 05:28 PM

And if it sounds like folk, looks like folk and smells like folk, what the **** does it matter who wrote it anyway?

Seems reasonable to me! Surely the boundary between country and folk is also a very amorphous one. The transatlantic sessions would not have worked unless the two were intimately linked.
For example the STREETS OF LAREDO and https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=22885


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 06:51 PM

All this faffing and bullying and not one single response to the fact that the clubs that cater for genuine folk song are fighting for breath (except we are all dying off - probably right of course, but an indication of failure)
EFDSS has walked away from the real thing, the New age researchers have decided we got we wrng or made it all up, plenty of insults and a few excuses
Confirmation enough, I think and not particularly hopeful
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 06:56 PM

Incidentally - in response to the decades old thread - nobody defined folk - it defines itself by its very nature - the clue is oin two wotrds "traditional" - a process that creates and ploriferates folk song; and "folk" - the people who made it and passed it on
Plenty of books on the subject and enough genuine folk singers on record as having described what we are talking about.
Those who don't know what it is don't want to - nothing much you can do about that
G'night all
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Hagman
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 07:56 PM

From Jim's post above:

"SOME STRANGE FACTS ABOUT THE LATEST CRAZE…… JUST HOW INNOCENT ARE SIGNS LIKE THIS By PETER BISHOP
...
There are more than 200 of these clubs in Britain, with 250,000 members."

So, on average, each club had 1,250 members?

Either the rooms above pubs in those days were really big, or newspaper sub-editing in 1960 was just as bad as it is today.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 03:02 AM

Sorry to labour the point, Jim, but if you say things like "clubs that cater for genuine folk song are fighting for breath" you need to be consistent about what genuine folk song is. You have said yourself that Ewan MacColl did not write folk songs so anything by him cannot be a 'genuine folk song'. Yet you say his songs are acceptable in folk clubs. If his songs are acceptable then other contemporary songs are as well. I ask once again, who decides what is acceptable and what is not?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 03:21 AM

Hagman
It was an politically agenda-based article reflecting the suspicion of the establishment media towards a strongly independent musical movement that in those days couldn't be controlled or trusted - happy days, as far as I'm concerned.
I have no doubt those figures were arrived at with minimal effort and by someone with total ignorance or interest of either the scene or the music it once represented
The idea that 'ordinary people' (no such animal) could actually put their own thoughts and aspirations into verse must have sent them scurrying shitless for their shotguns and bullet-proof vests
My late friend, Charles Parker, once put it in a nutshell - "A traditional love song well sung is a fist in the face of the establishment"

Now, it seems, many of today's folkies measure success by how many times they appear on the establishment media or how many CDs they can sell or how many paid gigs they can get - not a happy situation for what was once a fresh, new grass-roots movement based on the idea that anybody can sing and our music was as good as any ever produced, if not better

In my opinion, a half decent history of the folk revival has yet to be written
Mike Brocken's effort is far too one-sided and based on gossip rather than researched facts
'Singing From the floor' I found skimpy and, based on my own experiences, superficial and inaccurate
A radio programme on the history of Topic Records, 'Little Red Label' was summed up in one magnificent statement, "Ewan MacColl" (the singer who composed up to three hundred songs, and probably far more) "didn't like new songs".
A knowledgeable but detached history of the revival, such as Peter Cox's history of the Radio Ballads, 'Set Into Song', would help enormously clear up many of the myths, misunderstandings and ill-feeling surrounding who did and didn't do what when....
I've just been given an excellent embryo article on the early days of the folk revival by a friend - I look forward with some interests to see the reception it will get
I can already see the crucifixes, holy water and garlic being got ready
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 03:40 AM

"you need to be consistent about what genuine folk song is. "
I've already done that Dave
I have never at any time said that genuine folk song can't exist alongside songs created by using folk styles as a template - in fact I have repeatedly said I believe it to be essential
I see no reason on earth why someone who can listen to 'The Flying Cloud' with pleasure can't get equal enjoyment out of say, 'Shellback' or 'The Tenant Farmer' or Leon Rossleson's 'World Turned Upside Down'
On the other hand, it is totally beyond me why traditional songs should be lumped in with poor renditions of Buddy Holly or early sentimantal tear-jerkers - or anything anybody cares to hang the 'folk' label on for personal convenience   
If you give your music a name, that name has to mean something or not only are you conning the punters but you are destroying the future of the real thing (as is becoming increasingly apparent)

The separation of traditional and non-traditional song is not necessary for the clubs (as long as they relate to one another in some way) but it is essential for research purposes
I do both - I take great pleasure in singing and listening to folk or folk-related songs and always have, but I am also deeply interested in the role that the folk arts played in the social history of the British and Irish people
I need to be able to recognise and understand the differences between the two if I am going to be able to discuss my beliefs and finding with others
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 04:48 AM

Now, about this 60's folk club boom mentioned in the title of this thread.
Was that the one where we all sang Tom Paxton, Bob Dylan and Ewan MacColl? Or was it the mythical one, where we all sang Thousands or More,and the Trimdon Grange Explosion, endlessly?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Iains
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 05:08 AM

As I have said before, I first saw Ralph McTell perform streets of london" in the Surbiton Assembly Rooms.
Proclaimed to be the largest folk club in the UK(23000 members at the time it closed)


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 05:15 AM

"Was that the one where we all sang Tom Paxton, Bob Dylan and Ewan MacColl? "
You may have done - we sand MacColl, Enoch Kent, Pete Smith, Miles Wooton... and all the other dozens of writers composing using trditional styles
The Paxtonites and Dylanites had little time for our songss and we weren't particularly impressed with theirs so they set up their clubs and we set up ours - no animosty particularly, just a mutual agreement that we were doing something different
I wentt ot both for a time till the reall stuff began to occupy most of my time and pleasure
Now both have been swept aside by the 'singing horses' and electric soup crowd
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 05:21 AM

Jim, the choice is not between the obvious folk style and the obvious non-folk style. There are plenty of songs and artists that are somewhere in between Ewan MacColl and Buddy Holly. It is not as black and white as you suggest. There are grey areas in between and it is those that I am questioning. Who decides which is acceptable at folk clubs and which is not? There cannot be an arbitrary line between the two that suits all people so help us out here. What side of the divide do artists like Ralph McTell, Eric Bogle and Anthony John Clarke fall on? Should their songs be sung in folk clubs or not and why?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 05:24 AM

I saw Ralph at Surbiton too Iain. I was booked there once (only once you'll not be surprised to hear) and was one of the residents in latter days, along with Hector Gilchrist.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 05:44 AM

Thanks Dick, I'd forgotten about the Railway. I remember going to a club near Brentwood station to see Vin Garbutt, was that the one? I don't recall while I didn't go there more often.

Your excellent club at Havering was just outside my normal radius so although I visited fairly frequently I was not a regular. I'd thought of this club as one of the others I could reach with a little more effort. i remember also sometimes going to clubs in Romford, Upminster and Southend.

The point I was trying to illustrate was that at that time there was a host of clubs in that area. Between them they offered a full range of music across the whole spectrum of "folk", and there were plenty of opportunities to hear traditional music. The standards were usually reasonably high, and no matter how tiny the room (I'm particularly thinking of Blackmore) floor singers were expected to come to the stage to do their bit. Good days.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 05:58 AM

Jim I agree with much of what you say about politics in folk song. Even the songs which are simply about love, work or bloody murder shed some light on social conditions and can be interpreted in a political way. However not everyone sees things through a permanent political prism and many people simply enjoy the songs for their own sake.

It is also a matter of history that the revival in its early days was particularly driven by people who were politically active, and for whom folk music was part of their activism - hence the slightly hysterical "reds under the bed" article someone quoted earlier. You have written about groups you were involved with where the politics were as important as the music. However at the clubs I visited politics as such were seldom openly expressed. I have no idea of the political views of most of the people who attended these clubs, even though I got to know many of them well. We were there for the music.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 06:08 AM

"Ewan MacColl and Buddy Holly"
Sorry Dave - I can see little point in continuing this discussion when we are so far apart
Th two bear bear no relation to each other and there is no common ground between them
One is commercial based and manufactured for sale, the other is narrative based and intended to carry emotions, experiences and opinions
No reason you can't 'like' both (I used to) but they are as different as chalk and cheese and mixing them is bound to damage both
You may as well say that because peol,e like and sing light opera thnn if as a viable candidate for folk song venues
Are you saying that - if not, why not ?

Howard, I was interested in your comments on floor singers - my experience to
Everybody-gets-a-go singarounds were new kids on the block on my scene - you weer expected to have put in the effort before you were lel loose on an audience - fair both on them and you - who enjoys making an arsehole of yourself in public
The number of times I've don that I want to forget
You can strut you stuff among friends without having them make the effort to come out to see you - informal singing can be an incredible way of developing your skills given the good will and ability to discuss your performances
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 06:53 AM

Jim, you have misconstrued what I actually said once again. I am not comparing the two. Read my post. What I said is There are plenty of songs and artists that are somewhere in between Ewan MacColl and Buddy Holly. It is not as black and white as you suggest. I know that the two bear no relation to each other. That is the point. I am looking at the artists that lie between the two and asking where do you draw the line.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 07:27 AM

Dave wrote:-
It is not as black and white as you suggest. There are grey areas in between and it is those that I am questioning. Who decides which is acceptable at folk clubs and which is not? There cannot be an arbitrary line between the two that suits all people so help us out here.

Breakfast time in the Smith house, some time in the early 1970s. Sitting at the table are Vic and Bert Lloyd - he has sung at our folk club the evening before. Vic had been outlining his confusion about what exactly constitituted a folk song and what didn't. His points closely resembled what he has just quoted from Dave. Bert's reply was an analogy that Vic remembers clearly more than 45 years later.
"Look out of your window. I think that we can agree that it is daytime. If we were still sitting here at 10 o'clock tonight, we would look out of the window and agree that it was nighttime. However if you were to ask a hundred people to nominate the exact moment when day became night, you would get a hundred different answers. It is the same with the 'What is folk song?' question.

Wouldn't it be great if we could just embrace Bert's Vive la différence stance? But this is Mudcat so we cannot.
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

"Ewan MacColl and Buddy Holly"
Sorry Dave - I can see little point in continuing this discussion when we are so far apart
Th two bear bear no relation to each other and there is no common ground between them
One is commercial based and manufactured for sale, the other is narrative based and intended to carry emotions, experiences and opinions


Would anyone know if there is any way of comparing the amounts of money earned from their songwriting of both Charles Hardin Holley of Lubbock, Texas and James Henry Miller of Salford, Lancashire, both before and after their deaths? If we were to have those figures then we would know which had made the most money (i.e. were the most commercial) by researching the facts rather than belief based on unsupported personal preference.
My guess would be that the amounts earned by both these excellent songwriters, both great favourites of mine, would not differ by a great amount.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 07:49 AM

You have to be joking Vic (even if it was material)
Ewan and Peg kept head above water with occasional tours - apart from First Time Ever which came late in life and was a total surprise, the royalties they got from songs was minimal
After Ewan died Peggy gave me a tape of 'First Time' recorded by 'pop names' - they had receive payment for less than half of them
Tey didn't write songs to make money - most of which made zilch
Immaterial - the songs appeal to different people for different reasons
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 07:51 AM

Thanks, Vic. I'm glad the esteemed Mr Lloyd agrees :-) I am more than happy to embrace the difference but, as you say, this is the Mudcat after all!


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 08:12 AM

they had receive payment for less than half of them
Sadly this is an all too common experience amongst songwriters of all genres and stages of fame. Then there are the well documented occurrences of artists approaching songwriters to say that they would record their song providing the composing rights were split 50/50 with the singer. I've even seen a letter sent to a songwriting friend of mine which brazenly stated, "After all, a half of something is better than a whole of nothing!" Sad to say, he accepted the offer.
All business tends to be dirty and full of crooks, but the music business is well up near the top of the list.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 08:15 AM

Incidentally,
"James Henry Miller"
The use of a name officially changed by a leading contributor to our understanding and enjoyment of an important branch of the arts nearly seven decades ago - three decades after the singers death, for me sums up the small-minded spite and in-fighting that has often made the revival the unpleasant place it has become - are we now going to have to include Robert Zimmerman in our discussions (why do I doubt it)?
What next - Ethel Gumm and Archie leach maybe ?
It really is time the folk scene embraced adulthood
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 08:30 AM

I tried an internet searches for "royalty earnings of..." both singers in question and, perhaps understandably, neither threw up any figures and only in the case of Holly were there any significant hits. There were a number of sites detailing how the inexperienced young Texan had been ripped of by the big record labels. The stories are horrific if not unexpected.
A quote from one said, Holly only received 16 2/3s percent of the songwriter royalties from The Crickets first hit, “That’ll Be the Day.” when it was well known that he wrote both the lyrics and the melody.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 08:32 AM

You keep doing this, Jim. You latch onto one small part of a post and use it as a straw man. You used my 'Ewan MacColl and Buddy Holly' entirely our of the context in which they were mentioned and you have now zoomed in on one small section of Vic's 'Charles Hardin Holley of Lubbock, Texas and James Henry Miller of Salford, Lancashire'. Everyone knows who both are just as they know who Robert Zimmerman, Harry Webb and Reginald Kenneth Dwight are. Buggered if I know Ethel Gumm though.

Alexa, who is...


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 08:34 AM

and tolerance


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 08:45 AM

Can you explain why mentioning the birth names of Archie Leach, Robert Zimmerman, James Henry Miller, Ethel Gumm and Charles Hardin Holley can be construed as "small-minded spite and in-fighting that has often made the revival the unpleasant place it has become"?

The two birth names that I mentioned were given in the context of recording royalty contracts and I imagine that those were the names that - legally - were likely to appear on those contracts. When my wife is asked to sign any document with "Christine Margaret" as the forenames, she has to pause before she signs it and realises that it refers to her because she has been "Tina" since she was a baby.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 09:28 AM

"You keep doing this, Jim."
Keep doing what Dave - I have challenged you on majotr points and you persistently ignore them take up incidental points yourself
My points are these
Folk song has been regarded a peoples creative art for well over a century
It has been identified, researched and documented and defined as being distinct from all other art forms -
it is unique both in its origins and its sound - easily recognisable
By many/most, it is regarded as a carrier of social history
It comes from a time when people weer active participants in their culture rather than the passive recipients they have become - the makers and re-makers of their songs and music
The fact that it is in the public domain is indication enough of its recognised uniqueness....
Given all this, you argue for lumping it in with commercially manufactured pop songs that have long outlived their shelf life (totally neglecting to even mention the damage and confusion that this has generated on the folk scene)
I referred to it because you brought it up, but Buddy Holly isn't by any means the only one to feature in many fok club performances
I was at a folk concert in Scotland a few years ago when a singer whose singing I enjoy immensely sent the evening crashing in flames by finishing it off with two Cliff Richards numbers - as good as the night was, those are he songs that stick in my memory - a spectacular anti-climax to an otherwise highly enjoyable evening   
Do you know any other art form that would tolerate such bahavour ?
Imagine an evening of Mozart String Quartets being topped off with a couple of Scott Joplin numbers
I love both - in their place - when I go out in the evening I expect to be afforded the choice of what I listen to otherwise I might as well stay at home and listen to may own collection - which, I believe many thousands of folk enthusiasts have long been doing

Vic
MacColl changed his name by deed poll many decades ago - he had his reasons for doing so
hat is the name he operated under and has been long racognised by - it's only crumblies like us who know why Jimmy Miller was over half a century ago, yet his name is still used, along with his war record and a song he made when a large slice of the world people revered the man he was singing about - the world has moved on - some of us haven't it would appear
I don't give a toss whether people share my liking for MacColl and his singing
What I do care about is he fact that MacColl and his co-researchers left an invaluable body of work on folk singing that is nigh near impossible to discuss without having to scramble over this almost impassable heap of personalised garbage
'Tina', 'Jim', 'Vic', 'Dave' are friendly diminutives of real names, Jimmy Miller died sometime in the 1940s yet his name still pops up three decades after Ewan MacColl's death - about time that was put to res too, doncha think ?
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 09:33 AM

Meant to ask John - what are we supposed to tolerate ?
I mt opinion he 'singing horse' approach to folk song has all but killed off the clubs where you could go and hear folk songs
Singers on this forum have described feeling out of place when singing unaccompanied traditional songs
Not so long ago a contribute complained that long traditional ballads weer inappropriate" in the folk clubs he was trying to organise a tour in
Is that what we are expected to tolerate ?
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 09:45 AM

Gasps of horror on the folk scene and Mudcat!!!!!
Jim, actually has a point, in most of what he has just posted. Leaving aside the personal bickering and the references to birth names which are pretty pointless anyway if you think about it.

Traditional songs in particular are indeed in the most part quite different beasts to those produced during the second revival by the likes of Ewan and all those who followed in his wake. They have evolved in a different way in an enormously different era with different influences.

The 54 descriptors are perfectly good as long as you don't throw around thoughtless words like 'unique'. To be 'unique' every song would have to be one side of the fence or the other and this is daft.

The other meaning of folksong, the one 99% of the population uses, is much broader, but perfectly valid. Most of it hasn't gone through any of the processes described in '54' so cannot qualify for that meaning. That doesn't make it any less valid.

In the 60s and since, most reasonable people have used the adjectives 'traditional' and 'contemporary' to describe these 2 different beasts, both types widely included and accepted on the 'folk scene'.

Now what went wrong on Mudcat that produced about a trillion posts arguing the toss?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 09:49 AM

Keep doing what Dave Quoting out of context. As you just did then :-) I explained fully and if you had quoted the full section

You keep doing this, Jim. You latch onto one small part of a post and use it as a straw man. You used my 'Ewan MacColl and Buddy Holly' entirely our of the context in which they were mentioned and you have now zoomed in on one small section of Vic's 'Charles Hardin Holley of Lubbock, Texas and James Henry Miller of Salford, Lancashire'.

I am sure you could have answered the question yourself.

Your other points are quite valid apart from Given all this, you argue for lumping it in with commercially manufactured pop songs that have long outlived their shelf life which is something I have never done. I have challenged you before to show us where I have done this. You failed to do so then and I know you will fail again this time because I have never made that claim.

I have always said that both traditional and contemporary songs can be sung at the same club and I fully appreciate that not all contemporary songs would be suitable. Just as not all traditional songs would be suitable for a 'non folk' audience. What I am desperately trying to get out of you is the answer to my question as to where the line should be drawn. Which contemporary songs are acceptable and which are not.

You are missing the point altogether with the Ewan and Buddy statement so let me try and put it another way. We all know that Ewan's songs are acceptable while Buddy's songs are not. There are literally millions of songs between those two extremes. Which of those can be sung at folk clubs and which can not. Who decides which to accept into the annals of folk and which to reject? I suspect it is the audience that have the ultimate say but I am interested in what other people think.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 10:02 AM

"Jim, actually has a point, in most of what he has just posted. "
Is there any need fro this nastiness Steve
My world was one were we cooperated and shared our ideas and not tried to talk each other down
Dave Harker seems to have left his nasty hand-prints over today's scene
I still don't understand why '54' should be an issue with the new age researchers while most of us old school hardly refer to it
Of course our folk songs are unique - those who think otherwise simply haven't been listening
Nothing like 99% of the population know, care or ever refer to folk song (there go those mythical percentages again) - one of our great failings
"Traditional and contemporary" had its uses even though it didn't stand close examination
We had Traveller singers refusing to sing fifty year old Country and Western songs because the were not 'the old songs' but wite happy to describe Traveller-made songs composed within a year or so of their being made because they considered them traditional artifacts of their culture
All irrelevant to this discussion anyway - we seem to have a revival that prefers Taylor Swift to Joseph Taylor
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 10:08 AM

i have never heard of taylor swift, but howe many people other than Martin Carthy champion, JosephTaylor


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 10:09 AM

Any sensible performer wanting to please his/her/their audience would tailor their set to what they think the audience would want to hear. Personally I wouldn't want to sing a 20 verse ancient ballad to a general non-folk audience, unless they were expecting something unusual.
I mostly sing in popular singarounds nowadays, unless booked, and I tailor my songs initially for variety, and dependent on what has just been sung before my turn comes around. Because there is usually a number of visitors there I'll try to sing some well-known songs they can join in with, or something obviously entertaining in other ways.


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

"I have always said that both traditional and contemporary songs can be sung at the same club a"
Isn't this what I have been saying all along Dave - could have swoen I've said it repeatedly
It depends on how they relate to one another - or even if they do,
****** if I can see how Buddy Holly et al fits into all this
Imagine what would happen if you got a bunch of pop fans turning up and being given a night of ballads and narrative songs
The genres not are not only miles apart in their utterances contradict one other - easy listening to attention demanding
Throw in poorly performed pop songs and you've lost them forever
I sometimes think this drive to pass off dead pop songs as 'folk' has more to do with elderly folkies trying to relive their youths raher than artistic reality
Jim


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

"how many people other than Martin Carthy champion, Joseph Taylor"
Quite true Dick - and thereby hangs the problem
In my world everybody knew who he was and what he sang - and Sam - and Harry - and Walter- and Cecilia.... and the rest
I remember being involved in one of these arguments with someone who thought John Strachan was a Scottish footballer - maybe he was, but the one I was referring to was the great Scots ballad singer   
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 10:30 AM

So, we are agreed that contemporary songs are welcome at folk clubs. That is one bridge crossed. Now, how about the next one.

Which contemporary songs are acceptable, which are not, who decides and how?

Forget Buddy Holly if he just confusing you. His name, along with Ewan MacColl's was only being used to illustrate the different types of contemporary songs anyway.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Rain Dog
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 10:40 AM

Vic Smith wrote:

"Breakfast time in the Smith house, some time in the early 1970s. Sitting at the table are Vic and Bert Lloyd - he has sung at our folk club the evening before. Vic had been outlining his confusion about what exactly constitituted a folk song and what didn't. His points closely resembled what he has just quoted from Dave. Bert's reply was an analogy that Vic remembers clearly more than 45 years later.

"Look out of your window. I think that we can agree that it is daytime. If we were still sitting here at 10 o'clock tonight, we would look out of the window and agree that it was nighttime. However if you were to ask a hundred people to nominate the exact moment when day became night, you would get a hundred different answers. It is the same with the 'What is folk song?' question."

He said much the same in the documentary

A portrait of folk singer A.L. Lloyd by Barry Gavin at 48:20


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 10:47 AM

"So, we are agreed that contemporary songs are welcome at folk clubs."
Only if they relate - there's has never been an argument about that Dave
About a third of my repertoire is made up of contemporary songs
It's pop songs past their sell-by date and Victorian tear-jerkers I have problem with
The sound and function of the songs is the deciding factor for me - any evening requires a homogeneous whole if it is going to hang together and satisfy those who attend
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 10:49 AM

Jim,
    Although this point strays from the thread subject, surely a song about a disaster or event that happened many years ago or about an historic, notorious character and was written at that time is in good company with any newly composed song that relates to modern events. Disasters are disasters. I have a tape somewhere with Martin Carthy singing about the Falklands War and I hope he continues to perform contemporary songs.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 10:59 AM

I remember being involved in one of these arguments with someone who thought John Strachan was a Scottish footballer - maybe he was, but the one I was referring to was the great Scots ballad singer

I hope I may be permitted to say that they were both the same person. The farmer and ballad singer John Strachan who sang at the first People's Ceilidh in Edinburgh in 1951 and judging by the reception that he received on the recordings of the event by Alan Lomax was outstandingly well received by an enthusiatic audience was in his younger days also a semi-pro footballer in the Highland League.
And taking this diversion of what Stuart Hall called "The Beautiful Game" in 1958 a stage further.....

When was the first live radio commentary on a football game?
1927
Who were the teams and where was it played?
Aberdeen V. Glasgow Celtic played at Pittodrie Stadium
What was the result?
Aberdeen won 2-0
And who was the commentator?
Yes! It was the same..... John Strachan!
No recording obviously, but wouldn't I have loved to have heard John's rich Doric Aberdonian language - very similar to my grandmother's - describing a football match.
...and wasn't the previous matter resolved by the admission that there had been a confusion between John Strachan and one of Scotland's greatest footballers, Gordon Strachan?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 10:59 AM

Yes, I fully understand that, Jim. I think you may have answered my question with

The sound and function of the songs is the deciding factor for me - any evening requires a homogeneous whole if it is going to hang together and satisfy those who attend

It is the sound and function for you. Others may think differently.

I am no longer a folk club organiser but when I was we had a fairly successful club. It still is but that is beside the point. If I was still organiser there and wanted to keep my core audience, attract new members and satisfy the needs of a very important visitor, Mr Jim Carroll, what contemporary songs should I showcase and which should I avoid? No need for specifics and take it as read that you don't want anything that has been in the pop charts. What generic sound and function does the trick?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 11:46 AM

"I hope I may be permitted to say that they were both the same person."
Didn't know that Vic - thanks
I'd always assumed he was talking about Gordon Strachan
THe proof of the pudding lies in the eating - if you can think you can lure young people into folk clubs with badly performed and out of date pop songs mixed in with narrative songs that require attention if they are going to work good luck with that one (from what I've seen of your club from your links, it doesn't seem to have worked there
I believe, based on personal experience, that the removal of the identity of folk songs from the folk clubs drove thousands of us away from the scene and led to the dreadful contusion that surrounds the term 'folk'

John
"is in good company with any newly composed song that relates to modern events."
Of course they are and very welcome, but I can think of no pop songs that do so
The songs that did work and fit in perfectly for me were ones like 'The Hull Trawler Disaster' or 'Grey October', or Guthrie's 'Deportees', or Jack Warshaw's 'Grape Picker's Tragedy' or, on a lesser scale, Pete Smith's'Clayton Aniline' - or even the anonymous Munich air disaster song, 'Flowers of Manchester'... many songs of this ilk were regularly performed in our clubs and welcomed with open arms - I sang several of them myself
We have a friend living in our market Town, who is a member of one the great dynasties of traditional singers - a household name
He came to our house a few years ago to discuss some of his songs with a view to making a CD - Pat and I were moved almost to tears to hear his own composition about a refugee fleeing the incredibly nasty situation in former Yugoslavia
He recently told me of his admiration for MacColl's 'Fields of Vietnam' (I suspect he was drawn to it because Ewan used Robert Cinnamon's beautiful epic-sounding air for 'Napoleon Bonaparte'
For us, these are examples of traditional forms being used to create new songs
Whether they will ever become folk songs isn't in our hands, nor should it be - nobody has the right to declare a folk song 'folk" - that's the job of 'the folk'
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 12:05 PM

... the anonymous Munich air disaster song, 'Flowers of Manchester'...
I always heard and thought that "Flowers of Manchester" was written by Eric Winter, the Editor of Sing magazine. This website would seem to bear this out.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 12:11 PM

Buddy Holly probably grew up nearer to folk and rural traditional singers than most people in England. I don't think you would have to look deeply into his early work to discern traditional song patterns.

he sounds like a hillbilly to me.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 12:32 PM

from what I've seen of your club from your links, it doesn't seem to have worked there
What links? What club?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 12:33 PM

And Didn't Buddy Holly use the traditional "Shave and a Haircut" rhythmic chanting for one of his songs as used by Bo Diddley and probably many more before him.


Dave,

If Alexa has failed you try the star of "The Wizard of Oz".


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 12:41 PM

Conversely, Gordon Strachan the football manager was not the same person as
Gordon Strachan the Church of Scotland radical theologian. I don't think either of them could sing all that well - I knew the theologian slightly but never asked.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 01:06 PM

"Jim, actually has a point, in most of what he has just posted. " (SG)
Is there any need fro this nastiness Steve (JC)

Your paranoia coming out again.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 01:55 PM

"Your paranoia coming out again"
"Gasps of horror on the folk scene and Mudcat!!!!!
Jim, actually has a point, in most of what he has just posted. "
You seem to moved on from patronising me to ridiculing me - not what I became used to down the years and totally unnecessary
Niether is necessary - I know my place in the order of hings just I I know yours
Nice editing, by the way
Jim


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