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UK 60s Folk Club Boom?

Dave the Gnome 21 Feb 19 - 09:10 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Feb 19 - 09:23 AM
Dave the Gnome 21 Feb 19 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 21 Feb 19 - 09:51 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Feb 19 - 10:28 AM
Jack Campin 21 Feb 19 - 10:33 AM
Dave the Gnome 21 Feb 19 - 10:46 AM
Howard Jones 21 Feb 19 - 11:22 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Feb 19 - 11:56 AM
The Sandman 21 Feb 19 - 12:16 PM
The Sandman 21 Feb 19 - 12:20 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Feb 19 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 21 Feb 19 - 12:30 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Feb 19 - 12:31 PM
Dave the Gnome 21 Feb 19 - 12:47 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Feb 19 - 01:14 PM
Dave the Gnome 21 Feb 19 - 02:15 PM
Dave the Gnome 21 Feb 19 - 02:18 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Feb 19 - 02:33 PM
Dave the Gnome 21 Feb 19 - 02:46 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 21 Feb 19 - 03:02 PM
Howard Jones 21 Feb 19 - 03:08 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Feb 19 - 03:11 PM
Dave the Gnome 21 Feb 19 - 04:01 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Feb 19 - 04:43 PM
The Sandman 21 Feb 19 - 05:45 PM
Jim Carroll 22 Feb 19 - 03:18 AM
Dave the Gnome 22 Feb 19 - 03:54 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Feb 19 - 04:29 AM
r.padgett 22 Feb 19 - 05:05 AM
The Sandman 22 Feb 19 - 05:07 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 22 Feb 19 - 05:22 AM
Dave the Gnome 22 Feb 19 - 05:42 AM
GUEST 22 Feb 19 - 05:50 AM
Howard Jones 22 Feb 19 - 06:09 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Feb 19 - 06:20 AM
GUEST,Observer 22 Feb 19 - 06:48 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Feb 19 - 07:12 AM
r.padgett 22 Feb 19 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 22 Feb 19 - 12:50 PM
Dave the Gnome 22 Feb 19 - 12:57 PM
Jim Carroll 22 Feb 19 - 01:11 PM
Dave the Gnome 22 Feb 19 - 05:03 PM
Dave the Gnome 22 Feb 19 - 05:14 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 22 Feb 19 - 05:16 PM
The Sandman 23 Feb 19 - 03:33 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Feb 19 - 03:44 AM
Dave the Gnome 23 Feb 19 - 03:53 AM
Dave the Gnome 23 Feb 19 - 04:06 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Feb 19 - 04:08 AM
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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 09:10 AM

you have yet to define what you are talking about

I have defined what I was talking about on a number of occasions and you keep denying it. The latest was 19 Feb 19 - 06:18 AM It is there for all to see so why do you keep saying I have not defined it?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 09:23 AM

Dave,
I see litle point in continuing a discussion with anybody who believes 160 Folk clubs represents a healthy scene - especially as most of them have little to do with folk song proper
Your definition is the 1954 definition which, for all its weaknesses, bears no resemblance to what happens in the majority of your 160 clubs in your healthy folk scene.
I see little point in all this - when I get time I'm going to deal with Howard's earlier posting amnd his interesting question on the toxic thread
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 09:40 AM

Clubs are now only part of the picture. You seem to keep missing that point. The 160 clubs are in addition to the hundreds of other ways that live folk music can now be enjoyed.

Your definition is the 1954 definition which, for all its weaknesses, bears no resemblance to what happens in the majority of your 160 clubs

The 1954 definition includes contemporary folk song and songs which have been absorbed into the community.

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

Your definition specifically excludes contemporary folk song. That is the whole bone of contention. I am happy to accept this definition and can confirm that music that fits this definition is readily available at many places, including but not limited to folk clubs, all across the country.

As long as you keep making sweeping statements about the current folk scene that I disagree with I shall keep pulling you up on it. And if you keep saying that I have not defined it or I am happy with any old rubbish I shall keep refuting that too. Sorry but that is the way I am.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 09:51 AM

Jim,from your post above

"Most newly written songs cone with a little (c) which confines their use to where the copyright cowboys can't reach"

What is your problem with a songwriter copyrighting his/her own work?

If Ewan hadn't done so with "The First Time Ever" I am sure that he would have been considerably less well off than he was following the hit recording. With luck his estate is still earning reasonably well and why shouldn't it?

From what Peggy states in one of her books she and Ewan were pretty chuffed when they received the first royalty cheque from that song.

Do you have any personal knowledge of how royalties collection works?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 10:28 AM

"What is your problem with a songwriter copyrighting his/her own work? "
None whatever, but while it is owned it will never be a folk song

"You seem to keep missing that point."
No Dave - you are - this is the point
"been absorbed into the unwritten living tradition of a community."

The 45 definition (which I never discuss or use) talk about songs being adapted and changed and taken on by communities as their own - that can never happen to copyrighted songs - they always belong to someone other than 'the folk'
It is the changes and adaptations that that create folk songs, not repetition
Much more to it than that, of course

As long as you keep putting forward 180 cli=uns as a healthy scene, we have no grounds for discussion
A scene dominated by Festivals and paid singers is the antithesis of a healthy scene
Howard raised an important question on the toxic thread concerning how you follow up the idea that 'anybody can sing' (which I heartily agree with) by not upsetting audiences that come to hear a reasonable level of singing
Quite honestly, I think it far more fruitful to follow that uo rhater than go around in these ever-decreasing circles and ending up disappearing upour own jaxies
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 10:33 AM

Illustration of Dave and Howard's point: an event I played at last year was a party-cum-house-concert that was never advertised in any public medium. In a large top floor flat, it must have had more people packed in than Edinburgh and Leith Folk Clubs could ever have fitted into their venues put together (one guy in our band is a civil engineer who specializes in the conservation of historic structures - he spent much of the evening gripping the windowsill calculating floor loadings in his head). Almost all the music played fitted the 1954 definition though none of it was from the British Isles or North America (that might well come, some other time). I can't imagine anybody there would have thought "pity this isn't a folk club".

The impression I get from the early publications of the postwar folk scene is that nobody involved expected clubs to be more than a transient phenomenon. They were right: the clubs had a job to do, they did it, end of story.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 10:46 AM

It is the changes and adaptations that that create folk songs, not repetition

Of course it is. What we disagree about is "that can never happen to copyrighted songs". Of course it can and has on many occasions. The definition contains no such exclusion. In fact it specifically says it can likewise be applied to music which has originated with an individual composer. Any song after copyright was introduced is likely to be copyrighted by the individual composer and many of those have now been absorbed into folk communities. Are you trying to tell us that "The Manchester Rambler" has not been absorbed into Manchester folklore? Or that "Fiddlers Green" is not sung as a folk song in venues all around the coast?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 11:22 AM

I think the figure of 160 clubs is suspect. A quick look at the North West Federation of Folk Clubs website shows around 50 in this region alone.

http://www.folknorthwest.co.uk/club_page.htm

These are only clubs which are members of the federation so there are probably others.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 11:56 AM

"that can never happen to copyrighted songs".
Of course it can't today Dave - how can it ?

Moving on
Howard - been meaning to respond to your point for some time
The scene you describe was certainly not mine the ealy clubs based themselves largely on what became available after the BBC project - there may have been quibbles as to how that should be performed but there was little argument as to what it was.
Music Hall and Victorian parlour ballads hardly ever featured - the Topic output is evidence of that
I can'r recall hearing much in the four three cities I've lived in
When Dylan arrived on the scene singing songs based on folk songs the clubs divided - in Manchester, you wanted traditional stuff you went to one of Harry Boardman's clubs (I was resident at two - you wanted singer-songwriter stuff you went to The Shaespeare Head or the MSG (on nights where they booked em' - they kept si.S. and trad separate
I desperately tried to like Dylan because al my mates did but found his compositions trite and meaningless
His early protest songs I could take or leave (lovely article by a writer who called himself 'Jack Speedwell' summed him up perfectly in one of Dallas's magazines.
I stopped trying to like him when I read an article by American actor/singer Theodore Bikel describing how this 'protest singer' refused to accompany Seeger and co South to take part in the sit-in Civil Rights Protests until he was handed his fare publicly and couldn't refuse
When Baez's biography came out Dylan was exposed as using his friends as a stairway to stardom - in the end he found his place in history a a pop singer - 'It's all Over Now, baby Blue' was his exit song
The two styles of 'folk' co-existed rather than co-operated
Sing-around clubs were virtually unheard of

You raised an interesting point on the toxic thread - how can you bring new singers on without offending audiences who turned up to hear reasonably sung songs
After the setting up of The Critics Group, a dozen or so similar ventures sprang up I ran one in Manchester before I left for London
MacColl and the Critics were urging clubs to assist less experienced singers and people began to volunteer to do so
I'd been in London about a month when Dick Snell knocked on my door asking could we work together
I agree with you totally that anybody can sing - but this needs encouragement and practical help - you really won't get that on a scene based on festivals and paid gigs
Sorry if I missed anything else you asked
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 12:16 PM

but this needs encouragement and practical help - you really won't get that on a scene based on festivals and paid gigs"
i can give you two examples that contradict this statement, southend folk club which at that time was run by red and myra abbott, gave and paid for singers, out of club funds the opportunity to go to festival workshops to improve their singing
LEWES FOLK CLUB, runs workshops to encourage and help singers and musicians
Fastnet Maritime AND FOLK Festival , WHICH FOR 8 YEARS PROVIDED SUBSIDISED WORKSHOPS, to help and encourage musicians.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 12:20 PM

Fiddlers green, caledonia, two comosed modern songs ,hav been mistaken by many as folk songs, and have been sungs with an assumption they were irish trad songs at cce competitions and GAA IRISH SONG COMPETITIONS, and the judges never realised


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 12:27 PM

Dick
In my experience, Festival workshops consist of groups of people being handed song-sheets of songs they may or may not know or even like, and asked them to sing them parrot-fashion
In a weekend festival situation, there is no time for the necessary follow-up work - it really can't be done in a matter of hours.
Lewes has a club wich is what I'm advocating for
These workshops, once established are simplicity itself given the generosity of those prepared to help and the trust of those wanting to be helped
It can actually be done on a one-on-one basis, but groups are far more efficient - that way, both helpers and helped benefit
Pat and I set up a couple when we gave talks at the two Ewan MacColl weekends in Salford - enjoyable and productive but each time, desperately in need of follow-up work
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 12:30 PM

Jim,

It would appear that copyright on a song at present lasts until 70 years -it used to be much less- after the death of the author. Therefore it would appear that in 40 years time any of Ewan's songs if they are still sung would be non-cop and could be considered folk songs.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 12:31 PM

Can I just add that at present, I'm exploring the possibility of setting an on-line workshop in cooperation with our local heritage group - OaC, exchanging both ideas and recorded material
My technical knowledge is extremely limited but I think i might be possible
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 12:47 PM

Are we in a pantomime Jim? Oh yes it can. Oh no it can't! :-)

Of course copyrighted songs can be absorbed into folk communities. I gave you two examples and there are many more.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 01:14 PM

" they are still sung would be non-cop and could be considered folk songs."
They can only be "considered" folk songs if they are absorbed as part of communities with a living tradition that enables them to become folk songs
Surely you're not suggesting that every song over 7 years old is or can become a folk song
Dave - Manchester hasn't had a living tradition since at least the middle of the Industrial Revolution
You don't "age" into a folk sog, you evolve into one - passively receiving and repeating parrot fashion would make 'God Save the Queen' and 'Happy Birthday to you folk songs - absorption, acceptance and ownership are part of the proicess
Sorry - unless we stop repeating things at each other I really have no desire to continue this
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 02:15 PM

If you really want to end this circular argument, stop stating that the folk scene is dead then! As long as you keep repeating that, I will keep disputing it. It is no good you saying you want to end it and then coming up with the same old thing at every opportunity


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 02:18 PM

And what's this new nonsense about Manchester not having a living tradition? There is an unbroken record of scrapping with Scousers :-)


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 02:33 PM

Dave- you gave me the figures - 180 clubs
If it's not dead it's on life support - I've seen Cancer patients gasping their last in better health than that
And even over half of those figures almost certainly have SFA to do with folk song proper
Can I suggest that if we are going to discuss things like "folk" and "tradition" you dig out 'Folk Song in England' - Bert's not the erzatz one
Then we might stop talking at cross-purposes
It's highly readable and fairly precise - and it doesn't come with an agenda (even though it falls short sometimes)
When have Mancunians ever been able to hold their own with Scousers ?
Certainly not in my time
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 02:46 PM

Ey up. Fightin' talk!


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 03:02 PM

Jim,

If you checked what you post here before hitting the send key it might save time and confusion.

It might also help if you read other peoples posts and digested them before firing off at half cock.

I did not state 7 year old songs nor even 70 year old songs.

I doubt also that even the songs which you are happy to call folk songs survived without being repeated. Walter Pardon would never have learnt many of his songs without hearing his uncle repeatedly singing them unless he had a photographic memory. AND before you misconstrue that I AM NOT belittling Walter.

Also I did say "could be" and not "would be".


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 03:08 PM

Jim, we have clearly had very different experiences. My experience was of clubs outside the cities, in towns and villages mainly around London but also further afield. Also, it touched only the very tail end of the 60s and really covered the 70s and 80s, so we were separated by both time and geography, although not by much. Most of these clubs had started up in the 60s and I doubt they had changed very much by the time I started going to them.

As well as the clubs around Essex where I grew up. I then went to university in Reading and attended clubs there. Later, I travelled a lot for work, and took the opportunity to visit other clubs all around the country. I even gigged at a few. Eventually I moved to Cheshire and went to clubs there and in Manchester. I have experienced quite a lot of clubs all around the country and I feel these were typical of clubs at that time.

All these clubs were broadly similar in their approach and most operated the floor-singers with guest structure. The range of music was similar to that which DgT quoted from Wikipedia, including American roots music, blues, contemporary folk, and world music, although traditional British folk music dominated the clubs I went to. None of the clubs in my experience provided the kind of intellectual approach that you describe - we were there for entertainment and never discussed the music in a club setting.

If your experience was typical of how clubs were in the early 60s, it suggests to me that most had evolved into something different by the end of that decade. The folk clubs continued to thrive through the 70s and 80s. I suspect the reason they then went into decline was that their core audience became preoccupied by family and professional commitments - that was certainly my own reason for stopping.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 03:11 PM

A sensible and fair posting as always, Howard.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 04:01 PM

Glad it's not just me :-)


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 04:43 PM

Dave, your medal's in the post!


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 05:45 PM

I had the same experience as Howard, in fact the first folk club , i walked in to in themid sixties aged 14 was Downe folk club , the first people i saw a split gig joe stead and ralph mctell, inhose days ralp mctell played blind blake songs , joe stead sang a lot of pete seegers repertoire joe hill etc


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Feb 19 - 03:18 AM

"If your experience was typical of how clubs were in the early 60s, "
My Experience stretched into the mid to late eighties - mainly in London, but visits elsewhere suggested that London was not untypical
If yours was an example of 'evolution' (I would choose the term deterioration) it wasn't happening there
I can think of many clubs that specialiased in the real thing - 'The Empress of Russia', 'Herga', 'The Fox', The Kings Head', 'Croydon', 'The Railway' at Stratford East ...
where you were guaranteed to hear folk songs
There weer others that did other things
I was actively involved in several - 'Court House Sessions', 'The Tradition Cub', 'The Metropolitan'.... never an introspective navel-gazer to be heard mumbling his/her incomprehensible angst into a guitar
My main base was 'The Singers' because I knew I could wuld never fail to hear good traditional songs well sung, along with new ones not designed to give you jet-lag because they were so different from the rest
That included until shortly after Ewan died, till Peggy returned to America.
The 'evolution' you describe, by presenting non-folk songs, robbed us of our right to choose what we listened to - it was a misuse of a well-established term
That misuse, along with lowering standards and the lazy contempt of singers who couldn't be bothered learning the songs they sang, drove me and thousands like me out of the clubs
I was lucky - right into the present century I had our Traveller singers to listen to and continue to receive information from
That luck continued when we moved to Ireland, where we could continue to hear good folk music and songs that have become part of our lives - never though I'd say it, but here in Miltown Malbay, sometimes too much to choose from
Ireland is rapidly building a love and respect for its traditional arts, whereas it seems England (can't speak of Scotland) seems to have lost what they had of it.
I can only think of one club in London, my old home, that I can now confidently go to hear the music I want to - The Musical Traditions Club - can't really think of another
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 Feb 19 - 03:54 AM

I think we just move in different circles and like different things, Jim. Nothing wrong with that but sadly, for you, you seem to be in the minority. I am lucky in that my likes and my locality do include what is, for me, a great mix of trad and contemporary. As seems to be the case with most posting on here. Just down to personal taste. You either like the music that is being presented or don't. I do.

I think all I can say to conclude is that I accept that the music you like has suffered at the hands of the music that others like. I can apologise for that but I am not in a position to do anything about it.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Feb 19 - 04:29 AM

"Nothing wrong with that but sadly, for you, you seem to be in the minority. "
Depends on how far you look Dave
I don't believe for one minute that those who left in despair lost their love of the real thing
I do wish you'd stop using the term "like" as if his is based on personal taste
Folk song is a long defined and established form which I believe has been hijacked and replaced by something else - go into the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library - they have lined the walls with it
If you, who holds the social and humanist views I believe you do, don't understand its importance compared to the replaceable pap churned out by the music industry, then you've missed out
This really does have nothing to do with 'like' but I believe it has a great to do with dislike and failure to understand or care
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: r.padgett
Date: 22 Feb 19 - 05:05 AM

Well I would simply beg to differ ~ hijacked is perhaps too strong a word "traditional song" and songs collected from all sorts of singers in the dim and distant have been recorded by collectors and digitized and put into books are just that and form a ready source for up and coming and established singers too to perform

And long may it be so ~ however certainly in my living memory other "new" folk songs (or however you would wish to call them) have existed and not just from the popular (o dear) singers such as Bert Lloyd, MacColl, Tawney, MacTell, and of course we cannot ignore the likes of other guests who may or may not have Americana, blues and other musics which they performed in folk clubs in the 1960s

Folk song ~ depending upon how you define it ~ must include songs which comment on the doings of the day or recent past ~ often newsworthy but always so!

Folk song is and always was meant to be entertainment for the masses ~ before the age of Newspapers (no doubt it can be argued that Broadsides were indeed early Broadside Newpapers!)

"Masses" may of course need to be qualified


Ray


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Feb 19 - 05:07 AM

I would prefer to see more folk clubs providing singing workshops and instrumental workshops.
I do not want to go to a folk club and hear buddy holly,cliff richard, rockj and roll.
i do not mind clubs advertising as folk blues or singer songwriter only or trad only, at least we know what we might be in for.
although most clubs in the past found a mixture of the last two to be a successful formula.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 22 Feb 19 - 05:22 AM

I once heard Fred Jordan sing 'Oh Boy' in his lovely quavering traditional style- how does that fit in?

'All my love, all my kissin'
You don't know what you been missin'


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 Feb 19 - 05:42 AM

compared to the replaceable pap churned out by the music industry

Absolutely agree, Jim. Where we disagree is that not all contemporary music comes under the heading "replaceable pap" and there is plenty contemporary folk music that sits very comfortably in folk clubs. And that is where likes and dislikes come in to it.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Feb 19 - 05:50 AM

....Jim Copper and his brother John sang "Old Rockin' Chair" learned from a Louis Armstrong 78. Several such pop songs in the original Copper Family song book. They all shared one quality with the older songs in the book in that they were bloody good songs to sing..... Vic Legg singing great Everly Brothers' songs alongside "The Game of All Fours"... Johnny Doughty's pub repertoire.....


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 22 Feb 19 - 06:09 AM

At all the clubs I went to you could expect to hear mostly traditional songs, if that is what you mean by "folk". You could also expect to hear other songs which fall within the wider meaning of "folk" - I know you deplore that usage and I sympathise, but it is now how the word is generally understood,and the clock cannot be turned back.

I don't think I've ever heard a Buddy Holly song performed seriously in a folk club, although I have once or twice heard one done tongue-in-cheek as an encore after a set of largely traditional songs.

I went to the Empress of Russia a couple of times when I briefly lived in London, and I distinctly recall Bob Davenport singing several songs which I would not regard as traditional. However that was around 1980 so perhaps it had 'deteriorated' by then.

There were certainly a few clubs known for having a "trad only" policy but they were regarded as something out of the ordinary. I don't think the term "folk police" had been invented then. I think you must have been fortunate to be able to attend clubs which had this, or something close, but except possibly at the very beginning of the folk club boom (which I didn't experience) I doubt they were typical. Through most of the boom period, which I regard as having continued through the 70s and 80s, I would say clubs of the sort I attended were more typical - predominantly British traditional song but with a variety of other stuff. That seems to be the experience of others too.

I strongly disagree with your claim that this broader interpretation of "folk" prevented me from hearing and performing traditional songs.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Feb 19 - 06:20 AM

"Jim Copper and his brother John sang "Old Rockin' Chair"
So ?
"and form a ready source for up and coming and established singers too to perform"
You have to create an interest for that material - that's what the revival did and that interest was destroyed by a hostile takeover
Most of the best of the collected material remains unavailable except to those who are knowledgeable enough to know where to look
The power of the club days was that the enjoyment of folk song could be shared and discussed - not the same as experiencing it on i phones and computers
Dave
Some pop songs may have merits but their life span tends to suggest not many - try asking the views of a youngster today of a vople of years old hit-parader
Beside the point anyway, anybody with a tase for pop music will go to the cream (with a small C) for it rather than sit through wannabes making a fifth rate balls of it

"'All my love, all my kissin'"
Heard a cruelly misogynistic rewrite of this concerning breast cancer once
I suppose some would regard it a 'folk song'
"trad only,"
Not my taste but it's perfectly acceptable that some clubs confine themselves to the real thing if that's what they wish - they certainly aren't breaking any commitments they make by calling themselves 'folk'
At least you know what you are getting compared to.....
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 22 Feb 19 - 06:48 AM

Last night's offerings at a "session" night at our local "Folk Club" (Yes that IS how it is how it is titled) consisted of an all songs evening that lasted for four hours and in all that time I only heard two songs that I would call "folk songs". The rest, for the most part, were meaningless ramblings, devoid of any narrative or message that in terms of tune or lyric were instantly forgettable.

As Jim Carroll has repeatedly stated, it has indeed been a long time since "Folk Clubs" did what it says on the tin.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Feb 19 - 07:12 AM

It's that repeated experience that drove so may out of the club scene, given the response here, I think it's set fair to continue unles those who care do something about it   
I actually heard a fairly competent singer apologise once for interrupting the session by singing a folk song - I took her as being ironic
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: r.padgett
Date: 22 Feb 19 - 12:49 PM

"You have to create an interest for that material - that's what the revival did and that interest was destroyed by a hostile takeover

Most of the best of the collected material remains unavailable except to those who are knowledgeable enough to know where to look"

Nope the interest for folk song had already been there ~ yes the revivalist singers were able to access material from many sources including EFDSS publications, Lloyd, MacColl, Seeger (Pete), Donegan ~ the place for performance was of course by and large the folk club movement ~~ as a natural extension of Jazz clubs and skiffle and of course music halls and the usual Saturday night home made music round the piano ~ Hostile ~ well I don't recognize that quality ~ ppl have enjoyed making music themselves for generations as entertainment

I do think that the Traditional music collections should be made more available and that is "Our" mission and that of the likes of MT and EFDSS (among others)


Ray


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 22 Feb 19 - 12:50 PM

Howard -The Empress of Russia had famously catholic tastes in the music, and made no apology for it either. That's maybe why I was asked there often enough despite my repertoire including my own versions of songs also sung by Buddy Holly, the Drifters & Paddy Roberts, with melodeon accompaniment.

nb haven't mentioned 'traditional' or 'folk' in this post- too provocative in some quarters.....


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 Feb 19 - 12:57 PM

Some pop songs may have merits

I'm not talking about pop songs. I am talking about contemporary folk songs. Things like "Claire to here", "Sammy's bar" or even "Dirty old town". I suspect you know that and are just being awkward.

Teribus. Why do you keep going then?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Feb 19 - 01:11 PM

" I am talking about contemporary folk songs."
Sigh
Why put them up; they are contemporary songs using folk forms (except the first) - nobody is objecting to them being sung in folk clubs
I'm talking about the crap that has nothing to do with Folk song in any shape or form
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 Feb 19 - 05:03 PM

I have always been talking about contemporary folk song. You know, like the ones I just mentioned. The ones that are copyrighted, like the songs you say can never be folk songs. Where is your dividing line between what should and should not be sung at folk clubs. Why could I sing Ewan MacColl's Dirty Old Town but not Ed Sheran's Gallway Girl? Just what is the difference between the two apart from you like one and not the other?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 Feb 19 - 05:14 PM

Oh, just noticed the comment about Clare to here. Can anyone explain to me, a non musicologist, why Dirty Old Town is a contemporary folk song while From Clare to here is not? This is the bit I really don't understand.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 22 Feb 19 - 05:16 PM

The Empress of Russia was a great venue. Saturday lunchtimes were very enjoyable a good mixture of singers and musicians. I don't know if the organisers were the same folk who ran the regular club but it was a very enjoyable place to spend an hour or two before or after visiting the west end record and book specialists.

I happened to be at the final night of the club a few days before the "Empress" closed to be converted into a restaurant. That night was mostly old time fiddles and banjos with a couple of bluegrass pickers thrown into the mix.

I may be mistaken here but doesn't this club still continue as the Islington Folk Club which has operated from several different pubs around the Islington area for years.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 03:33 AM

Howard , you obviously did not hear Andy Caven.
Jim Bainbridge, I dont care whetherthe singer was a traditional singer or a revival singer, i can here pop songs anywhere, when i go to folk clubs i want to hear songs of a certain genre,m thats my choice i am quite happylistening to martin carthy leon rosselson or a blues singer under my own defintiuon this is all folk music, cliff richard, buddy holly,beegees is not what i want to hear. if i went to a jazz club i do not want to heardanielo donnell, ok


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 03:44 AM

"why Dirty Old Town is a contemporary folk song while From Clare to here is not? "
Who said either was a "folk" anything - you are the one who attaches the label to newly written songs made using the folk techniques, not me
I beileve one uses folk techniques in its make up, while one is singer-songwriterish, but it's probably nit-picking and unimportant
Neither are folk songs
You keep talking about what you "can and can't" sing - you carry the rule-book, not me
This is basically the dishonesty of these arguments - you invent "rules" that people have to adhere to
Can you find anything I have written which says that
When MacColl, Seeger, did the Radio Ballads they based the music on folk styles - mainly, 'John Axon' used jazz forms - even well known jazz instrumentalists
Singing the Fishing - mainly folk forms, but slap in the middle - a bit of Gilbert and Sullivan
'On the Edge' - pop song techniques of the early 60s
One of the best evenings I attended in the early days was around the time MacColl was given a part in a television series, 'The Borderers' and invited the star, Ian Cuthbertson, along to the club to do a night of poetry and song swapping - half of the evening had very little to do with folk

A healthy folk scene can experiment in all directions - it can broaden its influences and horizons by doing so
We don't have a healthy folk scene (how many clubs again?)
The problem is that, as Observer indicated, the basis of o=the folk scene - folk song, has been edged out to make room for something else - that 'something else' has no identity because it has no homogeneity - anything goes and 'folk' has become meaningless.

The other thing that has gone seriously wrong is that it has returned to the very thing it was set up to escape from
We first took up skiffle to make our on music - a way for us all to express ourselves freely without having to wait till the industry decided what was to be the next 'flavour of the month'
What we did happened o a weekly basis and was spread around so wide that we could fill our week visiting different clubs if we wanted
Now people talkk about 'annual festivals' as being a substitute and the god-awful media 'folk-singer-of-the-year' often mediocre displays of 'excellence' as an aim


Will you please stop keep suggesting that I am making rules - I am not
I am suggesting that the folk scene bike has a bad puncture which needs repairing      
As a researcher I will endevour to be accurate when talking or writing about what I know to be folk song - if I ever forget what it is there are thousands of places I can go to remind me
As a singer and listener, I am quite happy to go home having heard enough folk or folk-based songs for the evening to have lived up to its original description - a few diversions don't matter too much as long as there are not too many for the objective to have been lost
When push comes to shove, it is folk song that matters - the enjoyment that comes with it is an essential bonus - the petrol that make it go

Hoot
We seem to be at cross purposes
The Empress of Russia events I am referring to were Thursday(I think) nights devoted largely to traditional singing
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 03:53 AM

Dick, what about Martin Carthy singing "Rave On", "Nothing Rhymed" or "The lonesome death of Hattie Carroll"?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 04:06 AM

No, Jim. I am trying to get to the bottom of an apparent contradiction.

You complain that you do not hear folk songs at folk clubs yet you have confirmed that you would be happy going to a folk club to listen to Ewan MacColl, Vin Garbutt and Cyril Tawney songs all night. You are now saying that those songs are not and never can be folk songs. You cannot have it both ways.

I think when you complain about not hearing folk songs you are talking about traditional folk songs. If that is the case I could accept that. What you will not commit yourself on is which contemporary folk songs you are happy listening to. You would be happy with Ewan, Vin and Cyril, but not with, for instance, Ralph McTell. Why is that? To me, and many others, they are all contemporary Folk.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 04:08 AM

"Rave On",
You seem to be coming around to my point of view
What the **** has Rave in got to do with folk song and why should it be inflicted on a folk audience ?
If I wanteds to hear it again I could easily search out the good version by The Crickets rather than a naff one from Marin Carthy
Everyone to his own
Jim


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