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discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing

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THE SEAMEN'S HYMN


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The Sandman 20 May 20 - 12:16 PM
GUEST,Starship 20 May 20 - 12:53 PM
The Sandman 20 May 20 - 01:43 PM
Joe Offer 20 May 20 - 02:07 PM
Steve Gardham 20 May 20 - 02:11 PM
r.padgett 20 May 20 - 02:14 PM
RTim 20 May 20 - 02:30 PM
Steve Gardham 20 May 20 - 02:37 PM
Jim Carroll 20 May 20 - 02:58 PM
The Sandman 20 May 20 - 03:21 PM
The Sandman 21 May 20 - 01:18 AM
The Sandman 21 May 20 - 01:34 AM
Jim Carroll 21 May 20 - 02:50 AM
Dave the Gnome 21 May 20 - 03:21 AM
Steve Shaw 21 May 20 - 04:55 AM
r.padgett 21 May 20 - 06:16 AM
The Sandman 21 May 20 - 09:49 AM
Rain Dog 21 May 20 - 10:04 AM
The Sandman 21 May 20 - 11:32 AM
punkfolkrocker 21 May 20 - 11:46 AM
Richard Mellish 21 May 20 - 12:21 PM
The Sandman 21 May 20 - 12:55 PM
GUEST,Modette 21 May 20 - 01:01 PM
Vic Smith 21 May 20 - 01:16 PM
The Sandman 21 May 20 - 01:32 PM
GUEST 21 May 20 - 03:43 PM
GUEST,Starship 21 May 20 - 08:44 PM
Vic Smith 22 May 20 - 06:12 AM
Vic Smith 22 May 20 - 06:13 AM
Reinhard 22 May 20 - 07:32 AM
Vic Smith 22 May 20 - 08:26 AM
The Sandman 23 May 20 - 04:16 AM
Jim Carroll 23 May 20 - 01:28 PM
The Sandman 24 May 20 - 04:00 AM
Dave Sutherland 24 May 20 - 04:07 PM
Jim Carroll 25 May 20 - 04:08 AM
Brian Peters 25 May 20 - 05:29 AM
Jim Carroll 25 May 20 - 05:55 AM
Vic Smith 25 May 20 - 05:59 AM
Brian Peters 25 May 20 - 06:11 AM
Jim Carroll 25 May 20 - 06:13 AM
Brian Peters 25 May 20 - 06:15 AM
The Sandman 25 May 20 - 06:22 AM
Jim Carroll 25 May 20 - 07:27 AM
Brian Peters 25 May 20 - 07:52 AM
Jim Carroll 25 May 20 - 08:22 AM
The Sandman 25 May 20 - 08:37 AM
Vic Smith 25 May 20 - 08:44 AM
The Sandman 25 May 20 - 08:46 AM
The Sandman 25 May 20 - 08:49 AM
The Sandman 25 May 20 - 08:50 AM
Jim Carroll 25 May 20 - 09:28 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 25 May 20 - 09:33 AM
The Sandman 25 May 20 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 25 May 20 - 06:56 PM
The Sandman 26 May 20 - 02:27 AM
The Sandman 26 May 20 - 02:57 AM
Jim Carroll 26 May 20 - 03:18 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 26 May 20 - 03:41 AM
Jim Carroll 26 May 20 - 04:04 AM
The Sandman 26 May 20 - 06:55 AM
Steve Gardham 26 May 20 - 09:30 AM
The Sandman 26 May 20 - 10:38 AM
Jim Carroll 26 May 20 - 11:12 AM
The Sandman 26 May 20 - 02:17 PM
Jim Carroll 26 May 20 - 02:34 PM
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The Sandman 27 May 20 - 04:58 AM
Jim Carroll 27 May 20 - 06:02 AM
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Subject: discussion of ALLoyds singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 May 20 - 12:16 PM

ALLoyd a founder of the uk folk revival . had a particular style ,where he used to sing with a smile on his face, this does not appear to be based on any uk tradtional singers as far as i am aware.


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Subject: RE: discussion of ALLoyds singing
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 20 May 20 - 12:53 PM

Anyone wishing to hear Lloyd's singing, including at least one duet with MacColl will find various to choose from with a Google of

AL Lloyd's singing

Note that over two dozen songs show up on the right-hand side of the page that opens. (Even at least one duet with MacColl.)


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Subject: RE: discussion of ALLoyds singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 May 20 - 01:43 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sD9vbtG7fF0 i like this


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 May 20 - 02:07 PM

I generally don't like Lloyd's singing. It's too squeaky for me. But I do like the recording of "The Two Magicians" that Dick linked to.
It's an intelligent interpretation, and there's no affectation to his singing in this one.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sD9vbtG7fF0


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 May 20 - 02:11 PM

As with Ewan, Bert developed his style of singing before the folk revival got under way. There was (indeed and is) no right or wrong way.
As with Ewan he developed a clear, not over-decorative style that suited his natural voice. I always enjoyed his singing and still do.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: r.padgett
Date: 20 May 20 - 02:14 PM

Yes but not really a voice to try to copy ~ I can sometimes detect from a singer where he got the song from ~ not always a good idea

Ray


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: RTim
Date: 20 May 20 - 02:30 PM

I will only say this - Ewan MacColl had a much better voice than AL Lloyd...but in many cases..it is all about the song and not the singer....

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 May 20 - 02:37 PM

Hi Ray
They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. I can't say I've ever heard anyone consciously imitate Bert, but then again, neither have I Ewan, except as a take-off.

Then again of all the revival Bert was the most used 'source' but of course not a 'source' singer in the sense we tend to use it today.

I don't think Bert's singing voice was that much different from his speaking voice, quiet and unassertive mostly, particularly from someone who was very much a guru to younger singers.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 May 20 - 02:58 PM

Bert's 'grin' always got me - I always thought it as strange until I learned that it was a singing technique to harden the tone
Ewan used the same technique but was more subtle about it
Like Steve, I thoughtfully enjoyed his singing - still do, but I always believed he was limited in what he could handle
Anybody who was lucky enough to hear him will know he was s superb storyteller - especially of his Australian 'Spiwah' stories

One of the best nights I remember at the Singers was when we booked Offaly box player John Bowe, who he antranced with his knowledge of tunes like 'Drops of Brandy' (Played on Nelson's flagship according to Bert)
On the other hand, his lecture on Irish music was one of the worst I'd ever heard

Laast time I saw him was at a Ewaaaan and Peggy night wnen he and his wife Chalotte turned up just before the interval - both evening dress, Bert wass a litle 'in his cups twirling a huge brandy glass ' they'd been at an Embassy function
When the interval came Bert made a beeline for Ewan and Peggy when Charlotte boomed out "Al-bert" he spun on his hees and dutifully obeyed - lovely talented man (if a bit private)
Jim


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 May 20 - 03:21 PM

a digression but i think interesting
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xrn3TON0v_I


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 May 20 - 01:18 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xh_KXPXmgI8
i found this enjoyable the story is clear the accompaniment enjoyable too, presumably alf edwards. As this is a music forum i think it a good idea to discuss different styles and music.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 May 20 - 01:34 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkpujKDSTToMartin Carthy Dave Swarbrick


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 May 20 - 02:50 AM

I was looking forward to a discussion on Bert but have decided not to bother as I can see no future in any serious discussion on any serious subject in the future due to a message recieved by another member from a moderator reading:

"Bonzo
Just recieved thos message from another member regarding teh Bert lloyd thread
Thought you should know

"You choose thread topic that have been occasions for battle before.
Lloyd's singing, like MacColl's, is a matter of taste. But idiots like
Jim Carroll get all peeved when people criticize them, and that's what
you're looking for. You are on the list of troublemakers. If you keep
it up, we'll bring you down."
Jim


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 May 20 - 03:21 AM

Discussion of moderation policy is one sure way to get a thread closed. Whether that is right or fair is not the question. If anyone has issues with moderation, take it up with "the management" privately.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 May 20 - 04:55 AM

That's odd. I'm enjoying the Ewan thread a lot more than I thought I would and this one seemed to be going well too. I haven't seen anyone getting particularly peeved...

Agree with Dave about not getting threads stopped. Let's keep both threads afloat, lads 'n' lasses! And if anyone has a beef about a thread topic, you're perfectly free to air it in the thread.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: r.padgett
Date: 21 May 20 - 06:16 AM

Yes Bert's style clearly was a simple extension of his talking voice I ~

which I would urge all who use source singers like Bert (who may or

may not be deemed a traditional singer ~ that's a different argument I think)


to do as Bert did sing in their own voice ~ and I repeat I have heard

some singers sing like him, and pick up some of his intonation/style etc

Ray


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 May 20 - 09:49 AM

i would hesitate to emulate ALLloyd by singing with a smile on my face, i would be seriously worried that if i sang a lot in this fashion i might damage my vocal chords. I prefer to take the advice of ewan maccoll and do warm up vocal exercises to avoid straining my voice before i started singing.
feel free to dismiss what i say as arrant nonsense, it would be nothing new


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: Rain Dog
Date: 21 May 20 - 10:04 AM

Shouldn't that be Aran nonsense?

Not that I am dismissing anything.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 May 20 - 11:32 AM

only if you are sweating it out


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 21 May 20 - 11:46 AM

I grew up influenced by punk rock [and Kevin Coyne],
taking it for granted that serious charismatic singers
might have crap voices...

So what.. big deal.. they're not entrants in a Simon Cowell TV competition...


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 21 May 20 - 12:21 PM

Jim,

Please don't take umbrage and please stay here. If idiots say idiotic things, treat those with the contempt they deserve.

Bert's singing voice was unusual, and I have occasionally heard faint echoes of it when someone else sings a song that they presumably learnt from his singing. It can sometimes be hard to suppress any trace of how one has heard a song sung -- and of course some singers don't even try. And then again some songs more or less demand at least some of the style in which they have been sung before, for example Irish ones where one instinctively applies more decoration.

Anyway back to Bert. Great voice, certainly not. Great singer, yes, because he knew how to put a song across.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 May 20 - 12:55 PM

well in my opinion a top notch singer requires a good voice and good interpretation, Bert certainly sang the two magicians very well, and like alL singers sang some songs better than others, i think he was better when he pitched a song lower,BUT HE RARELY LET THE ACCOMPANIST DOMINATE THE SINGING.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: GUEST,Modette
Date: 21 May 20 - 01:01 PM

Is there any chance that a mod amend the title of this thread to spell and space Lloyd's name correctly, please? A.L. Lloyd

I'd never heard of the man and am intrigued about him singing with a grin as there a couple of men from my part of the world who do exactly the same.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: Vic Smith
Date: 21 May 20 - 01:16 PM

A Dave Swarbrick story that he told me -
One of the first times that he was in the studio as a young man was when he had been booked to play as accompanist on a Bert Lloyd album. It must have been First Person (1966). During a break Bert was sitting on a chair and Dave was sitting on the floor by him when he accidently kicked his instrument over.
Bert said, "Don't do that, sonny. It's not good for the fiddle and it's not good for me." - The first words he spoke to him!


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 May 20 - 01:32 PM

That is interesting Vic, perhaps both of them were a little apprehensive. Modette just google a l lloyd you tube, ies very easy to find or even try Bert lloyd ,its quite easy, Geoff


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: GUEST
Date: 21 May 20 - 03:43 PM

Vic, Dave Swarbrick was on "A Sailor's Garland" which was recorded in 1962.
Dave Sutherland


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 21 May 20 - 08:44 PM

https://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/lloyd2.htm

Good but lengthy article there written by A.L. Lloyd.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: Vic Smith
Date: 22 May 20 - 06:12 AM

Dave Sutherland wrote -
Vic, Dave Swarbrick was on "A Sailor's Garland" which was recorded in 1962.

That would be a more likely date for the story; David Cyril Eric Swarbrick (5 April 1941 – 3 June 2016) would have been 201 or 22 then.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: Vic Smith
Date: 22 May 20 - 06:13 AM

No, he would not have been 201!!!


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: Reinhard
Date: 22 May 20 - 07:32 AM

<pedant>A Sailor's Garland was released on 25 January 1962 when Swarb was 20.</pedant>


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: Vic Smith
Date: 22 May 20 - 08:26 AM

A Sailor's Garland was released on 25 January 1962 when Swarb was 20.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Loyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 May 20 - 04:16 AM

i think that singing with a smile on the face forces the singer to sing in what i would call an unnatural way,BUTitseems a country mileaway from natural singers like harry cox and cyril poacher
i do not mean to be diserespectful to BERT, who i have the greates respect for.
he along with my parents have been a musical and political influence right from my child hood, i went to school with his daughter and my brother and i used to go round and play at Berts house in Greenwich


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 May 20 - 01:28 PM

"an unnatural way"
On the contrary Dick
We all have a wide ranges of tones - we use most of them in speech but very few in singing, for various reasons
Bert's 'grin' was a lazy-man's method of producing an unused tone away from his habitual speaking tone in order to sing songs requiring a different effect - there's nothing unnatural about it
Some traditions use other methods - physical intervention, by pressure on the throat or holding the head in a different position
The most extreme form of intervention was used by the 'Castrati' until it became illegal - cutting a young lads balls off
I; happy to go into this deeper but not now
Jim


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 May 20 - 04:00 AM

Point taken ,however I have not noticed any uk traditional singers singning with a smile to attain that tone


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 24 May 20 - 04:07 PM

Pleased that Jim is back as I am curious regarding the phrase “Limited in what he could handle” Obviously Jim knew Bert far better than I did but in my case as a naïve teenager in 1965/66 the selection of traditional folk recordings available in the North East was sparing in the extreme; however there were a handful of recordings by Ewan MacColl and A.L.Lloyd. MacColl’s singing I was marginally familiar with but I was yet to discover that of Mr Lloyd; listening to as many of these albums that I could “Bold Sportsmen All”, “Blow the Man Down”, “The Iron Muse”, “Gamblers and Sporting Blades” and “Outback Ballads” rather than consider him limited I was utterly astounded at the wide range of material he was performing. Lyrical songs and ballads, Australian songs, Shanties, Industrial Ballads and bawdy pieces. I was at first surprised by his vocal style but soon became used to it and in turn to admire its range and flexibility. I heard later on that he wasn’t particularly comfortable with the “big ballads” although once, at Newcastle Festival, I asked him if he still sang “Poor Cotton Weaver” which he had recorded on The Iron Muse but he said not as it was very long; however on the same night he performed his version of Tam Lin which isn’t exactly a throwaway ditty!
I do agree with his storytelling skill and always thought it a great shame that he had passed away before the popularity of storytelling surged on the folk scene in the early nineties.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 May 20 - 04:08 AM

"I have not noticed any uk traditional singers singning with a smile to attain that tone"
Can'r disgree with that Dick, but we are not traditional singers and our role is a very different one
Your average source singers had repertoires limited to what was locally available to them - it seldom, if ever ranged through children's songs, shanties and wok songs, ritual songs, lyrical pieces - through to the stark, demanding big ballads
We revival singers have all of these at our disposal and many of us choose to handle as many of them as we can
In order to do that it is necessary to develop techniques the source singers didn't need - that, largely, was what The Critics Group was about
Bert's grin was a fore-runner of that (Bert was a revival singer and scholar) - Ewan, in order to help the Critics and other groups, devised a whole programme of techniques to assist tone (thet's what the grin was about), relaxation, breath control, exploration, understanding and full use of the voice.... and other necessities of improving yourself as a singer
That is what I have been trying to share and add to for years - "still willin'" as Barcus said

Thaks for your kind words Dave; I'd like to take up your points later, when I've woken up and dressed
Stay safe folks - we seem to be getting there at last, despite the efforts of Boris and Cummings :-)
Jim


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Brian Peters
Date: 25 May 20 - 05:29 AM

Yes, a terrific storyteller, if an idiosyncratic singer. I once sat up through the wee hours chatting and imbibing with the editor of a leading folk music publication, while 'An Evening With A. L. Lloyd was playing in the background. When he began 'Tamlyn' the conversation stopped, and not another word was uttered until the end of the ballad. We looked at one another and said "How the f*** did he do that??" Utterly transfixing.

In the (very extensive and interesting) liner notes to the double CD 'Bramble Briars and Beams of the Sun' on Fellside, Vic Gammon discusses Bert's singing style, suggesting that his two main tradiional influences were Phil Tanner and Harry Cox.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 May 20 - 05:55 AM

Vic's articles on Bert are superb - if they're not available on line I can let anybody interested have what I have
Bert's skillful knack of weaving a song introduction in with his storytelling often made for superb evenings and more than made up for his singing limitations
I was left with the impression that Bert didn't like Ballads once at a lecture on the subject he gave at Keele - I felt he 'talked their importance down' too much
I still have the recording somewhere
A magnificently memorable point in the talk was when Fred Jordan, who was there to sing an example, fell asleep in the chair and was sharply spotlit by a shaft of sunlight coming through the domed roof - a celestial nudge from above perhaps !
The photograph, by Brian Shuel appeared in the following 'Dance and Song'
Good memories
Jim


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Vic Smith
Date: 25 May 20 - 05:59 AM

Brian Peters:-
Yes, a terrific storyteller,

Did you ever hear him tell the one about the kushmaker on a whaling ship?


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Brian Peters
Date: 25 May 20 - 06:11 AM

No, Vic, I didn't. Actually I was referring to his storytelling within a song, but I'd be happy to hear about the kushmaker if you've time!


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 May 20 - 06:13 AM

Did indeed - lovely
I quite liked, 'The Sleeve Job' which appeared as an Orson Wells classic 'The Lady From Shanghai' (not a lot of people know that')
Also 'The Carrot over the cream' and 'The magic whistle'
I might have some recordings of Bert telling stories; if anybody's interested I'll dig them out

Ewan was a superb storyteller too - though most o them were never recorded
The 'Chairlie Plenderlieth' sories were his best
These people were talented entertainers when they set their minds to it
Jim


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Brian Peters
Date: 25 May 20 - 06:15 AM

Good thinking, Jim.

Vic's liner notes.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 May 20 - 06:22 AM

intersting because i do not think he sounds like harry cox or philtanner


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 May 20 - 07:27 AM

"i do not think he sounds like harry cox or phil tanner"
Who doesn't Dick and why should anybody ?
Do you think Phil Tanner sounds like Harry Cox or either o them sound like Walter Pardon or Bob Copper ?
Jim


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Brian Peters
Date: 25 May 20 - 07:52 AM

If you listen to Bert singing 'Henry Martin' (it's on Youtube) you can hear him sing an exact copy of one of Phil Tanner's mos distinctive ornaments on the word 'Hello' (verse 4), and the performance overall is reminiscent of Tanner even though it's actually a different variant.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 May 20 - 08:22 AM

I think that's true Brian and other examples are available
Unless I have mistaken Dicks comment, he was referring to the function of Bert's 'grin' which was a technique to change the tone of the voice
Everybody has a built repertoire of tones but different environments emphasize some above others
Someone working in, say an office, will tend to use softer tones so as not to 'stand out in a crowd'
Steelworkers (MacColl's favourite example) need to belt everything out over the constant noise - that's the voice he takes home and to the pub (he described the Sunderland club venue, the noisiest pub he'd ever been in) all the singers tended to belt out their songs.
Controlling and extending tones was a feature of all Critics Group work
I found it very easy to strain my voice when I tried to sing songs requiring a hard tone because, as a domestic electrician, I used lighter tones 8 hours a day at work
I suspect that, had I continued to wok on the Docks, where I served my apprenticeship, my problem would have been reversed
These are extremes - we worked in subtleties in the C.G.
Sorry to bang on - it gets easier when you get to used to this way of work - and very easy - almost instinctive
Jim


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 May 20 - 08:37 AM

i lstened to berts recording but phil tanners is not available in my location perhaps you could make a link Brian and post THE TWO OF THEM,thanks


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Vic Smith
Date: 25 May 20 - 08:44 AM

Brian - To my surprise and delight, I found that there is a recording of Bert telling that story on Youtube. Here is the link -
The Kush Maker


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 May 20 - 08:46 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsxG06FMA-Y harry cox
bert lloyd
a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WuFRGzzW_w">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WuFRGzzW_w other than it is two unaccompanied singers, i cannot hear much influence


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 May 20 - 08:49 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WuFRGzzW_w


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 May 20 - 08:50 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WuFRGzzW_w bert lloyd.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 May 20 - 09:28 AM

Interesting to see how that song managed to cross the Irish Sea Dick
BOLD DROVER
THE TROOPER
Jim


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 25 May 20 - 09:33 AM

I saw Bert a lot in the early/mid 70s when I was in London. He had a unique voice, but one I did like. I put him in the category with Bob Dylan - probably not a voice you'd want to copy, but could put in a compelling performance of a song.

Mick


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 May 20 - 01:05 PM

certainly the two magicians is imo a case in point


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 25 May 20 - 06:56 PM

Blimey! Shows how much I know. I genuinely thought the grin was because he was enjoying himself! I mean it, I'm not being sarcastic.
Vic Gammon suggested that Bert's style was influenced by his Old and New Tradition theory, uncertain melody as the death throws of rural song. Look it up in Folk Song in England if you haven't already.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 May 20 - 02:27 AM

Nick ,Thankyou I was not aware of this.
i do remember seeing him and he kept rubbing the arms of his chair up and down whilst singing and moving his posterior from side to side, extraordinary.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 May 20 - 02:57 AM

BERTS singing and alf edwards playing was one of my first exposures to the uk folk revival, my parents wanted to support him[ they were in the CP earlymid fities] so they bought his lps, He was quite different from my parents other availasble folk records, kathleen ferrier, but i am glad his music was there. i though the concertina was different too, it was so totally different to kathleen ferrier


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 May 20 - 03:18 AM

"certainly the two magicians is imo a case in point"
That was one of Bert's masterpieces
People accuse him of inventing songs but in fact he appeared to be taking existing songs and adapting them, as Ewan did in the early days
I've been working on Canadian and American collections looking for Irish Child ballads and I keep stumbling across one of Bert's songs - he was raiding 'Fowke' and Helen Hartness Flanders looking for good songs - and finding them

A couple of examples of Bert's are "The Mower," and "The Weaver" - both from the Edith Fowke collection
And this song from Toronto, which Bert adapted and introduced to the English folk scene as 'Jigging for Oil"

I arrived in Calgary October the tenth
And a week in that city on pleasure I spent—
A week in that city prospecting the soil
In search of a spot to go boring for oil.

One bright sunny day as I strolled down the street
A pretty fair damsel I happened to meet.
Said I to this damsel: "Your family I'll foil
If you'll show me a spot to go boring for oil."

Oh, the damsel looked up and she says: "I declare
Oh, I know of a spot and I've watched it with care,
And no one has seen it since I was a child,
And if you go there I am sure you'll strike oil."

So I fondly embraced her on the very top floor.
I hugged and I kissed her a thousand times o'er,
And I lifted her garments for fear they might soil;
Then she showed me that spot to go boring for oil.

Well, I scarcely had bored in six inches or more
When the oil from her well so freely did pour,
And she looked up at me and she said with a smile:
"Come down on your auger—I'm sure you've struck oil."

Or this gem introduced to the scene by Bert, taken from the singing of O J Abbott, who learned it from an Irish labourer

The Weaver
As I went out very late one night
The stars were shining and all things bright
I spied a maid by the light of the moon
And under her apron she was working at her loom

(chorus)
To me right whack fol the diddle di do day
To me right whack fol the diddle di do day

I spied a maid by the light of the moon
And under her apron she was working at her loom

She says,"Young man, what trade do you bear,"
Says I, "I'm a weaaver I do declare."
"If you're a weaver then,"said she
"Would you like to come and work upon me loom for me."

"Oh no dear maid that may not he
Last night I wove for two or three
Two or three young girls so bright
And They' d like to have kept me at it all the night"

"There was Nancy Fairclough of this town
I wove for her the Rose And Crown
And for Elvira fairer still
I wove her the pattern called the diamond twill"

"Oh a very fine pattern is the diamond twill
And the Rose And Crown is finer still
But here's five pound I will lay down
If you'll weave me something "better than the Rose And Crown"

I set this young girl in the grass
And I braced her loom-both tight and fast
My shuttle in her web I flung
And, oh good god how her loom was sprung

The heels of her loom they being well greased
This girl she begun for to hug and squeeze
And there and then by the light of the moon
I wove her the patterns called The Bride And Groom

"Well, that's fine weaving then," said she
"Pray won't you weave another piece for me"
So as me shuttle went to and fro
I wove another pattern called the Touch and Go

Me shuttle to her loom I bent
And I wove her along to a lively end
And as a finish to the joke
I topped off the pattern with a double stroke

I've know Bert to be accused of "inventing" all these songs at one time or another, when all he was guilty of was not being clear about where he got them
He introduced them as 'British' songs when I heard them - that is exactly what they were - all taken to Canada from Britain in the 19th century - I see nothing wrong or dishonest about that

I discovered a few weeks ago that Bert's 'Two Magicians' was taken to New England from Ireland just after The Famine and sung to a collector by an Irish woman working as a maid, Mrs Fred Morse, originally from Waterford
People really need to think twice before they accuse Bert of charlatanism
Jim


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 26 May 20 - 03:41 AM

I feel it is reasonable to assert that Lloyd deliberately passed things off as 'folk' when he had tinkered with them. The question whether or not you call this being a 'charlatan' seems likely to descend into semantics pretty quickly.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 May 20 - 04:04 AM

No he didn't and, given the evidence (or lack of it), it certainly isn't reasonable to assume anything of the kind - do uoi have anything concrete to substantiate your claim
There's an old saying back home: it applies to both Ewan and Bert
"Those who can, do; those who can't spend their time trying to pull down those who can"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 May 20 - 06:55 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6EyoZxJKhk
Bert and alf edwards, broomfield hill now ewans version
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPaQDjmEwQ0


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 May 20 - 09:30 AM

As I offered on the Ewan thread, a similar situation applies to both of them. I don't think either of them deliberately set out to fool anybody. The problem was their perceived dual identity of performer and scholar by large numbers of people who did not know or care either way. Bert adapted many songs and wrote many album notes and because at the time he had more knowledge than the other performers they accepted what he had to offer at face value. At that time there were very few who had the knowledge to challenge him anyway. By the time scholars came along who could challenge this Bert was gone anyway.

Personally anyone doing serious research would either simply take Bert's words with a pinch of salt, or better still go out there and do the research yourself.

Once again, from an aesthetic and performer's point of view Bert's adaptations were magnificent! I've probably sung many of them, and probably still do.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 May 20 - 10:38 AM

STeve would you agree berts adaptations and interpretation cam about through a deep absorption of the music, he was able to that because he had listened a lot


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 May 20 - 11:12 AM

"simply take Bert's words with a pinch of salt, "
I think that what I've put up sows that would be unwise Steve
You can't keep lobbing stones until one of them finds its mark
Lat's face it - some people are making outrageous claimsof song otigins with litle knowledge of the oral tradition earlier than the beginning of the 20th century
I think the phrase is "innocent until proven guilty - we've done away with the "not proven" verdict as unreliable
Jim


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 May 20 - 02:17 PM

can we stick to his singing steve


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 May 20 - 02:34 PM

Don't really think we should as long as this doesn't go on too long Dick
These topics tend to take on other aspects - if they didn't we'd sound like talking weighing machines
Jim


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 May 20 - 04:06 PM

Sorry, Dick! Got distracted. The topic will come up again elsewhere anyway.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 May 20 - 04:58 AM

ther has been posts saying not good idea to emulate. Well his interpretation is good on narrative ballads, that is worth listening to.PERSONALY I WOULD NOT EMULATE THE SMILE and the tone, but that is taste his arrangements rarely interfere with the flow of the song, which i think is important in story ballads.he is concentrating on telling a story


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 May 20 - 06:02 AM

"Emulate - Match of surpass by imitation "
Imitation is a pefect way of exploring your own voice by trying to recreate the sounds of others - nothing wrong with that for practicing, but every singer should have their own voice and develop it
Bert's tone was improved (hardened) when he used the smile - that's why he used it
If you have a better way of producing and expanding your tone, of course you should use that, but if not, there is nothing wrong or "untraditional" about what Bert did - many singers have similar 'tricks' to produce sounds they find difficult
Ideally, you do the work internally, muscle control, or narrowing the sound - that was the aim of Ewan's voice and relaxation exercises
One 'external' invaluable trick for a singer is to drop your shoulders to lessen tension -
Tension is one of the greatest problems for all singers - it causes a lack of pitch control and shortage of breath
If it starts with a nervously clenched fist it ivevitably spreads uoo the arms and into the shoulders

You are making far too much an issue of this Dick - it's a technique and has nothing to do with singing style or interpretation - another tool in the vocal tool-box
Jim


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 May 20 - 07:53 AM

Jim, i was responding to r padgetts critism and pointing out the positves in my opinion of his singing., his interpretation of narrative ballads


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Brian Peters
Date: 27 May 20 - 08:34 AM

Thanks are due to Mr Sandman for linking some interesting clips. Whilst pursuing one of them I stumbled across this hour-long film - apologies if its been linked already:

Bert - a portrait of A.L. Lloyd

I must say that, the more I listen to Bert's singing on some of these previously unexplored recordings (I never heard him live), the more interesting I find his singing. The way he hits his high notes (which, like Phil Tanner, he clearly enjoys) is pretty thrilling at times.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 27 May 20 - 09:32 AM

I saw this when it was first broadcast, and had it on VHS for years. I had a very interesting exchange of letters with Barry Gavin. All lost now I'm afraid. I've often wondered why the first clip of Bert singing is one where he stopped because he was in an uncomfortable key?
That aside this is well worth watching.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: r.padgett
Date: 28 May 20 - 02:30 AM

Yes Bert's style clearly was a simple extension of his talking voice I
which I would urge all who use source singers like Bert (who may or may not be deemed a traditional singer ~ that's a different argument I think)
to do as Bert did sing in their own voice ~ and I repeat I have heard

some singers sing like him, and pick up some of his intonation/style etc

I did n't mean my earlier posting to be a criticism Dick! if anything a suggestion that singers sing in own voice and try not to try to imitate Bert
Ray


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 May 20 - 03:51 AM

no i understand/understood that Ray.Iwas clarifying my own comment for the benefit of JimC


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 May 20 - 01:31 AM

vic thankyou for the link


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: GUEST,Billy Weeks
Date: 31 May 20 - 02:18 PM

I first heard A L Lloyd at a concert in CS House in the early fifties,singing with MacColl, Seamus Ennis and Jean Ritchie. Wonderful to hear them all in one place and at one time -- a first time in every way for me. I had heard very little native folksong and I was bewitched by Lloyd's voice and manner. He had a disarming way of stopping a song after the first line, saying 'Too high' and starting again. I find the present arguments interesting, but nothing will ever erase the memory of that evening.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 May 20 - 03:02 PM

and nor should it. Sometimes a performer has charisma which is best tasted live. I hope everybody has enjoyed this thread .
I have been told off for starting 3 singing threads which i have not done, Dave the gnome started the Ewan thread. This has been a non acrimonious thread and i hope the clips have been enjoyable.


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 May 20 - 03:09 PM

Wish I'd been there Billy
Jim


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 05:27 AM

There are five basic components of correct singing. Those are pitch, breathing, rhythm, diction and voice.
Bert , has all those qualities, this is not anything to do with taste, his diction is good it is perfectly clear what he is singing about, his breathing is good his rhythm is good and his voice is clear. furthermore his interpreation of narrative ballads is such that he sings the story.
    I received this message from A MEMBER that he was a horrible singer but a good scholar, this person is in reality saying he is not to my taste., NOT the same thing at all
However as part of a sensible criticism this sort of vacuous remark misses the point of the discussion.
1.singers can be good singers because they have the basic components of correct singing and perhaps not be to everybodys taste, however in BERTS CASE HE HAS MORE THAN THAT BECAUSE HE HAS THE ABILTY TO INTERPRET AS STORIES THE NARRATIVE BALLDS,that is not just an opinion it is a fact
good singing is not just about taste, Roy Orbison was a good singer, but not al lof his songs were to my taste some were, some were not, that does not alter the fact he was a good singer
DISCUSSING A SINGERS ABILTY IS NOT JUST ABOUT TASTE
   To make a remark that his tone is not to my taste is a sensible remark, but an opinion, his tone does not make him a bad singer, or a horrible singer, there are as I have remarked other components that determine good singing


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: r.padgett
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 07:52 AM

Yes Sandman I basically agree ~ using the voice to tell a story and

using it with all that can be conveyed by expression, stops and light

and dark and shouts to aid the delivery for the "audience" and keep

interest

Ray


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 09:31 AM

Tone, in the singular, doesn't mean too much to me
We have access to a range of different tones and use them frequently in speech
Unfortunately many singers do not apply to that in their singing, which indicates to me that they are not engaging emotionally with their song
They 'tell' their songs in a monotone - if you did that with speech you would soon be labelled 'boring' - think E L WISTY or Alan Bennett - brilliant in their boredom, both of them
Even with a song a tone has shades - get them right by feeling the song and the song can work - get them wrong and they can become boring
It's even worse when you use the singer uses the same tone for every song - or all the other you're sharing the session with do - probably why long shanty sessions never work for me
Exploring your voice so you can fully use it is, I believe, the answer to accessing the entire repertoire
I don't believe "right" or "wrong" should come into any of this Dick - the singer decides that each time
Jim


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Subject: RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 11:58 AM

i agree, jim.


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