Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers

Related threads:
'Musical' Novels (115)
Magical Ballads and Fantasy Fiction (29)


GUEST,Lin 02 Aug 21 - 12:42 AM
Joe Offer 02 Aug 21 - 01:03 AM
GUEST,Lin 02 Aug 21 - 01:46 AM
Jos 02 Aug 21 - 02:09 AM
Ernest 02 Aug 21 - 03:06 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 02 Aug 21 - 04:13 AM
gillymor 02 Aug 21 - 07:27 AM
Dave the Gnome 02 Aug 21 - 07:40 AM
Dave the Gnome 02 Aug 21 - 07:41 AM
cnd 02 Aug 21 - 08:17 AM
Phil Cooper 02 Aug 21 - 08:50 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 02 Aug 21 - 09:16 AM
gillymor 02 Aug 21 - 09:33 AM
GUEST,Lin 02 Aug 21 - 10:42 AM
gillymor 02 Aug 21 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 02 Aug 21 - 11:03 AM
Dave the Gnome 02 Aug 21 - 02:15 PM
Jos 02 Aug 21 - 03:39 PM
Steve Gardham 02 Aug 21 - 04:12 PM
The Sandman 02 Aug 21 - 04:19 PM
Mark Ross 02 Aug 21 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,Lin 02 Aug 21 - 08:33 PM
Joe Offer 02 Aug 21 - 08:34 PM
GUEST,SqueezeMe 02 Aug 21 - 08:41 PM
Joe Offer 02 Aug 21 - 08:42 PM
GUEST,Lin 02 Aug 21 - 08:53 PM
GUEST 02 Aug 21 - 09:00 PM
Joe Offer 02 Aug 21 - 09:05 PM
GUEST,Lin 02 Aug 21 - 09:14 PM
GUEST,Jerome Clark 02 Aug 21 - 11:01 PM
Elmore 03 Aug 21 - 02:00 AM
GUEST,Lin 03 Aug 21 - 02:49 AM
John C. Bunnell 03 Aug 21 - 04:32 AM
GUEST,Lin 03 Aug 21 - 09:09 PM
Joe Offer 03 Aug 21 - 09:21 PM
GUEST,Oriel 04 Aug 21 - 02:55 AM
GUEST,Booter 04 Aug 21 - 04:46 AM
Susan of DT 04 Aug 21 - 11:02 AM
rich-joy 04 Aug 21 - 06:52 PM
banjoman 05 Aug 21 - 04:49 AM
Long Firm Freddie 05 Aug 21 - 05:11 AM
GUEST,henryp 05 Aug 21 - 05:18 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin (on a library computer) 05 Aug 21 - 06:25 AM
Neil D 06 Aug 21 - 08:12 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 06 Aug 21 - 11:11 AM
DonMeixner 06 Aug 21 - 06:27 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:













Subject: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: GUEST,Lin
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 12:42 AM

I'm looking to find any books (fiction only please),that are written into the story line about folk music/folksingers. The entire book doesn't have to be just about this subject but just portions of the book where it is written into the story somehow. For the purpose of this thread, I am only looking for stories where folk singers, folk music is the genre.
Not looking for fiction stories about blues, country, bluegrass, pop - Only Folk and ONLY Fiction.

If you know the book title and author, please post the information. It doesn't have to be a current book, it can be from any year in the past.
Thank you.

P.S. Why am I looking for fiction books like this?
Just for my own interest. Really no reason in particular exactly, just curious is all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 01:03 AM

Hi, Lin -
Well, it doesn't fit your specifications exactly, but Sharyn McCrumb writes novels based on folk songs:


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: GUEST,Lin
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 01:46 AM

Thank you Joe. I have heard of this author but not familiar with her work. Is there particular book of hers that you recommend, or do all her stories have reference to folk songs?
Or only certain ones but not all of her books?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: Jos
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 02:09 AM

For dance, look for the Abbey School books by Elsie J. Oxenham, about a irls' school where the girls learn Morris dances.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: Ernest
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 03:06 AM

Charles de Lint: " The little Country" is a fantasy novel, the heroine is a musician playing pipes an fiddle and contains even a few tunes composed by her (well, rather the author).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 04:13 AM

Almost the whole of Anne McCaffrey's SF Pern series has reference to The Harper's hall, which provides story tellers and ballad singers to keep and promote the history of the planet. It feels very folky with some classical cross-over implied.
I would start with "Dragonsong" and "Dragonsinger" in view of your interest.

Robin


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: gillymor
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 07:27 AM

"Fair and Tender Ladies" and "Devil's Dream" by Lee Smith.
Well-written and infused with plenty of Appalachian Mountain music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 07:40 AM

I can't remember exact details but I'm pretty sure Thomas Hardy's, Laurie Lee's and Flora Thompson's works all contain some elements of Folk music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 07:41 AM

Just spotted this with a Google search -

https://chiefoneill.com/folk-music-in-fiction-a-fascinating-discussion

Not all fiction works but a lot are.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: cnd
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 08:17 AM

Personally I felt that Devil's Dream went on a bit too long... I lost interest after the 3rd(?) generation.

Manly Wade Wellman's Who Fears the Devil mini series is a good one I'd nominate


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 08:50 AM

I forget the author but there was a book called The Phantom Banjo. And a Scottish folk singer appears in the book Bimbos of the Death Sun.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 09:16 AM

Ngaio Marsh's 1956 crime novel ' Off With His Head' is set in an English village and the plot revolves around an annual ritual made up of Morris Dancing, Sword Dancing and a Mummer's Play. Read it years ago and remember that I was not overtly impressed!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: gillymor
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 09:33 AM

I seem to recall there was some Southern Mountain music in the excellent novel Cold Mountain.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: GUEST,Lin
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 10:42 AM

I noticed some people are posting messages on this thread about stories/music related to dancing. I do appreciate your responses but as I mentioned in my original post, I am ONLY looking for fiction stories about folk music/folksingers - not dances at all.
Dancing is entirely different topic/subject and I'm not into books with reference to dancing for this particular thread.

For example: Moderator, Joe Offer provided excellent mention of books and author's name in regards to folk music/ folksingers. (Great example of what I am looking for).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: gillymor
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 11:00 AM

Perhaps there are some folks here who would enjoy books that involve dancing. Those not interested can just pass them by.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 11:03 AM

Dermot Bolger's 'Father's music'

Kate Thompson's The New Policeman (more aimed a a younger audience but still a nice read)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 02:15 PM

That's just the way of the Mudcat, Lin. Wait a while and we may even get into the "what is folk music?" discussion :-D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: Jos
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 03:39 PM

Dancing almost always involves music, and folk dancing is usually done to folk music. Though I do realise that music and song can happen without dancers, it could still be relevant if the music was described in a novel or story because of the presence of the dancers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 04:12 PM

I seem to remember a girl from Massachusettes I think writing a book about the Watersons which may have been partly fiction. Her name is Greer Gilman. Might be worth Googling.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 04:19 PM

JOE STEAD ..The Ramblings Of An Old Codger


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: Mark Ross
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 04:26 PM

I highly reccomend the Phantom Banjo Trilogy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: GUEST,Lin
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 08:33 PM

Hi Mark,

I looked up online for those books you recommended.
Written by Elizabeth Scarborough.

Yes, this is the kind of folk music related story that I am seeking. When I have a good list from recommendations here, I will attempt to order these folksinger/folk music fiction books. Just not into dances at all for this thread.
Thank you Mark.

Lin


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 08:34 PM

Lin, I can't remember which of the Sharyn McCrumb (click) novels I read - I think I read three or four. Good stories.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: GUEST,SqueezeMe
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 08:41 PM

Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks series of books has a number of passing references to a Yorkshire folk club and fictional singers, though not usually central to the plot.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 08:42 PM

Another person to look into is Sheila Kay Adams, of the Sodom Laurel community of Madison County, North Carolina. She's a great singer and storyteller, and she's written a novel. Good stuff. She attended the Getaway camp in Maryland when I was there, and it was a thrill. Search YouTube and see what she can do.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdV98L_YdmVuMvAL8w0d7SA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIOWa0kr-Dc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9hipA76c_s


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: GUEST,Lin
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 08:53 PM

Hi Joe,

I looked online last night from the link you provided.
Looks like Sharyn McCrumb is really into folk music with many books (titles),pictures on front cover depicting this genre. I will try to find them used somewhere online that are not too expensive. There are quite a few thrift shops near me that sell a lot of used books, but might not find them there.

Some thrift shops do organize their fiction books by author's last name but others don't. It is too hot here and tiring to try and find them, if fiction books are not in order by title or author. So I avoid looking for books in those thrift shops. Too hot here. About 108 or 109 degrees!! Or possibly higher. Some thrift shops don't always have the best AC either.

Thanks again.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 09:00 PM

Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series may be of interest. The TV series had John Tams singing on occasions, but I haven't yet read the books, so don't know if the author mentioned the songs, or whether the series producers just wanted to make use of John's singing abilities as well as his acting prowess.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 09:05 PM

Hi, Lin -
I seem to do pretty well at https://www.bookfinder.com/. Fiction books are cheap - often $5, including shipping.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: GUEST,Lin
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 09:14 PM

Joe,
I didn't know about that site. Good place for me to start.
Thank you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: GUEST,Jerome Clark
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 11:01 PM

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Paulette Jiles's "Simon the Fiddler" (2020). A folk-music novel if there ever was one, set in Texas after the Civil War. Jiles wrote "News of the World" (which has its own folk references), made into an excellent film starring Tom Hanks. "Simon" takes a minor character from "News" and puts him at center stage. Traditional music is so omnipresent that it's almost a character on its own.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: Elmore
Date: 03 Aug 21 - 02:00 AM

Sorry if I'm repeating anything. Revival by Scott Alarik. Edson by Bill Morrissey. Joe Hill a Biographical Novel by Wallace Stegner.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Satories about Folk Music/Singers
From: GUEST,Lin
Date: 03 Aug 21 - 02:49 AM

Thank You Elmore. I am not familiar with those stories at all but will include them on list to look up and see if I can find these books to buy used.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: John C. Bunnell
Date: 03 Aug 21 - 04:32 AM

Others have given some good recommendations, particularly the Scarborough novels. For myself, I find Sharyn McCrumb's writing uneven (some of her mysteries I've liked, but Bimbos of the Death Sun is at best a highly problematic portrayal of science fiction/gaming fandom, which is its primary focus).

I'd echo and amplify the mention upstream of Manly Wade Wellman's series about John the Balladeer, aka "Silver John", which is probably close to being as definitive a treatment of the traveling folkie's life as you'll find under the fantasy genre's umbrella.

That said, a handful of other suggestions:

Emma Bull's War for the Oaks - widely regarded, along with Charles de Lint's early novels, as one of the cornerstone works of modern fantasy - features a central character who's a singer and organizer of bands. The music itself shifts between folk, rock, and the fuzzy zone between, but folklore and folk traditions are deeply woven throughout the novel (and Bull herself has been a singer, part of a duo known as the Flash Girls). Strongly recommended, rock elements or not.

Bedlam's Bard by Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon, also involves a core cast including folk musicians, in this case cross-pollinated with SCA-type medieval re-enactors as well as elves. There are a number of sequels (and a couple of other intersecting series), although the level of musicality in the plots fluctuates a good deal over the life of the series. Lackey overall is a more lightweight read than Bull, but she and her various collaborators know the folk traditions very well. (Lackey is also an experienced lyricist; there are a number of albums extant featuring folk music set in her "Heralds of Valdemar" high fantasy universe, on which she is the primary writer.)

Singer of Souls is by Adam Stemple, who's likely better known in Mudcat circles as part of Boiled In Lead and/or the Tim Malloys. If that's not a persuasive credential for a novel about a folksinger in three kinds of both magical and mundane trouble, consider that he's also the son of Jane Yolen, possibly one of the world's premier writers of folklore and fairy tales for children.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: GUEST,Lin
Date: 03 Aug 21 - 09:09 PM

To John C.
Thanks for all your recommendations and information about each one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Aug 21 - 09:21 PM

Bimbos of the Death Sun??? Gee, John, I hadn't come across that one. Probably good I missed it. I guess I'd more-or-less agree with your assessment of Sharyn McCrumb, but her books are mostly fun reading.
Elmore mentioned Revival - A Folk Music Novel by Scott Alarik. I haven't read it, but it sounds interesting. Scott was a music writer for the Boston Globe, focusing on folk music.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: GUEST,Oriel
Date: 04 Aug 21 - 02:55 AM

Elsie J Oxenham's 'Abbey' books feature folk dancing, and include one largely set at an EFDSS summer school in the 1920s and another including a long section at an EFDSS Christmas school. Dancing is a constant feature throughout the series, and EJO was an active member of EFDSS and taught dancing. The books, written between about 1909 and 1950, were aimed at girls in their mid-teens. They are not school stories, though obviously school does feature in books for girls of that age, and the action of most books is largely outside of the school setting.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: GUEST,Booter
Date: 04 Aug 21 - 04:46 AM

Stuart Macgregor, the writer of Coshieville, wrote two novels “ The Myrtle and the Ivy” and “The Sinner”. Both involve the folk song revival in 1950s and 1960s Edinburgh.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: Susan of DT
Date: 04 Aug 21 - 11:02 AM

In Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover fantasy series (many books), Rediscovery tells of a spaceship landing on Darkover and realizing the this planet, Darkover, is a lost colony of Earth by recognizing the folk songs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: rich-joy
Date: 04 Aug 21 - 06:52 PM

England's JEZ LOWE has written two novels (with a third on the way) woven around Tyneside folksongs, where he fleshes out the possible stories behind them - I thoroughly enjoyed the :

The Dillen Doll

The Corly Croons


A CD is also available for each, featuring a suite of songs set around the central song/story, using traditional North East music adapted and arranged by Jez.

Check them out here : https://www.jezlowe.com/novels/

Also, some years ago, a Lancashire author wrote his first crime? novel featuring folk musicians - something to do with The Ribble - sorry I can't recall much about it now, but I first heard about it on The Cat.....

Cheers, R-J


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: banjoman
Date: 05 Aug 21 - 04:49 AM

any years ag0 I recall reading a book called "Shame shame on the Johnson boys. About a folk group rising and falling in fame.
Cant recall who the writer was. Must be about 50 years ago.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 05 Aug 21 - 05:11 AM

Moon Song by Elen Sentier seems to fit the bill:

"When Isoldé hears that her lifelong hero, Celtic folk singer Tristan Talorc, has just committed suicide, it strikes home and makes the oppressive London, where she works just after “nine-eleven”, feel nearly as oppressive as the Belfast of The Troubles where she grew up. Fate intervenes when an ex-boyfriend offers her a job with him down in Exeter in the West Country. And so begins her enchanted journey to find the lost song of Tristan Talorc, the Moon Song..."

LFF


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 05 Aug 21 - 05:18 AM

The Rose Of The Ribble Valley by Graham Dixon, Ross Dixon (Illustrator) was in print from 2002-2005 and sold over 1200 copies

Folk Singer, GEOFF, is the ‘Front man’ with ELDERFLOWER PUNCH – a four-piece musical group who, when they perform, pack the pubs and folk clubs of Northwest England. WAYNE plays bass; CHLOE, a student archaeologist is the singer and LUTE is the mandolin player. The band are plagued with cancellations, due to the ‘ridiculous’ law which allows no more than two performers to play at any one time, in venues that do not hold a very expensive ‘Public Entertainment Licence.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: GUEST,Jack Campin (on a library computer)
Date: 05 Aug 21 - 06:25 AM

Brian Keenan's "Turlough", if Carolan counts as folk.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: Neil D
Date: 06 Aug 21 - 08:12 AM

Robert Heinlein wrote a short story called "The Green Hills of Earth" about a blind folksinger who crisscrosses the galaxy writing and singing songs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 06 Aug 21 - 11:11 AM

The Voice of Manush & The Craftsmen, by Victor Walter

"Description from the publisher: “Vol. 1, The Voice of Manush, dramatizes the triumph of music over death. It explores the magic of music through Marko Manava’s quest for a mythic instrument, The Destiny.”
American Viola Society (books)

Cue the Viola jokes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fiction Stories about Folk Music/Singers
From: DonMeixner
Date: 06 Aug 21 - 06:27 PM

Neil That was "Noisy Riesling" a blind rocket mechanic. The first real Science Fiction I ever read.

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 23 January 6:47 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.