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Joan Baez on America

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Grey Wolf 11 Feb 00 - 06:14 PM
The Shambles 11 Feb 00 - 06:53 PM
catspaw49 11 Feb 00 - 07:29 PM
GUEST,T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 11 Feb 00 - 08:00 PM
canoer 12 Feb 00 - 02:33 AM
GUEST 12 Feb 00 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,Terry Allan Hall 12 Feb 00 - 10:24 AM
canoer 12 Feb 00 - 11:04 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Feb 00 - 08:50 PM
canoer 12 Feb 00 - 08:58 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 13 Feb 00 - 12:16 PM
Terry Allan Hall 14 Feb 00 - 08:53 AM
GUEST,James 14 Feb 00 - 09:04 AM
Amos 14 Feb 00 - 09:34 AM
Fortunato 14 Feb 00 - 10:06 AM
JedMarum 14 Feb 00 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 14 Feb 00 - 12:19 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Feb 00 - 07:17 PM
Sourdough 15 Feb 00 - 03:45 AM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 15 Feb 00 - 10:24 AM
Troll 15 Feb 00 - 10:54 AM
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Subject: Joan Baez on America
From: Grey Wolf
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 06:14 PM

On the recent 'Folk Awards' programme, broadcast on British radio, Joan Baez was given a 'lifetime achievement' award.

Along with the usual "thanks to everyone" stuff, in her acceptance speech she made an interesting, and to me curious comment. To quote:

"I hope to make this art [folk music] recognised in the USA. Thank you very much for the spirit and the intelligence and the music here on this side of the ocean. I'll see what I can do to take some back."

Here in the UK, we constantly bemoan the lack of media interest in folk music - look at uk.music.folk for constant discussions. Is it honestly worse in the USA?

Maybe I've been cosseted by the fact that most of the Americans I know are 'catters.

I'd be interested in your views

Wolf


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez on America
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 06:53 PM

Baez Interview (poor Joan)


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez on America
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 07:29 PM

Odd that you should mention it Wolfie........

This afternoon I received a copy of an album done in 1965 featuring Pat Sky, Richard Farina, Bruce Murdoch, and David Cohen. Greg F. was good enough to copy from his original vinyl and I listened to it at least 6 times this afternoon. I had it once, but it had "gone missing." I was thinking as I listened what a shame it is that so many fine folk artist/recordings have never gotten the same treatment as most of the simpleass bubblegum pop of the past 50 years. But let's face it, its a pretty consumer/money driven business.

Are consumers sold on what they listen to by the record industry? Sure. To some degree our tastes are dictated to us in almost everything from food to cars to clothing to music. Folkies are generally less than conforming in their tastes in general and more independent in their thought. Yeah, that's a generalization, but it has truth within it. The problem of course is that even during the folk scare of the 60's, we didn't make up too much of a market share. I think what is really quite sad is that even within the programming that's been available to us, such as various Public Broadcasting stations, our voices are not being heard as much as they were just 10 or 15 years ago.

Certainly we all need to keep doing our part, especially with young people, but I don't foresee any real change in the industry attitude. Money Talks and Bullshit Walks...as we old street racers say.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez on America
From: GUEST,T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 08:00 PM

I don't know what Joan means by "making it recognized". It's true that an American can live his entire life without ever hearing "The Road to Lisdoonvarna" or "Broom, the Bonny Bonny Broom", or even "The Days of '49." Americans can go through life oblivious to lots of things that are vitally important to their next-door neighbors. We call this ability to make our own cultural choices (within the reasonable limits of law and civility) "freedom". If Joan wants to turn all of us, willing or not, into a captive audience for one musical genre, I hope and expect she will fail.

T.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez on America
From: canoer
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 02:33 AM

I think there are a lot of aspects to this question. One is the general conformity and narrowness which is pressed on nearly everyone from at least age 3 or 4 on up. All of the major social institutions we have, that I can think of, participate in the pressure. No major institution stands, for children and teens, as a positive model for searching and experimenting and widening their cultural horizons.
Then there is the dismal public school situation, of which I will say no more to avoid prolonging the rant!
I for one would not say that we exercise much "freedom" in making cultural choices, when only a small range of "acceptable" choices have been chosen for us.
Oops, bye, I feel my soapbox giving wayyyyyyyyy...


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez on America
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 10:16 AM

My 25 years of perspective & $.02:

In the US of A, the term "folk music" is treated as the kiss of death.

Oddly enough, if you call it by some other name..."unplugged" is pretty popular, although I personally use the terminology "Contemporary Acoustic" with great success...then it's commercially acceptable!

A rose by any other name...


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez on America
From: GUEST,Terry Allan Hall
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 10:24 AM

Hmmmm....how did I become one of them "GUEST" critters?


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez on America
From: canoer
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 11:04 AM

Hey TAH --

I found out that if Max's computer doesn't like the taste of your cookies, it demotes you to Guest.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez on America
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 08:50 PM

If the music industry was just about people buying tickets or concerts, or buying records, (and buying instruments and so forth and making music as well), it'sd bne fair to talk about it as all being a matter of "choice."

But it isn't. I don't choose the music they put on during the commercials, I don't choose the music they put in between the commercial, and the programmes built around making some youngster a commodity they can make money from.

The choosing is done by entrepreneurs and gamblers and con-artists and crooks.

And so far as I can see, the only way to deal with it is to turn out back on it, and get on with making and finding the music we choose ourselves - and that is what the Mudcat is about.

Maybe we can cast a wry glance at the way the music business is destroying itself, and think hopefully that this whole mass-market phase really could be on its way out, thanks to these magic boxes on our desks - but it doesn't really matter if I'm wrong there. We still have the power to keep on making music for themselves, like we always have, and there'll always be enough of us to keep it going. Amen.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez on America
From: canoer
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 08:58 PM

Three Cheers, McGrath! --Larry C.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez on America
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 13 Feb 00 - 12:16 PM

Not sure what Joan had in mind appropos of her statement about introducing folk music in the U.S. but I'll take a guess. She wanted to see the popularity of "folk music" as defined by the music business during the "folkscare" to be revived from it's putative moribund state.

Joan's interest has been as a popularizer or interpreter of folk music which along with the KT and Weavers has been salubrious to counteract the decaying values of the pop music scene.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez on America
From: Terry Allan Hall
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 08:53 AM

Demoting...I just assumed it was an honor...Now, I'm traumatized!

LOL


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez on America
From: GUEST,James
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 09:04 AM

Dear Guest in Oklahoma.. I should think that anyone who goes through an entire lifetime never having hard "The Road To Listoonvarna " ought to regard themselves as having an inordinate amount of very Good luck....As for Joan Baez.. I think I Understand her point..Do you think that Martin Carthy would recieve a national award in America or Norma Waterson be nominated for album of the year. When it comes to long standing knowledge of the plight of folk music.. I guess Joan could be considered to have some expertise. Also, Dear Canoer..sorry about your school system ....


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez on America
From: Amos
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 09:34 AM

McGrath:



Entrepreneurs and crooks? The reason a whole segment of our culture (like fok music as an example) gets underplayed in our (sadly) market-driven universe is that there aren't enough market-savvy entrepreneurs pushing it. We need a passle of entrepreneurs and crooks deciding they see a way to make a lot of dough out of "really cool" traditionalism.

Someone should design a website...oh, never mind, it's been done.

But seriously, although their desperate marketing noises are terrible more oftne than not, entrepreneurs are a vital piece of a thriving economy, which we need to be able to sing in peace.

A


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez on America
From: Fortunato
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 10:06 AM

I think Joan's comment is simply self-serving. She wants to be held in equal esteem by the American public and internationally as Kathryn Battle, or Placido Domingo, or even Ella Fitzgerald. She is saying Folk Music (and thus she herself) does not enjoy the respect of opera, classical music in general, or even Jazz. These other "Art forms" while somewhat marginal commercially, enjoy the cachet of "ART" in capital letters.

Tough Joanie, you're just another folkie like the rest of us and unlikely to be canonized. You're just a @#$%ing singer after all, Joanie.

IMHOP Fortunato


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez on America
From: JedMarum
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 11:46 AM

Right on Amos. Well said!


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez on America
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 12:19 PM

Joan Baez has made a contribution to the popularizing of folk music. She has developed her craft to the point that it deserves respect. I hate to see anyone who works hard at what they do be demeaned.

"Self-serving" is a put-down. IMHO Joan has not been self-serving because she has stood by her principles and and as a result refused to take certain lucrative jobs that would increase her visability and income.

There are a lot of Joan Baez detractors out there who don't agree with her politics and attempt to disparage her. I was never a great Joan Baez fan but I always admired her pertanacious qualities and her obvious vocal ability. I don't like to see any artist be unfairly characterized as "self-serving" for desiring recognition for what they do. She has worked hard; she deserves some respect whether one agrees with her politics or prefers her style of music.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez on America
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 07:17 PM

I'm not saying entrepreneur equals crook. All the crooks in the music business are of course some kind of entrtepreneurs, that's what crooks do, but not all the entrepreneurs are crooks.

"Entrepreneur" is one of those words like "engineers" which means a lot of different things. Some engineers fix broken washing machines. Some build nuclear power stations. Some we need, obviously. But our kind of music isn't going to benefit by being hyped up big and exploited. And I doubt very much if that was what Joan Baez was on about.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez on America
From: Sourdough
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 03:45 AM

Well said, Frank Hamilton. It is too easy to take pot shots at someone who has principles by making loose accusations. Sometimes it is done out of ignorance, sometimes it is done out of mean spiritedness but I hope whoever wants to throw about aspersions will at least consider the experience of people who have seen Joan Baez up close over the major part of her life and have come to very different conclusions.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez on America
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 10:24 AM

Thank you Sourdough. I'm happy to have support on this.

Joan is a nice person. I've met a lot of different kind of people in the folk scene and Joan has been one of the nicest. Her sister Mimi is nice also.

I wish there was a special award for acoomplished performers who turn out to be good folks.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez on America
From: Troll
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 10:54 AM

If you want to be popular, then you pander to whatever the moguls are pushing at the moment.

If you want to have integrity, you decide your path and stay the course regardless of the inducments to compromise.

As Lazarus Long said," It's better to be a live jackel than a dead lion. But it's even better to be a live lion. And it's usually easier."

Heres to Joan Baez; a live lion.

troll


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