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Who were the first folksingers?

M. Ted (inactive) 25 Feb 00 - 01:20 PM
wysiwyg 25 Feb 00 - 01:24 PM
JedMarum 25 Feb 00 - 01:38 PM
MMario 25 Feb 00 - 01:55 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 25 Feb 00 - 02:05 PM
kendall 25 Feb 00 - 02:06 PM
JedMarum 25 Feb 00 - 02:16 PM
kendall 25 Feb 00 - 02:18 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 25 Feb 00 - 02:21 PM
PaulKnight 25 Feb 00 - 02:24 PM
MMario 25 Feb 00 - 02:31 PM
katlaughing 25 Feb 00 - 02:36 PM
annamill 25 Feb 00 - 02:39 PM
Osmium 25 Feb 00 - 02:41 PM
SeanM 25 Feb 00 - 02:52 PM
Amos 25 Feb 00 - 02:56 PM
sophocleese 25 Feb 00 - 03:24 PM
Molly Malone 25 Feb 00 - 04:21 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 25 Feb 00 - 04:46 PM
katlaughing 25 Feb 00 - 04:50 PM
Mbo 25 Feb 00 - 04:53 PM
Molly Malone 25 Feb 00 - 04:59 PM
Mbo 25 Feb 00 - 05:19 PM
katlaughing 25 Feb 00 - 05:23 PM
sophocleese 25 Feb 00 - 06:09 PM
InOBU 25 Feb 00 - 06:38 PM
DonMeixner 25 Feb 00 - 07:03 PM
SteveE 26 Feb 00 - 11:16 AM
Susanne (skw) 26 Feb 00 - 11:31 AM
Duffy Keith 26 Feb 00 - 01:21 PM
Art Thieme 26 Feb 00 - 01:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Feb 00 - 02:13 PM
Amos 26 Feb 00 - 02:15 PM
Alice 26 Feb 00 - 03:17 PM
Crowhugger 26 Feb 00 - 03:26 PM
Melodeon 26 Feb 00 - 03:32 PM
DonMeixner 26 Feb 00 - 04:15 PM
Ana 26 Feb 00 - 06:03 PM
Ana 26 Feb 00 - 06:06 PM
Sandy Paton 26 Feb 00 - 08:18 PM
Alice 26 Feb 00 - 08:22 PM
polesden 26 Feb 00 - 08:42 PM
Bob Bolton 26 Feb 00 - 08:51 PM
Alice 26 Feb 00 - 08:52 PM
Alice 26 Feb 00 - 08:54 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 27 Feb 00 - 02:22 AM
GUEST,Mike Crocker 27 Feb 00 - 11:44 AM
Art Thieme 27 Feb 00 - 11:57 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 27 Feb 00 - 12:22 PM
toadfrog 16 May 01 - 10:47 PM
poor lonesome boy 16 May 01 - 10:54 PM
Metchosin 16 May 01 - 11:50 PM
Uncle_DaveO 17 May 01 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,djh 18 May 01 - 09:06 AM
GUEST,Barney Rubble 18 May 01 - 12:42 PM
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Subject: Who were the first folksingers?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 01:20 PM

I have been reading about Berthold Brecht, who, curiously enough, was a leatherjacketed singer/songwriter in Berlin in the early 1920's--

This got me to wondering about the origins of Folksinging as we know it--which is to say, performance by revivalists and collectors for audiences outside the communities where the music was originally gathered--and when did the whole coffeehouse thing start?

I realize as I write that there are at least two sets of answers,US and UK, and likely more, which is OK--the more the merrier!!


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 01:24 PM

Doesn't matter, it was all a dream anyhow. Just don't wake up.


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: JedMarum
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 01:38 PM

Who were the first folksingers?

The first folks (everybody sings, don;t they?)


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: MMario
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 01:55 PM

I believe there are records of Elizabeth I and her court in what sounds like "collecting" behavior to me, duplicating the songs and dances of the countryside in court.....


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 02:05 PM

Maybe I shouldn't have posted this question--it seems like I more or less set myself up, and I hate it when I do that--


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: kendall
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 02:06 PM

Sandy Paton, Kendall and Art Thiem


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: JedMarum
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 02:16 PM

sorry Ted ... it's a good thread, I just have a warped sense of humor sometimes .... sometimes? who am I kidding? I have a warped sense of humor PERIOD.


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: kendall
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 02:18 PM

How about the old minstrels?


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 02:21 PM

Never kid a kidder, liam devlin aka Jed,-you weren't the only one--I think all of the posts were supposed to be funny--It' going to be a long day---


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: PaulKnight
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 02:24 PM

Perhaps the bards...


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: MMario
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 02:31 PM

No I was serious. Evidently the Elizabethan courtiers DID indulge in collecting traditional tunes and dances from the coutryside and presenting them for the court, and more importantly, Her Majesties pleasure.


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 02:36 PM

I would imagine there was some of that going on in the ancient courts of China, too. The power of musical vibrations was so important to them, that tuning of instruments was mandated each year, in accordance with wahtever key was considered auspicious for the entire country and its people. It is my understanding that all musicians were expected to comply.

Interesting question, MTed, hang in there, some of us will get serious about it and then watch out! It's gonna be even more interesting!

kat


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: annamill
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 02:39 PM

Did you ever see the movie "Caveman" with Ringo Starr? Even though this movie is a silly (but funny) movie there a scene where the characters are sitting around a camp fire and they start playing a fantastic piece of music. First was the percussion, then they used the voices as instuments. It was a great moment in movies that will never receive the praise (sorry Praise) that it deserves because it's a silly comedy with Ringo Starr. I think this is really close to how the first folk music was created.

;-) **BG**

Love, annap


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: Osmium
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 02:41 PM

There is a small community of Chinese who HAVE to find a partner with whom they can harmonise before they are allowed to marry. Thay have to prove the harmony on their wedding day. Must be that their ancestors were the first or there wouldn't be any of them today.


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: SeanM
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 02:52 PM

Heck, I'd be happy if they'd just make it so's you were required to find someone you could harmonize with before you were allowed to form a band...

But on a serious note, I'm with MMario on the Elizabethan angle. Though for the general population, 'folksingers' as we know them are probably a product of the Victorian boom in printing and literacy. Once the relatively cheap songbooks wered available, anyone with half a grain of talent could set themselves up as a singer.

M


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: Amos
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 02:56 PM

The first folk singers were named Glegggh and Zimmmppph.

They are in fact the only folksingers, having been variously reincarnated as Greek epicists, bards, wandering minstrels who actually run in between sets, and Woody and Pete Seeger.

In their currenty reincarnations they flick about running bodies named Arlo, Zimmerman, Thieme, Field, and Dyer Bennet.

This is relatively easy since most folksinger's bodies move very little when not actually performing and even then there are relatively few moving parts.

However very few Volksestablismentareinz are willing to own up to this factual version of folk history so you will find the documentation very hard to get.

A


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: sophocleese
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 03:24 PM

What about Irish monks in their monasteries writing down the stories of the people? Did they also write down some of the songs? Once you have a way, notation or recording, of transmitting the song without the singer, then you have some people who will sing those songs without having met the singer. Its also useful at a court to have some idea of what the people are talking and singing about just in case there's going to be trouble.


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: Molly Malone
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 04:21 PM

Ok, the problem here is that once again it seems like we are pigeonholing "folk" music. It's like asking where did drama come from.

I think first you have to define folk. (Boy, that ought to stir up a hornets nest!) Then you can figure out who first sang it.

Minstral and Bard are pretty loose terms as well. What makes a bard? Folk music? Or is it folk if a bard sings it?

Don't hurt me.*g*


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 04:46 PM

No, there is not a problem of any sort here--I was very specific in what I asked for--revivalists and collectors who performed their music outside of the communities in which it was collected--

MMario, I am sorry that I thought you were kidding me, but you used the word "record" and I jumped to the conclusion that you meant that the Elizabethans had their little variable speed Walkman Professionals(or whatever they use these days) Now I want names!!!

Of course we know that Beethoven wrote piano arrangements of folk tunes for students (he apparently got paid about $10 a piece for them, but that was when the dollar was worth a lot more)

However, I am looking for names of actual performers--

As to that business about China, I agree with the Emperor,I think people should be required to tune their instruments at least once a year--at first, I thought this might be a set up for that horrible old "Ancient Chinese Song--Tu Ning" joke that folksingers used to make all the time--not only a dumb joke, but culturally insensitive, too!!

As to the Ringo Movie, anyone remember that Disney cartoon about "toot, whistle, plunk, and boom" that they used to show?


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 04:50 PM

OH, NO!!!! Molly did it, not me!!!**BG** The eternal, damnable question of what is folk and, it's off-shoot, what are the implications of *folking*! Aarrrggghhhh, old hornet's nests reincarnated!!

Seriously, just put Folk Music in the filter box, set the thread date to a couple of years and you can read for days and days on the definition according to scads of 'Catters!!

katlaughingforreal!


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: Mbo
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 04:53 PM

MTed, I love "Toot Whistle Plunk" with the Professor Ludwig Von Duck--can't remember his name--I thinking earlier if I should mention it--but you did...thanks!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: Molly Malone
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 04:59 PM

Therein lies the problem. That's not what I think of at ALL when I hear the phrase "folk music."

But that's not the point. :)

I think it's ironic that you start the question off with Brecht, a wonderful dramatic theorist...who probably sat with folks and debated a very similar question...


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: Mbo
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 05:19 PM

Whoa--make that Ludwig Von Drake!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 05:23 PM

Oh, shoot,now I've done it with an apostrophe in a possessive its!

MTed, sorry, I have never heard that joke. I was recalling some research my brother, the composer, did for his book on using what he calls MetaMusic in a conscious manner based on its positive effects, specifically he said:

The concept of the importance of the state of music to the state of society in general is not new...the ancient Greeks and Chinese, among others, believed certain scales and compositions could affect the well-being of people and the state. The Greek sages wrote that the wrong kind of music...could weaken the fabric of society, having a deleterious effect on those who listened to it. The Chinese went further in their statements, their philosophers teaching that music influenced even the harmony of the spheres, the universe. The emperor had a staff of music experts who determined exact pitches and tunings based on a constant pitch determined by the current astrological age, etc. © D.L. Hudson

kat


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: sophocleese
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 06:09 PM

Would Childe and Sharpe count? I don't know so much about Childe but I know that Cecil Sharpe wasn't interested only in collecting but also in preserving English country songs and dances. The urge to collect was associated with the urge to preserve and continue a tradition that he saw dying out. Did he ever perform any of his collection? I think he saw himself as a bridge and champion between the 'peasantry' and the middle class.


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: InOBU
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 06:38 PM

Ned the Neandrathal - 45,000 BC until 1983, founder of the band Sorcha Dorcha, see post Saint Patricks day gigs for more details...


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 07:03 PM

I have a had a theory about this very subject for several minutes now. Here it is.

The first person who saw something worth retelling. It probably wasn't a song but a cave painting that carried the tale. The need to pass on history surely predated spoken language.

The importance of passing along a human experience to other members of the family or tribe could have been critical to survival. The cave paintings in France and Germany not only show that they killed bison and bear but how they were killed as well. The need to sing must have followed the need to speak by particles of seconds. The discovery of rhythym, meter, and rhymn made the stories easier to remember and pass along.

Anyone care to expand on this.

Don


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: SteveE
Date: 26 Feb 00 - 11:16 AM

Erghho and klubbbz recorded this around 2000 bc

(sing along to the tune of "alright now"

urggh: dur urgh urhg dur urghruhgurhgurhgurghurhg urghhhhhh urggh; dur urgh urgh (you get the drift)

Steve


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 26 Feb 00 - 11:31 AM

Whoever they were - they were certainly not called Bert Brecht. Although he did write and perform a number of very nice and down-to-earth songs about common people, and performed them accompanying himself on the lute. Some of the tunes were written by Hanns Eisler. Whoever is interested can get them on CD, sung by German actor and revolutionary Ernst Busch, born 100 years ago last January, nicknamed 'Richard Tauber for the barricades'. - Susanne


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: Duffy Keith
Date: 26 Feb 00 - 01:21 PM

Terry Gilkeyson was the very first folksinger, ever, anywhere, and he sold all of his material to the Kingston Trio, who sold it to the Brothers Four and the Weavers....!!!!


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 26 Feb 00 - 01:32 PM

Can't say, I wasn't there. ;-)

Art


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Feb 00 - 02:13 PM

Watch out or the Tuning Police will get you.

As I understand it, at various periods there's been an interplay between music of the peasants and music of the courts. (I'm talking Old World here). So you had peasant musicians doing a version of what the court was doing, and then the court musicians would pick that up and copy it back. Mostly round dancing. So as far back as you like to look there have been people engaged in collecting music and bringing it back to use in a different setting. And alongside that yiou had the antiquarian collecting of ballads, up to and including Child.

But M.Ted is after something different - where and when does the tradition begin of collecting and preserving and reviving songs described as "folksongs"? And the answer to that has to be, for England and America, the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, and most especially with Cecil Sharpe. And you can even arguably hone it down to a single occasion,the meeting of Cecil Sharpe with Morris Dancer William Kimber at Headington Quarry near Oxford on Boxing Day 1899 (I think it was.)


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: Amos
Date: 26 Feb 00 - 02:15 PM

So....what, really, is folkmusic. Can it be defined?

Ouch! Ouch! Stop!! No, no, no...(heads for medicine cabinet to find disinfectant for a series of possum bites that miraculously showed up all along the curve of his left bun)


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: Alice
Date: 26 Feb 00 - 03:17 PM

None of you have addressed Ted's question in the way he asked it --- who started the 1900's coffee house "folk" revivalist scene. He wasn't asking about anything before probably 1900.


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 26 Feb 00 - 03:26 PM

To toss in my answer to the question in the thread title: Mothers singing lullabys they learned from another mother. Which is not at all related to the details in his opening postings. Where, O where is GUEST,Al when a 'Catter wants to yank his chain?!


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: Melodeon
Date: 26 Feb 00 - 03:32 PM

Prior to C Sharp/William Kimber there were in England the Broadsheet balladeers who not only sang about topical events but also "traditional" songs that they picked up on their travels, hence the different versions of the same songs from different parts of the country. Perhaps these were the first folksingers as described in the original question.

Viv


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 26 Feb 00 - 04:15 PM

Alice,

You are correct. I'd suggest that the current coffee house style stuff may have its beginnings in the trade union organizing at the turn of the century. Popular and well known songs, altered at small gatherings to ptomote the Union cause. Mick probably has a better take here than I do. Junior Joe Hill that he is.

Don


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: Ana
Date: 26 Feb 00 - 06:03 PM

Yip - I agree with Crowhugger. My thoughts also were that "folk music" (as in passed from one generation to the next) started at the milk bar...long before coffee bars were ever considered. Ana


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: Ana
Date: 26 Feb 00 - 06:06 PM

....and I guess that's why drink and music still co-exist to this very day - a kind of vestigal memory thing. Ana (again!)


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 26 Feb 00 - 08:18 PM

If you plan to look for information on the Web or elsewhere pertaining to either Francis James Child (ballads) or Cecil Sharp (English and Appalachian folk songs and dance), be aware that neither spelled his name with that concluding "e" appearing in many of the earlier posts to this thread. That sort of misspelling can cause you to come up empty or to wind up reading a lot of stuff about a couple of other fellows before you realize that you're off-target.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: Alice
Date: 26 Feb 00 - 08:22 PM

M.Ted, I think Don is on the right track. The "folksinger" revival trend probably started with the political protest songs, the type of songwriting during the depression, too, that Woody Guthrie was a part of. I am reminded of Jean Ritchie's contribution to bringing Appalachian music to New York, then her travels to Ireland with a tape recorder to collect music. I mentioned quite awhile ago here (2 years?) that there is a video documentary on Jean Ritchie that includes Tommy Makem talking about how he was a teenager when Jean Ritchie came to town. She asked where she could record people singing music, and a home where everyone gathered was the Makem home. Tommy knew one tune on the whistle, and when he realized this lady from American thought Irish music was worth recording, he began to learn more Irish folk songs.

The name of the video of her biography is Mountain Born: The Jean Ritchie Story. The music she took to New York City and to her job with children was the Appalachian folk music that was influenced by Irish, Scottish, and British song traditions. It describes how her performance of standing alone on stage at the Newport Folk Festival where she sang Amazing Grace a capella made a big impact on the 'folk' scene.

Sandy, help me out here, there are details that you lived yourself that you can share to shed light on the "revival" in America that influenced the development of interest in folksinging.

Here's Ritchie's video on her website: Mountain Born

Here is the description:
Produced by Guy Mendes and directed by Russ Farmer for KET, the Kentucky Network, Mountain Born: the Jean Ritchie Story focuses on Jean's life and varied career from her Southern Appalachian childhood in the large close-knit Ritchie family, to her folkoric field studies in the British Isles, the folk scene in Greenwich village of the 50's and 60's, the stage of Carnegie Hall, the Newport Folk Festival and her many recordings. The Program includes interviews with colleagues and friends Pete Seeger, Emmylou Harris, Naomi Judd, Arlo Guthrie, Oscar Brand,Peter Schickele, Doc Watson, Tommy Makem, and many others, interwoven with Documentary film footage and photographs by George Pickow and early family snapshots.

alice flynn in montana


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: polesden
Date: 26 Feb 00 - 08:42 PM

On checking out a song that I know is quite old -

"Bring us good ale"

dates from about 1460

Which suggests "folk" were singing and keeping records of songs from at least as early as this date.

Any older songs perhaps, that catters might know of?

Cheers Bob Merrett


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 26 Feb 00 - 08:51 PM

G'day all,

MTed: re you post of 25-Feb-00 - 04:46 PM, I don't think MMario actually used the word record and it certainly meant something different again to the Elizabethans ... to teach by practice. This sense is still preserved in the fipple whistles (block flutes) we st still call recorders - instruments used (inter alia) to teach new tunes to canaries!

Of course, whether the difference between the tune played on the recorder and that whistled by the canary made it a folk tune ...?

Regard(les)s,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: Alice
Date: 26 Feb 00 - 08:52 PM

Bob, there is a thread in the Mudcat archives on the history of singing where the first known evidence of music are debated from around the world. This current thread is regarding the folk "revival" of the 20th Century as it became the coffehouse scene... (although the majority of the messages don't respond to M.Ted's topic as he posted when starting this thread).

I'll try to find the one on the history of song and link it here for those who want to go in that direction.

-alice


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: Alice
Date: 26 Feb 00 - 08:54 PM

oh, oh, two Bobs. I was responding to Bob Merrett.


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 27 Feb 00 - 02:22 AM

MMario's first post in this thread contained this line: > I believe there are records of Elizabeth I and her court in what sounds like "collecting" behavior to me

I think that you could legitimately misread this the way that I, who am slightly paranoid most of the time, did...

As to Brecht, his work with Hans Eisler came later, and, for the most part after, his wonderful collabortations with Kurt Weill--initially, Brecht wrote poems to the melodies of folksongs, and ballads, as well as classical chorales, and hymns--he wrote melodies himself as well, including the melody to the "Alabama Song", which is probably his second most popular song (and the only song that I could never figure out the chords to)

Brecht was known to sing his poems to the accompaniment of his guitar, and was described by the scholar, Leon Feuchtwanger, as " lean, sullen, badly shaven, in leather jacket and cap...hair growing way down on his forehead..It was a queer thing that he should be so popular with the women..the man literally reeked of sweat,and he smelled of unmistakeably of revolution..Obviously, it must be his vulgar ballads that fascinated them..whenever he sang them in his booming voice, the women were swept out of themselves."

Sound familiar? Remind you of anyone you know? And his songs were very political--

I appreciate that some of you are looking back to what I actually said, in order to frame your answers--Expand a little, I of course am aware that John Lomax and Carl Sandburg (and a number of others)traveled the lecture circuits with their songbags and guitars, presenting their collections for both the entertainement and education of their audiences--I would and any comments about them or others who did what they did would be appreciated--

As we all know, the Nineteenth Century was a time when explorers, archeologists, and plunderers of one sort or another were all the rage--there were music collectors before Sharp and Child--I am particularly aware of " Songs of the United States" by William Francis Allen, Francis Pickard Ware, and Lucy McKim Garrison originally published in 1867, and which introduced many songs that later came to be considered to be among America's favorite songs--(Joshua fit the Battle of Jericho and Michael, Row the Boat Ashore made their first appearance there)

Any insight into how these songs were first received, and first performed in the mainstream society (as opposed to the folk culture where they originated) would be appreciated--

Yes, I do want to know how this music developed into coffee house music, and I want names, places, and dates, whenever possible--

As to the labor union songs, I am aware that many of the immigrant cultures) used singing and songwriting as a vehicle for social and political commentary--

Now to the why of all this--I am not idle in my question--I am really trying to draw out history and information on how all of the things that we consider to be "folk music" came to be--so that people can begin to consider options for the future--

Not that I am advocating any collective action, I just think that when you see what has been done, and how it has been done, it makes it easier to see what you can do--


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: GUEST,Mike Crocker
Date: 27 Feb 00 - 11:44 AM

It's only folk music if folk sing/play it. I bet it existed before we stood upright. What matters "first" anyway? That smacks of competition, which is kinda anti-folk anyway. Peace.


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 27 Feb 00 - 11:57 AM

We can't even "know" who killed Jack Kennedy. All we will ever really know is that he is dead.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 27 Feb 00 - 12:22 PM

Maybe it isn't important to some of you how this all came to be, but the sentiment perplexes me, because, on one hand, we have people (like me, I admit) obsessed with which is the oldest broadside, and where were the variants collected and even delving into the history of references made in a song, and then saying it isn't important to know how folk music came to be thought of as folk music, and how the culture of it's performance developed--

Anyway, Art, some of us do "know" who killed Kennedy!!! And some of us have proof that he isn't really dead!!!


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: toadfrog
Date: 16 May 01 - 10:47 PM

If the question is, who were the first folk song revivalists, and we are counting collectors like Sharp and Child, I believe the brothers Grimm antedate both of them by at least 50-100 years!


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: poor lonesome boy
Date: 16 May 01 - 10:54 PM

I was. Okay, okay... my mom was, then me


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: Metchosin
Date: 16 May 01 - 11:50 PM

The first collection of folksongs was in a section called the Feng of the Shih Ching or Book of Songs, an anthology of 305 lyrics of various types, compiled ca. 600 B. C.. Most of the songs probably were composed and sung between 1000 and 700 B. C but some Sinologists have suggested, that certain lyrics from the Book of Songs may represent much earlier work, dating from the Shang dynasty (as early as ca. 1700 B. C.).

Because of the poems' consistent style, the songs within the Feng, although clearly folksongs taken from different regions, seems to indicate they were revised and polished by court officials. Most of them deal, however, with the lives of the common people--their work, play, festivities, joys, and hardships.

Amazing how things don't change much over the years, on many levels.

So I guess the first coffee houses were actually tea houses.


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 17 May 01 - 02:36 PM

Crowhugger and Ana:

Mamas singing to their babies the songs they picked up from other mamas doesn't answer the question at hand, which has to do with who started extracting songs from the folk use to sing in other venues. The mamas in this sense were not folksingers; they were part of the folk.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: GUEST,djh
Date: 18 May 01 - 09:06 AM

The first folk singers were cavemen singing about their kin who got killed in the hunt and the cruelty of neanderthals. Some Cave Folk Classics- Masters of fire, The 3002bc massacre,Wooly Mammoth in the jar,the wet cave blues, and oddily enough Oh, Death and Banks of the Ohio


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: GUEST,Barney Rubble
Date: 18 May 01 - 12:42 PM

Me and Fred.


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: InOBU
Date: 18 May 01 - 01:39 PM

The first folksingers where the band Sorcha Dorcha, and can be seen this Sunday at Hugh O'Lunney's Times Sq. Pub on 46th street NYC, from 4 - 6... Larry the 10,000 year old Uilleann Piper, and origional plugomatic


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 May 01 - 02:09 PM

I think it was the duo of Og and Thadfunkel. As proof I would submit that one of Og's decendants, Eileen, is still the subject of folk music threads.


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Subject: RE: Who were the first folksingers?
From: GUEST,djh
Date: 18 May 01 - 04:07 PM

I remember Og and Thadfunkel, didn't they do "The Sound of Grunting" and "bridge over the primordal ooze". It is a shame they were clubbed to death.


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