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Who Killed Folk Music?

Jerry Rasmussen 13 Feb 02 - 11:20 PM
Art Thieme 13 Feb 02 - 11:42 PM
Steve in Idaho 13 Feb 02 - 11:54 PM
TeriLu 14 Feb 02 - 12:00 AM
Little Hawk 14 Feb 02 - 01:57 AM
The Shambles 14 Feb 02 - 02:40 AM
Crane Driver 14 Feb 02 - 02:41 AM
Little Hawk 14 Feb 02 - 02:45 AM
Chris Amos 14 Feb 02 - 05:50 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 14 Feb 02 - 07:05 AM
Dave the Gnome 14 Feb 02 - 07:11 AM
Janice in NJ 14 Feb 02 - 07:12 AM
The Shambles 14 Feb 02 - 08:09 AM
kendall 14 Feb 02 - 08:39 AM
Les from Hull 14 Feb 02 - 09:46 AM
reggie miles 14 Feb 02 - 10:28 AM
M.Ted 14 Feb 02 - 11:07 AM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Feb 02 - 11:49 AM
GUEST 14 Feb 02 - 12:18 PM
Desdemona 14 Feb 02 - 12:26 PM
GUEST,Fiddlin'Buck 14 Feb 02 - 12:38 PM
Art Thieme 14 Feb 02 - 12:40 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Feb 02 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,guest 14 Feb 02 - 12:45 PM
Clinton Hammond 14 Feb 02 - 12:46 PM
Ebbie 14 Feb 02 - 01:19 PM
Jeri 14 Feb 02 - 01:42 PM
Lonesome EJ 14 Feb 02 - 02:06 PM
The Shambles 14 Feb 02 - 02:19 PM
Jeri 14 Feb 02 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,Suffet at work 14 Feb 02 - 03:58 PM
Chicken Charlie 14 Feb 02 - 04:06 PM
M.Ted 14 Feb 02 - 04:33 PM
Bill D 14 Feb 02 - 05:16 PM
Rick Fielding 14 Feb 02 - 05:52 PM
Chicken Charlie 14 Feb 02 - 06:05 PM
Lonesome EJ 14 Feb 02 - 07:17 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Feb 02 - 07:24 PM
Chicken Charlie 14 Feb 02 - 07:25 PM
Mr Red 14 Feb 02 - 07:37 PM
CarolC 14 Feb 02 - 07:43 PM
kendall 14 Feb 02 - 07:57 PM
wysiwyg 14 Feb 02 - 08:04 PM
M.Ted 14 Feb 02 - 08:35 PM
Little Hawk 14 Feb 02 - 09:11 PM
Suffet 14 Feb 02 - 09:55 PM
GUEST,Lynn Koch 14 Feb 02 - 10:29 PM
GUEST,Who killed folk music? 14 Feb 02 - 10:34 PM
GUEST 14 Feb 02 - 10:37 PM
Phil Cooper 14 Feb 02 - 11:51 PM
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Subject: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 11:20 PM

Every once in a while I read in one thread or another a statement about who killed folk music. It seems like folks are about equally split between Dylan and the Beatles. I just have a few questions.

First of all, who says folk music is dead? Perhaps it died and I didn't notice? If it's dead, who are we?

What do you mean, dead? No more top 40 folk songs? No more Puff The Magic Dragon, Michael Row The Boat Ashore or the Ballad of Charlie and the M.T.A? When folk music stopped being played on a.m. stations, did it die?

Or maybe people mean that traditional music on the coffee house circuit is dead. That's a little closer to the truth, although even pre-Dylan there was a lot of music being played that wasn't traditional, and there are still places where traditional folk music is welcomed today.

And how did the Beatles kill folk music? By being more popular? Getting the women? If the Beatles hadn't come along, would folk music still rule the airwaves?

Just wondering...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 11:42 PM

Ah, Jerry, my man, alas, it probably got what it deserved. ;-)

Art


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 11:54 PM

I was going to say Guest did it but would get shot in the butt for that one. It's alive Jerry - here in our hearts. Didn't you see that Folk tune I posted the lyrics to today? I doubt 20 people here know it - and it has been around for 30+ years -

Love Ya Brother

Steve


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: TeriLu
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 12:00 AM

Television.


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 01:57 AM

Television has killed a lot more than folk music. It's killed a lot of brain cells too, and annihilated a vast amount of human culture and ancient wisdom.

But what really killed folk music was the music business itself. They discovered that they could make BIG BUCKS with it in the late 50's, and proceeded to milk it dry, commercialize it to death with plastic folk groups, and overexpose it till there was nothing left to milk.

That is exactly why Dylan moved on. He just realized sooner than most that the folk scene (on a large scale, that is) was dying, turning into stale cliche and repetition, and could not be sustained. Most of the other folksingers realized it some time later. Some never caught on.

It is the latter group who castigate Dylan for recognizing what they could not.

Dylan is still a person with a tremendous sense of the folk tradition, as he has demonstrated again and again. Check out his 2 folk albums from the early 90's and read the liner notes on "World Gone Wrong".

Or ask Rick Fielding.

Folk is not truly dead, of course. For those who love it, folk will never die, and there will always be such people, but as a mainstream radio and TV musical thing it is finished, just like disco, rock 'n roll, old country, new wave, progressive rock, and any number of other fads that the MUSIC INDUSTRY has exploited to death and then abandoned. (I like folk better than those others, but they have all suffered much the same fate at the hands of commerce.)

The Music Business killed folk. They kill everything they touch...after making a killing on it first.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 02:40 AM

In the UK it was the man who edits a very influential magazine that dropped the 'F' word from the title.


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Crane Driver
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 02:41 AM

The best thing that ever happened to folk music was for the "music industry" to drop it and move away to plague someone else. No, folk isn't dead. It may not be possible to make a fortune from it these days, but that's not what it's for anyway.

Folk was never nearer to being dead than when it was all over the radio and being commercialised to hell, but it wasn't really dead, just stunned into a coma by big bucks. As an art, as opposed to an industry, it's healthier now that people have got back to doing it for the love of it, not because it's trendy or a route to being famous and wealthy.


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 02:45 AM

Yes, that is quite right.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Chris Amos
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 05:50 AM

Hi,

In a way I see the computers and the net as saving folk music, at least music made by the people.

What the music industry has done is to turn music into a consumer item, not something you do your self or partisipate in. Off the net you can now download mixers etc., have your own MP3 sites, contact other musicians on the other side of the world. Where I work some of the young people, who have never taken part in any musical activity other than going clubbing are now playing around with sampling on bits of kit they have down loaded.

In a funny way even the TV shows like Pop Star helps as it shows that "stars" were once normal people before the likes of Pete Waterman & Nasty Nigel get their claws into them.

Folk music is not what it once was and thankfully never will be, but I feel a lot more confident about music of the people surviving than I did a few years.

Onward and upward

Chris


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 07:05 AM

I picked up a wonderfully bizarre secondhand book recently called "The Marxist Minstrels: How communism is taking over music". Written by an American clergyman as late as 1974, it maintained, at great length, that all pop and folk music artistes were in league with the Devil and Moscow. I think a couple of Mudcatters get honourable mention!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 07:11 AM

I have to own up. It was me. People have been saying that I have been murdering folk music for years...

On a more serious note - go to BBC Radio 2 web site (www.bbc.co.uk/radio2) and look at the folk awards to see if folk music is dead. It looks alive and well and living in Radio 2 land to me! And before anyone makes any disparaging remarks about Radio 2 look at the awards it has won itself (Best radio station, multiple best presenters, biggest audience increase etc etc)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 07:12 AM

Televison, the music industry, or whatever -- even the mini-star system within our own folk music community -- all add up to one thing: the notion that people are passive consumers of entertainment. Music is simply one product. So are visual arts, cinema, theatre, sports, etc. Even something once as democratic and participatory as snowboarding has been co-opted into megabucks passive entertainment. Excuse me if I puke. Or maybe cry.


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 08:09 AM

Well said Janice

Dave is it not what Janice has just described that you are referring to as being good at the awards and Radio 2? The product?

In the case of these recent awards, the FOLK are reduced to looking through the windows from outside or hearing it the day after on web casts and radio.

They feel they have to invite 'pop stars' in order to make the event watchable and have all the trappings of other awards. At the next 'Brits' will Elza be singing with Robbie Williams?


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: kendall
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 08:39 AM

The Kingston Trio, the Highwaymen, the Pinetoppers, all the other wannabe groups were a long way from real folk music, and maybe they deserved to die off; but, as far as I'm concerned, I'd rather listen to any of them than the crap that replaced them in popularity. My idols, Buryl Ives and Pete Seeger were never on the top of the popularity heap to begin with, so, they were not really replaced.


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 09:46 AM

I have a cast iron alibi!

I have to agree with what people have said so far. The music industry doesn't want too much to do with folk music, as it can't make so much money out of it. And the media are mainly interested in what the music industry presents as it come with money attached. And people like what the media tell them to like.

Our music gets much more freedom from being largely outside this 'money loop'. I'm sure there are many of us who would like to have more money, but at least we do have the freedom to do what we like with our music.


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: reggie miles
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 10:28 AM

The only thing that is inevitable is change. Who was it who said, the times they are a changin'? ;o) Some prophetic doomsayer no doubt. *BG* Though there are hardcore preservationists out there working to save glorious moments in musical styles and idioms, change, like time, marches ever onward and, as the saying goes, waits for no man. Our own individual capabilty to be mutable, versatile or flexible enough to alter our perceptions with these changes that take place, at what seems like a continually quicker rate with each passing day, is key to our survival. To some change comes easier than to others. It seems the young accept it more readily than older folks. This may be partly due to how we process past events, musical or otherwise, within our memories coupled with our own indiviual interactions in present day events, the good ole days vs. our troubled times. I assert, for the record, that folk music is not, and furthermore attest, nor will it ever be dead. It is only we who slow down or stand still in our understanding of how and what takes place around us on the planet.


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: M.Ted
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 11:07 AM

Real, live music ought to be on the endangered species list--the music that people listen to comes from an ever decreasing circle of producers and performers, through ever more homogeneous marketing/entertainment pipeline--it isn't really TV or radio--which once offered lots of live music--radio, TV, and broadcast networks used to have their own orchestras, and country/old timey live radio shows used to be everywhere--Woody himself was a radio peformer--

The thing that has killed everything is the vertical entertaiment monopoly--who control what is recorded, what is played, and, to a great extent, what is available--The average listener only knows to buy whatever music they hear, and they media marketing moguls know this and have grabbed up radio and TV to use a promotions for their "product"--Given a choice, most people would listen to, and buy things other than Brittany Spears, so the choices are taken away.

A while back, there was a thread about finding ways to promote folk music--we ended up wandering off on a tangent without solving the problem, but the answer turned out to be, make the film "Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou?"--when people heard the music, they loved it, and bought it---It seems clear that access is the issue, and whoever controls the access controls what survives and what doesn't--


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 11:49 AM

It's the big money music industry which is dying. We'll dance on its grave yet. And I don't know what sort of music we'll be dancing to, but whatever kind, it will be folk music.


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 12:18 PM

TV has not affffffecccctttted meeee..........



Mr Red - who's computer is his TV.


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Desdemona
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 12:26 PM

In order to answer that question, ne would have to accept that folk music was dead, which it most assuredly is NOT! There's a fair amount of latitude in interpreting just what is meant by "folk music", of course; if you mean popular music like the folkISH tunes mentioned in Jerry's initial post above, that were getting airplay back in the '60s, then no, that trend is no longer current. But if you mean traditional music, the sort of oral tradition, ancient ballad, grannies have been singing this since time out my mind music that I consider "folk", then I'd say that not only is it not "dead", it's enjoying a very healthy, vigourous life indeed! As Kendall points out, the real giants of folk music have never been chart-toppers anyway.


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: GUEST,Fiddlin'Buck
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 12:38 PM

I think of folk music as commnunity music. I think that is what the larger culture has lost to a great extent--the chance to participate in the creation of their own culture.

Instead, most folks have allowed culture to be created for them by external forces. Granted they get a bit of say in the form of marketing polls and focus groups. But more and more people have started thinking of music as something made "for" them by other folks, or something that came to them through radio or tv.

Folk music to me is a music tradition that has been around forever. Music for dances or pleasure, made by you and me and other members of the community that you are a part of.

I'm lucky to still participate in this type of community act. There is a strong folk scene in my little town. And this is the music I like--music that I make with other friends with instruments we play ourselves and songs we sing ourselves.

I play for dances in our community, and also many nights or weekends just get together with good friends to play tunes. Some of these tunes have been around for centuries. Some of us compose tunes ourselves. We put our one interpretation and personality into the old tunes we play...and pass them on...adding new tunes to the stream as we go.

I don't relate to pop music at all and I don't care about it. I don't watch TV either. I get more pleasure out of my friends, my farm and my chickens, my cats, the woods around my house, our dances, etc. etc.

That is what folk music is to me. It's not dead. It goes on and perhaps the population at large will appreciate it again someday when the vague anxieties they feel that have been created by living in a culture they do not wholly participate in become too much for them to ignore.

Give me a fiddle and banjo over modern pop culture anyday. I liked Dylan and the Beatles etc. I think they were fine artists and musicians. But common folk who looked outward from themselves to feel the music were the ones who lost in. When people look within to find their music again...that's when they will discover folk music again.


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 12:40 PM

Little Hawk,

Right on !!!

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 12:45 PM

Just in case it isn't clear, I never thought folk music died. It just went back to the front porch, living rooms and dance halls where it's been since Kendall invented the front porch. When I listen to the stuff that was popular in the 60's, for the most it doesn't hold up well for me. But, Clarence Ashley, Leadbelly, the Carter Family and the rest sound as fresh to me now as they did the first time that I heard them.

A lot of good comments in this thread.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 12:45 PM

the folk muisc revival came after the decline in Jazz. It was a generation newly educated from the working class finding something for itself.That generation was more socially aware, more optimistic, and far more interested in the world than any generation subsequent to it. It didn't die, it just got older. Everything lasts 40/50 years. Impressionism, Pre-Raphaelitism,Music hall,rock and roll, all last until the final originals are gone. It's the human condition. If there's any fault place it at the feet of the people who dumbed down the education process for subsequent generations, and the spread of drug culture.


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 12:46 PM

Well, I saw Garnet Rogers play a few nights ago at the local 'Folk' club and well, he seemed pretty alive to me... as did his fantastic music, and the capacity crowd that filled the hall...

I suspect that the rumours of folks demise have been greatly exaggerated...

;-)


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Ebbie
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 01:19 PM

Prediction: There will be a resurgence of 'Folk'. And we won't like it.

Just as the name of 'Country' has been commandeered for today's market, the powers will present folk music in a different form which will become wildly popular, and some of us will be saying, "Wait, Wait! That's not it. Just calling it by the name doesn't make it so..."

Everything goes in cycles and changes in the process. Our children's children may sing unrecognizable Folk. But their children's children may be singing their hearts out with Leadbelly, the Carter Family, the Seegers, many of today's Mudcatters and many, many others. It is the nature of a pendulum to swing.

I don't believe that intangibles can be killed. They only go dormant for a time. And now that I've mixed all these metaphors I have to add that this is all my opinion.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 01:42 PM

Based on my own personal definition of the "f" word, I'd have to agree with Jerry.

TV may have been a big part of why many folks these days have been alienated from folk music, but it started with radio and recordings. It started when average people started thinking they should always listen instead of sing or play. It started when the first person said "I can't sing" and meant they didn't sound like the popular star of the day.

I see performers as troubadors - they can provide us with music we don't already know. The same can even be said of collectors. Both are outside the "tradition," but connected. The only problems arise when folks start viewing them as authorities on behavior rather than the music itself.

As far as the state of folk music today, I think we're trying to view our own moment in time, in a process that's millenia old. What will they say about the state of folk music today in a hundred years or so?


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 02:06 PM

I for one would like to know who refers to him or her self as a "folk" musician? I can't think of anyone other than those who participated in the 60s Folk Scare, when "folk" was thought of as cutting edge music. Dylan, Martin Carthy, Gordon Bok, Lightfoot, Baez...do any of them say "I'm a Folk Musician"? I doubt it. The term has a dated feel to it : overly sincere and self-righteous college students with goatees sitting around singing Kumbaya and The Cruel War. Hell, I doubt Woody and Huddie would have owned up to that moniker. I think most of these people are, and were, writing original music that became traditional through osmosis. Often they were playing traditional music, sometimes with their own words.

Fact is the term Folk is viable as a definition for music from a certain period of recent history, or as a broader and less accurate synonym for Traditional. But I think it has acquired a certain stigma as a dated form, to the extent that no currently viable artists or performers are anxious to adopt the term.


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 02:19 PM

That is sadly true but it means that these performers are distancing themselves from THE folk.

I go back to our recent awards. Good to see people recognised that have not generally been before, but WE never forgot them.

When I see them being feted by members of the Government who have refused to help folk at the other end of the scale to play a few tunes together in a pub, I wonder if they have forgotten us?

The editor of the magazine I mentioned earlier who got rid of the 'F' word from the front of his magazine is now saying he won't have men with beards on his cover. A joke no doubt but...............


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 02:56 PM

Well, Roger, he DID put TWO winky faces after the comment...


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: GUEST,Suffet at work
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 03:58 PM

For Lonesome EJ, let me reprint a message I posted last July. Let me just add that there are still plenty of people who are proud to be called folksingers or folk musicians. For them folk music cannot die.

--- Steve


A real folksinger...

A real folksinger doesn't worry about bookings. A real folkinger creates his/her own venue. On street corners. In campgrounds. In parks. In schools. At parties. At family gatherings. Wherever and whenever the opportunity arises. A real folksinger plays in hospitals, and hospices, and old age homes. A real folksinger plays in prisons, and libraries, and bus stations, and at street fairs. And a real folksinger doesn't whine and bellyache and complain because such and such club or festival wouldn't have him/her.

A real folksinger understands that folk music is not a genre. A real folksinger understands that any song can be a folksong. A real folksonger knows there is no such thing as singing a folksong wrong. If a real folksinger forgets the words, he/she makes up new ones on the spot. If a real folksinger can't quite remember the melody, he/she invents one that fits his/her own vocal style, perhaps flatting a 7th here, jumping an octave there, or changing a major key into a mountain modal.

A real folksinger never calls him/herself as a singer-songwriter. And yet a real folksinger is always writing songs to sing and singing the songs he/she writes. And a real folksinger doesn't write self-centered contemplate-one's-navel type songs. A real folksinger writes songs that tell interesting stories. Yes, real folksingers have written songs about bad relationships, but those songs include "Pretty Polly," "Banks of the Ohio," and "Rose Connelly"!

Real folksingers have written some of the greatest lines in the whole English language. Three examples:

Then slowly, slowly got she up,
And slowly drew she nigh him,
And all she said as she neared his bed,
Was, "Young man, I think you're dying."


Rise up, rise up, little Matty Groves,
And dress as quick as you can,
For never shall it be said in old England,
That I slew a naked man.


Dig the beets from your ground,
Cut the grapes from your vine,
To set on your table,
Your light sparkling wine.


A real folksinger borrows from others, and in turn expects that others will borrow from him/her. A real folksinger understands that all "anon" and "trad" songs had real live authors, and perhaps the greatest honor that can ever befall a real folksinger is to become the author of an anonymous/traditional song.

If a real folksinger wants to make money, he/she gets a job.

A real folksinger doesn't sing to an audience. A real folksinger gets the audience to sing. And if the audience whips out kazoos, tmabourines, Jew's harps, and harmonicas and starts to play along, so much the better.


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Chicken Charlie
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 04:06 PM

Interesting. This query migrated in from another thread.

I think mostly it illustrates the futility of arguing without first defining terms. Per the first thread, I agree completely with Jerry. I.e., I do not understand the content of the utterance, "The Beatles killed folk." When a thought becomes sloganized, it loses any exactitude of meaning.

Ironically, as I peruse the list of "examples," I say to myself, "That isn't folk." But it is, it just isn't "trad." Further ambiguity. Then the valid point is made about Leadbelly et al probably not thinking of themselves as "folk musicians."

I guess what folks have in mind when they say 'folk' is 'dead' is that 'Hootenanny' no longer aired after the Beatles came along, but then, harkening to the implication of the term "Folk Scare" [I like it] as opposed to the more naive "Folk Revival," one could say that not much of what aired on Hootenanny was "really" folk anyway.

In the absence of a whole glossary of overly explained terms, trying to discuss this question is like the proverbial act of nailing jelly to the wall.

Now let me get back to practicing "Barbree Allen" on the synthesizer. Would that be folk?

CC


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: M.Ted
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 04:33 PM

The last time you posted that, a number of folks felt that you were being smug. sanctimonious, and condescending--I guess you won't mind hearing it again, because you posted it again--


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 05:16 PM

no one 'killed' anything--they just subverted the language. People still sing what they please, even though WHAT they sing has been influenced by all those things mentioned above.

but the word 'folk' no longer has any clear meaning, and there are those who decry any effort to HAVE any definitions.

Personally, I like acoustic/acapella music of generally older styles , sung with, rather than 'at' people, preferably with no money involved..(though that is a minor point) and done with only slowly evolving details, rather than wholesale, gratuitous change for changes sake.(that is, when the 'folk processor' is not set on "puree")

This is what BROUGHT me to this sort of music, and I can still find it occasionally....I just can't find any simple word(s) for it!...Even 'traditional' is becoming corrupted and 'oldies' means whatever you listened to at 17.

It is possible to find 'folk'..and even possible to construct a useful description....but it is NOT possible to get any agreement and continuity about a definition.

Everyone knows there IS a difference between what Sara Ogun Gunning, The New Lost City Ramblers, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones did....but I am willing to name the boundries, and most are not...so I cope...*shrug*...and I play and sing 'mostly' 'folk'...no matter whatYOU call it.


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 05:52 PM

"Who killed Folk Music?"

Just out of curiosity, does anyone actually WANT folk music (however you may define it) to be popular and more easily accesible than it already is? I sure don't. Last week in Toronto, 5000 people sat in an arena (The "Down From the Mountain" show) to watch some fine musicians play three songs each. I doubt if even fifty of them knew who The Nashville Bluegrass Band was. A good payday for the musicians is the ONLY thing of value I can imagine from something like that.

This is just another commercial "blip" in the "folk music" history. Every large or small town I've travelled to over thirty three years has some local musician that is as riveting as any big name.

Nothing ever killed folk music (nor will), 'cause it's still there, as wonderful as it ever was, during any era you can name....but you have to care enough to look for it.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Chicken Charlie
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 06:05 PM

M. Ted--

Sorry, I lack the agility to be smug, sanctimonious and condescending all at once. Too much like playing well and singing, which I can't manage either.

All I'm saying is that there was an element of ambiguity in the original premise. I asked for clarification (not the act of a smug person) and Don Firth supplied a nice explanation which helped me understand where others in this thread and the related one are coming from.

Let's plea bargain the charge of ssc down to becoming defensive and hankering after clarity and I'll plead guilty if there's a sentencing recommendation. :)

CC


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 07:17 PM

Rick's post is very interesting, especially the comment does anyone actually WANT folk music (however you may define it) to be popular and more easily accesible than it already is?

This is the crux of the "folk music" biscuit just as it always has been. Although the tunes we embrace as "folk music" may have originated as popular music (Jimmy Crack-Corn was almost certainly a pop tune in its day as opposed to, say, Fur Elise), we shun the concept of current popular music as banal, while declaring the sanctity of this traditional music that has been consecrated by passing time. Ironic and remarkable that traditional, or Folk Music if you will, has attained a rather interesting level of acceptance among those of discriminating tastes.


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 07:24 PM

For the last three or four hundred years, folk music HAS been pop music. Lack of popularity is not a virtue. Or a fault. They didn't invent the top forty list until about the time that Kendall invented the porch swing.
Jerry


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Chicken Charlie
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 07:25 PM

Oh, Kendall did that? I thought it was Gore. Jeez, the stuff you learn on Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Mr Red
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 07:37 PM

Professor Child, in the Library, with a bad salad.

The plethora of boring, wrist-slashing long song has "killed interest" for the public at large. Which is perhaps a better definition of "killed".

call me a wollower but I can find a place for sad songs, but not a suitcase full of them.


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: CarolC
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 07:43 PM

Was there ever, really, in the history of any broadcast medium, a time when "folk" music (however you define the term) was in the mainstream. Maybe I'm completely all wet, but I really don't think there was. It seems to me that broadcast media have always been more about what is popular at any given time than about either "traditional" music, or any other form of music that has been linked to the term "folk".

If I'm right about that, using whatever is being played by any broadcast medium as an indicator of whether or not "folk" or "traditional" music is alive, doesn't make much sense. Similarly, trying to say it's dead because people aren't playing it any more doesn't make sense either. Just about everywhere a person can go on earth, there are groups of people who get together to play music or sing songs. Much of this music could be considered traditional. A lot of it would probably fit into the other definition of "folk".

I can't remember any point in my own lifetime when this sort of musical experience was more in evidence than it is right now. And with advances in technology that make producing CDs and other recordings possible for almost everybody, there are probably more recordings of people playing "traditional" and other kinds of music that might be labeled "folk" available for purchase (or for piracy) than there ever have been before. Or so it seems to me.


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: kendall
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 07:57 PM

Jeez! it's amazing what a slip of the keyboard can do! No one killed folk music, the Beatles replaced it in popularity, that's all. Of course it isn't dead; I sing folk songs and I'm a long way from dead! Hell, even Jerry Rasmussen is still breathing! Dont give me all the credit for inventing the porch, I couldn't have done it if Sandy Paton hadn't invented the house.


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 08:04 PM

It must have been the same poor SOB who "Killed The Thread."

I hate that guy!

Maybe it's that damn terrorist, Capslock!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: M.Ted
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 08:35 PM

Sorry, I didn't mean to graze you, Chicken Charlie, I was talking to Steve Suffet--who started a rukus with his business about what a real folksinger does or doesn't do--you were being good--


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 09:11 PM

Carol, I think folk music actually was "mainstream" for a fairly brief period...like about 1958 to 1966 or something like that. It wasn't the only style of music that was mainstream at that time (rock 'n roll was also, and so was country), but it was certainly getting a lot of attention. Newport was a huge music event in those days.

That mainstream attention began to dissipate by the late sixties, and sort of mutated into the singer-songwriter phase (James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and numerous others). I've always liked singer-songwriter material, in a general sense, because I regard it as the descendant of 60's folk music. Not to say that I like all of it...

- LH


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Suffet
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 09:55 PM

M.Ted, I'll risk the flames, but my intent is to be neither smug nor sanctimonious nor condescending. Rather my intent is to lay out what I believe is the essential nature of folk music. I reposted that message to this present thread because it explains why I believe folk music cannot die, let alone be killed.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: GUEST,Lynn Koch
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 10:29 PM

TeriLu - I once owned a Toyota truck with a bumper sticker I bought from Sally Rogers - 'Kill Your Television' It surely has done its share to kill the idea of singing around the hearth after dinner (assuming you have a hearth).


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: GUEST,Who killed folk music?
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 10:34 PM

It isn't who. It's what. It's sheet music, recorded music, high literacy rates, computers, and prosperity in general. Deal with it.


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 10:37 PM

...but if you want to compose your own song and post it on the web or sing it to someone else in the hopes that they'll remember it and pass it along with a few embellishments, go ahead. How about this one:

Jingle Bells, Cockle Shells. Rabbits in the Hay. Farmer Brown shot one down but the other one got away!


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Subject: RE: Who Killed Folk Music?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 11:51 PM

I vote for the music still being alive. People who like it, like it alot. The others don't matter


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