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What got you started?

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Allan C. 15 May 98 - 10:58 AM
Alice 15 May 98 - 11:20 AM
Jon W. 15 May 98 - 11:45 AM
erica 15 May 98 - 12:17 PM
Barbara Shaw 15 May 98 - 12:20 PM
Nora 15 May 98 - 12:28 PM
Jack (Who is called Jack) 15 May 98 - 12:29 PM
Allan C. 15 May 98 - 01:37 PM
Allan C. 15 May 98 - 01:52 PM
Barry Finn 15 May 98 - 02:12 PM
Bill in Alabama 15 May 98 - 02:42 PM
Art Thieme 15 May 98 - 03:38 PM
Roger Himler 15 May 98 - 04:27 PM
Animaterra 15 May 98 - 04:45 PM
Bill D 15 May 98 - 08:46 PM
Joe Offer 16 May 98 - 03:01 AM
dick greenhaus 16 May 98 - 03:42 AM
16 May 98 - 06:43 AM
John in Brisbane 18 May 98 - 10:25 PM
Pete M 18 May 98 - 11:26 PM
BK 19 May 98 - 12:13 AM
Jenny 19 May 98 - 02:55 AM
Jack mostly folk 19 May 98 - 04:03 AM
Ted from Australia 19 May 98 - 08:51 AM
erica 19 May 98 - 10:51 AM
aldus 19 May 98 - 12:21 PM
Allan C. 19 May 98 - 01:36 PM
19 May 98 - 06:15 PM
Cuilionn 20 May 98 - 12:08 PM
Chris U 20 May 98 - 04:33 PM
Joe Offer 20 May 98 - 08:38 PM
Allan C. 21 May 98 - 01:32 PM
Bruce V. 21 May 98 - 03:54 PM
Bert 21 May 98 - 04:18 PM
Jon W. 21 May 98 - 05:03 PM
Susan of DT 21 May 98 - 08:41 PM
Allan C. 22 May 98 - 04:13 PM
wolfz 23 May 98 - 01:41 AM
Zane 23 May 98 - 11:19 PM
Frank in the swamps 24 May 98 - 05:29 AM
Axe 24 May 98 - 07:23 AM
Gloria 24 May 98 - 11:55 AM
Bob Landry 24 May 98 - 08:39 PM
25 May 98 - 12:44 PM
Jenny 25 May 98 - 01:16 PM
Art Thieme 28 May 98 - 12:31 AM
AndyG 28 May 98 - 06:54 AM
H.Dulcimer 28 May 98 - 08:48 AM
Barbara Shaw 19 Oct 98 - 05:26 PM
Graeme 20 Oct 98 - 05:57 AM
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Subject: What got you started?
From: Allan C.
Date: 15 May 98 - 10:58 AM

Reading Steve T's remarks on another thread got my mental wheels turning backwards. I flashed back on the first time I ever heard someone play guitar. It was seventh grade. My classmates and I were sitting in the gym bleachers waiting for the bell to ring. Some guy came in with a guitar and a couple of other upperclassmen. He sat down on a folding chair then played and sang Buddy Holly's "That'll Be the Day". I was a goner! I had never before seen a real person both sing and accompany himself at the same time! What a concept! It opened my eyes to a whole 'nother world. Not very long afterwards the Kingston Trio released "Tom Dooley". My thirteenth birthday soon followed and I got what I had heavily hinted for: a guitar, the K.T.'s In Concert album, and my first guitar lesson. The rest is history.

What got you started?


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Alice
Date: 15 May 98 - 11:20 AM

I was born into a family that sang and played music. My grandparents played for house dances that they and their other homesteading neighbors would share. When I was about five, my older brother found a bundle of twenty dollar bills totalling $1000. He had been looking around in the old gravel pit in the country near our farm. He came running home, waving it in the air, yelling 'now I can go to college, now I can buy an electic guitar'. After a year, he was able to keep the money. Apparently it could have been from a cafe robbery in Canada, and the thieves had crossed the border to Great Falls and split the money up while parked in the gravel pit, losing a bundle of $20's in the dark.
My brother wrote a letter to Chet Atkins, telling him that he really wanted to learn to play like him. Chet Atkins wrote back, saying just keep practicing.

We had music all around us. It was an important part of our family life.

alice in montana


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Jon W.
Date: 15 May 98 - 11:45 AM

The first musical group that I was interested in (about age 14-15) was Creedence Clearwater Revival. I liked the sound of the bass on their recordings, but thought they were using a bass fiddle until I saw them on Ed Sullivan. I was able to buy a student model electric bass for $70 (which I still have) and took a few lessons, which introduced me to blues. Eventually, about the time I got married, I gave up on bass and picked up acoustic guitar. My interest in blues had expanded to acoustic blues styles by then. Several years later a guy at work got me interested (infected, addicted, just plain nuts for) Irish music of the supergroups (Planxty, Bothy Band, etc) and from there I gravitated to listening to and attempting to play not only blues but other types of folk, ballads, dance tunes; on guitar, banjo, and tin whistle. But I've had few chances to perform and little time to spend polishing songs well enough to perform anyway. But hope springs eternal...


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: erica
Date: 15 May 98 - 12:17 PM

well, hmmm...been singing in church since before i could speak, i'd stand up on the pews and peer into mama's hymnal and pretend i knew the words. (that's the only thing i really go near a church for now, singing duets with her.)
i was always really into PP&M, simon and garfunkel and all these old vinyl records me parents had. somehow or another i stumbled across an old judy collins songbook, where i found suzanne by leonard cohen...that one got me really interested in the book, which got me into some earlier trad. folk stuff and then (drumroll for the important moment) about five years ago my friend kenny played a chieftains CD for me!! YAY! i transcribed a song off of that and went fairly mad with it all. i hope to get madder!

if anyone knows caffe lena in saratoga springs, ny, i'm playing there sunday (17 may) for the folk-a-thon... (come see how the madness is turning out!)


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 15 May 98 - 12:20 PM

I took piano lessons for one year (around age 5) and gave it up, like most kids. Then I taught myself how to play piano from a correspondence course at around 13. Played well enough to enjoy some of the simple Beethoven pieces and some old standards, but never considered myself a musician because I couldn't play by ear! (I understand now that people who play by ear and those who read music are very often in awe of the other group).

My husband was a professional musician (bass player in the folk-rock band Clean Living) for several years and had been a folkie on guitar at coffee houses during college. I was so intimidated by his musical talents that I never dreamed I could be a musician, too. He always wanted a banjo, to make up for the Ludwig tenor banjo his father had given him at 14 that he hocked for a Martin guitar. About 5 or 6 years ago, the kids and I gave him a 5-string for Father's Day. I decided that while he was struggling on the new banjo, I could make a fool of myself by taking up the guitar. It worked. We now do lots of duets on banjo and guitar, both at home and performing out. I'm also rhythm guitarist in an occasional band of ours.

Two years after guitar, I took up the fiddle. That's the instrument I wish I had learned as a child, because it really sparks my soul. If I had to give up all of our 32 instruments except one, that would be the last to go! I find that I can play by ear on guitar and fiddle and can also pick up classical pieces (if they're not too hard) on fiddle because I can read the treble clef from piano.

P.S. He's still looking for that old Ludwig tenor, but is surgically attached to the three 5-strings he owns.


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Nora
Date: 15 May 98 - 12:28 PM

Grew up listening to my parents' Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, etc. Rebelled by studying classical music. A friend gave me a Sandy Denny record and some Pentangle records in about 1980 or so. Got hold of some Fairport Convention, Richard Thompson, etc. and was lost from then on. Or found, I guess, depending on how you look at it. I started listening to midwestern singer-songwriters and folk musicians, and then got involved with community radio, producing acoustic folk and, yes, womyn's music shows.

My current project is learning to sing; I have always believed my family members who told me I was a lousy singer. I'm finding they were wrong. I live in North Carolina now and am finding Piedmont style blues and old time string band music much to my liking.

Nora


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Jack (Who is called Jack)
Date: 15 May 98 - 12:29 PM

I always loved music. At age 5 I was a big fan of the Beatles. Used to sit in front of the radio waiting of the DJ on WIXY to play Hard Days Night just one more time. Around age 9 my folks took me to see 2001: A Space Odessy and I became a convert to classical music, especially Beethoven. The conversion to folk came gradually, influenced by 5 albums that my parents owned.

#1 Harry Belafonte #2&3 PP&M Moving and Album 1700 #4 Simon & Garfunkel Parsley Sage etc.... #5 Pete Seeger at Carnegie Hall.

As a junior in High School I got interested in Guitar after watching a guy I'd known since kindergarten play and sing songs he wrote himself, I begged for one of my own. Got one for my birthday (A Guild M20 I still own). Soon after that I picked up the harmonica, and bought some blues albums. My favorite was Sonny Terry & Brownie Mcghee, Midnight Special. Acoustic Blues became my secret passion that I was unable to share with my High School companions that were all into Boston, Genesis and Foreigner. Nursed this passion alone till college, where one day, during a break in a training seminar I was attending at the student center, a friend invited me to check out the folk festival workshops upstairs for a while . Fifteen minutes later I knew I had found my niche.


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Subject: What got you started?
From: Allan C.
Date: 15 May 98 - 01:37 PM

Reading Steve T's remarks on another thread got my mental wheels turning backwards. I flashed back on the first time I ever heard someone play guitar. It was seventh grade. My classmates and I were sitting in the gym bleachers waiting for the bell to ring. Some guy came in with a guitar and a couple of other upperclassmen. He sat down on a folding chair then played and sang Buddy Holly's "That'll Be the Day". I was a goner! I had never before seen a real person both sing and accompany himself at the same time! What a concept! It opened my eyes to a whole 'nother world. Not very long afterwards the Kingston Trio released "Tom Dooley". My thirteenth birthday soon followed and I got what I had heavily hinted for: a guitar, the K.T.'s In Concert album, and my first guitar lesson. The rest is history.

What got you started?


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Allan C.
Date: 15 May 98 - 01:52 PM

Oops! Sorry. Don't know how I got double-posted.


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 15 May 98 - 02:12 PM

Since the 60's I've always like folk but only in a once in awhile way. In the mid 70's I attended a mini one day folk fest at Plymouth, Mass., & this woman, Barbara Carins, was dong a bluesy type workshop & I had mentioned that what she had just done sounded like a prison thing I knew, she proded me into singing the little bit I knew of it & then offered some encouraging words (I never sang or condidered it). Last month I spoted her while I was on stage singing at a folk festival, she came up to me & said "I like what you did" (she had no idea who I was), I replied with a thanks & told her it was she that should be getting the thanks for starting me off singing 20 years back. Barry


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 15 May 98 - 02:42 PM

I couldn't avoid it, had I wished to. I'm sixth- generation in the southern Appalachians (East Tennessee), and grew up on a small farm where three generations shared a house. Both my grandparents played and sang, and my parents too. I began with an old Silvertone guitar, but for the past 35 years I have been a banjo picker. I am just struggling with learning to read notes. In our family there was always music, and I'm mighty thankful for it.


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 15 May 98 - 03:38 PM

I can't remember...

Art


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Roger Himler
Date: 15 May 98 - 04:27 PM

I can't remember not singing. My parents were not musical, but the radio was always on in the kitchen. I sang along to Perry Como, Dean Martin, and others. I loved music. My oldest two sisters were musically inclined and could sing. I couldn't carry a tune in a bucket, but I still loved to sing.

In the sixties, I loved the Kingston Trio immediately. My brother had traded in my sister's idle accordian for a Gibson Les Paul. I found Alan Lomax's *Folk Songs of North America* in the library. It had an appendix of guitar and banjo chords and descriptions of different strums and picking styles that were nicely matched up to the songs.

Gifts from parents included a guitar, my own copy of *Folk Songs of North America* and a reel-to-reel tape recorder (for the family). I taped a distant radio station that featured folk music allmost every Sunday night (WAVA, Alexandria, Va.'s Music Americana). The DJ, Dick Cerri, is still an active promoter of acoustic music in DC, but currently without a radio show.

I learned guitar to impress the girls (and met my fiancee through my music). My first public performance was at the French Assembly my Junior year. I had to write something in French for homework, but I was too busy practicing guitar. I decided to write a French song. My French teacher liked it so much she asked me to sing. I did.

Well, it is 30 some odd years later. I still love folk music. I have tip-toed back into singing in public, and sometimes people pay. Like Loudon Wainwright III, it amazes me each time I get paid for doing something I love to do.

Oh, and for all of you frogs out there who can't carry a tune. My voice has been repeatedly described as a rich, smooth baritone. I truly believe I have been blessed with this wonderful voice because I kept on singing. I have never received voice training, but I can carry a tune real well.



Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Animaterra
Date: 15 May 98 - 04:45 PM

Born into a family with eclectic listening tastes but no performing, I thought I had to have been born with a silver piano in my mouth, and that since we had none, I couldn't be a musician. Believe it or not, it was going to a Sandy and Caroline Paton concert at age 12 that made me realize that I could do that, too. Studying under Jack Langstaff of the Revels in Cambridge, MA, made me want to help others find their musical voice as we. Now I sing, teach elementary music, and direct a 50-voice "a cappella" women's chorus, arranging almost all of the music. Music is my life!


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Bill D
Date: 15 May 98 - 08:46 PM

edited posting from an earlier thread---

I had almost NO musical life beyond playing clarinet in the band...until I was over 21, and along came the folk-scare, and in about '61,Pete Seeger, The New Lost City Ramblers, and the Beers family came to Wichita within a few short months, and it sort of caused the few members of the local Classic Guitar Society who also played 'folk' to split and form a folk group...and I knew one of them...and soon there were Hootenannies and coffee houses..
One fellow in town knew lots of Child ballads (I never knew where he learned them)and subscribed to SingOut, and our small group almost totally ignored the 'Pop Folk' of the day..(PP&M, Limelighters, etc) we did some of the same songs, but not AS copies of what was 'hot'.And I found out that the library would check out record albums...where I found Richard Dyer-Bennet, Jean Redpath...etc...and I bought a few albums..."The Weavers at Carnagie Hall", Burl Ives "Wayfaring Stranger", "New Folk" with Hedy West, Jackie Washington, David Gude and The Greenbriar Boys..added a couple Pete Seeger albums and there was no turning back..

And somehow, the owner/manager of of a very small local FM radio station heard about our little Sat. nite group, and we were invited to put together a 'live' radio program....so I guess my first 'really' public appearance...other than sitting in living room singing "SinnerMan" and 'Buffalo Gals' (I mostly played the recorder and sang on choruses in those days)was on the radio (still playing the recorder)! And then one night I was at a bar and some guys who had a little band and who had seen me at a party with my new autoharp, invited me to come play a couple of things with them.....foolishly, I agreed, and got up in front of a microphone and totally butchered 'Wildwood Flower'. Since then, I have pretty much limited my playing to those living rooms and groups of friends....seldom with microphones present....those things change EVERYTHING *grin*.


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 May 98 - 03:01 AM

I think it was the nuns.
My dad has always been one to break into song at the drop of a hat, so it was natural for me to join the choir at St. Rita School in Racine, Wisconsin, when I was in fifth grade. I guess I got hooked when Sister John Bosco said that Ronny Benedict and I were "really sharp" and I took that as a compliment. She kept us in the choir, even if we were sharp, and she recruited us into her harmonica band. I was in the seminary in high school and college during the heyday of the "folk Mass," and we sang all the time. We used to gather in the vestibule of the chapel before evening prayers, and smoke cigarettes and sing Englebert Humperdinck songs. I still sing in church, but don't sing much Englebert anymore.
My other early exposures to music were listening to PP&M and the Kingston Trio at the two homes where I worked as a babysitter - and I have worked with Scouts and as a camp counselor for most of my life. I discovered song circles about four years ago, and that has been my most enjoyable exposure to folk music.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 16 May 98 - 03:42 AM

Sex. Many years ago (I think it was in the same galaxy) I found myself in Colorado, seeking girls (I was between high school and college at the time). Somebody tipped me off to the fact that square dances were full of girls looking for guys. Great fun.

When I returned to New York, I found that there just weren't any square dances. In desperation, I fdecided to call my own. AND, since record cost money and I didn't have any, I borrowed a guitar, learned a couple of chords and took up singing calls.

When the 1948 elections were impending, someone (female) dragged me to a Progressive Party Rally, where some odd types (Seeger, Guthrie, LeadBelly) were singing. I was hooked.

I'm not convinced that folk music is as good as sex, but it makes a fine accompaniment.


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From:
Date: 16 May 98 - 06:43 AM

When I was in Junior High (1958-60), I used to hang around and listen to a high school rock band at the drummer's house next door. Back then, rock was pretty much instrumental (Duane Eddy, Santo & Johnny, etc.). Any way, I got hooked on music. About a year later, I found WILD in Roxbury, MA - Rythm & Blues - and left the top 40 scene for good. At some point, I gravitated to folk/blues listening to Van Ronk, Eric Von Scmidt, Geoff Muldaur, Rolf Cahn, etc., which led me to the country blues. I continue to try to get my fat fingers around the fret board with varying degrees of success.

By the way, Barbara, I was at UMASS when Clean Living was playing. I think I even have the album around somewhere.


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 18 May 98 - 10:25 PM

I was raised in an area of country Victoria (Australia) which I only now recognise as being an Irish (and to a lesser extent) Scottish enclave. Most of the live music I first heard was in church, and at weddings and funerals. I first heard 'The Rose of Tralee' at a family wedding - and what a surprise - all the adults knew all the words! Sang on stage at about age 7 at a class concert singing ' Sink the Bismarck' plus another pop song with the word "devil" in the title. (Just recalled, it was "Hey Little Devil"). The nuns were definitely not amused at this modern form of blasphemy.

Hardly saw a musical instrument other than piano/organ during my childhood, but discovered many years later that there were some people around who played things like tenor banjo or (ebony) bones. My parents' generation main form of entertainment during the Depression was ballroom dancing, and to be able to play modern or old-time dance tunes on piano was considered the height of musical achievement. My 86 year old mum informs me that the dances cost 1 shilling for entry and being the only affordable entertainment were always packed full of people. The only instruments that could compete against the noise were piano sax and drums, and for that reason vocals were rare.

Step forward to about 1967 - camping at Torquay Beach with some teenage friends. We were adopted nightly by a number of students from Melbourne Uni who played folk music and sang harmony. It was the first time I had ever seen a guitarist who could play bass, rhythm and melody at the same time, who sang interesting songs and had a great time to boot. He had a couple of mates who played guitar and 5 string banjo, and together we sang songs such as 'Sam Hall', 'Whittington Fair' ...the one with Uncle Tom Cobbley and all - and got lots of complaints from other campers who loved the music but wanted some sleep. The amazing guitarist taught me the song "Cycles".

I bought a guitar, later a 5 string, taught myself to sing harmonies - and sang "Cycles" at my wedding 10 years later on. I have had the privilege of performing a few hundred times since Torquay, had lots of fun, learned a few more instruments, re-discovered Celtic music and discovered this Forum.

Thirty years on from Torquay I met the amazing guitarist again at the Woodford Folk Festival. His name is John Malcolm - and he is now a MEGA amazing guitarist and performer. The five string player is in Ireland producing records (I think) and the other muso turns out to be Dave Isom, one of the founding members of The Bushwackers, arguably Australia's most influential folk band.


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Pete M
Date: 18 May 98 - 11:26 PM

Well uz daon knaow 'bout startin', but uz do knaow that that there Tom Pearce, his uncle Tom Cobbley an is gert mare com from Widdecombe, not "Whittington", if'n exists a'all m'dear.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: BK
Date: 19 May 98 - 12:13 AM

I'm almost always refreshed, delighted and invigorated by at least one thread in the bunch, when I do find time to fire up my browser and tune in here; this is another of those marvellous threads; It's really neat to read the many stories so far.

BUT - Erica: I really fell out at the mention of Cafe Lena! Not in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine it was still operating. I used to go there in the 60's.... The madness was wonderful, and sometimes a bit overwhelming back then; Back when I was too shy to sing and play on stage. Now, a couple times a year, I do it. It was also what I would nowadays call a bit too yuppie, what with that certain girls' college in town, sailors were not socially desirable for the young lovlies... too bad... I also used to go to Cafe Entre Nu, further south, near Albany. I think it has long closed. Saw my first Martin 12-string there, now I own one of that model- D-12-20. (I like my Gibson better..)

Wanted a rock guitar when young. Always a lot of music and singing in my house; never thought I'd do much of it, though. The parents didn't want the volume of an electric guitar, so my well heeled grand-dad paid for a D-28, (I'll never fully understand why give that to a kid who couldn't hold a guitar, let alone play.. family politics...) which was too big for my arms, and hard to finger.. and I didn't like the teacher. Took the money to the movies, until caught. (I was 11 or 12) Later joined the Navy, other sailors started me in folk/acoustic stuff, (wasn't called that back then) went home and got my guitar, which was perfect for my new (now life-long) interest.

The rest is history -sort of.. A tour in the Peace Corps and painfully learning to finger-pick, in spite of a chronic injury to the fingers of my dominant hand. Later the almost obligatory college folk group during undergrad school. Re-kindling an interest in celtic/british isles; somewhere -early- along the line an inordinate amount of influence (wasn't aware at the time) from Canadian performers - especially, in the early years, Ian & Sylvia, which at first I had to get accustommed to; Of course, Tom Paxton, Limelighters, KT, Joe & Eddie (Still among my absolute favorites!) The Womenfolk - the list is really endless.. The canadian influence probably got a boost when we were visiting on a Canadian Navy frigate, drinking Grog & jammin' in their quarters, and one of them said, "you sound like Gordon Lightfoot." Didn't know who he was, but I got a Lightfoot album in the Navy Exchange and only wished I could sound like him!!

I'm still very fond of Canadian performers, such as James Keelaghan -and many others, though my taste in performers is widely eclectic. Saw the Furies - back when they still had Davy Arthur, in Dublin, & since then, w/out him... Have realised that as a performer I am mesmerized by ballads - the combination of poetry and music.. and now I'm slowly evolving towards being a balladeer. I even occasionally mannage to not have too much stage fright when I'm up in front of the microphones.. miracles will never cease.. and, like the Mary Ellen Carter, we rise again.

Wow! this is too long, & it's too late at night, gotta go!!

Cheers, BK


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Jenny
Date: 19 May 98 - 02:55 AM

I put in my two cents a while back, but just had to say how much I enjoy hearing all the "way back when" stories. They bring a smile to my face. And, speaking of guitars, my first guitar was a Gibson LG1, which my father bought in a pawn shop in Del Rio, Mexico, and about a year later he bought me a new Gibson B25, which I still have and still love ... it's 33 years old!. I've always been of the opinion that a good instrument is the best inspiration to play. Now that I've gone afield of the thread ... Have you noticed how often The Kingston Trio is mentioned in threads ... ttfn ... jenny


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Jack mostly folk
Date: 19 May 98 - 04:03 AM

As a young adult in the young sixties, I acquired a facination for "pop" folk music to the likes of The Limeliters, Kingston Trio, Christy Minstrels and all the other groups who was labeled Folk. The real search began trying to find where these songs originated from. Around 1974 while viewing "The Johnny Cash Show" I made a comment, " I wish I could play the guitar" Two weeks later for my 30th birthday, my wife got me a nice little classical guitar and I began my first lesson at an adult education evening class. A monster was born. I still think I'm a singer first and guitar player second. But as I get older I seem to be giving more time to just quietly playing the guitar. Everything I play is based around chord structures so when a melody leaks out of the guitar it's by accident. My wife does'nt play or sing but has been a major player and supporter of all the music things we attend. Festivals, house concerts, song circles and putting up with all my endeavors and monies spent on PA systems, guitars, banjo's, autoharps ,tape recorders magazines, song books. Getting started is an interesting thread,I guess when does it all stop?(might be the last breath an old folkie draws). Jack


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Ted from Australia
Date: 19 May 98 - 08:51 AM

Snare drum in the high school cadets,
Snare drum in the RAAF apprentices
Drums in a "Shadows" band in the early 60s
Guitarist who had no "ear" so I had to learn the tunes
for him.(on electric guitar)
Listening to jazz in coffee shops in Sydney after gigs
Move to Darwin late 60s.
Saw an ad' re "Musos to start folk music club".
Why wasn't I told about this bloody years ago?!
Someone's go'na have to pay!!!
35 years of perfoming: full time , part time, in folk
bands, solo, duo with my wife and now only at
festivals in North Queensland.
After all this time I feel that I have barely scratched the surface.I know I'll just keep on scratching until the end. Regards Ted.


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: erica
Date: 19 May 98 - 10:51 AM

yeah, BK, caffe lena is still going...and going strong. they still have a great open mic on thursdays and all sorts of other amazing stuff.... sweet sweet spot.


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: aldus
Date: 19 May 98 - 12:21 PM

I thought everyone sang all these so-called traditional songs.. I grw up where evening were spent singing songs such as The bonnie Swans, Famous Flower of Serving Men, The Bonnie Lass of Angelsy and so on.. I loved those songs because they all told such wonderful stories. The first commercial records I heard were by The Great Irish Tenor John MacCormack.....I still love those as well. Even though I went through the typical sixties thing..Beatles , Stones and so on. Like many people I enjoyed the revival of the seventies, Fairport, SteeleSpan and so on. But I still love the great tradition of the old story songs and have always sung them in much the same versions as I heard them as a child. Today I listen To June Tabor, Nick Jones, Frankie Armastron, Martin Carthy, The Watersons and, oh yes, I still get a thrill from John MacCormack.


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Allan C.
Date: 19 May 98 - 01:36 PM

Wow! I never dreamed, when I started this thread that so many people would feel compelled to share their stories. Reading them has been facinating. I think I'll print them out and keep them near the computer so I can remember who some of you are.

I realized, as I read, that I had rather abruptly ended my story. So, here is the condensed version of the "history" I spoke of.

I was living in Brazil when I got my first guitar. My guitar teacher turned out to have taught Alex Hasalof (sp?) of the Limelighters. She was totally amazed at his ability to speak so many foreign languages so well. The teacher taught me to play "by ear". She showed me how to pick up chords off of a recording.

My first "live" performance was at an eighth grade party at the American Catholic school in Rio. My best friend, Keith Behner and I performed "Red River Valley" and "Colorado Trail". What a rush!

Back to the states at the begining of the 60's, I landed in the San Francisco bay area just as the surfing craze was starting. Despite the popularity of surfing music, I continued with folk. I found that performing at parties helped to cover my otherwise obvious shyness. I could deal with large groups of people as long as my guitar was between me and them.

Moved on to Northern Virginia where I won a few talent shows in high school. Usually I had a female singing partner. I also played guitar accompanyment for a couple of winning groups.

By that time, playing the Sunday night hootnanny at the Cellar Door in Georgetown was the mark of a "true professional". This was a club where Ian and Sylvia had their own mailbox. The "ready room" was the alley outside of the kitchen door. It was great! Brings to mind a wonderful performer who was a regular there, named Randy Ohara. Yes, I think I spelled it right. He was Japanese. Sang "With What Do You Concern Yourself, Young Man?" - first time I had ever heard it.

Let me tell you that doing a big time club like that did wonders for my career. I was invited to play at birthday parties, coctail parties and even a church social!

Joined the Air Force to avoid the draft. Was stationed in Great Falls, Montana. Only had one gig the whole time - it was at some sort of lodge meeting or Lions Club or something about 60 miles out of town.

Spent the next few years (after I got out of the service) giving guitar lessons and playing for and with a few friends. Found myself booked to perform for the West Virginia State Poultry Festival. This was the last really big crowd I ever stood in front of.

A few years afterwards I played for tips in a small restaurant across the street from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. a couple of times.

I haven't "performed" but maybe once or twice in the ten years or so since then. I began to feel as if people just weren't interested in the music I had to offer anymore. The main problem was that I was tired of playing the same songs I had been playing for years and years. I lacked stimulus. Mudcat has rekindled the folkfires of my soul. I have begun to learn new songs or to play songs I had always meant to do better or even songs I had forgotten that I knew.

I still love to play and sing along with some of my old friends. Maybe I'll eventually work up to standing in front of an audience again. I think I'd like that.


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From:
Date: 19 May 98 - 06:15 PM

Hmm.. I can't remember not listening to folk.. My Dad got turned on to Steeleye Span before I was born, and I just grew up with everything from Steeleye to the Irish Rovers.. unlike most kids I thought my dad's music was really quite cool... From Steeleye and the Rovers Dad and I (between the two of us) discovered Planxty, Anuna, the Wolfe Tones, and Fairport and Pentangle and and and.. You get the idea.. :) Then I made the mistake of meeting Greg end of my freshman year in college (okay, so that was only last year.. ), who was from Maine and had all the sea shanties and the like.. So i guess life got me started.. there wasn't really a time that I didn't have a love of Irish/folk/etc. music.. :)

Pei


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Cuilionn
Date: 20 May 98 - 12:08 PM

Sittin' on the gymnasium floor, gathered around the piano with all the other third grade kids, I watched my third grade teacher introduce a young woman with waist-length wheat-colored hair and a matching guitar. This was my teacher's daughter, a fledgling folksinger, and I remember listening to her sing "500 miles" with tears pouring down my face. Made it kind of embarrassing to sing along with my voice all quavery, but I did try. Third grade sing-alongs were an important part of my schooling.

A few years later, my third grade teacher let on that her daughter, Kat, had gone off to the British Isles, collecting songs, and that she'd learned some in Scots Gaelic. I thought that was the coolest thing I had ever heard of, and vowed to myself that someday (I figured, say, around age 80) I would go to Scotland and learn to sing in Gaelic. The next year I had Kat's first tape in hand, with one piece of Gaelic mouth music on it...riviting. The tape got worn out on family road trips, kept my brother annoyed, and made me very happy.

Two years ago (about 17 years after third grade), I started Scots Gaelic classes. Before we knew it, we had formed a Gaelic Choir (four-part, 30+ voices) and started performing at the Highland Games and the Seattle Folklife Festival doing tweed-waulking songs as we waulked real hand-woven lengths of woolen cloth.

I met my third grade teacher's daughter, Kat Eggleston, on the ferryboat a few months ago. She's a singer-songwriter living in Chicago now. As we headed across the water to our dear island, I told her how much she'd inspired me and how I was now studying and singing a great deal of Scots Gaelic song, all because of her one bit of mouth-music on her first tape. She laughed derisively. "That old thing?" she said. "Hell, I learned it phonetically. I don't even know what I was singing. Do you think you could teach me?"

I remain, well, rather shocked. But it's part of the wild whimsey of the folk process, and I aim to keep on singing and sharing songs forever. You never can tell who's gonna teach somethin' and who's gonna learn!

A h-uile beannachd ort,

--Cuilionn


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Chris U
Date: 20 May 98 - 04:33 PM

Ah, mine is a sad tale, but with a happy ending. Once upon a time I was engaged to be married, but it was not destined to be. Three years ago this June (and with three months to go before the big day) I learned that my intended did not share my enthusiasm for our impending nuptials and thus the engagement was terminated. I don't know whether it was the need to break out of the low period I found myself in or revenge, but a month later I withdrew all of the money I had saved for the honeymoon, walked into a music store and, with no prior interest or experience in playing an instrument, bought my first guitar. The rest, as they say, is history. I'm now what you would call an advanced beginner, but not a day goes by that I don't pick up my guitar.

Oh, about that happy ending - A year ago I married a wonderful girl who not only shares my enthusiasm for music, but who is learning to play bass as well. Life is good :-)

Chris


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Subject: Lyr Add: GO TO THE WATER (Kat Eggleston)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 May 98 - 08:38 PM

Cuilionn, Kat Eggleston may not do a lot of traditional music, but I think a lot of her stuff has a very traditional sound to it. She certainly had a beautiful voice. Here's a gospel-sounding song she wrote from her 1997 CD called Outside Eden

Go to the Water
copyright, Kat Eggleston, 1997

chorus: Go to the water, walk down slow,
Where the rock is battered and the branch hangs low
Where the sea is rough, the sun burns hotter
To know love, go to the water


You walked through the garden in the early spring
Where the wild blossom was a growing thing
You pressed that flower in your favorite book
And kept its color, but never bore fruit.

Nothing so smooth as the side of a thorn,
Nothing so calm as the eye of a storm
To young love, nothing so sweet
As the sound of a promise no one could keep.

It laughs and shouts where it touches land
And it holds the world like a loving hand
It's a bed of pearls on a moonlit night
Full of life, no end in sight.



The same album has very nice renditions of Flower of Northumberland and "Pastures of Plenty."


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Allan C.
Date: 21 May 98 - 01:32 PM

I'll bet that "branch hangs" low not "slow".


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Bruce V.
Date: 21 May 98 - 03:54 PM

I just loved reading these stories from all of you. It reminds me that there is a community of folkies. I grew up in a musical family. We sang in church and around the piano. Singing was something we loved to do to entertain ourselves. I played piano and cornet during grade school. I got the bug during the folk scare when The Kingston Trio and PP&M, among others, had radio hits. It was an amazing time. I bought a plywood guitar, for $12.50, and taught myself. Since I could read music already, from my other instruments, it wasn't that hard. I still play every day, although rarely in public. I have a small collection of old guitars. Maybe we could start a tape swap amongst the Mudcatters.


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Bert
Date: 21 May 98 - 04:18 PM

Bruce V.,

I like the idea of a tape swap, I tried to start one a long time ago but didn't get much interest.

Anyone else interested?
Email me at albert.hansell@bentley.com


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Jon W.
Date: 21 May 98 - 05:03 PM

I like the idea of the tape swap too. I think we've been sitting around waiting for Max to come up with a way of posting sound files (.wav or .mp3) to the forum (which would be great) and we've forgotten that we can do things on our own. But how do we go about it?


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Susan of DT
Date: 21 May 98 - 08:41 PM

In the 50's there were girl scouts and summer camp singing. My family was not musical - I took piano lessons but no one else did anything.

In the sixties, there were Baez and Belafonte records and then Sing Along with Mitch (not quite folk, but borderline) and then Hootnanny on TV. To college in '64 where I went to one Folksong Club meeting and left, but then found a group of people vaguely related to the Outing Club who sang together most Friday nites. By the time I graduated, I was definately a folky, but not very sophisticated about it.

My first folk festival was Fox Hollow in 1970. Between that and the cheap record bin I found Ewan MacColl, Jean Redpath, Jean Ritchie, John and Tony, Young Tradition, Coppers, Watersons, Jeanne Robertson... and definately turned toward British/Scottish.


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Subject: RE: A tabulation of What got you started?
From: Allan C.
Date: 22 May 98 - 04:13 PM

Thought it might be interesting to tabulate the "driving forces" mentioned in this thread. If nothing else, it impresses me enough to take a second look at my collection of recordings...

Buddy Holly
Kingston Trio
Chet Atkins
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Planxty, Bothy Band, etc.
Singing in church
PP&M, Simon and Garfunkel and all these old vinyl records me parents had
Judy Collins songbook
Leonard Cohen
Chieftains
A friend gave me a Sandy Denny record and some Pentangle records
Fairport Convention, Richard Thompson, etc.
The Beatles
Beethoven
Harry Belafonte
Pete Seeger
Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Midnight Special
Barbara Carins
Both my grandparents played and sang, and my parents too.
I can't remember not singing. I sang along to Perry Como, Dean Martin, and others.
I found Alan Lomax's *Folk Songs of North America* in the library.
I learned guitar to impress the girls
Sandy and Caroline Paton
The New Lost City Ramblers
The Beers
Hootenannies and coffee houses
Limeliters
Richard Dyer-Bennett, Jean Redpath...etc.
The Weavers
Burl Ives
"New Folk" with Hedy West, Jackie Washington, David Gude
And The Greenbriar Boys
I think it was the nuns.
My dad
Englebert Humperdinck
I borrowed a guitar, learned a couple of chords
Guthrie
LeadBelly
Van Ronk, Eric Von Scmidt, Geoff Muldaur, Rolf Cahn, etc.
The Rose of Tralee
Sink the Bismarck, Hey Little Devil
A guitarist (John Malcolm) who could play bass, rhythm and melody at the same time, who sang interesting songs
'Sam Hall', 'Whittington Fair' ...the one with Uncle Tom Cobbley and all (or perhaps, Widdecombe)
"Cycles"
Dave Isom, of The Bushwackers
Other sailors started me in folk/acoustic stuff
Ian & Sylvia
Tom Paxton
Joe & Eddie
Gordon Lightfoot
James Keelaghan
The Furies
I am mesmerized by ballads - the combination of poetry and music.
I've always been of the opinion that a good instrument is the best inspiration to play.
Christy Minstrels
"The Johnny Cash Show"
Saw an ad' re "Musos to start folk music club". Why wasn't I told about this bloody years ago?!
I grew up where evenings were spent singing songs such as The bonnie Swans, Famous Flower of Serving Men, The Bonnie Lass of Anglesey and so on.
The Great Irish Tenor John McCormick
Fairport, Steeleye Span
June Tabor, Nick Jones, Frankie Armstrong, Martin Carthy, The Watersons
Irish Rovers
Planxty, Anuna, the Wolfe Tones
My third grade teacher's daughter, Kat Eggleston
Walked into a music store and... bought my first guitar
Singing was something we loved to do to entertain ourselves.
Girl scouts and summer camp singing
Baez
Sing Along with Mitch
Hootenanny on TV
Ewan MacColl, Jean Redpath, Jean Ritchie, John and Tony, Young
Tradition, Coppers, Watersons, Jeanne Robertson


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: wolfz
Date: 23 May 98 - 01:41 AM

I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AROUND MUSIC AND HAVE BEEN MUSICALLY INCLINED. FINALLY SAVED UP MONEY TO BUY INSTRUMENTS FOR MY BROTHER AND MYSELF(BASS AND DRUMS). WE FORMED OUR OWN BAND WHEN I WAS 11 AND STARTED PLAYING PRO AT 14. MY BROTHER IS NOW DECEASED BUT I AM STILL PLAYING BASS IN SEVERAL BANDS AT AGE 40.


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Zane
Date: 23 May 98 - 11:19 PM

My first thread response.... It was middle sixties, I was on my way to church where I played my huge accordion {big enough to hide behind}in the church band. I passed through a community park where a real live rock band with groovy suits, long hair and beatle boots belted out "Don't Bring Me Down" by the Animals. That moment changed my world- I was mesmerized! Soon after I traded my accordion for a guitar.


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Frank in the swamps
Date: 24 May 98 - 05:29 AM

With my memory, who knows? I recollect in primary school, about 6 yrs. old or thereabouts, we had a guy come into our class who played a guitar and sang songs. One was "The Golden Vanity" I was outraged, infuriated at the evil ships captain, I guess I identified with the poor little double crossed cabin boy, MORE ADULT DUPLICITY! Though that wasn't in my vocabulary. My uncle Jim played the banjo, but was so bashful you rarely heard him. I also thought "John, Paul George & Ringo" we're the coolest, Mom used to yell at me to stop jumping up & down on my bed singing "She Loves You, yeah, yeah...."

Skip ahead to twelve years of age, taking guitar lessons with Tiny Hostetter, a GREAT SOUL (r.i.p.). Tiny played and sang with his wife, Tina, they played the popular music of their time, the great standards of the 30's & 40's. Tiny actually had a pretty horrible voice, it was Tina who could sing, but Tiny told me to never be afraid, just sing, or if you're too embarrassed, whistle. As much as I learned about music from that man, I learned more about dignity and generosity of spirit. I always get emotional when I think of him.

To this day, most of what I play is Jazz, the standards that Tiny & Tina used to sing, but the Old Songs still are a part of me, especially the ballads. Between playing Jazz & Swing for fun, some classical duets (Violin & Guitar) for weddings, and holding down a "real job" in the unreal world, most of my folk experience these days consists of either listening, or reading the ballads, but if I ever get shed of my "real job......"

Frank I.T.S.


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Axe
Date: 24 May 98 - 07:23 AM

Hard to recall exactly what it was. My mother plays piano, her mother taught piano, my uncle was a professional musician and my great-grandfather (on my mom's side) was fiddle player so I guess it runs in the family. The first music I remember hearing was classical, especially, Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. Like many others, my first instrument was piano. I took lessons until I was about 12 years old. At that time I mistakenly figured it wasn't cool to carry piano books to school so I could walk to my my lesson after (Oh well).

Anyway, I picked up a guitar for the first time when my mother brought home a "Roy Smeck" 6-string generic brand from the local department store (can't remember whether it was Sears or Eaton's). My older brother and I listened to a lot of Lightfoot, Dylan, Ian and Sylvia as well as the Beatles, Doors, Hendrix, etc. I managed to figure out some tunes and went from there, basically self-taught on guitar.

My favourite types of songs to play are blues and bluegrass and my favourite composer is Bach. I'm hoping my daughter will continue with the music in the family. She's learning fiddle, so I guess my great-grandfather would be smiling.


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Gloria
Date: 24 May 98 - 11:55 AM

I started on the piano when I was 5, now I'm 18. My love for music; folk songs and all those stuff started when I was picked to be in my school choir at 10. Since then I've been singing in choirs, both in church and in school. Now I teach my school choir and of course do the arrangements to suit them. AND I'm crazy over Celtic music of any kind!!


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Bob Landry
Date: 24 May 98 - 08:39 PM

Like others who have replied above, I share a long family musical tradition: Grandmother (pump organ) and a few of her siblings, Dad (fiddle), Godfather/uncle (piano, fiddle and guitar), another uncle (piano, accordian), an aunt (piano), brother (banjo & guitar), sister (piano), brother in law (guitar), several cousins (various) and the list is growing. Many neighbours played music. Many of my childhood friends played music. Some had regular paying gigs, especially my Dad and his brothers who played for community dances. Some even recorded tapes and LP's. Most of us are self taught and we do have a blast whenever we get together. As kids in the 1950's, we sang folk songs in school, participated in community concerts, formed impromptu bands. We listened to a lot of radio, which, in Cape Breton, meant country, celtic (especially Cape breton fiddlers and the beginnings of the folk revolution for me, Irish folk groups such as the Clancy brothers) and the beginnings of that newfangled rock and roll stuff.

I took piano lessons as a boy but never learned to play very well. The biggest accomplishment was learning to accompany my Dad when he played the fiddle - and I did that until shortly before he died. Other than that, I wasn't all that enthused by the hours of practice that the piano required. I'd rather spend my time playing hockey and baseball, listening to music on the radio or going to dances and envying my friends who played the fiddle or the guitar.

I didn't do anything about the guitar until after graduating from university and moving to Ottawa. There I met new friends, some of whom played 12-string guitars and sang a lot of folk music (among other things). There was a spare guitar and I picked it up, learned a few chords and started to play softly in the background at our frequent parties (and we partied a lot). That lasted about 8 months and the group started to break up as guys got married and moved away. I then bought my own guitar, some Gordon Lightfoot songbooks, and started playing along with him. I've been collecting music, learning tunes and howling ever since. Folk, celtic, maritime music, blues, bluegrass, and older R&B are my preferences.

I'm proud to say that the musical tradition is moving on to the next generation. It looks as if about 50% of my family's children are going to keep the music alive in my family. They've been frequently exposed to our collective love of music including first hand experience at watching their parents and grandparents gather in the kitchen, the living room or the basement and going at it. It's wonderful to be able to witness the musical tradition continue.


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From:
Date: 25 May 98 - 12:44 PM

I guess the first time I saw live music - it was a local high school talent show and there were three guys sax-bass-drums - they played HARLEM NOCTURN just like the recording by the VISCOUNTS ----- and the really cool thing about it was the blue & purple & red colored lights up on stage ------ absolute magic ---------- shortly after that I heard my older brothers Kingston Trio album #1 and the sound of the banjo hooked me --- been trying to play ever since.............


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Jenny
Date: 25 May 98 - 01:16 PM

WOW ... looks like I'm going to add a few more cents to this thread ... ALLAN C ... I, too, played the Sunday night hoots at the Cellar Door, '69-'71; it was there that I saw Ian and Sylvia for the first time; on my 18th birthday I saw the Mitchell Trio who had replaced Chad with some new guy, Henry John Deuschendorf (sp) III; and I was there the night that John Denver and Fat City (Bill and Taffy Danoff) recorded "Country Roads." Did you ever hear a trio called "Happy Face" (2 guys and a girl) at the Sunday night hoots? They had a rendition of "Southern Man" that I particularly liked. I sang and played weekends at a place called "Garvins," just on the DC side of Connecticut Avenue.

I continue to be amazed at the 'Cats with whom I have something in common ... ttfn ... jenny


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 28 May 98 - 12:31 AM

What got me started, huh?

Can't remember her name--but she was AMAZING!!!

Once I got started, I couldn't stop!

art


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: AndyG
Date: 28 May 98 - 06:54 AM

The BBC "Broadcast for Schools" Singing Together.

The BBC regularly commissioning Ewan McColl songs for their "docu-history" shows.

The BBC giving The Spinners a weekly radio show.

The BBC televised shows including regular appearances by Tom Lehrer, Julie Felix, Jake Thakeray, Robin Hall & Jimmy McGregor, Cy Grant, Lance Percival

My parents for ensuring I had enough cash to get to three or four concerts every year. (just enough to make you selective about who you go to see)

The British Government allowed me into Pubs (and clubs) at the age of eighteen.

Friends who introduced me to Joan Baez,Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen,Tom Paxton,The Incredible String Band,Martin Carthy Fairport Convention,Recreational Pharmecuticals

I can blame the English Civil War society for letting me "make my own entertainment" on campsites (and in pubs) throughout Britain for 10 years.

In the end however, I enjoyed what I heard and what I did.
So:
I got me started.

AndyG


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: H.Dulcimer
Date: 28 May 98 - 08:48 AM

I think it is probably a long story. I remember mother always singing "harmony" to all the songs on the radio. I was fascinated with that, and tried to imitate what she did - always wondering how she knew the right notes to sing. I gradually learned to hear and sing "harmony" too, and am so glad I did. It makes it easy now when I add embellishment to the melody as I play hammered dulcimer. Then, as a young teen, our girl scout troop went to see a young lady play an instrument none of us had ever heard of - the appalachian mountain dulcimer. It was fascinating, but I never thought much about it until years later, when I joined our local folk music and mountain dulcimer society. I sang in gospel ensembles in church and on travelling teams from my college. It was hootenany era, so we alll got ukeleles and played folk music and sang. Married a non-musician...........went to a Reinactment festival in Lafayette, In. the Feast of the Hunters Moon............saw my first Hammered Dulcimer. Saw it again the next few years, as we returned to the Feast. Was determined that some day I would own one and learn to play. I've been playing now for 5 years....... Went to a dulcimer festival, met a lady with a collection of antique instruments..........got hooked. I now have a collection of about 50 instruments which I try to learn to play................ Well, I told you it was long.......... But music is my life..........I love it.


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 19 Oct 98 - 05:26 PM

This is another good one to refresh for newcomers. Lots of biographical info about the Mudcat neighbors.


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Subject: RE: What got you started?
From: Graeme
Date: 20 Oct 98 - 05:57 AM

Barbara - thanks for re-constituting this thread , it's fascinating. It seems there is one thing in common; everyone started very young, either by what they experienced in their teens, or with their families in childhood.

For me - well I was just a hippy student. I'd been able to play several instruments by ear since I was a little kid, and I loved music. None of my family were musical, but I learnt to sing at school and went from there.

The early stuff of Simon and Garfunkel appealed to my deep romantic sense (which has got me into awful trouble ever since!), and from there people like Paxton, Dylan, Lehrer etc grabbed my political attention.

It wasn't long before I discovered a very rich heritage of English folk music, through the medium of Lindisfarne, Tim Hart and Maddy Prior, Pentangle, Amazing Blondin and others. I tried to learn guitar (God how I tried!) but my inability to read music only let me play what I could by ear. It's not too bad, but far from good enough for performing. Then I had a bad accident and my left hand was smashed up, so that put an end to that.

After a long break I rediscovered folk music quite recently, after my marriage broke up and some concerned friends took me to a folk club. It felt like meeting once again a long-neglected, dear friend.

Nowadays I sing mainly, and play the alto recorder which I can still just about do, but not as well as before. I love to write my own songs, and arrange new tunes to old ones. (A laborious process of thinking of a tune, playing it one finger on a piano, then trying to write it down!)

And having found the music once more, I know I'll never leave it again.

Thank you, Mudcat.


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