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The American Folk Festival & Jean Thomas

Padre 17 Mar 04 - 12:33 AM
Padre 20 Apr 04 - 10:57 PM
GUEST,Lisa Null 20 Apr 04 - 11:15 PM
toadfrog 20 Apr 04 - 11:59 PM
GUEST,Curt 29 Apr 04 - 10:21 PM
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Subject: Folklore: The American Folk Festival & Jean Thomas
From: Padre
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 12:33 AM

A flashback to my past. In about 1960, I attended The American Folk Festival in Ashland KY, which was run by Jean Thomas, "The Traipsin' Woman." My questions are: 1) Did anyone else @ Mudcat ever attend the festival, and 2) what did you think about it as a festival and a 'showcase' for the musicians that were presented.

I'll sit back and listen.

Padre


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The American Folk Festival & Jean Thomas
From: Padre
Date: 20 Apr 04 - 10:57 PM

refresh in hopes of hearing something


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The American Folk Festival & Jean Thomas
From: GUEST,Lisa Null
Date: 20 Apr 04 - 11:15 PM

I have always enjoyed Jean Thomas's collections of songs and the unusual repertoire she collected. Mu Lord Ullin's Daughter comes form Jean Thomas. When i acquired about her among folklorists and others, I received negative feedback as she presumably urged traditional performers to emphasize their "quaintness" and their 'rustic" mountain ways. at festivals and public gatherings. With the hindsight of many years, I'm wondering whether Thomas should have been singled out for this-- it has been such a pervasive problem.

I would be interested in learning more about Jean Thomas....


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The American Folk Festival & Jean Th
From: toadfrog
Date: 20 Apr 04 - 11:59 PM

It is said of Jean Thomas that she was a highly talented woman who also wrote Hollywood screenplays, an exercise which appears to have influenced her non-fiction writing style (to the extent her books on folk music are actually non-fiction). It is also said that some of the folk songs she collected she actually wrote herself. The negative feedback, I think, was a reaction to a certain hokiness and tendency to self-promotion. (One doubts very much everyone in the hills really called her "Traipsin' Woman," as they do in her books.)

Emphasizing quaintness is indeed a widespread vice. They say Leadbelly became very angry with Lomax for making him wear coveralls and sit on a bale of hay at performances!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: The American Folk Festival & Jean Thomas
From: GUEST,Curt
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 10:21 PM

She held the festival about 15 miles south of Ashland a few years,I lived close and attended the festivals when i was a kid. My brother's picture is in one of her books. I would like to find one of those books.


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Mudcat time: 19 April 2:21 AM EDT

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