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Dear Mike Harding

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Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 31 Mar 04 - 11:00 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 31 Mar 04 - 11:01 PM
pavane 01 Apr 04 - 02:00 AM
GUEST,Keith A o Hertford 01 Apr 04 - 02:08 AM
pavane 01 Apr 04 - 02:11 AM
Richard Bridge 01 Apr 04 - 03:03 AM
breezy 01 Apr 04 - 03:19 AM
GUEST 01 Apr 04 - 03:32 AM
el ted 01 Apr 04 - 03:43 AM
breezy 01 Apr 04 - 03:52 AM
George Papavgeris 01 Apr 04 - 03:56 AM
Liz the Squeak 01 Apr 04 - 04:14 AM
breezy 01 Apr 04 - 04:26 AM
GUEST 01 Apr 04 - 04:38 AM
Dave Hanson 01 Apr 04 - 04:38 AM
GUEST,Hannah 01 Apr 04 - 05:21 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Apr 04 - 05:32 AM
Liz the Squeak 01 Apr 04 - 05:39 AM
concertina ceol 01 Apr 04 - 05:41 AM
Dave Hanson 01 Apr 04 - 05:41 AM
Strollin' Johnny 01 Apr 04 - 05:41 AM
George Papavgeris 01 Apr 04 - 05:58 AM
GUEST 01 Apr 04 - 06:19 AM
harvey andrews 01 Apr 04 - 06:22 AM
treewind 01 Apr 04 - 06:25 AM
GUEST,KB 01 Apr 04 - 06:38 AM
VIN 01 Apr 04 - 06:43 AM
Kevin Sheils 01 Apr 04 - 06:45 AM
GUEST,Englishman 01 Apr 04 - 06:46 AM
The Borchester Echo 01 Apr 04 - 07:06 AM
harvey andrews 01 Apr 04 - 07:13 AM
pavane 01 Apr 04 - 07:16 AM
The Borchester Echo 01 Apr 04 - 07:19 AM
pavane 01 Apr 04 - 07:21 AM
VIN 01 Apr 04 - 07:30 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 01 Apr 04 - 07:34 AM
Sttaw Legend 01 Apr 04 - 07:40 AM
GUEST,Sarah 01 Apr 04 - 07:54 AM
treewind 01 Apr 04 - 07:58 AM
GUEST,Mike Harding 01 Apr 04 - 08:04 AM
Dave Hanson 01 Apr 04 - 08:04 AM
Kevin Sheils 01 Apr 04 - 08:04 AM
Dave Hanson 01 Apr 04 - 08:10 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 01 Apr 04 - 08:10 AM
Strollin' Johnny 01 Apr 04 - 10:12 AM
harvey andrews 01 Apr 04 - 10:18 AM
Mary Humphreys 01 Apr 04 - 11:16 AM
George Papavgeris 01 Apr 04 - 11:46 AM
Betsy 01 Apr 04 - 11:49 AM
George Papavgeris 01 Apr 04 - 11:55 AM
The Borchester Echo 01 Apr 04 - 12:38 PM
selby 01 Apr 04 - 12:48 PM
Betsy 01 Apr 04 - 02:18 PM
TheBigPinkLad 01 Apr 04 - 02:28 PM
The Borchester Echo 01 Apr 04 - 07:52 PM
Dave Hanson 02 Apr 04 - 03:42 AM
VIN 02 Apr 04 - 03:53 AM
Dave Hanson 02 Apr 04 - 05:24 AM
GUEST,Mike Harding YUK!!!!!! 02 Apr 04 - 05:33 AM
Betsy 02 Apr 04 - 01:34 PM
The Borchester Echo 02 Apr 04 - 02:19 PM
George Papavgeris 02 Apr 04 - 07:02 PM
George Papavgeris 02 Apr 04 - 07:11 PM
The Villan 03 Apr 04 - 02:52 AM
Strollin' Johnny 03 Apr 04 - 03:59 AM
The Borchester Echo 03 Apr 04 - 04:03 AM
GUEST,Les in Chorlton 03 Apr 04 - 04:11 AM
Strollin' Johnny 03 Apr 04 - 04:31 AM
George Papavgeris 03 Apr 04 - 04:32 AM
The Villan 03 Apr 04 - 04:34 AM
George Papavgeris 03 Apr 04 - 04:36 AM
Dave Hanson 03 Apr 04 - 05:25 AM
George Papavgeris 03 Apr 04 - 05:31 AM
The Villan 03 Apr 04 - 05:42 AM
George Papavgeris 03 Apr 04 - 05:52 AM
The Villan 03 Apr 04 - 06:37 AM
Richard Bridge 03 Apr 04 - 06:47 AM
George Papavgeris 03 Apr 04 - 06:53 AM
GUEST,Les in Chorlton 03 Apr 04 - 06:53 AM
Betsy 03 Apr 04 - 08:00 AM
Dave Hanson 03 Apr 04 - 08:39 AM
Betsy 03 Apr 04 - 09:39 AM
GUEST,GUEST. Smooth Operator 03 Apr 04 - 10:43 AM
GUEST 03 Apr 04 - 11:10 AM
GUEST,JTT 03 Apr 04 - 12:36 PM
harvey andrews 03 Apr 04 - 12:47 PM
selby 04 Apr 04 - 04:03 AM
George Papavgeris 04 Apr 04 - 06:53 AM
GUEST,Dan Abnormal 04 Apr 04 - 07:56 AM
John J 05 Apr 04 - 07:55 AM
pavane 05 Apr 04 - 08:07 AM
George Papavgeris 05 Apr 04 - 08:35 AM
The Borchester Echo 05 Apr 04 - 08:58 AM
George Papavgeris 05 Apr 04 - 09:56 AM
treewind 05 Apr 04 - 11:07 AM
GUEST 05 Apr 04 - 12:01 PM
VIN 06 Apr 04 - 08:26 AM
GUEST 06 Apr 04 - 08:55 AM
el ted 06 Apr 04 - 10:19 AM
el ted 06 Apr 04 - 10:20 AM
GUEST 06 Apr 04 - 10:35 AM
Strollin' Johnny 06 Apr 04 - 12:37 PM
pavane 06 Apr 04 - 12:48 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 06 Apr 04 - 12:59 PM
Betsy 06 Apr 04 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,Scept'rd Isla 06 Apr 04 - 01:37 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 06 Apr 04 - 01:42 PM
harvey andrews 06 Apr 04 - 02:45 PM
pavane 06 Apr 04 - 03:14 PM
George Papavgeris 06 Apr 04 - 03:17 PM
George Papavgeris 06 Apr 04 - 03:22 PM
VIN 06 Apr 04 - 05:44 PM
George Papavgeris 06 Apr 04 - 06:25 PM
GUEST,JOHN of ELSIE`S BAND 07 Apr 04 - 07:06 AM
VIN 07 Apr 04 - 07:26 AM
pavane 07 Apr 04 - 07:33 AM
Strollin' Johnny 07 Apr 04 - 07:40 AM
The Borchester Echo 07 Apr 04 - 07:42 AM
Betsy 07 Apr 04 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,earthling 07 Apr 04 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,rob wright 07 Apr 04 - 10:45 AM
GUEST 07 Apr 04 - 10:55 AM
GUEST,JOHN OF ELSIE`S BAND 07 Apr 04 - 11:19 AM
GUEST 07 Apr 04 - 12:11 PM
GUEST,Eddie Grundy 07 Apr 04 - 12:30 PM
Betsy 07 Apr 04 - 01:29 PM
GUEST 08 Apr 04 - 10:17 AM
Betsy 08 Apr 04 - 11:02 AM
Betsy 08 Apr 04 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,bookworm 06 May 04 - 09:23 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 04 Nov 04 - 02:07 PM
chris nightbird childs 04 Nov 04 - 02:10 PM
bazza 04 Nov 04 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,14fret 04 Nov 04 - 03:10 PM
Skipjack K8 04 Nov 04 - 03:21 PM
Dave Hanson 05 Nov 04 - 05:19 AM
GUEST,Mi Ha 16 Mar 05 - 10:34 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 17 Mar 05 - 04:45 PM
GUEST,Guest:: MH fan 18 Mar 05 - 02:02 PM
GUEST,padgett (at home) 19 Mar 05 - 01:50 AM
Dave Hanson 19 Mar 05 - 06:03 AM
GUEST,padgett (at home) 19 Mar 05 - 08:28 AM
Dave Hanson 19 Mar 05 - 09:15 AM
GUEST,padgett (at home) 19 Mar 05 - 09:46 AM
GUEST,Dave Hanson 19 Mar 05 - 10:07 AM
GUEST,padgett (at home) 19 Mar 05 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,MH Fan 20 Mar 05 - 06:18 AM
GUEST,Mick Harding 13 Mar 15 - 07:14 PM
Thompson 14 Mar 15 - 03:47 AM
Dave Hanson 14 Mar 15 - 07:26 AM
GUEST,DaveRo 14 Mar 15 - 07:49 AM
DaveRo 22 Jul 17 - 04:38 PM
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Subject: Dear Mike Harding
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 11:00 PM

Mike-Please see my thead "folk music in the media".john


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 31 Mar 04 - 11:01 PM

["media coverage of folk music"


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: pavane
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 02:00 AM

That thread has been hijacked now. Maybe it can be continued here

I have no great desire to hear Eastern European, Cajun, African, Indian or any other foreign 'roots' music. Surely they could (and do) have their own shows. And probably Eastern Europeans don't want to listen to English folk?

If we must be limited to one hour, surely we can find one hour a week of BRITISH folk. (it is the BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation, ins't it)

And why does it have to include American Contemporary music, from singer-songwriters who just happen to accompany themselves on guitar?
Here is a suggestion: Few traditional songs (and there ARE exceptions like Died for love) are in the First Person (I/me? songs). Weed out any such songs and play what is left.

(Actually, that would also eliminate many of Ewan McColl and Eric Bogle's songs as well, so perhaps it is a bit harsh)


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,Keith A o Hertford
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 02:08 AM

Been said before, but never enough.
What is it about us?


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: pavane
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 02:11 AM

Maybe Crane driver had it right in the other thread - we are a threat to them and to music industry profits.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 03:03 AM

Maybe we could even have half a show on a regular (ie "every time", English usage, as distinct from "unexceptional", American usage) basis, with foreign folk music and contemporary acoustic in the other half, and see what the JICTAR ratings showed...


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: breezy
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 03:19 AM

I seem to be switching off these days as there is little that interests me in the programme.
I used to listen most regularly but not any more.
I think its going stale.
Too much Irish women and 'tunes' I suppose its because Mike lives in Ireland and is lorsing touch with the Folk club scene on the mainland.
There is an imbalance in the content.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 03:32 AM

Breezy - I agree with you about the range of music played by young Harding. BUT Less of the "mainland" if you don't mind!
Dáithí


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: el ted
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 03:43 AM

Leave poor little Mike alone, he is all we have got!Folk music just doesn't cut it with the general public.The good news is, folk music is a bit like coarse fishing, ie millions of people do it every weekend but you never hear about it.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: breezy
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 03:52 AM

O K ,this side of the river, will that do?

I wonder how the isle of wighters feel then

Ioan


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 03:56 AM

I agree with El Ted in that folk music is mainly participatory. Radio doesn't lend itself to that. But fm is also "regional", at least in the UK. Radio can play a role in bridging therefore; that would require diligent trawling of the regional output (both traditional and contemporary singer/songwriter stuff) and bringing the "catch" to the nation.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 04:14 AM

I don't think the fact that Mike lives in Ireland has anything to do with the material selected. I don't live in America but I bet you at least half my record/CD collection is by American artists. The programme is an indication of a) what the general populace consider acceptable as folk music and b) what is available to the general populace in the larger stores. Judging by the line ups of the festivals this year, if the material were selected only from them, it would be a pretty boring and repetitious programme, more so than you think it is now.

I've seen Mike out "collecting" for the programme in Britain - the poor man had to carry the equipment himself - and he wasn't 'cherry picking', he was wandering around, getting a good sample of every sort of music that was available that day, in a small seaside town in Britain.   The fact that it included English folk song, traditional and contemporary, Bulgarian, Irish, Scottish, French and Australian just shows what an eclectic bunch of music makers we are.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: breezy
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 04:26 AM

Mike needs help then.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 04:38 AM

I've listened to this prog many times and enjoyed it. I do think that there is too much Irish stuff: Irish music played by Irish, by Americans, by Scots, by Brits, even by Welsh performers. I love Irish music but a lttle more balance in favor of English Trad would be good.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 04:38 AM

I wonder if this is the reason why ALL the media ignore Whitby Folk Week, Whitby is not a festival in the accepted sense but a celebration of folk music which is at least 50% parcipitatory, probably more.
eric


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,Hannah
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 05:21 AM

In an interview I did with Mike Harding a while ago, he said the remit for his show is 'music from these islands (England, Ireland, Scotland & Wales), and English speaking parts of the world' - this explains why his show contains music from America, but doesn't contain any 'world' music as such. It's impossible to please everyone's music tastes in 60mins each week on national radio. Be grateful we have some folk & traditional music air time on national radio! Sure, some weeks it's more biased towards American music, other weeks towards something else. Take last nights show for example; tracks from Brass Monkey, Emily Slade, live session with Lunasa and Bob Copper - these fit into his remit don't they?! If you're not interested in Mike's show then check out programmes on BBC regional radio stations such as Folkwaves on BBC Derby, Northern Folk on BBC Newcastle, Folk Show on BBC Shropshire. If it's more world music you're after, check out Late Junction or World Routes on Radio 3 - they often contain more folk/trad tracks than Radio 2.
You have to consider what folk music as a genre would gain from more media exposure (aside from bringing the music to a larger audience) - would you want folk & traditional music to compete in the elitist pop world?! As much as I'd like to see a dedicated trad music channel, radio stations (such as the BBC) have to consider if it's economically viable to broadcast such a station. What percentage of their existing listeners would listen to it?


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 05:32 AM

When did he move to Ireland? Last time I spoke to him (2 years-ish I think) he was sill in Dent.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 05:39 AM

The programme he did for St Patricks' day this year stated that it came from his home in Ireland. It is not outside the bounds of credibility that he has more than one home.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: concertina ceol
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 05:41 AM

He still lives in Dent.

The cottage in Connemara is his weekend/holiday pad.

Good to see someone earning "real" money from folk music.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 05:41 AM

If fol music did get as much air play as we would like, it could end up like country and western, so diluted it's just more pop music.
eric


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 05:41 AM

If your radio's stuck on BBC Radio 2, then it must be buggered. Buy a new one and tune it to BBC Radio Derby or Leicester or Lincolnshire and listen to Mick Peat and me old sailing-partner-in-crime Lester Simpson on 'Folkwaves', Monday neet, 7 till 9. Superb stuff (although they too commit the heresy of playing some stuff by Johnny Foreigner - the wops and fuzzy-wuzzies get everywhere Mr. Mainwaring!) JUST JOKING!! :0)

If you're out of range I'll stake me pension that there's a Folk program on your local BBC station or one close by.

And if you moan enough to the BBC, they'll take Mike off altogether. Then there'll be no folk on mainstream radio at all and you'll be happy.

IMHO
Johnny


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 05:58 AM

Agree with SJ, Mick Peat on Folkwaves has excellent taste! Surely you meant Georgie Foreigner, John;-)


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 06:19 AM

Keep Mr Harding away from Whitby Folk Week He'll kill it
Keep Mr Harding away from Whitby Folk Week He'll kill it
Keep Mr Harding away from Whitby Folk Week He'll kill it
Etc Etc


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: harvey andrews
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 06:22 AM

"What's the matter with us" someone asked, as a side point I heard an interview on radio with a landlord who'd applied for a pub extension to celebrate England's St George's Day. The magistrates turned him down as the day was not special enough. However, if he said it was for charity, they'd grant it. He could apply however for an extension for America's Thanksgiving Day or for the Chinese New year and they'd be happy to grant those.
One has to laugh doesn't one!


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: treewind
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 06:25 AM

Folk music just doesn't cut it with the general public

Plenty of folk music gets played on the local radio in Ireland and Scotland. Most of the English public just don't know what it is. Did you see that comment in the "National Festival" thread from a young member of staff at the Sutton Bonington college who spent all day listening to the sessions and was bowled over by music he'd never heard anything like before.

Mike Harding, by the way, is reputedly fed up with people complaining to him. It isn't his fault - he's just the front man for a show run by Smooth Operations and John Leonard from that company is probably more resposible for dictating the content. But and the directive for just abpout everything in the BBC is that it has to be "celebrity led". Sad, or what?

Anahata
(who listens to Late Junction on Radio 3 for folk music)


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,KB
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 06:38 AM

Re "folk music just doesn't cut it with the general public" :

I am constantly amazed, and pleased, that whenever we get non-folkie friends and family to come along to folk events they seem to enjoy it immensely. So much so that I wonder whether its just our own paranoia that makes us think that folk is unpopular in England and that everyone is laughing at us and expecting us to be beardy-cardigan-tankard-men and earnest-soprano-kumbaya-women.

Never mind media attitudes - if the locals at the pub enjoy our folk nights, if our friends come along and get interested in folk, if our families are proud of us for singing/playing - then that is good enough to convince me that the English DO enjoy their own traditional folk music.

We just need to give everyone more opportunity to hear it and sing it and play it.

Kris


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: VIN
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 06:43 AM

I'm sure Mike does the best he can given the 'environment' he works in i.e the BBC. Don't know how much actual influence he has on what's played or show format but when one presenter does the same show every week then i suggest he/she is bound to put there own 'stamp' on the output and presentation as John Peel and John Walters used to do on there brilliant radio one show. Perhaps a programme running on another day with alternating presenters from the folk circuit may produce some interesting programmes - how about it Harvey?

Local radio, as has been indicated, is another source e.g Radio Lancashire's 'Lacashire Drift' which has bin goin for yonks and is brill. Then there's Ally O'Brien's 'Sounds of Folk' - still in its infancy but well worth a listen. As for the natinal network TV/Radio stations, its been an argument for years. Asking the mass media to give British traditional (and not-so-traditional) folk music the attention it deserves is like p'ing against the proverbial wall.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 06:45 AM

I've got the radio tuned to Radio 4 most of the day as I potter around the house and I'm always hearing snippets of "folk" music in the natural flow of things, often just as a background to non-obviously music related items.

Good Lord, does this mean that it's somehow natural and we have a "living tradition" that doesn't just need a "specialist" hour or two.

That'll upset the museum piece re-creationalists out there.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,Englishman
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 06:46 AM

Harvey A. - that St. George's Day thing happened in Norwich, where they cut down all the chestnut trees in case a conker fell on soneone's head.

Some parts of the country seem to be more prone to this sort of thing than others.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 07:06 AM

I listen to LJ too (and Womans Hour on R4 - I kid you not!) for a lot more traditional music than you are likely to get on R2. Both are available on the web with 'Listen Again'.

Radio 2 has this thing about 'conning' people into carrying on listening from one show to another when they'll hear music they thought they didn't like. It's known as 'follow through'.   What it makes me think is Mike Barraclough must still be on when in fact the misnamed 'Folk on 2' (or whatever it's actually called now) has in fact started.

The BBC have a 'Folk & Acoustic' site which (other than the message board) I rarely look at because it's so irritating. Today I did and was amazed to hear about hitherto unknown performers 'Woodie Guthrie' and 'Davey Graham', that all traditional music was in 'simple square rhythm' and 'simple harmony' and that Aretha Franklin had a big hit with 'First Time Ever I Saw Your Face' shortly after Peggy Seeger had sung it on US television after getting it over the phone from Ewan. That would be 1957, *long* before Roberta Flack did it on the soundtrack of 'Play Misty For me' in 1971, would it? I'm only surprised it didn't mention that Celine Dion does it too...

I'm relieved to report that the videolink to MH himself telling you which albums you 'must have' in your collection was down when I tried it. He's been very sniffy publicly for years at people who keep 'telling him how to do his job'.   But if he doesn't go along with BBC and Smooth Ops 'remits', why does he keep on doing it?


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: harvey andrews
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 07:13 AM

Perhaps a programme running on another day with alternating presenters from the folk circuit may produce some interesting programmes - how about it Harvey?

I did actually present "Folk on 2" a few times from pebble Mill in Birmigham when Jim Lloyd couldn't do it.To get a programme on BBC you have to reply to the remits they send out about once a year. You have to have a production company and you tender for the prog with an outline of what you want to offer. They are only interested in broad concepts for a regular prog. There have been short series on radio 2 about folk music and i did one about songwriting/songwriters.
You have to blame Govt for the problems. The BBC is no longer there to provide a service for minorities in the public who pay the same licence fee as others, it's fighting for its life now and audience numbers are its main weapon. The Govt, and how sad to think it's called "Labour", is, have no doubt, out to close down and privatise the BBC so it can remove its political influence. I foresee it making the BBC subscriber only. Then it will be able to make progs for minorities again, but how many of the British people would subscribe by paying a voluntary licence fee? Of course, the Beeb would wither on the vine and Murdoch would control just about everything and then the people would be singing;
"Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone"


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: pavane
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 07:16 AM

Mike Harding has obviously had a long and successful musical and comedy career, but many of us think that he does not present the program with sufficient gravity, talking about it coming from a cowshed.

This is not the best way to attract new listeners, I think. Previous presenters had a more serious manner.

It also appears that he is not responsible for the content, but is just paid to present it - which is fair enough, and standard for the business, so we shouldn't criticize him for that.

(As for the local station shows, they are just that - local. I can't receive the ones mentioned, as I live South Wales.)


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 07:19 AM

"Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone"

There was a perfectly good sports facility at White City till the BBC knocked it down and built offices. On the other hand, I believe Pebble Mill is about to be bulldozed. Could this be good or bad for music? Discuss.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: pavane
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 07:21 AM

Harvey, I think you might have an answer there.

A regular slot, but highlighting a different theme, group, subgenre, or history each time.

Maybe one series on the song collectors, with examples of songs they collected, one series on traditional singers, with their songs, one on the development over time of musical styles, and so on.

That would also allow new or unknown singers/performers to be used in the various examples.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: VIN
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 07:30 AM

Did'nt realise it was that complicated Harvey. Oh well.
No what you mean about labour. I wonder sometimes whether the 'establishment' suppresses our folk music tradition on purpose because it contains and reflects so much 'ordinary' people's history (like the songs of struggle and working people's lives, war experiences etc) which might just influence their general views of our non (real) service providing, mass consumer, profit-driven society and how they vote? Or am i naively paranoid there?


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 07:34 AM

Come on Auntie, play fair! It's not as if we're asking for so very much. If there were as much English traditional music played on our national radio as there is Scottish traditional music played on Radio Scotland, I think most of us would be satisfied.

But we shouldn't blame Mike Harding, or Smooth Operations, for the deficiency. They work to a brief given them by the BBC's management, who in turn take advice from audience researchers about what "the public" likes to hear on radio. Within those rather narrow limits, I think Mike H does a pretty decent job. It's not his fault that there aren't other programme carrying more of the rather different stuff some of us would like to hear

The predominant flavour of MH's hour is CCSS (stands for "Celtic, Country, and Singer-Songwriter" ? pronounced "Kickass") because the researchers tell the executives that's what the majority of the public think "folk music" is. Nevertheless, he still manages to squeeze a fair bit of Anglicana into most of his shows. (Full marks to him and his team for getting the Bob Copper tribute together in time for this week's programme.)

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Sttaw Legend
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 07:40 AM

Mike Harding is making a comeback performing live on the folk circuit. His tour starts at the Moor and Coast and finishes at the Whitby Festival.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,Sarah
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 07:54 AM

I nobbled John Leonard at a gig a few years back and asked him how you got played on the MH programme. He said the playlist was 'name' driven and he expressed some disatisfaction with the fact that MH sometimes plays CDs shoved into his hand at festivals. It's not MH's fault therefore.

Still - Late Junction is great for folk and world if I'm driving home around then!

Cheers
Sarah


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: treewind
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 07:58 AM

Labour government?

Not for nothing is "Tony Blair, MP" an anagram of "I'm Tory Plan B"

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,Mike Harding
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 08:04 AM

Get stuffed the lot of you,it,s my show and I think its great

Mike H


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 08:04 AM

Hi Strollin' Johnny, we used to have a great folk music programme on BBC Radio Leeds/Humber, Henry Ayrtons Real Music Show,the best presenter of folk music since Jim Lloyd, at least as good as. BBC radio 2 axed it in favour of pop music.
Who is Smooth Operations anyway. Nick Barraclough does a good job with his country music show so what's stopping Mike Harding doing as good a job, it's the same production company.
eric


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 08:04 AM

Countess said
There was a perfectly good sports facility at White City till the BBC knocked it down and built offices.

Yes I remember running at the old White City track in my youth.





Mind you the dog in trap 5 beat me.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 08:10 AM

By the way Mike will NEVER reply to your emails, John Leonard replies for him [ very curious ] and John only ever says that Mike is doing a good job with his remit.
eric


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 08:10 AM

See my comments in "Media Coverage " thread.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 10:12 AM

Eric, couldn't get Henry Ayrton on my steam radio, so can't comment (although those who could tell me it was v. good). The local BBC Lincs crowd have tried to dump our own Lincs. folk programme too (Mark Addison and Tom Layne) but it's surviving (I'd like to think due to 'public demand').

I don't think it holds water comparing folk shows with country - country's got a far wider appeal - and I don't hear many people moaning that "There's on;ly Americans on Nick Barraclough's show" (Oops, got jOHn's disease there!).

I think it's a difficult one because 'Folk' means different things to different people (let's face it, the Yanks think country artists are folk singers!), so I'm with El Greko - lets have more airtime and several programs each showcasing a different facet of the wider church we call 'Folk'.

Oh look - there goes another flying pig! :0)
Johnny
:0)


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: harvey andrews
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 10:18 AM

"A regular slot, but highlighting a different theme, group, subgenre, or history each time.
Maybe one series on the song collectors, with examples of songs they collected, one series on traditional singers, with their songs, one on the development over time of musical styles, and so on.
That would also allow new or unknown singers/performers to be used in the various examples."

yes pavane, and probably these ideas have been submitted and rejected. The beeb get a lot of submissions for each slot. I've been approached by a couple of companies to present ideas for filling an alloted slot. Only one has ever been accepted by the BBC. The others were not considered broad enough, or contained enough "celebrity" names for national broadcast.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 11:16 AM

How does a performer ever get to be a "celebrity" name without being nationally broadcast?
Catch 22 or what?
Mary H


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 11:46 AM

These days of celebrity for celebrity's sake, he/she needs do nothing more but be branded a celebrity.

Then all the sheep will praise him/her and by his/her art, or buy his/her autobiography, or watch the quiz (ha!) shows in which he/she puts in an appearance.

I used to like Michael Parkinson a lot. But did you notice that in the last 10 years his shows always include at least one artist/writer who is about to release an album or published a book etc?

Publicity machines don't run on talent. Just money.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Betsy
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 11:49 AM

Date: 01 Apr 04 - 06:19 AM
Keep Mr Harding away from Whitby Folk Week He'll kill it.
It merely shows what a knob head you are.
Mike was one of the Main Stays of all the early Whitby Festivals .
Together with Bob Spray (and in true pantomime spirit)they were forever dividing audiences into Yorkshire and Lancashire and their respective sympathisers to get the best out of any chorus song.
Also they gathered their respective mobs for loads of other civilised but rauchous activities when the music and song were quiet i.e. cricket on the sands at 10 in the morning.
Besides owt else - I bet you can't sing/play a traditional song/tune from GB / Ireland of which Mike doesn't at least few lines / notes.
He's now an elder statesmen of Folk and like all elder statesmen he's seen most of it ,and more poignant - doesn't really give a toss, just so long as he is doing what he's being asked to do and to the very best of his ability.
To those who have wrote expressing more GB/UK Trad - I agree, but it probably goes down on the BBC Budget as International Music or something - there'll be a reason - but I honestly don't think Mike's the problem here.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 11:55 AM

Agree, Betsy. The tallest tree gets buffeted most by the wind. Mike is an easy target, and not the cause.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 12:38 PM

MH makes no secret of the fact that he doesn't give a toss. He walks the line, presumably on the grounds that a pay cheque is a pay cheque.

This afternoon I listened to Reg Hall presenting The Traditional Hour on Resonance, the web and FM radio station. This I would gladly let a non-folk person hear and explain to them proudly that this is the music I love.

Not so the MH show. It's as cringeworthy as those 'performances' with Bob Spray, and not at all the kind of image I want to present to the world at large.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: selby
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 12:48 PM

The one good thing I have seen about Mike Harding he actual goes to festivals and believe it or not I have seen him talking to people so from that I assume he has a rough idea of what is going on.
I personally don't expect to hear who I like on the radio but I like many others support those acts when they are in my locality.
Mike Harding has a job to do and when we have all expressed our opinions wether for or against him, if the BBC decide they have had enough of his show it will go off air very much like Henry Ayrton did. A lot of people complained but the powers that be did not listen.
The young people do not compartmentalise folk like we the older genaration appear to, for them its either a good or bad tune in the idiom they like. A good example as I can give of that I know a lot of young players are using The Portland Collection like a bible at the moment with some cracking tunes coming out.Folk on Two is reflecting that idea at the moment.After we have all had our say we have all reflected our personal view's and that is what makes our music song & dance intresting
Keith


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Betsy
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 02:18 PM

Countess Richard - you write like a stuck-up Tory Tart - especially with your preoccupation with his pay cheque amd image making of Folk.
I've been enjoying going to Folk clubs for over 35 years , heard some great stuff and heard loads of shite.
That's it in a nut shell, that's how it was, is, and will be. Enjoyment/humour/ a good sing-song is all part of it - but not always possible , but when Mike and Bob and numerous others sought and seek to entertain in the Folk medium, R-soles like you go wamping on about pure Tradition .
Zealots like you emptied the Folk clubs - not so the previous guys I've mentioned - you do them a great disservice Madame.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 02:28 PM

I live in Canada and listen to Mike Harding via the digital offering of last week's show on Radio 5's website. Non-Brits click here and judge for yourself: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/r2music/folk/harding/?focuswin. I think it's pretty good, what do you think?


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 07:52 PM

Some people, for reasons best known to themselves, wallow in dumbed-down farce, variety and pantomime and care nothing for musicianship or respect for the tradition. In failing to recognise the distinction between the necessity to value our heritage and those conventions which can, and indeed often should, be broken they are stifling the life out of traditional music in their cliquey little 'sing-songs' and outright refusal to countenance those artists who are devising new and fresh ways to present the music as relevant to how we live today and giving it the impetus to survive and thrive.

They are the reason why I rarely go to 'folk clubs' nowadays as - with few notable exceptions - these are so depressing, unwelcoming and sterile: the same under-rehearsed, embarrassing crap from residents and floor singers, same duff notes, mondegreens and tired, unfunny jokes. There are infinitely more congenial venues which those of the wanker persuasion thankfully don't go near and where exciting music and dance flourish.

And this is the kind of material that needs to be presented during the sole hour which the BBC - through an outsourced production company - deigns to schedule for 'folk and acoustic' music if the public at large is even to consider reimbracing our cultural inheritance as an art form in which they can take pride.   Not Celtic pretentiousness and sub-Nashville tat - those who actually want to listen to this have plenty of opportunities to do so across a plethora of networked output.

It's problematical to decipher just what the person Betsy is attempting to convey by ' R-soles like you go wamping on about pure Tradition'. Peculiar choice of words. Suffice to say that I have been writing about music in anywhere but the Tory press for more years than she claims to have had an involvement in it and I can safely say that I have never used the words 'pure' and 'tradition' together. That would scarcely be logical. I do have a concern over the image problem the music undoubtedly has among the wider population which is in no way enhanced by the demeaning charabanc- party, pseudo-jolly amateurism Betsy and her ilk seem hell-bent on purveying.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 03:42 AM

Yo countess I love it when you talk dirty, but I also agree with everything you said.
eric


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: VIN
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 03:53 AM

Oh dear Countess Richard & Betsy - calm down! I went to a folk club xtravaganza at the w/end (Open Door club in Failsworth) which had the usual floor singer (including me) sing-a-rounds and special guests i.e Slide, Brian Willoughby and Kathryn Craig and Roy Bailey finishing the night off - brilliant day/eve/nights entertainment but not enough people there! Shame.

As i've said, i'm sure M.H does the best he can etc.....as the saying goes you can please some of us folkies all of the time, all of us folkies some of the time but............

Live and let live and enjoy the music/song/dance!


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 05:24 AM

Or, Mike can displease some of the people all the time and displease
all the people some of the time, he dissapoints me ALL the time, or his radio programme does.
When Mike used to do the folk clubs [ before 'e got famous ]he was a really good entertainer.
Someone on the BBC radio 2 folk/country message board has put Mike's name forward to be the ' Patron Saint ' of folk music, as being canonised requires one to be deceased I [ reluctantly ] could not agree.
eric


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,Mike Harding YUK!!!!!!
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 05:33 AM

Thats all I've got to say realy....people who are meant to be folk music enthusiasts fronting shows they have no imput into Yuk!!!!!!!
Lets not mention Paul Jones YUK!!!! another breadhead mercenary


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Betsy
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 01:34 PM

Countess Richard says " I have been writing about music ............in for more years than (myself) claims to have had an involvement". I'm 56 years old and first sang in a Folk club as an under-aged 17 year old - is that good enough for you.???
I note you say nothing about performance - you don't perform then ??????
I, of the " the wanker persuasion " as you infer,wrote the words , music, sing and play (fingerstyle) the following song, EXCATLY about arrogant Twats like you.

THE    CRITIC                                    
                                                
HE COULDN'T SING, HE COULDN'T CLOWN,
NO, - HIS ART IT WAS IN PUTTING PEOPLE DOWN,
HE COULDN'T PLAY, BUT HE COULD WRITE,
AND WITH HIS PEN HE WENT AND BROKE A HEART LAST NIGHT.

HE SITS ALONE, WITH BLINKERED VIEW,
DOESN'T KNOW THE HOURS OF PRACTISE PEOPLE DO,
TO PLAY THE SONGS, - TO GET 'EM RIGHT,
HE SIMPLY TOOK HIS PEN AND BROKE A HEART LAST NIGHT.

CHORUS /REFRAIN                                                                              
                                       
WELL IT'S A MYSTERY TO ME., - HOW THE CRITIC" FORMED" YOUR MEMORY,
NOW ARE YOU TELLING ME, YOUR EYES AND EARS DECIEVED YOU!
                                       3.
HE NEVER HEARD THE CROWDS' APPLAUSE,
AND AS THEY MADE THEIR EXIT THROUGH THE THEATRE DOORS,
HE NEVER SHARED THEIR WILD DELIGHT,
INSTEAD, HE TOOK A PEN AND BROKE AHEART LAST NIGHT.

                                        4.
TO READ HIS WORDS - THEY MADE NO SENSE,
THEY NEVER MATCHED OUR RECOLLECTION OF EVENTS,
ONLY FOOLS BELIEVE, WHAT BIGGER FOOLS WRITE !,               
TAKE CARE THE CRITIC'S BREAKING HEARTS AGAIN TONIGHT.,   

(Almost repeat of the previous 2 lines:-)
ONLY FOOLS BELIEVE, WHAT BIGGER FOOLS WRITE !,
TAKE CARE THE CRITIC'S CHANGING MINDS AGAIN TONIGHT.

It has also been recorded by people I regard as good performers in the Folk scene - and I am honoured that they have done so in addition to other songs I 've written.

Fortunately you don't go to Folkclubs these days - no matter - I can still bear the duffers , the learners ( bless 'em ) and all the other "bad" things to which you allude , but we live like Vin Date: 02 Apr 04 - 03:53 AM ( above ) in the hope that we occasionally get to see the quality of "Roy Bailey finishing the night off".

You are obviously putting nothing into folkclubs and consequently getting nothing out of it.
As a cross section of society - they're a fairly wacky and mixed bunch,but I've never known any to permit or encourage even the mildest of drugs - and they are fairly well adept at mixing well with each other, albeit on occasions, accompanied by a surfeit of Good old beer.

Finally , can I suggest to a educated pen as you profess to be,that you review and adjust your name so that the gender matches the undoubted masculine name of Richard .
When you have done so, then remove the "O" from the remining Count - and I reckon that should be "about right" as they say in these parts.

Enjoy the English Opera - that's appears to be more your "bag".


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 02:19 PM

Clearly unversed in Child #68 then...nor in multicultural tolerance, musicality or basic literacy.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 07:02 PM

What a lot of words being used in this thread for us all to agree (violently) that Mike's 1 hour on Radio 2 is not enough expose/promote adequately all facets of folk!

OK, some prefer to blame Mike himself for that; and others (like me) blame the BBC for not giving folk enough airtime. And some are fans of Mike and his (undoubted) contribution as a performer, and are offended by the remarks of the former. And suddenly the language and tone of the thread deteriorates to levels unworthy of the topic and of us all. Betsy, though I agreed with you on who's to blame, you were the first to lash out with the "R-soles" etc; and Countess, you were a bit too quick to respond with the "wanker persuation". Can we all take a back step?

Countess, I don't believe we have met (if we have, and I don't recognise or remember, I apologise). Which are the venues that you say are "more congenial...(and) ... where exciting music and dance flourish"? Me, I just go to Herga, Maidenhead, St Albans, and have occasionally ventured into Sharp's, St Neots, Stortfolk, Twickenham, Bedford, Ampthill and Staines around London. As well as to Folk on the Moor in Devon, the Open Door in Manchester, Seaford in Sussex etc.

Are these not in the list of your favourites? Was I misguided or misinformed in enjoying my evenings there - both singers nights and guest nights? Where should I go to get better?

Or am I too of the persuasion you mentioned, and you'd rather I kept clear?

I just want to know where I might be in your books, you understand.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 07:11 PM

Oh, and before I get accused of illiteracy: I recognise my mistake in missing the "to" in my hurry, in the first sentence.

And I know the story of Countess Richard - I wonder if all the excellent guests we had this season in our clubs did. Should they be vetted?

I can't be blamed for lacking in multiculturalism either - not with my background, musical as well as otherwise.

Do I pass?

Though I might fail the musicality criterion.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: The Villan
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 02:52 AM

Hey Countess Richard
Somebody just posted this in the Folk Mafia thread. Was one of them you in the shiny suit running the club. I say that becuase with your attitude, thats the way the folk clubs are going. Get a life and encourage people in irrespective of it is Trad or contemporary. I certainly wont run my folk club as a purely traditional event, and I will allow yougsters to show us old fogies what they are made of. Sometimes people grow old and live in a cuckoo world. You sound just like that. Anyway this was the post.

Once in Chicago I got hired to perform in a club, union scale. Went to the club. No one there but a couple of guys wearing shiny suits and gold rings with big diamonds. They kept to them selves, so did I. Did three sets, got paid. Did this for three or four weeks. Came to the club one evening. It had a new name. Same guys. Did my thing, got paid. This went on for three or four weeks. Came to the club one evening, it had yet another name. I played in five or six clubs that year, all in the same location. Never could figure out what was going on.

CB


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 03:59 AM

Hey Betsy, where can I hear the song? I'd love to add it to my repertoire. I'm in agreement with you, El Greko, Vin, and Villan. Folk Clubs aren't damaged by the enthusiastic amateurs, or by the 'beginners', or by someone occasionally doing 'Streets Of London', but they ARE damaged by the Folk Nazis who try to lay their own petty, self-conceived rules on a musical genre that evolved naturally, without any rules, over centuries. Mind you, the Nazis tried to rule the roost in the middle of the last century didn't they, and look what happened to them. Elitist Extremists never learn the lesson that history repeatedly gives them because their psyche is such that they're incapable of understanding the simple fact that they don't have a God-given monopoly on being right.

Countess, you may be a writer (come on, identify yourself so we can check that claim out) but being a writer lends no greater validity to YOUR opinions than anyone else's expressed in this thread, and others I've read on a similar theme. I assume you've heard of a tome entitled 'Mein Kampf', or perhaps even read it (I have)? Lots and lots of words - absolute tripe. Sound like anyone we know?

Oh, and Mike, if you're reading this (although God knows why you should bother!) - take no notice of the moaners, it's really easy to criticise but far more difficult to deliver. They'll only be happy when you've been driven out and it's wall-to-wall Westlife and Christina Aguilera. Oh joy!

IMHO
Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 04:03 AM

El Greko,

I know and like your work but I've never seen you perform live, either because I couldn't get there or didn't want to go (to the venue, you understand, not to see you!) This is way off topic and belongs rather in the recent 'Are Folk Clubs Crap?' thread but since you asked...

What deters me is that benighted legion of cliquey inverted snobs inhabiting the outmoded 'club scene' who insist on inflicting a full 45 minutes of unrehearsed, amateurish garbage on punters who have paid £6 or so for an artist they have waited a long time to see. Many's the time I have dragged along a 'non-folk' person who has listened to the guest artist's CD only to have them vow never to enter a 'folk club' again after such an appalling and depressing experience.

In another recent thread it was suggested that the MH show should be broadcast direct from a folk club, to which someone replied that this was not perhaps the best way to interest the general public. Too right.   Unless maybe it was Sharps (which is one of only two on your list that I have visited recently). This is primarily a singers' club and you just don't get on if you're not good.

Which brings me to one of Betsy's accusations: that I'm not a performer. Wrong, but rarely nowadays because I feel I'm not good enough. I'm no more than a 'competent' musician in that 'damned with faint praise' sense and don't have enough time to rehearse properly.   I'll play in a session, which is where the majority of aforementioned 'floor volunteers' should confine themselves, if not to their locked bedrooms, for a quite a while longer.

In yet another recent thread I wrote in defence of the Twickenham club which, although its booking policy is not always to my taste, is at least run efficiently and professionally. The complainant appently couldn't get a floor spot there. One can only wonder why - all the support acts I have seen there have been excellent and well-chosen and have interested me enough to seek out a full set from them.

In short, if you persist in presenting a hotch-potch of MOR crap, whether on the MH show or its downmarket equivalent on the club scene, it is hardly surprising if the public at large continues to fail to recognise the worth of our cultural inheritance and think, with some justification, that 'folk music' is a joke. I'm for the venue (or broadcaster) who promotes music relevant to how we live today regardless of genre, that tells our story and encourages our present population to add to it, with the only proviso being that it is *good*.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,Les in Chorlton
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 04:11 AM

Martin Carthy said - it's simple, it comes out of somones mouth and goes in someone elses ear. They either like it or they don't.

Maybe it's time for someone to put the toy's back in certain prams and start another thread


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 04:31 AM

Someone (and it might also have been Mr. Carthy) also said "All songs are sung by folk, therefore all songs are Folk Songs". Time will tell (although I doubt I'll be around to find out!).
:0)


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 04:32 AM

OK, Countess, I slept and feel less ornery myself this morning - sorry if I showed some claws (friends?). I was also guilty of thread-creep, let's get back to the topic.

I still think we are all agreeing with various degrees of violence ;-) What we get today on national media is not good enough. We vary as to who's to blame, and how to get it better.

I agree about the varying quality of different folk clubs, and also that a regular "live" show might not be the best way forward for that reason (although an occasional good snippet from a club, showing off Herga's or Sharp's "wall of sound" for example, might be in order, just by way of advertisement). The club scene has to (and will) continue its way, working on the participatory and inclusive aspects of folk, which is most important got its continuance and well-being.

So, the question is: What is a good/useful role for the media to play in the furtherance of folk? And how can we get them to fulfill that role?

For the first question, I offer the following:

a) Media can be the "glue" for the regional aspect of folk (trad and contemporary). Variety is the theme here. Let me in London hear Ciaran Dorris from Glasgow, let the Orkneys hear Mike Nicholson from Kent or Ben Campbell from Devon, etc etc

b) Media can promote the young, up and coming talent - on a regular basis, not just an annual award. (That would also help bring the yung'uns in, though that's not the reason why I suggest it here).

c) Media can advertise clubs, show occasional snippets, help get people off their backs and participate

As for how the achieve it:

Complain, write, demonstrate, let the "names" make the point when interviewed, grizzle, moan - at the media, not the poor presenter who stuck his/her head over the parapet. And then do it again.

And again.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: The Villan
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 04:34 AM

Countess
One thing I do agree on is that the artists should be able to sing and play their instruments. For listeners, there is nothing worse than hearing somebody who plainly can't do either.
As to what they sing, well that is up to them. The audience needs to go home happy.
Last week I had 10 artists on (a lot I know)but we kept a tight time schedule and it worked. I have not heard any adverse comments from artists or listeners.
Having said that, singrounds perform a necesary function in the folk world. It allows everybody to have a go. Without that, there are a lot of people who today are very good, who would not have made it.
I think the people who run the folk clubs have to decide for themselves how it should be run, and stick to it. There is room for everybody.
Oh yes, everybody has the choice of not going to a folk club if it is not what they like, but please please, do not criticise. Everybody is doing their best whatever level that may be. Everybody needs to be encouraged whatever level they are at.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 04:36 AM

for "got" read "for"...and for "the" read "to" - what's wrong with me this morning...


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 05:25 AM

In folk clubs and sessions we have always been far too generous to poor perfomers and people who come to sing songs they can't get an audience anywhere else for.
It works against us a lot of the time, I've seen people come to listen and hear a poor singer mumbling and stuttering over songs he has been performing for twenty years or more, these people will never return, put off folk music forever. A line has to be drawn somewhere.
eric


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 05:31 AM

Thread-creep again. But consider this situation, eric the red:
Aspiring talented newbie (never mind age) is considering whether to ask to sing/play later, while listening to God-awful floorsinger boring pants of all present. If he/she hears criticism at that stage, he/she (the newbie) may well stand down and not ask to take a turn (then or ever). What a loss, eh? And all for the sake of a few minutes of cringing...I'd rather suffer the God-awful, to give courage to the newbie.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: The Villan
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 05:42 AM

I understand your point Eric.
I still think there should be clubs that accomodate beginners, but at the same time there should be clubs, that encourage the better performers, or performers who are ready to move into the floorspot situation.
Once we stop arguing over that situation, then we all move on and recognise each club for the value that they give to the folk world.

In my simple world, I see the following (I know a few won't agree) :-

Feeder clubs that encourage beginners as well as singers who are reasonably good or indeed very good. They are the nucleaus of the folk world.

Support clubs that allow artists to develop their skills at a higher level by doing floor spots of 10 to 40 minutes depending on their level. I believe these clubs, should take care to ensure that the artists are capable of performing in front of a listening audience.

Top Artist Clubs. as it says.

I also believe that you can do a mix of above but have to take great care about the listeners.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 05:52 AM

That's precisely how the St Albans Windward and Spotlight clubs operate, Villan.

The Spotlight, on Sundays, gives everyone the chance to have a floorspot, and instead of a guest, every Sunday one of the floorsingers gets a chance to "feature" 30 mins of their material. This gives them the opportunity to practice putting and holding together a substantial set.

While Windward on Fridays - more expensive - books quality guests and picks and chooses the supporting floorsingers.

Any newbie approaching Breezy (who runs both of the above) for a chance, will usually get the standard response "come on a Sunday, let's hear you, and we'll see". This has produced already a handful of very worthy singer/players who have "graduated" to the Friday event.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: The Villan
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 06:37 AM

I reckon thats where I am coming from.

A spotlight, with maybe a top artist once every two/three months, with supporting artists from the spotlight side, who are good enough to support the guest. I have to find my feet first. I do have Bill Whaley and David Fletcher as guests on June the 4th.

From what I can see folk clubs such as Gainsborough/Louth/Lincoln are doing excellent work with the singaround approach. I am planning to visit Barton on Humber in a couple of weeks time.

All I can say is, there is room for everybody, but I don't understand all the bickering. Everybody should pull together and support each other in whatever way they choose to operate.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 06:47 AM

Tests. Graduates. Folk Music. Oh God what have we come to?


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 06:53 AM

Well, we have Doctorates of folk, and Professors, so why not...


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,Les in Chorlton
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 06:53 AM

Makes Mike's,programme seem like the home of musical anarchy


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Betsy
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 08:00 AM

It has been an interesting topic - and improvisations have been useful - especially in reading Greko, Villain, Eric, Johnny, Les's recent views.
Countess Dick, although he is some sort of writer, appears not to be able to differentiate between my statement in the interrogative, and, an accusation - "You don't perform then ????" is a simple question, as, to (that) date he had not established whether he did or not .
Enough of that - back to the Thread.
There is one problem area here, if any of us ran a show in place of MH I suspect there would still be a great group of objectors as to our content.
MH isn't the problem - the Producer / Director or whatever his function, - Jon Leonard maybe / probably is, the problem.
Having said that, we don't know what the politics / string pulling / bullshit he's had to endure, or commitments he's had to make to the BBC to get funding / the show on the radio.
I'm (repeating myself) thinking in terms of him possibly having to give assurances that it will have an international appeal etc. etc. to justify funding.
We simply don't know - but there IS something on National radio at which we can have a moan or otherwise.
On the overall scheme of clubs, MH, Barbara Dickson, Billy Connolly, Tony Capstick, Christy Moore, Maddy Prior, June Tabor, Jasper Carrott etc. etc. etc. were ALL floor singers ONCE, that's where they started and became very hard working Fulltime Folk Club performers. They didn't start at the Top.
Everyone has to start somewhere.
I hope some of you get to sit down and have a chat with MH sometime - a more knowledgeable and pleasant person you are unlikely to meet , and it would be a delight - if he took some of your views on board.
Finally, Strolling Johnny - if you get in touch with me - I would be pleased to help you out - as I could ask for no higher compliment, for which I thank you.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 08:39 AM

Smooth Operations who are the prodution Co. keep telling us that the mandate from the BBC is to include EVERYTHING, if so ? why does no other programme have such a wide remit ?
I believe Smooth Operations are the ones to blame, when the BBC itself produced this programme under the title Folk On 2 [ it is now called the Mike Harding Show ] presented by Jim Lloyd it was a lot closer to what we think it ought to be now.
Nick Barraclough has just won an award for presenting his C/W show, if Smooth Ops can do it with country I'm bloody sure they could do it with folk, why doesn't Nick's show have as wide a remit as Mike's ? I think Mike and john Leonard are doing just what they want to do regardless of real folk music listeners.
Get rid of Smooth Operations, who are they anyway ?
eric


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Betsy
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 09:39 AM

Eric-I can't argue with your reference to Jim Lloyd.
As I 've looked back over the thread - it seems like the faceless anonymous Smooth Ops indeed appear to be the baddie.
But we fall into our old trap with your comparison to Smooth Ops.and C/W - surely our whole problem is in the music we support " Folk " has many more avenues than the rigid channel which is C/W ( a form of "music" , which, I personally cannot abide ) so it is a relatively easy ride to produce "good" C/W.
If I read correctly in Mudcat, MH is at WHITBY this year.
No harm in asking / inundating the Organisers for requests (NOW) for Mike to hold a Question / Answer Session - it truly is a subject which is causing problems throughout the folk scene in G.B. and needs to be addressed.
In all my travels,there is no country other than England (Not U.K. or G.B.) I said England , shows the gross disinterest in it's own grass roots music and song, on Radio and especially Television.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,GUEST. Smooth Operator
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 10:43 AM

Got it! Betsy is Mike Harding in disguise. Will the real Mike Harding please stand up? Oh, but he is already.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 11:10 AM

The younger generation are exposed to many more types of music than the majority of the "oldies" in the folk clubs ever were, from a much wider media output.

They don't feel the need to limit their listening to one particular genre at the expense of others. They don't categorize their listening pleasure to such an extent that their ears are closed to anything new and refreshing.

Late Junction as mentioned above by a few, is an excellent show with a varied output, and high listener numbers. Maybe they ARE providing what people want.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 12:36 PM

I haven't heard the programme - it's on at a tricky time for me. So I can't comment on its material. But I can put a word in for Mike Harding himself.

I spent a week at a course in Donegal which he was also attending. Every night he'd be down in the pub, drinking slowly and playing quickly. He was a brilliant singer and musician, and also courteous and kind. There was absolutely no side to him. It was only five days into the week that someone told me he was well known.

Presenting a programme isn't something you do with an assumed personality. You have to play it as it lies, with the personality God gave you! So if Mike's funny, it's because that's the way he is. A more serious programme would just need someone with a different personality.

In the few days I knew him, it was obvious that his funny side enriched a genuine and deep scholarship in music and tradition.

But the people who are posting here have a point - there's obviously a place for a programme about *English* (which I assume is what people mean by British, really? If not, then English, Scottish and Welsh) folk music.

What about people writing to the BBC and requesting that such a programme should be tried? No need to be giving out about Mike Harding's programme - it's a big station! - they'd have room for two folk programmes!

Of course, if I'm picking up the implications of these postings correctly, the BBC is now buying in its programmes. In that case, it would probably be a good idea to try to interest both the BBC and independent companies - perhaps including Mike Harding's own company - in a programme about English music.

You might even call the programme St George's Day!


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: harvey andrews
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 12:47 PM

In all my travels,there is no country other than England (Not U.K. or G.B.) I said England , shows the gross disinterest in it's own grass roots music and song, on Radio and especially Television.

Agreed, as I mentioned on another thread there was not one representation of English cultural heritage on the Queen's Jubilee concert.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: selby
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 04:03 AM

I find myself agreeing with JTT (although I am not the one to do it)perhaps there should be a proggramme generated out of mudcat.

When the BERFF of which MH is patron struggled a couple of years ago mudcatters in the area joined forces and put together a VERY VERY succesful alternative which is now part of the new BERFF line up.

I suspect the thread creep would then be what would be included but a new thread of the UK mudcat radio show may give MH ideas.

I suspect that with 86 postings to this debate that MH probably views us all as a minor irritation anyway.
Keith


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 06:53 AM

Right - I launched two identical threads on the BBC Radio Message Boards (one on "Folk & Acoustic" and one on the general board) on the subject of getting more airtime for folk.

It would be good if some of us followed through with a discussion there on the subject. But PLEASE avoid rehashing the Mike Harding/Smooth Operations "good"/"Bad" arguments. These have already been aired there and the known response was already elicited. Stay on the subject of more airplay, please.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,Dan Abnormal
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 07:56 AM

Yes, MH show (and remember it is 'The Mike Harding show', not 'The Mike Harding folk show' or even 'folk on two') has a wide remit, but no wider than others on radio 2 and certainly narrower than most. Their remit is stated in the trailers - "The best in Folk, Roots, and Acoustic music". I don't think those three words are that far apart - the problem with most people seems to be the "best" bit which is so obviously subjective. Compare that to Stuart Marconie and "the best music of all time, from every genre there is".

John Leonard et al are really not part of some sinister conspiricy to deprive you of your favourite music - they have successfully managed to get the BBC to fund the Folk Awards, are responsible for the a lot of the programmes on BBC4, got the BBC to take folk a lot more seriously (internally at least) and have done a very good job over the last seven odd years. OK, people may grumble that only "names" get played/promoted, but those people became names by selling tens of thousands of records and so proving to the controller of BBC4 that they deserved a whole hours airtime devoted to a concert of them. When Mary Humphries and Annahata sell 30 thousand records they will get a concert broadcast on BBC4, I guarantee it.

I agree, MH doesn't speak for me either, but at least he has a national radio show that anybody can stumble across and discover the music. What we need is a new Andy Kershaw on Radio 1 to be exciting and vibrant and reflect what I (as a 20something music fan) think is good about this music.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: John J
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 07:55 AM

I just think it would be nice to have a regular folk music & song programme featuring material from the British Isles rather than from other countries on national radio.

I've nothing against 'foreign stuff', but surely a folk programme from the British Broadcasting Corporation should feature British material. We've already got Andy Kershaw whose programmes feature music from other parts of the world, and very good he is too.

Many years ago, the BBC World Service used to broadcast 'These Musical Islands', a superb programme even if it was on at somthing daft like 03.00!

John


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: pavane
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 08:07 AM

Mary Humphries & Anahata would, of course, have a better chance of selling 30,000 discs if they got some national airtime! (Yes I have seen them live)

It's the old catch-22 again. And yet we have people in the pop charts selling millions who a) can't sing in tune and b) write drivel anyway.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 08:35 AM

Just think of that group that disgraced themselves on Eurovision last year (mercifully I have forgotten their name, please do not remind me). How much airplay did they have BEFORE they sold 30,000 copies of anything...


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 08:58 AM

Oooooooh! I can just see Mary & Anahata winning mille points with The Young Banker....


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 09:56 AM

Well, they get my vote any day...


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: treewind
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 11:07 AM

For the record, we are not doing anything Eurovision!
(help! this is how rumours start...)

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 12:01 PM

Separate issues:

1. More dedicated folk music broadcasting on national radio - Perhaps take over the Sunday night World Music slot on R3
2. More exposure of the general public to quality UK folk music.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: VIN
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 08:26 AM

As Harvey H has said, compared to other areas of these septic isles England, with a few exceptions, shows 'gross disinterest in it's own grass roots music and song, on Radio and especially Television'. Until this situation improves, the clubs, sessions/sing-a-rounds (& festivals) are that much more invaluable if the 'living tradition' is to 'live on'. Its also great to have smashin venues (in the N/west of England where i reside) like Pacific Road in Birkenhead, Bury Met, Neptune in Livepool, Playhouse in Shaw, Oldham Coliseum and the Lowry for the more establised artistes (& supports). At the end of the day its the music that matters!

So support the music and if someone is singing/playing out of tune, well so did some of thos people from whom the Carthys, Coes, Bellamys (gawd rest is soul) et al first collected from. At least they're tryin, and will hopefully relish constructive criticism and help, as i do. Telerance is the key! Sing/dance/play on folks!!


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 08:55 AM

Yes telerance is certainly the key. :-)


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: el ted
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 10:19 AM

99


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: el ted
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 10:20 AM

Post no100. I thank you.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 10:35 AM

Betsy - Harding, Capstick, Connolly, Carrott and I'll chuck in Fred Wedlock and for good measure, became popular and were able to cross over to a wider audience because they were all comedians - talented comedians at that - and I've always thought they did a disservice to Folk by iniradicably (have I spelt that right?) linking their kind of humor to Folk in the eyes of the general public. It seems to have been very much a phenomenon of the '70's and I am glad its passed. Maybe June Tabor should try to be funnier? :-)


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 12:37 PM

No need, she can sing. (Mind you, so could Capstick so that's shot me in the foot!).


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: pavane
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 12:48 PM

I seem to remember that before one C. Sharp started collecting, it was commonly believed the English had no folk music?

Some things don't change


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 12:59 PM

if anyone knows Mike harding, can you tell him about this thread?


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Betsy
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 01:06 PM

Vin ,
I don't really like the term you used "septic" Isles , perhaps when Maggie was around - Yes , but I think I'd rather prolong the myth and stick to "septred" at the moment , and the phrase you attributed to Harvey was used by me previously in the thread - Harvey was merely elaborating on the phrase. Apart from all that - I'm in full agreement with you.
As to the Guest above - why do they feel the need to narrow the ( random ) band of names which I provided.
Paul Simon and Bob Dylan used to come to Britain to pick Martin Carthys brains , Christy Moore was as funny as any one else but didn't seek to highlight it , Vin Garbutt is probably more funny that all the others put together - and , are we going to dismiss that wonderful traditional singer Isla St Clair because she became "famous" etc.etc.etc.
All those people which I mentioned were/are legit singers and musicians,the fact that some of their talents blossomed in another direction during the years of their performance slogging around Folk Clubs, is, for me something to be praised.
For example the next time you are ridiculed ( as we've all been ) for saying we like Folk Music - just reel-off names of people who've come through our Ranks and watch the reaction.
Try to stop being so narrow minded,with views like yours, no wonder we are sometimes percieved by the Media as an insular group of wierdos.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,Scept'rd Isla
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 01:37 PM

" no wonder we are sometimes percieved by the Media as an insular group of wierdos."

...who can'r spell.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 01:42 PM

blar, blar, blar, always people going on about spelling!
this is music site, not spelling site, so wahts that got to do with it then.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: harvey andrews
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 02:45 PM

Seconded Betsy. In fact I proposed Folk Awards in an interview on Folk on Two many years ago and got flamed for it. I suggested that to gain a higher profile the folk community (in the broadest sense) could learn from Country music in America which organised and raised itself from the dead by using the media. I suggested a sort of team photograph of all the "famous" people who started in folk clubs, from Barbara Dixon to Jasper Carrott so that the general public would realise that a wonderful network of alternative people's entertainment existed across the country in folk clubs. I pushed the idea, so disliked by the entrenched as represented on many threads here, that folk, in its widest interpretation, is entertaining, otherwise it has no purpose. Martin Carthy is as entertaining in his speciality as any folk comedian, otherwise why would people pay to see him with such frequency?
Anyway, like Martin Peters, I was at least ten years ahead of my time. At least the folk awards exist now and on tv too. Unfortunately, the wonderful network of clubs that could have benefitted from such exposure is no more, and no one yet seems to foresee a second wave of young organisers building it again.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: pavane
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 03:14 PM

And how would they, with the new licencing rules coming in?


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 03:17 PM

99.9% with you, Harvey. All except the last bit about the second wave of organisers; I am more optimistic (perhaps the Greek genes at work here) that in the next 5-10 years we will see some young organisers. There will probably be just a handful of them initially, but the fire will catch again. We may not live to see the second wave in full bloom, and I suspect that by that time you will have been consigned to "traditional" in the young'uns' minds ;-). But I think it will happen.

Why do I think that? Simply because I cannot imagine that Spiers, Boden, Sam Pirt, Kate Rusby, John Moray, Ms Jones etc will sit at home and be quiet. They will start the second wave. Fingers, toes and eyes crossed...


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 03:22 PM

They'll find a way, Pavane. The second wave of clubs may not be in pubs. House concerts, church halls, they'll find a way.

Just because 78s (and 45s and LPs) have gone out of fashion, it doesn't mean the old recorded music has disappeared. Same with the clubs.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: VIN
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 05:44 PM

'septic'.......sorry betsy, just me little joke (i think when thatcher was around 'poisoned' would have been a better word) and for acrediting H.A with your previous comment! Quite agree with what you say. It used to get quite 'het' up (still do to an extent) when people used/use the phrase 'finger-in-your-ear music' - doh! Tried to point out that people like Mick Jagger, John Lennon and more recently Sting (on top o dee pops - wow eh) all have use their hands (not fingers) as harmony aids.

P.S Who remembers 'Country Meets Folk' with the late Wally Whyton and Brian Brocklehurst, the yetties etc - a great blend of sounds that was i reckon. Roll on the next revival then E.G but lets make sure we keep the remnants of the last one goin eh?


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 06:25 PM

Amen to that, Vin


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,JOHN of ELSIE`S BAND
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 07:06 AM

Vin,
    I well remember, when I was in "Four Square Circle", we did "Country Meets Folk" a number of times and worked with Wally, Malcolm Price, Red Sullivan, Brocklehurst, Johnny Silvo, The Foggy Duo, the one man band who made his name with "Rosie" whose name deserts me at the moment and so many more. And the numerous, good, paying clubs to be found all over. The age group of the generation that frequented the clubs then was so much younger than today. Is it possible to reclaim lost ground?


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: VIN
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 07:26 AM

Hi John,

The great Silvo is on at Poynton this w/end. Saw him there last year and he was as great as ever. I recently attended a Family Mahone gig the m/c university - most of the audience were about 30 years younger than me (mind you i think Shane McGowen was the main attraction) but with Kate Rusby, Eliza Carthy and quite a few other not-so-oldies (saw a group of lads playing jigs & reels whose average age was about 13? and they were fab) so there is hope!

Methinks the one man band was Don Partridge john.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: pavane
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 07:33 AM

I still have a recording somewhere of the Foggy Duo somewhere, made at Hornchurch in the early 1970's.

Includes the classic song 'Since my canary died'


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 07:40 AM

Don Partridge it was Vin - Jasus, you must be as old as me!
Thank God for the Grekos, Betsys, Harveys and Vins in this world who preach sanity and reason to some of the ostriches who've posted on this and other similar threads.

Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 07:42 AM

Saw Don Partridge just a few years ago busking in Hereford...


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Betsy
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 09:20 AM

As the thread has taken a distinctly nostalgic turn I'd like to throw this in .I'm a Northerner and as a young engineer I was sent to work on a Gas Plant on Purley way down in Croydon where I worked for about one year.I think it was near a Lambretta Scooter factory / outlet so that dates it a bit - poss '66 > '68.
I visited a few folkclubs - I thought one was the Cherry Orchard - can't remember which part of Croydon - but many years later - I was asked "did I go to the Folk club where Dave Bowie went ( possibly ran.)? "
Is this a red herring - was I being set up ? - I certainly can't recall him - though with my memory - that's saying nothing.
The only thing that gave it minor credence is his age group - which is not a great deal to "go" on , but it maybe a talking point in the boozer for some of you especially in and around Croydon.

To "From: GUEST,Scept'rd Isla " above - I promise I will write "perceived" a Hundred times - mea culpa, mea culpa, mea Maxima culpa.
Good luck on you all.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,earthling
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 09:38 AM

Bowie played in the Three Tuns in Beckenham, now called the Rat and Parrot.Only a couple of miles from Croydon.He lived in Beckenham at the time.

He played in a room at the back, called The Arts Lab and sometimes called The Folk Club, it was late sixties/early seventies.Could be the one you are thinking of?


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,rob wright
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 10:45 AM

We just have to admit we DO NOT LIVE IN A PERFECT WORLD. For years people have been suggesting this and that for improvements to radio and TV coverage of Folk Music. There has been the odd moment of pleasure ,of something special, But when it comes down to it ..it is all about money and to be honest Folk Music does not make a lot of money. Oh there are the exceptions and Mike Harding has what could be called a career but dont go putting him down. Send your suggestion the the BBC let THEM know that there is a large audience for Folk Music and who knows they might extend his programme or even put one on every night of the week and with different presenters just to please everyone.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 10:55 AM

Rob - send suggestions to the BBC when you can whinge forever on Mudcat instead? Get real.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,JOHN OF ELSIE`S BAND
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 11:19 AM

Earthling,
          Spot on. As Four Square Circle we played at "The Three Tuns" with Dave Bowie but it`s hardly surprising since both Robin and Steven Gray lived at Beckenham. I also remember a meeting in the beer garden at the back with Angie trying to promote a peoples theatre.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 12:11 PM

"a large audience for Folk Music" ??? I really don't believe that Folk
is anything but a minority interest in England. But what is wrong with that? It is difficult to retain integrity once the Capitalists see a commodity they can market. They generally try to reduce any style of music to anodyne pap to increase their market. Remember "Day Trip To Bangor"? What would Dick Gaughan say! I always thought Country Meets Folk a truly dreadful programme. Hardings is a vast improvement. Also when Jim Lloyd was hosting the folky progs you could pick up the Radio Times and see The Yetties were on every bloody week in their own programme, and, in my opinion, if there was any band guaranteeed to turn off a general audience from Folk it was them. Ghastly.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,Eddie Grundy
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 12:30 PM

Oi, them Yetties done a great job on my sig tune. Just need to get them bloody Archers out of my prog title.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Betsy
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 01:29 PM

Thankyou GUESTs,JOHN OF ELSIE`S BAND and Earthling for your positive answers re David Bowie .
Does it not truly show the value of this Forum ???. I'm sure I'll have been to the Club as I used to scour the area looking for Folk Clubs to give my limited talents an airing.
In the context of the Thread - another name to reel off in addition to the others who have come throughthe Folk "Mill" although I must confess I'm not fond or (perhaps understand) his music.
I could say the same about Leonard Cohen and have another bunch of people disagreeing with me - was he Folk ?.
To Guest(above), its to easy to be selective and choose the Song "Day trip Bangor" what do you imagine the Pop World thought about Chirpie Chirpie cheep cheep or Birdie song etc.- We've all got our crosses to bear , but how come you have designated this a Folk song in the first place - it's simply your perception.
You have omitted the Dubliners and Spinners from your write up - and if Julie Felix was a Folkie - how come she only (seemed) to know One song - "Daddy's taking us to the Zoo tomorrow". Arrggghhhh!! The Yetties had their place in it all , and remember, when these people were doing their "bit" there wasn't the varity of songs ,music and musicians available the that there are today- they hadn't been properly uncovered / discovered and writers hadn't come to the fore.
Besides that's part of what folkies liked THEN.
Re:-Dick Gaughan - I suspect he would be much more generous than you suppose and see other sides to the song ,and, as Diz Dizley used to say - "It may be sh*te - but it's British sh*te" which is a humourous balanced thing to say.
As for Capitalism in Folk music - it's always been there.
Folkies are not ALL as squeaky clean Socialist, pure-minded , anti - materialistic as you would like to think.
A Folk Club HAS to make a profit otherwise the next time a Guest shows up the Organiser has to pay the balance out of his arse pocket -or short change the guest
Witness in any "Folk" song book you've ever picked up, see Song Title look for the Writer and then the Arranger. The arranger of a Song attracts Royalties in the same way as the Writer of the Song (and Music) and I don't know anyone in Folk music who hasn't written a song and not got it suitably protected in this manner.
Have your strong views and opinions and share them with us - we'll always listen ( but not necessarily agree) but also sift through all the sh*ite that's talked about our music otherwise you'll start believing in exactitudes - and we know it's just a hotch potch of music types which suit all,- some of the time, and, some.........
That's the idea - you're getting into the swing of it !!.
Good Luck,


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Apr 04 - 10:17 AM

Betsy - re Dick Gaughan, I didn't express myself clearly I'm afraid. What I meant was what would Dick Gaughan say about the loss of integrity not what he would think specifically of "Day Trip to Bangor" I've always considered Dick to be a performer of great integrity. Stay cool.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Betsy
Date: 08 Apr 04 - 11:02 AM

Hiya Guest, I don't think DG would acre one way or the other - he's got enought to go on with, like everyone else in any case unless you are . Strange thing though - now you come to mention it / or at least I've got round to thinking of it - I can't recall anyone singing that particular song in a Folk Club - or for that matter "Match stick men and dogs". Were they in some way


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Betsy
Date: 08 Apr 04 - 11:11 AM

Apologies - glitch at this end - sending complete NOW

Hiya Guest, I don't think DG would care one way or the other - I would imagine he's got enough to go on with, like everyone else ( I'm assuming your not Dick !) . Strange thing though - now you come to mention it / or at least I've got round to thinking of it - I can't recall anyone singing that particular song in a Folk Club - or for that matter "Match stick men and dogs" etc. Were they in some way considered by the Folk scene "Off -limits " because they had reached commercial popularity ? It's difficult to know how it all works.
I have heard Chubby Brown singing the "Day trip to Bangor" which wasn't in a Folk Club - !! and I enjoyed the parody infinitely better than the original - but I'm that naughty type of person.


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Subject: RE : dear Hilery Mckay
From: GUEST,bookworm
Date: 06 May 04 - 09:23 PM

love the book Dog Friday. That is because i love books like that!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 02:07 PM

dear mike, you are rubbish.john


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 02:10 PM

hahaha! Nice one John.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: bazza
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 02:39 PM

never mind folk music lets have english traditional music even half an hour a week,Bazza.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,14fret
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 03:10 PM

Dear Mike, Chris Smither is not 'one of our best......' he's american.
He's just one of the best. For Christs' sake, get out more.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Skipjack K8
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 03:21 PM

Begads, how many Christs does 14fret apostrophise so carelessly?


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 05 Nov 04 - 05:19 AM

All of 'em.

eric


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,Mi Ha
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 10:34 PM

87


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 04:45 PM

While I agree with comments on this thread re. increased coverage of UK trad on our only national Folk programme, I feel that we would get a more positive response talking nicely to Mike, rather than slagging him off. He is a seriously good folk singer/songwriter, who does, I am sure, agree with much of what has been said. Within the limits of what is acceptable to Auntie Beeb, he probably does all that he is able. He is the point of the weapon, and I'm afraid the rudder is at t'other end. I'm just grateful that BBC give us SOME folk. ITV doesn't seem aware of our existence, nationally or locally.

Don T


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,Guest:: MH fan
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 02:02 PM

I agree Wyziwyg, I don't care what anyone says, if it wasn't for that man I wouldn't have found the folk world. Just by chance, driving home one night about 3 years ago, I put the car radio on and heard Mike's programme, and for the first time I heard some wonderful music, a live programme from the Point in Cardiff - I have been hooked on folk ever since.

Whilst I agree some of the music played on his programme isn't british or traditional but the title of the programme doesn't say that it should be. I am also under the impression although don't know for sure, that producers are generally in charge of radio 2 programmes including choosing the music, so maybe everyone is shouting at the wrong person.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,padgett (at home)
Date: 19 Mar 05 - 01:50 AM

It seems to me that a number of points need to be made.
Radio 2 is main stream Uk radio and there is an overall duty to produce a programme of good quality for the majority of a cross section of Radio listeners and not just for died in the wool traditionalists.
Mike Harding is the front man and a damn good job he is doing in keeping the folk flag flying
John Leonard is the producer.His credentials as a folkie person are the best and as a BBC producer even better. John was responsible for the BBC Radio Sheffield Folk programme for many years and has given a step up the ladder for the likes of Tony Capstick, Dave Burland and many other guest presenters such as Jim Boyes and Derek Elliot. Kate Rusby/Katherine Roberts also were helped by John.
If you want to throw stones at anyone try the BBC local folk coverage for example at the lack of folk programmes in the North/East of England.
Local coverage from the Humber through Sth Yorkshire suffered greatly
with the loss of the blanket coverage Henry Ayrton and Brian Swinton provided. Chance is that we folkies were not vocal enough in safe guarding this programme.

What is paramount is the Radio Derby folk programme of Mick Peat and Lester Simpson on Monday evenings who are able due to their time allocation to cater for the more traditional element and provide a good balance for we grass roots knowallsT
This programme can also be heard via the internet World Wide
So if Radio Folk is what you want! ensure that you know all the rules before you start knocking the establishment whose roots are deeper than you think
Good luck to Radio Folk, even if you don't necessarily agree with everything ~ could you do any better? I doubt it?
Ray Padgett


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 19 Mar 05 - 06:03 AM

padgett, if it is the duty of the BBC to cover the whole spectrum, to please everyone, why is Mike Harding charged with playing everything yet the TWO country music shows only have to play country music ?

Country music is well covered without Mike Harding playing it, it seems he will play anything to avoid playing folk music.

Incidently I love American folk music, I am half of a duo that plays a lot of American stuff-Doc watson, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and many more.

There is no need for Mike to play country, it is well covered.

eric


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,padgett (at home)
Date: 19 Mar 05 - 08:28 AM

Eric if you dont like Mike Hardings programme write and tell them or listen to a programme which gives you a better spread such as Radio Derby and there's more there for the trads and knowalls like you and me!

I'm not entering into discussions on programme content, if you are happy not tell THEM! They have been given the Folk Programme and will stand or fall on its popularity that is balance of plusses against minuses

There are a load of BBC regional folk programmes which you can access, via the internet vote with your feet!


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 19 Mar 05 - 09:15 AM

Hi padgett, I've emailed Mike Harding many times, see if you can guess how many times he has replied ?

ZERO

eric


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,padgett (at home)
Date: 19 Mar 05 - 09:46 AM

But have you Emailed the BBC? start at the top Mike Harding is an employee ~ I dont know what actual control he has of content but he aint answerable to anyone but his boss!!

Ive told you that the production company has the programme

They are producing the goods the BBC thinks that they should ~ yes you and me know that its not what WE want, that is traddy English folkies ~ so either keep complaining to the BEEB or stop listening and put your support into regional BBC Folk preogrammes as I think I suggested in a post above.

Stop hitting your head against a brick wall, it hurts and gets you no where


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,Dave Hanson
Date: 19 Mar 05 - 10:07 AM

Well then, why does Mike give out his email address ? why does he never reply ?

Stop making excuses for him padgett.

I can give you the answers to both my questions.

1. He wants only people who tell him how good it all is to reply.
2. He never replies to his critics.

Dave H.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,padgett (at home)
Date: 19 Mar 05 - 01:17 PM

I am not making excuses I believe I'm telling it as it is Dave!

You may well be right about giving out his email address and replies to his critics ~ but I reiterate that you need to know his terms of reference and such should/ought to come from him and his organisation
" Smooth Operations"

I say again if you dont like the content and can't get anywhere listen to other regional folk programmes which are more to your liking; stop hitting your head against a bloody wall and get a life!!


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,MH Fan
Date: 20 Mar 05 - 06:18 AM

When I have emailed MH at the beeb it has been someone from smooth ops who has replied or contacted me.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,Mick Harding
Date: 13 Mar 15 - 07:14 PM

Your still a Wanker whatever.
Love Mick


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Thompson
Date: 14 Mar 15 - 03:47 AM

This is an old, old thread going back to 2004.
Is Mike Harding still working for the BBC? His website says "When the BBC decided they no longer wanted the kind of show I did?"
Thanks for alerting me to the fact of Mike's show - met him many years ago on a week when he sang his heart out every night with great generosity and sweetness in a pub in Donegal - not gigs, he was attending a course and after the day's walking and learning and dancing we all retired to the pub.
It's nice to hear that he plays music from the mainland - it's rare to be able to hear music from Romania and France and Germany that often here in Ireland. It's also nice to hear music from our neighbouring island. I'm going to subscribe to his podcast.


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 14 Mar 15 - 07:26 AM

In contrast Mike's internet programme is brilliant, this proves what he can do away from the constraints of the BBC, Smooth Ops and the people with vested interests telling what to promote.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: GUEST,DaveRo
Date: 14 Mar 15 - 07:49 AM

Yes, the podcast is much more varied and interesting than his BBC programme.

Here's the direct RSS link if you have a podcast client
http://mhfs.podomatic.com/rss2.xml


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Subject: RE: Dear Mike Harding
From: DaveRo
Date: 22 Jul 17 - 04:38 PM

Two years since I posted that, and reading another thread about Mike Harding prompts me to recommend The Mike_Harding_Folk_Show podcast again. Granted, his style is a bit marmite, but every week there are a some gems. (This is a pukka podcast, downloadable automatically every Sunday.)

A couple of weeks ago he played There's_Talk_About_a_Fence off a CD of that name by Rick_Lee, who was new to me. Nice banjo accompaniment. Despite the topical title it dates from 1999. I bought the CD for £1.99 on eBay.

Last_week he played The Company Says from Get Off My Lawn by another American, David_Stoddard. Also four variations of the Lover's Ghost ending with Grey Gallito from Salsa Celtica with Eliza Carthy. (Is that refrain Spanish or Latin?) Wonderful.


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