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BBC Radio Ballads by Ewan MacColl/Chas. Parker

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Steve Parkes 04 Dec 98 - 08:56 AM
Bob Bolton 06 Dec 98 - 07:22 PM
bigJ 06 Dec 98 - 07:44 PM
Ana 06 Dec 98 - 11:51 PM
bigJ 07 Dec 98 - 05:50 PM
Bob Bolton 13 Dec 98 - 08:02 PM
Dick Wisan 14 Dec 98 - 12:37 AM
Bob Bolton 14 Dec 98 - 04:36 PM
GUEST,Terry 03 Sep 02 - 03:08 PM
GUEST,Terry 03 Sep 02 - 03:12 PM
Nerd 03 Sep 02 - 03:30 PM
Nerd 03 Sep 02 - 03:35 PM
Nerd 03 Sep 02 - 04:01 PM
Susanne (skw) 03 Sep 02 - 05:42 PM
GUEST,NSC - George Henderson 03 Sep 02 - 06:19 PM
dick greenhaus 03 Sep 02 - 09:48 PM
Nerd 03 Sep 02 - 11:20 PM
dick greenhaus 04 Sep 02 - 11:25 PM
GUEST,NSC 05 Sep 02 - 05:13 AM
ChrisJBrady 11 Mar 12 - 08:56 PM
GUEST,Radio Ballads - Films 13 Jul 12 - 08:50 AM
GUEST 13 Jul 12 - 11:41 AM
GUEST 13 Jul 12 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,Guest 14 Jul 12 - 08:15 AM
GUEST 14 Jul 12 - 07:04 PM
GUEST,Guest 15 Jul 12 - 07:40 AM
GUEST 15 Jul 12 - 11:10 AM
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GUEST 15 Jul 12 - 12:48 PM
GUEST 15 Jul 12 - 01:02 PM
GUEST 11 Apr 15 - 09:20 AM
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GUEST 13 Apr 15 - 06:49 AM
The Sandman 14 Apr 15 - 06:21 AM
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GUEST 02 Oct 16 - 05:53 PM
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Subject: BBC Radio Ballads by Ewan MacColl/Chas. Parker
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 04 Dec 98 - 08:56 AM

In the 50's & 60's the BBC put out a ground-breaking series of programs called the Radio Ballads, written by Ewan MacColl and directed by Charles Parker. These were a sort of documentary, supported by trad and ad-hoc songs performed by the MacColls, Bert Lloyd, and other greats. They were original in that, for the first time, the 'actuality' - the voices of real people being interviewed, instead of actors reading from a script - was broadcast. Songs from the series have now passed into the Tradition, even gaining extra verses in the good old manner.

They include 'I'm a freeborn man', 'With our nets and gear we're faring', 'I am an old-timer, I travel the road', and tons more too numerous to mention. They were issued on vinyl, but I don't think they're still available. If anyone has any of them and would like to spread them around a wider audience, or wants to pester the Beeb to re-release them, I for one would be very pleased, and all you folks who haven't had the pleasure will be too.

Over to you!

Steve


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Ballads by Ewan MacColl/Chas. Parker
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 06 Dec 98 - 07:22 PM

G'day Steve,

I have about a few of them in my vinyl shelves - off the top off my head there should be: The Ballad of John Axon (the original from c. 1959) Singing the Fishing (Herring fishing - possibly the programme that most affected folk revivalists) The Travelling People (Gypsies, Tinkers &c) The Boxing Game (eponymous) The Big Hewer (coal mining) Song of a Road (building the M1 - this I heard first on radio ~mid 1960s, in Tasmania while I was working in the big construction game, so it has a great relevance to me personally).

There may be more ... I will see how far I need to excavate tonight! I know that there was one about disturbed teenagers that I never saw in the shops here in Australia. I think the material and the techniques hold up quite well and I would love to see (and hear) them on CD. I know there was at least one MacColl/Seeger LP record just of songs from the Radio Ballads.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Balads by Ewan McColl/Chas. Parker
From: bigJ
Date: 06 Dec 98 - 07:44 PM

Yes, the radio ballads were released in England on the Argo label, a division of Decca, but nothing is available these days as far as I know. The one about young people was never released I don't think; it was called 'On the Edge' - another, never released, was about people with polio and how they coped. I think that was the last radio ballad before the BBC decided that they were 'uneconomic' - inasmuch as they were costing about the same as a halh-hour TV variety show.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Balads by Ewan McColl/Chas. Parker
From: Ana
Date: 06 Dec 98 - 11:51 PM

I've recently bought "scottish drinking and pipe songs - featuring Ewan Mac Coll Peg' " f(for equivalent cost of 2 coffees). It's on Legacy International label CD346 seeya


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Balads by Ewan McColl/Chas. Parker
From: bigJ
Date: 07 Dec 98 - 05:50 PM

For more information on the Radio Ballads, see Sing Out Volume 17, Number 2 (April/May 1967) if you have access to one. There you'll find a 10-page article by Ewan MacColl together with the words and music of 'I'm a Freeborn Man' and 'Goodbye to the Thirty Foot Trailer'. The radio ballad about people with polio, by the way, was called 'The Body Blow' , that was followed by On the Edge/ The Fight Game and the final one, The Travellers.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Balads by Ewan McColl/Chas. Parker
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 13 Dec 98 - 08:02 PM

G'day again Steve,

Now that I look at my vinyl collection, I see that I actually have only 5 LPs of the radio ballads - and that only 6 ever made it onto vinyl. The ones that I have are: The Travelling People Decca/Argo DA 133 mono The Ballad of John Axon Decca/Argo DA 139 mono (Argo RG 474 mono). The Big Hewer Decca/Argo DA 140 mono (Argo RG 538 mono). The Fight Game Decca/Argo DA 141 mono (Argo RG 539 mono). Singing The Fishing Decca/Argo DA 142 mono (Argo RG 502 mono).

The one that I never saw in shops was: On The Edge Decca/Argo DA 136 mono.

I have clear recollections of Song of a Road, but no record seems to have been made. This is the only one that I actually heard as a radio programme. In the 1960s, when I was working on the Tasmanian Hydro-Electric Scheme, it was broadcast by the ABC (the Australian Broadcasting Commission) ... presumably while it was doing the colonial repeats circuit! This one made a great impression on me - especially as it was so relevant to my lifestyle at the time. The characters it deals with are those you will find anywhere in the world in the big construction game and some material, particularly The Fitter's Song, has stayed with me ever since.

The other Radio Ballad was The Body Blow about 5 polio victims.

As the songs are not presented separately in the actual Radio Ballads, but are integrated into the entire performance, many of the most popular have been recorded (and published) separately. I have two LPs called The World of Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, Volumes 1 & 2 (Argo SPA 102 & Argo SPA-A 216, respectively) and these have many of the Radio Ballads songs - indeed the 2nd volume is subtitled; Songs From Radio Ballads.

I suppose the most we can hope for is that the song albums will be swept up in the inexorable process of re-release on CD. The Radio Ballads would each make a lovely CD but no producer, these days, believes that a profitable proportion of the paying audience has sufficient attention span. I would be first in line if they brought out Song of a Road on CD!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Balads by Ewan McColl/Chas. Parker
From: Dick Wisan
Date: 14 Dec 98 - 12:37 AM

CD's would be wonderful. If they're considered hopelessly unprofitable, you'd think they might put those programs someplace where we could get tapes. Is there a British equivalent of the Library of Congress Folkways collection?

I heard "Singin' the Fishin'" and "The Ballad of John Axon" on the radio at the time (in New York). I've been looking for them ever since.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Balads by Ewan McColl/Chas. Parker
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 14 Dec 98 - 04:36 PM

G'day Dick,

I don't know how much the attitude of the BBC has changed over the decades since Ewan MacColl did the Radio Ballads. I remember a story he told, during a master class he ran in Sydney.

When he was researching for the radio programmes on folk music, he found that the Beeb has immense tape archives of folksongs, gathered by professional recordists and now firmly filed away "For Study Purposes". Since he had official access to look for useful material for his programmes, he taped recorded copies of all the good stuff and loaned them out to friends - who were encouraged to take copies.

By using the newly available home tape-recording equipment, he was able to "liberate" these folk archives and return them to the people. One hopes that the BBC has not reverted to the attitude shared by all too many 'academic' researchers ... hiding folk material away so that nobody else can make a profit from it ... or beat them to publish some 'gem'.

All this reminds us of what a treasure we have in a forum such as Mudcat Café ... free from accountants, bureaucrats and censors ... long may it remain so!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Balads by Ewan McColl/Chas. Parker
From: GUEST,Terry
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 03:08 PM


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Balads by Ewan McColl/Chas. Parker
From: GUEST,Terry
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 03:12 PM

I'm doing my dissertation for my degree on the nature of folk music and its use as a didactic medium of protest and social comment and I am looking for information on the radio ballads.If anyone knows where I can get contacts I would be grateful.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Balads by Ewan McColl/Chas. Parker
From: Nerd
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 03:30 PM

Folks, Topic issued these on CD last year or the year before. All of the MacColl/Parker Radio ballads were issued, but there were some Radio Ballads Parker did with other people (such as Ian Campbell) that have never seen the light as recordings.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Balads by Ewan McColl/Chas. Parker
From: Nerd
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 03:35 PM

Just an addendum: if you go to the Topic website (www.topicrecords.co.uk), and follow the "continue here" link, there will be a series of options on the left side of your monitor. One of these is "The Radio Ballads," which will give you info on each one plus a "buy it" button. So go and buy!


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Balads by Ewan McColl/Chas. Parker
From: Nerd
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 04:01 PM

Another addendum:

http://www.pegseeger.com/html/radioballads.html

has a lengthy story on the Radio Ballads from the pen of Ewan MacColl. Anyone researching them will want to read it.

Also, a letter from Ian Campbell appeared on the Musical Traditions web site, which I'll paste in below. Here goes:

As an old friend of, and sometime collaborator with, Charles Parker of Radio Ballad fame, I find it disturbing that in none of the relevant press articles I have read over the years, nor even in the Charles Parker Archive in Birmingham Central Library, have I ever encountered reference to the two Radio Ballads he produced without the involvement of Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger. That these programmes evoked no enthusiasm in MacColl and Seeger is perhaps not surprising, but that they should be excluded from the Parker canon seems odd, as they were Charles' only attempt to utilise the Radio Ballad format in programmes with local theme treated by local follk revivalists.

As a prominent Midlands figure in the folksong revival I was enthralled by the Radio Ballad format, having been booked as a singer on 'Singing the Fishing' and 'The Big Hewer', but it was in the interval between these programmes that Charles approached me with a plea for help. He explained that he was in trouble at the BBC because the revolutionary R.B. techniques were so time-consuming that they required budgets more apropriate for a TV spectacular than a radio feature; getting these budgets accepted was a constanat struggle, but even so they were always inadequate. He implied that to balance the books and safeguard his job and future Radio Ballads he must produce an extra programme in the R.B. format as quickly and cheaply as possible. To this end, he had already surreptitiously recorded the documentary 'actuality' for a programme about the craftsmen of the traditional Birmingham jewellery trade. He had thus forgone the ten months of research, recording, and analysis that MacColl would have been paid for.

As a craftsman engraver as well as a recognised singer/songwriter, I was doubly qualified to work on this programme, and what Charles now required was that I should gather a team of creative amateurs - singers, musicians - who might convert his documentary material into a Radio Ballad, with songs written by me and another local folky, John Chapman. Charles apologised for the fact that he could not afford the 10-15 days of studio time that MacColl would have required; instead, he could let us have one day to rehearse and record, which he had already booked for a Saturday which was a mere three weeks away!

So it was for the next three weeks John Chapman and I spent every spare moment with Charles' tape, groping for the themes and the vocabulary from which to weave the lyrics to fit the traditional tunes, and on the appointed day we joined our little group of musical friends in the studio for a gruelling 12 hours session under Parker's direction during which we cobbled together our very own Radio Ballad, 'The Jewellery'.

Remarkably, the programme was broadcast shortly afterward to positive critical acclaim even though, inevitably, it was compared unfavourably with the MacColl/Seeger award-winning creations. The accepted critical view seemed to be that, having collaborated with Charles in the creation of a new art form, Ewan and Peggy could not expect to exercise a total monopoly on its furture development and expression.

Consequently in the following year Charles approached me again with the actuality for a programme about the Midland canal communities, to be called 'A Cry from the Cut'. This time I alone was to substitute for MacColl and Seeger as writer, composer, and arranger of the music, and in the recorded performance, I would be joined only by my own group - Lorna Campbell, Dave Swarbrick, John Dunkerley and Brian Clarke. This time I was given 15 days notice of our one day in the studio and, to put things into further perspective, my total BBC fee as I recall was £17. 'A Cry from the Cut' received even warmer critical acclaim than 'The Jewellery'.

I have no way of knowing what tension these two programmes may have engendered among the creative triumvirate of the Radio Ballads, and I think I can understand why they were not included among the recordings for commercial release, but I think it regrettable that an apparent conspiracy of silence at some level in the BBC has consigned them to permanent oblivion. Surely to students of the arts and the media they should be of at least historical interest, if only for purposes of comparison.

Yours sincerely

Ian Campbell


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Balads by Ewan McColl/Chas. Parker
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 05:42 PM

Thank you, Nerd! I'd love to find a copy of the 'canal' ballad, but if not even Ian Campbell has got it ...


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Balads by Ewan McColl/Chas. Parker
From: GUEST,NSC - George Henderson
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 06:19 PM

Ian Campbell,

Are you still living in Kilkenny. If so please contact me at hendersondirect@eircom.net

George Henderson. Nenagh Singers Circle


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Balads by Ewan McColl/Chas. Parker
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 09:48 PM

Eight Radio Balads are available on eight CDs--John Axon, Song of a Road, Singing the Fishing, The Big Hewer, The Body Blow, On the Edge, The Fight Game and The Travelling People. They're on the Topic label, and are available from CAMSCO (dick@camsco.com or 800/548-FOLK [3655]).

Bob Blair recently alerted me to a ninth, which to my knowledge has never been released on record--Romeo and Juliet. All nine are MacColl/Seeger compositions.

Good stuff.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Balads by Ewan McColl/Chas. Parker
From: Nerd
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 11:20 PM

Dick and co:

MacColl's Romeo and Juliet was not a radio ballad, it was a radio drama he did after the Radio Ballads proper. Peggy Seeger calls it "not a radio ballad but related in terms of radio technique." Radio Ballads were documentary programmes created out of hours of ethnographic or journalistic interviews. Romeo and Juliet was an updated version of the Shakespeare drama, improvised and performed by the Critics Group.. But it had some great songs, including Sweet Thames Flow Softly.

George Henderson: sorry, but to my knowledge Ian Campbell doesn't hang out on Mudcat. I quoted him in my post above, but I am not he! Sorry about the confusion.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Balads by Ewan McColl/Chas. Parker
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 11:25 PM

Thanx for the clarifcation.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Balads by Ewan McColl/Chas. Parker
From: GUEST,NSC
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 05:13 AM

Nerd

My mistake, simply misread your posting.

As far as i am aware Ian is still singing.

George


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Subject: RE: Radio Ballads Part 2
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 11 Mar 12 - 08:56 PM

'Lost' Birmingham Ballad "A Cry from the Cut" with images, about the Midland Canals.

http://vimeo.com/17437484

It starts with one Sam Lomas ...

First broadcast by the BBC in 1962.

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_ballad
http://www.cpatrust.org.uk/Bham_ballads.htm


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Ballads by Ewan MacColl/Chas. Parker
From: GUEST,Radio Ballads - Films
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 08:50 AM

The Big Hewer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnuibZTfyUE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rp4cexhLisQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPnDJNqoFAM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlp--zwdmMU

This is a documentary film by Philip Donnellan based on a 1960s Radio Ballad called 'The Big Hewer' by Ewan McColl, Peggy Seeger and Charles Parker. British coalminers have many stories of a legendary hero known by various names, including Temple, Tempest, Jackie Torr, Bob Towers, and, in Wales, Isaac Lewis. He is also known as "The Great Miner" or "The Big Hewer". He is to the British coalfields what Paul Bunyan was to the US logging camps and John Henry to the African American railway builders. The Big Hewer radio ballad and film makes it clear that the subject matter was not mining as such but a man who was a miner - an important distinction.

Tags

Philip Donnellan Ewan MacColl Peggy Seeger Charles Parker Radio Ballad Ballad folk song mining


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Ballads by Ewan MacColl/Chas. Parker
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 11:41 AM

The Big Hewer - Film

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnuibZTfyUE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rp4cexhLisQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPnDJNqoFAM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlp--zwdmMU


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Ballads by Ewan MacColl/Chas. Parker
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 12:21 PM

The Fight Game

http://youtu.be/d2v3HvZhsWM
http://youtu.be/YxpR5IGWSU4
http://youtu.be/-Q25s_-YaPE
http://youtu.be/SINZbsPPl3k

This is a documentary film by Philip Donnellan based on a 1960s Radio Ballad called 'The Fight Game' by Ewan McColl, Peggy Seeger and Charles Parker. The Fight Game: explores the world of professional boxing, where the boxers see themselves as latter-day gladiators. The Fight Game is an ironic tale, on the epic theme, echoing the fact that boxing was once the subject of many broadside ballads.

Tags

The Fight Game Philip Donnellan Ewan MacColl Peggy Seeger Charles Parker Radio Ballad ballads folk song boxing fighting


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Ballads by Ewan MacColl/Chas. Parker
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 14 Jul 12 - 08:15 AM

Thanks for these - really great to see Philip Donnellan's interpretation of the RB.

Would love to have a higher quality version of these. Does anybody have copies in higher quality - digitised from VHS tapes maybe?

BB


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Ballads by Ewan MacColl/Chas. Parker
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jul 12 - 07:04 PM

Hi Guest,
If you download a programme called "Youtube Downloader, it allows you expand these clips into other formats, similiar to expanding an MP3 to the full Wav. file.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Ballads by Ewan MacColl/Chas. Parker
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 07:40 AM

BB - I can supply as good as I have. But they have been digitised from VHS tape amounting to about 800MB to 1.2GB each. Maybe the person who has the tapes could offer to supply same on DVD for you. The Shoals of Herring is the next upload - when I can convert the format.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Ballads by Ewan MacColl/Chas. Parker
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 11:10 AM

The processing went something like this:

Film > VHS > DVD (VOB) > VOB Join > Womgle MPEG DVD 5.0 > Split up into clips less than 15 minutes long > Save As MPG > YouTube upload > Various internal YouTube reformatting

Note that the time codes on the film were as supplied on the DVDs / VOB files. It was not possible to hide or remove them.

One of the problems with uploading to YouTube was that the full VOB files provided were 30mins + a few seconds in size. YouTube only allows just less than 15 minutes per clip. And so simply cutting the VOB files in half was not quite OK, there were always a few seconds left over at the end.

So the first clip had to be 14 mins and say 50 seconds long, then the next clip had to be 14 mins and say 50 seconds. And the remaining 30 seconds odd had to be tacked on to the start of the third clip, i.e. at the start of the next VOB file. This latter meant that the video and audio of the third clip tended to be out of sync.

Splitting the VOB files into just less than 15 min. clips also depended upon whether there was a logical break in the recording, video, audio at the point required - not always possible.

Unfortunately VOB and MPG files are not like a 'flip-book' movie - that is they are not split up into self-contained individual frames that can be separated (clipped) along with the respective sound track. Editing VOB and MPG files is fraught with inconsistencies. In particular when editing it is difficult to keep the video in sync. with the audio.

The files on YouTube can be downloaded using loads of different apps. Try and do this by accessing the raw files. A good downloader is HiDownload Platinum - start the sniffer, then start the YouTube clip playing.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Ballads by Ewan MacColl/Chas. Parker
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 12:40 PM

The Shoals of Herring

1. http://youtu.be/zm3lXPkHs-8
2. http://youtu.be/O3dZ5E6Pa7Q
3. http://youtu.be/qjMmkw94uoM
4. http://youtu.be/Qdxny_5zF-E
5. http://youtu.be/OgHvX6BVkOU

A documentary film based on a 1950s Radio Ballad called `Singing the Fishing' by Ewan McColl, Peggy Seeger and Charles Parker, about the rise and decline of the herring industry on the east coast of Scotland and East Anglia. Contemporary footage of the fishermen at work is intercut with interviews and archive photos, clips from John Greirson's DRIFTERS, Harry Watts' NORTH SEA, and Campbell Harper's CALLING HERRING. Traditional folk songs sre used throughout.

Tags

The Shoals of Herring Philip Donnellan Ewan MacColl Peggy Seeger Charles Parker Radio Ballad ballads folk song fishing herring


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Ballads by Ewan MacColl/Chas. Parker
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 12:48 PM

The Shoals of Herring

1. http://youtu.be/zm3lXPkHs-8
2. http://youtu.be/O3dZ5E6Pa7Q
3. http://youtu.be/qjMmkw94uoM
4. http://youtu.be/Qdxny_5zF-E
5. http://youtu.be/OgHvX6BVkOU


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Ballads by Ewan MacColl/Chas. Parker
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 01:02 PM

Reload ...

3. http://youtu.be/4-8ihLL6Hio


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Ballads by Ewan MacColl/Chas. Parker
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Apr 15 - 09:20 AM

The BBC's Genome db gives transmission details from Radio Times listings.


https://www.mediafire.com/folder/a8p6lbj1r653e/The_Lonesome_Train_Cantata

A modern version is at Archive.org:

https://archive.org/details/BuildingBridgesNationalLincolnCantata-EarlRobinsonsLonesomeTrain

"The Old Chisholm Trail" - 1944 (only aired once in the UK)

https://www.mediafire.com/folder/pj8cq8cbccsdy/The_Old_Chisholm_Trail

"Romeo & Juliet" - 1966 (only aired once)

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/g6wtehxhb61ltzd/AACD0xLXNQV7_Q_F5U0XwNc6a?dl=0

"The Iron Box" - 1971 (only aired once)

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/m5maw23hgol7r3v/AAAZlPKgl16w7OOD-NYsFGBIa?dl=0

"Off Limits 2" (never aired)

https://soundcloud.com/jackaro/off-limits-2

"Sound The Jubilee" - 2007 (aired a few times, now online)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/shropshire/content/articles/2007/03/17/abolition_sound_the_jubilee_feature.shtml

Lost Ballads still being sought include:

"The Man Who Went to War" - 1944. A "ballad opera" by Langston Hughes with folk music chosen by Alan Lomax. It starred Canada Lee, Paul Robeson, Ethel Waters, William Vesey, Josh White, Sonny Terry, and Brownie McGhee.

"Stone of Tory" - 1950. A full-scale ballad opera, broadcast from Dublin, featuring Irish rural singers and a cast from the Abbey Theatre.

"Over the Sea to Skye" - 1951. A ballad opera on the flight of Prince Charlie through the Highlands, with Ewan MacColl and a cast of Scots and Hebridean folk singers.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Ballads by Ewan MacColl/Chas. Parker
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Apr 15 - 09:22 AM

Woops - the first RB should be entitled

"The Lonesome Train Cantata"


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Ballads by Ewan MacColl/Chas. Parker
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Apr 15 - 06:49 AM

The Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeper, Charles Parker legacy lives on.

Here are some new radio ballads by enthusiastic students. Wonderful stuff.

https://invisiblehistoriesproject.wordpress.com/our-new-radio-ballad/

CJB


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Ballads by Ewan MacColl/Chas. Parker
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Apr 15 - 06:21 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Ballads by Ewan MacColl/Chas. Parker
From: GUEST,CJB
Date: 14 Apr 15 - 07:17 AM

Indeed refresh ...

and the Birmingham Ballads can be heard here:

The Birmingham Ballads

Enjoy!!


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Ballads by Ewan MacColl/Chas. Parker
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Apr 15 - 07:19 AM

P.S. If anyone is still in touch with with Ian Campbell's folks please share these with them.


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Subject: RE: BBC Radio Ballads by Ewan MacColl/Chas. Parker
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Oct 16 - 05:53 PM

"The Man Who Went to War" - 1944. A "ballad opera" by Langston Hughes with folk music chosen by Alan Lomax. It starred Canada Lee, Paul Robeson, Ethel Waters, William Vesey, Josh White, Sonny Terry, and Brownie McGhee.

Despite the LOC or BBC staff breaking the glass masters and without the for-knowledge that future laser devices such as Irene might be able to piece together the recording from the shards there IS a surviving copy on magnetic tape (reel-reel?). This was made by Lomax himself and ended up in the Library of Congress Sound Archives (whatever). But what foresight Lomax had!! Anyway this tape was mis-indexed and was 'lost' for decades. Then last year (or thereabouts) it was rediscovered to great acclaim. However academia claimed it as theirs and only a clippette has been released to the public. A Ph.D. student was researching the programme, which was actually a kind of 'radio ballad / ballad opera' somewhat of the genre of the 'Chisholm Trail,' to write a thesis on the programme's influence on how Brits. gained an understanding of American culture of the 1940s. Frankly both programmes, 'Chisholm' and 'War,' would be as unlikely to do that as an episode of 'Life with the Lyons.' But then I suppose folks can do Ph.D.s on just about anything.

Here are links:

http://research.culturalequity.org/home-radio.jsp

http://music.ku.edu/%E2%80%9Cnon-extant%E2%80%9D-recording-langston-hughes-ballad-opera-found

"The Man Who Went to War, 1944. A "ballad opera" by Langston Hughes with folk music chosen by Alan Lomax. It starred Canada Lee, Paul Robeson, Ethel Waters, William Vesey, Josh White, Sonny Terry, and Brownie McGhee."

"C... M..., a Ph.D. student in musicology who will be writing her dissertation on radio ballad operas, plans to conduct the first in-depth study [of] the work for her document."

As a collector and researcher of the Radio Ballad genre, especially those produced by Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger, I contacted the folk mentioned on the KU webpage. They weren't the slightest bit interested in anything I had to offer!!! US-centric or what? However their loss.

Enquiries to the LOC only resulted in being told that copyright belongs to the BBC and that if a copy was required application had to be made to them. The price quoted was in the region of hundreds of $ or £ for a mere 30 minutes of highly stylised singing albeit with Robeson as narrator.

====

Here are the missing links including a clippette ...

http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/2015/06/12/missing-from-history-langston-hughes-the-man-who-went-to-war-2/

Interestingly Genome has two dates for when 'The Man Who Went To War' WAS aired in the UK.

Monday 29 May 1944 21.20
http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/051873ac57734b448b6169d371ed7886

Monday 6 March 1944 21.20
http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/b5f2b5e6dd984fd1aaab6ea8afa8cc9f

====

SB


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