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Happy! – Feb 23 (Vance Randolph / Pepys)

Abby Sale 23 Feb 06 - 08:41 AM
Barry Finn 23 Feb 06 - 03:47 PM
Abby Sale 24 Feb 06 - 09:47 AM
Barry Finn 24 Feb 06 - 11:50 AM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Feb 06 - 06:55 PM
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Subject: Happy! – Feb 23 (Vance Randolph / Pepys)
From: Abby Sale
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 08:41 AM

Happy Birthday!

The great collector of Ozarks folklore and song

Vance Randolph

was born 2/23/1892

Randolph died in virtual poverty, having pretty literally been killed by censorship. He was buried in the National Cemetery in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The "unprintable" outtakes from his collections were not published until 1992 although he was aware that Legman was editing them. (vol 1: Roll Me in Your Arms and vol 2: Blow the Candles Out). [thanx Ed Cray]

Folk ballad collector and diarist Sam Pepys was born 2/23/1633 (d.5/26/1703)

Copyright © 2005, Abby Sale - all rights reserved
What are Happy's all about? See Clicky

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Subject: RE: Happy! – Feb 23 (Vance Randolph / Pepys)
From: Barry Finn
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 03:47 PM

Can anyone give a little more backround to Randolph's story? Thanks

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Subject: RE: Happy! – Feb 23 (Vance Randolph / Pepys)
From: Abby Sale
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 09:47 AM

I've no real knowledge of him but I've just learned a bit more. Thank you. Per Pitt State University Library, he has 84 titles which show a far creater breadth of scholarship that I had any idea. He was best known for his vast knowledge and publications of Ozark mtns source material - folksongs, tales, lore. Favorite title and best known is "Pissing in the snow and other Ozark folktales." But also such titles as "A Note on the reliability of the maze as a method of learning in the Angora goat." Plus work on psychoanalysis, paleontology, grammar analysis and the much discussed "Unprintable" collection. And a good deal of sexual-content stuff.

From my (faulty) memory only - I certainly recall the well-established myth that Southern Mountain folk material simply contained little or no sexual content. (Like Irish folk tale & mythology) that's what was presented to us for generations and what most of us believed. Many still believe it of sea songs. Obviously, we know know that this was the severest form of academic censorship. The material just wasn't printable. Yes, there were all those sub-rosa collections - this one, Gordon's "Inferno," Buchan's "Secret Songs," etc but they were nearly impossible to access and not touched academinally until the 1990's with Cray, Logsdon & Legman-Randolph.

Seems he desperately wanted to include the "adult" material, the outtakes among his regular books of folksong. This was the naturally occuring percentage of sex-content stuff only - neither emphesized nor diminished (that's actually what Logsdon does.) But none of the academic sources would either permit this or permit him to publish it elsewhere. He was (as I understand it) literally run out of academe and banned everywhere for his insistance on intelectual honesty and simply stating that the material existed at all. He could no longer find a post and was empoverished.

Not a pretty story.

I'll have a look in Legman over the weekend.

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Subject: RE: Happy! – Feb 23 (Vance Randolph / Pepys)
From: Barry Finn
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 11:50 AM

Thanks Abby. The castration in folk music, what a loss to the community & a missing human element that PC cannot should not tread on.

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Subject: RE: Happy! – Feb 23 (Vance Randolph / Pepys)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 06:55 PM

Reproductions of Sam Pepys' large broadside ballad collection (the originals are held at Magdalene College, Cambridge) can now be seen online at the University of California-Santa Barbara:

Unfortunately there is no index, which makes looking for things a bit messy; though there are various search functions. Anybody who has a copy of Helen Weinstein's index (out of print but available as a remainder from numerous dealers, at prices from the sensible to the frankly bizarre) should have no trouble finding things.

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Mudcat time: 26 October 9:23 PM EDT

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