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Obit: Frank McCall, RIP (Aug 2006)

GUEST,Fred McCormick 13 Aug 06 - 05:11 AM
GUEST,Clive Pownceby 13 Aug 06 - 02:06 PM
LesB 13 Aug 06 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,Joe Moran 13 Aug 06 - 02:12 PM
GUEST,Frank Sellors 13 Aug 06 - 04:09 PM
Jim I 13 Aug 06 - 05:08 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 14 Aug 06 - 04:38 AM
Jim I 14 Aug 06 - 05:33 PM
GUEST,Clive Pownceby 17 Aug 06 - 03:13 AM
GUEST,Jack Coutts 21 Aug 06 - 04:23 PM
GUEST,Pat Wilson 24 Aug 06 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,banjoman9 25 Aug 06 - 07:00 AM
GUEST 25 Aug 06 - 08:22 AM
GUEST 25 Aug 06 - 08:54 AM
Fred McCormick 25 Aug 06 - 09:00 AM
Xenopus 26 Aug 06 - 01:52 PM
Fred McCormick 26 Aug 06 - 02:07 PM
GUEST,Clive Pownceby 29 Aug 06 - 07:13 AM
GUEST,David Garner 31 Aug 11 - 05:13 PM
Fred McCormick 01 Sep 11 - 05:37 AM
Fred McCormick 02 Sep 11 - 09:31 AM
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Subject: Obit: Frank McCall, RIP
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 05:11 AM

I doubt that many posters to this site would recognise the name Frank McCall from Bootle, Liverpool. However, this message is for anyone who knew him and may not hear through the usual channels.

Frank, whom Sara Grey recently described to me as the most underrated singer in England, died peacefully in hospital yesterday at around 3pm.

The cause of his death is not known, but Frank had suffered a series of strokes over the past few years which left him wheelchair bound and increasingly helpless. It seems likely that one more stroke simply broke the camel's back.

If there is anyone out there who would like to know the funeral arrangements, or would like me to pass on their condolences to his widow, Helen, would they please email me direct on Fredamhran@aol.com .


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Subject: RE: Obit: Frank McCall, RIP
From: GUEST,Clive Pownceby
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 02:06 PM

Frank was a member in the late 60s, of a trio with John Cornett and John Davies - The King's Shilling, which was a member of the resident panel at the Bothy Folksong Club in Southport. He was also a leading light in the vibrant 70s Liverpool Folk community, centered around the Customs House pub in the Canning Place area of the city. These 2 institutions were responsible for an involvement for me, that has become a way of life and Frank's knowledge of, and innate feeling for traditional song were a touchstone. I well remember a Whitby Festival workshop when he left the Rev. Ken Loveless in no doubt of his feelings regarding qualifications for public performance, and his ability to punctuate shanties with the occasional high-kick struck a chord with Stan Hugill! We were together, briefly, in the initial line-up of Stormalong John.
Above all he simply was a fine singer and knew so many superb songs - an hour spent in his company, and what good company, was an hour not wasted. Jean and I had that last hour 3 weeks ago in West Kirby, enjoying sunshine, a beer and a song together. Our time and our times together, are treasured.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Frank McCall, RIP
From: LesB
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 02:08 PM

I first came across Frank in about 1969 when he was a member of 'Kings Shilling', who had just become resident group at Southport's Bothy Folk Club. He had a unique singing style and wide range of material to bring to the group. He was also very active in those days in the Liverpool folk music scene.
I had only seen him once or twice in the intervening years and was aware of his condition. I'm sure he will be remembered with affection by those who knew him.
Cheers
Les


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Subject: RE: Obit: Frank McCall, RIP
From: GUEST,Joe Moran
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 02:12 PM

I knew Frank from his days at the Bothy. He was a very interesting singer, and far too young to leave us.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Frank McCall, RIP
From: GUEST,Frank Sellors
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 04:09 PM

I, too, knew Frank from his days at the Bothy. Interestingly, the Bothy have just released a dvd of their 21st birthday celebrations in 1986, and Frank appears on it along with the other members of The King's Shilling. Frank was indeed a nice chap and a very fine singer.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Frank McCall, RIP
From: Jim I
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 05:08 PM

Is this the same Frank (with Helen) who used to sing, mainly shanties, at the Baltic Fleet back when?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Frank McCall, RIP (Aug 2006)
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 04:38 AM

Hi Jim,

The very same. Mid 1980s. Happy days.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Frank McCall, RIP (Aug 2006)
From: Jim I
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 05:33 PM

One of the nicest men I ever met in the folk scene. No side to him, at all. Although I haven't seen him in quite a few years I still feel devastated that he's gone.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Frank McCall, RIP (Aug 2006)
From: GUEST,Clive Pownceby
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 03:13 AM

Frank's Memorial Service and Remembrance will be at West Kirby Methodist Church, corner of Westbourne Road and North Road, and not at all far from West Kirby station, next Tuesday (22nd) at noon. Donations to Macmillan Nurses. Helen would love to see as many persons there, as are able to get along. Some of us are at Whitby Festival and will be unable to make it back. Consequently there will be a lifting of glasses, reminiscences, and a song or two in the 'Elsinore' Flowergate - assemble at the same time.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Frank McCall, RIP (Aug 2006)
From: GUEST,Jack Coutts
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 04:23 PM

Frank was a wonderful man. I was lucky to have known Frank on the Liverpool folk scene from the late 70s onwards, as a co-member of Stormalong John, as co-resident of the Magazine Folk Club and hilariously as co-member of the Magazine Mummers - Frank played the doctor with much theatricality and fun.
We had some excellent times together and I will never cease to admire his joy of songs and singing. I owe him a great debt for inspiring my own faltering interest in folk song in its many forms. My own kids remember with fondness our shared exploits performing in Brittany and Germany, especially Franks's rendition of the Monty Python "Galaxy Song".
The man was unique, a huge contributor to the Merseyside folk scene and a terrific human being. The world, as they say, is a sadder place without him. Rootin' tootin'.   
Jack


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Subject: RE: Obit: Frank McCall, RIP (Aug 2006)
From: GUEST,Pat Wilson
Date: 24 Aug 06 - 02:43 PM

I was a co-resident of the Magazine Folk Club with both Frank and Helen McCall in the 80's and 90's.
He was unique. I never heard him say a cruel word about anyone and his sense of humour was both gentle and astute. He was a great pleasure to work with and a privelege to know. After a rousing chorus number he would often say "Well sung club!"
I was at his memorial service yesterday and I hope he would be saying"Well sung church!"
My thoughts and prayers are with Helen and Kathryn at this time.
I will stop now as Frank would be the last person to approve of cliches!
Pat (and Ranting Sleazos!)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Frank McCall, RIP (Aug 2006)
From: GUEST,banjoman9
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 07:00 AM

My wife (Maggie Bowers) & I knew frank well in Liverpool in the late sixties & early seventies & he was often a guest at the Old Fort in Prescott Street. We were regulars at the Custom House & always looked to Frank to lead off the sessions.I think that at one time he formed a group with John Kelly called the Wakes, and it was a standing joke to ask him "Are you awake"
Although we now live at the other end of the country, we still have a lot of contact with John who was a member of Kings Shilling with him and know he would wish us to pass on condolences.
Frank was a great guy and will be missed.
Condolences to his family


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Subject: RE: Obit: Frank McCall, RIP (Aug 2006)
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 08:22 AM

A group of us used to hold an informal session in the 43 Club, at 43 Catherine Street, Liverpool around 1968. On one occasion glorious music was heard from upstairs. It was the King's Shilling rehearsing -the joined us later and I seem to remember 30 Foot Trailer in 3 parts, they were more than a bit good.

Enjoyed Frank, his company and his music, at most of the places mentioned above - not least the Elsonore. Not much else to be said, he had great love and respect for the music and he was a kind and friendly man.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Frank McCall, RIP (Aug 2006)
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 08:54 AM

A group of us used to hold an informal session in the 43 Club, at 43 Catherine Street, Liverpool around 1968. On one occasion glorious music was heard from upstairs. It was the King's Shilling rehearsing -the joined us later and I seem to remember 30 Foot Trailer in 3 parts, they were more than a bit good.

Enjoyed Frank, his company and his music, at most of the places mentioned above - not least the Elsonore. Not much else to be said, he had great love and respect for the music and he was a kind and friendly man.

Sorry, I forgot to mention I am Les in Chorlton at work.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Frank McCall, RIP (Aug 2006)
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 09:00 AM

I just want to say many thanks to all the people who've paid tribute to Frank on this page. I printed off the ones which had appeared in time for Frank's funeral, and passed them on to his widow, Helen. Some of them in fact were read out during the service. I'll print the rest off, plus any more which are posted, and pass them on to her also.

Helen was very moved by the tributes, and by the fact that so many people remembered Frank, to say nothing of the huge number of people who turned out for the funeral. I can't help thinking it was just as well it was held over Whitby week, otherwise we might have had to hire Liverpool Cathedral!

I'd also like to thank all the people who held their own celebration in the Elsinore at Whitby. Here's hoping you had a damned good sing, because that is exactly what he would have wanted. In fact, those of us who used to sing it with Frank in the old days, made a point of testing the rafters of West Kirby Methodist Church almost to breaking point with Down in the Valley to pray.

I don't know whether anyone in the Elsinore thought of that one, but what a marvellous coincidence it would have been if both groups had happened to be singing it simultaneously.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Frank McCall, RIP (Aug 2006)
From: Xenopus
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 01:52 PM

I new Frank from the late sixties until I left Liverpool in 1977 but met up with him many times latter at Whitby Folk week. He was a superb singer and a real gentleman always willing to listen to what you had to say and give advice and encouragement. I used to be involved with the running of Adrian House in Alexandra drive and the Kings Shilling were one of our regular supporters. I didn't know of Frank's death until Clive & Jean told me here at Whitby. I went to the memorial at the Elsinore and to answer an earlier poster we did sing "Down in The Valley to Pray" lead by Clive. I wanted to sing the "Greenland Whale Fishery", which I learnt from Fank at the Maritime session following the memorial at the Elsinore but Jim Mageean sang at the start of the session - anyway I doubt if I could have got through it without breaking up. BTW Sara was at the Elsinore and repested her statement that she thought Frank was the most underrated singer in England and I for one would agree.

Keith Myers


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Subject: RE: Obit: Frank McCall, RIP (Aug 2006)
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 02:07 PM

I'm glad to hear that Down in the Valley to Pray made it to both sessions. I'm glad that Sara made it to the Elsinore as well. She thought the world of Frank and understandably so.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Frank McCall, RIP (Aug 2006)
From: GUEST,Clive Pownceby
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 07:13 AM

Exactly a week ago in Whitby,(it's noon as I write) as has been detailed already, Frank was remembered by a quite substantial number of us, unable to get back over to the 'right'(!) side of the country in time. We had a tape of his singing over the Elsinore's sound system and some songs and reminiscences from many present. "Intensely moving" doesn't even begin to describe things, as you'd expect. Sara & Kieron sang, the Coutts juniors recalled growing up in a shanty environment, Alistair Anderson played, and Peter Wood said the thing he'll most recall is the way only Frank could phrase "Liverpool Pat in 'is tarpaulin' 'at" from 'Leave Her Johnny.' We passed a card round which Helen will get from Jean shortly. There are plans afoot for a 'Frank Night' in Liverpool next month, and I'll post more on that when plans firm up.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Frank McCall, RIP (Aug 2006)
From: GUEST,David Garner
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 05:13 PM

I knew Frank when we were both students at the City of Liverpool College of Higher Education. I was a rather green and gauche young guy, but Frank took me under his wing and we became firm friends.

Frank and Helen loved folk music and were great hosts. I remember their house in New Brighton with its imperious and feisty moggie (Queen Mab) The wine (home made) flowed freely and we had a lot of fun on very little.

I heard about Frank's health problems when I was back in Liverpool in 2005. It was a shock, because the man I remember was full of life with a bone-dry Liverpool wit. Frank was an accomplished guitarist too.

He's gone but not forgotten. I am hundreds of miles away, but still invite people to 'pull up a cactus' - a classic Frank phrase!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Frank McCall, RIP (Aug 2006)
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 01 Sep 11 - 05:37 AM

Hi David,

Thanks for the memories. I've passed your message on to Helen, who is still a grand woman for feisty moggies :-). It will mean a lot to her.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Frank McCall, RIP (Aug 2006)
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 09:31 AM

To Dave Garner, or anyone else who can reach him. Helen would like to get in touch. If you can PM me or email me on Fredamhran@aol.com, I'll be glad to pass the details on.


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