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Folk-Legacy's Newest CD: Ballads & Songs of Trad

19 Feb 00 - 11:36 AM (#181224)
Subject: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD
From: Susan of DT

This is from dick greenhaus (who is too impatient to change cookies at the moment)

As I type this, I'm listening to Ballads and Songs of Tradition, Folk-Legacy CD125. Pure bliss!

Consider: Jeannie Robertson, Frank Proffitt, Lawrence Older, Lizzie Higgins, Lee Monroe Presnell, Dave Thompson, James Brown, Vern Smelser, Marie Hare, William Harrison Burnett, Joe Estey, Mrs. Miner Griffin, and Grant Rogers--all in original field recordings that are clear, scratch-free and purely wonderful. No echo chambers, electronic or electric instruments (actually, most of the cuts are unaccompanied singing), no orchestration, no tricky arrangements. Just folk music. And it comes with a fat booklet with both notes and all the lyrics.

If you've never heard any folk song prior to Peter Paul and Mary, buy it! If you're an afficionado of "pure" folk song, buy it! If you're neither, buy it anyway! It's a towering achievement!

Congratulations, Sandy and Caroline.

19 Feb 00 - 11:47 AM (#181230)
Subject: RE: Help: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD
From: Rick Fielding

Congratulations Sandy and Caroline. Sounds like a wonderful collection.


19 Feb 00 - 11:48 AM (#181232)
Subject: RE: Help: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD
From: katlaughing

Susan, thanks. That sounds really lovely. I will add it to my list. kat

19 Feb 00 - 11:55 AM (#181233)
Subject: RE: Help: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD
From: Art Thieme

It's Saturday morning----and mine just arrived. I'm truly looking forward to hearing it. Being part of Folk Legacy has always been a real honor for me personally---but previous hearings of some of these people makes me certain that this CD will be a wonderful companion for the Warner collection, the Libr. Of Congress compilation CD and the Lomax issues.

Sandy and Caroline---what a fine booklet too. Congratulations. And the photo of Caroline with young David is priceless. What a glorious lady Ms. Swenson was/IS ! That photo alone is worth the price of admission.

Love to you both and to Lee,


19 Feb 00 - 05:37 PM (#181322)
Subject: RE: Help: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD
From: Joe Offer

My copy just arrived, too, the first CD I have with a Y2k copyright. Thanks a lot, Sandy. You sure do good work. The recordings are wonderful, and the CD booklet tells the fascinating story of each song. I understand that the release of this CD was delayed until Sandy could find a CD box big enough to hold the fat booklet. As is always the case with Sandy's work, the booklet alone is worth the price of the CD.
When you order Ballads and Songs of Tradition as you surely should, be sure to get a copy of Sandy's other collection of field recordings, Brave Boys: New England Traditions in Folk Music. Both are available at Folk-Legacy Records (click), 1-800-836-0901.
-Joe Offer-

19 Feb 00 - 05:50 PM (#181326)
Subject: RE: Help: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD
From: Sandy Paton

Thanks, Susan, Rick, Art and Kat. And thanks to Dick, too, who posted a note about the new release to the BALLAD-L listserv, which I was reluctant to do myself. I want to tell you all this, though: I probably would never have gambled the money for this release out of Folk-Legacy's limited store. I had some significant financial help in the actual cost of the disc and booklet from the Higgins Foundation, a family fund established by Lisa Null's family, and made available to me by that dear friend (of ours, personally, and of traditional music generally).

Right now, I'm working on a couple of other traditional music releases, also made possible by a contribution from a friend. More about them when the time comes. I do wish productions like these could pay for themselves, but I learned a long time ago that they can't, or don't, anyway. Simple fact of life. Thank God for good friends!


19 Feb 00 - 05:59 PM (#181332)
Subject: RE: Help: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD
From: Sandy Paton

Joe: Your post slipped in ahead of mine, so let me add a note of thanks to you, as well. It seems appropriate that these recent posts brought this thread up right next to Sourdough's question about the future of traditional music. If some of you learn songs from this new CD, they'll live on for another generation to enjoy. That, friends, is what it's all about. Charlie Baum, for instance, singing on his back porch with friends and neighbors (see his reponse to "looking places to perform folk music in New England," if this seems cryptic to you). Keep it keeping on, Charlie!


19 Feb 00 - 10:24 PM (#181448)
Subject: RE: Help: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD
From: Nancy-Jean

Sandy and Caroline,

I just received my copy today. An excellent, clear reproduction of recordings made years ago. What a joy to hear those voices! An excellent choice for Vol. 1 from your field archives. It is important to keep these CDs rolling out. I was delighted that you chose to give us different versions of several of the ballads. It is rare that we get a demonstration of the folk process within one recording.

This CD was a long time a-coming, but was put together with great care and intelligence. Sandy, the investment in the listener's desire to learn-- with a 56 page booklet of notes-- is unheard of. Thank you for thinking it mattered.



20 Feb 00 - 01:31 AM (#181529)
Subject: RE: Help: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD
From: Charlie Baum

Our copy arrived Friday, and Lisa Null and I spent Friday evening listening to it. You should have seen the look of bliss on Lisa's face as she sat in rapt attention listening to it. And the informative booklet--Sandy, you've outdone yourself. The John C. and Clara Higgins Foundation money was well invested--but such a good album deserves to be a best-seller!

Coincidentally, my copy of the Warner collection, ordered from Redhouse Records (distributors for Appleseed) also arrived on Friday. How many wonderful albums can I stand in the course of one weekend. I can only thank my lucky stars that it's a long holiday weekend (President's Day, for the non-U.S. Mudcatters who are wondering), which gives me a day off to listen to everything again and again.

I can see I'm going to be very busy learning new old songs for the next couple of months.

--Charlie Baum

20 Feb 00 - 02:38 AM (#181547)
Subject: RE: Help: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD
From: canoer

In Folk Legacy's website -- I can't find the "Ballads & Songs of Tradition" listed -- 'tho I suppose they won't have any trouble with a phone order! -- and the site's a treat to browse.

20 Feb 00 - 01:39 PM (#181707)
Subject: RE: Help: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD
From: Sandy Paton

I apologize for not flying it to the web site yet. My web guru is a volunteer (the sweetheart) and he has yet to get it on the site. This fellow volunteered to help us create a web presence simply because he really enjoyed some of our recordings (like the Boarding Party) and thought the web might help spread 'em around. He gets copies of our CDs and he does all the rest in exchange. I'm unwilling to give him a push, or even a gentle nudge, since what he does for us is all a labor of love.

The CD and its description will be on the site soon. Have faith, folks.


21 Feb 00 - 12:07 PM (#182168)
Subject: RE: Help: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD
From: Dani

Please, someone, refresh this thread when the CD is on the website!

22 Feb 00 - 12:32 AM (#182593)
Subject: RE: Help: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD

It would seem to me that if one knows the cd is available from Folk Legacy why is it necessary to wait to order it until it is on their website? It's CD-125 - Ballads and Songs of Tradition. Call them or e-mail or just use the order form on the website. GO FOR IT!! It's a must have CD.

22 Feb 00 - 01:25 AM (#182603)
Subject: RE: Help: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD
From: Sandy Paton

True enough, and thanks, GUEST. And, should any of you decide to take the plunge (it's $14.98 plus $3 for first-class shipping, VISA and Mastercard okay), please remember to include a note telling us that it's a Mudcat order. That way a commission goes to Max to help keep this fine folk family afloat.


22 Feb 00 - 08:22 AM (#182681)
Subject: RE: Help: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD
From: Dani

One might want to check it out to see if one could afford it...

THIS one assumed from the glowing posts above that it was a huge (56 pages of notes!) and expensive collection that would have to be saved and scrimped for. As it is, I'm ordering today, but we should be careful about making assumptions.

Thank YOU for posting more info, Sandy. My order's in today!


22 Feb 00 - 02:22 PM (#182848)
Subject: RE: Help: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD
From: Sandy Paton

Actually, Dani, I'm reluctant to be so crassly commercial in any post to this Forum. I feel it's inappropriate. To all of you who have been offended by my response to the above posts, please forgive me. I was goaded into it by well-meaning friends. (emoticon implied)

Sandy (the huckster)

22 Feb 00 - 02:25 PM (#182849)
Subject: RE: Help: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD
From: Dani

Huck away, I say, if it's all in the cause. Didn't we talk about this before (re: camsco maybe?) and I seem to recall that a brief thread announcing a release was not considered untoward... I, for one, welcome info on music with which mudcatters are involved, $$ or no.


22 Feb 00 - 09:28 PM (#183082)
Subject: RE: Help: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD
From: Art Thieme

Sandy, What a fine CD. I never realized you taped Vern Smelzer. His version of "The Morning Of 1845" that was included on Fine Times At Our House that Pat Dunford recorded for Folkways is one of my favorite trad. songs. How much stuff do you have by Mr. Smelzer??? Would it be possible to purchase a custom cassette of that session?

"Hind Horn" is probably the most complete version of a broken token I've ever heard. Well, maybe other than "That's The Ticket" ;-) Joe Estey was/is a fine singer.


23 Feb 00 - 03:24 AM (#183234)
Subject: RE: Help: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD
From: Sandy Paton

I wasn't there for the Smelser session, Art. That was the year of my first "heart episode" and I was groundeed. Lee went out to Indiana with Henry Felt, a student on a work project from Goddard College, and Dunford took them to meet and record Vern Smelser. They didn't get a lot of songs, but there are a few more in the "archive." Isn't he a dandy singer? And you are so right about old Joe Estey. Unfortunately, it's he "was" a fine singer. Those tapes were made some thirty-seven years ago!

Wait until you hear some of the great songs I got from William Harrison Burnett in Fayetteville, Arkansas! That will have to wait for volume two, I fear, but I'm assembling some of the material in my head right now. If the response is decent to this first volume, I'll get to work on the second as soon as I can wrap up several projects that simply have to come first. Got to balance these labors of love with a few that actually sell!

Speaking of "Broken Token" ballads, did you see Paul Stamlers comment when he played "That's the Ticket" on his radio show last week? He said he was waiting for the version in which the fellow returns, saying "Rejoice! Here's your long lost love!" And she says "Let's see now, were you the bracelet or the ring?"

Irene (Kossoy) Saletan always introduced the ballads in which the wayfaring fellow disguises himself to test the gal's loyalty after all the years he's been away by saying "This isn't a murder ballad, but it ought to be!" Sandy

25 Feb 00 - 09:17 AM (#184616)
Subject: RE: Help: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD
From: Art Thieme


You said, "...that was the year of my first heart episode."

Funny, I'd thought you were and already married to Caroline by then!?!? There must've been at least one or two dalliances before then!? ;-)


25 Feb 00 - 09:31 AM (#184620)
Subject: RE: Help: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD
From: catspaw49

I'm anxiously awaiting my new replacement credit cards to order this......Some really nice reviews here Sandy that you might want to include on the site!?!?!


25 Feb 00 - 12:57 PM (#184745)
Subject: RE: Help: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD
From: Sandy Paton

Any "heart episode" this guy ever had after 1957, aside from the continuing one, was medical, not romantical. I'm kinda old-fashioned. As the feller said, "When you find the Platonic ideal, why deviate?"


25 Feb 00 - 10:41 PM (#185079)
Subject: RE: Help: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD
From: Liam's Brother

I bought this yesterday and got it into the CD player as fast as I could. It is a treasure.

I particularly like James Brown's "Jolly Tinker" which is a very interesting version of "Whiskey in the Jar" and Lee Monroe Presnell's Child ballad, "The House Carpenter."

Caroline Paton kindly sang "Hind Horn" for me a couple of times last year when we were at festival workshops together. I enjoy her singing of it very much and it was an additional treat now to hear it from her source, Joe Esty of New Brunswick. Hearing Art Thieme's recording of the Irish-American aisling "Lost Jimmy Whalen" caused me to learn it too (although a slightly different version); I was delighted to hear Marie Hare's interesting New Brunswick rendition. Although I have her Folk-Legacy LP, it's been many years since I've played it. This experience makes me want to spin it again this weekend.

Last but not least, I nearly died when I heard Lee Monroe Presnell's (Beech Mountain, NC) "The Old Arm Chair" which I know as an English music hall song.

If you've never heard real (traditional) folk singers or have always thought they have to sound terrible, listen to this CD. Highly recommended!

All the best,
Dan Milner

26 Feb 00 - 03:02 AM (#185189)
Subject: RE: Help: Folk-Legacy's Newest CD
From: Sandy Paton

Okay, gang. I've taken down all of your kind words and will forward them, as good ol' Spaw suggested, to my web guru. They sure would look good up there on our site. If I get him to quote the source, do you suppose we might entice a few more folk fogies into the ranks of "curmudgeons on the 'Cat?"


31 Mar 00 - 03:29 PM (#204699)
Subject: Folk-Legacy Review
From: dick greenhaus

Subject: A Review of Folk-Legacy's CD "Ballads and Songs of Tradition" written by Ed Cray

Ballads and Songs of Tradition
Various Artists
Folk-Legacy CD-125

Folk-Legacy CD-125
Folk-Legacy Records, Inc
Box 1148
Sharon, CT 06069

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange by Ed Cray
( Since he first met the Beech Mountain, North
Carolina-native Frank Proffitt at the 1961 Chicago Folk Festival, Sandy
Paton, his wife Caroline, and Lee Baker Haggerty have sought out
traditional singers to record their songs and ballads. Paton, Paton, and
Haggerty have

spent the better part of a lifetime scraping and scrimping to fund the next
trip to the Appalachians, Ozarks, or upper New York state, making time to
edit the tapes, writing and printing the unusually thoughtful notes that
marked their records and tapes, and selling the successive releases that
made Folk-Legacy a recorded resource of Anglo-American traditional songs
and singers second to none.

Proffitt and his banjo were the first because, Paton explained, "there was
no reason why we should not be able to hear Frank Proffitt himself sing his
ballads and songs, rather than hear them filtered through Frank Warner's
interpretations." (Collector-singer Warner and his wife Anne had
encountered Proffitt in 1938, and learned some of his songs, including the
American murder ballad "Tom Dooley," later lifted and popularized by the
Kingston Trio's version.)

In the years to come, Paton, Paton and Haggerty recorded literally dozens
of singers, and dozens of songs from the likes of Proffitt, Horton Barker,
Abe Trivett, Lawrence Older, and Edna Ritchie. They found Sara Cleveland
in Brant Lake, New York, who knew a staggering 900 songs, 400 of them from
oral tradition. They recorded in the Ozarks -- guided by the authoritative
Vance Randolph, his wife Mary Celestia Parler, and the recently deceased
Max Hunter. In New Brunswick, Edward "Sandy" Ives (the two Sandy's are
often confused) introduced them to even more traditional singers, and once
again they mined gold. Collectively, the Patons and Haggerty may be the
most prodigious collectors of Anglo-American folksongs and balladry since
Alan Lomax put his Ampex on the shelf. In all, they have produced more
than 100 long-playing records, tapes and compact discs since that first
release 39 years ago.

It has not been easy, or very profitable. (I imagine that Haggerty, whom
Sandy Paton describes as "the guy who had a small inheritance that supplied
the capital that enabled us to get going," might dilate on this.)
Traditional singers, as you may have gathered, are not exactly big box office.

Still, they persevered. A new release might generate enough money to fund
the next. If it did not, they waited until catalogue sales and Haggerty's
inheritance paid off printer and record presser.

Still, one by one, the Folk-Legacy catalogue grew, a tribute to the two
Patons and Haggerty, their dear friend and financial angel. (As this is
written, bachelor Haggerty is hospitalized, and the concerned Patons are
shuttling between home and hospital in Connecticut.)

In all of the releases, there have been some choice recoveries of the
muckle ballads thought long-since dead: Sandy Paton lists among them Sara
Cleveland's "Queen Jane," a version of "The King's Daughter Lady Jean"
(Child 52) never previously recorded in the United States; Frank Proffitt's
"Bonny James Campbell" (Child 210); Jeannie Robertson's superb "Twa
Brothers" (Child 49); and Joe Estey's "Hind Horn" (Child 17), of which
there have been but seven other versions reported in the New World.

If nothing else, the Patons and Haggerty have proven these great
song-stories are not dead at all---an oral tradition survives. In fact,
Sandy Paton notes, the songs of the parents are preserved by the singing of
the children. Frank Proffitt, Jr., sings his father's repertoire; Colleen
Cleveland sings her grandmother's. As it was, so it is; time without end.

Which brings us to "Ballads and Songs of Tradition," the first of a planned
series of anthologies of traditional songs and ballads Folk-Legacy is to
release. Here are 21 ballads by 13 singers recorded in North Carolina
living rooms and Scots croft kitchens. They have been culled from the
Paton archives. Many of them are previously unreleased---all of them are

The Patons being comparative folklorists at heart cannot resist a touch of
gentle scholarship in their choices. They provide contrasting versions of
three ballads: "Gypsy Davy" (Child 200), "The House Carpenter" (Child 243),
and a British 19th-Century broadside (?), which IS new to me, "The Old Arm

Of the 21 tracks, it is difficult to select favorites, but Scots housewife
Lizzie Higgins' "My Bonnie Boy" is a marvel of delicately ornamented
phrases. (Ms. Higgins comes by it naturally; she is the daughter of
Jeannie Robertson and Donald Higgins, a master of the Highland pipes.) Her
mother's "Twa Brothers" (Child 49) is truly gripping: six and one-half
minutes of blood-drenched drama. Similarly, Marie Hare of Strathadam, New
Brunswick, retells the grim fate of "Lost Jimmie Whalen" (Laws B 1); her
sheer artistry compels attention, no matter how familiar or inevitable the

All of which, I think, is the point of this anthology. Paton, Paton and
Haggerty are intent on demonstrating that folk singers do possess an
aesthetic sense. It is surely different from that of the classically
trained or popular singer, but nonetheless it is real -- and
underappreciated. Voice, instrument, even self are subordinated to the
words, to the narrative. That is the anything but simple artistry of the
13 traditional singers presented in this excellent first collection of a
promised series of anthologies drawn from the Folk-Legacy archives.

Edited by: David Schultz

Copyright 2000, Peterborough Folk Music Society. This review may be
reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

David N. Pyles
P. O. Box 459
Brattleboro, VT 05302-0459
(802) 257-0336 Mon-Thur

31 Mar 00 - 03:34 PM (#204702)
Subject: RE: Folk-Legacy
From: MMario

Quite a tribute! How nice to see Sandy and Caroline are appreciated.

31 Mar 00 - 03:49 PM (#204717)
Subject: RE: Folk-Legacy
From: KathWestra

For those of you who haven't seen the sad news posted in another thread, "angel" (now an angel indeed)Lee Haggerty, whose inheritance bankrolled Folk Legacy in its early years, died at 6:30 this morning (3/31/2000). He did so much to bring us incredible music. He will be greatly missed.

31 Mar 00 - 04:07 PM (#204732)
Subject: RE: Folk-Legacy
From: katlaughing

Thank you, Dick and Kath. Wonderful tributes, in this thread and the other.

31 Mar 00 - 05:09 PM (#204761)
Subject: RE: Folk-Legacy
From: kendall

Lee was a genuinely nice guy. My most sincere condolences to the Patons.

01 Apr 00 - 01:47 AM (#204957)
Subject: RE: Folk-Legacy
From: rainbow

this is such a fabulous cd,,, FULL of gems!

... lorraine

01 Apr 00 - 02:12 AM (#204965)
Subject: RE: Folk-Legacy
From: fox4zero

I am so sorry to hear about Haggerty. I treasured all of my early Folk Legacy LP's. It's "funny" that I ended up living 20 minutes West of Sharon CT and never got to meet him or the Patons. Larry Parish