To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
8 messages

Alan Lomax? recording - Who's singing?

20 Nov 02 - 10:38 AM (#830711)
Subject: Alan Lomax? recording - Who's singing?
From: Scabby Douglas

I bought very recently a budget priced CD called Scots Pipe and drinking Songs.
It features very few credits, but names Alan Lomax as produceer, and says "feat. Ewan McColl and Peggy Seeger".

Now some of the tracks are McColl and Seeger. But there are others on there such as "He Widna Wint His Gruel", "McPherson's Rant", "Never Wed an Auld Man", "Johnnie o Braidislea", and "Jock McGraw" featuring other obviously older, and I'm guessing traditional singers. These may be source singers. This was as I say a budget release - there is NO information on the CD or the case. Anyone have any thoughts who some of these might be?

Never wed an Auld man is sung by a woman, the rest are male singers, and I think they are all different singers, or at least all recorded at separate sessions...

Any ideas welcomed...



20 Nov 02 - 10:43 AM (#830714)
Subject: RE: Alan Lomax? recording - Who's singing?
From: JenEllen

Hi Steven,
Have you tried contacting the company that released the CD? They are usually very helpful, and can at least point you in the direction of who you should be asking. Chances are, if they have no listing at the company, you can bet it's source singers. Best of luck in your hunt,

20 Nov 02 - 10:48 AM (#830720)
Subject: RE: Alan Lomax? recording - Who's singing?
From: Scabby Douglas

hah... you'd think so... but when I said budget... I mean £2.99 budget... it was in the bin with the Conway Twitty and Leo Sayer greatest Hits...   

I've checked out the listing online, and as far as I can tell there's hardly even a company there. Just looks like a conduit for rereleasing cheaply-bought back-catalogue material..

Anyway thanks for the thought...



20 Nov 02 - 12:00 PM (#830786)
Subject: RE: Alan Lomax? recording - Who's singing?
From: Scabby Douglas

I had a thought and looked around for other Alan Lomax compilations...

On one there was Jimmy McBeath singing "McPersons Rant", on another Jeannie Robertson singing "Never Wed an Auld Man".. So I'll take those as guesses. Still looking for thoughts on the others tho'



20 Nov 02 - 12:23 PM (#830809)
Subject: RE: Alan Lomax? recording - Who's singing?
From: sharyn

Steven, I have a Tradition Records album called Heather and Glen, a collection of folk songs and folk music from Aberdeenshire and the Hebrides collected by Alan Lomax, Calum McLean and Hamish Henderson (TLP 1047) Side 1 is material in Scots dialect, Side 2 is in Scot's Gaelic. It sounds like your album contains the Side 1 material. I'll list the contents for you:

I'm a Young Bonnie Lassie (Blanche Wood, Portnoekie, Banffshire)
Never Wed an Old Man (Jeannie Robertson, Aberdeen)
He Widna Wint His Gruel (Jimmy MacBeath, Elgin, Morayshire)
My Rovin' Eye (Jeannie Robertson)
Jock MacGraw (John Strachan, Fyvie, Aberdeenshire)
Johnny O'Braides-lee (John Strachen)
My Son David (Jeannie Robertson)
MacPherson's Lament (Davy Stewart, Dundee, Angus)

The spelling inconsistencies are Lomax's, not mine.

I hope this helps.

20 Nov 02 - 12:31 PM (#830816)
Subject: RE: Alan Lomax? recording - Who's singing?
From: Wolfgang

Folk music index is another possible resource.


20 Nov 02 - 12:34 PM (#830819)
Subject: RE: Alan Lomax? recording - Who's singing?
From: Desert Dancer

This album is a cheap reissue of Alan Lomax's "Heather and Glen" album. It recently came up in discussion on the Ballad-L listserve. Going back to the archives for November 2002, look in the threads entitled:
John Strachan's "Jock McGraw, the Stootest man in the Forty Twa"
Heather and/& Glen

Here's some of what was said:

Ewan McVicar (11/13/02)
It's an interesting mixture. A lot of it would have been 1951, but neither Jeannie Robertson nor Davie Stewart were 'found' then by the folklorists.

Jeannie was recorded by Lomax in London in 1953, [the occasion I think when she was to be part of a Lomax BBC TV broadcast, but was taken ill?] and Davie in 1957. Lomax did a radio series in 1957 - A Ballad-Hunter Looks At Britain, an 8 part series. Perhaps Davie was brought down for this?

Fred McCormick (11/13/02)
I've just hoiked the disc out again and there is a note saying that "Most of the songs were recorded in the summer of 1951 with the help of Calum Maclean and Hamish Henderson. Unfortunately, that is as specific as Lomax gets.

I tried to clear the matter up by looking at Roud. He has seven entries for for Davy Stewart's version of MacPherson's Rant. Between them there are three or possibly four recording dates;- - 1951 Lomax - (Heather and Glen). - 1954 Hamish Henderson (Topic 12T 293) - 1956 Lomax and Peter Kennedy (`Songs of the Travelling People Saydisc CD-SDL 407) - 1956 Kennedy - Folksongs of Britain & Ireland All locations are listed as Scotland, either Aberdeenshire or Dundee.

It seems to me:- 1. The 1951 and 1956 dates refer to the same recording session and I'd guess that the confusion arises from Lomax's lack of specificity. 2. It is quite possible that the date was 1957 and not 1956. Both the productions which give this date were by Peter Kennedy, and I have seen him make this kind of mistake before.

Paul Stamler (11/13/02)
I asked my contact at the Alan Lomax Archive whether "Heather and Glen" would be reissued; he replied:

"While we're not going to be reissuing Heather and Glen in its original form, all the songs will eventually be released in our Scottish series. Some of the material has already been released in the Portraits albums of John Strachan, Davey Stewart, and Jeannie Robertson."

Abby Sale (11/13/02)
In the meantime, all prior caveats in mind, all of 'Heather & Glen' is available as "Scots Drinking & Pipe Songs" from Legacy International.

(The prior caveats being complaints in the John Strachan thread about the lack of info in the discount reissues, and errors/vagueness in some of the Lomax and Kennedy notes.)

~ Becky N.

21 Nov 02 - 10:04 AM (#831610)
Subject: RE: Alan Lomax? recording - Who's singing?
From: Scabby Douglas

Thanks all for your thoughts... and particularly for digging out the stuff from the other forum...

This helps a lot.. have to say it was a very pleasant surprise to find in a supermarket budget bin...