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Ewan MacColl - real name?

03 Aug 05 - 05:27 PM (#1534219)
Subject: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Mr Red

I have a small bet with myself on how fast this answer will come.

Don't disappoint me 'Catters


03 Aug 05 - 05:28 PM (#1534221)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Peace

Jimmie Miller.


03 Aug 05 - 05:36 PM (#1534236)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: radriano

There's no need to wait if you do a search for "Ewan MacColl" yourself - chances are you'll find the answer you seek.


03 Aug 05 - 05:43 PM (#1534245)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Bill D

his mother was Betsy Miller


03 Aug 05 - 05:46 PM (#1534251)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Murray MacLeod

Presumably the name on his birth certificate, which would be his "real name", was JAMES Miller.
Or it could have been Jimmie Miller.
Or Jimmy Miller even ...


03 Aug 05 - 05:46 PM (#1534254)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Le Scaramouche

Wasn't it with an 'a'?


03 Aug 05 - 05:54 PM (#1534269)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Seamus Kennedy

Ewen MacVicar...no wait!
Ed Miller...no wait, it's on the tip of my tongue...Mike Seeger!
Yeah, that's it! Mike Seeger!
No, no! wait!! Kirsty...no, that's not it either.
I give up...what was it?

Seamus


03 Aug 05 - 05:56 PM (#1534274)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Murray MacLeod

I see you are in jocular vein tonight Seamus *G*


03 Aug 05 - 05:56 PM (#1534276)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Peace

It was Fred. Fred Swagrundian. But his friends called him Joe.


03 Aug 05 - 06:16 PM (#1534303)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: PoppaGator

His name was McGill
And he called himself Lil
But everyone knew him as Nancy


03 Aug 05 - 06:17 PM (#1534304)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: PoppaGator

Seriously now ~ the above was just-kidding

Wasn't his original name Robert Zimmerman?


03 Aug 05 - 06:28 PM (#1534327)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: GUEST

Or maybe Elliott Adnopoz?


03 Aug 05 - 06:32 PM (#1534343)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny

I thought it was Alex Campbell.


03 Aug 05 - 07:12 PM (#1534389)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Bill D

Ewan & Betsy


03 Aug 05 - 07:27 PM (#1534394)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Deckman

Milivoy Slypitch?


03 Aug 05 - 07:28 PM (#1534396)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Brakn

and?


03 Aug 05 - 07:29 PM (#1534399)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Peace

Ardlow Cornfrisker, III


03 Aug 05 - 07:31 PM (#1534402)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Malcolm Douglas

Gordon Bennett...


03 Aug 05 - 07:33 PM (#1534404)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Brakn

Shit thread..... scrub it. Everybody knows. Sory i'm drunk


03 Aug 05 - 07:56 PM (#1534429)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Deckman

With ALL due respect to Milivoy Slypitch, and his family! This was a real person and I met him when I was 16. He was Serbian. And he was a childhood friend of my father. I met him in 1953. CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


04 Aug 05 - 01:51 AM (#1534621)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Seamus Kennedy

Murray, how astute of you to notice my jocularity..I was being silly.
I thought everyone knew it was Spartacus.

Seamus


04 Aug 05 - 02:54 AM (#1534633)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Dave Hanson

Ewan MACCOLL ffs, not McColl, real name as already said Jimmy Miller.

eric


04 Aug 05 - 03:51 AM (#1534641)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Paul Burke

OK, then, what was Giant Haystacks' real name?


04 Aug 05 - 05:20 AM (#1534668)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Paco Rabanne

Shirley Crabtree!


04 Aug 05 - 05:21 AM (#1534669)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Dave the Gnome

Dunno - But Big Daddy was Shirley Crabtree - Brother of the wrestling announcer, Brian Crabtree.

and my real name is unpronoucable in your human tongue...

:D


04 Aug 05 - 05:24 AM (#1534671)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Dave the Gnome

Sorry Ted - No cigar this time:0

Haystacks was Martin Ruane. Used to play on the darts team for the Man and Scythe (now demolished) in Kearsley btw. It was a real wrestlers pub owned by 'Rollerball Rocco's' dad. Huge blokes on the darts team. Dodn't loose often;-)

DtG


04 Aug 05 - 05:33 AM (#1534673)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Paco Rabanne

Rats! You are right Dave.


04 Aug 05 - 06:21 AM (#1534696)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Paul Burke

My Dad taught a couple of the Ruanes at St. Lawrence's Secondary Mod in Salford. Wonderful lads, he said, and no one ever caned them.

Martin and his brothers often used to come to the Exile of Erin off Oldham Road, Manchester, for the sessions in the early 70s. He used to sit quietly, a half pint of bottled Guinness in his hand, looking like a child with a dolls-house teacup. I only knew him to use his 'presence' once- after one of the IRA bombs, when some local thickos decided to do over the Paddies. When they came storming in, shouting the odds, he just stood up, slowly... he never seemed to stop rising... the would-be vigilantes paused, made their apologies to the landlady, and left, quickly and quietly.

IIRC that was before he started his wrestling career. I think he and his brothers used to carry bulldozers round on the M62 building site.


04 Aug 05 - 09:56 AM (#1534838)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: GUEST,Mr Red - suitably rewarded.

From the blickie

Ewan MacColl was born in Salford and named James by his parents

OK pedantry aside but NOTE THE LOWER CASE!

Searches for Ewan McColl & Webb produced nothing, to narrow the search you have to know the answer & wade (and know the spelling!!!!). I think the 1 minute answer was about in my bet range, I owe myself a drink.

Cheers

FWIW I know he put in one of his "folk" song books the attribution to several songs "From the singing of ...... " Which I now know to be "Jimmy(ie) Miller"


04 Aug 05 - 02:20 PM (#1535012)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Dave Sutherland

Wasn't Rollerball Rocco's father Jumping Jim Hussey? And the other guy's real name was Mr MacColl!


04 Aug 05 - 03:30 PM (#1535055)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Little Robyn

I love the picture with Betsy. Now, wasn't she a MacColl?
Robyn


04 Aug 05 - 03:38 PM (#1535065)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Cool Beans

Declan McManus


04 Aug 05 - 05:21 PM (#1535157)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: GUEST,TS

Betsy's maiden name was Hendry.

Wasn't the origional Ewan MacColl an 18C man of letters.

TS


04 Aug 05 - 07:45 PM (#1535239)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme

Get Peggy in here. I've heard she had several choice names for him!!

Art   ;-)


05 Aug 05 - 03:44 AM (#1535447)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Big Al Whittle

sometimes referred to as anon. and trad.


05 Aug 05 - 05:07 AM (#1535484)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: mindblaster

He was a northerner who pretended to be scotch, Changed his name to add some sort of perverted authenticity to his claim to be a folk songwriter. What the charlatan actually did was collect other people's material and claim them as his. He stole my grandfather's "Dirty Od Town" and didn't pay him a penny. I remember hearing "First Time Ever I saw Your Face" sung by a busker in Leicester Square back in the '40s just after the war.


05 Aug 05 - 05:55 AM (#1535498)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Le Scaramouche

He was a Scot (Scotch is a drink, or egg) born in Salford. The reason he changed his name are well covered in previous threads and I think we would all love to see some documentation of those claims.


05 Aug 05 - 06:05 AM (#1535500)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Dave Hanson

How many feckin times do you need telling, Ewan was born in Salford, his parents were William and Betsy Miller, both expatriot Scots, he was christened Jimmy.

In common with others in the ' Lallans ' movement he adopted the name of a 19th century minor Scots poet, in his case Ewan MacColl.

One of the others was Christopher Grieve, who took the name Hugh McDiarmid.
END OF.

eric


05 Aug 05 - 06:09 AM (#1535504)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: mindblaster

He was a poof!


05 Aug 05 - 07:32 AM (#1535530)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Jim McLean

I remember Alex Campbell talking about working down a mine. 'There Ah wis, hewin' ma coal...'


05 Aug 05 - 08:49 AM (#1535564)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: John Routledge

Jim can we put your quote down for Mudcat Joke of 2005 :0)


05 Aug 05 - 09:09 AM (#1535574)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Snuffy

Didn't Bernard Cribbins sing that?


05 Aug 05 - 09:59 AM (#1535602)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Dave Hanson

Right said fred.

eric


05 Aug 05 - 10:02 AM (#1535605)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Jim McLean

Be my guest, John.


05 Aug 05 - 03:29 PM (#1535865)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: GUEST,Fidjit

Ewan (Jimmy Brown? (I thought)) pinched Peggy Seeger from Alex Cambell


05 Aug 05 - 05:22 PM (#1535963)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Jim McLean

It's all been posted before, Fidjit. Alex married Peggy so that she could ener the UK to marry McColl. Alex, myself and Nigel Denver drank the cheque McColl gave to Alex several times over!


05 Aug 05 - 05:46 PM (#1535979)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: GUEST,Frankham

His name was Jimmy Adnapoz Zimmerman Miller and I refer you to the
old folksong from the Forties, "There's No Business Like Show Business".

Shakespeare was probably wrong. Everything is in a name.

And as for the epithet "charlatan" if it were to be generally applied to those in folk music, a lot of people would be held to judgement. I know a few folks who put their name on the copyright
of tunes that they may not have written themselves.

500 Miles, There's A Meeting Here Tonight, Tom Dooley,(does anyone really believe Frank Profitt wrote it?), You Are My Sunshine and others. This would make an interesting thread.

Don't know what Ewan wrote or didn't but he was a great balladeer
and should be recognized and honored for such. And a great showman.
I think he did write Springhill Mine Disaster, and Go Down You Murderers. Did he write Shoals of Herring? Or was it adapted?

You'd have to say the same for old John Jacob Niles who didn't write
"Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair" lyrics but probably adapted or created the tune he sang.

Jean Ritchie never sued Dylan for the tune of Masters of War but it would be hard to do because Nottamun Town was traditional.

Did Paul Simon steal Scarborough Fair from Davy Graham? Or did he create a Canticle? See, it gets hairy.

Then there's Dylan who took tunes from tradition as did Woody,
Leadbelly (Kisses Sweeter Than Wine) and rewrites of Irish tunes
such as Patriot's Game.

Igor Stravinsky said something to the effect of why plagarize tunes when you can steal them outright?


Frank Hamilton


05 Aug 05 - 05:54 PM (#1535984)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Le Scaramouche

Martin Carthy, not Davey Graham.


05 Aug 05 - 05:58 PM (#1535990)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Susanne (skw)

Jim, do you mean Ewan gave Alex the cheque several times over? :) Mentions of his generosity have been few and far between so far (at least in financial terms, where he probably didn't have much to be generous with). Anyway, I've just checked out Ewan's pages in the Working Class Movement Library (reached via Bill D.'s link above), and they're great.


05 Aug 05 - 06:07 PM (#1535996)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Jim McLean

Susanne, Ewan wrote Alex a couple of cheques, not out of generosity, but because Alex (et al) drank them before Alex delivered the goods, i.e. divorce.


05 Aug 05 - 07:33 PM (#1536038)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme

Folks, Ewan MacColl was a giant talent. The body of work he left and the music he made was generally brilliant--even if it was sometimes heavy-handed. Revisionist history aside, real or imagined, I am glad I got to hear his unique and powerful voice. He was a folksinger to the enth degree---and that is a certainty. Only one time did I hear him --and Peggy too---live in concert. It was late in May----1970 at the University Of Chicago---a rather intimate and small room in venerable old Ida Noyes Hall on 57th Street. Our son, Chris, was born a few days later--on June 4th. -- Maybe it was Ewan and others, that sometimes stretched the truth, who gave me my love for American tall tales. These stories were lies told on purpose----to reduce boredom and to make light of, and defuse, horrendous hard times. It helped, after a disaster, poke fun into the eye of the hurricane! Tall stories, possibly, even put real light on actual history in a way that illustrated an the irony that wasn't visible otherwise.

Remember, we all fabricate our own personnas for all kinds of ulterior motives. It can be the stuff that humor is made of---. After all is said and done, we are all "Coyote", the trickster. As the late Al Grierson said in his grand song called   "Old Coyote". (Below are excerpts only. Read between the lines--and extrapolate to the doings of governments now etc. etc. etc.)

I been readin' all about it
in the pages of some ancient lore,
How you were smuggled through the Garden
by the angel at the basement door.
And while the serpent in the branches
held the Mother of the world beguiled,
You wer pissin' on the Tree Of Knowledge
while the Good Lord smiled!

Old Coyote,
Little brother of necessity
the seeker and the sacred clown,
Old Coyote,
You're the fire in the water
and the diamonds in the cold cold ground.

On the mountaintop with Moses
and with Daniel in the lion's den,
In the bedroom with Delilah,
In the hollow in the hearts of men.
On the hill on Friday evening
when the soldiers rolled them bones,
In the garden Sunday mornin'
when they rolled away the stone.

Old Coyote,
On the edges of eternity
dancin' through the crack of dawn,
Old Coyote,
With a pearly white Madonna
and the Devil With The Blue Dress On.

In the bed between the Travelin' Salesman
and the Farmer's Daughter.
At the elbow of the preacher
when the wine turns back to water.
In the cabin of a smokin' locomotive
on a high speed train,
Between the Tower of Babel
and the Cities Of The Plain.

Now, there's an ancient city
Hidden just beneath the waves,
It was founded on the principles of justice
and the sweat of slaves,
And I heard a lot about it
in a New Age gospel hymn,
But I ain't never gonna wade in any water
where the fish won't swim.

Old Coyote,
In a verticle position while the world walks upside down,
Old Coyote,
At the center of the circle
while the wheel goes round and round.

Old Coyote,
In the center of the chaos
waitin' since The Lord knows when,
Old Coyote
Gonna wait a little longer
till it all comes round again.

--------------------------------------
Al Grierson was killed in a flash flood in Texas while riding in his pickup truck a few years back. There's more than a small chance that one of the last things he thought of was Old Coyote.

Art Thieme


06 Aug 05 - 01:14 AM (#1536196)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: GUEST

What I'm saying, I think, is that it's what people actually DO, and not necessarilly whether it's true or not, that makes the adventure and the panorama of our lives.

Ewan MacColl was a fine folksinger no matter what his real name was or whether he actually wrote all of the songs he said he had written.

In the old days, when I was younger, I cared about "TRUTH" much more than I do today. Looking back from where I am now, I'd be lucky if a third of what I thought went down really did happen that way at all.

It's the stories we tell and sing --- and whether they are any good or not---is what seems most important to me now. Look at Bush and this war happening now! All you know is what you think you know. What about carbohydrates? Are they good for you, or are they bad?
Hell, in the 1960s we thought cranberry sauce caused cancer! That was pretty dumb I guess, right? ---

All I know is that Jimmy Ewan MacColl Miller, or whatever, did the finest version of "Farewell To Tarwathie", "The Leavin' Of Liverpool", "Shoals Of Herring", "The American Stranger", "The Bleacher Lassie Of Kelvin Hall", "Blow Away The Mornin' Dew", and fifty or a hundred other songs, that I have ever heard!!!!!

Art Thieme


06 Aug 05 - 01:17 AM (#1536199)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme

The last post was me again. Sorry!

Art


06 Aug 05 - 04:52 AM (#1536235)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: GUEST,fidjit

JIM. And yet Alex told ME that he pinched 'er from him. But then Alex ended up with Pat.


06 Aug 05 - 06:51 AM (#1536272)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Jim McLean

Fidjit, it was all a question of visas and Ewan's Communist connection. Alex married Peggy to get round that. And yes, he ended up with Patsy, a lovely lady.


06 Aug 05 - 06:55 AM (#1536274)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Mr Red

ic the red - The website seems to think he was christened James.

He was called Jimmy - surely. A minor distintion but I am doing a footnote to a folk collecting program which may be accepted on a Radio Station and one has to be more pedantic that those that really know or "THERE WILL BE LETTERS"

From Little Hawk if no one else!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


06 Aug 05 - 10:22 AM (#1536371)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Dave Hanson

I'm sure you are right Mr Red, incidently throughout her life Joan Littlewood [ Ewans first wife ] always refused to call him anything but Jimmy Miller.

eric


06 Aug 05 - 10:23 AM (#1536372)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme

From afar, in the USA, I've always felt that the album Ewan made with Isla Cameron, trading tracks, duets maybe too?, was an exceptional one. I'm wondering what others might think of it? And did the Cameron/MacColl colaberation produce any more music that was/is available?

Is that LP with both of them, the one containing "Bleacher Lassie" and "American Stranger" etc., available as a CD now?? My old tape that I made from the LP from the Chicago Public Library has been re-dubbed so many times that it's nearly unlistenable.

Art


06 Aug 05 - 12:04 PM (#1536439)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: GUEST,DB

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Ewan MacColl was the only true genius that I have ever met. If he was a fraud then he certainly fooled me! Having said that, I do not appear to have suffered any ill effects as the result of being 'hoodwinked'!
When I was in my teens and early twenties one of my great joys was hearing Ewan singing ballads - preferably live; he was an absolutely brilliant singer and he sang wonderful songs that few other people seemed to be singing. Then, as now, it seemed impossible to escape from the trite and superficial world of rock and pop (which I find soooo f...king booooorrrinng!!!). Ewan, and a handful of others on the folk scene were offering something different and with so much more depth and colour and emotional satisfaction. Ewan was the King - and still is, as far as I am concerned.


06 Aug 05 - 01:28 PM (#1536471)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: GUEST,fidjit

Peggy wrote the mine disaster song


06 Aug 05 - 06:34 PM (#1536598)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: John Routledge

A couple of years ago at the "Ewan MacColl" weekend in Salford was a guy, from Sheffield University I think,who was writing Ewan's biography

Anybody an idea of how this is progessing or otherwise.

Depending on the honesty of his sources it might answer many of the perennial questions that are regularly asked on Mudcat in various guises.


06 Aug 05 - 07:20 PM (#1536606)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Folkiedave

A couple of small points of information. Without looking it up and purely from mmeory I think you will find that the Lallans poet that Jimmy Miller borrowed his name from was actually EVAN and not EWAN MacColl.

He was married to Jean Newlove and not divorced so Alex "married" Peggy to get her into the country.

Hew was a brilliant songwriter. Listen to Sam Larner talking about his life and see how Ewan weaved this into a song (Shoals of Herring); a great scholar (his work with travellers is of the highest order); and a wonderful singer. Some of his renditions of ballads are simply stunning. There were all sorts of things some people might consider faults, virtually all freely acknowledged by Peggy in the introduction to his autobiography "Journeyman".

Dave


06 Aug 05 - 08:20 PM (#1536628)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: BK Lick

Here's a link to a 1970 photo of Ewan and Peggy from Art's collection. (Use "mudcat" for both username and password.)
—BK


07 Aug 05 - 01:10 AM (#1536702)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Dave Hanson

It won't accept my password, why ?


07 Aug 05 - 05:30 AM (#1536769)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: shepherdlass

MacColl/Miller did all sorts of things - good as well as dubious. The problem is we're dealing with a form of music that is pushed forward by the borrowing and renaming of tunes; ownership of songs that were created by other people but linked in certain cases utterly with their best performer, etc. Jimmy Miller wasn't any different in that respect, and he was clearly a great promoter of some aspects of folk music. The thing about MacColl's legacy that seems to have been really destructive was his attempt to codify "good performance" and "authenticity" .


07 Aug 05 - 05:32 AM (#1536770)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: shepherdlass

Sorry - I don't know whether I should have said that MacColl's search for authenticity was DESTRUCTIVE... really, I meant DIVISIVE.


07 Aug 05 - 05:49 AM (#1536775)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: John Routledge

A very valid point shepherdlass.In my view the correct word is somewhere between destructive and divisive.


07 Aug 05 - 06:19 AM (#1536789)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Mark Cohen

One of my greatest thrills occurred during a two-week vacation in Britain after my internship. I had just discovered (or rediscovered) British and Irish folk music, and went to the Singers' Club at the Bull & Mouth where Ewan and Peggy were the hosts. They said they had room for an extra floor singer and asked for a volunteer, so I raised my hand. And there I was, a very nervous 24-year-old, on stage between the two of them, playing Peggy's Martin, singing my "Delaware River" song. I only wish somebody had taken a picture... Afterwards, Peggy said to me, "So THAT'S how you pronounce 'Schuylkill'!" (One of her songs begins, "My name is John Jay Curtis, my age is twenty-one/Born in Schuylkill County..." and she pronounced it, as most people would, "Skile-kill." But it's "Skook'l.")

I don't think anyone who's heard the intensity with which Ewan sang political and labor songs (whether or not he wrote them) would call him a charlatan or a fake. But, chacun à son gout, which of course means, "he who doubts me is the son of a goat."

Aloha,
Mark


07 Aug 05 - 10:51 AM (#1536935)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme

Those of us that love the man for his music and the work he has done agree with Mark Cohen completely.

I feel quite lucky to not have been aware, when I encountered his music, of the aspects of Ewan MacColl's life that possibly gave him feet of clay in the eyes of those so close to him that his body odor, after he'd been working out simply being alive like, all the rest of us, was noticable.

Art Thieme


07 Aug 05 - 06:43 PM (#1537117)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: shepherdlass

Art Thieme puts it beautifully when he mentions feet of clay: folk music is made by people and not gods or heroes. So there were aspects of MacColl's behaviour that were less than likeable: there were positives to balance them. As somebody who is researching the social/political aspects of the revival, I tend to hear - and weigh upon - more of the negatives but that's because these are the aspects in which his legacy's probably most controversial. He certainly added to the canon, and transmitted a great deal more of it. And how fascinating to read Mark Cohen's first hand account of the Singers' Club, which shows a different side to that venue.


08 Aug 05 - 05:29 PM (#1537945)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Susanne (skw)

I remember going to the Singers' Club once in 1978 or 79, in a dreadfully bare and uncomfortable hall. Ewan appeared rather dry and serious to a young girl (yes, me!), and hearing him sing live didn't sound any better to me than his albums. I just didn't care too much for his voice. However, he patiently explained the origins of 'Jack Orion' to me, and when Tom Paley, who was there that night, couldn't get his fiddle tuned, Ewan asked him something like, 'Tom, is there any instrument you can play without tuning it for half an hour?' Tom smiled at him and offered: 'Accordion?' And Peggy gave me her half-brother's home address because I had a question concerning one of his songs. Not a night wasted, but not the magical experience I'd been looking forward to either.

However, there is a short biography of Ewan the singer / songwriter on the Working Class Movement Library by Peggy Seeger. She seems very honest about his less appealing traits, so it reads like quite a balanced assessment.


09 Aug 05 - 07:07 AM (#1538311)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Big Al Whittle

Thank you . i really enjoyed that bit by Peggy Seeger. I will probably read the book now.


09 Aug 05 - 07:35 AM (#1538332)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Le Scaramouche

Very beautiful. The best peice on MacColl I've read.


09 Aug 05 - 04:18 PM (#1538752)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Jim McLean

An interesting experience, Susanne. I have a life time history of both Scottish gaelic and Lowland folk songs (experiences) and visited the Singers Club many times in the early sixties. I found it basically very dry and boring, with McColl singing in a dreadful pseudo Scottish accent. I'm afraid I didn't go much for Peggy's whining delivery or Bert Lloyd's castrato redition of sea shanties. I enjoyed the new blood that was allowed to sing in the second half including Dylan's 20 minute spot although he shoud only have done five! McColl was extremely upset.bAcademically I found it interesting, a bit like The English Folk Dance and Song Library but with beer.


09 Aug 05 - 05:53 PM (#1538815)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Susanne (skw)

Jim, when are you going to start writing your memoirs? (In verse, perhaps, and called 'A Life Outside the Scottish Folk Scene'.) To think of all the memories that must be buried in your head!! :-)

No, I don't care for Peggy Seeger's singing style either, though she writes very good lyrics. I've got used to Bert Lloyd, though, and quite enjoy his renditions. Never heard him live, though.


09 Aug 05 - 06:01 PM (#1538825)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl - real name?
From: Jim McLean

Susanne, I've been writing a book called 'How Presbyterianism killed my Auntie Lilly' for some time now! Maybe I'll get around publishing it soon!


01 Apr 11 - 10:10 PM (#3126676)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - real name?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle

House!


02 Apr 11 - 03:24 PM (#3127091)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - real name?
From: Octoman

Jimmy Miller-fraud-deserter!!!