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Reg Hall

12 Feb 06 - 11:18 AM (#1666990)
Subject: Reg Hall
From: GUEST,Hen Harrier

Some info on Reg


    Reg Hall interviewed by Ed Baxter

    REG HALL is the series editor of The Voice of the People: The Traditional Music of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, a 20-volume CD anthology released by Topic Records. An active musician, producer and radical researcher, Dr. Hall is a visiting fellow in the Graduate Research Centre in Culture & Communication at the University of Sussex. He is currently working on A History of Irish Music & Dance in London.
    Ed Baxter interviewed him for Resonance Volume 7 Number 2 in July 1999 and (below) reviews The Voice of the People.

13 Feb 06 - 06:49 AM (#1667207)
Subject: RE: Reg Hall
From: treewind

Thanks for the link. Recommended reading for anybody's who's participated in a "what is folk?" or "what is traditional?" discussion.

I'm not sure if I agree with everything he says, but at the same time I wonder whether he's actually wrong or just making me feel uncomfortable.


13 Feb 06 - 07:56 AM (#1667223)
Subject: RE: Reg Hall
From: Ruston Hornsby

Thanks for giving me the chance to read that too. As somebody whose first steps as a "folk" musician were care of a proper old traditional player who lived next door and nothing at all to do with the folk scene at that stage - I found his views very refreshing indeed.

13 Feb 06 - 07:56 AM (#1667224)
Subject: RE: Reg Hall
From: greg stephens

In a current discussion on the BBC4 "Folk Britannia" series, I suggested that the archives of the BBC should be turned over to Reg hall as he was the boy to make programmes on British folk, so I'll repeat it here. Reg hall probably knows more about the subject than anyone, for the simple reason that he took the trouble to raoam and , to look and to listen, and to play with the oldtimers. And after that he thought about it: a lot. Unlike the majority of revivalists, who seemed to think that a flick through the "Penguin Book of English Folksongs" and "Marrowbones", and aalisten toa couple of LPs was all the grounding you needed. That was, of course, all the grounding certain intuitive geniuses needed, but ordinary mortals would have done better to follow the Reg Hall/Mervyn Plunkett model, and actally going out into the dangerous badlands and seeing actual folk musicians playing and singing actual folk muscians in actual pubs. I have met loads have folkies who have never, literally never, seen a traditional folk musician in context.
    Reg hall has done so much that it's difficult to know what to say about him. Perhaps his most influential single act was playing on, and recording, the "English Country Music" record: I'll try to a link to   an article about it. There have been other vast achievements (not least of which is playing the melodeon rather well). All around, a hugely important figure in the British folk scene. A great pity more people didn't follow his example and go back to basics from time to time.

13 Feb 06 - 07:58 AM (#1667226)
Subject: RE: Reg Hall
From: greg stephens

Sorry about the typos, I am having a little tech problem which stops me correcting text.

13 Feb 06 - 08:23 AM (#1667229)
Subject: RE: Reg Hall
From: Ruston Hornsby

Well said, Greg. Over the years I've got so fed up with all those people who know all the tunes but understand nothing. The ones who tell you that you've played something "wrong" just because you've played a tune differently to how it's written down in the book they have.

13 Feb 06 - 12:11 PM (#1667300)
Subject: RE: Reg Hall
From: Folkiedave

You think that's bad? Someone once told Grenoside Sword dancers they were doing the Grenoside Sword Dance wrong!!


13 Feb 06 - 05:58 PM (#1667607)
Subject: RE: Reg Hall
From: Herga Kitty

the whole Voice of the People set of CDs....


13 Feb 06 - 06:57 PM (#1667666)
Subject: RE: Reg Hall
From: greg stephens

The book about Scan Tester "I never played to many posh dances" was a classic act of respect to a folk musician: I think it was written by Reg Hall to go with a Topic record of Scan tester's music. Not sure if the book is online, or if you need to buy the record..which you should.
Dead right, Herga Kitty. The Voice of the People series will be inspiring people for years.
    I picked out the "English Country Music" record as the best thing he'd done: it was also the worst, or least the title was. Totally distorted a generations view of what traditional English music was like. Now, if only he'd called it "English home counties music", or "English music you can easily get to ansd record if you're setting out from London and in a bit of a hurry", it would have been great! That title caused people over the country to play in a way which bore little or no relation to how people played where they lived. Funny old business, folk music.

13 Feb 06 - 07:23 PM (#1667695)
Subject: RE: Reg Hall
From: Malcolm Douglas

I've a suspicion that I never played to many posh dances is about sold out, now; I bought one of the last copies that Musical Traditions (who published it) had; come to think of it, I haven't read it properly yet. The record, though, has been re-issued on cd by Veteran: VTVS03/04: I Never Played to Many Posh Dances

English Country Music wasn't Home Counties, but Northern East Anglia; I do take the point, though. We all played Scan's polkas for ages, and that odd version of 'Off She Goes'. Other styles, and repertoires, did rather get neglected until later.

14 Feb 06 - 04:25 AM (#1667959)
Subject: RE: Reg Hall
From: greg stephens

Sorry, I dont really know the definition of home counties. I really meant"places you go collecting during aa night or weekend from London". As opposed to places where you go for a fortnight, like Sliabn Luachra or the Lake District.
Is the Scan tester book separate from the record?I thought they were a sort of package deal? Perhaps I am wrong on that.

14 Feb 06 - 11:17 AM (#1668197)
Subject: RE: Reg Hall
From: Kevin Sheils

Reg presents the Traditional Music Hour on Resonance 104.4FM in the London 2 weeks out of 4 generally. Myself and David Campbell filling in the other 2 with occassional others such as Peta Webb, Ken Hall and Jim Ward.

Reg started the show some years back and he is always worth listening to. If you're not in the London Area or reception is dodgy anyway you can listen on line at It's on from 2.00-3.00 Thursday afternoons so I guess if you are at work it may be difficult and unfortunately there is no listen again facility. I did last weeks show so I think Reg should be doing this week.

18 Feb 06 - 09:07 AM (#1671864)
Subject: RE: Reg Hall
From: GUEST,Hen Harrier

Tried to get the Resonance 104.4FM folk programme on my ancient'95 m/c but to no avail. Anybody know how to do it in plain English?

18 Feb 06 - 04:45 PM (#1672256)
Subject: RE: Reg Hall
From: Kevin Sheils

Not totally sure what a '95 m/c is but can guess. I'd say that the signal is not very strong from the station where you are - wherever that is. I can find it difficult to get in Walthamstow but friends not far away in Chingford get it quite clearly. Which is why, when I'm not doing it, I tend to use the live feed on the web at

Where are you trying to tune in from?

18 Feb 06 - 10:41 PM (#1672547)
Subject: RE: Reg Hall
From: GUEST,Hen Harrier

I'm using a Dell Windows98 set-up (but I've also got "Onspeed" which speeds things up 5X on a good day). I tried the Real Player but nothing was forthcoming.

I'm now living in Co. Clare, we're still waiting for broadband here! Used to see you at Sidmouth.

All the best.

Jim Martin

19 Feb 06 - 03:43 AM (#1672630)
Subject: RE: Reg Hall
From: Kevin Sheils

Ah the good old days Jim

Unfortunately you'll not get Resonance in Clare except via the web site.

I don't know onspeed but I have no problem with Real Audio from the website with Broadband. I recall that I used to have problems if I went to the listen page from the link on the top right of the web page but not if I chose to listen from the menu options on the left.

You may want to try going to the listings option on the left menu and finding the programme on any Thursday shown. There is a link to an old archived show you can listen to anytime from there. It used to be one of Reg's old shows but recently it's been one of mine. It's not really a typical show (whatever that means) as it was based around the artists appearing at last years National Festival at Sutton Bonnington, which was on at the time.

19 Feb 06 - 08:54 AM (#1672755)
Subject: RE: Reg Hall
From: GUEST,Jim Martin

Thanks Kevin.

I tried what you said but couldn't get the archive stuff. Think I'll just have to wait until we get wireless broadband in good 'ol County Clare!