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GUEST,John from Elsie`s Band History - BBC's 'Singing Together' (277* d) RE: History - BBC's 'Singing Together' 30 Oct 08


I found ,in a Norwich bookshop, a copy of "The Daily Express" Community Songbook published in 1927. Rather than try to explain it let me give you the foreword.

    "On the night of November 20th, 1926 ten thousand people assembled in the Albert Hall to launch "The Daily Express Community Singing Movement.
    There were a few minutes of shyness and timidity. Then suddenly, the spirit of song took complete command of the enormous audience. The chorus of "John Peel" swelled and volleyed round the great hall, and in that moment was born the astounding social movement that has since swept over the country like a prairie fire.
    The story of delight and inspiration of Community Singing flashed from suburb to suburb, from town to town. Wireless had already brought the cheeriness and friendliness of it all to millions of listeners who caught the infection as they sat at their receiving sets.
    From north, south, east and west there poured in requests that other centres should be given the opportunity of enjoying at first hand the wonderful thing that London had so successfully inaugurated.
      It was not a question of capturing communities, they had capitulated joyously and eagerly. Within a month the people of the Midlands were singing as they had never sung before. Wales, with her traditional genius for song, both found and gave inspiration in full measure. Northern cities and southern towns joined in the movement with irresistible enthusiasm.
    Then came another and more dramatic development. The packed grounds of famous football clubswere turned into gigantic concert centres. Twenty, thirty, forty, fifty thousand men and women provided unforgettable spectacles as they stood in wintry sunshine or biting wind to sing sea shanties, old well known choruses and the National Anthem.
    Villages and hamlets began to organise their own Community Singing. Churches, clubs, instsitutes, workshops, schools - practically every place where men and women gather - joined in.
      Three months saw Great Britain turned into a land of song, and the whole country in the grip of a new force the social consequence of which, even now, are incalculable."

The book contains in excess of 200 songs, trad., shanties, childrens songs, etc., every one relevant to the Mudcat site.


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