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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Jon Dudley Natural history of folk (BBC radio) Attenborough (69* d) RE: Natural history of folk (BBC radio) 07 Feb 14

The story of the BBCs collecting programme really is worthy of some detailed documenting. The roles of Brian George, Frank Collinson et al are all important along with that of a young David Attenborough. An equally young Chris Chattaway produced a documentary programme 'Away from it all' from the Coppers temporary home in Cheriton, Hampshire, in which the redoubtable Turp Brown can be heard singing. As I've said elsewhere on Mudcat, Bob Copper confirmed that, with tape being at a premium, much was wiped, if for example it was thought that 'better' versions (either of recording quality or because it was an 'inferior' or incomplete song) were already in the archive. Sounds dreadful but that's the way it was - thank goodness we do have a wealth of material preserved from those days. Rather nice that the collectors' results were aired on prime time radio shows like ' Country Magazine' etc. back in the day. The collectors meetings in 'The Stag' or 'The George' when they got together to share the fruits of their labours with the BBC, were legendary. Don't forget either BBC employees and radio actors like John Sharp (who later played Ezra Biggins in 'All creatures Great and Small') who lived in the country and often acted as 'talent scouts' pointing the collectors to notable singers who frequented their local pubs. Of course once the music was being heard on radio, the public began to write in too, amongst them a fifteen year old schoolgirl from Sussex, Shirley Collins…but that's another story.

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