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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Deckman why do singers take so long to start? (174* d) RE: why do singers take so long to start? 15 Aug 15


This might be a long posting. I think it's time to put this frequant complaint to rest. I hope that I can do that wisely and without starting any more useless arguments.

Let me try explain just where I'm coming from regarding this subject of the use of books during song sessions, versus non-acceptance of this practice.

I'll dare to include my long time friend of sixty two years in my explaination:

Don Firth and I met in Seattle in 1953, and we soon became submerged in the "hoot scene." "Hoots", as we knew them then, were a unique kind of gathering of folk singers and quite magical. There were several elements that stood out, one being that anyuone who attended was invited to attend, and anyone who performed was expected to perform well and without the use of any prompts like books, or crib sheets, etc. These hoots were where Don and I, and many others, grew up musically, both as musicians and as performers. In those days, the living rooms were filled with the best of the best, and we all learned from each other.

But that time is long gone.

Somewhere in the mid 1970's, the late John Dwyer, and several other fine singers, started the Seattle "song circles." John was also a strong participant in the early hoots and he was well steeped in the hoot traditions of no books, etc. Very quickly, the 'song circles' became very popular. And from what I've read on MC, are also popular in Europe.

But also, much to the consternation of us old foggies,(and that includes Don and I) the dreaded "Blue Book" appeared on the scene. "Oh horrors of all horrors", we all yelled. "This will never do ... it's a sin ..."

But, the times had changed, and just like the genie in bottle, there weren't no puttin' it back!

Is this a bad thing? Of course not. Things change, people change, times change. The "Blue book" has encouraged generations now to enjoy music with increasing depth.

The thing that I have to remember is that the song circles of today are NOT the hoots of yesterday. And they never will be.

That's why I no longer fight th delemma. My answer is twofold: I no longer attend any song circles, and I host private, invitation only, "hoots" when I wish.

So ... I hope I haven't bored you, but I thought this distinction between "hoots" and "song circles" might help. CHEERS, bob(deckman)nelson


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