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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Howard Jones UK 60s Folk Club Boom? (1167* d) RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom? 26 Feb 19

Jim, you ask for an example of the sort of music I am talking about.

As it happens, I read your reply while I was waiting for a tram, and in the background a busker was singing "Don't think twice, it's alright". Had I asked other people at the tram stop, I believe most of them would have described that as a folk song. I also think they would have disagreed that it was a pop song.

That song, and others like it, was widely sung in folk clubs from the 1960s onwards, alongside traditional songs. They were part of "folk" in the broader sense which all but a few clubs embraced. If you are suggesting that songs like this caused people to turn away from folk clubs in their thousands, all I can say is that it took them several decades to do so. The clubs continued to thrive until the late 80s/early 90s. The reason for their decline has been discussed elsewhere. One reason may have been that the folk club generation found that work and family commitments got in the way. Punk may have offered the younger generation the opportunities for self-expression which the folk clubs had previously.

I haven't disputed that the folk clubs are much reduced, although I query the figure of 180 clubs which seems to have come from a Wikipedia article with no evidence to support it. I have already shown that there appear to be at least 50 clubs in the north west alone (and that's only those who belong to the Federation). I find it hard to believe that this region accounts for around 1/3 of all the clubs in the country. Furthermore there are other venues besides folk clubs to hear folk music, including traditional songs. As Steve said, the clubs were an artificial construct - they worked for a time but other artificial constructs are now joining them and perhaps taking their place, such as house concerts. I see large numbers of young people taking up folk music.

You make much of folk clubs being active rather than passive, but the majority of people who went to folk clubs never got up to perform but sat there and listened.

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