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Jim Carroll seek recording: Bert Lloyd & Peter Kennedy 1951 (28) RE: seek recording: Bert Lloyd & Peter Kennedy 1951 14 May 19


"Lloyd, McColl, Henderson and Lomax and others were working away for a good decade before the "folk revival" got kick-started."
That can't be said enough
I've been working my way though some of Bert's early Australian and and American albums - worth having for the notes alone
The Lomax recordings from Britain and Ireland on line are a revelation showing that we have only had access to the tip of the iceberg up to now

MacColl was first discovered singing his family-learned songs outside a cinema in 1934, before the Folk Revival was a twinkle in anybody's eye.

"The voice was a new one on the air, the voice of Ewan MacColl, but there was no mistaking the message of the tramping feet behind it.
Ewan MacColl was himself a victim of the Depression. The son of an unemployed Glasgow steelworker, who had moved to Salford in search of work during the twenties, he had suffered every privation and humiliation that poverty could contrive for him from the age often. His memories of his early years are still bitter—like his recollection of how to kill aimless time in a world where there was nothing else to do: “You go in the Public Library.
And the old men are there standing against the pipes to get warm all the newspaper parts are occupied, and you pick a book up. I can remember then that you got the smell of the unemployed, a kind of sour or bitter-sweet smell, mixed in with the smell of old books, dust, leather and the rest of it. So now if I pick up say a Dostoievsky immediately with the first page, there’s that smell of poverty in 1931.”
MacColl had been out busking for pennies by the Manchester t eatres and cinemas. The songs he sang were unusual, Scots songs, Gaelic songs he had learnt from his mother, border ballads and folk-songs. One night while queueing up for the three-and- sixpennies, Kenneth Adam had heard him singing outside the Manchester Paramount. He was suitably impressed. Not only did e give MacColl a handout; he also advised him to go and audition for Archie Harding at the BBC studios in Manchester’s Piccadilly. This MacColl duly did. May Day in England was being cast at the time, and though it had no part for a singer, it certainly had for a good, tough, angry Voice of the People. Ewan MacColl became the Voice, a role which he has continued to fill on stage an the air, and on a couple of hundred L.P. discs ever since."
Prospero and Ariel (pp 35-36), D. G. Bridson, Victor Gollantz (1971)

Bert's interest in folk songs originated when he worked as a sheepshearer
Ewan's songs came from his parents and some of the lodgers that lived with them in their Salford home - I spoke to Working-Class Historians, Ruth and Eddie Frow back in the sixties, both confirmed that "William (Ewan's father") was always singing queer songs nobody had ever heard"

It has become fashionable to cast doubt on the work of some of the great pioneers - that seems to be an ongoing habit among some (Child seems to be one of the latest victims)
Jim Carroll


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