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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Vic Smith Critical discussion of Ewan MacColl's singing (165* d) RE: Critical discussion of Ewan MacColl's singing 19 May 20

soory to digress but the accompanist here behind jeanie follows her voice very well, was this robin hall

No, it was Josh MacCrae* and I think but cannot swear that when I heard then first tracks first that they were originally unaccompanied (can't remember where I heard them first, it is such a long time ago) and I think, but again cannot be certain, that Josh's guitar like Robin's was added afterwards. It sounds to my ears as though it was.
The sleeve notes from the 2013 CD include:-
This CD, made from an early 1950s LP, features twelve songs from the repertoire of this great lady of Scots song with occasional guitar accompaniment by Josh MacCrae. There may be a few slight imperfections associated with the age of the original material, but we have tried to make the sound quality of the CD as clear and crisp as possible. We hope that you will agree with us that the quality of the music still shines through.

Early 1950's LP eh? Well Hamish Henderson did not arrive at her door in Aberdeen until late 1953 and I don't think that she made her first recording until the following year. The album was first released by the American company Riverside (RLP12-633) in 1960. No mention is made of who recorded it though it was "Edited by Kenneth S. Goldstein" and I know that he also recorded her during his Fulbright scholarship year in Aberdeenshire where his main informant was the great Lucy Stewart. The Goldstein archive is in the University of Mississippi and at one time I had a listeners pass for that archive and that may be where by "unaccompanied" singing memory comes from.
There is guitar on roughly a half of the 12 tracks and to my ears and in my opinion the guitar is totally superfluous.
What the album does offer is one of the finest recordings that she ever made. She recorded MacCrimmon's Lament several times and I take this (thankfully unacccompanied) version to be the finest. It is exquisite.

* Wikipedia gives his name as Josh Morse!!!

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