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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,jim bainbridge Ewan MacColl Song Collecting (80* d) RE: Ewan MacColl Song Collecting 09 Jun 20

In the early 60s, as a regular visitor to Collett's record shop I came across MacColl & Seeger's work for Folkways. I bought a cardboard covered Folkways LP of the Elliotts of Birtley there.

It seems Folkways wanted material from the Durham mining industry & Johnny Handle pointed M & S to the family, some of whom who had been to the Newcastle folk club he'd set up in 1958 with Louis Killen.

I'd never heard of them, and owe a lifelong friendship with the Elliotts to that production to Johnny, of course, but also to MacColl & Seeger.
I also bought a Folkways LP called 'Bothy Ballads of Scotland' -the cover listed a lot of such songs I'd never heard of. However, although I did not expect that all the bothy ballads collected by M & S were not from the original singers.
MacColl actually sang HIMSELF what had been collected, which I found disappointing to say the least.
M & S had not done this with the Elliotts, and I have always been interested to know why they did this? I can't think of any other serious collector who has done this and, not being an aficionado, I don't know if this was a frequent practice afterwards?
I would hope the original recordings are available somewhere, but I'd have thought what they did would be anathema to any serious collector?
Did Folkways insist on it for some reason or is there another explanation?
there are a limited number of people who might know- any idea, Jim C?

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