Mudcat Café message #1762018 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #92109   Message #1762018
Posted By: GUEST
17-Jun-06 - 03:38 AM
Thread Name: Obit: Peter Kennedy (1922-2006)
Subject: RE: Obit: Peter Kennedy (10 June 2006)
The merits or demerits of Peter Kennedy's character seem to be the prominent issue in this discussion.
It is fairly obvious that some people are unaware of the situation surrounding Peter and his work, a situation that has been discussed (or not discussed) continuously for half a century.
In 1950, at the encouragement of Alan Lomax, the BBC, in conjunction with the EFDSS launched a project to 'mop up' what was left of the British and Irish song and musical tradition. Peter Kennedy was appointed director and his team included Seamus Ennis, Sean O'Boyle, Bob Copper, Hamish Henderson and others. At the expense of the British taxpayer the largest and most important collection of British and Irish field recordings was put together. Sets of those recordings were held at the BBC library and The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, both in London.
A small number of those recordings were used for a series of programmes in the 1950s entitled 'As I Roved Out' and a magnificent series of programmes 'The Song Carriers' also made use of them to discuss the song tradition. A selection of the songs, in some cases heavily edited, was released in a record series 'Folk Songs Of Britain'.
Somewhere along the way the BBC lost interest in the collection and it disappeared into private hands. Some became available for purchase in poor copies with no information, in some cases with appalling accompaniments and choruses dubbed onto them.
This has been the situation up to the present time.
In the not-to-distant future the fate of that collection will be decided.
It is my opinion that anybody concerned with traditional song and music should have some input into what happens to the collection; it is for this reason, and not to discuss whether he was a nice feller or not, that I raised the question of Peter Kennedy's work.
Jim Carroll