Mudcat Café message #1840558 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #94776   Message #1840558
Posted By: GUEST
22-Sep-06 - 02:47 AM
Thread Name: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
Whenever the name Peter Kennedy comes up I am always surprised at the number of people who either don't know or don't care about his behaviour towards traditional musicians and singers. There is no doubt in mind that most of the stories I have heard about him are true I have met too many people who have had first hand experience of him, and have seen the results up close.
What people need to decide is; (a) did he do the things he is accused of and (b) does it matter.
As far as I am concerned, yes he did and yes it does. The greatest damage he did was to hang a price tag on the tradition and make it a commodity, thereby setting a precedent. In the process he showed disregard, verging on contempt for the people who preserved and passed on the music I care about, and that is what I find unforgivable
It is quite true that there is not a great deal of money to be made out of traditional music not unless you set up a cottage industry and market it on a large scale isn't that exactly what he did? Aren't shoddy, cheaply produced goods to a captive market every entrepreneur's dream. Don't forget the goods he was dealing in were amassed on behalf of the BBC and paid for by the licence/tax-payers money. They are all of our heritage, not one individual's.
I don't know if Moe Asche and Alan Lomax were guilty of the same practices; I haven't seen the evidence and until I do I am not prepared to make a judgement.
As for my own actions and others, (including Fred McCormick), I think we did what we could to draw attention what was happening, but given the disinterest of EFDSS and the BBC we didn't get very far.
As far as I am concerned, I am as proud of the fact that I never once bought a Kennedy product as I am that we never bought South African goods throughout the anti-apartheid boycott.
Well, I'm off to the Frank Harte week-end now there's a man who loved the music and respected the people who gave it to us.
Jim Carroll
PS Cap'n; as a long-time admirer of MacColl, I managed a wry smile at your suggestion that as Kennedy was now dead we should ignore his faults and let him rest in peace.