Mudcat Café message #3603665 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #153775   Message #3603665
Posted By: GUEST,airymouse
21-Feb-14 - 07:23 PM
Thread Name: English vs. American folk culture
Subject: RE: English vs. American folk culture
I think Will Fly makes an important distinction. Hidden away beneath the "folk revival" of the '60s the traditions were kept alive by people like Larry Older (NY), Hortie Barker (VA), Nellie Galt and Jean Ritchie (KY), Almeda Riddle (AK) and many, like Mary Lomax(GA), who were not being recorded at that time. The experts on this site could add many many other names. Here in southwest VA we have Friday night jamborees and jams, but with the exception of a few standard dance songs, you almost never hear old songs in public. The crooked road is not about preserving traditional songs; it's about getting the tourists' dollar.Let's face it, old songs are not money makers: you are not going to get people to hum along or dance if the tune changes in the last two verses, or the song ends in 13 seconds, or goes on and on telling a story with every verse different. And it's natural to like songs with which you are familiar, so the interesting unrecorded versions of old songs are trumped by the better-known versions of Jerry Garcia, the Carter family, Joan Baez etc. I like to think that the recent publication of Mary Lomax's songs shows that the American hidden folk culture has survived the "folk revival", but I'm not sure.