Mudcat Café message #4018248 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #166876   Message #4018248
Posted By: Jim Carroll
10-Nov-19 - 03:31 AM
Thread Name: Review: Walter Pardon - Research
Subject: RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research
No - I never met John Reilly - he was 'discovered' and had died before we started visiting Ireland
We were close friends with Tom Munnelly, who gave us all of John's recordings (happy to pass them on to anybody who wants them), and told us a great deal about his tragically short life.

For those who don't know, Tom discovered John squatting in a derelict house in Boyle, Roscommon, was staggered by his repertoire and took American scholar to meet him
Tom visited John several times and saw his health degenerating, so he and some friends in Dublin tried to arrange bookings to raise some money for him - Christie Moore became one of the main promoters of this wonderful singer -
Irish traditional music organisation, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann refused to help as they said John "was not a sean nós singer"
The last time Tom visited John he had to climb through the window - John had collapsed, was rushed to the local hospital where he died of the effects of malnutrition
John had a large number of Child Ballads, the most important being 'The Maid and the Palmer' (Well Below the Valley) - as is always the case with source singers, John never received a penny for his songs -
I find it ironical that the copyright of the Christy Moore version now lies with a well heeled middle-of-the-road 'folkish' musician

One of the really anger-making incidents for me was, when Tom Munnely gave Peter Kennedy a copy of John's recordings "For your own personal interest" (Kennedy had once been helpful when Tom was first starting out as a collector)
Kennedy issued them on his Folktrax label without permission or payment
John was dead by then and Tom had arranged that any payments from his songs should be donated to a planned school for Traveller children
Kennedy refused to respond for requests for a donation and the recordings remained for sale (as far as I know, that is still the position)
Pat and I, along with Tom, were once asked to take part in a T.S.F. conference at C# House - we all agreed until we heard Kennedy was to be a speaker, so we all backed out - we were invited back a year later
We attended a conference with Tom in Sheffield once without realising Kennedy would be there - watching Tom and Kennedy was like a re-run of High Noon

I hadn't realised that John had a Niece - thanks for that
I am delighted to hear it - I'll look her up

I described what happened to Walter's house above (09 Nov 19 - 05:10 AM)

"seems to have been treated with disdain by walters relatives"
Not really Dick - it was a very common song and, as Walter was little more than a child, they gave it to him - everybody had their own songs in those days

I've said that the National Sound Archive at the B.L. is putting our collection on line, for which I'm very grateful
The last month or so has made me very aware of the growing interest in traditional song in Ireland, so I have decided to create an on-line resource to pass on some of our archive (I've been doing this in a somewhat disorganised way for some time now - about time I stored it out)
It will include the BBC collection some of our recordings and those given to us by Tom Munnelly, Hugh Shields, the field recordings made by Ewan and Peggy etc... along with radio programmes, books and articles - etc
It will also have a section on the work MacColl did with the Critics, including voice and relaxation exercises (with explanations)
It will be left on line via PCloud and also downloadable
If anybody wishes to avail themselves of it just send an e-mail address and I'll link you to it
I'll be working on it for some time to come so anybody wishing to use it now should bear that in mind and keep up to date - there's a lot to choose from

"There was no 'banishment' involved, Jim"
I really have no intention of spoiling what I am finding a very enjoyable and fruitful discussion with an argument
It was made clear to me that Walter had no place in a discussion on today's revival, which I have sadly accepted
As far as I'm concerned, today's revival is the loser and has my sympathy - I'm happy to leave it at that