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Art Thieme, Allen C.

joeler 15 Aug 99 - 03:39 PM
Richard Bridge 15 Aug 99 - 03:44 PM
Llanfair 15 Aug 99 - 04:01 PM
Allan C. 15 Aug 99 - 04:48 PM
bob schwarer 15 Aug 99 - 05:04 PM
joeler 15 Aug 99 - 06:10 PM
Rick Fielding 15 Aug 99 - 06:16 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 15 Aug 99 - 06:25 PM
SueH 15 Aug 99 - 06:33 PM
bob schwarer 15 Aug 99 - 06:36 PM
teller 15 Aug 99 - 06:54 PM
Richard Bridge 15 Aug 99 - 07:11 PM
Sandy Paton 15 Aug 99 - 07:23 PM
Bill D 15 Aug 99 - 08:06 PM
Bill D 15 Aug 99 - 08:42 PM
campfire 15 Aug 99 - 08:49 PM
Bill D 15 Aug 99 - 09:03 PM
campfire 15 Aug 99 - 09:13 PM
T in Oklahoma 15 Aug 99 - 10:18 PM
Sandy Paton 15 Aug 99 - 10:33 PM
Bill D 15 Aug 99 - 10:52 PM
Big Mick 15 Aug 99 - 11:04 PM
Charlie Baum 15 Aug 99 - 11:45 PM
Art Thieme 15 Aug 99 - 11:49 PM
mountain tyme 15 Aug 99 - 11:50 PM
CarlZen 16 Aug 99 - 12:22 AM
Wally Macnow 16 Aug 99 - 08:44 AM
Bert 16 Aug 99 - 10:10 AM
katlaughing 16 Aug 99 - 10:42 AM
Art Thieme 16 Aug 99 - 11:44 AM
GeorgeH 16 Aug 99 - 11:52 AM
Rick Fielding 16 Aug 99 - 11:58 AM
catspaw49 16 Aug 99 - 12:24 PM
Sandy Paton 16 Aug 99 - 12:52 PM
Bert 16 Aug 99 - 01:02 PM
Richard Bridge 16 Aug 99 - 02:18 PM
teller 16 Aug 99 - 02:19 PM
j0_77 16 Aug 99 - 03:06 PM
Margo 16 Aug 99 - 03:26 PM
Jeri 16 Aug 99 - 03:29 PM
catspaw49 16 Aug 99 - 03:53 PM
Jeri 16 Aug 99 - 04:17 PM
katlaughing 16 Aug 99 - 06:29 PM
Jeremiah McCaw 17 Aug 99 - 03:10 AM
Roger the zimmer 17 Aug 99 - 04:49 AM
GeorgeH 17 Aug 99 - 06:55 AM
Mike Regenstreif 17 Aug 99 - 09:08 AM
Peter T. 17 Aug 99 - 10:51 AM
teller 17 Aug 99 - 02:31 PM
Rick Fielding 17 Aug 99 - 04:19 PM
Jeri 17 Aug 99 - 04:55 PM
Frank Hamilton 18 Aug 99 - 11:41 AM
Rick Fielding 18 Aug 99 - 12:01 PM
catspaw49 18 Aug 99 - 12:42 PM
Big Mick 18 Aug 99 - 02:38 PM
Art Thieme 18 Aug 99 - 02:50 PM
Sandy Paton 18 Aug 99 - 03:18 PM
catspaw49 18 Aug 99 - 03:33 PM
Big Mick 18 Aug 99 - 03:45 PM
Allan C. 18 Aug 99 - 04:02 PM
joeler 19 Aug 99 - 02:24 PM
Frank Hamilton 19 Aug 99 - 05:23 PM
Frank Hamilton 19 Aug 99 - 05:33 PM
Jeri 19 Aug 99 - 05:54 PM
Frank Hamilton 20 Aug 99 - 12:29 PM
Frank Hamilton 20 Aug 99 - 12:34 PM
Frank Hamilton 20 Aug 99 - 12:37 PM
JedMarum 20 Aug 99 - 12:53 PM
Sandy Paton 20 Aug 99 - 02:03 PM
Frank Hamilton 20 Aug 99 - 07:00 PM
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Subject: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: joeler
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 03:39 PM

Gentlemen: Your sarcasim was taken in good fun. As for new folksongs, even Greensleeves was "NEW" once. So was Chippendale furniture. All kidding aside, if someone writes a folksong why can't it be called a new folksong, or am I discussing this with a couple of purists who can't seem to accept the fact that great music is composed everyday by all kinds of people? Gee, maybe I'm talking to a couple of professionel critics. If this is the case have fun with your little dittys. If this is the way you get your jollys, make sure they are not "new Jollys." I only want old jollys. No Madonnas or chippendales needed on this computer. Joel


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 03:44 PM

It is not a matter of refusing to hear new songs. It is merely a matter of being accurate in not referring to them as "folk songs". You might as well call potatoes turnips. AFter all, lots of people once ate turnips and along came this new root vegetable. Why bother to give it a name different from the established term "turnips"?

There has been posted to another thread the correct definition of "folk song". As noted there, that's the definition. End of story.


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Llanfair
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 04:01 PM

Just a minute, what's happening here? Are we getting precious about definitions of the kind of music we like? How do we categorize "Streets of London" "Four Strong Winds" or Steeleye's "All around my Hat" which is a compilation of at least two traditional songs. Be pedantic about traditional folk, but surely not folk music, music of the people,by the people. I'd like to hear your tape, joely, can it be shipped to the UK? Hwyl, Bron.


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allan C.
From: Allan C.
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 04:48 PM

I am actually a lot broader in my definition of folk music than a lot of others. Generally, my own feeling is that a song doesn't qualify to be called by that name until it has been around for quite some time. To me, the use of the term is not unlike things such as sardines or hay. There is no such thing as a living sardine. It is only a sardine when it is in the can. Hay never grows. Once the grasses are cut and dried, they become hay. For me, (and I say this LOUDLY!) FOR ME folk songs aren't folk songs until they have some age on them. One of my favorite quotes came from an elderly gentleman who, speaking of folk music, said "When I was coming up, we just called it music." I don't mean to offend you, Joely. The thread title just hit me as being wrong IN MY VIEW. I am always glad to listen to the efforts of other performers. Best of luck.


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: bob schwarer
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 05:04 PM

We use live "sardines" for bait. Figure that one. It's only a name with a pretty loose definition.

Bob S.


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: joeler
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 06:10 PM

If someone writes a symphony today, does it have to wait a certain amount of time before it can be catagorized as "classical?" If someone writes a country and western song does it have to wait a certain amount of time before it can become a country and western song? I could go on and on. The point is, folk music is a catagory of music. It's not how old it is. If this is the case, Mozart's music is all folk music, not classical.


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 06:16 PM

"Madonna? Chippendale, Turnips, Old potatoes, New potatoes, sardines, hay, Mozart"? Oh god, how I LOVE the "Mudcat"! And all in one thread!
Rick (positively discombobulated!)


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 06:25 PM

Joely, we have this argument every once in a while, but most of us agree (most of us living in my house, anyway) that there are people writing music in one of the many folk idioms, expressing the concerns of "the folk," and this music is distinctive from classical and jazz and pop and country/western, but has great areas of overlap (with the other idioms perhaps more likely to "borrow" from folk than the other way around, and these musicians are folk musicians thus what they write is folk music. Whether it will live long enough to become "traditional music" or not, that is the question.

I'd love to hear your songs. My eMail is BSEEDKRATZ@aol.com. --seed


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: SueH
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 06:33 PM

yes, this was why I was careful, in my thread about Jeri's tunes, to say that they (& a couple of others on the CD) were contemporary tunes written in the traditional manner!

They're not Celtic songs, are they joely?

Sue


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: bob schwarer
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 06:36 PM

When the "folk" embrace it, it will be "folk" music.

Bob S.


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: teller
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 06:54 PM

The various and varying definitions of what people call 'Folk' music is something that will, no doubt, be discussed, argued about and generally tossed back and forth for a long long time to come, BUT.....I offer my own pennorth worth, for what it's worth. Traditional folk music, I feel, was something that was used to record....well, anything you care to mention really: events, comment, love songs etc etc. For instance: in the village where I currently live, there was an 'event', over an hundred and fifty years ago that, as far as I have been able to discover, was never actually 'recorded' in song. Basically, two thirds of the entire town was burnt down after somebody got careless in a local bakers. Now, I've checked around, as much as I was able to, talking with local historians, reading eye-witness accounts and generally researching the incident, and drew a large blank. Some may call it presumptious, but I decided it was about time that the 'Great Fire of Chudleigh' was recorded, in song. So I wrote it. It's a folk song, in the 'traditional' style, recording a momentous event in our local history. I sang it at the club, in front of six or so 'purists', who were our guests that night, and received a favourable response. It may never become accepted as such, but I feel it IS a folk song, even though it's new and ( as yet ) 'unaccepted'. It's a song about the people, for the memory of the people who went through that time, to remind the people who are around today about a little of what makes the place where they live the place it is. Does that make sense ? Well, it does to me. And I think it's a folk song - so there !!! Teller.


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 07:11 PM

I just wrote, and the machine ate, the most heated post I ever made. Perhaps it is as well. Please, please, go and read the definition and remember that all it does is set out the tests for deciding if something is or is not within the category "folk music". If you want a definition for something else, go away and write one. DOn't try to hijack the existing one.

This is not intended to imply that any form of music is better than any other. It just expresses my fury at people who refuse to answer the question asked, rather than one they would prefer to have been asked.


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 07:23 PM

Let's get Joely to give us the working definition under which these songs have been self-designated "folk." When a term has lost its accepted meaning, it must be re-defined each time it is used. That is very awkward and time-consuming, which is why languages make use of accepted definitions. It's so much more convenient for communicating. However, the term "folksong" has recently been applied to such a wide variety of songs that it has become essentially meaningless. The old saw, generally attributed to Big Bill Broonzy by folkies, but to Louie Armstrong by the quotation dictionaries, that "it must be a folksong; I never heard a horse sing it," is silly. No one ever heard a horse sing an aria from an opera, either, but that doesn't mean that arias are all "folksongs."

All this is simply to ask Joely for a personal definition of the term as it is being applied here. That way, we can at least have an idea of what we're talking about.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 08:06 PM

well! joely..I didn't realize this thread was related till just now, as my name was not included!.I just survived a bitter racking on the original thread by someone defending you..and I wrote as how I bet you'd survive just fine! I'm glad to see you are perfectly capable of defending yourself!

Yep, there IS a big differnce of opinion about definitions....it should never make any difference to those writing music...they write what the know and feel, and truly LIKE some newer song..(sing some, too)..little things like this are why we now often use 'traditional' instead of 'folk' to describe older songs of a different style and ummm...'feel'...but even that does not suffice any more, as there seems to be a philosophical position that holds that it is ok for the definition to change as people write different stuff...I and others (some more adamant than I), feel that it behooves those who create new styles shoud find new terms to describe it. (Of course, I have not heard yours, so I have NO idea what I'd call it).

This discussion is not new, nor is it confined to folk music...Bluegrass musicians can get REALLY grumpy at some of the "newgrass" stuff...and Doc Watson was practically disowned by some when he allowed electric bass on stage!

I have my opinion, others have theirs..the management is pretty tolerant..*grin*..and it IS his place. I still like 'mostly' older, traditional music, and I sure do like what I find in the bin at the record store bin, or onstage at the club, to sound like what I want....if you, or anyone else changes the MUSIC, and demands to use the NAME I am used to, it makes it hard for me, and I get grumpy...some of us just don't LIKE constant change...in MY world, you would have to wait 30-50 years to see IF what you do iiis adopted as 'folk' by that community..(it is easier for antiques and 'classic' cars...they have official rules/definitions about what fits under the title!)

It would suit me if there was a category called "contemporary acoustic" or something to tell others that it is NOT 'that old stuff'...but 'folk' is SUCH a neat, tidy word..I suspect I have lost it as a descriptive term

ah, well....as long as you take no serious offense at my defence of my icons..*shrug*...(and, perhaps I would like some of your music...)


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 08:42 PM

BTW. joely, in regard to:

The point is, folk music is a catagory of music. It's not how old it is."...I actually tend to agree..but I have a LONG list of tests to apply to music beyond the age thing...There are some songs in the database by one Craig Johnson, which you'd SWEAR were old, it you didn't know better...he just wrote stuff with that 'feel'...

try working backwards...take some songs that almost anyone who has any knowlege of the genre' would call 'folk'...undisputed folk songs..now, make some lists of what they have in common...WHY did they get called 'folk' in the first place? ..you get certain tune styles, subject matter, cultural attitudes, modes of transmission, status of the composer(s), whether the composer is known, etc., etc..LOTS of things..it's like deciding whether a society is democratic or not...it is NOT a short list, and a number of countries call themselves 'democratic', that we might just not agree about..so...*shrug*


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: campfire
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 08:49 PM

Bill D - "contemporary acoustic" IS the term I use, as do most of my singer/songwriter friends, to describe what they do. Unfortunately, not too many record stores or even radio stations use the term, and therefore Greg Brown is sold in the "FOLK" bin. Most of my friends don't like it any more than you do - for opposite reasons. You may not want to accidently pick up a singer/songwriter tape; they want people to KNOW that they write and perform their OWN music.

I guess we just gotta work on the record companies...

campfire


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 09:03 PM

and THEY would call it 'florzeboodle' if it would sell!... Record companies are the used-car dealers of the musical realm!


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: campfire
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 09:13 PM

Hmmm - maybe even I could sing in the "florzeboodle" style! LOL!

campfire


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: T in Oklahoma
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 10:18 PM

The religious war over the definition of "folk" music and "folk" songs resumes every few months in this forum, and it's usually entertaining.

Peter Schickele once did an episode of "Schickele Mix" entitled "Folk music--schmolk music" in which he disputed the question with himself, he, and him.

For those who would rather avoid the quarrel, perhaps a good technique is to distinguish "folk" as a musical idiom (in which case it would be most related to "old-timey" music, but have elements in common with other musical idioms) from "folk" music as a description of how music is used. My favorite definition of the latter kind is: folk music is music that people use while they are doing something else. A shape-note hymn sung as a concert piece to a passive audience is not folk music. The same hymn sung in worship is folk music. If you play a Mozart symphony on your stereo and simply bathe in the music, it is not folk music. If you vacuum your floor while it plays, it is folk music.


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 10:33 PM

Campfire's choice of Greg Brown as an example is very apt. One of Greg's CDs was nominated this year for a Grammy in the (get this!) "TRADITIONAL folk" category! Maybe that means it had no drum track.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 10:52 PM

Sandy! LOLOLOL!...yep, Greg makes some nice music sometimes...but TRAD?...you know, one of the things seemingly lacking these days for 'young' folk is perspective.They seldom have any idea of what it used to be like... .some of the kids think that music is SUPPOSED to be 'old' at 6 months!...and the stations that play 'oldies' mean 5 years ago....*sigh*...it is simply a different mind-set..everything is faster, more tenuous, less permanent.


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Big Mick
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 11:04 PM

I am so confused..........Every time someone posts another view I go ......yeah, right on. Anybody for a round of "Yummy Yummy Yummy, I Got Love In My Tummy".LOL

Mick


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 11:45 PM

There are multiple definitions of "folk music." A narrow one is to use the term to refer only to traditional material, and songs that either sound traditional or adapt the tradition. Hence, parodies of traditional songs and songwriters who write in traditional idioms (using only traditional instruments such as guitar, traditional melodic and chord structures, etc.) get accepted into even the narrow definition. A wider use of the term includes everything that a large record store files under folk, from Lomax field recordings to Greg Brown to Gillian Welch. It includes acoustic musicians and singer-songwriters.

Perhaps one of the things that is upsetting to many of us here is that others have tried to co-opt the use of "folk" and use the term in a way which specifically excludes traditional music. Alan Rowoth's e-mail list "folkmusic" and its related web site are an example of this. Some of us Mudcatters had to set up alternate getherings (such as the e-mail list "folktalk") because, instead of folk-purist-nazis canonizing the term to mean exclusively traditional material, singer-songwriters-nazis were reserving the term to mean exclusively NON-traditional material. So there are background turf wars to use of the term "folk" that you may not be aware of, and that may be a source of the heat of the reactions of some of us.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Art Thieme
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 11:49 PM

What I thought I was doing in Joely's other thread was to state politely, with some humor, but still succinctly, that there are differences of opinion on these things. I didn't want to impune all who feel strongly that it all is folk. I do feel, if I'm to be true to my own musical preferences, that "new folksongs" is an oxymoron of sorts. That said, I love Craig Johnson's songs. I've recorded 4 of them. I also recorded songs by Jimmy Driftwood, Wade Hemsworth and Michael Burton. (Even one or two of my own.) All of them had a feel like they came from the tradition. That's why I gravitated to 'em or made 'em. Always, my main thrust was to push foreward the old traditional songs. There was no better way to introduce modern people to songs that were not part of their actual experience than to do a modern song in the old style first (a song of the Upper Penininsula of Michigan iron mines by Craig Johnson) before I did "RED IRON ORE"---a great traditional ballad from the days of the billowing sails and tall-masted ore carriers. Humor was another way I set up those songs in a way that might speak to the general public which, after all, was who I was playing for in bars and on steamboats where I had to play in order to make a living, pay rent and medical bills and try to get my son through college. The traditional songs were my main mission--always. So it's hard for me to not respond when I see things (and definitions) being turned WRONG-side-out. Moonchild, if your own mission is to shut me and my kind up, I'm sorry, but I can't do that. I'll try to be polite. And I'm certain that you, as you did above, will let me and others of our narrow ilk know when you think we're out of line. We've got a tough job, but somebody's got to do it?!?! ;-) No need to put me in folkie limbo with Gargoyle. Que sera, sera!

Art


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: mountain tyme
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 11:50 PM

I just have to say I can't remember reading another (even in the distant past) thread that contains as much educated guesses as this here thread. Maybe you "folks" could give me some input and shed some light on my personel delemma. I've been playing the same tunes and music since the thirtys. Back then some say it was called "Folk Music" and "Parlour Music" (an era that ended around 1905). Then comes the war in the forties and some called it "Mountain Music" or "Hill Billy Music" (which is not cause you can't dance to it). Then these Monroe boys come along and start calling it "Monroe's Music" and then them boys break up over a girl and some changed their minds again and started calling it "Bluegrass Music". Now it's almost 2000 and you still can't dance to it and their still the same songs. I just don't know what I'm doing. But a bunch of us still like it a whole bunch and I guess it can't be "folk" cause Monroe invented it not so long ago. What you think?


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: CarlZen
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 12:22 AM

Oh, Joely, look at what you've done!

You start writing songs, and loving the music, and WE all start the tower of babble again and again and again and... I haven't been playing "this music" as long as mountain time, but I've had the same feelings. For years I always considered bluegrass as just another sub-genre of folk music. After all I first heard it on a "folk music radio show" back in the days when FM radio actually meant Folk Music radio. And I first read reviews and articles about it in SingOut!(thefolksongmagazine) and then I met some real bluegrassers and started plying along with them, and they were not only NOT folk musicians(!?!), but they were having the same arguments about the bluegrass genre.

IMHO - it has more to do with feeling than anything else. (not everything to do with it, but more to do with it)

I think you've just been initiated into the "folk world", if that term can be operable.


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Wally Macnow
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 08:44 AM

"Well, jump in" says I. I have a couple of rules of thumb that I use to define folk music for myself. The broadest one is that a song has to be at least 20 years old (purely arbitrary) and sung by someone other than the author. This avoids ephemera and singer/songwriters whose only goal is to promote themselves. I can always sing a song I wrote 30 years ago but does anyone care?

After that, I'll get into some of the stuff that Bill Day mentioned earlier - mostly style. As for electric instrumentation, it's really not my bag but but it certainly moved into the tradition in country blues.

There are some songwriters whose music moves almost immediately into the tradition. It's picked up by others and sung widely with few people knowing or caring who the author is. In addition to Craig Johnson, I would particularly point out Bob Coltman and some of Utah Phillips' songs.

Isn't it also interesting that the problem does not exist for the most part with tunes? There are lots of old-timey and Irish tunes being written today that, because of an established style, are virtually indistiguishable from older music.


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Bert
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 10:10 AM

I like to think of "Folk Music" as the stuff that ordinary people (or folk) are singing out there. I know it's probably a very loose definition but it suits me.

Max has just bought himself (when Max buys something for himself, it usually tuns out to be for us) a minidisc recorder and is out there looking to record what is being sung NOW. So if he turns up at you place; sing for him!!

If a song is only sung by it's originator then I don't see how it can be classed as folk, no matter how folky it sounds. Whatever your definition, precise or sloppy, folk IS plural; and the most minimal definition must allow for it being 'sung by folk'.

Of course, just because a song is new it doesn't mean that folksingers shouldn't sing it. In fact folksingers have a duty to sing the songs that they like, so that the best of today's songs will be preserved for future generations.

That is the job that DT and Mudcat are doing. Preserving what people are singing.

So, Joely and all you songwriters out there, keep singing your songs, maybe some of them will survive.

Bert. (Who shamelessly plugs his own songs at every opportunity)


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 10:42 AM

And, may I add: Bert, who graciously follows his own advice by encouraging others to write their songs and then sings them for them, if he likes them! Thanks to you, Bert, my little song meets your definition, since you've sung it a lot more than me!**BG**

kat


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Art Thieme
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 11:44 AM

Just about all of the musical changes Mountain Thyme mentioned were economic changes as well as aesthetic ones. so that one group, formerly the ingroup (but then who became the outgroup,) cold capture or re-capture their heady previous position---and maybe support their accustomed lifestyle.

When you care strongly for an academic discipline that has bocome "pop" (popular), you want to educate those that "don't know" with the little you're pretty damn certain you know a bit about. Sure, it's generational differences here, but that's not the whole story. Saying that it's generational means that, once again, we have one generation choosing to ignore another. So what else is new? It always seems easier (at first) to program the VCR without reading the directions about how to set the clock. Personally, I figure I'll keep on flashin twelve midnight. Someone's bound to notice and then go back to basics* and do it "right". **SMILEY NURD**

When Beethoven symphonies drop in people's critical estimations, the uspurge in popularity of, say, Mantovanni will get letters sent to the editor about what a travesty it is to negate Beethoven. It's just human nature rearing it's ugly head again. Once again, we can/will put a condom on it---until someone turns us on again at another time in another thread when we're too hot to fumble with one o' those things and, I shoot from the lip again.

Until that happens, I'll practice safe semantics. It's dental dams for me. (I know, good folks, once again it's enough to make one anti-semantic.) ;-)

*--"basic" = "roots"

All that's happening here at Mudcat is a bunch of decent but opinionated people with too much time on their hands are writing "letters to the editor" where the editor himelf is disinclined to edit. As an old song said (not a folksong), "I like it like that!"
Love

Art


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: GeorgeH
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 11:52 AM

Oh, no, not another damn "what is folk song" thread!!

Been there, done that (several times), have the mental scars to prove it and have left the other participants none the wiser.

Or as Ian A Anderson (NOT the 1-legged flute player) would say:

"Horse alert"

G.


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 11:58 AM

"horse Alert"!! That is hilarious George. Too bad Big Bill Broonzy never copyrighted his immortal phrase.
Rick


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 12:24 PM

..........and since I've been gone for the past several days..............

Let me take a moment to wwelcome any newcomers who are reading this thread to our Mudcat Quarterly Pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Sacred Folk. Every few months a thread pops up with an unlikely title (in this case we're running two threads) that is dedicated to the search for an agreeable definition of folk music. You'll find all opinions generally covered from traditionalists to songwriters. Feel free to add your own opinions and but be assured you will not get 100% support for whatever it is. As Art said, we are simply editorializing to each other and the ever elusive answer will wait for another day. Personally, I have two very busy weeks coming up and I'm going to try to limit my 'Cattin, although I'll probably wind up wasting huge blocks of time in front of this screen. Everything I have to say on this subject I've already said and any effort to reconstruct it in a different form is wasted 'Cat time---like now. SO...............

Let me say for the record that everything stated on the two current threads is brilliant, erudite, total nonsense, written by congenital idiots without a clue......... and that I agree with all of it, except those things said by all of you and myself on this thread and others past.

Good Christ, we must be the nuttiest bunch of bananas on the net.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 12:52 PM

In the past, I have carefully avoided these discussions, as I don't really enjoy dancing on the head of a pin, but let me say this, quite simply.

Songs are created by individuals, that's true; folk songs, however, are created by a process that involves oral transmission and modification. Why is that so difficult to accept? The first time its unknown creator sang "Barbara Allen," it was a song. Good, bad, or indifferent, it was simply a song. After it had been processed, it became a folk song. Now I'm outta here, ducking and dodging the myriad missiles. But get ready, everybody; there might be a pop quiz at the end of the thread.

Grandpa Sandy


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Bert
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 01:02 PM

Mmmm, so it does Kat (I even changed it, didn't I). You know I heard my 22 Year old son singing it the other day. He must have heard me practicing.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 02:18 PM

http://www.mudcat.org/Detail.CFM?messages__Message_ID=94785


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: teller
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 02:19 PM

I, like many many others, have come across debates and discourses of this nature mnay times before. Sometimes, I ignore them, feeling tereis little more to be said; on the other hand, I sometimes dip in , just to satisfy my curiosity. Invariably, I usually find something a little different to read; a new slant on an old angle - a new turnip in the potato salad :-)! What I enjoy about the Mudcat is the fact that we all get together and are able talk about a myriad things; air opinions; have a rant; tell a story; move and be moved, without fear of derision and snide sniping. Joking is one thing, but...... Okay, cut to the chase. Last night ( UK 16/8/99 ) I went to a folk newsgroup and saw a posting to a thread not disimilar to this, and there, for the first time, I came across the saying ( which I now assume to be 'fabled' ) 'Horse Alert!' Funnily enough, posted by the aforementioned Ian A. Anderson. It struck me then as an unnecessarily snide comment, a sort of coded 'Oh boy! Here we go again - another uninitiated pleb trying to tell us what is and isn't and trying to change that which is set in stone! Just ignore 'em guys, and they'll go away' One of the reasons I REALLY enjoy coming to the Mudcat, is, as I said, we all discuss, chat and argue about this and that without fear of recrimination and derision. So, in to the threads I come, read this thread, post my pennorth worth and return later today, to find 'Horse Alert' posted in this thread. To quote Kevin Kline ( 'Fish Called Wanda'): 'Disappointed!!' As I said, the reason I like this place is the freedom of exchange of opinions; the right to agree to disagree...but to find Mr.Anderson's 'little joke' being used here......well, it jarred. Fine, have an opinion; great, air, it's what we're here for, but please, NOT funny! Or am I being overly sensitive ? ( Prepares himself to be swamped with shouts of 'YES!!') Teller


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: j0_77
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 03:06 PM

Lots of stuff is sold as folk but after a few years those songs dissapear out of sight. Who ever heard 'Foster & Allen' sing 'Maggie'? Now that is a popular song and could even be a folk song. How bout 'Old Joe Clark' which definitely is a folk song. When I think of the records I've listened to - Woody G, Bob Dylan etc and then wonder if these are Folk or not ..hmmm. But If I listen to Doc Watson singing 'Pretty Polly' I know that is folk.

Trends come and Go - would a new Dylan sell now ...I suspect it would. A Woody Guthrie - hmmm perhaps. Protest songs will do well when? I wonder. Perhaps the fact that average age in the USA is rising means that folk is becomming conservative? Reading the news certainly supports that conclusion.

A political tool? Again wondering. My 10 cents if you can write *any* kind of song that exposes wrong - then write it and sing it. I don't mind you calling it folk, but do mind you telling me I ought to buy it because you say it is folk. How bout 'Buy me I am a great song'


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Margo
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 03:26 PM

You know what's funny, is that I was going to refresh the "What is Folk Music thread because of something I saw on TV the other day. It was half time at the opera, and there was an interview with Beverly Sills, Frederica Von Staadt, and of all people, James Galway.

Galway was talking about teaching youngsters music in his home town in Ireland. He said that the usual classical approach was not met well. The kids didn't know what a gavotte or a minuet was. But, he said, teach them jigs and reels and they do well, because it's something they can relate to.

Isn't that the crux of what folk music is? Something the folk can relate to? That's how I see it. What does it matter how old it is or who sings it? There's my .02 worth.

Margarita


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Jeri
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 03:29 PM

Teller, yes. :-)

I've seen the horse quote all over the place, used by a lot of different people. It's about as meaningful as if it were used thusly: "You mean that new Stephen King book is a folk tale?" "Well, I ain't ever seen a horse write a book!" If a person uses the word 'folk' to denote everything done only by humans, why bother?

Ian A. Anderson may rub a lot of people the wrong way, but he has a point.

The meaning of 'folk' isn't set in stone, but while there are people who want to change it's meaning (only as it pertains to music) there are a number of people who don't want the term to mean any music sung by humans. The word won't mean anything, and people may forget that a folk song was ever anything but one person's musical expression of 'I AM,' but something that belonged to a community.

People all over are tired of hearing the quotation. I'd guess the 'snide comment' was an pre-emptive strike against someone using it. Me, I'm considering mailing the next person who uses it as an autoritative opinion a Pet Shop Boys CD.


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 03:53 PM

YUK,YUK,YUK,,,,...Do Horses do it...Ain't never heard a horse sing one....yuk, hoody hoo, har,har,har...boy that's a good 'un......yuk, yuk, yuk.......

CLETUS....(Jeri, send my CD c/o Spaw. A bid thankee to ya' too!)


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Jeri
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 04:17 PM

Hey, Cletus, I said "as an authoritative opinion." Aw heck, nobody's gonna do it now anyway. I might as well send the CD to you.


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 06:29 PM

First time I've ever heard that particular warning, phoaks!

Hey, Bert: you never fail to warm the cockles of my heart. Thank you.

kat


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 03:10 AM

Please to note: the following written entirely with tongue in cheek.

Hmmm ... haven't got time at the moment to go through the entire thread. Just responding to Joely's first post, and loving the irony. NO-one (methinks) would argue that "Greensleeves" is considered a folksong. Ah yes,a fine old folksong written by that fine old folksong writer and man of the common people, Henry Tudor (aka Henry VIII).

Methinks Joely has delivered a subtle body blow to one aspect of the traditionalists' arguments.

Git back to the pizzaria...


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Roger the zimmer
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 04:49 AM

As a jazz/blues man, I hesitate to put my head above the parapet and offend anyone (you know what a shrinking violet I am) but I'll add two bits of BS: My beloved Louis Armstrong when asked "What is jazz" said "If you need to ask you'll never know" (or words to that effect).I'm sure we all know what is folk music to US.
My lyrics folders are divided thus: Blues;Oldies but goodies (jazz, music hall, comic songs);Rock 'n' Roll and Rock 'n' roll love songs (1950s era); and Folkish which includes skiffle, campfire, Scots Irish, Welsh,parodies, Kingston Trio, Spinners, Corries McColl, Seeger songs etc. They may not all qualify as oral tradition but at least ape it.
As I mentioned in the Tavern thread a new BBC radio series on 100 years of Folk Music takes 1899 as the starting point when Cecil Sharp began collecting. Presumably before then people just had "Music".
When people at a party, pub, or campfire start singing Mozart or Beethoven, we'll know that's folk music!
But then, what do I know?


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: GeorgeH
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 06:55 AM

teller: If you wish to always attribute the worst to Ian Anderson do feel free to do so - and in some ways he has only himself to blame. But I fail to see how "horse alert" (or, in its more recent form, in response to the statement "Remember: All music is folk music", "Grand National alert") is anything other than humorously predictive . .

RtheZ: Might there be a good reason why "100 years of Folk Music" starts in 1899 . . . I do think your comment puts two and two together to make 5 . . Sharp does provide a logical starting point to the first UK folk revival - and who can know where we would be now without that revival.

G.


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Mike Regenstreif
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 09:08 AM

Ian Anderson's "horse alert" comes from his observation that whenever the "what is folk music debate" comes up, someone offers up the well-worn Big Bill Broonzy quote.

Sure enough, I just saw it on Mudcat; althout this time it was attributed to Woody Guthrie. I've also seen it credited to Louis Armstrong.

Mike Regenstreif


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Peter T.
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 10:51 AM

Ain't you all ever heard of a horse opera?
Pete Seeger is on record as saying that he isn't a folk singer since he sings pop music (He says he's a river singer, and I'll bet there may even be sad people here who have never heard a river sing). That sort of killed the whole definition issue for me.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: teller
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 02:31 PM

'Humourously predictive'......? Yeah, I can go with that. I've been following this particular thread with interest and have read some refreshing opinions, but I have to say , in all honesty, that if the 'equine warning' IS intended to be humourous......well, perhaps the good people who use it could spice themselves up a wee bit by seeing the some of the humour in the comments they seem to taking so seriously ? Or am I taking this all too seriously anyway......oops, hippopotamus warning!!!! Teller.


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 04:19 PM

Message to Jeri. Now since you know Sandy actually was the first to use THE quotation in this thread - never mind his motives- I think he deserves the PetShop Boys. He really doesn't listen to enough top 40 am radio you know.


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Jeri
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 04:55 PM

Rick, I was hoping it would keep people from using it in the future. You know, a threat. I figure with Sandy being a folklorist and all, the right thing to do would be to go 'collect' some songs from a local school.


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 11:41 AM

Hi Sandy,

It's been a long time. Just discovered Mudcat discussion group through Art Thieme. Wanted to say re: folk music process, I second the motion.

I still have a picture somewhere of you, Valucha and I attempt to be a trio.

Best to Caroline.

Frank Hamilton (Also grandpa)


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 12:01 PM

Frank, thank you for the wonderful music. Any chance you might be hangin' 'round the "Cat" for a while?

Rick


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: catspaw49
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 12:42 PM

Thank God for Thread Creep!!!!! Really glad to have you here Frank, and please stick around but not on this thread........It's time for it's 3 month nap before returning to be argued once again!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Big Mick
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 02:38 PM

Hey Frank, we are so glad you decided to drop by. I sent Sandy & Caroline email to let 'em know you are here and have posted in this thread. I hope you choose to stick around. You will find a lovable bunch of misfits, with big mouths and even bigger hearts. I count myself among that bunch with pride. Nice to have you around.

All the best,

Big Mick


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Art Thieme
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 02:50 PM

Frank, I'm gonna start a thread called---get ready--"What Was Lee Hays Really Like ?" I managed to see every incarnation the Weavers & throughout he seemed like a wonderful guy.

Art


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 03:18 PM

Hey-Ho, Frank! Welcome to the community! I clearly remember trying to make a dogfood commercial with you and Valucha. What a gas! Maybe we ought to start an "archival photo" section on bbc's Mudcat resources page. I'd much rather see pictures of us from those ancient days than gaze upon our present-day countenances. Tell me about the grandkids. (folklegacy@snet.net). I heard from someone that you are now in Atlanta. Is that right? We've got a lot of catching up to do.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: catspaw49
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 03:33 PM

Sandy, I love you Dad,and I like the idea of catching up through some private message things, but how 'bout you and Frank sharing a little (not all) of that with us and make sure Frank comes back to see us. Obviously a great addition to the place..............

Spaw (who values what he's learned of and from Sandy & Caroline and looks forward to Frank!)


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Big Mick
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 03:45 PM

Amen, Amen, and a second, third, fourth and fifth ad nauseum to what my brother 'Spaw said. None of this keepin' it to yizelfs, dear friends. Lest ye be worried that we will be bored, I can assure that we will only be pissed if you don't share this recollectin' time with us nosy ass 'Catters. In addition to friends, you are inspirational for many of us.

Mick, who is right there beside 'Spaw.


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Allan C.
Date: 18 Aug 99 - 04:02 PM

Gosh, folks. Seems like if Art & me and Joel and Eddie and whoever else are having our own threads, why not start one for Frank? It'd make a lot more sense than posting all this here, don'tchathink?


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: joeler
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 02:24 PM

Allen, yes, Joel


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 05:23 PM

Hi Sandy,

Mary and I live in Atlanta GA now. We have seven grandkids. Four live in Florida, the other two in New England. Ages range from 5 years to 21 years old.

Many fond memories of us hanging out at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago circa 1960 or so.

We did a concert there once. I remember playing the 12 string guitar. You were singing songs from a recent collecting trip that you did. One of the staples of the OTS student songs was the one you taught us, The Prick-e-lie Bush. Also, a version of the Two Sisters.

What a nice group here! Thanks to Art for telling me about it.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 05:33 PM

Hi Rick,

Thanks. I'll be checking in from time to time. This is a great place. I love talking to old friends that I haven't seen in years and finding new ones.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Jeri
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 05:54 PM

Welcome, Frank! We've exchanged some e-mail and been in some of the same newsgroup discussions. I'm glad you found your way to this wonderful place.


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 20 Aug 99 - 12:29 PM

Thank you so much Jeri! I'm honored to be able to share with this lovely group. It's refreshing to find that the "cats" aren't limited to the jazz world.

Looking forward to getting to know your music. Your website looks wonderful.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 20 Aug 99 - 12:34 PM

Got it Spaw! But it's nice to talk to nice people.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 20 Aug 99 - 12:37 PM

Hi Mick,

Thanks. I should fit right in. I've got a pretty big mouth too. Gets me into trouble a lot. Y'all seem like really nice people. Glad to find you.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: JedMarum
Date: 20 Aug 99 - 12:53 PM

Wow - this thread started with a tempest, it seems to me, in a tea cup. Is it not as simple as Folk music is that which appeals to the Folk audience; thus it includes contemporary tunes written in the traditional style, and'or appealing to the Folk music lovers? Who cares how old it is? I would certainly never object to Greg Brown, Bill Staines or Norman Blake calling themselves folk singers, and their songs folk songs! Traditional folk is an adequate moniker for 'old' folk songs. Or am I making this too simple?


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 20 Aug 99 - 02:03 PM

Admitted, our teapot often runneth over. No big deal, just a favorite topic of conversation among friends.

Frank: Judy Collins recorded that "Prick-e-lie Bush" on her first Elektra album, along with a couple of others I taught her when we sang together at the Exodus in Denver. I got that version of "Ther Maid Freed from the Gallows" from Bert Lloyd in London. I haven't checked the Digital Tradition, but I'll bet it's there.

You're one grandchild ahead of us, but ours all live within a few miles of the old homestead, so we get to do a lot of baby-sitting! Caroline loves it! After an hour or three, I'm tempted to seek peace and quiet upstairs in the library. She has a higher tolerance-level for what my father used to call "the gentle ringing of childish laughter" (read: NOISE!) than I do.

Wow! It sure is good to be in touch with you again.

Sandy (realizing this would be more appropriate in a "personal," but the song info in the first paragraph gives it some justification.)


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Subject: RE: Art Thieme, Allen C.
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 20 Aug 99 - 07:00 PM

Sandy, likewise! Great to be in touch with you.

We hear a lot of that wonderful noise these days also. I love it when Mary and I sing in the Georgia schools and hear those wonderful children's voices. Sometimes they shout and sometimes they really sing.

Give our best to Caroline.

Frank


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