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2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act

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The Sandman 26 Feb 18 - 02:28 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 Feb 18 - 05:43 AM
The Sandman 24 Feb 18 - 03:41 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 Feb 18 - 01:26 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Feb 18 - 07:26 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Feb 18 - 07:22 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Feb 18 - 09:12 AM
TheSnail 23 Feb 18 - 07:03 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Feb 18 - 03:24 AM
Vic Smith 22 Feb 18 - 03:03 PM
Jim Carroll 22 Feb 18 - 02:46 PM
The Sandman 22 Feb 18 - 01:59 PM
Jim Carroll 22 Feb 18 - 12:26 PM
The Sandman 22 Feb 18 - 11:53 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Feb 18 - 09:29 AM
Jackaroodave 22 Feb 18 - 08:59 AM
Vic Smith 22 Feb 18 - 08:54 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Feb 18 - 08:42 AM
Jackaroodave 22 Feb 18 - 08:04 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Feb 18 - 07:22 AM
The Sandman 22 Feb 18 - 06:44 AM
GUEST,paperback 21 Feb 18 - 09:59 PM
Jackaroodave 21 Feb 18 - 09:54 PM
The Sandman 21 Feb 18 - 05:13 PM
TheSnail 21 Feb 18 - 04:38 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Feb 18 - 07:02 AM
The Sandman 21 Feb 18 - 06:55 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Feb 18 - 06:18 AM
The Sandman 21 Feb 18 - 05:25 AM
The Sandman 21 Feb 18 - 05:20 AM
The Sandman 21 Feb 18 - 05:19 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Feb 18 - 04:00 AM
The Sandman 21 Feb 18 - 03:47 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Feb 18 - 03:27 AM
The Sandman 20 Feb 18 - 03:56 AM
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Iains 18 Feb 18 - 10:27 AM
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Iains 18 Feb 18 - 06:52 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Feb 18 - 05:31 AM
The Sandman 18 Feb 18 - 05:18 AM
Iains 18 Feb 18 - 04:38 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Feb 18 - 04:29 AM
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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 02:28 AM

Iagree


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Feb 18 - 05:43 AM

Dick - there are no rules. If you're a pro performer, but not a star,   you have to work out your own salvation on the stage. If you can make trad folk work for you, all I can say is well done!

I suppose I do get fed up occasionally with the job of lifting the mood of the room after some particularly earnest and demanding artistry, be it contemporary or trad.
Still, its a skill and you don't learn to do it in five minutes or by practising at home, although obviously that does come into the equation somewhere.

I suppose more than anything you learn it by having the guts to take on audiences where there is the possibility of failure, and slowly you learn what you were doing wrong. You learn to read audiences.

And when you know about folk, then you start to get a handle on folk music.


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Feb 18 - 03:41 AM

Al , I know working class and midle class and upper class people who dont like folk music , i also know members of all 3 classes who do


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Feb 18 - 01:26 AM

I always thought of MacColl as a fascinating artist and charismatic thinker, as well as being a friendly decent guy.

To be honest one of the things I really loved about his work was his context in history. He was a kind of English bohemian intellectual that is no longer really feasible to modern minds,

Really he was the kind of intellectual/artist that Tony Hancock was so brilliant at satirising. That whole sort of ban the bomb/duffle coat 1950's chic.

I loved the independence of thought coupled with the sort of actor /manager swagger. In short he was terrific.

I could no more aspire to that kind of artistic endeavour than I could fly to the moon. I became a young man in the 1960's. So much had changed. we thought folk music was the future rather than part of a tradition. Its a subtle change. I suppose every generation hankers after modernity is what I'm saying. And the 1950's and 1960's saw a big difference in emphasis, even though we all had the interests of folk music at heart.


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Feb 18 - 07:26 PM

"Start a thread about this idea. And we can debate it"
Been there dont that hundreds of times Al
If we can't discuss on MacColl's idea on a thread about MacColl and his ideas, where can we discuss it?
Some people appear to find ideas scary
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Feb 18 - 07:22 PM

well , as you say Jim - we obviously need to separate the memory of Ewan from the relevance of his ideas.

So you're the expert.

Take initially what you believe to be the most important idea. the most relevant to us.

Start a thread about this idea. And we can debate it.

Bear in mind though. There's been a time elapse. we're not talking about immutable truths. We are discussing the music of a swiftly changing society that transforms itself faster than any of us can really keep track of.

I've been a jobbing musician for nearly fifty years - working for working class audiences all that time. I consider myself a folk singer. I've had to work out my own aesthetic, and its far distant from the one Ewan came up with.
Tonight I sat through a retrospective on TV of the Old Grey Whistle Test programme. All the songs had one thing in common - if you placed them before a working class audience - they wouldn't know the words of one of them.

Martin Carthy once said , just because you're English it doesn't mean you understand English folksong. So what is it, if its nowt to do with working class English people? Is it like the Old Grey Whistle Test music - just something middle class people can get the hang of?


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Feb 18 - 09:12 AM

"Wheh I tried to introduce a more recent BBC item"
?
New thread undarway
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: TheSnail
Date: 23 Feb 18 - 07:03 AM

Wheh I tried to introduce a more recent BBC item that was more relevant to this thread, it wasn't well recieved.


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Feb 18 - 03:24 AM

I was going to suggest this Vic, but can I suggest that rather thn making it a slugging match over Kennedy (which has had enough of an airing in that particular form) That it might be more fruitful to discuss the BBC project as a whole.
To my recollection, it has not been covered fully on this forum, though it certainly merits it
I'm pretty sure people from your part of the world could add much information to such a discussion as one of the main contributors was a neighbour
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Vic Smith
Date: 22 Feb 18 - 03:03 PM

We are getting well away from the thread subject here - and I am certainly as guilty as any. Some of the points in the previous post are accurate, some are less so and others need amplifying - but if we are drifting from EM to PK, perhaps we need another thread. PK is as divisive a character as EM was and some contributors may have much more to say about Peter and not know he is being discussed here.


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Feb 18 - 02:46 PM

"Iwould reiterate Vics comments"
It is often forgotten that Kennedy was part of a team, all of whom contributed to the treasure trove that was collected - who made the greatest contribution is a moot point, but I heard another of that team comment, referring to Kennedy "that man's a thief"
Only Kennedy, as far as I am aware, persuaded the singers to sign over the rights of the collected material to him "including whatever was remembered in future" and asked the not to sing to anybody else.
Alan Lomax and Brian George instated that project (also often forgotten) and had Kennedy not led it, somebody else would have done - probably somebody without the clout to protect themselves from the consequences of the things Kennedy got away with
Thanks to that behaviour, a large slice of that collection has remained unissued because of the astronomical prices that were demanded for its use.
I've told the story of how Kennedy ripped off Traveller, John Reilly and Tom Munnelly often enough not to have to repeat it.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Feb 18 - 01:59 PM

yesIknow all about Peter Kennedy his good and his bad points it has been discussed here many times, I was ripped off by him too but Iwould reiterate Vics comments


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Feb 18 - 12:26 PM

DicK
What exactly do you think this is all about - have you any knowledge whatever of the exploits of Peter Kennedy ?
Think in terms of Britain and Ireland's 'Elgin Marbles' and you may make a start
How would you go about balancing that one
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Feb 18 - 11:53 AM

"yet you are happy to kick Kennedys corpse"
I refer only to what Kennedy did and what many people know him to have done. EXACTLY WITHOUT REFERRING TO THE GOOD THINGS THAT HE DID, UNBALANCED COMMENTS AS ALWAYS


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Feb 18 - 09:29 AM

"I'll let you make your own points for yourself, from here on, Jim."
On the basis of your three posting, none of which have been on Maccoll or his work - you'll be greatly missed!!
"I know sweet Foucault about him."
You aeem pretty adept at stating the obvious
Stick to what you know, I say
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Jackaroodave
Date: 22 Feb 18 - 08:59 AM

'Ah well,' indeed.

I'll let you make your own points for yourself, from here on, Jim.

Just one last, though: I have no feelings about MacColl whatever. Except for what I've learned from these threads, I know sweet Foucault about him.


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Vic Smith
Date: 22 Feb 18 - 08:54 AM

I once received a letter from Peter Kennedy about an article that I had written in Folk News edited by Karl Dallas threatening to take me to court for what I had written unless I wrote another for that publication withdrawing my claims. The claims were that Kennedy has released a number of casstte recordings of traditional singers on his Folktrax label. My claims were that Kennedy had made these releases without reference to or contract or arrangement with these singers. The singers that I knew about in Scotland and Sussex were people that I knew well and had volunteered the information to me off their own bat, not on any prompting or questioning from me. I was pretty sure of my facts, so I wrote back telling to go ahead and sue and that my barrister brother had volunteered to represent me free of charge [confession time - neither of my brothers are trained in the law!] I never heard from him again on the matter.
In the next issue of Folk News there was a retraction from Dallas saying that 'some of the facts' in my article had not been properly checked. I was furious. I phoned Dallas and asked him what facts he meant. He replied that the paper was losing money hand over fist and that it was nearly bankrupting him and he could not face the cost of a court case that he might not win. Folk News only lasted a couple more issues. Dallas immediately started a newspaper devoted to punk which was the rising musical fashion of the time. It was truly appalling and only last two issues.
IN RETROSPECT I feel that everything that I know or have heard about Peter Kennedy makes me thing that he was an out and out rogue but I am hugely grateful for the wonderful recordings that he made of so many aspects of traditional songs, music and culture of the UK. He is by far the most important collector since the 2nd World War. His Folk Songs of Britain & Ireland stands as an amazing testimony of his achievements. It is just sad that the importance of his legacy has been marred by some of his actions.


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Feb 18 - 08:42 AM

"You can't libel a dead person."
Di I mention "legal"?
By not responding to a single thing I have written, you make my point, as did Paperback - the work of MacColl remains as much a 'no go area' as it ever was
Much easier to give the dead people a kicking than to challenge their ideas, or even give credit for them having any
Ah well!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Jackaroodave
Date: 22 Feb 18 - 08:04 AM

Jim Carroll: 'The "kicking" of anybody's corpse, long dead or otherwise, is a somewhat depraved act.'

More so than the kicking a live body, who might actually feel it? Legally the reverse is true, in the USA, anyway: You can't libel a dead person.

I don't think you really believe that what you said is ALWAYS true, Jim. "Richard Nixon was an evil, bigoted criminal. He should be dug up so we can kick him properly and bury him again, with a stake through his heart." There, I said it, and I don't feel the least depraved. Not that there's any comparison with MacColl, just a rebuttal of "anybody's" in your quoted premise. (The shadow of Godwin falls over this thread, like all threads.)

While we properly feel our affections should triumph over death, so can our bitterness when we've been wounded or embroiled in a feud. It's not depravity, it's humanity.


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Feb 18 - 07:22 AM

"why does the fact that MacColl is dead make it especially heinous?"
The "kicking" of anybody's corpse, long dead or otherwise, is a somewhat depraved act.
Constantly re-assessing or disputing their contribution to society is another matter altogether
I have been trying a long time now to det a discussion going on MacColl's work and his ideas because I believe them to be relevant to the survival of folk song - I don't care what people think of MacColl as n individual - I have my own memories for that
Each time the sunject comes up it degenerates into a slagging-match on topics that have no relevance whatever to his work and usually not to folk song
If you don't believe that, go open some of the listed threads above.
I used to believe this was a simple act of spite by people Ewan had upset one way or another - now I have come to the com=conclusion that it is a deliberate 'spoiler' technique to make sure his work is never discussed rationally - if this is not deliberate, that has been the effect
MacColl isn't the only subject to have been dealt with in this manner - go look up anything on 'Definition of folk song' - the same happens; slanging matches rather than rational discussion.
"Because he was Carroll's mate"
Thank you for making my point for me P
You really couldn't have timed it better from my point of view
Unless the folk movement grows away from this adolescent nastiness I fear all the work that has been done will be leftt for future generations to sort out - if it survives)
I hate to think how they will regard our behaviour
"yet you are happy to kick Kennedys corpse"
I refer only to what Kennedy did and what many people know him to have done
I say nothing now that I didn't say to his face on the few occasions that I met him - perhaps if others had defied his threats of legal action, it would not be necessary to deal with it now
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Feb 18 - 06:44 AM

I think if Ewan was alive today his songwriting advice would be of paramount advice , I would happily listen to workshops or advice on songwriting by Ewan MacColl, he was IMO the best


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: GUEST,paperback
Date: 21 Feb 18 - 09:59 PM

Because he was Carroll's mate


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Jackaroodave
Date: 21 Feb 18 - 09:54 PM

"Jim you are always complaining about people kicking Ewans Corpse "

Of all the strange things in this thread, this strikes me as the strangest. Let's just grant for the sake of discussion that every criticism of MacColl in this thread is spiteful and inaccurate. Still, why does the fact that MacColl is dead make it especially heinous?

MacColl was born in 1915. If he was alive, he'd be 102. He's SUPPOSED to be dead: To use a frame of reference I'm familiar with, he's as old as Brownie McGhee. He's 3 years younger than Lightning Hopkins and Woodie Guthrie. He's the same age as Bob Dylan's MOTHER, and Dylan is 77 this May.

Moreover, his corpse is not still warm: He's been dead for nigh unto 30 years. He's been dead longer than Amy Winehouse lived. He is long gone where he need no longer bear

. . . the whips and scorns of time,
Th' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th' unworthy takes.

He is beyond the reach of his detractors as much as, I don't know, Churchill or George Bernard Shaw, are beyond theirs.

He belongs to the ages. He can take it.


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Feb 18 - 05:13 PM

kennedy in my opinion was a Curates egg, so Jim you are always complaining aboutpeople kicking Ewans Corpse yet you are happy to kick Kennedys corpse


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: TheSnail
Date: 21 Feb 18 - 04:38 PM

A belated thanks to Dick and Vic for their kind comments. I've been rather caught up in folk club admin duties the last few days. As for being a "good performer", I aspire to competence.
I am a little worried by the suggestion that, in real life, I am a much nicer person than I would appear from what I say here. I really don't think I compare with Jim in that department. (I'm sure he's perfectly charming in person.) Not too keen on being in the same bracket as Keith of Hertford either.
Anyway, time has moved on and Jim seems to have found new targets for his rage.


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Feb 18 - 07:02 AM

Not the tyime or the place Dick - nice to know that you regard criticism Kennedy's appalling behaviour as "snide" though
I only responded in order to try and revive the thread - been there - done that
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Feb 18 - 06:55 AM

EFDSS DOES NOT RECIEVE ANYTHING LIKE THE SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY FROM THE UK GOVERNMENT AND WELL YOU KNOW IT.
JIM, ON WHAT BASIS THE MONEY IS GIVEN IS NOT AS IMPORTANT AS
1.HOW IT IS USED AND
2 THE AMOUNT
HOW, AND WHO WOULD DECIDE ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MUSIC?
furthermore making snide remarks about peter kennedy gets us nowhere.


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Feb 18 - 06:18 AM

"However no one is managing to do it for the EFDSS."
EFDSS has recieved money and Royal patronage on the basis of the personal friendship between its former Director, Douglas Kennedy - one of the reasons his son got off as lightly as he did
Neither this, nor the money CCE receives is a valid way of fund-raising for a cause
If it is going to mean anything, is has to be raised on the basis of the importance of the music - that way it will be guaranteed to be ongoing and wiull ascertain that it is spent properly (not for buying new orange hair-dye for the director!!)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Feb 18 - 05:25 AM

Furthermore i have only ever managed to get 100 euros from a TD, prior to an election it is not as easy as u think, I speak from experience HAVING RUN A FESTIVAL FOR 7 YEARS, WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THAT FIELD OR ARE YOU JUST GIVING AN OPINION NOT BASED ON EXPERIENCE


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Feb 18 - 05:20 AM

However no one is managing to do it for the EFDSS.


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Feb 18 - 05:19 AM

I agree.
Class act is appropriate, how many other performers OR Songwriters would be discussed 30 years after their death,


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Feb 18 - 04:00 AM

"It does not alter the fact that CCE is supported financially by te irish government,"
Nor does it validate the crass, self destructive behaviour of CCE
Any charlatan can squeeze money out of ignorant politicians if they have enough influential friends
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Feb 18 - 03:47 AM

It does not alter the fact that CCE is supported financially by te irish government, similiar bodies in the uk like efdss do not get the same funding.


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Feb 18 - 03:27 AM

"clearly not the opinion of the irish government."
The Irish Government, like most politicians, has no knowledge of traditional music whatever and no particular interest.
The fact that the the director of CCE, Labhras O Murchu (fondly referred to as Lab-Rat) is a politician, a member of the Irish senate, says all that needs to be said about the political support CCE gets
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Feb 18 - 03:56 AM

yes Ians a contrast to Ireland where the Government pours lrge quantities of money in to CCE.
Jim reckons CCE no longer has much influence on tradtional music, clearly not the opinion of the irish government.


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Feb 18 - 11:51 AM

yes the problem with you tube audiences is people become iso;lated it is not proper socialising, or socialising as we knew it, that is partly what folk clubs are about socialisng. however you tube is an excellent way to learn instrument and vocal techniques, will fly guitar is a case in point


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Iains
Date: 18 Feb 18 - 10:27 AM

Strange that The British Council encourages UK music of all genres overseas while the indigenous vine withers. Totally irrational, but that is government I suppose.


http://music.britishcouncil.org/resources/uk-music-funding-and-support

A close relative of mine toddled around the Middle East and S. America for several years on paid musical "jolly" excursions.


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Feb 18 - 08:09 AM

Good luck with that Vic; It's sorely needed
I am reminded of the closure of the Leeds University Folklore Department when the head of department described the participants (Tony Green et al) as "tree-huggers"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Vic Smith
Date: 18 Feb 18 - 07:49 AM

One of the hardest jobs in promoting our music lies in raising funds in order to do so - a group of us from different sections of the arts fought for years to try and get funding - it ended in dismal failure because neither the authorities not the established arts were interested - most were actively hostile to folk music.

I will be able to react more fully when I hear the results of the current application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a 6 figure funding of what we see as the vital work that Sussex Traditions are planning over the next three years. The application is very thorough and ambitious but there are very hopeful signs. More news as it emerges....


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Feb 18 - 07:33 AM

"However for folk to survive it is the audience that is crucial."
Of course it has, but to put one above the other just doesn't work, especially when you are talking about the survival of a genre that is rapidly disappearing from the public memory.
I doubt if anybody ever did just "wander in" to the music - song as apparently alien as for song needs to be promoted
The interest of our generation came mainly through a process - a rejection of what the machine had to offer, Jazz, Blues, Country and Western, American folk then finally tour home grown product - each shift was a conscious one
That just doesn't happen now, an extremely aggressive and all-pervading music industry gets to decide what is readily available - anything has either to be sought for or stumbled across
When our County Library put our Clare Collection on line it was a lifelong ambition realised, but the most important outcome was when the Council appointed two singers in residence to take the songs around local schools - last year the kids produced a CD of their singing.
All this took research and hard work - from the collecting, indexing, assembling and finally annotating the material.
I must have have given talks to around a dozen schools - it was common in London to here Joe Heaney's and Ewan's singing being described as sounding like 'Paki music"
It has to be far more abut winning hearts and minds than about just bunging it up for passers by to find.
Then there are the further implications, social national and historical aspects of the songs being made and passed on in the first place - all in need of reasearch
One of the hardest jobs in promoting our music lies in raising funds in order to do so - a group of us from different sections of the arts fought for years to try and get funding - it ended in dismal failure because neither the authorities not the established arts were interested - most were actively hostile to folk music.
When we moved to Ireland (in the middle of the 'Celtic Tiger' period, asking for funding was pushing on an open door, but even then you had to prove your interest went beyond having a good night out - you had to show you knew what you are talking about
You'll never get that in a thousand years if you can't even agree on what you mean about "folk"
Jim Carroll
Incidentally - U-tube audiences fill me with horror
Folk music and song is a manifestation of social interaction and the clubs were a suitable compromise on that
Once you remove that social aspect, you drain it of its life-blood


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Iains
Date: 18 Feb 18 - 06:52 AM

Jim I have no argument that those that collect, analyse, interview, dissect etc etc.have a valid place. They all make a contribution for archiving material among a myriad of other functions.
However for folk to survive it is the audience that is crucial. Their level on interest in the medium will cover all levels from intricate dissection to just enjoying the song/music and ambience generated.
Certainly some include the multiple role of performer/listener/researcher/etc. but I think many more wander along for purely for the entertainment. Surely a broad church needs to be encouraged although obviously some venues will have a more focused/specialised approach (As is their perfect right) After all we still tolerate Morris Dancers!


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Feb 18 - 05:31 AM

"Does an enthusiastic audience who happen to be drinking in a pub "
You are right of course Iains, but as with any art form, it is not just the audience or even the performer who has the say on what is important and what is not.
Some (most) of us came and still come from both sides - performer/listener and researcher
Your argument, if taken to its logical conclusion, would exclude ann researchers and documentors
Forums like this need to cater for both
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Feb 18 - 05:18 AM

....'What is a person looking for from a folksong. Clarity of expression,
interpretation (whatever that may mean), delivery in the accent of the songs origin(if known) or what" absoluteley correct, when i play folk music in pubs no one gives a flying fart if i sing irish songs in my accent american songs in an american or english accent.
"As far as I can see, today's revival needs all the inspiration it can get if British folk song is to survive beyond this present, ageing generation."
fair cmment, but it will survive, there are many young singers and instrumentalists in the uk and in ireland, the uk scene will probably change, the venues will probably change it may be that the songs get given a different treatment, i do not see much wrong with thin liziie treatment of whiskey in the jar. neither do ihear much wrong with MacColls version of dirty old town or joseph taylors version of brigg fair they are imo all valid


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Iains
Date: 18 Feb 18 - 04:38 AM

I have found the conversation about singing in different accents fascinating. Having spent most of my working life surrounded by many different nationalities, but mainly dominated by Americans for a considerable period, I have ended up with a polyglot type of accent that veers off subconsciously to mimic in part the person/s I am speaking too. My default accent is a kind of mid atlantic with a touch of Aussie. So does singing with a different accent a case of mimicry, affectation, or what? Some accents are extremely difficult to understand, the Geordie accent and some scottish accents in particular. At the end of the day does it really matter?
What is a person looking for from a folksong. Clarity of expression,
interpretation (whatever that may mean), delivery in the accent of the songs origin(if known) or what?
The over analysis of the who, what, why, when, where probably only applies to some, others just want to listen to the songs and music.
All types comprise the audience. I think sometimes this is forgotten.
Does an enthusiastic audience who happen to be drinking in a pub during a mixed session rank as second class folkies because they do not go to folk clubs. Do you even need to go to a folk club to appreciate folk? You tube offers a very comfortable alternative.


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Feb 18 - 04:29 AM

"well i have tried in recent threads to divert the discussion back on topic asking jims opinion of the two biographies but to no avail"
Did you miss this Dick?
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 04:01 AM
I went to great length to not only give my opinion on the books but to point out there are no comparisons between the two - different talented people from different backgrounds
It really doesn't help the atmosphere here by repeating such requests when you have been given a response

"Where does Ewan MacColl and his biography come in?"
Some of the subjets touched on by Harker's book have been dealt with in depth Al - far too few in my mind, but discussing MacColl rationally is as discussing "what is folksong" - it has become virtually impossible to get beyond name changes and war records - if you don't believe me, go some of the "related threads" listed at the top of this one.
Pat and I gave interviews to Ben Harker willingly and looked forward to its publication with anticipation - it fell far short of our expectations, mainly due to the conclusions he reached
I don't think I'm speaking out of turn when I say Peggy felt the same.
I experienced working with MacColl - a life-changing experience, and Pat and I interviewed him at length - 20 tapes worth over a long period
Our object was not to get a repeat of the already covered biographical details but to explore in detail his approach to his art
I also acquired all the recordings of the Critics Group meetings - masses and masses of detailed work on folk song by a bunch of talented and enthusiastic people who were generous with their time and their abilities and who knew what they were about and were prepared to put themselves out in order to try and improve their own and other's understanding of the Folk-song genre and related subjects
I have spent several years digitising, listing and annotating those meetings - originally I hoped to make them more widely available, but, like Walter's recordings, I have come to the sad conclusion that there is no home for them in Britain, so they will end up with the MacColl family and as part of our own personl collection, wherever it is housed, which is a crying shame.
One of the constant problems I have had in working on the Critics material has been that it is so absorbing and inspiring that the documentary process gets slowed down to a standstill by being forced to listen in detail - not always helpful when indexing
I react, sometimes badly, when I hear accusations of what I know (from personal experience) to be unfair and inaccurate, often unbelievably spiteful and personal statements about Ewan, Peggy and the work of the Critics.
As far as I can see, today's revival needs all the inspiration it can get if British folk song is to survive beyond this present, ageing generation.

I agree totally with Joe's response - if there is blame to be meted out it is to be accepted by all responsible
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 2007 Ewan MacColl Bio - Class Act
From: keberoxu
Date: 17 Feb 18 - 06:36 PM

Joe, You RULE.


    Thanks, but please don't respond to my message in the thread. It's better just to get back to the subject of the discussion. If you wish to discuss what I said, please contact me by personal message. Thanks.
    -Joe-


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Feb 18 - 06:12 PM

There's a lot of good and interesting information in this thread. Let's keep it that way. Personal invective is of little interest to anyone other than yourself. I don't care if you're trying to preserve your honor or whatever, it isn't of interest to the rest of us. We don't want to hear it. And from this point on, I'm going to delete anything that has animosity or squabbling in it.

It's.just.so.fucking.boring.....

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Feb 18 - 05:00 PM

well i have tried in recent threads to divert the discussion back on topic asking jims opinion of the two biographies but to no avail


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Feb 18 - 04:23 PM

I get it.

Theres some sort of angst going on.

but what the hell is all this about?

Where does Ewan MacColl and his biography come in?


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Subject: RE: New Ewan MacColl Biography
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Feb 18 - 03:24 PM

Yeah even handed as ever Vic
You seem to overcome yopur inability to intervene quite well when it suits
You should e ashaemed of youreslf as well, but like Bryan, I'm sure you're not
JIm Carroll


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