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The importance of Source Singers

The Sandman 27 Mar 20 - 06:00 AM
The Sandman 26 Mar 20 - 05:05 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Mar 20 - 04:43 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Mar 20 - 04:41 AM
The Sandman 26 Mar 20 - 04:27 AM
The Sandman 26 Mar 20 - 04:14 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Mar 20 - 04:09 AM
The Sandman 25 Mar 20 - 06:19 PM
r.padgett 25 Mar 20 - 05:09 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 25 Mar 20 - 11:18 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Mar 20 - 11:02 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 25 Mar 20 - 10:42 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Mar 20 - 07:41 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Mar 20 - 07:41 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 25 Mar 20 - 06:49 AM
r.padgett 24 Mar 20 - 04:16 PM
GUEST,Cj 24 Mar 20 - 04:04 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Mar 20 - 09:36 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Mar 20 - 06:29 AM
The Sandman 24 Mar 20 - 03:35 AM
Vic Smith 23 Mar 20 - 10:00 AM
Howard Jones 23 Mar 20 - 09:10 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Mar 20 - 06:17 AM
GUEST 23 Mar 20 - 05:32 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 23 Mar 20 - 05:28 AM
The Sandman 21 Mar 20 - 03:35 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 21 Mar 20 - 03:12 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Mar 20 - 07:27 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 21 Mar 20 - 06:34 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Mar 20 - 03:32 AM
Iains 20 Mar 20 - 06:14 PM
The Sandman 20 Mar 20 - 03:41 PM
The Sandman 20 Mar 20 - 03:30 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Mar 20 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 20 Mar 20 - 12:55 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 20 Mar 20 - 12:15 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Mar 20 - 12:09 PM
Vic Smith 20 Mar 20 - 11:53 AM
JohnH 20 Mar 20 - 11:16 AM
Iains 20 Mar 20 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,Starship 20 Mar 20 - 10:50 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Mar 20 - 10:37 AM
The Sandman 20 Mar 20 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,Starship 20 Mar 20 - 09:22 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Mar 20 - 07:05 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 20 Mar 20 - 06:48 AM
The Sandman 20 Mar 20 - 06:03 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 20 - 06:48 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 20 - 06:15 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Mar 20 - 05:36 AM
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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Mar 20 - 06:00 AM

most were unaccompanied,it is a good way of learning style,from highly decorated to singers who did not decorate or embellish very much but concentrated on story interpretation or both


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Mar 20 - 05:05 AM

yes jim , that was exactly my point
technique in all forms of music is a tool so that singning and interpretion is enjoyable and easy , so professional singers can enjoy singing if their technique is good because thay are not worrying about being able to perform, professional singers can enjoy performance if their technique is good because they need a good technique because they are using their voice much more than a source singer would , ok is that clear?
that is also where alexander technique can also become important.
source singers were not using their voices seven days a week for several hours , that is where warm up, exercises advocted by the like of your friends maccoll and seeger are useful


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Mar 20 - 04:43 AM

Professional singers must enjoy what they do otherwise that are wasting their time
Jim


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Mar 20 - 04:41 AM

Tecnique should be used like a tradesman uses his tools Dick
If you learn how to use them properly, keep them in good order and make sure you know what each one is for and where it is, they're always at hand
Then you can think about the job in hand

Fiddler Kevin Burke used to tell a story when he performed publicly (he was one of the best at both)
A smartly dressed stood in the middle of a crowded fair in Ireland, opened his crocodile-bound fiddle case, took our a shining, extremely expensive fiddle, cleaned it off with a velvet handkerchief, flamboyantly placed it under his chin and began to play
He was appalling
An scruffy old Traveller on a bike watching him, took dirty bundle of tatty old newspapers off the carrier, unwrapped a scratched, split and battered cheap old fiddle covered with beer-stains and grime, thrust it under his chin and began to play it with his greasy old bow
He was ten times worse

It really isn't what you've got but how you use it
Jim


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Mar 20 - 04:27 AM

source singers were not out doing massive numbers of gigs , they were often singing for their own pleasure, an important difference between professional folk singers and source singers


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Mar 20 - 04:14 AM

ok jim, but good technique helps to be able to sing the song with comfort and ease, so that the singer can think about interpreation an not worry about running out of breath etc and enables the singer to be able to sing with less chance of damaging vocal chords


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Mar 20 - 04:09 AM

When whoever did chose "How a Folk Song Should be Sung" for the title of the programme on 'The Critics Group' they immediately destroyed any chance of people understanding what the Group was about (sorry to bang on about them again, but as far as I know, they did fore work on 'the folk voice than anybody I know)
Nobody decided how a folk song should be sung and nobody ever should
Based on MacColl's theatre work we examined how the voice was produced and where it was possible to take it if you learned to use if it full and to iron out any long-term problems

Peter Bellamy isn't a bad place to start, Peter had a natural vibrato, as had MacColl, which got in the way of producing what people had described as "The clean, clear folk tone"
Both were aware of the problem; MacColl attempted to suppress it and largely succeeded, though it sometimes surfaced when he was over-tired - he once told be he couldn't bear to listen to his very early records, vibrato being one of the reasons
Peter may have tried to get rid of it but in the end he seemed to embrace it and it increased
The last time I spoke to him (of the few times I did) he described his singing as "Larry the Lamb impersonations" and appeared to be self-conscious about it
Though it sometimes turns up in source singing it is, I believe, rare - Fred Jordan being one of the great exceptions and, I think, his became more accentuated towards the end
There have always been arguments as to whether Joseph Taylor decorated his songs or whether he sang in vibrato

The argument MacColl initially put forward was simple; one of us really use or even know our natural voice once we become adults, the way we produce it is largely decided by outside influences (children are the nearest ones to use 'natural' voices 'naturally')
For instance, 'if you spend 8, 10, 12 hours a day in a noisy environment - a docker, miner factory worker (particularly a steel-worker), you adapted your voice to your needs to communicate, and that's the voice you took home
If you worked in quiet surroundings you controlled your voice to suit those conditions
I was an electrician and worked mostly in people's homes so I instinctively adapted the way I spoke to where I spent a great deal of my time

The argument was that our folk songs covered all aspects and ranges of human experience and emotion which demand different 'tones' - you don't use the same tone to chat up someone you fancy that you would if you were describing a football match - not if you wanted to get anywhere
What you do on each occasion is instinctively let the subject choose the way you speak about
Similarly, you don't use the same tone for a love song, a murder ballad, an erotic romp, a complaint about working conditions, a shanty....

The voice is like the brain - we use only a tiny fraction of its capacity and capability
If you want to use it to the full you have to understand how you produce it and learn how to expand it
MacColl introduced us to the exercises they used in Theatre Workshop and they worked to the extent that we practiced them (the same with his relaxation exercises)
This sounds time-consuming - it isn't
Once you learn these techniques they become almost instinctive - the song chooses the manner in which you sing it

They help with problems too
I stopped singing for years - when I stated up again I found my range had reduced; I could no loner sing Flying Cloud and Sheffield Apprentice - my rangiest songs
I worked at the former and gradually won it back, I found a better tune for Sheffield Apprentice anyway

These are techniques and should never be the main part of singing - that should ciome from interpreting and enjoying what the song means to you


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Mar 20 - 06:19 PM

Peter was not a source singer, revivalist singers with natral and corect vocal techniques, in other words unlikely to damage their voices would include cyril tawney martin wyndham read. I have never had very much voice trouble either, i sing from my diaphragm and use my chest voice


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: r.padgett
Date: 25 Mar 20 - 05:09 PM

Yes of course Harry Cox and Walter Pardon, Sam Larner and Fred Jordan when recorded and over the many times recorded would initially have some consistency in what and how they sang songs in term of keys and ways ~ even if not exactly the same!

The young thruster "revivalist" singers by and large were/are younger singers and should be using their "own voices" ~ I am sure you know what I mean ~ and as has been said many of the younger singers do tend to blast out words and in doing so lose out on some of the intricacies of the source singers

Peter Bellamy used his "high" voice ~ whether this is a good thing is down to personal taste ~as has been said this requires for many either several beers or a shouty technique if you don't have PBs power and voice ~ what I am trying to say is PB is not necessarily a good "source" to learn from for everyone ~PBs style was personal and liked by many of course!!

For me revivalist singers should simply sing within their range using their own voice with regard to phrasing and methods adopted over many years by their source singer ~hence as PB did acknowledging their 'source' at the end of his song performance

Ray


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 25 Mar 20 - 11:18 AM

Yes, agreement in general (not really appropriate to go off on lengthy tangent). I'd use a term other than "head voice" myself for the whispery affectation, since this has a sense in "classical" singing rather different. It occurs, also, that many people wouldn't even be heard more than a few feet away were it not for that familiar traditional instrument, the Microphone. Good Luck, ABCD.


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Mar 20 - 11:02 AM

Hi ABCD
I went into this 'head voice singing some time ago
Whether you like it or not is a matter of taste, but the fact that it takes at least twice the breath to produce means it restricts most singers from singing long-lines without having to breath in the middle
The other problem is the dreaded 'gear change where many women are unable to maintain a consistent tone and are forced to move from head to chest when moving up and down their range
The daughter of a well known singer we know has such a limited range that she produces a yodel-like sound if she exceeds her range
Pegt Seeger worked on this at great lenght and more or less conquered it - but did she hane to !!!
Jim


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 25 Mar 20 - 10:42 AM

Very strongly agree about young singers adopting the kind of voices which, I've observed over the years, are particularly approved as appropriate to traditional material. These strike me not as natural voices at all, but an affectation. Just as artificial as operatic singing, and rather less pleasant. However, fashions change, and at least various kinds of material are available for future amateurs of tradition to draw on, build on, and indeed contribute to along the way.


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Mar 20 - 07:41 AM

I believe that 'learning from a source singer' can be a misleading term if not thought through
We have to face the fact that many of our older singers were way past their prime when they were recorded, even the best of them, and many of them were remembering songs they hadn't sung for decades - physical problems were often a feature of their singing (though some of the best singing I heard from Harry Cox was done in the later sessions at a full 'Windmill' pub - circumstances can make a difference)
I hated hearing younger singers trying to sound like Harry or Sam Larner - who wants to sound older than they actually are - that'll come too soon anyway?

That said, it doesn't mean you can't take aspects of singing from the singers that wouldn't come natural to townies like us
The older singers seemed to have a feel for interpretation that I find lacking in far too many younger, more technically 'skillful' singers
Health permitting, the old crowd tended to phrase their songs perfectly - punctuation in the right place, no artificial gaps in the line - musical storytelling
We have a recording of Tom Lenihan 'telling a song' - talking and singing it to explain its meaning - you can follow the story perfectly

They also tended to pitch their voices around their 'natural' physical voice (I wish some of our 'breathy' women or over-nasal male singers would learn to do that)
The Critics Group spent a long time working on making a song our own, interpreting it so you were able to relate to it personally
Singers like Walter Pardon, Tom Lenihan and Mikeen McCarthy had done it all their lives without having had to work at it apparently
They saw and relived their songs when they were at their best - they sang for themselves

Imitation of singers can be useful in exploring and understanding your own voice, but as far as I'm concerned, that's as far as it goes

These are our observations and my opinions - I'm sure there are plenty of exceptions
Jim


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Mar 20 - 07:41 AM

I believe that 'learning from a source singer' can be a misleading term if not thought through
We have to face the fact that many of our older singers were way past their prime when they were recorded, even the best of them, and many of them were remembering songs they hadn't sung for decades - physical problems were often a feature of their singing (though some of the best singing I heard from Harry Cox was done in the later sessions at a full 'Windmill' pub - circumstances can make a difference)
I hated hearing younger singers trying to sound like Harry or Sam Larner - who wants to sound older than they actually are - that'll come too soon anyway?

That said, it doesn't mean you can't take aspects of singing from the singers that wouldn't come natural to townies like us
The older singers seemed to have a feel for interpretation that I find lacking in far too many younger, more technically 'skillful' singers
Health permitting, the old crowd tended to phrase their songs perfectly - punctuation in the right place, no artificial gaps in the line - musical storytelling
We have a recording of Tom Lenihan 'telling a song' - talking and singing it to explain its meaning - you can follow the story perfectly

They also tended to pitch their voices around their 'natural' physical voice (I wish some of our 'breathy' women or over-nasal male singers would learn to do that)
The Critics Group spent a long time working on making a song our own, interpreting it so you were able to relate to it personally
Singers like Walter Pardon, Tom Lenihan and Mikeen McCarthy had done it all their lives without having had to work at it apparently
They saw and relived their songs when they were at their best - they sang for themselves

Imitation of singers can be useful in exploring and understanding your own voice, but as far as I'm concerned, that's as far as it goes

These are our observations and my opinions - I'm sure there are plenty of exceptions
Jim


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 25 Mar 20 - 06:49 AM

Getting back to the thread, if you call yourself a 'trad' singer or a singer of traditional songs, why on earth would you go anywhere else than the 'source singer(s) for your model? Even if you heard it first from a professional, surely you'd want to know where he or she got it?
'
Professional folk performers will 'arrange' their own way of delivering a song/tune but as Ray P says, in normal times they will be paid for the performance, but surely claiming 'trad.arr' this kind of joint venture is irrelevant, and certainly should not imply any kind of partial ownership!
There might be a case of some kind for acts like Thin Lizzy, who almost completely changed the nature of 'Kilgary Mountain' but that may be for the courts to decide on a one-off basis?

As for it being necessary to prevent the songs dying out, the vast amount of performance of traditional songs is carried on 99.9pc by people who never earn a penny from it- so no danger there.
About Peter Kennedy, I'm well aware of his history, but was just wondering what, specifically, had ruffled the Sandman's' feathers. It has probably been explained elsewhere & I accept that now is not the time to pursue this.


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: r.padgett
Date: 24 Mar 20 - 04:16 PM

So the best way to learn a trad song is from the "source" singer ~ assuming that the revivalist singer has already credited his source ~ yes research is a good idea

trad arranged is fine but should that attract copyright fees to the artist? ~ yes of course the artist will hopefully have been paid for the gig at which he/she sang said song

Ray


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: GUEST,Cj
Date: 24 Mar 20 - 04:04 PM

I suggest the trad. Arr. Is the best thing to do, to keep these songs alive. After all, the (mostly tiny amounts of) money is going directly to artists who are getting out there and keeping the songs played and heard. Would a fund that existed to to popularise the songs be any more effective? What would they do? Adverts on Weetabix boxes? Or would it just be one or two people getting a London wage and a London office, with all the costs that entails whilst all the musicians who wanted to play the music had to make yet another arts application, just so they had enough money to play the blinking songs...

It’s up to the individual musicians to credit their sources. But if their source is Martin Carthy, why lie? By all means do research and say... Martin Carthy who learned it from etc etc But since most of these songs we don’t know the original author(s), surely Harry Cox and Martin Carthy are all just links in the same chain?

Money to the performer’s is the right way to go. The miners on the coal face getting the rewards, not a man in a suit in an air conditioned office.


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Mar 20 - 09:36 AM

Should read
"far too often it's forgotten that that he wasn't the only person working"
Jim


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Mar 20 - 06:29 AM

I agree with Vic on the good work Kennedy's team did (far too often that he wasn't the only person working)
It's what happened to the collection later and the poisonous after effects that spread far beyond the project
The collection should have been in the public domain - it was us (or our parents) who paid for it
It remains still totally accessible to all but those who know their way around the barriers
Kennedy was little more that in the raight place at the right time
Unfortunately, EFDSS, on whose behalf he was appointed, have to take a share of the blame
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Mar 20 - 03:35 AM

Vic , i have pointed that out a few times in an attempt to be fair to KENNEDY.
Howard is spot on


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: Vic Smith
Date: 23 Mar 20 - 10:00 AM

I have had my own spats with Kennedy and would agree with every negative comment that has been made about him, but a part of my brain tells me that we need to separate Kennedy the unscrupulous, dishonest operator from Kennedy, one of the most successful, perhaps the most successful folk song collector since the second world war. Am I to stop singing the wonderful versions of songs collected from the the likes of the Willetts, Caroline Hughes, all that great stuff from the north of Ireland, stop playing the tunes that recorded from Scan Tester etc. just because the collector operated in a mendacious manner?


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: Howard Jones
Date: 23 Mar 20 - 09:10 AM

It should perhaps be pointed out that the copyright in an arrangement and the copyright in the song itself are quite separate things. The arranger cannot claim copyright over the song itself. Where royalties are payable, these are shared between the arranger and the composer. Where the composer is "trad" that doesn't increase the arranger's share. Furthermore there has to be a degree of complexity and originality for the arrangement to be copyright, simply putting the three chord trick to a melody isn't sufficient.

The same goes for transcribing a traditional song - the transcription is copyright, not the song itself. No one can reproduce that particular transcription without permission, but they can make their own transcription from the original source and they will own the copyright in that.

This gives musicians protection for their own artistic contribution while leaving the original material in the public domain.

There may have been cases where others have succeeded in registering copyright in a traditional song to which they are not entitled. The copyright agencies cannot be expected to know the entire corpus of music they manage, so mistakes can be made. Where there is a known composer they can be expected to protect their own copyright, but folk songs don't have the same protection unless someone is willing to challenge an unjustified claim. Kennedy got away with his alleged activities because no one was able to challenge him. That is a fault in the system but it is one of enforcement, not principle.


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Mar 20 - 06:17 AM

Kennedy reached the peak of his vulture-like behaviour with the matere=ial he was sent of Traveller John Reilly by collector, the late Tom Munnelly
When Tom started out, Kennedy was helpful with advice so, when he 'discovered John Reilly, he sent a number of his songs 'for your interest only'
John was in desperate straights and died as a result of his illnesses, so Tom decided that all proceeds should go to a fund to help Traveller children
- Tom informed Kennedy of this
Shorly afterwards, the recordings appeared on the Folktrax label, no payment, no acknowledgement
No payment was ever made and no appeal ever acknowledged
As Seamus Ennis, who worked with him on the BBC project, once said about him - "That man was a thief"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Mar 20 - 05:32 AM

Re: Dick, maybe you should be more specific about what exactly PK did to you before sounding so bitter?

Musical Traditions have an article (MT article 212) called 'Peter Kennedy - The Darker Side', with contributions from various people who came into contact with Kennedy. This is what Mike Yates had to say (hope that he won't mind me using this).

The following points are random and set down as they have come into my head:
1. I once phoned Peter Kennedy to talk about an unrelated matter, when I mentioned that I had been recording George Spicer for a Topic LP. There was a pause, then Peter said, “You can’t do that. His songs are all copyrighted to me.” I explained that I was not using any song that Peter had previously recorded from George, when Peter was working for the BBC, and Peter replied “No, he signed a contract which says that any songs remembered by him in the future will be my copyright.” To be honest, I’d never heard such rubbish in my life. So, I just laughed and said something like, “OK. See you in court, then.” Needless to say, we never heard from PK when the Topic LP came out.
2. When I visited the Appalachian singer Clarice Shelor in Virginia in 1980, I was asked if I knew PK. I said yes, and was told that Peter had previously visited Clarice, spending no more than 20 minutes with her, during which time he managed to record a few songs. Peter had said that he was late for an appointment, hence the hurry, and that he would return the following day. “But he never came back. I wonder what happened to those recordings?” I just did not have the heart to tell Clarice - a lovely lady, by the way - that the recordings were then available, to buy, on one of PK’s Folktrax cassettes.
3. When I began to collect in south-east England, I soon came to expect the question, “Do you know Peter Kennedy?” and I soon realised that a positive answer was not necessarily a good thing. I lost track of the number of English singers who had been recorded by him and who had heard no more from him.
4. Kenneth Goldstein sent PK copies of some recordings made by the American collector George Carpenter. These were sent as a present and clearly marked for his own use only. These were promptly issued by Kennedy as two Folktrax cassettes - but withdrawn when Kenny got to hear of this. Kenny was livid. (Told to me by Kenny Goldstein).
5. PK always carried a one-page contract form with him, that he would have singers sign, once he had recorded them. He told me that the idea came from Alan Lomax, who always used such a form.
6. I’m quite certain that many of the Scottish songs issued by PK on Folktrax cassettes were issued illegally. Take, for example, the Jean Elvin songs recorded for the BBC by Seamus Ennis. These were issued as part of a Folktrax cassette. I have issued a Jean Elvin song on Kyloe (a Hamish Henderson recording) and when I contacted Jean’s family was not surprised to learn that they had no idea that the songs had been issued by PK. He also issued material by Willie Mathieson; again, when I contacted the family, they had no knowledge of these recordings being issued. (Recordings not made by PK, I should add).
I recall that Kennedy objected to Topic using ‘his’ BBC recordings for Vol.19 of Topic's VoP series. He demanded payment and Topic finally agreed to pay him, so that the set could appear. I believe that Kennedy was the only collector that Topic paid for use of material for the series.


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Subject: RE: The importance of Source Singers
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 23 Mar 20 - 05:28 AM

Yes Dick- plenty of problems these days- best of luck with yours. We obviously disagree, but maybe we'll continue this later.

The thread title however is something I totally agree with, and I think you do too.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Mar 20 - 03:35 PM

jim bainbridge, i am talking about an arrangement of a song , not other people singing the song. it is not against the spirit of the music to expect people to acknowledge somebody else creative arrangement , the music is about passing on the songs acknowledging source singers and if using an arrangememnt that is someone elses artidtic work acknowledging it i am not botherd about the pittance from trad arr, i have discussed kennedys action before. it does not restrict its movement people can make up their own arrangements, as i did.
right now i have to find an old second hand car, my gigs have been cancelled, i havent got time for this


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 21 Mar 20 - 03:12 PM

..and he left a hell of a mess behind him. The fallout was still there when I was collecting in the 1980's.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Mar 20 - 07:27 AM

Caan't fault that Jim
Kennedy was a shark but doing what he did, on a smaller scale is just as immoral
(the other) Jim


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 21 Mar 20 - 06:34 AM

Dick, maybe you should be more specific about what exactly PK did to you before sounding so bitter?- is it on another thread?
I have no idea, although I know a lot of people have said similar things about him.
If you record an arrangement of a 'traditional' song or tune and copyright that arrangement, whatever the law says, it's totally against the spirit of the music in that it restricts its natural development through history.
The fact that charlatans have copyrighted songs with no known author is a sad fact of life, and copyrighting 'arrangements' is only a little less damaging as far as I'm concerned- whose music is it?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Mar 20 - 03:32 AM

Thanks for that Iains
That collection is the most important one to finally become public in Ireland, as yet totally unexplored
I saw it in its originl glory in UDC about 1975, in a line of floor to ceiling slide out filing cabinets - about a dozen of them, full of schoolbooks containing handwritten songs, stories and pieces of lore taken down by hand by children from their local neighbours
The man who took us around, Bo Almquist (strange feller) told us they would make it available one day - a long time to wait
If anybody wants evidence that people living in the countryside could make songs - that's where to go - thousands of songs just like that one
THIS ss one complaining about women changing their hairsyles, made in Corofin, a few miles north of here, sometime in the 30s
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Iains
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 06:14 PM

From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 12:09 PM
Thanks for the words to the song Jim.
Here is another from Inchigeela: Inchigeela Lass
https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4921720/4893577/5178767?ChapterID=4921720


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 03:41 PM

so kennedy thought because he collected the song he owned it and also owned the musical a arrangement, nobody owns a traditonal song but they do own their own musical creative recorded arrangement that is the law whether you like it or not,


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 03:30 PM

Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: JohnH - PM
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 11:16 AM

When a singer misses out a verse or a line or two, by forgetting or learning from a "defective" source, does that count as an arrangement? I can think of some that have been learnt from well-known singers."
no, i am talking about instrumental arrangement
what jim bainbridge says is irrelvant, the fact that we all on occasions play an arrangement differently live, does not alter an arangement when it has been recorded for example on a cd, lp cassetee
someone else comes and uses that recorded arrangement of a song puts it on a recording without acknowledgement ,this is exactly what kennedy did to me and he sold his bootleg for financial gain, is that ok ?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 01:03 PM

"the Healey Raes at Kilgarvan"
Known in West Clare as The CODFATHERS
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 12:55 PM

Vic, I wouldn't put myself in the same class of those source singers,, I just think it's an unconscious attitude among people who've listened to those great influences & absorbed more than the notes?

Yes Davie Stewart was a wonderful, if unpredictable performer & if a little bit of that has rubbed off on me, I'm very happy about that.

About ten ?? years ago & quite independently, your pal (& mine) Dan Quinn & I put the same tune on individual CDs about the same time.

It was 'Lena- a Schottische' which I'd picked up from a 78 by
the International Novelty Quartet - I think Dan said the same.

Anyway, we were at the same event somewhere & when we found out the coincidence, we decided to do a duet version!

It was great fun & had that frisson I mentioned earlier when playing a tune with another musician for the first time. However, at the end, we realised our versions were complementary but quite different!
Dan then said, quite rightly, that neither version was bore much resemblance to the original!!
-could we have copyrighted it as a joint arrangement?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 12:15 PM

I've heard a couple of song-makers (and singers of this material) speaking of how erroneous words have become the usual version (of a line). And this has become the case with regard to familiar verses by a poet from Monaghan.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 12:09 PM

I am assuming it is Gougane Barra
That's the one - a superb example of both a loclly made song and West Cork Humour (for from Con 'fafa O'Driscoll - worth seeking out)
We fisrt heard it from Diamuid Sullivan, from that area
Jim Carroll

Full text here
Trip to Gougane
I am one of those jolly young lads from the cross
I’m fond of amusement and fond of a glass
With a thirst I can’t quench and a heart that is free
Sure everything else plays the divil with me
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

On that holiday morning just after first mass
We started our away on our trip from the cross
In two hansom cars that were hired for the day
All waiting there ready to take us away
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

We had Buckleys, and Healys, and Sullivans too
The Learys, a Connell, a Roche and a Drew
Such a crowd of McCarthys I ne’er saw before
And the Cronins were there by the dozen and score
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

We had girls also all dressed up so neat
And to make our enjoyment entirely complete
We paid for them all without making a case
With the worth of our money knocked our of their waist
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

‘Twas to sweet Ballingeary we first did draw near
Where we moistened our lips with some drops of good beer
Then we started again just as fleet as the fawn
And about on o’clock we rolled into Gougane
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

We were both tired and thirsty when the horses did stop
And each man was smacking his lips for a drop
We jumped down from the cars and our band we struck up
And we marched in a body straight into the pub
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

There were some that went boating on a lake near at hand
While others went drinking till they couldn’t stand
Sure we thought we’d see sights that would dazzle our eyes
Yerra divil the sights, only mountains and skies
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

So we started for home then before ‘t would get late
And the horses were going at the divil’s own rate
I thought that they surely would fall down on the road
Before they could carry such a drunken old load
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

When we reached Ballingeary we looked for some bread
But ‘t was boxes of biscuits they gave us instead
And their bellies being empty by each mother’s son
We finished twelve boxes before we were done
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

No good porter the owner had in his Hotel
But a bad brand of stout that had failed him to sell
And in order to fool us this clever old coon
Good porter was hid in a private back room
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

The people came running to see what was the score
Some ran to the windows and more to the door
Saying who are these people all dressed up so swell
Others saying they’re swanks from the Abbey Hotel
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

We returned to the cross when our trip it was o’er
Where we filled ourselves up with the porter once more
We recovered our senses next morning at dawn
And that put an end to our trip to Gougane
Rally ra fol de da, rally rack fol the di

Notes
The song, often sung by the late Johnny Cronin of Inchegeela, is very popular in the Muskerry area of West Cork and Gougane. It refers to a jolly excursion to the great beauty spot Gougane Barra where St. Finbar had his monastery.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Vic Smith
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 11:53 AM

Jim Bainbridge -
I couldn't copyright my 'arrangements' because like most singers/musicians with a base in traditional material, every time I play a tune or sing a song, it's a slightly different version!

This puts Jim in the same class as a lot of traditional performers. Let's just consider a few that I know (or knew) well:-
* Jim's greatest hero (and mine) was Davie Stewart. I was fortunate to hear him many times during his latter years. His melodeon accompaniments are endlessly inventive and he made his own musical rules for them. He sounds a lot of the time like a piper who has taken up the squeezebox (which he was!) The words of the songs were never settled and he could invent verses as he performed to suit the situation. On his Topic album he ends off one of his songs with a few lines suggesting that it would be a good time to stop recording and have a cup of tea.
* You could never expect Gordon Hall to sing a song in the same way twice. If his songs were not long enough to start with, he found ways of segueing seamlessly from one song into another. I can remember him singing The Sussex Molecatcher and some time later he had blended it into The Drowned Lover and I remember thinking "When did that happen?" He would sometimes sing a song straight and then go into his parody of it.
* I have many recordings and printed versions of songs sung by Willie Scott including quite a number that I made myself. Willie's changes of phrasing and use of words were quite slight. It felt to me that he was unlessly trying, consciously or unconsciously to polish his songs into the perfect version.
* In the last 50-odd years, I have heard four generations of The Copper Family singing - five if I include the recordings of Jim & John - and the famed home-made harmonies of their singing change from generation to generation.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: JohnH
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 11:16 AM

When a singer misses out a verse or a line or two, by forgetting or learning from a "defective" source, does that count as an arrangement? I can think of some that have been learnt from well-known singers.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Iains
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 11:03 AM

Just started reading this thread
Cronin is a common name in that part of the world - I suppose you know the song, 'Trip to Gougane
I am assuming it is Gougane Barra midway between the Borlin Valley and
Ballingeary (the Cork Gaeltecht) Plenty of Cronins in both areas and Ballylicky, and north on the Kerry side is the fiefdom of the Healey Raes at Kilgarvan.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 10:50 AM

That's true, Sandman. Pardon me for confusing theft and pilferage.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 10:37 AM

It could be made less so by making it mandatory for those who wish to to make a donation to a fund to assist the continuance of popularising folk song, i my opinion
I have no idea who could administer such a fund, but once it is agreed in principle, I'm sure someone could be found
Jim


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 10:36 AM

no one copyrights the songs they copyright an arrangement, that is their own artistic work., their arrngement


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 09:22 AM

"All folksongs are arrangements by their very process of continuation"

Interesting observation and a good one. The copyright process is a shambles as it is, and until such time that copyrights gain international accord/agreement the process will continue to be a mess. There are many songs that have multiple 'owners' when in fact only one person created the song. 'Shenandoah' is one such example. IMO, no one other than the original creator of the work should have a copyright for that song, and the writer is long dead. I expect arrangers will scream blue murder about that, but then so will the re-arrangers and the re-re-arrangers. 'Lakes of Ponchartrain' is another example. Copyrighting someone else's work is not right, but it happens frequently. It's a disgusting practice.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 07:05 AM

Vaughan Williams has made folk songs something else entirely - he ised the tunes, not the words
Martin Carthy should know better than to copyright folk songs
The only time MacColl ever fell out with Like Kelly was when the Dubliners copyrighted folk songs he learned when he was living in England   
Says a lot about Ewan that he would point that out to a friend, just as it says a lot about Kelly who took his advice
All folksongs are arrangements by their very process of continuation
Jim


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 06:48 AM

I'm not convinced about this 'arrangememts' business, Dick. I couldn't copyright my 'arrangements' because like most singers/musicians with a base in traditional material, every time I play a tune or sing a song, it's a slightly different version!
OK- sometimes I just forget bitsthe words/notes....
Isn't that partly what makes our music so enjoyable- when you have a tune in common with someone of similar ability, when you actually play it together for the first time, it's a one-off experience because it's NOT arranged.

I can see the point of copyright and arrangements, and I abhor slavish copying, but applying these too strictly gets far too close to the classical approach for me


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 06:03 AM

any musical arrangement whether it is by Vaughan Williams or Martin Carthy IS COPYRIGHTED to protect the artistic effort of the musician, to steal other peoples arrangements and not acknowledge it is known as plagiarism.Msartin is dilgent in acknowledging source singers as are most revival singers of trad material these days


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Mar 20 - 06:48 AM

"far more adequately than I could possibly manage"
Especially considering my typos there - in the middle of breakfast - sorry!!
Jim


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Mar 20 - 06:15 AM

I don't intend to mar this so-far friendly thread with a head-to-head with abybody
I opened it to discuss the cvlue of traditional singers, fout from the paper-bound academics I believe they have been under attack for some time now
They have been shifted from being the possible makers of out folk songs to passive recipients who parrot them, their songs become copyright-able if arranged and it is "starry-eyed fanaticism" to speak up on their behalf
I don't thing there is need for me to say more - my point is being made for me far more adequately than I could possibly manage

MacColl and Seeger did more work with young and inexperienced singers than anybody else in the revival and neither believed in sky fairies
They left a body of work on singing behind that has yet to be examined, never mind tried
I hope to open a thread on their work as a singing researchers rather than a wartime politicians and banjo strummers, if I am allowed to
Jim


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Subject: RE: Origins: The importance of Source Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Mar 20 - 05:36 AM

"But on the basis that nobody knows where they came from"
We know where we got them just as w e know what you think of those who gacve them to us
I seem to remember you are one of those who would with to claim 'arrangements'
Jim Carroll


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