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womens role in folk clubs

Fay 01 Apr 03 - 08:39 AM
greg stephens 01 Apr 03 - 08:50 AM
GUEST 01 Apr 03 - 08:55 AM
Abby Sale 01 Apr 03 - 08:58 AM
Peg 01 Apr 03 - 09:15 AM
GUEST 01 Apr 03 - 09:16 AM
breezy 01 Apr 03 - 09:17 AM
JudeL 01 Apr 03 - 09:20 AM
wilco 01 Apr 03 - 09:21 AM
treewind 01 Apr 03 - 09:30 AM
Brian Hoskin 01 Apr 03 - 09:33 AM
Fay 01 Apr 03 - 09:33 AM
Dave Bryant 01 Apr 03 - 09:33 AM
greg stephens 01 Apr 03 - 09:34 AM
Fay 01 Apr 03 - 09:42 AM
JudeL 01 Apr 03 - 09:44 AM
George Papavgeris 01 Apr 03 - 09:46 AM
greg stephens 01 Apr 03 - 09:47 AM
Blackcatter 01 Apr 03 - 09:54 AM
greg stephens 01 Apr 03 - 09:56 AM
Fay 01 Apr 03 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,Kit 01 Apr 03 - 10:05 AM
greg stephens 01 Apr 03 - 10:07 AM
greg stephens 01 Apr 03 - 10:08 AM
JudeL 01 Apr 03 - 10:13 AM
Watson 01 Apr 03 - 10:14 AM
greg stephens 01 Apr 03 - 10:17 AM
George Papavgeris 01 Apr 03 - 10:18 AM
JudeL 01 Apr 03 - 10:22 AM
greg stephens 01 Apr 03 - 10:23 AM
greg stephens 01 Apr 03 - 10:26 AM
Pied Piper 01 Apr 03 - 10:28 AM
GUEST 01 Apr 03 - 10:31 AM
GUEST 01 Apr 03 - 10:34 AM
Beardy 01 Apr 03 - 10:37 AM
Watson 01 Apr 03 - 10:39 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 01 Apr 03 - 10:46 AM
George Papavgeris 01 Apr 03 - 10:48 AM
greg stephens 01 Apr 03 - 10:52 AM
Jeanie 01 Apr 03 - 11:03 AM
Fay 01 Apr 03 - 11:20 AM
GUEST 01 Apr 03 - 11:20 AM
breezy 01 Apr 03 - 11:21 AM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Apr 03 - 11:42 AM
SarahC 01 Apr 03 - 11:47 AM
Sooz 01 Apr 03 - 11:59 AM
Mary Humphreys 01 Apr 03 - 12:15 PM
JennyO 01 Apr 03 - 12:20 PM
Clean Supper 01 Apr 03 - 12:22 PM
Deni-C 01 Apr 03 - 12:34 PM
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Subject: women's role in folk clubs
From: Fay
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 08:39 AM

I'm interested to know what the role of women has been in the Folk Club scene.

I'm not a raving feminist or anything, but it has become apparent through my research in to folk music in Keighley in the 60's/70's that the majority of performers, both floor singers and booked artists have been men, but on the social side there are lots of women attending clubs as audience members. Also who runs the clubs, is this where the women come in?

Why was/is this? is it because women don't sing as much as men, or are they not invited to, or are they not as good?

Start a heated debate please!!


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 08:50 AM

Dont know what it was like in keighley in the 60's, but my recollection of the club in Oxford then is that were plenty of women singers. Definitely not a   majority, but I can think of ten off the top of my head.
   The booked guests were definitely mainly men, though, there weren't that many women working the clubs then at all.


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 08:55 AM

Well someone has to bring the sarnies round and drive the drunken blokes home at the end of the night.

;0]


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: Abby Sale
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 08:58 AM

Women aren't the major singers usually because they just don't have the serious repertoire - they usually just want to sing the romantic love songs. Of course, if they're sexy, they are more likely to be a desired act - same as in pop music.

I thought from the Subject, however, you meant women's role in folk clubs, themselves. Usually they are the support people - handle publicity, prepare any food that's going to be offered, set up the rood - whatever is needed. Men usually handle the organizing and financial sides. It's always worked better that way in all sorts of organizations and it would be just the same for folk organizations, of course.


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: Peg
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 09:15 AM

wow! only four posts and this thread's already full of sexist crap!


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 09:16 AM

Yep, Truth always hurts.


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: breezy
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 09:17 AM

To keep the men in their place and do the raffle.
And to enchant the audience with their singing.
To organise when the men dont.
To take over at every conceivalbe [anag]! opportunity.
And to sulk.
To heckle.
and to plot
and dance round handbags
To pull.
And be pulled.
And to do the raffle the following wek
and the door
And the posters
and to harmonise
to smell nice
To wear provocative clothing to give the main guest a .....distraction that keeps him up on stage all night.
Cyril Tawney was driven to distraction at the Comfort thanks to ....a and ....e!


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: JudeL
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 09:20 AM

Abbey, whilst this is NOT intended as a flame I have to ask "What century are you living in?". Your ideas that "women.. don't have the serious repetoire", that they are (and imply should be) the support people not the organisers in the folk clubs and that "it is better that way" (implication that women should play a subordinate role) leave me flabergasted! I am far from being a militant feminist but that "it is better that way" leaves me wondering why you should have such a totally dismissive attitude the abilities of your fellow women? Do you really believe that women are not as good at handling finances or organising as men? Who do you think have for centuries handled the organisation needed to have an orderly household.... I'll give you a clue.... it ain't the men! If you have ever dealt with squabbling children, you would realise the value of negotiating skills, especially in terms of stating clearly what is and is not expected from each person.

I know this is drifting from the thread a little and I apologise for that but just because something may have been true 40/50 years ago don't mean it still the same today, nor does it mean it should be!


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: wilco
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 09:21 AM

I can't think of anything that a woman couldn't do in almost any setting, including any musical setting. Same observations in US.


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: treewind
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 09:30 AM

It's never occurred to me for a moment that there was any imbalance. Without bothering to sit down and actually write a list (and I really can't be bothered) I'd say that there are just an many women as men in the audience, singing and running clubs.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 09:33 AM

I was assuming that Abby's post was ironic (?)


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: Fay
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 09:33 AM

There does seem to be quite a feminist angle to this, and I didn't mean it to go that way, but I suppose that is a part of my quandry about it all.

Folkies are renound for their hippiness are they not, and their love and acceptance of all and everything and the equality and harmony of the world as it should be.

So why are there still these roles, how do men feel about women singing in clubs, how do women feel about men singing in clubs. How do women feel about men doing the raffle.

Repertoire was an interesting observation - not that I would go anywhere near Abby's statement, but is there a difference in repertoire, are women trying to get something different out of the songs than men? Are men and women trying to get something different from the night out down the club?


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 09:33 AM

I can think of dozens of female singers, some with groups and some solo what about:

Anne Briggs
Frankie Armstrong
Peta Webb
June Tabour
Hilary Spencer (even in Artisan, she and and Jacey outnumber Brian)
Dangerous Curves
Peggy Seeger
Jackie & Bridie
Belle Stewart
Jeannie Robertson
Bonnie Shaljean (sometimes on Mudcat)
Eliza Carthy
Anni Fentiman
Norma Waterson
Julie Felix
Nadia Cattouse
Joan Baez
Isobel Sutherland

I could go on and on - as far as floor singers go I can think of clubs and sessions which often have more women than men, try "Travelling Folk" for instance. If you go to the sessions in the barn at Towersey, the ladies definitely are in abundance (both numerically and by volume - ducks missiles from JudeL, LTS, Pearl etc) - I've even known men to wear skirts on the Saturday night, just to get a song !


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 09:34 AM

Have been trying to recollect a bit more accurately. I reckon I can remember about 30 male and 10 female singers from 62-66 in the Oxford Heritage FC., but only a couple of female guest artists.
   As to provocative clothing...well we were all in the age range 18-22 I suppose, and while folk music was possibly the main topic of mutual interest, there were other activities that occupied us.


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: Fay
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 09:42 AM

I'm not doubting that there were many women on the scene, and that many did have an active involvement.

But through the interviews and question's I've been asking around the Keighley area, even though the people I have been interviewing haven't noticed an imbalance, and said there weren't any issues surrounding it, they were quite hard pressed to recall more that a couple of female singers.

Maybe it has all changed now, certainly in Keighley there are lots of female singers about. But why was it like that in the beginning of the club?

I'll stop battling my corner soon if I don't get a response backing me up in some way, but I'd really like some women to say how they felt about it. If I'm wrong and making a bigger thing out of a snippet of stuff than it warrants, then thats fine


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: JudeL
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 09:44 AM

Back to the original question posed by the thread. This is the line up of artists for March and April at the Hitchin Folk Club as detailed in their newsletter.

"What a March we had! Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman soon helped us get over the disappointment of Waterson/Carthy not being able to make it, Brooks Williams was simply superb and Tommy Emmanuel was unbelievable. Noel Murphy was at his hilarious best with Cathryn Craig and Brian Willoughby giving us a rare Nashville sound (why is Cathryn not a big country star?) and last night with Lindisfarne was just magic.

April kicks off on the 6th with Harvey Andrews. (promo paragraph cut)

In the early 70s an excellent band call "Jade" graced the stages of the folk circuit, singer and songwriter, Marianne Segal was the darling of the clubs. Their critically acclaimed album, "Fly on strange wings", now a collectors item, is being released on CD, and to promote this Marianne and her band are doing a handful of concerts, ours being one on Sunday 13th.

Suntrap are our Easter guests this year on the 20th. The songwriters (Sara Byers and Paul Hoad) create original, innovative works drawing on English song tradition and American Folk & Country."

Whilst it's not quite 50/50 men & women, the women artists are far from being invisable and they are definitly taken serriously.


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 09:46 AM

Not me, Greg, I was serious...;-)
The title of this thread surprised me so much, that I nearly reverted to my original culture and posted a load of sexist crap myself. After all, we Greeks have some of the best lines on that score...
But no, not true. Like treewind, I have never thought that there was an imbalance. Most of the voices I admire are female (June Tabor, Moira Craig, HergaKitty, most recently Mary Humphries and Marilyn Middleton - against those I only have Martyn Wyndham-Read, Johnny Collins and Mick Ryan readily to mind). Most of my learnings abt folk have come from women.

I would not be surprised to find that membership of Mudcat is split 50-50 too.

So I don't feel the weaker (ha!) sex is underrepresented in folk. Thankfully so.


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 09:47 AM

I've just dug out a tape of the club I've been talking about, compiled(by someone else) from sessions at the club 62-66. Interestingly, it features our very own McGrath from harlow in his youth. This tape is much more dominated by men than my recollections of the club(but I didnt make the compilation!). There are ten men and one woman on it.
However, interestingly enough, in Dave Bryant post earlier listing women performers in folk, 2 (10%) of his list were members of the club I am talking about in the 60's. So it was obviously a good place for women performers to practise their art in their formative years!


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: Blackcatter
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 09:54 AM

From what I've seen there's little imbalace around Orlando. There are both men and women performing and working in clubs at various levels.

What is interesting is that at the open mikes, women seem to be less likely to suck. I don't think this is because women are superior to men (though they probably are), but I chalk it up to the willingness of men to get up on stage whether they're any good or not, whereas women wait unilt they're somewhat accomplished. Then again, there's one woman in the area who perpetually sings just a tiny bit flat. Drives me nuts!

pax yall

Oh, by the way, I'd still do her.


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 09:56 AM

It's easy to forget how very fast some of the social changes happened in England in the 60's. In the club I'm discussing, the role of women expanded hugely just in the period 1962 to 1965. I'm also talking about a university town (Oxford) 50 miles from London. Those changes would have lagged by a few years in Keighley. Though I suspect the shortening of skirt-lengths in that period happened about contemporaneously. What would have bben the year when suspender belts finally gave up to the rise of the mini-skirt in Keighley? I guess about 1964 in Oxford.


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: Fay
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 09:56 AM

Charming.


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: GUEST,Kit
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 10:05 AM

Do people agree that there are likely to be differences from one club to another based on the typical repertoire and style of the club?

For example, there is a club local to me (North Yorkshire) where the singing (about 40% of the evening) consists largely of industrial revolution workers' songs and similar - most of the singers, and a good proportion of the attendees, are male. But in other clubs where the focus of the evening's music is different, you can find more women singing than men... It all depends.

(Also, of course, it is always harder to gain the confidence to join in a chorus with a group whose voices are in a very different range than your own, just because you *will* stand out...)

My two penn'orth

Kit


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 10:07 AM

It was.


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 10:08 AM

My "it was", by the way, was addressed to Fay, not Guset Kit


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: JudeL
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 10:13 AM

Following on this thing about differences in repetoires. These are my impressions and I admit they are just impressions. There are a number of male singers who'se repetoires appear to consist almost entirely of sea shanties with a few sea songs thrown in. You don't tend to get women with that sort of rep. There are a lot of comedy songs for women to sing, and they are often ridiculing or getting the better of men. A lot of the songs for men are active songs dealing with the work that they do. Women often sing (re-active) songs about dealing with the consequences of the aftermath of mens decisions, either having been used, left behind while he goes to fight or work or been transported. Men tend to sing fewer ballads than women. Please note, just because a song is a ballad does not mean it is romantic!

On the balance of participation, it depends what sort of a place it is and if it's a singaround or a tune session. Tune sessions, especially the "irish" type do seem to me to be mostly men, especially when they are held in dingy, smoky tap rooms of pubs. Singarounds seem mostly to be about equal men & women.


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: Watson
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 10:14 AM

Guset Kit Greg?
Is that some sort of DiY underwear?


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 10:17 AM

Sorry Watson, my typing always derterirates wen I'm thinking about underware.


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 10:18 AM

I never wore suspenders - have I missed something?
I thought wearing pleated skirts and bobbles on my shoes was bad enough...


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: JudeL
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 10:22 AM

Who says women don't wear suspenders anymore?


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 10:23 AM

That George Michael's Greek isn't he, El Greko?


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 10:26 AM

I only said they appeared to have stopped wearing suspenders by 1964/65ish in Oxford. My researches weren't as extensive as I would have liked, but I did what I could. It wasnt so easy to get research grants in those days.


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: Pied Piper
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 10:28 AM

Greetings, Gentles and Ladies Men

   As a person that these days (apart from a few notable exceptions), avoids Folk clubs like the Plague, can I say that if such a gender imbalance occurs and I suspect that it does, this might be due to the fact that more men are involved in playing music and singing than women generally.
As to why this should be I think It wise to keep my own council.

   All the best


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 10:31 AM

Go on Piedy - spoil yourself. tell us.....


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 10:34 AM

Here's a thought. Does anyone else find that a bad female singer grates more than a bad male singer? Could be something to do with the pitch? The higher pitch being more intrusive and less ignorable.


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: Beardy
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 10:37 AM

Cyril Tawney should be driven to distraction whenever possible...and as often. Suntrap are great and should be seen when in your area.

Stewart


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: Watson
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 10:39 AM

The folk club I go to most often is run by one man and one woman.
The last guests - Roam - female singer with 3 men.
Before that - Anne Lennox-Martin - solo female singer.
Before that - Rapsquillion - (on the night) 2 men, 2 women.

Guest nights alternate with singers' nights when there is a fairly even split.


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 10:46 AM

Fay – I'm interested by your research and might be able to help. Please drop me a PM sometime if you'd like to converse further.

Greg – I was a regular at your Oxford folk club. My recollections are similar to yours, but there's a point you're missing. Before the old colleges went co-ed, the male-female ratio among Oxford University students was about 10-1. Even counting the non-university students - at the secretarial schools, nursing colleges and so forth - there was still a considerable surplus of males. (Or as we used to say, a shortage of crumpet.) It's hardly surprising that the m/f ratio in student clubs and societies was skewed. But on the other hand, all female singers (and talented ones especially) had considerable scarcity value, and got more attention for that reason.

However, my recollection of other English folk clubs during the sixties and seventies is that women were generally under-represented - as audience members, floor-singers, booked artists and organisers. Although I don't attend clubs so frequently now, recent experience of sessions and singarounds, is that women make up a noticably larger proportion in all categories. I have no theory to explain this, but here is a suggestion.

For most of us, male or female, it takes a bit of nerve to walk into a pub/club, where you know hardly anybody, introduce yourself to all and sundry, and offer to participate in a musical evening. It takes even more nerve to say "I'd like to help run this club", or "I'm a really good singer, give me a booking." In times past, many girls (and especially 'nice' girls) were raised in a way that discouraged them from pushing themselves forward. (They might even be told that it was a bad idea for them to go into pubs at all.)

But that was then. Now, women have become a lot more assertive, which I think is a very good thing. (And I have my wife's permission to say so.)


Wassail!


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 10:48 AM

JudeL, you shouldn't have said that, just as I was starting to forget that Friday evening at the Comfort Hotel....Those in the know will know!

Greg, yes he's a Greek, and I'd give a lot to have George Michael's voice, but no...not that!


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 10:52 AM

This thread is bringing back memories: I dug out the tape I referred to earlier and have it on at the moment, and the first singer on it is the Mike from Northumbria who has just posted here. (You were singing the Three Sailors of Bristol City, by the way,Mike).


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: Jeanie
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 11:03 AM

If you are researching folk clubs of the 60s/70s, Fay, I am not surprised that the women you have interviewed remember the male performers/audience members more than the female ones. As Greg said: "While folk music was possibly the main topic of mutual interest, there were other activities that occupied us." As a for instance, (and this hardly ranks as academic research on my part),in a couple of reminiscing conversations I have had with two male Mudcatters who went to the Hornchurch Folk Club, Essex in the late 60s/early 70s, my abiding memory was of Dominic, the wonderfully handsome hunk who ran the club (he played guitar well too !), whereas the males' instant recall and waxing lyrical was on the subject of the leather hotpants worn by Dominic's girlfriend.

Nor am I surprised that the women that you interviewed, recalling attending folk clubs at that time, "didn't notice a male/female imbalance" and "said there weren't any issues surrounding it". My memory of folk clubs at this time (when I was teenage/early twenties)is that there *were* more males there than females, both as performers and audience. This may or may not be numerically correct ! I was the only girl in a mob of lads who went to Brentwood Folk Club every week in the late 1960's - and I certainly didn't "have any issues" about that - on the contrary !

In the early to mid 1970s in the part of Cornwall I moved to, I think it is true that there were far more male performers than female, both the guest artists and the folk club resident performers and floor singers. Again, as a female singer, I would have been daft to have any "issue" about that !

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: Fay
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 11:20 AM

Sorry, Jeanie, I seem to have been misleading - my interviews have so far all been with men, and if your theory stands up, they should surely have remembered more than the one or two sexy lasses on the scene?


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 11:20 AM

Perhaps they weren't very sexy


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: breezy
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 11:21 AM

it was by a womans fair hand that I was lead, willingly to the Black Horse, Rathbone Place, in 1964.
It was Mary with Peter and |Paul that showed me the light.
I love em.
I gain much pleasure playing for them.
so El Grek, consider yourself well honoured.
so their role includes leading us men to ....this.
Market research shows that Redbourn, Hitchen, waltham abbey, Sharps are run by women.
I love Shiela best.cos she booked El Grk and me for sharps in November
I'm sorry Pied |Piper doesnt go to folk clubs anymore.
Ours is friendly, fun and we have the best artistes appearing.But we dont do many tunes! unless by prior arrangement!!


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 11:42 AM

Folk clubs these days seem fairly even numbers, though I imagine they vary. Back in the 60s? That's a long time ago, and I wasn't counting. Heritage was an odd one, since Oxford University in those days hade a lot more men than women, and at least officially it was university club. But there still seem to have been a fair number of women there, including guest performers.

Now sessions, that's a different matter. My impression is they tend to be heavily male dominated, this being an aspect of the pub culture, and the fact they are normally pub based. (An effect of the bizarre legal situation in England which penalises live music in any other setting even more heavilybthan in pubs, as those who have been keeping up with the PEL business will appreciate.)


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: SarahC
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 11:47 AM

Never noticed very many female musicians though! Maybe more now than there used to be. Maybe because sessions are in pubs which has always been a male environment and it is very rare to have a partner who will willingly sit through hours of sessions when they don't play, therefore women musicians have to go alone which has caused some comment in the past.

Just my experience.

Cheers
Sarah


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: Sooz
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 11:59 AM

Has this thread got anything to do with today's date? (It can't be serious surely)


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 12:15 PM

Breezy: when we come to your club you can have tunes by the furlong!Promise!
On the thread topic: I well remember the sixties and early seventies. There were fewer women singers around in my (then) neck of the woods - Manchester and later Hull. I never felt in folk clubs that I was marginalised. Rather, I felt supported by my colleagues in the folk song movement - particularly Jim Carroll, Barry Taylor, Terry Whelan and Harry Boardman who were around at the time. They encouraged my interest and involvement hugely. I can't thank them enough! They were supportive in my endeavours to develop my own repertoire based on my own interests and research within the available literature and recordings.
My view on the prevalence of women singers on the circuit ( or lack of it) at the time ( remember the 60's & 70's? ) is that women who were not in paid employment were expected to spend more time at home if they were married, and look to their husbands' needs. They would have had less time to devote to study /practice / research / performance than men who expected their women-folk to provide their creature comforts.I was fortunate in that I was not married and was able, as a student at University, to devote time to research which a woman with a family wouldn't have been able to do.It enabled me to get experience in running a folk club in a democratic manner too.
When I married and had children - even though I carried on researching songs and never stopped singing, I was much more confined to home. I ran workshops at home, but didn't tour or do any public performances because of the childcare problems that would have created.
Now my children are adults and I have a wonderfully understanding partner who shares my singing interests I don't have to compromise. Only the day-job which pays the mortgage gets in the way of touring and spreading my enthusiasm for traditional folk-song & music to more people.
So, in a nutshell - women who are mothers generally do not travel to distant gigs. Women who are wives have to negotiate with their menfolk if they want to travel to perform.( One assumes men who are husbands do the same...) Women who are wage-earners have to consider whether gigs are too far to travel to. ( Again this applies to men.)


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: JennyO
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 12:20 PM

Well maybe it has. Just reading the thread title made me bristle.

Here in Sydney, Sandra runs The Loaded Dog, Sydney's biggest acoustic folk club, and I run North By Northwest Folk Club, another successful folk club which I started over 5 years ago. And I sing.
Our audiences would be about 50/50 men and women, and the same goes for performers.

Jenny


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: Clean Supper
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 12:22 PM

Thinking about the relative numbers of men and women and their roles in sessions and the folk scene in general, I first thought there was some imbalance in favour of men in the places I have been and I thought about the possibility that they might have been in fact just another group of people in the world who, though perhaps better politicised than some, are still trying to grow out of well-formed and frankly comfortable and addictive habits. My next thought was that perhaps women are very well represented but my innate self-centredness has led me to not notice the contributions of women to the same extent and only the dominant or ver regular contributors stand out in my memory. Undoubtedly there is some of both.

The issue of who is brave enough to perform without being world-class is an important one. I think it would be of help to a lot of under-represented groups and viewpoints for casual sessions to make a conscious effort to encourage new people up all the time. (I'm trying hard not to link to the Eggs in Sessions thread.)

Incidentally, it reminds me that I heard it said once that men are far more likely than women to think they're good drivers when they're not.


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Subject: RE: womens role in folk clubs
From: Deni-C
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 12:34 PM

For every five male singer/guitarists in our club (The Hyde Folk Club, Plymouth)we have one woman singer. Our committee has three women and four men, which I think is a pretty even mix, although not intended. Only two women play the guitar, but I know a local acoustic guitar club has a high proportion of young female guitrists.

Maybe there are just more men than women looking to go out and sing in the evenings.

D


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