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Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?

Bill@W.Aussie 11 Jan 99 - 11:27 AM
11 Jan 99 - 11:44 AM
Bill@W.Aussie 11 Jan 99 - 11:50 AM
Big Mick 11 Jan 99 - 12:01 PM
Sandy Paton 11 Jan 99 - 01:16 PM
Joe Offer, Midwesterner in California 11 Jan 99 - 02:05 PM
Bruce O. 11 Jan 99 - 02:19 PM
Big Mick 11 Jan 99 - 02:28 PM
Big Mick 11 Jan 99 - 02:30 PM
--seed 11 Jan 99 - 02:33 PM
Jack (Who is called Jack) 11 Jan 99 - 03:21 PM
rick fielding (formerly anonymous) 11 Jan 99 - 04:16 PM
catspaw49 11 Jan 99 - 04:25 PM
Bert 11 Jan 99 - 04:28 PM
Bob Schwarer 11 Jan 99 - 04:39 PM
Ralph Butts 11 Jan 99 - 05:10 PM
another folkie for Pete 11 Jan 99 - 05:14 PM
Steve Latimer 11 Jan 99 - 05:21 PM
John Hindsill 11 Jan 99 - 08:28 PM
dwditty 11 Jan 99 - 08:31 PM
Allan S, 11 Jan 99 - 08:39 PM
Barry Finn 11 Jan 99 - 08:42 PM
Sandy Paton 11 Jan 99 - 09:56 PM
John Hindsill 11 Jan 99 - 10:24 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 11 Jan 99 - 10:30 PM
Barry Finn 11 Jan 99 - 10:45 PM
Don Meixner 11 Jan 99 - 10:55 PM
Bo 12 Jan 99 - 12:59 AM
Art Thieme 12 Jan 99 - 01:09 AM
catspaw49 12 Jan 99 - 03:50 AM
Frank in the swamps 12 Jan 99 - 06:41 AM
Bert 12 Jan 99 - 09:25 AM
Zorro 12 Jan 99 - 09:34 AM
The Shambles 12 Jan 99 - 09:40 AM
Jack (Who is called Jack) 12 Jan 99 - 10:39 AM
rick fielding 12 Jan 99 - 12:07 PM
Aldus 12 Jan 99 - 12:35 PM
A former Torontonian 12 Jan 99 - 01:21 PM
Dan Keding 12 Jan 99 - 08:17 PM
Sandy Paton 12 Jan 99 - 09:04 PM
Roger in Baltimore 12 Jan 99 - 11:39 PM
CW Hose 13 Jan 99 - 12:04 AM
Big Mick 13 Jan 99 - 12:16 AM
Barry Finn 14 Jan 99 - 12:18 AM
Dale RoseDale Rose 14 Jan 99 - 01:46 AM
Dale RoseDale Rose 14 Jan 99 - 02:16 AM
McMusicMcMusic 14 Jan 99 - 02:18 AM
Steve ParkesSteve Parkes 14 Jan 99 - 05:56 AM
catspaw49catspaw49 14 Jan 99 - 07:51 AM
Jack (Who is called Jack) 14 Jan 99 - 05:11 PM
The Shambles 14 Jan 99 - 06:43 PM
Sandy Paton 14 Jan 99 - 06:53 PM
rick fielding 14 Jan 99 - 08:53 PM
14 Jan 99 - 09:04 PM
Sandy Paton 15 Jan 99 - 12:24 AM
Steve Parkes 15 Jan 99 - 03:40 AM
catspaw49 15 Jan 99 - 07:32 AM
John Twomey, Providence jmt7@msn.com 15 Jan 99 - 05:09 PM
Dave T 15 Jan 99 - 09:44 PM
Susan A-R 15 Jan 99 - 11:52 PM
wysiwyg 01 Sep 01 - 01:20 AM
Thomas the Rhymer 01 Sep 01 - 02:07 AM
GUEST 01 Sep 01 - 11:20 AM
DMcG 01 Sep 01 - 11:57 AM
chip a 01 Sep 01 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,Les/ Manchester uk 02 Sep 01 - 04:49 AM
Mr Red 02 Sep 01 - 09:59 AM
Clinton Hammond 02 Sep 01 - 10:14 AM
Art Thieme 02 Sep 01 - 10:27 AM
CRANKY YANKEE 02 Sep 01 - 12:16 PM
John P 02 Sep 01 - 01:01 PM
marty D 02 Sep 01 - 01:15 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 02 Sep 01 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,chrisj 02 Sep 01 - 11:57 PM
DonMeixner 03 Sep 01 - 11:12 AM
Biskit 03 Sep 01 - 12:54 PM
Big Tim 03 Sep 01 - 03:41 PM
ard mhacha 03 Sep 01 - 05:42 PM
toadfrog 03 Sep 01 - 07:29 PM
pastorpest 03 Sep 01 - 07:59 PM
GUEST,harryrages@onetel.net.uk 04 Sep 01 - 07:39 PM
Uncle_DaveO 04 Sep 01 - 08:20 PM
Aidan Crossey 06 Sep 01 - 05:31 AM
English Jon 06 Sep 01 - 06:02 AM
Aidan Crossey 06 Sep 01 - 06:52 AM
English Jon 06 Sep 01 - 07:08 AM
Aidan Crossey 06 Sep 01 - 07:24 AM
GeorgeH 06 Sep 01 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,Andrea Heinz 14 Mar 05 - 12:02 PM
John MacKenzie 14 Mar 05 - 01:09 PM
PoppaGator 14 Mar 05 - 02:20 PM
Richard Bridge 14 Mar 05 - 03:11 PM
Cool Beans 14 Mar 05 - 03:16 PM
Frankham 14 Mar 05 - 04:37 PM
John MacKenzie 15 Mar 05 - 03:35 AM
Richard Bridge 15 Mar 05 - 04:51 AM
Paco Rabanne 15 Mar 05 - 05:17 AM
Big Al Whittle 15 Mar 05 - 08:08 AM
John MacKenzie 15 Mar 05 - 08:16 AM
John MacKenzie 15 Mar 05 - 08:50 AM
GUEST,Barrie Roberts 15 Mar 05 - 08:57 AM
Big Al Whittle 15 Mar 05 - 09:59 AM
GUEST,Jim 15 Mar 05 - 11:58 AM
ossonflags 15 Mar 05 - 02:36 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 15 Mar 05 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 15 Mar 05 - 07:42 PM
ossonflags 16 Mar 05 - 04:01 AM
GUEST,padgett (at home) 16 Mar 05 - 05:02 AM
freda underhill 16 Mar 05 - 06:56 AM
Paco Rabanne 16 Mar 05 - 06:59 AM
Big Al Whittle 16 Mar 05 - 07:06 AM
mooman 16 Mar 05 - 07:58 AM
GUEST 16 Mar 05 - 11:21 AM
just john 16 Mar 05 - 11:35 AM
GUEST 16 Mar 05 - 12:41 PM
GUEST 16 Mar 05 - 04:49 PM
GUEST 18 Mar 05 - 02:27 PM
Richard Bridge 19 Mar 05 - 03:44 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 19 Mar 05 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,chris 20 Mar 05 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 20 Mar 05 - 01:28 PM
Cool Beans 20 Mar 05 - 05:22 PM
Bill D 20 Mar 05 - 06:43 PM
Col K 20 Mar 05 - 07:27 PM
GUEST,padgett (at home) 21 Mar 05 - 01:39 AM
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Subject: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Bill@W.Aussie
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 11:27 AM

Hi ALL

Who has had the biggest impact, and why?

I'm a Pom living in Australia. (And I'm sorry if it offends anyone) but I'm not usualy a great fan of American stuff. They're normally not better..... They just have more money to advertise and push it forward.

But to me it's still, Woodie Guthrie. What do you think?

Bill


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From:
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 11:44 AM

Really hard to narrow it down to one name. Certainly strong arguments could be made for Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Burl Ives (ask your parents, and their parents)or F J Child.

I'd put my vote in for Alan Lomax, however, for several reasons: Sheer longevity, songs collected (with his dad) that are now part of the repertoire, international influence, (he lived in Britain for a few years and was credited by MacColl as a major influence) introduction to the (folk) masses of several major artists, and sheer force of personality. I never met him, but EVERYONE I've talked to who has, was affected by him.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Bill@W.Aussie
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 11:50 AM

Hi All

I started this thread because of the boring stuff being discussed. The only time I want to know where your from is so that we can gauge opinions based, to some degree, on where your from.

So.............

Last message.

Where are you from?

Bill


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Big Mick
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 12:01 PM

Bill,

I have started to answer this, and your inquiry from the "condom" thread three times. Each time I have had to stop and rethink. I will answer it, but I must think it through. Here are my problems. It depends on how one arrives at "most significant". If body of work still extant and relevant is the criteria, then Gutherie wins, hands down. But I don't think that is comprehensive enough. I would consider artists who rescue a genre from obscurity, dust it off and pass it on to be extremely significant. An example would be O'Riada saving the planxty's of O'Carolan for us today. So I am going to have to think this one through.

Just a comment on your reference to US performers. I am not saying this with any rancor, so please do not take it that way. I feel it is not a necessary distinction in our international online community. While we "Yanks" can be oblivious to the rest of the world, we also have contributed to the folk scene mightily. And the best folkies in the US are not the ones with the biggest names and the most money. Consider if you will Thieme, the Patons, Bok, Muir, Trickett,Milner and so on. Each of our neighbors here on the 'Cat can contribute names of the best from the country they come from.

I really enjoy your posts,my friend, and this is going to be an interesting thread.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 01:16 PM

I'll go along with the anonymous poster above, and vote for Alan Lomax. His influence went beyond his collecting and publishing American traditional music; he also was a major factor in getting Columbia to issue the "Folk and Primitive Music of the World" series (splendid folk music from Italy, Yugoslavia, etc., as well as the English, Irish, and Scottish material now released by Rounder). Without him, I wonder how much of the BBC recorded programmes library would exist, since he was influential in getting them to sponsor collecting by Seamus Ennis and Sean O'Boyle in Ireland, Hamish Henderson in Scotland, Peter Kennedy in England, and others, including MacColl and Lloyd. As a result of his work we have the superb Caedmon series, plus the Southern Journey American material that is now seeing new life through Rounder, (bless 'em all).

However, I'd like to pay homage to Cecil Sharp as well, for his collecting and publishing folksong and dance lore in England as well as in Appalachia. Hius pioneer work had a profound influence on almost every collector of American folksong since. But I realize this is an international forum, and his influence elsewhere was probably less significant. Child, by the way, did his work in the last century, not this one. Good idea, anonymous, wrong century.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Joe Offer, Midwesterner in California
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 02:05 PM

I could take my life in my hands and make a case for Peter, Paul, and Mary; the Kingston Trio; Joan Baez; and Bob Dylan - they certainly made more money and touched more people than any of the others. I could pick the Lomaxes and Creightons and Fowkes and Randolph and Sandburg and their ilk, but Greenhaus has a much more comprehensive collection - and collectors don't really touch the hearts of the people (even if we like Greenhaus a whole lot). I could pick Woody Guthrie or Huddie Ledbetter, but they gave us mostly their own songs and performances and touched mostly the first half of the century. Burl Ives was certainly popular and successful, but he always seemed too commercial - even more than PP&M and the other 60's folkies.
I'd like to be equitable and name at least one person from other continents (I did name Canadians), but I can't really think of anyone who has had the universal impact that the North Americans have had.
I think the only choice is Pete Seeger. He has had his feet in both halves of the century, and he has exposed America and the world to a broad spectrum of folk music. He has given us traditional folk songs, the best of the songwriters of this century, and music from all over the world. I think I could also say that it was Pete Seeger, more than anyone else this century, who added a political aspect to folk music - whether that's good or not is another question, but I think it's the truth that it's Pete who brought politics to folk music and folk music to politics. I think his music has told the story of this century.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 02:19 PM

While I'm not claiming him to be the most significant of the century, I think the folklorist Kenneth Goldstein deserves a lot of credit for getting English, Scottish, and Irish folk singers on phono records for Americans to hear in the 1950's and 60's.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Big Mick
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 02:28 PM

Damn, Joe, you beat me to it. I went away from this machine and couldn't get this thread out of my mind. I was coming back to write a very similar message. In my own favorite genre, Irish music, I always hate it when a potential customer says, "no rebel songs". I always turn down the gig. How can one sing Irish folk music, without the politics that inspired a great deal of it. Bards throughout the ages, and in every land, have always used their abilities/talents to affect the ideas and politics of the times. And it was Pete, picking up where Woody laid off, that really encouraged this form of political expression. And when one considers the 20th century, who has done more, whether with written lyrics, the songs her performs, the music he published and continues to publish to preserve old forms as well as to encourage the newer forms than Pete Seeger. The reason that I go with him over Gutherie is that Gutherie did his own stuff, but Seeger reached out to all forms, and preservation. Now I would go with Lomax for a close second, but for the very reason you suggested, I couldn't make him #1.

There are so many great artists performing around the world, but for the one that has influenced the various genres on a more universal basis, It has got to be Pete.

All the best,

Mick Lane


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Big Mick
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 02:30 PM

I just re-read what I wrote. It should have said, "Bless you, Joe". Sorry Joe, got carried away.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: --seed
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 02:33 PM

I'd have an awful time justifying any single choice--Seeger is certainly an important one, and Guthrie and Leadbelly and the Carters and Jimmie Rodgers, and because of the dominant place bluegrass music has in the contemporary folk scene, Bill Monroe. --seed


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Jack (Who is called Jack)
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 03:21 PM

This is hard to answer because of the term folkie. It makes me want to exclude the likes of long time professional recording artists and songwriters like Dylan or Baez, as well as professional curators like the Lomaxes. I know its irrational but I have an inborn romantic bias towards recognizing the amatuer over the professional in this area. For this reason I submit for consideration Harry Smith, compiler of the Anthology of American Folk Music. Granted his efforts are far less comprehensive than the work of the Lomaxes and their counterparts around the world. Granted also is the fact that Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger did far more to keep the folk process and folk traditions alive via performance than Smith. And still further I grant that better, more complete collections and better scholarship have been made. Yet the Anthology was unique in that it represented the first easy, and perhaps still best port of entry through which a person to make their initial discovery of the incredibly wide, deep and rich tapestry of American Folk Music.

I realize that this vote is intrinsically biased towards American Folk, but only because thats where I come from and what I know best. Its not out of any intential disregard or lack of recognition of the larger world of folk music and art.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: rick fielding (formerly anonymous)
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 04:16 PM

Ahh, to have Sandy Paton agree with my choice (Lomax) is praise indeed, as I believe Sandy knew him for many years. However, I think Burl Ives must rank higher than he probably will, for a number of reasons. It's been pointed out that he was really "commercial", a la Peter Paul and Mary, but wouldn't that be the "later" Burl? All the old 78s that my parents had,seem to have been pretty straight ahead trad, eg. no extra instruments, voices, or "arrangements". Even my wife who prefers Zeppelin's "Hangman" to Leadbelly's remembers hearing old Burl's "foggy Dew etc." while growing up in Glasgow. I'm not saying he was "the best" anything, (actually, once I'd heard a few others ,I found him boring,)but as far as reaching a huge number of people, he's right up there.

By the way Sandy, my anonymity was an oversight caused by the stress of figuring out the html codes. Putting the eminent Mr. Child into the twentieth century is unforgiveable.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 04:25 PM

What a great thread...I can't stop thinking about it. Everybody has made great points and it's hard to do this in any context and not feel you've overlooked someone.

But Joe, you are right on the money. Pete Seeger is the "thread" of folk music. Maybe some would have never heard of him {or Woody,Lomax,et al.} were it not for PPM, Kingston Trio, etc. But you have to draw the line somewhere and the "washed and unwashed" of folk owe him a lot. Sorry, now I'm getting wordy.

I vote with Joe. catspaw


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Bert
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 04:28 PM

I've got to vote for Lonnie Donnegan.
With hit after hit he introduced a whole generation of Brits to the joys of American Folk Song.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Bob Schwarer
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 04:39 PM

I'll cast my vote for Moses Asch. Think about it. The 2168 records released by Folkways included music from all over the world. Just think what we would have missed without his efforts.

Bob S.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Ralph Butts
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 05:10 PM

I guess I'd have to go with Seeger, too, though for years I've wanted to stuff his mouth with flannel.

He's certainly enriched the scene with lots of tunes, images and styles, and can therefore be forgiven his politics, "feelingoodallthetimeness", and killing the audience participation goose.

He got lots of us singing......Tiger


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: another folkie for Pete
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 05:14 PM


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 05:21 PM

This thread asks about the most significant folkie of the 20th century. I can see where Guthrie, Seeger and Leadbetter have to be considered, but I can't see any of them being more significant to the genre than Bob Dylan. It can be argued that he moved away from folk when he went electric, but the success of his work caused millions of people to explore other folk music. It also paved the way for a much greater acceptance of folk music, creating an eager audience for many artists who otherwise may have been playing wonderful music in their kitchens.

I am a lover of many kinds of music, but if it weren't for Bob I would never have been compelled to find music by Woody, Leadbelly, Pete Seeger, Bill Monroe etc. and I don't think that Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Stan Rogers, Gordon Lightfoot(yes I am Canadian) Peter, Paul and Mary etc. would have ever found the airwaves had it not been for Bob creating this market. I will not argue that Bob is the best folkie, but most significant? Absolutely.

Steve Latimer


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: John Hindsill
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 08:28 PM

As far as performers go, hands down it is the Kingston Trio. Yes, they were not the most accomplished musicians; yes, they were quite apolitical (at least until John Stewart); and yes they homogenized folkmusic; but the trio made acceptable the music that enjoyed a tremendous popularity for nearly ten years, and which continues forty years later,

They led the way for PP&M, the Limeliters, etc. The more serious folkies, the Carolyn Hesters, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Frank Proffitt all profited (pardon the pun) from the interest they sparked.

Are they my favorite group, not by a long shot...but thank heaven for them.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: dwditty
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 08:31 PM

Hey, what about Box Car Willie?


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Allan S,
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 08:39 PM

I must vote for Pete Segar Tho I cant stand the Buggers politics. groups I like the New Lost City Ramblers


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 08:42 PM

Ah Sandy, Allan Lomax was the first person to go through my head too. His collecting in the Carribean both songs, folklore & games, his work on the plains & mountains, his collecting & exposure of surviving slave songs from the Georgia Sea Islands & the southern coast line & outer islands, his collecting in the southern US & their prisons lead to almost singlehandly saving the worksongs from those times & places (the few other collecters I think would also owe Lomax a bit of thanks for paving that road). His collecting in Scotland, England & Ireland, IMHO helped to start an international revivel. Although without the likes of Ennis, MacColl, Kennedy & others he wouldn't had any doors opened to him it was what he did afterwards that really had an effect. I just yesterday bought Stuart Frank's "The Book Of Pirate Songs" in the acknowledgements you'll find Lomax as you would in Jackson's collection of Prison songs & Abraham's collection of West Indian shanties. Hugill & Sandburg both refer or talk about Lomax in their collections as well as MacColl in his book on Traveler's songs. He's mentioned in more modern collections than anyone else that I can think of. His work with the Archives was monumental. Above BSeed mentions Leadbelly & Seeger, Big Mick mentions Seeger, Sandy mentions Henderson, O'Boyle, Kennedy, Ennis, MacColl & Lloyd, these were all people that worked, collected or somehow collaborated with Lomax. I don't think that there's one person in the last 100 yrs of folk music who's work has had more of a far reaching affect than Allen's. He's got my vote & admiration. Barry


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 09:56 PM

Right on, Barry! I've been thinking about some of the other entries. If the question were most significant folk performer, I'd certainly give my vote to Pete Seeger. But a lot of what Pete Seeger sang for us he learned from the Archive of Folk Song recordings that Charles and Ruth Crawford Seeger were transcribing from... you guessed it: Lomax field trips. Leadbelly? How would we ever have heard him without the Lomaxes, father and son, although it's a pretty well-known fact that they exploited him along the way.

Where did the Kingston Trio learn the song that catapulted them into the national limelight? From the Frank Proffitt version of "Tom Dula" that Frank Warner had allowed Alan Lomax to publish in Folksong U.S.A. Lomax recorded blues, hollers, worksongs, ballads, lyrics, shape-note hymns, gospel songs, etc.

Through his field work, his writing, his books, his production of early folksong radio shows (introducing Woody Guthrie, Cisco Houston, Burl Ives, etc. to a national audience), his remarkable ability to convince others to help finance what he thought was important, Alan was ultimately responsible for the work of almost every other person/persons suggested by contributors to this thread. That explains my vote.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: John Hindsill
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 10:24 PM

Following up and amplifying my previous answer--the question is not the best, not the most original, not the one that made the most money, but the most "significant". As far as "performers" go, I stand by my selection. For whatever reason the Kingston Trio did make the breakthrough. Had it not been for the blacklist, it might have been the Weavers six or seven years earlier, but, alas it wasn't. [I would prefer it was.] In much the same way, Harry Belafonte popularized calypso music, a short lived phenomenon, but did he do it best? I think not. So, too KT.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 10:30 PM

I'd have to go with Pete too, even though there are others I prefer to him. (Although I like him, and am happy to have seen him in concert.) His influence is everywhere, and he made a great many people consider their own regional folk music. People would listen to him, and like it, and say "Gee, didn't gramma and grampa and old uncle Jim used to sing old songs about this area and what the people used to do around here?" So in that respect, I'd have to put him as most influential. Woody Guthrie might fall under this category too.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 10:45 PM

Yes Sandy!!! Almost into his 90's & still out in the musical forefront of what he calls Global Styles & his research into language-song-culture, Lomax is now as he was 70 yrs ago in a field with few others sure to be followed. Check out this site. Barry

http://worldmusic.miningco.com/msub30.htm


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Don Meixner
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 10:55 PM

Hard to choose just one. So I won't.

Carl Sandburg, Cecil Sharpe, Allan Lomax, Ferde Grofe, and P. Domain.

Don Meixner


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Bo
Date: 12 Jan 99 - 12:59 AM

My first thought was Pete Seeger, who himself was never alone in his love of folk. I think you have to understand these people as families, closely tied dreamers.

To talk of Seeger in isolation from the rest of the Weavers or from Lomax, or from Guthrie might elevate him but isolate him as well. Even If his were our most seen efforts I dont think his was a solitary strength.

I'd like to make mention of

Christy Moore, over in the UK Edith Fowke,Heather Creighton, Ian & Silvia in Canada Stan Rogers though he is not strictly folk (My Canadian Bias if you will) I also think Paul Robeson should be mentioned in these circles.

And I know it's trite but 'Mum', 'Dad' or '____' whoever was close enough to you folks to sing in the car on holidays or in the kitchen. Especially if they really sang well and loved what they were doing.

Sorry if this scuttles the debate but I think that we at the media-crazy end of the century have huge problems understanding the strikes, depression, wars etc... of the earlier century. Significance is certainly not measured in album sales alone nor need it be tied specifically to music. What do people think of the folk elements of protest to warfare in our century, the support civil rights got from gospel. Someone mentioned they didn't like Pete Seeger's politics, well dont forget some of the things he lived through\saw.

bo


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 12 Jan 99 - 01:09 AM

In keeping with my reputation for vassscccilation & mispellling stufff) I cannot settle on one person!

As a performer who brought the music to so very many, I must choose Pete.

As the collector who brought so much to Pete Seeger, I must choose A.Lomax.

As the one person who brought Southern Appalachian mountain music (and the MOUNTAIN DULCIMER) to prominence I must choose Jean Ritchie.

As the person who set the standard for writing songs that were most like the story songs & traditional stylings, Woody Guthrie is the one.

As the revival singer of traditional (and other) songs who is to my mind the most significant, I must choose Michael Cooney.

As the single person who was BOTH the academician as well as being a wonderful purveyer of the music for so very many, I must choose the recently retired former head of the ARCHIVE OF AMERICAN FOLKSONG At The Library Of Congress, Joe Hickerson.

As the most significant person for me, personally, I must choose Sandy Paton! (Caroline & David & Robin Paton & Lee Haggerty also.

The blues singer who most communicated with me was Lightnin' Hopkins.

The elderly mentor who influenced me most is Paul Durst, the totally unknown Wobbly hobo singer and fiddler I tape recorded back in 1960---when he was 93. Paul, if he is still out there riding the shiny irons, is now 132 years old...

Ewan MacColl & Bert Lloyd & Martyn Wyndham-Read & Lou Killen & Alan Mills & Johnny Carignan--all incandescent singers (except Johnny--a, no, "THE" fiddler)

The guitarists whose styles were the most accessible, and most influenced the pickers of this century were, for me my cohorts, Elezabeth Cotten and Mississippi John Hurt.

And there are so very many others----the forementioned folks are only the tip o' the iceburg.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Jan 99 - 03:50 AM

After reading your comments 3 times Art, I think I get your point!!! But you are right. I keep reading these posts and find myself agreeing with everybody (though I still vote with Joe) and that's what makes folk so great.

I was also interested in your comments regarding Jean. Segments of folk also have their "champions" and each of them is arguably the most significant. Interestingly, I bet all of them would attribute some of the credit or whatever to someone else; in Jean's case, perhaps John Jacob Niles.

I wonder who Lomax, Seeger, etc. might pick? This is a great thread...I'm going to be boring some people around here for some time to come. catspaw


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Frank in the swamps
Date: 12 Jan 99 - 06:41 AM

I'd like to nominate W.C. Handy, who brought an obscure Black American style to light.. the Blues. Not only did he elevate this musics profile, but his early arrangements/compositions were important contributions to the creation of jazz, an "art music" which still has direct links to it's folk roots.

Frank i.t.s.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Bert
Date: 12 Jan 99 - 09:25 AM

The problem with reading this thread is that one tends to agree with every posting. So I propose that we change the title to...

Most significant Folkies of 20th Century?

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Zorro
Date: 12 Jan 99 - 09:34 AM

Pete Seeger!


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Jan 99 - 09:40 AM

Victor Jara


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Jack (Who is called Jack)
Date: 12 Jan 99 - 10:39 AM

How about a Hall of fame ballot like they have in baseball.

Everyone gets one ballot and can include up to 10 names, although less than 10 is permissible. Criteria for admission is appearance on 75% of the ballots cast in a single election, i.e. 3 out of four voters put the person down on the ballot.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: rick fielding
Date: 12 Jan 99 - 12:07 PM

To catspaw49. Betcha' dollars to donuts that both Pete and Alan would pick Lomax!


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Aldus
Date: 12 Jan 99 - 12:35 PM

There are many who come to mind. However, I don"t feel that anyone even comes closeto Bob Dylan. He made us aware of the power of music in a way that few have, before or since. He also taught us that "folk" music is modern, relevent and part of our world in way that much other music is not. He also, I thought, ended that foolish and useless arguement about what is "Folk". God Bless Bob. I would also have to suggest Dr. Helen Creighton (not Heather) as someone to whom many of us owe a great debt in preserving much of the music of Nova Scotia. Cecil Sharpe...yes,yes, yes....near the top of my list as well. I hate to end on a negative note,.. but I am surprised to see Alan Lomax mentioned. I think what ever good he may have done has been tarnished by his relentless exploitation of blues and traditional musicians.

Thanks, great thread

Aldus


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Subject: To Rick Fielding
From: A former Torontonian
Date: 12 Jan 99 - 01:21 PM

I read somewhere else in Mudcat that you host an acoustic music show in Toronto. I escaped From T.O. to Whitby, I have listened to the CJRT folk show for many years. It has introduced me to a lot of great music. I must admit that I preferred it when Joe Lewis hosted, I found it to have a broader scope of folk music.

I would certainly like to check out your show, when and where is it on?

Steve Latimer


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Dan Keding
Date: 12 Jan 99 - 08:17 PM

I agree with many of the names so far, especially what you mentioned Art. One aspect of this is the unsung (pardon the pun) hero. This is the person you first heard who turned you on to folk music. Maybe it was one of the greats already mentioned or maybe it was a singer in a folk bar. Perhaps it was a music teacher who loved folk music and played it for their class. Maybe a song leader at camp. This would be each of ours most significant and thank the Lord they came around when they did. Dan


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 12 Jan 99 - 09:04 PM

For Dan Keding: Of course you're right, Dan. Caroline's introduction to the music was an enlightened 7th grade English teacher who played Carl Sandberg records. She recalls hearing "I'm sad and I'm lonely, my heart it will break. My sweetheart loves another and I wish I was dead." She was struck by the realism, especially compared with "I'm gonna buy a paper doll that I can call my own..." and comparable drivel.

My own introduction was a guy I worked the harvest with, although he didn't know they were supposed to be called "folksongs." They were just the songs he knew. We sang together, with me doing the tenor harmony, from the Larned wheat fields to the Nebraska border. Later I met the guy who told me they were folksongs, but, shoot, he'd been to college.

For Aldus: You make a very good point. If we were voting for the most ethical folkie of the century, I'd have to change my vote. I've heard horror stories for years about how Lomax treated informants and ,yes, actually exploited them (notice my earlier reference to the exploitation of Leadbelly). I even have a few confirmed tales myself, but would not choose to relate them here. The ethical question, however, does not detract from the tremendous and undeniable influence of Lomax's work. He may have taken advantage of his blues singers, etc., but without his field recordings, we might never have heard them at all. A damnable situation, perhaps, but a realistic one.

But , for heaven's sake, don't give up your ethical position; it's a worthy one!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 12 Jan 99 - 11:39 PM

Keeping with my USA chauvanism, Harry Smith is not the most significant Folkie, but perhaps one of the most overlooked. I recently purchased his "Anthology Of American Folk Music." I was stunned by how many songs I knew (but done by someone else).

I was wafted back to the early '60's, when the "folk scare' had just begun (for me, at least). Harry collected many artists who were then "rediscovered" by others and then recorded. He helped capture the period that followed Lomax and inspired many to save music whose practitioners were nearing the end of their years.

I think this thread speaks clearly that it takes many hands to achieve the task of preserving a music that is often unrecorded, unwritten, and otherwise undocumented. As for Lomax and his faults, there are not many angels out there. Most of us toads have warts, but we keep croaking anyway, and out croaking is important.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: CW Hose
Date: 13 Jan 99 - 12:04 AM

Bob Dylan has certainly touched more lives or broke more ground in the second half of the century than any musician I can think of, save the Beatles and Elvis. No one wrote like Bob Dylan. No one combined poetry, music and social commentary as poignantly as Dylan. He's an American Original, kind of an abstract Shakespeare.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Big Mick
Date: 13 Jan 99 - 12:16 AM

Yep, Dan, you have shown your wisdom again. I will amend my nomination (which I still stick with) to include my family, grandparents and all the old Mick's that sat and had sessions and let a little red headed kid sit and soak it up.

God be good to 'em.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 14 Jan 99 - 12:18 AM

On the Lomax thing. Is there any who know that someone in particular that's complained that they were expolited in an unfare way. Muddy Waters, Vera Hall, Jelly Rool Morton, W.C. Handy & many many more were first recorded &/or exposed (expolited?) by Lomax & made a living by playing what they love, what would've been worst is that they played some roadside juke joint till death, starvation & obscurity took them & buried them unknown along side of their music. As far as Leadbelly doing a bit of driving, good for him, I'm sure he felt a hell of alot better off riding with the Lomaxs rather than riding in Bud Russell's wagon "Black Betty". I don't think the any of the cons regreted him coming in to record & offer them a reprieve from the sun to sit & sing, have a smoke & look at someone who thought that what they did was worth more than a lashing. I don't think that many realize that in those days Lomax was taking quite a risk to himself & also to the people that didn't have much a little meant a lot, even if only a cup of coffee. Many, in the world of music, have rode the coat tails of others to notoriety but none have given back as much to those same people & cultures. Woody was first pushed into light by Lomax, Seeger sang his way to fame on songs that Lomax collected, Ennis & MacColl got jobs putting folk music on the BBC with the help of Lomax, Leadbelly got from prison to stage with his help, when Bessie Jones wanted to give her culture exposure she was assisted & sheltered in New York City by ....yup, Lomax, ask the present day Georgia Sea Island Singers how they feel about the name Lomax. Sandy, even though (& appropriately) you won't say what, I'd like to hear it later (maybe at NEFFA), it may take him a peg or so down in my eyes but that's not to much when I've got him pegged for doing so much. Barry on the defense


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Dale RoseDale Rose
Date: 14 Jan 99 - 01:46 AM

It is difficult to discuss the Lomax influence (and considerable it is) without bringing up the negatives as well. I am trying to choose my words carefully, and about the things I know best. Take his Southern Journey, Volume 7, Ozark Frontier as an example. Anyone with any expertise in Ozark Music of the era which he recorded could tell you that he did not necessarily choose the very best examples to record. In fact, it would seem that in some cases, the poorer the playing, the more likely he was to choose it as representative, which it wasn't.

A case in point is the fiddle playing of Apsie Morrison. In his prime, Morrison and his twin brother, Abbie, were truly fantastic. Check this out on Echoes of the Ozarks, Volume 1, County 3506. Listen to their renditions of Dry and Dusty and Ozark Waltz, recorded in 1930 when the brothers were 53 and in the prime of their lives~~pure magic. Then listen to the songs recorded by Lomax, but please do not accept these examples of an old man long past his prime as indicative of what is considered to be good fiddle playing in Arkansas or for that matter, even a small fraction of what Apsie Morrison was capable of long years before. If Lomax was trying to honor Morrison for his achievements, OK, I can accept that, but please don't tell me that it was because he thought it was good. I mean absolutely no disrespect to Apsie Morrison; I truly love his playing, and deeply regret that he and his brother were not recorded more extensively due to the Depression.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Dale RoseDale Rose
Date: 14 Jan 99 - 02:16 AM

To illustrate, here is a clip of Dry and Dusty compliments of CD Universe. I could not find The Scotch Musick, My Prettiest Little Gal is Gone, or Nancy's Got a Pretty Dress On from Ozark Frontier, recorded in 1959. A number of songs from the album are sampled on the various sites, but none of his. For something quite nice from the album though, check out Bookmiller Shannon on frailing banjo, playing Buffalo Gals compliments of Music Boulevard. He is another performer who I missed meeting by a few years, but whose influence is still being felt here in the Ozarks, as is Morrison's. About a year ago, I was fortunate to hear (and tape) Richard Morrison playing Dry and Dusty. It was a stirring moment~~doesn't have all that much to do with Lomax, but worth mentioning, I think.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: McMusicMcMusic
Date: 14 Jan 99 - 02:18 AM

I would have to split my vote 3 ways: Woody Guthrie, Pete Seegar, and Ewan McColl.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Steve ParkesSteve Parkes
Date: 14 Jan 99 - 05:56 AM

In my hippie days (mostly Saturdays & Sundays in '69-'70) this would have been considered a question that may not have a meaning. It's a very Western Hemisphere sort of question, isn't it? I apologise for getting philosophical, but it doesn't do any harm in small doses.

Dear old Alex Campbell used to say 'This is a folk song, and if you folk don't sing, it ain't gonna work!'. Folk music isn't like, say, opera or pop, which is created and presented to us. It's something that lives in us and propagates through us; all the songs and tunes were once written by someone, but then they took on a life of their own and became part of the tradition. However long you spend singing or playing to yourself in your bedroom, however much you love your music, it will never get out and go anywhere until you bring it to us. What I'm trying to say is that we are just as important for listening to Folk as are the Lomaxes, the Guthries, the Sharps, the Coppers – everyone is a part of the process, whether we create music, perform it or just love it – it wouldn't work if just one of these things is missing. If I can borrow a well-known analogy, it's like sowing seed: when everything comes together just so, the corn grows. I'm certainly not trying to deny the importance of individuals in all this, but it might make better sense to think of 'who were' rather than 'who was'.

Ah, I wish I had the Gift of the Gab like some of you guys! I'm sorry you have to put up with my rambling and incoherence just so I can share my thoughts.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: catspaw49catspaw49
Date: 14 Jan 99 - 07:51 AM

Geez, what a GREAT thread!!!! I keep reading along and saying, "Yeah, good point" to damn near everything. Virtually every post gets me off to another line of thinking. Steve, your point on were/was is well taken and is the thing I was trying to say earlier...we "owe a lot, to a lot." Plus the Lomax debate {both sides won on my scorecard}, influence of teachers, camp, family, etc. Every poster has made excellent points!

Maybe we go with Jack's Hall of Fame thing. Or maybe a category thing within it. {In which case I'd also like to nominate the hundreds of Irish Americans who kept the Hammered Dulcimer alive in this country} Maybe we should nominate The Mudcat here.

Or maybe we just need to keep singing the songs and telling the tales and playing the tunes and passing on the heritage that has been delivered to us...adding as we go.

GREAT THREAD!!! catspaw


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Jack (Who is called Jack)
Date: 14 Jan 99 - 05:11 PM

This is not intended to offend.

But of all the performers/writers/composers mentioned on this thread, the one that never caught on with me is Bob Dylan, and I can never really explain why. I know that he's a folkie's folkie, having heard people I really love and respect-like Ritchie Havens and others-speak in awestruck reverent tones about his songs. I know that for many many people that got pulled into a love of folk music during the '60s, Dylan was and remains one of the main beacons that drew them in. He was a good and prolific songwriter with and extensive discography. Yet for all the testimony I've heard from so many sources touting Dylan as one of the "Great Minds and Influences of our Time", I've never felt all that influenced, by him or his music, at least not in the way that I've been influenced by others like Rev. Gary Davis, or Jean Ritchie, or Ewan McColl, or Woodie Guthrie. Somehow I never feel with Dylan the kind of thing I feel when I listen to an old Recording of Tommy Johnson singing Big Road Blues, or Mississipi John Hurt singing just about anything, or when listening to a shape note choir.

Having said that, I wonder whether part of it is due to an iconoclastic streak in my own personality. I hate being told what I'm supposed to like or believe, and Dylan was so adopted as an icon of whatever it was we lived through in the 60's, (revolution, counterculture, awakening or just too many adolescents in a country with too much money at the time. I dunno, it always seemed more conformist than its rhetoric). I've always felt like a character in The Emperors New Clothes with regard to Bob. You know, "The Emperor is wearing his wonderful new garments, but they're magical and can only be seen by the wise. What! You mean YOU can't see them?".

Well No. They may be there but no.

Again, I make no claim that I'm right, its just how I feel.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Jan 99 - 06:43 PM

Thanks for the clips, Dale.

Dry and Dusty it wasn't. Great stuff.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 14 Jan 99 - 06:53 PM

If the objections to Lomax are based on his questionable ethics, the same must be applied to Dylan. Does anyone have time to list all of the the various tunes claimed as "words and music by Bob Dylan" for which he may have made new words, but he certainly had no right to claim the tunes? I'll start the ball rolling with "Nottamun Town," "Patriot Game," and "Leaving of Liverpool." Using a traditional tune for a new set of words is one thing, and quite a traditional activity. Guthrie did it all the time. Claiming ownership of melodies one did not compose, as Dylan did, is, simply put, lying for personal advantage. I find it offensive.

I'm sure this must have been the subject of an earlier thread. Am I right, Joe?

Sandy, the curmudgeon.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: rick fielding
Date: 14 Jan 99 - 08:53 PM

After reading your posting on Dylan's "lying for personal gain", Sandy, I thought I'd take a quick look through some of my vinyl (them's records, youngsters) and hoo-boy! An AWFUL lot of folkies have been doing exactly the same kind of lying! And since the only ones I bothered checking on are folks with "legit" reputations, I've come to the conclusion that Dylan fits right into the tradition. What I doubt I'll be able to find however, is the admition in print that Dylan gave in an early 60s "Sing Out". Roughly quoted he declared to Irwin Silber, "...the tunes have already been out there for a long while...I just pull 'em in..." or something along those lines. My point is, that the record companies and/or publishers did the "claiming". Oh, and the only other folkie to have said in print that he definitely used existing tunes (that I've heard of) was Woody Guthrie. The one song book that I just looked at with Guthrie stuff, said "words and music, Woody Guthrie".


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From:
Date: 14 Jan 99 - 09:04 PM

Re: appropriating melodies---it seems to me that there was a lot of that going around in 50s & 60s. Performers and groups would make a slight change in the melody, almost imperceptably, or rearrange or reword stanzas of P.D. songs and take credit for the song. I believe that many of the top acts often did so. I know that when I cross- refence the songs from my collection (I have 6 - 8 versions of some songs) that the performing group took a credit. His being in the biz, Sandy Paton could probably explain it better than I.

John


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 15 Jan 99 - 12:24 AM

I may be "in the game," but I've never tried to own folk music. Even when Frank Proffitt recorded for me, we only obtained copyrights on songs he had actually written. The traditional stuff was credited to "trad."

Rick is right, however, when he observes that a lot of the big-time folk acts of the great folk-scare era who were recording for major labels were encouraged to claim authorship or, at the least, "arrangement" rights in order to protect the label from lawsuit. Someone once told me how many claims to copyright existed in the Library of Congress' Copyright Office on the ballad of Barbara Allen, but I've forgotten the figure. There are a lot of 'em!

I do recall looking through one of Oscar Brand's books and reading at the bottom of every page that copyright was claimed for "new words and music by Oscar Brand" on such songs as "Yankee Doodle," only I couldn't spot any of the new words and, while I'm not a musical expert, neither could I see much change in the melody. Publisher's choice of self-protection, I assume.

I will admit to having obtained a copyright on a number of Sara Cleveland's versions of her lovely traditional ballads and songs. They were grouped into an "Opus" and filed under one copyright claim. This was done to avoid their being exploited by commercial performers who might perceive their beauty and record them without giving credit to their source. This, of course, after the "Tom Dula" experience of Frank Warner and Frank Proffitt. Proffitt didn't write the song, of course, but the version performed by the Kingston Trio (for which Dave Gard claimed authorship -- and he didn't write it either!) was based on the version Warner had collected from Proffitt in 1938. I was determined that nothing of that sort would happen to Sara Cleveland, if I could do something to avoid it. The decision to do that has never bothered me, since I had no intention of exploiting the material commercially, but was determined that no one else should either.

Here's another interesting example. Jim Waters wrote the tune for "The Great Silkie" that almost everyone knows while he was a student at MIT. Most people have assumed it was a traditional tune, as Pete Seeger did when he put the words to "I Come and Stand at Every Door" to that tune. When Pete learned that Jim had written the tune and assigned the copyright to Folk-Legacy, he immediately arranged for royalties to come to us. No one could have been more honorable! On the other hand, not a penny was ever forthcoming for the Joan Baez recording, even though the introduction to the ballad in her Ballad Book (is that the title?) states that the tune is by a James Waters. Different strokes, folks. That's the way it is in the world of "music as commodity."

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 15 Jan 99 - 03:40 AM

I remember hearing a story about Francis McPeake, who wrote 'Will ye go lassie go'. Joan Baez recorded it, and every year after that he got a royalty cheque. Then one year the cheques stopped. When he queried this, he was told that someone had found an old recording of the McPeakes sinigin the song, which was credited to 'Trad', so - no royalties. (At least they didn't ask for their money back!) He had to explain that he wrote it at a time when it wasn't fashionable to write your own folk songs.

Dave Campbell(Ian Campbell's father) had a similar tale. Alex Campbell (no relation!) heard him sing 'The Dark' and asked him for the words. After Alex recorded the song, Dave got a cheque every year. He said he always meant to tell Alex it was a Trad song and he hadn't actually written it himself, but could never seem to get around to it!

Then there was Al Jolson, who claimed that his performance was just as much a part of the creative process as writing and composing: he always insisted on being included in the credits (and the royalties!). Sounds suspiciously like the folk process to me ...

Steve (just the once)


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Jan 99 - 07:32 AM

Thread is still entertainin' !!!

Writing credit debate also results in tie.

Jack who's Jack...nicely put without offense.

Next...................catspaw


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: John Twomey, Providence jmt7@msn.com
Date: 15 Jan 99 - 05:09 PM

There can't be just one "most significant folkie": that's antithetical to the folk process, which remains largely an ongoing collaborative effort from time immemorial to the present.

With that said, and thinking about musicians, how about Robert Johnson, Jimmie Rodgers, and Hank Williams. How to measure their infulence on those who followed?

Not to offend Pete Seegar fans, but I consider him more of an academic than a folksinger. I respect him and like him, but I respect and like Mr. Rodgers too: they're both elite Ivy Leaguers.

Mrs. Gurthrie and Dylan both came up in the way more traditional folkies do and in a straight up vote I'd put the odds in favor of Mr. Dylan winning this vote.

But each of us must have one "most significant" and that would be the one who opened the door the widest to this world and made us feel the most. When I was just a wee one, my father would sit with me in the dark, and we'd listen to a folk music show on the radio; we didn't yet have a TV. It was Pete Seegar and the Weavers,at that time, that I remember. My older brother let me play his 78's and he had many of Hank Williams hits, and my favorites were "Howling at the Moon, and "Lonesome Whistle". Later I loved the Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul and Mary, but I kept seeing the name Bob Dylan as author of some of their best songs. When I bought "The Freewheeling Bob Dylan" that was it for me. This was living folk music that trancended anything I'd heard before. He still does it for me. I'm sorry for those who don't get it. It's like not being able to appreciate Picasso in all his various stages and mediums.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Dave T
Date: 15 Jan 99 - 09:44 PM

The first names that sprang to mind were Woody Guthrie & Alan Lomax. That being said, I have to agree with all the others who have argued that there isn't any ONE most significant "folkie". After my first gut reaction, I thought of so many others; some have even been mentioned. I admit to being influenced by American "folkies", so in addition to Wooody & Alan and all the rest...
Doc Watson - just for being Doc Watson
Rev. Gary Davis - preaching, singing, playing... ya gotta love it!!!

Dave T


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Susan A-R
Date: 15 Jan 99 - 11:52 PM

Pete, Lomax, Woody, Victor, Ewan, Jean, Malvena, . . .

As for Dylan, I like some of his more straightforward stuff, but, for the most part, I guess I'm just not that introspective, and he's always sounded a tad too much like bullwinkle moose for me to manage it well.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 01 Sep 01 - 01:20 AM

Maybe this thread will be of interest to now, what with all the Obits and the requests for 50's-60's folk "hits."

~S~


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 01 Sep 01 - 02:07 AM

Well now, and so let me see
With most of you I might agree
Except of course you Dylan fans
He was commercial in his plans

Lomax found the real thing
which got our hero Pete to sing
Brought obscurity to our vision
Let the meanings speak tradition

Ewan found the auld free songs
Full of lively rights and wrongs
Wrote a few, collected many
Sang with Peggy See... aplenty

But cast my vote now if you will
For Charles Seegar loud and shrill
For had he not encouraged singing
His kids might be as bells not ringing...


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Sep 01 - 11:20 AM

Good Grief...

Can you spell

C-A-R-T-H-Y???????


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: DMcG
Date: 01 Sep 01 - 11:57 AM

I'd certainly put Martin Carthy in my list (and, quite separately of course Norma Waterson) but I've a sinking feeling that their influence outside the UK may be fairly limited. A lot depends on how 'significant' fits with 'well-known'. I would expect a survey of the-man-in-the-street would show thousands of times as many people recognise Dylan's name than Carthy's, and you can't influence people too easily if they don't know who you are. But in my case, the vote would be Carthy rather than Dylan.

I would have to include the fairly anonymous radio broadcasters in the 50's who made people like the Copper family well-known (again in the UK!) if we were talking about pure significance ...


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: chip a
Date: 01 Sep 01 - 03:10 PM

Bob, Pete & Alan/John


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: GUEST,Les/ Manchester uk
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 04:49 AM

An earlier contribution made a good point about individuals being important but not essential. Whatever folk is it has lasted because people like it, sing it and play it. In a century of mass communication Guthrie, Lomax, Sharpe, McCall, Seeger, Moore and all those other people have made important contributions.

I would like to two anothers because they have shown how much more life and diversity exists in the music. The man who with all his fellow musicians created Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, The Etchigham Steam Band, various Albion Bands and lots of other projects not least of which the mighty 'Morris On' - Ashley Hutchins, and by the same argument through Planxty, etc. etc. Christie Moore


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Mr Red
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 09:59 AM

How long is a piece of string? Well the answer (by comparison) is a lot easier - "from one end t' t'other"
As Newton said in the context of science - (I'm sure I will be corrected) "if I stand out it is merely because I am standing on the shoulders of others"
Folkies have more than one dimension, we have breadth and density and can take the macro and the micro view.
who is most significant in all dimensions? First define your dimensions - and allow me to argue about them.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 10:14 AM

"Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?"

No one alone!!


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 10:27 AM

One might just as well ask which is the single most significant grain of sand on the beaches of this spinning globe ??!!

It just, simply, does not matter !

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 12:16 PM

Stan Rogers and Me.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: John P
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 01:01 PM

John Twomey said earlier in this thread, "There can't be just one "most significant folkie": that's antithetical to the folk process, which remains largely an ongoing collaborative effort from time immemorial to the present." A couple of other people have said similar things since. I was amazed that this thread went through 50-some posts before anyone brought this up. One of the things I like about the folk music scene is its essential noncompetitiveness. We don't really have to worry about who is the best, or the first, or the most influential, or what the definitive version of any song is. Those sorts of things don't really apply to basic nature of folk music.

If the question was about who influenced you the most, it would show us where different people came from and would be interesting. But trying to decide who was the most influential in general is, again, "antithetical to the folk process".

If anyone is interested in who influenced me the most, I'd have to say Martin Carthy, Gabriel Yacoub, Alan Stivell, John Renbourn, and lots of Appalachian and blues musicians.

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: marty D
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 01:15 PM

Maybe not the best, or the most trustworthy (the HUAC stuff) but who was more widely heard than Burl Ives? I think that's pretty significant.

marty


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 01:39 PM

The men of yon forest, they ask it o' me
How many strawberries grow in the salt sea?
I answer them back, with a tear in me ee
How many ships sail in the forest?


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: GUEST,chrisj
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 11:57 PM

Everywhere I've travelled in the English-speaking world I have found that among the best-loved folkies are The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. Their significance I am sure, is acknowledged outside the Irish diaspora as well as inside. Anyone who had the thrill of attending one of their live performances was never to forget it.

Its true that some traditional music people in Irish circles looked askance at their tendency to up the tempo on some songs but they were a huge influence on the vigorous expansion of Irish music and the next generation of Clancys is continuing the trend.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 11:12 AM

I have to reiterrate to some extent.

Cecil Sharpe, Alan Lomax, Frank and Anne Warner.

Don


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Biskit
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 12:54 PM

Joe was right on the money Pete Seegar is deffinatly the thread that wound around them all and brought it all together. Though Woody Guthrie, and Ramblin' Jack Elliot are still my favorites. ~Biskit~


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Big Tim
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 03:41 PM

"All these people that you mention, yes I know them they're quite lame, I had to rearrange their faces and give them all another name". Bob Dylan's the man.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 05:42 PM

Amazing thread to the extent that this little islands contribution to folk music, seems to have been overlooked. OK, i`m being parochial and why not, Ireland with a population of around 5 million people has been by far way ahead of any other country when it come to folk music.-- Let that cat among the pigeons. Slan Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: toadfrog
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 07:29 PM

I was about to quietly agree that it had to be Pete Seeger, shut up and let people more knowledgeable than me hold forth. But query: To what extent are popularizers more "significant" than collectors or sources of genuine songs. Suppose someone is a real crowd pleaser, and attracts a gazillion fans. Why is he/she more "significant" than someone who leaves a significant legacy for the future? How can anyone say that (say) Bob Dylan or Judy Collins are more "significant" "folkies" (whatever that means) than Leadbelly or Ewan McColl.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: pastorpest
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 07:59 PM

I find myself agreeing with people's choices to the many "greatest". I would like to add another name for the quality of her work in collecting and describing background and context for song after song. I think not just of her Canadian work but also beyond her own country with books like "Songs of Work and Protest". So I add the name of Edith Fowke. I often go to her books looking for material or refreshing myself with material I have not looked at for awhile or simply finding out "What did Edith Fowke say about this song?"


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: GUEST,harryrages@onetel.net.uk
Date: 04 Sep 01 - 07:39 PM

I have read all these. I think you are all wrong. The most significant is the people -the millions who sing and play and provide the platform for a few remarkable performers who would be nothing without the many ordinary 'folkies'. Folk music is not about star performers - it is about people who live music about living.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 04 Sep 01 - 08:20 PM

Bob Schwarer, I was just scrolling down the thread, looking for the opportunity to nominate Moses Asch, when I say you had forestalled me. Well, anyway, "me too".

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Aidan Crossey
Date: 06 Sep 01 - 05:31 AM

Whilst I would agree with the comment made by many in this thread that it's difficult/pointless to narrow in one individual, I think a member of the "Hall Of Fame" who deserves a mention is Captain Francis O'Neill who, in the "1001" and the "1850" and other works, "saved the harvest". Irish traditional musicians, even yet, owe the man a huge debt!


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: English Jon
Date: 06 Sep 01 - 06:02 AM

Some nominations:

Bela Bartok. A.L.Lloyd. Maud Karpeles. Cecil Sharpe. George Butterworth.

Rising to obvious bait:

"Ireland with a population of around 5 million people has been by far way ahead of any other country when it come to folk music.-- Let that cat among the pigeons."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! you need a holiday mate.

EJ


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Aidan Crossey
Date: 06 Sep 01 - 06:52 AM

EJ ...

Care to elaborate?

Ard mhacha's comment may contain more than a grain of truth in the context in which it was delivered, just as your riposte might also have had more than a grain of truth given the context in which you delivered it.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: English Jon
Date: 06 Sep 01 - 07:08 AM

O.K. Every country has highly developed musical traditions. A week in say, Hungary with a tape recorder can produce interesting results. I think it's a bit daft to say "x is far and away better than y,z or any other letter". Yes, Irish music is great. So is English, Scots, Welsh, Scandinavian, Baltic etc etc.

All due repect to Ard Mhacha for feeling passionate about his heritage, but if I went round saying, for example "English Music is better than anything else ever", I'd get similar comments from other people who like different things.

The people who I know with the best tune repetoires are the ones who aren't fussy about country of origin, but play stuff from all over the world.

Cheers, EJ


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Aidan Crossey
Date: 06 Sep 01 - 07:24 AM

Agreed ... I think even ard mhacha might have difficulty not seeing eye to eye with you on your reply!

I tend to think from time to time that what I like is "important" and it probably is to me and to others who like what I like. But the Hearsay and Tweenies fans couldn't give a monkeys (and fans of those dayglo Muppets on angel dust can, and regularly do, fill stadia.)


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: GeorgeH
Date: 06 Sep 01 - 11:42 AM

It does, of course, depend on the what area you're looking at . . however I have to go for Lomax, because we'd almost certainly have been so much the poorer (in the music we know) without him. What really impresses is the breadth of his tastes . . Some of the European musics he loved (amongst the rest of collecting) still have only a tiny following in the UK, and a miniscule one in the US.

Of course, having recently heard Shirley Collins describe the recording trip she took with him through Southern USA in 1959/60 does rather underline this impression.

As for Irish music - the tragedy is that the world's image of Irish music (the boring "diddly-diddly" stuff) is such an apalling misrepresntation of that islands musical tradition . . but it's ridiculous to claim Ireland as some how apart from any other Folk tradition - although it may be distinguished by its folk revival starting earlier and having a greater political impetus that that of most of the rest of Europe (although, as is universally acknowledged, current Irish music actually had its birth in London . . )

Now - sort out the serious from the semi-serious in THAT lot!

G.


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Subject: charles ives
From: GUEST,Andrea Heinz
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 12:02 PM

When did Charles Ives start composing. Who hired him to compose. What influenced him musically. What musical form is used.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 01:09 PM

Been reading back through all these old posts, and apart from the question, 'Where have most of these posters gone?' There's been a lot of good and erudite stuff been posted.
The problem is the question in the title, which is unanswerable with a single name, especially when it comes to performers, as personal tastes bias us on that one.
I think that the collectors are the people for which we have the most to thank, and they often did different things in different countries. So I've got to go for, Cecil Sharp, and Ralph Vaughan Williams for the English side of the pond, Francis Childs, and Marjorie Kennedy Fraser for Scottish stuff. Lomax and Moses Asch spring to mind for US stuff, but I don't know enough about that side to be dogmatic about it.
Interesting thread though.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 02:20 PM

When I spotted this thread's subject, my first thought was "Why Dylan of course, hands down!" For "significance" to the wide outside world, Bob had to be it. (For me, anyway.)

After reading the many contributions, though, I'm willing to revise my vote. There'd be no Bob without Woody and Leadbelly and others before him, we wouldn't have known about them except for Mr. Lomax, etc., etc.

As someone who served both as a repository for past folklore and also as a performer who himself represented folk music to a large public, you have to go with Pete Seeger.

Of course, more than one or two individuals deserve credit, and I am glad that this thread revealed a few new (really, old) names to me I hadn't known before.

I can think of one significant omission from the world of Irish music: while several correspondants gave a nod to Christy Moore, don't believe anyone has mentioned Donal Lunny yet. Lunny has been involved in so many different projects, and almost every one has been a success in bringing the music he loves to the attention of a wider public. I suppose that, to some, this has been an effort at "modernization" or "commercialization," and therefore anathema, but I think the guy deserves all the credit in the world.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 03:11 PM

I'm from England.

I think a case might be made for Bert Lloyd or for Hugill, or maybe for Bob Copper, or Mike Waterson, but at the end of the day there is really only one possible answer. And I mean that most sincerely, folks. For an in depth knowledge of and devotion to folk music correctly so-called, an inspirational performer, and a guitarist who exemplifies a genre more typically than any other (and a damn nice intelligent well informed bloke too), it simply has to be Martin Carthy.

I really am genuinely amazed to see only one nomination of him above. Quite simply, he is "the Man".

He is also the most significant Folkie of the 21st Century.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 03:16 PM

George Burns.
Oh wait, did you say Folkie? I thought you said Fogey.
Never mind.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Frankham
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 04:37 PM

If you think of folk music as being a movement, then my ol' buddy Pete has to figure mightilly. If you think of folk music as being collectable and dispersed to the public, then Pete and Alan both figure. If you think of folk music as being all over the world, then, there are too many to count. If you think of folk music as the popularization of Appalachia then Doc and Jean.

One thing about Pete ya' gotta' know. He promoted many of the people through tireless energy such as Leadbelly, Woody, and Dylan. Pete championed Dylan when nobody much thought he was anything.

Alan, Ewan, A.L. Loyd, and many unsung heroes of folklore such as Archie Green, Kenny Goldstein, Roger Abrams, John Cohen and the beat goes on. This in addition to Sharp, Child and those who Sandy mentioned.

What about the record companies? Moe Asch. Sandy. The Solomans. Tom Clancy at Riverside.

Popularity? The K.T., Bud and Trav, P.P.and M and the folks who started all that....Weavers.

If you think of songwriting as being part of folk music, well then Woody because he was one of the first Singer/songwriters in this genre.

Blues? Where does it start and end? Robert Johnson, Blind Lemon, Lead, and yes IMV blues is folk music.

i think all these people should be recognized for their service
and inspiration and many more from other places.....

In short, there is no one Folkie that is more significant than others but the process is about people coming together to create a sum greater than it's parts.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 03:35 AM

Richard as a fellow admirer of Martin Carthy, I must ask. Apart from singing and rearranging many good traditional tunes, and doing wonders with open tunings, what else has Martin done? He's very erudite and knowledgeable on the subject of folk music, a wonderful performer, and he's become an institution in his field. But compared to some of the giants mentioned before in this thread I don't think he qualifies for Folkie of the 20th Century.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 04:51 AM

We are talking folk music here.

Who knows more traditional (ie folk) songs? No-one.
Who knows more traditional (ie folk) tunes? No-one.
Who has done more to show how to use the guitar (not a traditional folk instrument) in traditional folk music and song? No-one.
Who better understands or conveys the meaning of traditional (ie folk) music and song? No-one.

What else could he do? Are you asking if he is a singer-songwriter, I simply say that many may write in the style of folk music, but contemporary music, however excellent, is not folk. In what way may your so-called "giants" compare to him - in folk music?


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 05:17 AM

Mike Harding.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 08:08 AM

Rolf Harris
Jake the Peg (with the extra leg)
Sun Arise
Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport
Two Little Boys
Stairway to Heaven

the stylophone, the wobbleboard, the digeridoo

the beard

the drawings


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 08:16 AM

Well thanks guys for your unintelligent contributions to an otherwise sensible thread.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 08:50 AM

There are so many people that I have thought of since I first posted, it's just impossible to answer.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: GUEST,Barrie Roberts
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 08:57 AM

I've a lot of sympathy for me old mat Steve Parkes' view expressed above, so we should probably award a Global Listeners' Prize, but my own nominations in the main category would be:

6. Alan Lomax
5. Cecil Sharpe
4. Ewan McColl
3. Pete Seeger
2. Woody Guthrie
1. Anon (aka Trad)


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 09:59 AM

well quite! Giok

really its a case of everyone to his goat, as our French cousins say.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 11:58 AM

"it simply has to be Martin Carthy.

I really am genuinely amazed to see only one nomination of him above. Quite simply, he is "the Man".


Well, I thought so too - EVERYONE but EVERYONE told me, so I had to believe it.

I so looked forward to seeing him.

I went - I was VERY disappointed

One man's meat.......... as they say


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: ossonflags
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 02:36 PM

it has to be Val Doonican,easy on the eye and on the ear.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 03:24 PM

Though nobody ever called him a "folkie" and lived to tell about it, I'd have to throw in a vote for Bill Monroe. The influence of bluegrass music upon the larger folk music scene has been huge. Listen to a fair sampling of current US-based folk musicians who aren't considered bluegrass acts and you'll still hear a lot of bluegrass going on. Bluegrass has also served as a point of entry for many musicians who have ultimately wound up playing other styles. Most of the folks I know who play Irish or old-time music, myself included, cut their teeth on bluegrass. And we won't even talk about guys like Bela Fleck and David Grisman 'cause they ain't folk...


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 07:42 PM

Pinky and Perky.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: ossonflags
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 04:01 AM

And what about ramblin sid rumpole?


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: GUEST,padgett (at home)
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 05:02 AM

In terms of the English and I mean English finding and being pointed in the direction of their own song tradition the most important person standing at the turning point was Lonnie Donegan (in this I agree with Bert in a posting in 1999)

I have just heard a Radio 4 prog with Shirley Collins and her folk song association with Alan Lomax (I have also been present at a workshop she gave a couple of years ago) and give great credit to all the folk song collectors, without whom artists of the ilk of Martin Carthy, Tony Rose, Dave Burland, Nic Jones, Derek Brimstone, Martin Whyndam-Read, Peter Bellamy et al would have been hard pressed to find material
Most significant folkie Lonnie Donnegan (followed by William Appleby) remember him)
I remember sitting in my junior school listening to the radio in Barnsley singing 'and shall Trelawney live and shall Trelawney die here's 20,000 Cornish men shall know the reason why'

Many Sat mornings listening to Lonnie Donnegan and Rock Island line and the rest


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: freda underhill
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 06:56 AM

Some Australian greats -

singers - Declan Affley, martin whyndam-read (martin winding road to those who love him) margaret roadnight, the fagans,cathie O'Sullivan, Judy Small Dave de Hugard,

musos - Jacko Kevins , Chris Kempster, Bob McInnes

musicians and collectors - John Meredith Rob Willis Alan Musgrave

and the redoubtable .. Bob Bolton.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 06:59 AM

Mulligan and O'hare?


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 07:06 AM

you got to admit, it does have shades of that conversation between Tony and Gary in Men Behaving Badly - 10 best female arses on television......

a trifle ludicrous.....


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: mooman
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 07:58 AM

Bluesman actually...!

Max: for creating and maintaining The Mudcat Cafe

You are a scholar and a gentleman Sir!

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 11:21 AM

"Some Australian greats -

singers - Declan Affley, martin whyndam-read (martin winding road to those who love him)" -

         and Martyn Windbag-Reed to those who don't!


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: just john
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 11:35 AM

Bob Dylan

Many have yanked folk music into the mainstream, but with his "going electric," he also yanked the mainstream into folk music.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 12:41 PM

Martin Carthy gets my vote. He is a living tradition; over forty years of playing and singing. His performances inspired both Dylan and Paul Simon. His early ballad singing and interpretive style is without flaw. Who else plays a melody guitar style such as his. Nic Jones came close but he has been off the scene for so long that Carthy has long since out distanced him. Carthy's voice and guitar are nearly always note for note together. "Death of Young Andrew" is a interpretive master piece! Who tells a dramatic tale as real and awesome as Carthy? He is an older gentleman now-has shifted his style-reinvented himself to accompany an older but refined mellow voice and still plays his guitar as a master. Listen to his guitar work on his newest CD "Waiting for Angels" It's wonderful!


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 04:49 PM

As an artist Carthy is high on the list but "signifcant" means something else.

There was full 100 years of 20th century. In the second half it has to be Lomax but RVW and Sharp must be on the list too.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 02:27 PM

Come on! It can't be Bob Dylan. His involvement in "folk" music lasted just a few short years in the 1960s. After that it was rock and roll" plain and simple.He was a vast influence on that type of music but he was no longer involved in folk music other that an occasional rocked up ballad. As far as C. Sharp, is this thread about collectors of folk music or folk music performers?


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Mar 05 - 03:44 AM

Yes, I had mentally placed C# as 18th century, but true, he started in 1903. So I agree a case can be made for him, as it can for Lloyd, Coppers, and Hugill.

But as the (I think that is not too much) pivotal figure of English folk music for 40 years - still, I think Martin Carthy. Ask it the other way round. Remove him from the soup and scene from the 60s onwards, and just so much would have died or never been born. He has a connection to the research and historical side of folk music that few performers, and none of his calibre, can equal. Or put it another way, ask the public to imitate a folk singer and they immediately put finger in ear and sing through nose in the style in which he was so often seen in his early years - in short, they impersonate him. He is the archetype, the scholar, and the pinnacle.

MacColl of course was an influence, but I can't get past his falsity in pretending to be a different person, and of course despite his traditional work he is now really noted for his contribution as a singer-songwriter - not a folkie.

The other possible mention here might be the Young Tradition (they have to be considered together) who defined English vocal harmony in the 60s and whose sound still defines it to this day.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 19 Mar 05 - 12:41 PM

I've not read all the above postings, so what I propose may well have already been discussed, But here goes anyway:- If a nominated " most significent folkie" were taken out of the equation ( i.e.never existed) what effect would his/her absence have had the development of the Engish/Celtic/Americanfolk music movement? Now this question is not at all straight forward. For example, one could argue that if Cecil Sharp had not existed then we wouldn't have any folk movement, but surely somebody else would have taken up the cause. After all, the interested in national folk music in the 19th century was well established( weren't the Russians' first?) before Sharp got going.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: GUEST,chris
Date: 20 Mar 05 - 11:49 AM

surely all the singers/musicians who created and kept the music going before anyone wrote it down/recorded it and argued about it would be the most important people in folk. they did it for the love of the music not for the credit of collecting/recording


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 20 Mar 05 - 01:28 PM

Yes, Chris, but surely that must have happened BEFORE the 20th century i.e. folk music was being written down in the 19th century.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 20 Mar 05 - 05:22 PM

Sounds like we need a nominee from each continent.
I don't know how influential Pete Seeger or A. Lomax has been in Britain, Ireland or Australia. In the US (where I am), Martin Carthy is a complete unknown, except to serious aficionados of folk music. Lonnie Donegan, if he's known at all, it's as that guy who sang "Rock Island Line" in the 1950s. Alan Lomax isn't exactly a household word here, either.
No disrespect is intended, but if we're talking about significance, shouldn't that significance resonate beyond a small circle of friends?


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Mar 05 - 06:43 PM

"Bob Dylan.... he also yanked the mainstream into folk music."

piffle! If he yanked them anywhere, it was to a pale imitation of one area of 'almost' folk...maybe the point is, the folk music, by its nature, is not IN the mainstream.

Obviously, there is no 'one' most anything, but most of the important figures have been noted.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: Col K
Date: 20 Mar 05 - 07:27 PM

One name that seems to have been missed from many British Catters is the name Pete Coe. He has had great deal of influence on many people and has done a great deal to encourage youngsters to become involved in song, dance and music.
Martin Carthy has been mentioned by many and I cannot disagree with his name being put forward either.
How about people like Fred Jordan.He was very significant and so were many others who kept singing the songs of their fathers and grandfathers, without them the collectors, Cecil Sharpe and all would not have had anything to collect.
Being from the UK my ideas of significant are biased towards those names that I know,others from other countries will be similarly biased, but their suggestions are no more valid nor no less valid than mine.
I think that all of us who enjoy "Folk Music" should thank all of those people named in this thread for the contributions that they have made to our kind of music.


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Subject: RE: Most significant Folkie of 20th Century?
From: GUEST,padgett (at home)
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 01:39 AM

I'm sure Pete Coe would be highly delighted and laughing his socks off at the above posting!!

What about Burl Ives, Shirley Abicair (spelling?), Julie Felix, but most importantly JOAN BAEZ a prolific recording artist

Nice to see Fred Jordan in the list!
What about Walter Pardon, Harry Cox, Sam Larner, and all the other traditional source singers


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