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Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy

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Fred McCormick 21 Sep 06 - 12:40 PM
GUEST,Russ 21 Sep 06 - 01:21 PM
Geoff Wallis 21 Sep 06 - 02:17 PM
The Sandman 21 Sep 06 - 06:34 PM
Folkiedave 21 Sep 06 - 06:36 PM
The Sandman 21 Sep 06 - 07:36 PM
GUEST 22 Sep 06 - 02:47 AM
The Sandman 22 Sep 06 - 03:12 AM
The Sandman 22 Sep 06 - 03:19 AM
JamesHenry 22 Sep 06 - 03:59 AM
Scrump 22 Sep 06 - 04:32 AM
The Sandman 22 Sep 06 - 04:37 AM
Folkiedave 22 Sep 06 - 04:39 AM
The Sandman 22 Sep 06 - 04:55 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 22 Sep 06 - 05:04 AM
Folkiedave 22 Sep 06 - 05:23 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 22 Sep 06 - 06:46 AM
The Sandman 22 Sep 06 - 07:44 AM
Snuffy 22 Sep 06 - 09:02 AM
Folkiedave 22 Sep 06 - 09:03 AM
The Sandman 22 Sep 06 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,Dazbo 22 Sep 06 - 10:48 AM
dick greenhaus 22 Sep 06 - 11:21 AM
The Sandman 22 Sep 06 - 11:35 AM
Scrump 22 Sep 06 - 12:54 PM
Geoff Wallis 22 Sep 06 - 02:13 PM
Effsee 22 Sep 06 - 02:24 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 22 Sep 06 - 02:28 PM
Geoff Wallis 22 Sep 06 - 02:36 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 22 Sep 06 - 02:40 PM
Geoff Wallis 22 Sep 06 - 02:44 PM
JamesHenry 22 Sep 06 - 02:54 PM
GUEST 22 Sep 06 - 03:04 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 22 Sep 06 - 03:08 PM
Effsee 22 Sep 06 - 03:27 PM
The Sandman 22 Sep 06 - 04:01 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 22 Sep 06 - 04:28 PM
The Sandman 22 Sep 06 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,Jon 22 Sep 06 - 05:08 PM
Scrump 22 Sep 06 - 05:14 PM
oggie 22 Sep 06 - 05:24 PM
Folkiedave 22 Sep 06 - 05:38 PM
Uke 23 Sep 06 - 03:44 AM
JamesHenry 23 Sep 06 - 04:27 AM
The Sandman 23 Sep 06 - 04:53 AM
The Sandman 23 Sep 06 - 08:01 AM
oggie 23 Sep 06 - 02:27 PM
Geoff Wallis 23 Sep 06 - 02:51 PM
JamesHenry 24 Sep 06 - 03:40 AM
The Sandman 24 Sep 06 - 04:52 AM
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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 12:40 PM

Sorry Dave, who did you say gave you permission to reproduce my letter?


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 01:21 PM

Captain Birdseye,

You are focusing on a word, "blame," instead of the concept.

The phenomenon is ancient and widespread, but I got the terminology from "The Women's Movement." (Don't know what is was called in the UK)

When the term was invented, I assume that "Blame" was a conscious choice and that the intention was to create a pejorative term. That was also my intention when I used the term.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Geoff Wallis
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 02:17 PM

Folkiedave wrote:

'Then despair away Fred, for you cannot see how publishing something that is written anonymously and publishing something that is written anonymously is identical.'

Well, of course it is, but I think Folkiedave might have omitted a vital word from this assertion.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 06:34 PM

Did Cecil Sharp have permission from his source singers, for his arrangements and did he pay them royalties.
Fred mc cormick you havent answered John henrys question, does that mean you havent distributed royalties as well,that would mean your a bit of a scallywag.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Folkiedave
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 06:36 PM

Sorry Dave, who did you say gave you permission to reproduce my letter?

Fred, your understanding is underwhelming. Tell us all where it was published, tells us all where I copied and pasted it from, and let us all decide whether it was in the public domain or not. Or by publishing it on Mustrad were you trying to ensure that no-one read it?

Since we are going down that road who gave you (and your co-editor) permission to publish the file (that had "built up over the years") on Peter Kennedy? Did each and everyone of those people who had submitted material "over the years" give permission to publish it in the form you have? Don´t you and your co-editor feel you ought to tell us?

And to Geoff Wallis, you really have lost me. I genuinely lack understanding to what you are referring. Feel free to contact me either openly here, by PM, or via my personal email dave@deyre.plus.com


Dave Eyre


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 07:36 PM

yes,Geoff has lost me too,Dave.
   Since you keep files, Fred could you obtain the review of Nic Dow, and Rod Stradlings comments. I found stradlings comments on Dow offensive and unfair, I have known Dow for thirty years and would describe him as an honourable man. it seems you might [the two of you] have a bee in your bonnet, about other collectors, and possibly have an axe to grind.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 02:47 AM

Whenever the name Peter Kennedy comes up I am always surprised at the number of people who either don't know or don't care about his behaviour towards traditional musicians and singers. There is no doubt in mind that most of the stories I have heard about him are true – I have met too many people who have had first hand experience of him, and have seen the results up close.
What people need to decide is; (a) did he do the things he is accused of and (b) does it matter.
As far as I am concerned, yes he did and yes it does. The greatest damage he did was to hang a price tag on the tradition and make it a commodity, thereby setting a precedent. In the process he showed disregard, verging on contempt for the people who preserved and passed on the music I care about, and that is what I find unforgivable
It is quite true that there is not a great deal of money to be made out of traditional music – not unless you set up a cottage industry and market it on a large scale – isn't that exactly what he did? Aren't shoddy, cheaply produced goods to a captive market every entrepreneur's dream. Don't forget the goods he was dealing in were amassed on behalf of the BBC and paid for by the licence/tax-payers money. They are all of our heritage, not one individual's.
I don't know if Moe Asche and Alan Lomax were guilty of the same practices; I haven't seen the evidence and until I do I am not prepared to make a judgement.
As for my own actions and others, (including Fred McCormick), I think we did what we could to draw attention what was happening, but given the disinterest of EFDSS and the BBC we didn't get very far.
As far as I am concerned, I am as proud of the fact that I never once bought a Kennedy product as I am that we never bought South African goods throughout the anti-apartheid boycott.
Well, I'm off to the Frank Harte week-end – now there's a man who loved the music and respected the people who gave it to us.
Jim Carroll
PS Cap'n; as a long-time admirer of MacColl, I managed a wry smile at your suggestion that as Kennedy was now dead we should ignore his faults and let him rest in peace.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 03:12 AM

YES seamus ennis likewise. but that doesnt alter the fact that kennedy collected a colossaal amount. hewas much more active ten times more than anyone else.re read my MACCOLL posts again, you are doing me a disservice.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 03:19 AM

TO JIM, i dont think it doesnt matter ,Idont give it as much importance asyou, in the final overall picture. Kennedy as regards volume was a colossus amongst collectors, and has left us with a rich legacy despite his mistakes.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: JamesHenry
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 03:59 AM

"The greatest damage he did was to hang a price tag on the tradition and make it a commodity, thereby setting a precedent."

No more or no less than anyone who takes a traditional song or tune, puts it on a cd and sells it to the public with (traditional, arranged.....whoever)

Ever since the first collector decided it was his or her mission in life to go forth and "organise" the wealth of traditional song and music in these islands of ours they wittingly or unwittinglg opened the flood gates for commercial exploitation. An entire industry has since developed where someone, somewhere is making money from the resulting archives. I think it unwise to point the finger or single anyone out for criticism, especially someone who is no longer here to defend themselves. I was always taught, "Never speak ill of the dead." I still regard that as good advice.

James Henry


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Scrump
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 04:32 AM

If it should prove true that Peter Kennedy did indeed "rip off" his source singers as has been alleged, what is the next step? IS there anything that can be done to rectify the alleged wrongdoing, given that Peter K (and I suspect many of his sources) are no longer around?

Or is it just a case of "setting the record straight" for historical reference purposes?

In other words, what is the purpose of digging this up after his death?


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 04:37 AM

TO JIM carroll,    Ihave been back through all my posts re ewan maccoll, ihave consistently praised him as a fine songwriter, in fact all my post have contained praise. if you cant get this right how can anyone take you seriously.
why didnt you take him to court if you felt so strongly, was it because you didnt have a case. I endorse everything James Henry says.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Folkiedave
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 04:39 AM

In the same way that Jim Carroll knows little about the work of Moe Asch and Alan Lomax I know little of the work of Peter Kennedy - which is why I am not prepared to join in a slanging match about him.

There does however seem to be a general belief that there is loads of money to be made with recordings of folk musicians however obtained. Somehow I doubt it. And certainly not in the field of traditional musicians like Peter Kennedy recorded. However having said that, people should get their due.

Like you Jim I never owned a Folktrax record, do you Fred? And if not why not?

And you still have not made it plain why you feel I should not have reproduced your letter from Mustrad? I am genuinely puzzled since I assumed that it was in the public domain? Am I wrong?


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 04:55 AM

no one has come forward with information RE Cecil Sharp. if Sharp did not pay his source singers royalties, or pay them for the songs he collected, is it surprising that KENNEDY[ with his background]thought this was acceptable practice,.
rather than slag someone off is it not better to understand that environment can affect the way people are. now if Sharp didnt pay his dues, like kennedy is alleged not to , that doesnt alter the fact that the collection of songs that sharp collected, like kennedy was colossal, and we are all indebted to both of them.
why not attack all the early song collectors who didnt pay royalties or treat their source singers as equals.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 05:04 AM

What is all this rubbish about keeping files ?

I feel pretty certain that most posters on this thread keep files, or do we call them archives? It's difficult not to if you are a singer or record collector and are sufficiently interested to find out more about the origin/development of the music and the people involved. If nobody kept files our knowledge of the past would be sadly lacking. If you are running a magazine it is impossible NOT to keep files. There is nothing sinister in it.

As for the query on Cecil Sharp, I was quite unaware that he issued recordings by the singers from whom he collected songs. I would like to know how much he paid his informants and how much profit he made was it pennies, pounds hundreds of pounds? But wait he's dead so that's alright then.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Folkiedave
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 05:23 AM

I feel pretty certain that most posters on this thread keep files, or do we call them archives? It's difficult not to if you are a singer or record collector and are sufficiently interested to find out more about the origin/development of the music and the people involved. If nobody kept files our knowledge of the past would be sadly lacking. If you are running a magazine it is impossible NOT to keep files. There is nothing sinister in it.

Correct as far as it goes.

Tell me hootenanny, if someone had kept a file/archive about you, consisting of material sent to you over a period of years, not stuff you yourself have noted,and then published it in the form that Rod Stradling has, with anonymous contributions, would you be upset?

Especially when the publication calls for "concrete evidence"?

Keeping files as you seem to do is fine. However if I send you some anonymous jottings about people I don´t like, do you really think it is ethical to post them on an internet magazine?


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 06:46 AM

I believe that what Mr Stradling is doing is opening up a discussion. You should be sending your concerns to him and I believe that you will get an honest answer.
I believe that the request for concrete evidence is acceptable. BUT if allegations positive or negative are anonymous then they are NOT concrete.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 07:44 AM

Iam asking for further information on cecil sharp .
Iknow he published arrangements of folk songs. did he send his source singers royalties, did he pay his source singers for the songs when he collected them.
Collectors make money out of books as well as recordings, did he have the source singers permission to make arrangements, after all its really the same asthat which KENNEDY did. except the arrangements appear in abook rather than arecording.
I would appreciate information about Baring Gould AND Kidson.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Snuffy
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 09:02 AM

In the case of books etc, no royalties were due to the source singers as the songs were traditional, not their composition.

In the case of recordings both writer and performer are due royalties. If the song is in the public domain the singer should still get royalties, even if the writer won't.

The argument about Kennedy seems to be that singers did not receive royalties due on sales of their recorded performances.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Folkiedave
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 09:03 AM

You should be sending your concerns to him and I believe that you will get an honest answer.

I believe that the request for concrete evidence is acceptable. BUT if allegations positive or negative are anonymous then they are NOT concrete.


Thank you. I have already made my concerns known to Rod Stradling. He is out of the office until October 3rd. I wrote to him before I wrote on here. He has a co-editor of the magazine who is Fred McCormick and I have made my concerns known to him via this thread. Sometimes he chooses to answer my concerns and sometimes not. Maybe I will have better luck from Rod Stradling.

Those concerns are principally that Mustrad is prepared save up allegations "over a number of years", and then to publish those allegations without attribution - in this case about Peter Kennedy - and then ask for "concrete evidence" to back those allegations up.

As far as opening up a discussion is concerned, I suspect any conclusions that may come out of such a discussion are already known at the Mustrad office. Indeed Fred has hinted as such in this post.

Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Fred McCormick - PM
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 05:26 AM


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 09:08 AM

hOOTENANY , IHAVE NOT vilified kennedy or Sharp, that has been Mccormick and Carroll..
I am asking questions so that Kennedy can be compared to other song collectors of note , such as Sharp,   moeran, BaringGould, Kidson. iF CecilSharp didnt pay for his songs or pay royalties on his arrangements to his source singers , are stradling , mcccormick Carroll, going to burn his collections and Cecil SHARP HOUSE [iHOPE NOT].MCCORMICK still hasnt told us whether his paid his share or not.
    what do you mean he,s dead thats alright then[ own goal].thats what kennedys detractors are doing, as well as causing upset to his grieving family.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST,Dazbo
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 10:48 AM

I did intend to put this in at the time but forgot.

Some one said earlier on about the ALLEGED victims sueing Peter Kennedy. The no win/no fee arrangement with law firms has, I believe, only been allowed in the UK (and possibly Ireland too) from very recently, the same goes for the small claims courts. Many minor financial disputes (and I think everyone agrees that the actual amounts involved are relatively very small) were never taken to court due to the cost. I would have thought it highly unlikely that any source singer could have afforded to take their case to a solicitor and probably even less likely that a solicitor would be willing to take the case on. If the source did make any noises a 'legal' letter would put most people, and not a few cash poor institutions, off any further action and risk being bankrupted over a few shillings.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 11:21 AM

It seems to be the fashion to wait for the death of a celebrity before attacking him. Certainly Kennedy had his faults--many of which he shared with other collectors of the era, and some which were his very own. I seriously doubt that he will be remembered for those faults, but rather for the music he made available to all of us.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 11:35 AM

apologies to jim and fred, they have not vilified sharp.
to dazbo         if it was a few shillings, why are his detractors so venomous to kennedy[ ripping people off] has connotations of thousands, its not normally associated with a few shillings.
Ishall remember Kennedy for all the music he has left us, and try to forgive his faults.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Scrump
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 12:54 PM

dick greenhaus is correct - I can't help thinking that waiting for a person to die before emerging with accusations against them is a cowardly way to do things. If there is any evidence or substance in any allegations against the person, why wait until they die before coming out with them? Perhaps the evidence is not very strong if this is the case.

Collectors have left us a legacy which would have disappeared forever without their efforts and deserve our thanks for that. If they stepped on a few people's toes along the way, that's a shame, but nobody's perfect.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Geoff Wallis
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 02:13 PM

Both Folkiedave and Captain Birdseye seemed nonplussed by my question, so here it is again.

Folkiedave wrote:

'Then despair away Fred, for you cannot see how publishing something that is written anonymously and publishing something that is written anonymously is identical.'

This is sheer tautology and meaningless.

More relevantly, Captain Birdseye is completely off the wall when he keeps harping on about Cyril Sharp and royalty payments since the whole concept of royalties had not been invented at the time of Sharp's collecting activities.

I am completely in agreement with Jim Carroll's comments:

'The greatest damage [PK] did was to hang a price tag on the tradition and make it a commodity, thereby setting a precedent. In the process he showed disregard, verging on contempt for the people who preserved and passed on the music I care about, and that is what I find unforgivable' [and, most especially]'Don't forget the goods he was dealing in were amassed on behalf of the BBC and paid for by the licence/tax-payers money. They are all of our heritage, not one individual's.'

Some of us have been questioning PK's activities for a long time (not least Jim and Fred and a whole host of other people I might mention, but the list would be too long) and the fact that the man has died makes absolutely no difference in our consideration of his collecting activity.

I know more about the work of collectors in Ireland than other areas and the worst example of exploitation I've ever encountered involved Allen Feldman - you can read more about him at http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/steinhardt/db/faculty/1346/Dept_design/0.

Said site claims that he 'conducted ethnographic field research in Northern Ireland' except that's only half the story. Much of his work for the book 'The Northern Fiddler' was undertaken in County Donegal. As part of this he recorded the Glencolmcille fiddler James Byrne for an album which never saw the light of day for reasons too numerous to mention. When I asked James how much he'd been paid for his efforts he reckoned that it was either 'a few pints' or 'ten quid' and that was at a time when an Irish tenner was worth around £6 or $6. No contract ever exchanged hands, but the tracks James recorded were due to appear on a Topic album until Danny O'Donnell, bless his soul, kiboshed the whole affair.

That's sheer exploitation and exactly the kind of tactic that Kennedy used.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Effsee
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 02:24 PM

It seems the Dishonourable practice has moved into cyberspace if fROOTS Forum is anything to go by!!!


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 02:28 PM

Again, speaking as a complete outsider who is fascinated by this discussion - I have one question of Geoff.   If I am reading your story correctly, James Byrne was paid by a pint of beer for recording an album for Allen Feldman. Was he promised anything more? Did he sign a contract?

I was at a crafts fair once and met a found a woman who made beautiful embroidered hand towels. She was selling it for $3.   I asked her how much time it took to produce and she said a couple of hours. When I asked her why she was selling something for only $3 when her materials combined with labor spent were so much greater, she replied "who would pay more than $3 for a hand towel?".

As much as I hate exploitation, the individual has to shoulder some of the blame if they make a decision to give away their material. Perhaps they do not know what the market will bear, but often it might be that we have higher expectations then what it is actually worth.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Geoff Wallis
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 02:36 PM

Ron,

Sorry, I should have pointed this out. When I met James to discuss the tunes which would have appeared on the album (I only know about this because I have a copy of the aborted project) he remembered absolutely nothing about Feldman. Further questioning revealed that no contract had been signed nor had James ever given anyone permission for his music to be reproduced in any kind of format elsewhere - for those familiar with James this is long before 'The Brass Fiddle' or his solo CD for Claddagh.

In other words, Feldman slipped James a few bob for recording him and thought he could get away with releasing those tracks on a commercial album without any attempt to sign a contract or seek the musician's permission.

Come to think of it, this is far worse than Kennedy's activities.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 02:40 PM

Geoff,

Sorry, but I am still fuzzy.   

You said that James did not remember anything about Feldman but you also said that Feldman slipped James a few bob for recording him?


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Geoff Wallis
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 02:44 PM

Ron, why are you being 'fuzzy'? James remembers someone giving him money to play a few tunes but has no idea who the person was!


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: JamesHenry
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 02:54 PM

Geoff

If you go to Glen in the first week of August, every man and his dog has a microphone pointing at James and every other notable fiddle player there. At least Feldman "slipped him a few bob"


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 03:04 PM

> It seems to be the fashion to wait for the death of a celebrity before
> attacking him. Certainly Kennedy had his faults--many of which he
> shared with other collectors of the era, and some which were his very
> own. I seriously doubt that he will be remembered for those faults,
> but rather for the music he made available to all of us.

That's possibly the whole point - an alternative explanation for the timing of the mustrad article

A death usually involves obituaries, obituaries tend to be somewhat eulogistic. For anyone who felt wronged (and obviously they are out there), such an article would be cruel twist of a long rusty knife whether it be reality or perception. Perhaps the article was intended to provoke a healthy interest rather than let sychophancy rule the current day and all those that follow.

In twenty (fifty?) years these threads will be as nothing. The obits in the Times (or wherever) will be seen as gospel and those with first hand experience will no longer be here.

Histories are usually written by the victors and their successors not by those that were trampled on the path. If there is a more complete truth to be understood then surely now is the time to discover it.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 03:08 PM

Geoff, I am trying to understand the circumstances and your description is not exactly clear.

What you are saying is that he doesn't even remember if it was even Feldman or if there was ANY compensation.

I am not sure about laws in the UK or anywhere else, but my understanding in the U.S. is that anytime there is an exchange of goods or services, there is an agreement. IF you tell the person that they are being recorded and they agree to it without any additional stipulations, then they do lose their rights. The person with the recorder now owns the performance contained on that tape. IF you record the person without their knowledge, such as bootlegging a concert where recording is prohibited (by announcement and/or signs) then you cannot do anything with that recording.

Simply put, if I walk up to you and ask if can buy you a beer in exchange for being allowed to record you playing the kazoo, I can then later make a CD that will make me a millionaire and I won't owe you a penny.   Would that be ethical? Hell no. Would I be within my legal rights - I believe I would.   Should I do it? Again, hell no.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Effsee
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 03:27 PM

This from the fROOTS Forum:-

Hi all,

My friend Fred Wilhelms, an attorney in Nashville, has been battling SoundExchange on behalf of recording musicians. SoundExchange has appointed itself the collector and distributor of royalties for digital media such as satellite radio, internet streaming, etc. The problem is, SoundExchange has done an extremely poor job of distributing funds and has used FEMA-style efforts to locate musicians: abandonment of the task. Royalties not claimed by December 15 will be forfeited.

Thanks to Fred's pressure, today SoundExchange finally published the list of artists they have not yet located, nearly 9000 musicians many of whom you will know. I was floored to see so many folks I know, and I'm sending this in hopes you can help alert them they are due royalties.

PLEASE LOOK THROUGH THIS LIST and contact artists, artist managers, labels, or artist heirs with whom you have contact. The list is a veritable Who's Who of World, Canadian, Cuban, Hawaiian, Tex Mex, blues, traditional, jazz, Americana, songwriters, and folk music. It'll leave you breathless, in fact (SoundExchange claims to not have found a way to locate the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, for example).

I'm forwarding Fred's letter along with the url listing musicians whom SoundExchange owes money. Please distribute this widely; feel free to post on listserves if it hasn't appeared.

Susan Martinez

---

I've been circulating the following message. Feel free to forward it to any mailing lists, message boards and telephone poles in your neighborhood.

Fred

AN URGENT MESSAGE TO RECORDING ARTISTS

SoundExchange is the entity that collects and distributes broadcast royalties from digital distribution of music. This includes streaming Internet broadcasts (not downloads) and satellite radio services. These royalties have been payable since February 1, 1996. If your music has been played on the Internet since that date, you are entitled to a share of the royalties.

On December 15, 2006, any royalties that are unclaimed for performances up through March 31, 2000 WILL BE FORFEITED.

If you, as an individual or as a member of a recording group, are not registered with SoundExchange by December 15, 2006, you will lose all rights to your royalties earned before March 31, 2000.

There are thousands of identified artists who will lose these royalties unless they act before the deadline. SoundExchange has listed these "unfound" artists on their website.

http://63.236.111.137/jsp/unpaidArtistList.jsp

Take the time to read the list. If you are on it, follow the instructions for filing a claim. It costs you nothing and it does not take much time. If you register now, you will receive the unclaimed royalties and will received future royalties automatically.

Friends and families of recording artists should also check the list. If you know anyone on there, PLEASE LET THEM KNOW IMMEDIATELY. You will note that there are a number of deceased performers on the list. If you know any surviving relatives, let them know about this.

This money belongs in the hands of the artists who created the music.

Fred Wilhelms


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 04:01 PM

he was Cecil sharp not cyril sharp. so when were royalties invented.
Danny o donnell was a very fine fiddle player, I dont see his relevance to this discussion.
so its not ok for Peter Kennedy to exploit his source singers, but its ok for sharp to do it because royalties werent invented.
Actually neither were doing much exploiting because they only made shillings out of it .talk about a storm in a teacup, what a load of codswallop.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 04:28 PM

"what a load of codswallop."

I have no idea what codswallop is, but I don't think I want to get it on my shoes.

As I've said several times, I find this conversation fascinating. I am sort of on the fence. As the good captain pointed out, it really is a tempest in teacup. I've never noticed a folksinger, collector or independent record producer to drive around in a BMW.

A collector does have expenses and other considerations to consider. Hopefully we all do something that we love - either for pay or as a hobby. Frankly, I consider my "hobby" to be my vocation - even though I do not receive a penny for it. Luckily I have a good job that takes care of the basics and leaves something for me to pay for my pastimes.

The travel, recording, meals, promotion, etc. all add up and can be quite considerable. Collector John Doe will not become rich by selling a cassette tape of Joe Public playing his dulcimer.   It might buy him just enough gas money to help preserve another musician or song that would have become lost through time.

With that said, I do think it is important that collectors and other such individuals be upfront and honest.   I host radio show as many of you know. I've had the honor of presenting live performances on the show and recording concerts and festivals.   I would not dream of doing ANYTHING with these recordings without the consent of the individuals involved. A few years ago we made a premium CD for our fundraiser. I made sure that all artists were asked and allowed me to release the material, even though there is legal precedent that gave me ownership of this material. The CD was given as a premium for donations to our radio station's fund drive - and that was it.   I would feel that I was exploiting the artist if I did not ask permission.

I would like to think that collectors would treat their sources with the same respect. I cannot see paying someone more than a stipend for this recording (frankly a pint sounds about right), and then a percentage for any commercial sales - unless the artist waives whatever pennies they may earn to assist the collector to continue their work.

There are hundreds of dollars to be made in folk music if you look hard enough.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 05:01 PM

codswallop is lemonade.
I have pointed out, I would have acted differently from Peter Kennedy. I myself have been exploited, but I pick myself up get on my bike[ in the words of Norman Tebbitt] and get on with life and try not to make the same mistake again, Its called survival, life isnt fair,but lets enjoy it ,instead of carping on about things that can no longer be rectified, whats past is past, whats gone is gone.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 05:08 PM

Codswallop


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Scrump
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 05:14 PM

Hear, hear, Cap'n.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: oggie
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 05:24 PM

I have read this thread with a mixture of sadness and anger.

Let's get back to basics 'let those amongst you without sin cast the first stone'. So I assume that no-one here has ever taped a record, downloaded a track or photocopied rather more than allowed without paying a royalty to the copyright owners. No-one's ever borrowed more of a tune than's allowed without acknowledgment.

Yes, there are flaws in PK (and many others) but I find the level of vitriol (from the original Mustrad article onwards) upsetting and I feel unwarranted, and I wonder how many of us are squeaky clean.

oggie

PS before someone says 'It's a matter of degrees', to paraphrase a longer story, a whore is a whore if the fee is £5 or £50,000


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Folkiedave
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 05:38 PM

Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Geoff Wallis - PM
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 02:13 PM

Folkiedave wrote:

'Then despair away Fred, for you cannot see how publishing something that is written anonymously and publishing something that is written anonymously is identical.'


To make sense of that you have to include all of it Geoff, including Fred´s initial response. But to put it another way, Fred could not see they were identical. I can and since you regard it as tautology, so can you!!

But what I was puzzled about was you said I had missed a vital word out..Quote.....

"Well, of course it is, but I think Folkiedave might have omitted a vital word from this assertion".

What I want to know is what is the vital word I missed out?. Simple question and response I would have thought!!


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Uke
Date: 23 Sep 06 - 03:44 AM

I just wanted to add that a good book which covers the collecting practices of Cecil Sharp, Baring-Gould etc. is 'Fakesong', by Dave Harker.

I think you'd have to say Peter Kennedy was also a pioneer and probably had the faults of a pioneer. Should he have known better with some of the things he is alleged to have done? Maybe - maybe not.

It all comes down to your standards of ethics. In an area like collecting, ethics evolve. These days, if you're attached to a university and want to record people playing folk music you usually have to get signed permission from them. This is because people's rights are seen as more important (+ there are liability issues).

We should learn from the mistakes of past collectors and those (now) cringe-worthy actions - but we shouldn't completely judge them by our contemporary standards. Nonetheless, we can learn only by knowing the details. Perhaps Rod's article seems a little harsh at first reading, but I'm certain his intentions are good. After all, he's doing an important job supporting serious writing about traditional music, especially about the role of traditional singers and musicians, who undoubtedly got short shrift by earlier generations of collectors.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: JamesHenry
Date: 23 Sep 06 - 04:27 AM

Good post Uke, Henry Kissinger couldn't have put it better.

Traditional singers and musicians certainly did get short shrift (try saying that with your teeth out) by contempory standards but probably not in era under discussion here. Intellectual property rights and performers' rights would certainly have to be respected today and rightly so. You say that you are certain that Rod Stradlings' intentions are good. Perhaps that generosity should be extended to include Peter Kennedys'contribution as a pioneer in the ethical climate that prevailed during his work as a collector?

Regards

James Henry


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Sep 06 - 04:53 AM

JAMES HENRY,your last line aboutPETER KENNEDY, is exactly why i brought cecil Sharp into the discussion.
Douglas Kennedy was Peters father, undoubtedly Sharp and his collecting would have been discussed in kennedys home, SHARP may well have been an inspiration to Kennedy when he was a child, adolescent etc.
Kennedy undoubtedly kenew that early collectors didnt pay for their songs, and didnt pay for royalties, therefore his folk society and home environment influenced his behaviour in both good and bad ways And was responsible for his attiude. any man that puts up two unknown inebriated strangers in his home is basically a good hearted person.which was also my own impression of Kennedy,
    he made mistakes he did things i wouldnt have done o k. we dont know their magnitude, because there is very little concrete evidence.
to OGGIE . any judge when passing sentence takes into account the size of the crime, he will sentence differently someone stealing an apple differently from someone stealing 500 pound or 50000 pounds ok they are still a theif but to use emotive words like ripping off when we dont know the size of amounts stolen , doesnt contribute to making level headed judgement,.
other correspondents have suggested the amounts were probably small[ quite likely]but not proven.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Sep 06 - 08:01 AM

TO GUEST JON, are you calling the whole of my post codswallop,or are you doubting that codswallop is lemonade,are you doubting that i have been exploited,or are you saying we should take our grudges to the graves and never forgive.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: oggie
Date: 23 Sep 06 - 02:27 PM

A point of clarification only, nowhere in my message have I used the words 'ripping off' as the Captain Birdseye's post seems to imply.

oggie


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Geoff Wallis
Date: 23 Sep 06 - 02:51 PM

JamesHenry wrote, with astonishing naivety, 'If you go to Glen in the first week of August, every man and his dog has a microphone pointing at James and every other notable fiddle player there. At least Feldman "slipped him a few bob"'.

Thanks for assuming that I've never been in Glencolmcille in August. None of the people who might be pointing a mike at James went so far as to assume that he'd be utterly agreeable to his works appearing on an album. But that's exactly what Feldman did, without James's permission!


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: JamesHenry
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 03:40 AM

With astonishing anal retentiveness Geoff Wallis accused me of "astonishing naivity." I didn't assume that you'd never been to Glencolmcille Geoffry. I was merely adding this observation to the general debate as an indicator of the number of unauthorised recordings that must be circulating of James and other Donegal fiddlers. It's surely not beyond the realms of belief that sometime in the future (when we are beyond worrying about it) some of these recordings are going to resurface and be made available, at a price.
I don't know what arrangement Feldman had with James but as you have revealed money was offered and accepted. Who knows what agreements are made between two people in a pub without the necessity of a signature at the bottom of a contract? It used to be called a gentlemans' agreement and was sealed by a shake of the hand. In Kennedys' day this was possibly the way that agreements were also conducted?


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 04:52 AM

to oggie, no your quite right you didnt, but FRED MCCORMICK did . I was not intending to imply that you had, but that somebody had , if it does appear like that , I apologise.


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