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Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy

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GUEST,Shimrod 24 Sep 06 - 05:27 AM
The Sandman 24 Sep 06 - 06:25 AM
The Sandman 24 Sep 06 - 09:12 AM
Folkiedave 24 Sep 06 - 09:41 AM
Folkiedave 24 Sep 06 - 01:00 PM
Geoff Wallis 24 Sep 06 - 03:04 PM
JamesHenry 24 Sep 06 - 04:47 PM
Folkiedave 24 Sep 06 - 06:45 PM
The Sandman 25 Sep 06 - 10:22 AM
Folkiedave 25 Sep 06 - 12:05 PM
Geoff Wallis 25 Sep 06 - 02:23 PM
The Sandman 25 Sep 06 - 02:39 PM
The Sandman 25 Sep 06 - 02:41 PM
Geoff Wallis 25 Sep 06 - 02:57 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 25 Sep 06 - 03:04 PM
Effsee 25 Sep 06 - 03:04 PM
oggie 25 Sep 06 - 04:15 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 25 Sep 06 - 04:22 PM
The Sandman 25 Sep 06 - 04:28 PM
JamesHenry 25 Sep 06 - 05:47 PM
Folkiedave 25 Sep 06 - 05:59 PM
GUEST 26 Sep 06 - 03:20 AM
Folkiedave 26 Sep 06 - 04:00 AM
The Sandman 26 Sep 06 - 04:22 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 26 Sep 06 - 05:20 AM
Folkiedave 26 Sep 06 - 05:35 AM
The Sandman 26 Sep 06 - 07:16 AM
Fred McCormick 26 Sep 06 - 07:32 AM
The Sandman 26 Sep 06 - 07:34 AM
GUEST,Jim Martin 26 Sep 06 - 07:47 AM
The Sandman 26 Sep 06 - 08:33 AM
The Sandman 26 Sep 06 - 08:38 AM
greg stephens 26 Sep 06 - 09:04 AM
oggie 26 Sep 06 - 10:04 AM
Folkiedave 26 Sep 06 - 10:21 AM
Folkiedave 26 Sep 06 - 10:27 AM
GUEST 26 Sep 06 - 11:04 AM
Folkiedave 26 Sep 06 - 12:46 PM
Folkiedave 26 Sep 06 - 01:05 PM
Geoff Wallis 26 Sep 06 - 03:31 PM
The Sandman 26 Sep 06 - 03:53 PM
The Sandman 26 Sep 06 - 04:05 PM
BB 26 Sep 06 - 05:57 PM
The Sandman 27 Sep 06 - 01:31 PM
The Sandman 27 Sep 06 - 01:49 PM
Geoff Wallis 27 Sep 06 - 01:58 PM
GUEST,Kevin Rietmann 27 Sep 06 - 02:15 PM
Greg B 27 Sep 06 - 02:34 PM
The Sandman 27 Sep 06 - 03:48 PM
GUEST 27 Sep 06 - 03:59 PM
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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 05:27 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."

In my opinion 'Fakesong' is a pernicious load of old rubbish which, in particular, did great damage to the reputation of a great collector, Cecil Sharp!

A couple of years ago Chris Bearman did a superb demolition job on that section of 'Fakesong', which dealt with Sharp, showing it to be poorly researched, extremely partial and outrageously politically biased. Bearman's article is called: 'Cecil Sharp in Somerset: Some reflections on the work of David Harker'. The Bearman article can be found at www.findarticles.com.

If you must read Harker's mischievous travesty of a book make sure that you read Bearman's article as well!


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 06:25 AM

If mcormick and carroll, and dallas did say anything to Peter Kennedy when he was alive then that was good, and should have made him aware, of what was overstepping the bounds of good ethics       however a clear case either way should have resulted in litigation,.
perhaps his detractors did not have ENOUGH evidence.
   PERHAPS kennedy wouldnt have been able to clear his name[ we will never know].
alternatively kennedys threats of litigation could be interpreted as him having a strong case,[ we have so far only tiny amounts of concrete evidence ]otherwise stradling would not be having to ask for evidence against Kennedy.
clearly either side did not have the money to take it to court,.   
    which suggests that kennedy didnt make pounds but pence, that doesnt excuse Kennedy, but puts a proper perspective   on the matter.
so that level headed judgement[[ rather than emotive phrases like [ripping off]]]can be made.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 09:12 AM

Does anyone know what sean o boyle opinions of Kennedy were.
looking through a 1956 editionof the efdsss journal it seems O BOYLE who was a collector in northern ireland for the BBC, worked and recorded with Kennedy , allowing him to record his father charles o boyle in 1952.
He must havetrusted KENNEDY to allow him to record his father,or was KENNEDY alright at this period, but not allegedly later.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Folkiedave
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 09:41 AM

If mcormick and carroll, and dallas did say anything to Peter Kennedy when he was alive then that was good,

Indeed. But that it is not the same as publishing a stream of anonymous allegations and then asking for "concrete examples" to show the veracity of those anonymous allegations. [Emphasis in the original].

And if they did do so and no litigation ensued it hardly makes Peter Kennedy the vexatious litigant he was purported to be.

Dave Eyre


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Folkiedave
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 01:00 PM

I have been re-reading this thread anticpating the return of some of the contributors from the Frank Harte Festival. I came across this gem.........


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

A few years ago, there was a long discussion on the IRTRAD_L message board about Kenedy and copyright. Most of what I said here, I said there also. Ditto for Jim Carroll. We were not alone in condemning Kennedy.

Neither of us can be accused of waiting until Kennedy was dead before laying accusations. Neither are we the only ones. Rod Stradling commented on Kennedy's methods while Kennedy was alive. So did Karl Dallas. Doubtless, there are others.


Therefore once again Fred can I point out that he seems not to be the litigant that people made him out to be? Did you receive writs? Did you take him on?

Incidentally, I forgot to add the question of dubbed accompaniment to my list of facts, but that is a terrible thing to do to anybody.

I agree.

I also forgot to mention Kennedy's ineffectiveness when it came to collecting royalties on other people's behalf. When he attempted to extract payment from the Campbells for their performance of The Nightingale, they told him it wasn't the Cantwell's version they were singing. End of story. Did Kennedy tell people there would be no chance of proving ownership in a court dispute, and that therefore, these "agreements" were fit only for wiping people's arses with ? I hardly think so.

No Fred I think that he probably said that since The Campbells were in denial the chances of winning what could have been a very expensive court case would be by no means certain and their money would be better spent elsewhere.

And what would your advice to the Cantwell´s have been Fred? Hire a lawyer and sue? I´ll lend you the money and you can pay me back when you win? As you say Fred, "I hardly think so".


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Geoff Wallis
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 03:04 PM

James Henry's message above really does reveal that he hasn't a grasp of the situation regarding field recordings and their relation to commerical album releases.

Firstly, James, my name is Geoff, not 'Geoffry'.

Secondly, he writes this:

>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.

Whether we've stopped 'worrying about' it or not anyone who exploits such recordings commercially is nothing more than a bootlegger. And, it's also not beyond the bounds of possibility that increasingly sussed musicians have already copywritten their arrangements.

It's fine for private tapes to circulate, but not so if anyone attempts to exploit their commercial potential.

>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?

James, you clearly haven't taken in the information provided in one of my postings above. Yep, Feldman did pay James Byrne a derisory sum, but that, as far as James was concerned, was for a private recording, not for the commercial recording (the 'missing' Topic Donegal fiddle album) which Feldman was in the process of making.

One can only surmise whether Kennedy used similar techniques.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: JamesHenry
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 04:47 PM

Geoff
First of all, getting involved in a debate with yourself over collecting practices in Glencolmcille can only disrupt and deflect attention from the primary debate regarding Peter Kennedy. Apologies to everyone for going off topic.
Secondly, have you always had this patronising and condescending attitude in relation to your interpersonal skills or did you take lessons?
Apologies are due for getting your name wrong.

Regards

James Henry


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Folkiedave
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 06:45 PM

One can only surmise whether Kennedy used similar techniques.

No one cannot. We can go with hard facts (concrete evidence as Mustrad calls it) or we can shut up.

I know nothing about the instances to which you refer or about Peter Kennedy, therefore I am not going to surmise.

There is enough garbage about people in the folk world circulating without adding to it by going around surmising.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 10:22 AM

point 26 is intriguing.
stradling says much of the BBC material has been lost through incompetence and unconcern.and that the NSA.fees are expensive. the last point has nothing to do with Kennedy, does the first point either. if the NSA rates are expensive,is this because they are paying royalties.
the man in the moon quote although amusing ,has not got anything to do with Peter Kennedys character,its a classic case of generalising from one particular incident.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Folkiedave
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 12:05 PM

Rod Stradling also says that the NSA archive have copies of his recordings.

I´m not so sure. I think they may have copies of his Folktrax recordings - not the same thing at all.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Geoff Wallis
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 02:23 PM

James Henry,

I said absolutely nothing about 'collecting practices' in Glencolmcille! I was only responding to your woeful comments regarding the circulation of private tapes (and your failure to understand that commercial exploitation of these is simply bootlegging).

As for my interpersonal skills, I don't think your own suggest that you are worthy to comment (and look up 'anal retention' in a decent summation of Freud's works when you next have the chance). It would be extremely helpful if posters to this and any other topic on Mudcat actually bothered to read threads fully before commenting.

For the record, in case you aren't familiar with my name, I wrote 'The Rough Guide to Irish Music' and am the co-author of the Rough Guides to Dublin and Ireland, as well as contributing regularly to 'fRoots' and 'Songlines' magazine.

Folkiedave - the NSA does have original copies of PK's recordings, according to its catalogue. However, when I accessed one of these it transpired to be a taped copy of PK's recording of the original BBC master disc, complete with clicks. Since I was only interested in that one disc I did not investigate the rest of the collection (and could not because of the NSA's very restrictive rules of access - plus associated fees).

Captain Birdseye - the NSA's costs for reproducing the contents of its sound archive have nothing to do with royalties, but are simply fixed charges levied for copying material. I suggest you check www.bl.uk/nsa for further details of the NSA's charges.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 02:39 PM

As you are the editor of rough guide to ireland.
perhaps you could expain the cheek you had to photograph my friend James Kingston and my partner Cathy Cook, playing outside a pub in Durrus, west cork ,IRELAND some years ago ,without asking permission, and you never paid any royalties,you have some cheek even to be involved in this discussion.
its customary to ask first and then at least but those photographed a beer.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 02:41 PM

last line should read. at least buy those photographed a beer.and presumably you make money out of this guide.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Geoff Wallis
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 02:57 PM

Captain Birdseye,

Get your brain into gear!

I am not the 'editor' of 'The Rough Guide to Ireland', but the book's co-author (there is a substantial difference between the two roles). Please tell me upon exactly which page of which edition of 'The Rough Guide to Ireland' this supposed photograph appears.

You won't be able to because no such photograph was ever published in the book.

Before making any future such allegations it would be advisable to check both your memory and actuality.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 03:04 PM

"you had to photograph my friend James Kingston and my partner Cathy Cook, playing outside a pub in Durrus, west cork ,IRELAND some years ago ,without asking permission, and you never paid any royalties"

I believe in most countries you are allowed to take photographs in public without consent.

If a photographer snaps a photo at a football match, he does not have to get the rights from every person in the photo - such as those sitting in the stands.   

There is a huge difference between snapping a photo in public and reproducing someone elses work.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Effsee
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 03:04 PM

Cap'n, as far as I recall, you need no permission to take photographs in a public place.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: oggie
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 04:15 PM

Legally you need permission and a model release form for any photograph used in any public forum. I know it's not often enforced but it can be a nightmare, especially with children. When I do schools' work and the local press are there, only children whose parents have given permission can appear in the local paper.

oggie


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 04:22 PM

I'm not sure if that is true Oggie, at least not here in the U.S.   If it were true, paparrazi would be out of business.

Your school and the local press may be doing the right thing, but I don't think we have a legal precedent. In my own community, my children have appeared in the newspaper for school functions without a permission slip being signed. They are not usually identified by name.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 04:28 PM

to GEOFF WALLIS, please refrain from being rude.
while there may be no law about paying royalties,you are making money out of this guide. if you take photographs of specific people[ not crowds at football matches]to enhance your book. morally, you should insruct your photographer to at least have the decency to ask is it o k.
most tourists do this when taking photographs of buskers, and drop a contribution into the hat,.perhaps you should change your policy,and make sure your photographer does make a contribution, then your in a better position to take the moral high ground,
   check back the period 1992 to 1998, look under the west cork section.the bar as i recall it was Caseys bar.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: JamesHenry
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 05:47 PM

Geoff

Was Feldman not engaged in "collecting practices" when he recorded James Byrne in Glencolmcille and paid him a "derisory sum"?
As for my "woeful comments" regarding the circulation of private tapes, well please forgive me for not expessing myself to the satisfaction of a big shot like yourself.

"For the record,in case you aren't familiar with my name,I wrote, "The Rough Guide to Irish Music" and am the co-author of The Rough Guides to Dublin and Ireland, as well as contributing regularly to 'fRoots' and 'Songlines' magazine."
What's that all about? I know who you are but I'm sorry that you feel the need to use that as leverage to put over your point of view.

Touche regarding the interpersonal skills as I do find myself decending to your level but the difference between us is that I know it isn't permanent in my case.

As regards anal retention, I was thinking along the lines of meticulous, parsimonious or obstinate and definately not "full of shite" honest.

PS I'm thinking of writing "The Ruff Guide to Dogs" and I'd be grateful for any Pointers.

James Henry


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Folkiedave
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 05:59 PM

I´d like to draw back this discussion to the original post, since I feel it has drifted away.

Mustrad saves files on people over a period of years. We know this because Rod Stradling says so. ("Over the years a file of comments and information has built up in my office".) And because Fred McCormick (co-editor of Mustrad) tells us that nothing is thrown away. ("Rod, like any good editor, keeps all MT correspondence on file".)

He has waited until the particular subject of this file is dead and then......under the guise of a critical re-appraisal.........and with as far as we can tell no thought to the family.........

Mustrad publishes an edited version of the file (we know this because the editor says it is edited.("I have now edited it").

It consists of a series of positive points which have no qualification whatsoever attached to them (i.e. presumably the editor agrees) and a much longer series of negative points. The negative points begin with the words: "It has been alleged that :"

Apart from one all these allegations, positive and negative are anonymous.

The editor says he is "particularly interested in concrete examples..." of at least some of the allegations that have been made made anonymously and which he has just published. In other words he seeks evidence to support the anonymous allegations he has just published.

He then suggests that if another editor does not publish his version ("I will then subsume these contributions within the piece") then he will.

I happen to think this is a disgraceful way to behave, and I am interested to hear who else will have this technique applied to them in the future. Ready to tell us Fred, or will it only happen when we/they are dead too?


Dave Eyre


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 03:20 AM

This argument appears to be turning in on itself - can we get back to basics?
I and most people who have been involved in traditional music as long as I have, (somewhere between thirty and forty years) have been aware of Peter Kennedy's activities for most of that time. There is much documentary and anecdotal evidence to substantiate the accusations made against him: I have seen the some of the forms he persuaded his singers and musicians to sign; I have seen some of his demands for royalties and I have heard directly from some of the people who have been affected by his cynical manipulations concerning what is arguably the most important collection of traditional songs and music from these islands. These are not malicious rumours, urban legends, exaggerations, lies, fantasies or idle gossip; as far as I am concerned they are widely recognised facts.
When I raised the question of Kennedy's ripping off of the John Reilly recordings I deliberately did not name names – I felt it was not my position to do so, though I was prepared to confirm the facts when somebody else (Fred) specified who it was. I note there has been very little reference to this unsavoury incident – which means either the pro-Kennedy camp don't believe it happened or they feel that ripping off a destitute Traveller (or, as John Reilly was already dead when Kennedy's cassette was issued – Traveller children) is acceptable behaviour for somebody who has taken advantage of the generosity of the people who kept alive the music and unselfishly passed it on to our safe keeping. I did not become involved in traditional music to tilt at windmills, but to follow an interest and a love of an art form and to try to pass it on to others. I said my piece when I was able but like most people in my position (or non-position), I got on with what I loved and valued - as somebody put it to me in Dublin this week-end, "We all knew what he was up to, but we kept our heads down". Unfortunately, the people who were in the position to make a difference, the BBC and the EFDSS, did the same.
The fact that musicians and singers were not paid is not the point; what is important is that the recordings were marketed without their permission and often without their knowledge AND THIS WAS WRONG. It is common collecting etiquette that the collector makes quite clear from the outset what use is to be made from the material recorded and that this assurance, contract, whatever you call it, is adhered to. THIS WAS NOT DONE.
Little discussion has taken place around Peter Kennedy's fellow collectors – it is still being referred to as the Kennedy Collection, even though Sean O'Boyle, Bob Copper and Seamus Ennis played as important a part in the collecting as he did. I don't know what Sean O'Boyle thought of his behaviour Cap'n, but I do know that it was O'Boyle who recorded his father Charles and not Kennedy – listen to the recordings in the VWML. O' Boyle did most of the Northern Ireland recordings as well, as far as I can make out.
Seamus Ennis did a magnificent job in The Hebrides and was well respected by the singers there. I know what Ennis thought of Kennedy, you should have heard what he had to say when he learned that Kennedy has issued a tape of him playing fiddle (Ennis was a magnificent piper but an indifferent fiddle player!) Included in Kennedy's catalogue were also recordings made by Alan Lomax, Hamish Henderson and others.
I don't know how good a collector Kennedy was; we only have the songs and tunes he collected with hardly any background information from the informants (are the master recordings still in existence?) I tend to believe he was in the right place at the right time with the right financial backers (the British tax/license payer).
Why is it important to raise the question now that Kennedy is dead?
For a start, if is an important part of the history of the revival and, as such, deserving of discussion. I am delighted that Musical Traditions has decided to give it the attention it merits, and will be very interested to see if Dance And Song (or any other EFDSS body) approaches the issue.
The future of the collection is now in question; what is now going to happen to the recordings? So far the collection has had very little use, apart from a financial one. They were originally used for the radio series 'As I Roved Out'. They were issued in edited form (omitted verses and stitched-together versions) on the highly influential Caedmon series. They were used by MacColl on the magnificent 'Song Carriers' series (now thankfully available again after a gap of forty years. Apart from the odd appearance in various radio programmes (including having the piss taken out of them by the 'My Music' team), they have had little public airing (unless you are luck enough to drop into Cecil Sharp House and spend a few hours listening to the set held there) I know that only a part of the collection has ever seen the light of day and those that have been made generally available are on shoddily made cassettes, unmastered and with no background information (the quality of the Folktrax productions have hardly been commented on by participants in this discussion).
Where do we go from here?
Jim Carroll
PS Cap'n, I was not aiming my remarks specifically at you regarding MacColl, but observing that the noble art of grave-dancing is still alive and thriving some sixteen years after his death; though I have always been aware that comments on his supposed 'clay feet' usually come from people who never saw him with his shoes off.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Folkiedave
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 04:00 AM

If we are going back to basics then this thread started with the Mustrad "Enthusisam."

I happen to think that rumours and anecdotes circulating around the folk world are often just that. Jim has spent many an hour refuting those about Ewan McColl and despite that those same rumours persist and are repeated as gospel. Having said that, I am happy to agree with Jim in all that he knows about personally and puts his name to.

As far as I am aware the grave dancing on Ewan MacColl started a quite a while after he was dead.

Mustrad chose to publish its anonymous allegations within three months of Peter Kennedy´s death, with, it seems, little thought for his family.

I think publishing anonymous allegations about people is wrong, I think publishing anonymous allegations about people and then asking for concrete evidence to back them up is disgraceful. And I think doing it within such a short time of someone´s death only compounds it.

Do you not agree Jim?


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 04:22 AM

TO jim,Thankyou for your post.I got my information regarding Charles oBoyle,from the EFDSS journal 1956 .thankyou for correcting it,it states quite clearly, recorded by kennedy and o boyle, transcribed by kennedy and micheal bell, its not unreasonable to have assumed that this was correct.
    I think where we go from here is to lobby, that they remain in England,The alleged stolen tapes if they are in kennedys possesion should be returned to CECIL SHARP HOUSE,any recprdings made without permission should be returned to the owners relatives.The quality of the folktrax recordings is only important [in my opinion]if it becomes impossible to discern the words and the airs of the songs, after all Martin CARTHY was able to discern through the crackles of joseph taylor and pass the songs on to the public. your clay feet remarks are mis informed as far as I am concerned, but I have deliberately kept them to myself, as I prefer to remember the legacy of fine songs he has left us.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 05:20 AM

Bit difficult to dance on someone's grave before they are dead. But if you were around the London folk scene in the 60's you would know that many people then had very similar opinions of MacColl as to those being aired now AND they didn't keep quiet about it.

I can't always agree with Jim Carroll's postings but I hope that his most recent will put paid to some of the blinkered acceptance of what a wonderful man Kennedy was. Listen to the facts for and against from the people involved and make a balanced judgement.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Folkiedave
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 05:35 AM

I agree, don´t listen to anonymous allegations from Mustrad.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 07:16 AM

point 13 of stradlings negatives, he was very litigous,he was always threatening to take people to court and his detractors always backed off.
his detractors must have known they were going to lose,seems a logical conclusion.
litigous means to carryout a lawsuit [not to threaten to carry out one], I dont think kennedy was ever involved in a lawsuit, therefore he was not litigous.
I tend to agree with folkie dave that this discussion would have been in better taste if it had been left till afer his estate, and will was known, lets hope hes left his collection to CECIL SHARP HOUSE.
Knowledge of the size of his esate, and of how much he inherited from his parents would give clarification to the financial allegations.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 07:32 AM

I withdrew from this thread because, instead of sewing the seeds of a practical debate on Peter Kennedy, it has turned into one of the most fatuous and ill-informed debacles I have ever witnessed.

I have returned to it because I want to endorse Jim Carroll's e-mail, which summed up the Kennedy situation admirably. Unlike many of the contributions to this thread it has not been written from a position of ignorance over what Kennedy did and didn't do.

On that score, I was surprised to see one detractor admitting that he didn't know very much about Kennedy, whilst another has been seen elsewhere asking who was the collector who recorded Joseph Taylor! I'm sorry, but that is such basic common knowledge that I would have expected anyone, who considered themselves sufficiently knowledgeable to add to this thread, to know the answer.

What's more, that questioner has also been asking whether there was any animosity between the folk song and dance sections of the Edwardian revival. (Sorry, I can't quote directly without navigating away from the page and losing what I've just written.)

Dick, you obviously don't know anything of the stuff which has been written about that period over the past couple of decades. The literature is not huge, but is significant nonetheless, and you will find a few sources at the end of this message. If you don't know of the existence of that literature, then it suggests that you are sadly under-informed about the British folk revival in general, and therefore of Kennedy's role in it. Instead of attacking people who have studied that revival in some depth, you would serve yourself better by getting up to speed with what a few of us have known for years.

To get back to the matter in hand, I named John Reilly and Tom Munnelly purely because somebody (Dick Miles, I think) asked for facts. I presented them, complete with sources, and I was not very pleased to be erroneously reminded of the law of libel. Sorry Dick. Facts are facts and sources are sources. I did not libel Kennedy and I did not libel his memory.

I have no desire to rake over most of the things which have been said in this thread. However, there are one or two other issues which need to be put right.

First of all Dave Eyre would have been well advised to study the following statement on the Mustrad home page.

"The copyright and intellectual property right of everything appearing in this magazine remains with the person who wrote it.
Nothing may be reproduced without prior written permission of the author, and the citation of MT as the source."

Copy appearing in Mustrad is subject to the same rules of protocol and laws of copyright as those which cover any other form of published media. Dave Eyre should have asked my permission before posting my letter on Mudcat.

While we're at it, Dave Eyre might have cast his eyes over the following;
"The views expressed in all articles, reviews, etc, are those of the author of each piece, not of the Editor."
There are one or two mistakes in Rod's script, which I'll point out to him when he comes back. Otherwise, I stand by what he said. But Dave Eyre should have recognised that Rod is the author of that piece, and his comments are his responsibility.

On the score of litigation, so far as I can recall nobody has ever accused Peter Kennedy of suing people. The accusation is that he threatened people with court action. Those people who realised his "contracts" were little more than elaborate toilet paper told him where to go. Kennedy must have known his agreements were unenforceable before he got people to sign them. In other words he was acting fraudulently.

Incidentally, the Campbells refused to treat with Kennedy over the Nightingale, but I recall that the Dubliners recorded that same version on an early Transatlantic LP. Does anyone know who they credited the song to, and whether the Cantwells benefitted ? I ask because I've been told that a third party absconded with Harry Cox's royalties to The Black Velvet Band and the Dubliners made up what was owing to him out of their own pockets. If so, it's good to see that there are some honourable people around.

On the subject of Folktrax, unlike several other contributors, I have quite a stack of them. A few were bought by me years ago as part of a bulk order, before I realised what Kennedy was at and before I realised how shabby they were. I bought a couple more - second-hand I should emphasise- a few years ago, because they were of Frank Proffitt, who was a great musical hero of mine. Finally, I recently inherited a substantial number. Therefore, when I say that the production standards beggar belief and that they are a rip off, I know what I am talking about.

Incidentally, I take exception to Dick Mile's statement that the quality is "only important [in my opinion]if it becomes impossible to discern the words and the airs of the songs". If I buy a record of Harry Cox or Belle Stewart or Elizabeth Cronin or Frank Proffitt, or any of the great practitioners of the tradition, I do not want to use it just to get the words and the tune. To regard those singers purely as source material is offensive to their memory and to their artistry. These people were masters of the song tradition, and I want to be able to enjoy what they had to offer. Many field recordings were made on substandard equipment in adverse conditions, and poor sound quality is often something we just have to put up with. The BBC recordings were made on state of the art equipment and the sound, for its time, is generally very good. To put that collection out on shoddy cassettes with shoddy notes and shoddy sound quality demeans the tradition and cheats the purchaser.

Finally, a story about Seán O' Boyle which under other circumstances, might be amusing. As it is, it is highly illuminating. It was told from the stage of the Bothy folkclub in Southport, Lancashire, about the year 1988 by Paddy Tunney. Michael Gallagher (Paddy Tunney's uncle) had a version of the Keech in the Creel. According to Tunney, Mickey Gallagher, being a religious man, and sensitive to the song's "salacious" content, agreed to sing it for the BBC only on the condition that it would never be published. It subsequently appeared on volume 2 of the erroneously titled Folksongs of Britain; Topic 12T 161, where the collectors are identified as Peter Kennedy and Sean O' Boyle.

Again, according to Tunney, Mickey Gallagher was so incensed that he wrote a stiff letter to the BBC in Belfast and addressed it to JOHN BOYLE, ENGLISHMAN!
I will not be wasting my time with further rejoinders to this thread. But I hope that any debate which emerges in Musical Traditions will be better informed than this one.

Anyway, here's a few of those written sources.

Richard Sykes, The Evolution of Englishness in the English Folksong Revival, 1890-1914 Volume 6 Number 4 (1993). Folk Music Journal: Volume 6 Number 4.

HUGHES, and STRADLING. The English Musical Renaissance 1860-1940: Construction and Deconstruction. . RKP. 1993. ISBN: 0415034930

Georgina Boyes . The Imagined Village: Culture, Ideology and the
English Folk Revival. Manchester U.P. 1994. ISBN: 0719045711

Dave Harker. Fakesong: The Manufacture of British Folksong 1700 to the Present Day. Open University. 1985. ISBN: 0335150667.

C.J. Bearman. Cecil Sharp in Somerset: some reflections on the work of David Harker. The Journal of the Folklore Society. 2002.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 07:34 AM

point   25 of the negatives.refers to his dismissal, was he dismissed, or did he leave of his own volition, until we know from EFDSS the reason for his alleged dismissal[ if he was dismissed]its no point speculating,one could speculate and assume it was a cost cutting exercise.
perhaps someone from EFDSS    could clarify whether he was dismissed or not.
even if they dont want to give the reason.they must have recordsfrom the period.I seem to remember his leaving was his own decision and he was not dismissed.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 07:47 AM

Fred McCormick, you may be very knowledgeableb but there's absolutley no reason to be so rude to people who are genuinely attempting to learn facts (especially on this fanatstic website which is celebrating it's 10th anniversary and deserves better!).

I'd be scared to ask anything for fear of getting my head bitten off.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 08:33 AM

dear fred,
I was not asking about the folk revival.[ of which I am fairly knowledgeable, having been part of it as a performer and audience since 1964,] but about the early song collectors something totally different, most people refer to the folk revival as 1956 onwards.
in my dictionary, litigious means involved in court action,inclined to engage in lawsuits,. he is described by Stradling as litigious, he.was never engaged in lawsuits, therefore he was not litigious. this statement of Rods is incorrect.
I do agree with you that its preferable to have good quality, when trying to appreciate good singers, but not absolutely essential if you are trying to learn words or melody.
I feel that I am able to have an informed discussion with Jim Carroll,it doesnt help your case to be rude or to get over excited. so your probably right that its a good thing you leave this discussion. meanwhile Jim Carroll is putting across arguments that are making me reflect differently upon Peter Kennedy.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 08:38 AM

fred,I have made a note of the isbn number of [still growing english traditional songs] bY VIC GAMMON, I think that looks suitable.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: greg stephens
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 09:04 AM

I have had occasion to disagree with Jim Carroll on the subject of Ewan McColl's sainthood(or otherwise), but I must say his contributions to this thread are illuminating and help to clarify things for a lot of people.
This is an interesting thread, but marred (as always) by the ill-temper of some conributors. What I find really silly is the continuous attacks on Musical Tradition's habit of keeping files, as if this is some kind of disreputable surveillance activity. Personally, I can't imagine how you run a magazine without keeping files.
Anway, I have just had to tidy up my spare bedroom for some guest, and it was looking more like Tutankahmen's tomb(minus the gold) than a bedroom. In the process I had to move(and look into) about twenty large banana boxes full of papers, and I can safely say that I have got files on pretty much everybody active in the folk revival since c1960. And a lot of that is gossipy private letters.So watch out!


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: oggie
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 10:04 AM

When reading Harker it is important to remember the political background which I believe colours the work. Harker was (is) a Trotskyite whereas MacColl, Lloyd et al were CP (most likely Marxist/Leninist). As a student in the seventies I well remember the vitriol that each side poured on each othereven though they were technically both of the left. (Also remember that even Trotskyites fell out, SWP, WRP, WSL etc) In the Trotskyite mindset EVERYTHING is politcal, even traditional folk music, and anything done by Marxists is, by definition, at least misguided, at worst a deliberate attempt to undermine the true meaning of the revolution etc.

I read Fakesong when it first came out, when this was fresher in my memory, and I must admit I dismissed most of it because of it's (to me) distortion by a particular political lens (and no, I am not a Marxist either, I got expelled from the Labour Party for being too right wing, but that was in the seventies and I am still far to the left of Blair)

oggie


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Folkiedave
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 10:21 AM

"The copyright and intellectual property right of everything appearing in this magazine remains with the person who wrote it.
Nothing may be reproduced without prior written permission of the author, and the citation of MT as the source."

Copy appearing in Mustrad is subject to the same rules of protocol and laws of copyright as those which cover any other form of published media. Dave Eyre should have asked my permission before posting my letter on Mudcat.


Fred is quite right. I therefore humbly apologise for taking his writing and publishing it without his permission.

There are two points here.

1. Since the letter published on Mustrad is to my mind anyway a plea to discover the perpetrator of a fraudulent piece of writing I am surprised that Fred wishes it to remain on Mustrad and not to be widely disseminated. I would quote the relevant portion of the piece but I daren´t for fear of breaching copyright.

But that it his choice and I am sorry I misunderstood his motives.

2. Since this thread was started by a "cut and paste job" from the pages of Mustrad then I cannot understand why Fred (clearly precious about the copyright issue and things being taken from Mustrad and posted on Mudcat) was not quick to condemn it, as quickly as he did my "cut and paste job". In fact he hasn´t yet condemned it at all. I really do fail to understand the thinking. Does me a favour Fred and explain.

On the score of litigation, so far as I can recall nobody has ever accused Peter Kennedy of suing people.

Well Fred I would love to point out where it says this on Mustrad but I daren´t for fear of interfering with Mustrad´s copyright.

Would you be kind enough to go to the current edition of your own magazine and post it on here for I cannot do so? Try point 13 in Peter Kennedy: An appraisal.

There are one or two mistakes in Rod's script, which I'll point out to him when he comes back. Otherwise, I stand by what he said. But Dave Eyre should have recognised that Rod is the author of that piece, and his comments are his responsibility.

That´s good Fred, that you stand by what Rod said. The problem is that he didn´t say it.

For what Rod published and I assume you accept that there is a difference between publishing and writing, is at least in part what other people have written. We know this because he says so. It is anonymous and it is allegations. We know this because there are no names attached and the derogatory comments are prefaced "It is alleged that:"

Now Mustrad is in the business of publishing anonymous allegations and asking for concrete evidence to back some of them up or it isn´t. Why not tell us Fred?

And Fred, why hide behind the pages of your own magazine?

Try a rejoinder on here.

Dave Eyre


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Folkiedave
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 10:27 AM

What I find really silly is the continuous attacks on Musical Tradition's habit of keeping files, as if this is some kind of disreputable surveillance activity. Personally, I can't imagine how you run a magazine without keeping files.

I am not attacking Mustrad´s habit of keeping files.

I am attacking Mustrad because it says itself it has built up a file of anonymous allegations over a number of years and then published them shortly after someone´s death with a request for concrete evidence to back some of them up.

I am sorry Greg if you fail to see the difference.

Dave Eyre


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 11:04 AM

Folkiedave,
Just out of idle interest, was the 4 volume Bronson 'Traditional Tunes....' on Ebay that belonged to Maud Karpeles that you were trying to sell for £800 part of Peter Kennedy's estate and if so, is there more to come?


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Folkiedave
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 12:46 PM

Yes it was. And I am not sure of the answer to your second question. I am currently in Spain and will be able to answer it when I return on November 2nd or thereabouts. And it is sold.

Next question and feel free to sign your name.......

Dave Eyre


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Folkiedave
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 01:05 PM

You know for a purveyor of previously cherished folk books I was a bit slow there. Sorry.

Let me have your email and I will include you in the next list I send out before Xmas. Cracking copy of Bronson (all four volumes) in there too. Nice covers, ex-library but not well destroyed by librarians stamps. Probably around 750 quid.

Dave Eyre


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Geoff Wallis
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 03:31 PM

Captain Birdseye wrote:

'To Geoff Wallis, please refrain from being rude. While there may be no 'law about paying royalties,you are making money out of this guide. If 'you take photographs of specific people to enhance your book, morally, 'you should insruct your photographer to at least have the decency to 'ask is it OK. Most tourists do this when taking photographs of buskers, 'and drop a contribution into the hat. Perhaps you should change your 'policy and make sure your photographer does make a contribution, then 'you're in a better position to take the moral high ground. Check back 'the period 1992 to 1998, look under the west cork section.the bar as i 'recall it was Caseys bar.

Who's being rude? You accused me of taking a photograph of your 'friend James Kingston and my partner Cathy Cook, playing outside a 'pub in Durrus, West Cork, some years ago without asking permission, 'and you never paid any royalties,you have some cheek even to be 'involved in this discussion.' This is utter balderdash.

For the absolute record, The Rough Guide to Ireland did not include any photographs until the 5th edition, published in 1999. That edition does not include any photographs of musicians taken in West Clare, nor do any of the succeeding editions.

I think you might have confused my book with another publication.

Dick, I think you owe me a major apology!


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 03:53 PM

to geoff wallis.
I am talking about west cork, not west clare, you evidently dont know where Durrus is ,and yet you produce a book called the rough guide to Ireland ,I know I saw this photograph in the rough guide, however as I dont have any copies in the house,   I will accept that you are telling the truth, and I apologise.
I hope you willagree with me that the most important thing now is that this collection stays in england and hopefully goes to Cecil Sharp house.
I really cant see much point in all this carping on about alleged injustices that cant now be righted, apart from putting pressure on the consciences of the Kennedy family to do the right thing now, if this is achieved then it will have been worth it, but if not its been pointless. history will make its own judgement.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 04:05 PM

TO GEOFF WALLIS I apologise again.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: BB
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 05:57 PM

Only just caught up with this thread as I've not had access to a computer for a while.

Back in the '70s, a recording was made of singing sessions in the Padstow area over a few days around Mayday. It was known by the participants of said singing sessions that they were being recorded. It was not that long since reasonable quality portable cassette tape recorders had become widely available, and recordings were quite commonly made. A while later, these recordings were released commercially under the name 'Singing Out the Oss'. All those who led songs (mostly revival singers) were identifiable, though not credited, and action was taken to stop sales of the tape and for the master tape to be destroyed. In the process, it was discovered that it was a criminal, not civil, offence to sell such a tape without the written permission of every single performer on that tape. One of the performers was a solicitor, and he sorted the whole thing out without requiring any payment. Knowing how much time he had to spend on it, I am certain that most, if not all, source singers would not have been able to afford to engage a solicitor to do the same.

This has nothing to do with whether or not the songs themselves were copyright, but purely about the commercial exploitation of the singers' performances. How much money could be made from the release of such a recording is neither here nor there. It is a criminal offence, or at least it was back then, and I doubt that that situation has changed.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 01:31 PM

Ihave just finished visiting folktrax and have discovered that I am there, dick and sue miles ,bald headed end of the broom on a cassette , that i knew nothing about.
as a matter of fact I dont mind because the lp is no longer available and I got the music from Peter Kennedys book in the first place. so heres one exploited person who doesnt mind.
that doesnt alter my opinion that Bob coppers and Seamus Ennis tapes should be returned to their rightful owners.
The irony of all this is that this was recorded with sweet folk all whose master tapes are now owned by Dave Bulmer. I would rather peter kennedy, made pence, or even pounds, than it was suppressed by dave bulmer .


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 01:49 PM

correction ,
just in case Dave Bulmer is viewing, this particular master tape was lost in a fire at Alan Greens house'/Studio so it is not in the possession of Dave Bulmer, Nor is it available any more. apologies to Dave Bulmer. The lp was called The Dunmow Flitch .sfa 106


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Geoff Wallis
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 01:58 PM

Captain Birdseye,

Apologies to you too! I meant to write 'West Cork', but Terry Allen's 'New Delhi Freight Train' was playing on the stereo and triggered a reference to the West Clare Railway.

For the record, there's more than one Durrus, including the pensinsula just west of Kinvarra.


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST,Kevin Rietmann
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 02:15 PM

Regarding the Leaving of Liverpool:

"Of course Seamus Ennis may have collected it elsewhere." I have three seperate recordings of Seamus singing this in America, 1964; on Oct. 8 he said he'd learned the song about six months earlier.
I paid something like $20 US for each Folktrax Ennis CD, which is a lot for felt tip pen labels and a dub of an Outlet LP. I notice there's another CD with one track of him playing pipes and Peter on the fiddle, anybody have that? I'd like to hear it.
Kevin Rietmann


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: Greg B
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 02:34 PM

Curious...does Seamus sing 'when I think of you' or
'when I think of thee?' Doerflinger collected it as
'you' from Dick Maitland, which of course doesn't rhyme.

Certain of the New York crowd INSIST that anything but 'you'
is highly improper, and bolster their argument saying that
'thee' although it rhymes is archaic. Which apparently shows how
far it truly is from Manhattan to Lancashire.

Most singers seem to have taken the 'thee' up, and by the
60s the Clancys were certainly singing it this way (in Manhattan).


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 03:48 PM

this has got me thinking.
Any lawyers out there, what would be my position if I was to brimg out a cd from ,The Dunmow flitch lp,since the master tapes were destoyed in a fire, before Joe stead sold Sweet Folk all, and greenwich Village, they are nothing to do with DAVE BULMER.
shame about the lp with, martin carthy playing guitar though,Cheating the Tide, looks as if it will never see the light of day as a C d. Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Reflections/Criticism of Peter Kennedy
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 03:59 PM

Just a thought while we sit around arguing the toss.
Whatever PKs strengths and weaknesses, in the not too distant future the fate of the collection will have to be decided.
When it was suggested some time ago that the VWML was sold there were at least two American academics bearing blank cheques waiting in the wings.
As far as I'm concerned one of the most important collection of field recordings ever to be made in the UK and Ireland should (does) belong to the nation.
I wonder who will end up owning it?
Jim Carroll


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