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Private recordings of Cyril Tawney

18 Mar 08 - 06:27 PM (#2292055)
Subject: Private recordings of Cyril Tawney
From: Mark Dowding

I have been looking at Cyril Tawney's website recently and found out that Rosemary is looking for recordings that people have made of Cyril over the years. I made a recording of a concert that Cyril did at the Bothy in 1983 (Sept 25th) and after remastering it to CD sent it off to Rosemary who has told me that it contains three songs that Cyril never recorded commercially.

I asked Rosemary if it would be OK to put a request for recordings on Mudcat and so below from the site www.cyriltawney.co.uk are the details of what she is looking for. If you have anything that might be of interest please contact Rosemary directly through the address or email on the website

Cheers
Mark



"Many of you have already sent me recordings and videos of Cyril's club and concert appearances, all of which will be carefully listened to with a view to including them in the Archive. They give me immense pleasure. However, there are some gaps; I'm particularly keen to have examples of his more quirky items, for my own benefit and for the Archive - here are some examples to jog your memories:

Music-hall songs - Married on Pension Day, With Me Little Bit Of Hair On The Top etc.

Popular songs - She Wears Red Feathers (yes, the Guy Mitchell hit), also the Andrews Sisters songs Her Bathing Suit Never Got Wet and Three Little Sisters - that's the one with the (slightly adapted) punchline:

"You can tell it to the soldier, tell it to the sailor, but don't tell it to the marine",

which audiences always joined in with great gusto, especially in Plymouth and Portsmouth.

Most of all in this category I would love to have a recording of Baltimore Oriole, a beautiful, bluesy Hoagy Carmichael song which Cyril very rarely sang - I only heard him do it a few times. Here's a reminder of the opening lines:

'Baltimore Oriole, took one look at that mercury, forty below, no life for a lady, to be draggin' her feathers around in the snow'

We will also be looking for any recordings Cyril may have made in his early Royal Navy days, before he got into folk music. He sang with a group called The Four Aways and in those days the general public could make records in music shop booths. The earliest I have so far was done in 1958 with a long-standing Navy friend, who gave me the original acetate and a CD copy at "Celebrating Cyril". The Burl Ives influence is very pronounced.

Even if the songs are covered elsewhere, Cyril's intros. were very much a part of his performances and the live sessions will help to complete the record of his career.

Thank you very much"

Rosemary


20 Mar 08 - 04:02 AM (#2293325)
Subject: RE: Private recordings of Cyril Tawney
From: Gurney

Mark, I've found my one recording of Cyril, at the Amperand Folk Club in Barwell, circa 1971/72, and it isn't in very good condition. I'll email The website about it, and this post should bring the thread to the top again, in case someone missed it.

These tapes deteriorate, don't they? The live original is much better than the one I edited from it a couple of years later, but have played much more. That one is much poorer than it used to be.


20 Mar 08 - 07:45 AM (#2293417)
Subject: RE: Private recordings of Cyril Tawney
From: Mark Dowding

Hi Gurney

Various factors determine the quality of recordings - I'm sure better people than me will give a more technical answer but the type of equipment it was originally recorded on and the microphones used as well as the quality of the tape - be it cassette or open reel and how the tape has been stored in the intervening years all affect the quality over time. The recording I made in 1983 is still in excellent condition - it was recorded on a "ghetto blaster" type cassette recorder with a pair of electret stereo microphones that plugged into the machine rather than use the in-built mics. The cassettes I used were good brands ie Sony, TDK, BASF and they've been kept in the plastic cases in a cassette case. After re-recording the originals onto my computer I used a programme that took some tape hiss off the audio and boosted the treble a little. Rosemary has told me it's the best one she's heard so far.

A lot of my other club recordings were made on a Sony Cassette-Corder TCM6 which was a mono walkman style cassette recorder which although it saved me lugging a big machine about with me didn't have the same sound quality. I made a recording of Ted Edwards on this machine in 1984, gave him a copy a couple of years ago and he asked me to put it out for the public to buy. I did him 150 and as far as I know he's sold them all!

I'm sure Rosemary will appreciate your recording whatever the quality and if it contains intros or songs she hasn't heard on other recordings then it makes it all the more valuable.

This thread is making me wonder what other recordings are floating round people's back rooms!

Cheers
Mark


20 Mar 08 - 05:47 PM (#2294001)
Subject: RE: Private recordings of Cyril Tawney
From: Gurney

Mark, I'm of the opinion that it's the tape itself that is the critical factor, because my 'ear' was better once than it is now, and I was satisfied with the quality I got way-back-when.

I recorded on Philips tapes and machines, not professional quality, but not the cheapest either, and the obvious case in point is that, having recorded live the total show, I then edited from that cassette to another, same make and size, and that edited one has deteriorated much more than the original, probably because that is the one that I've played for my listenind pleasure. Deteriorated to the point where I'm going to throw it away, in fact.
Editing was done by ear and volume control, tape to separate tape recorder.

I'm currently looking for a component-type cassette recorder/player that I can link to my computer. Going in through the earphone jack is really not good enough. Regards, Chris.


24 Mar 08 - 03:56 PM (#2296708)
Subject: RE: Private recordings of Cyril Tawney
From: Gurney

Refresh one last time.

Even my ordinary recording of a gig was gratefully received, as there are holes in the archive, so if you have anything that might help, do get in touch with Rosemary.


26 Mar 08 - 04:06 AM (#2297800)
Subject: RE: Private recordings of Cyril Tawney
From: Mr Red

as e-maile by Rosemary. (the submit button didn't work last time)

CYRIL TAWNEY - LIVE RECORDINGS NEEDED

Recordings of Cyril Tawney's concert and club appearances are needed for inclusion in his Archive, which will be held by the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at the English Folk Dance and Song Society in London, and I wonder if any of your readers/listeners can help. I have already received several very useful items, but there are still some gaps to be filled, particularly by the many traditional songs in his repertoire which were not recorded commercially.

I'm also keen to have examples of his more quirky items, for my own pleasure and for the Archive - here are some examples to jog memories:

Music-hall songs - Married on Pension Day, With Me Little Bit Of Hair On The Top etc.

Popular songs - She Wears Red Feathers (yes, the Guy Mitchell hit), also the Andrews Sisters songs Her Bathing Suit Never Got Wet and Three Little Sisters.

Most of all in this category I would love to have a recording of Baltimore Oriole, a beautiful, bluesy Hoagy Carmichael song which Cyril rarely sang in public. Here's a reminder of the opening lines:

'Baltimore Oriole, took one look at that mercury, forty below, no life for a lady, to be draggin' her feathers around in the snow'

We have no recordings of the themed presentations which he occasionally gave at Festivals and Arts Centres: "Tawney in Depth", "Hands to Dance and Skylark" and "Royal Navy Humour". Does anyone have these, please?

Even if the songs you have are covered elsewhere, Cyril's introductions were very much a part of his performances and the live sessions will help to complete the record of his career.

Thank you very much

Rosemary Tawney      www.cyriltawney.co.uk

Contact details:   tawney3@tiscali.co.uk      01392 426 055

10 Sivell Place, Heavitree, Exeter, EX2 5ET, UK


29 Mar 08 - 11:02 AM (#2300360)
Subject: RE: Private recordings of Cyril Tawney
From: Mark Dowding

Gurney

Have a look in Maplins or on their website for a cassette to PC machine although I think if you set the volume from your cassette machine fairly low you can get good quality recordings on to your computer. Your software should be able to boost the volume to good levels without distorting the sound quality which is what happens if you set the original volume too high.

Glad your recording was welcomed.

Anyone else out there who can donate to the cause?

Cheers
Mark


29 Mar 08 - 05:03 PM (#2300587)
Subject: RE: Private recordings of Cyril Tawney
From: GUEST,Rosemary Tawney

Thank you all for your interest - I have had some very useful responses in a very short time, but please keep them coming. Apart from filling gaps, it's important that archives should reflect performers' repertoires over a long period in order to gain an overall picture of the folk movement.

Best wishes

Rosemary