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First Songs You Performed

23 Jul 03 - 04:04 PM (#989033)
Subject: First Songs You Performed
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I'm sure that all of us can remember the anxiety that came from the first few times we got up on stage and performed in front of an audience. Iwas thinking about that the other day, and was remembering some of the songs I first performed. Not suprisingly, almost every one was from the Anthology Of American Folk Music. They were good songs then, and had been for a long time before they were recorded. And they still seem like good songs to me, and I still sing them every once in awhile. These are some of the songs I sang when I first started out:
   Henry Lee
   Old Shoes and Leggins
   John Johanna
   Bandit Cole Younger
   Penny's Farm
   Stackerlee

Remember yours?

Jerry


23 Jul 03 - 04:12 PM (#989044)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: GUEST,Tunesmith

Jack London once said that looking back at early attempts of his writing both elated and deflated him. It elated him to see how far he had come, but deflated him to realise how bad he had been. I know the feeling. My first folkclub appearance (1965) saw me belting out "Masters of War", complete with Dylan vocal mannerism.


23 Jul 03 - 04:35 PM (#989063)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: black walnut

As a kid? Probably something on the piano, most likely a Mozart or Beethoven sonata. As a folkie? I think it was a dulcimer solo - Lullay My Liking. It would have been an arrangement by Lorraine Hammond, who was my mentor-bridge between classical and folk.   She understood the classical language I was wrapped up in, and encouraged me to learn a new instrument as a stepping stone into the folk world. It was exciting to learn from her, because she combined skill and passion not just for the dulcimer, but for folk music in general, and for song writing.

~b.w.


23 Jul 03 - 04:40 PM (#989069)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Bill D

in front of a mic? Wildwood Flower, I guess, in a bar in Kansas about 1969...(I was unprepared to be asked and was lousy)

in front of a REAL mic, with an audience who KNEW music..."Storms Are On the Ocean", in 1974 (sang it in "A", and I can't SING that in "A" *grin*)..came back 3 years later and redeemed myself in "D", but I seldom sing into a mic anymore...just share songs in small groups.


23 Jul 03 - 04:44 PM (#989071)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: GUEST,JB

My first "folk song" was probably something by Simon & Garfunkle, performed in front of my highschool English class. For traditional songs I'd guess it would have been "The Cruel War" or "Abdullah Bulbul Amir" or "Putting on the Style", all from Jerry Silverman's book of folk songs.

In addition to sharing when you first sang songs like these, we should ask for when you last sang them.

JB


23 Jul 03 - 04:47 PM (#989075)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: harvey andrews

Solo...at college with a pianist friend, in a suit on a stage, as part of a college review. "Moon River", "Portrait of my love" "True Love ways".
Solo with guitar..in another college do, a skit on "Ach pleez Daddy" by jeremy Taylor, in the charts at the time.
In a folk club.."Ice cream man" and "Kids Colour Bar" my first two songs.


23 Jul 03 - 05:00 PM (#989085)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Amos

"Beautiful, Beautiful Brown Eyes", after learning my first three chords, on a little plywood nylon-strung guitar. In my parents dining room, probably around 1957.

They were very encouraging, which has caused no end of trouble since!! :>)

A


23 Jul 03 - 05:01 PM (#989087)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Seaking

Nice idea for a thread..

After building up courage for weeks for my first public 'performance' I sang 'Ellin Vanin' - about twenty years ago now. It went down fairly well and I was pleased until someone told me the song was performed regularly by the bloke who ran the singaround. I didn't sing it again until a couple of months ago when it fitted the mood at an early morning festival campsite gathering - I even remembered the words..!!

CK


23 Jul 03 - 06:00 PM (#989122)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Good question, JB.. and can you still sing those songs and enjoy them?

Jerry


23 Jul 03 - 06:03 PM (#989126)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Alba

First ever real "gig"
Crazy Man Michael
Dancing at Whitsun
April come she will
Bonnie Sholes of Herrin (think that's the title, haven't sang this one since then..ah but why she thinks as I liked it a lot!)
That was 32 years ago now and I still sing Crazy Man Michael and Dancing at Whitsun from time to time!
Lovely idea for a thread:>)
JD


23 Jul 03 - 06:07 PM (#989130)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Jon Bartlett

In a church choir: solo, the page in "Good King W." with the vicar as the heavy, prob. around 1956.

At a folk club? "Solidarity Forever", 15 October 1965, the Springfield, Brighton (very loudly). Last sang it last week, too!

Jon Bartlett


23 Jul 03 - 06:13 PM (#989133)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: GUEST,JB

Jerry,

Oh, yes. They tend not to find their way into my concerts, but I've hung on to the lyrics and can download them at a song session or campfire at will. And you know what, I think I'll dust of The Cruel War for an upcoming gig -- seems like a good time for putting it out there again.

JB


23 Jul 03 - 06:28 PM (#989139)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Grab

Assuming we discount pantomine, it would have been something with the second violins in the school orchestra.

First thing I sang at a folk club was "Mountains of Mourne". I did two songs, I can't remember what the second one was, but it could have been "Sea Fever". I do remember that I'd forgotten to put a strap on the guitar, so I stood up with my foot up on a chair and the guitar on my knee - I was too nervous to sit down on the chair and readjust the mic. That was about 5 years back (being as I'm younger than some others here :-)

Unfortunately we (me, my wife and a friend of ours) played some stuff ("48 Years" and "I just want to make love to you") at another folk club shortly afterwards which was recorded, so our miserable performance is captured for all time on a CDR. I can't bear to throw it away, but I keep it hidden bcos I also can't bear for anyone to listen to it. :-)

Graham.


23 Jul 03 - 06:57 PM (#989162)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Naemanson

1992, I was forty years old when I first stepped up to a mic at a St. Patrick's Day celebration. And I sang The Little Skillet Pot in a key too high for m voice and strained the muscles in my throat. That led me to a doctor who advised me to see a singing coach and that led me to Joyce.

My first performance with Roll & Go was Dead Horse Chanty where I completely forgot the words at the half way point but the rest of the crew kept the rhythm going until I founf myself again.


23 Jul 03 - 06:59 PM (#989168)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: GUEST,Treaties 1 (who forgot to log in)

First song: A prestigious school concert to celebrate the end of the war approximately 1944/45, at the age of seven.On a real stage with a large audience, singing what is probably now a non PC song "Chocolate Soldier from the USA"
At that time and my age, it showed my graditude for the chocolate that American troops passing by near where I lived, threw to me for singing it to them, when their convoy of vehicles were temporarily held just where I was playing on the grass verge.
First folk song: After attending my local folk club for months and only singing everyone elses choruses I went to another club, and shaking with nerves and with eyes closed I sang Edwin in the Lowlands Low. When I finished and opened my eyes, had turned ninety degrees and was facing the wall behind me. Fortunately everybody clapped enthusiastically and nobody laughed until I did.
After that there was no stopping me and I'm still enjoying singing and being well received where-ever I go


23 Jul 03 - 07:17 PM (#989186)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: yrlancslad

Early 50's when I was working down a coal mine in the UK, it was Collier Laddie, for the girlfriend. It still pulls ém.
Mal


23 Jul 03 - 07:27 PM (#989195)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Phil Cooper

First Open Mic when I was 17, a couple of the songs I played were Eric Andersen's Violets of Dawn and Tom Paxton's General Custer.


23 Jul 03 - 07:33 PM (#989198)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Leadfingers

Having recently discovered Folk Music I was on a Long Course (R A F)
near Western Super Mare ,Somerset.In the absence of a reachable Song
Club I went regularly to the local Folk Dance group.(If Nothing else it was a place to meet girls).There was an E F D S S weekend at the local Holiday Camp to which I went after lunch on the Saturday.
Without my knowledge my name was put in as a singer at the singaround by one of the girls from the Dance Group,so there I was expected to perform in front of the local 'Serious' West Country Folkies.
I was not going to admit to being set up,so attempted The Coal Owner And The Pitmans Wife which was ,strangely, a disaster.
However,after this I was prepared to try floor spots in folk clubs as
NO club audience was as daunting as a room full of Society members.
So now you know who to blame !!!!
This was in the Spring of Nineteen Sixty Five.


23 Jul 03 - 07:36 PM (#989200)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: GUEST,Dave K

Could never forget it. At the Crown and Cushion Folk club in Woolwich. After a few years of just joining in with chorus stuff it was Circle be Unbroken - All the way through with verses and chorus!. And it has stuck forever more. Hopefully, it is now not as bad as the very nervous first time.


23 Jul 03 - 07:38 PM (#989202)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: curmudgeon

Clementine, at the age of six. Fourteen years later, some combination of the Risin' of the Moon, the Calton Weaver, Paddy West, All For Me Grog, Hares on the Mountain, MacPherson's Farewell, Johnson's Ale, Rosin the Beau, Scarborough Fair, the Farm Servant, Reilly's Daughter, Whup Jamboree, etc. I still sing all of them excepy Clementine. I know it but I won't sing it -- Tom


23 Jul 03 - 07:45 PM (#989207)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Strupag

It was one of these school doo's and John and I decided that we would do our own stuff.
Our main song was "The Road I Left" and it went down quite well.
Wow we went home that night (about 1970) thinking we were going to be Scotland's answer to S & G.
Well the reality came later and I went off to sea and John became a lawyer,
Still it's good that our first night was a good one!


23 Jul 03 - 07:54 PM (#989210)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Kim C

The very first song I sang onstage was Silent Night for the 1st grade Christmas program in 1973, back when you could still have Christmas programs.


23 Jul 03 - 07:58 PM (#989214)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: kendall

Henry Martin
Wreck of old 97


The very first song I ever sang in public, I was about 6 years old, and it went like this:

I love to see the traffic cop
I love to see him stand,
And show the people where to go
By moving just his hand.

Didn't have a clue what a traffic cop was.


23 Jul 03 - 08:33 PM (#989233)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: maire-aine

Not the first song I sang, but the first song I felt like I really NEEDED to sing: Two Good Arms, by Charlie King. I first heard it at a Holly Near concert in the early 1980s. At that time, I never imagined that I'd ever sing in public, but I learned the words anyway. Once I did start singing, I eventually worked that one in.
M.


23 Jul 03 - 08:43 PM (#989238)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: GUEST,amergin

mine was probably my own "Sailor's Lament"....


23 Jul 03 - 08:47 PM (#989243)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Jerry Rasmussen

So, Lead... you should have sung Spring of 65..

"I woke up one morning, in the spring of '65
I thought myself quite lucky, to be found alive
I geared up my mules, my business to pursue
Instead of hauling four loads, I only hauled two."

It's a wonderful song about farmers going to a dance and drinking all night, with the last verse:

"Come all you newsy women, who scatter news about
Don't tell no tales upon us, we're bad enough without out
Don't tell no tales upon us, or kick up any fuss
You've been guilty of the same thing, perhaps a whole lot worse."

Jerry


23 Jul 03 - 09:41 PM (#989267)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Dani

Well....

First in public, probably elementary school: Blue Suede Shoes! I'm still a dyed-in-the-wool Carl Perkins fan!

First in front of people who intimidated the hell out of me? At the Getaway (three years ago?) "I'm Just Here To Get My Baby Out Of Jail" trying not to throw up from fright the whole time. Who knew you'd actually have to SING in front of PEOPLE at these things?

First time on STAGE with a MICROPHONE, last year's Getaway with Janie and her sister, singing Annie's wonderful "Oregon Inlet".

Dani


23 Jul 03 - 09:55 PM (#989274)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Ely

I know one SHOULD have been the fiddle tune "Spotted Pony" but I got so nervous that I couldn't remember it at all. I think "Soldier's Joy" and "Whiskey Before Breakfast" were two, and probably "Cherokee Shuffle" and the ubiquitous medley of "Boys of Blue Hill" & "Harvest Home".

The first songs I SANG in public were "Fort Worth Blues" and "The L&N Don't Stop Here Any More".


23 Jul 03 - 11:48 PM (#989326)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: rich-joy

late 1984, aged 33 (late developer) - at Darwin's Gun Turret folk nights, all mic'd :

The Furze Field
Too Much of a Good Thing
(both with a friend accompanying on guitar)
Then she left me all on my own (AAARRRRGGGHHH!!!) whilst I did
Me Husband's Got No Courage In Him

A month later I sang :
The Bitter Withy
The Generous Lover
Lassie With the Yellow Coatie
all a cappella, this time.

: the sick feeling and the self consciousness and the knee trembling, before and during solo singing, have never left me, but the urge to sing has always been just that bit stronger!!!

I prefer duo or harmony group singing really - I can relax more - words are harder to remember now, but I can laugh and joke more about everything and really quite enjoy it all!!

[ Oh, I wasn't gonna mention the time, at aged 9, when I was made to get up and sing solo in front of the school class : "Early One Morning" - the humiliation I felt was such that I never sang solo again, in public, until 24 years later!!!!!! Ah, School Daze ...]

Cheers! R-J


24 Jul 03 - 08:59 AM (#989454)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: jacqui.c

First time ever was a talent contest when I was about eight. Sang Ce Sera, Sera, and came second.

Didn't sing from my mid-teens until about three years ago - a gap of almost forty years and then sang in my local folk singaround - Devoted to You - the Everley Brothers song. Sang it very nervously and very badly but have improved a bit since then and got more into English folk, which I am still having great pleasure in discovering at this late date. And no, I haven't sung Devoted since that first time.


24 Jul 03 - 09:49 AM (#989485)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Deckman

On stage, at a "supper club" (means they served booze and high priced meals). I was 14 and sang "Jesse James." I sang another version this last weekend! By the way, I think the years between these two events is about 52 years, but who's counting? CHEERS, Bob


24 Jul 03 - 09:58 AM (#989499)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: songs2play

I remember as if it was yesterday, even though it was early in 1967. It was in school on a Friday afternoon, in the main assembly room - on the stage. It was "Blowin' in the Wind" and my mate Wayne played the mouth organ (that's what we called them in those days). All proceeds went to charity.
I get a flash-back whenever I hear it, even now.


24 Jul 03 - 10:19 AM (#989525)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Fred (Beetle) Bailey

A little coffeehouse in Oklahoma City, 1964. I'd prevailed upon a friend of the female persuasion to serve as my anchor in that roomful of strangers. I did Flora (the Lily of the West) straight into her eyes and at a breakneck speed. Janie, whatever happened to you?


24 Jul 03 - 10:25 AM (#989535)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Vixen

Well, my dad loves to tell this story...

Our kindergarten class was tasked with each learning a song to share with our classmates. They all went home and dutifully came back with "You are my sunshine" and "Zip a dee doo dah" and the like. I went home and in my usual independent fashion didn't tell my parents a thing about the assignment (it was *mine* after all!) and combed my their album collection for an exciting song--I almost chose "Long Black Veil" but decided it was too slow, and I nearly went for "Old Dan Tucker" or "Whiskey in the Jar" but I decided against them, for reasons I can't recall now.

So, the first song I performed in public, at the age of 5, (in its entirety because I refused to shut up) was "Frankie and Johnny". My classmates thought it was great. Especially because the teacher was trying to shut me up. Needless to say, I went home with a note for my parents about appropriate music for children, which amused them both tremendously.

But in actual fact, I was brought up on recordings of Burl Ives, Leadbelly, The Weavers, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Peter Paul and Mary, New Lost City Ramblers, Pete Seeger and so forth, so those were the songs I knew.

I didn't sing in public again until I was 39, mainly because I was told by my school music teachers that I was hopelessly off key. At 39, after months of getting my courage up, I played at a local open mic and did "Leaving on a Jet Plane" and "Long Black Veil".

Thanks for recalling the memory!

V


24 Jul 03 - 10:43 AM (#989560)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: GUEST,cittern

"It elated him to see how far he had come, but deflated him to realise how bad he had been" ...

Speaking as a 42 year old who has only been playing for 4 years or so, has just started doing open mics and has yet to experience his first floor spot ...

I am elated to see how far I have come, but deflated to realise how bad I am !!


24 Jul 03 - 12:45 PM (#989684)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Jerry Rasmussen

A friend of mine came to visit me many years ago, and brought along a tape of him singing a few songs that had been recorded several years earlier. He was laughing hysterically about how terrible he was back then, and I laughed with him, because he was my friend. The funniest thing though, was that he didn't sound any different to me on the tape than he did that night... We all like to think that we've gotten a lot better over the years, and perhaps we all have. But, I think that we tend to brush off how we sounded when we started out as being hopelessly bad. If it was as bad as we remember it, we never would have been allowed to sing on stage again, let alone have been booked or recorded.

:-)

Jerry


24 Jul 03 - 01:19 PM (#989724)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: PoppaGator

This *is* a great idea for a thread, isn't it!

There's a picture in my high school yearbook (1965) showing me as part of a trio sharing a mike at some kind of school talent show. That would have to be my first such appearance, a good four or five years before my first nervous solo appearance in front of a barroom "open mike."

I honestly have no clear memory of playing that school show of which I have photographic evidence, although I do of course remember the other two guys, playing with them first just for fun and eventually as preparation for our big talent show appearance.

The banjo player was a very enthusiastic Kingston Trio fan (for at least a year or so after the other two of us had begun to move on to other interests), and I must assume that we probably did one of his big favorites, "MTA."

There must have been one or two additional numbers, which I honestly do not remember, although I'm sure they were at least as cringe-worthy if not moreso. "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" perhaps? I wouldn't be surprised.

I can assert with confidence, however, that we did NOT sing "Kumbaya."


24 Jul 03 - 04:24 PM (#989886)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: fat B****rd

Only one 'catter with a Rock'n'roll debut !! Mine was "C'mon Everybody" at St. Peter's Church Hall, Cleethorpes.


24 Jul 03 - 05:32 PM (#989943)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Jeanie

At the age of five, "My Old Man's a Dustman" - and I also 'recorded' it in one of those booths they used to have at seaside resorts. (My favourite part of that song always was, and still is, the bit about the tiger's head four foot from his tail).

My second public performance of this song (with dance routine as well, this time !): three weeks ago at the school I go into to teach drama. Another teacher and I were the 'surprise act' in the end of year show "On their comeback tour from the Teachers' Twilight Home for the Bewildered". Great fun - and for most of the kids the first time they had ever heard the song.

My song-and-dance partner and I are available for weddings, barmitzvahs, bus queues and just about anywhere that will tolerate us, really....

- jeanie


24 Jul 03 - 06:56 PM (#990009)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: vectis

Mine was "In Good King Arthur's Day" in front of a very kind and supportive audience who, like me up to that point, had enjoyed joining in the choruses.
I had to teach my first ever music lesson three days later and the club let me try out the song on them first.

Next week I was back with my second song....
and I was hooked.

Typical Fat B*****d Rock and Roll - I should have guessed *grin*


24 Jul 03 - 06:59 PM (#990012)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Ely

I was AWFUL when I started out. AWFUL. I am SO glad there aren't any tapes of me singing those two songs because I couldn't bear to hear them. I know what I sound like now, four years later, and I'm still pretty bad so I can't imagine how painful it must have been for my audience. My mother says I sound fine, and it's not like she doesn't know decent music when she hears it, but let's face it . . . she's my mother.

On the other hand, the instrumental music has improved considerably.


24 Jul 03 - 07:12 PM (#990027)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Herga Kitty

Jacquic

Me too! - Ce sera, sera, in a talent contest in Bognor Regis when I was 3 or 4. IIRC I won a paper sailor's hat (sorry, sailor's paper hat) and rock in the form of a hot dog.

First song in a folk club (Herga) was The Cuckoo, I think.

Kitty


25 Jul 03 - 01:18 AM (#990184)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: musicmick

The first time I was payed to perform, I was twelve years old and working in a youth orchestra that played for the many Jewish immigrant groups in South Philadelphia. We used a book that named the songs by their rythem and origin ("Russian Waltz", "Romanian Hora").
My first singing job came when I was seventeen. At a coffeehouse on the Penn campus, I devised a set of Southern Mountain songs, Blues and "International" (well, the international was mostly Yiddish).
I suspect the first song was the old New Orleans standard, "Careless Love" There's nothing like a seventeen year old trying to sound like a disillusioned Beale St. hooker.
This is a fun thread.


25 Jul 03 - 03:12 AM (#990221)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: fat B****rd

You betcha, Vectis. *hugegrin*


25 Jul 03 - 03:46 AM (#990232)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: syren

Oh boy! I grew up in the theater, both parents actors, singers, dancers, and all 5 of us kids were in any show that called for kids. I was always part of the chorus, except for a production of Carousel, and I had to start the first verse of "When You Walk Thru A storm". The rest of the chorus came in on the second verse....so that was the first time. I wasn't too nervous because I was into the story. I think I was about 14. After that, in high school, junior year, my friend and I performed in a school talent show as "Yacky and Doodle".....she played guitar and we sang The Cruel War. Somehow, that was far more nerve wracking than being on stage with a whole crowd. Years later the very first song I ever sang with Bob Kotta was a Gilbert & Sullivan song, "I have A Song To Sing-Oh". It was totally imnpromptu, we were across the room from each other but the room went silent and it was magic. It got a huge ovation and became a favorite request and because of that song, I was asked to join the band. And that was when the stage fright really set in! Knee shaking, heart racing, sick to the stomach, terrifing stage fright! I had to hold on to a table and close my eyes! Took me a good 6 months to loosen up! I had two songs besides the duet with Bob, My Boy Willie and North Country Maid. Can still sing them both, but don't much.....so many songs to sing, so little time!
Yes, this is a good thread!


25 Jul 03 - 06:29 AM (#990286)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Several people have talked about where they first performed, which is naturally linked to the first songs you performed. I had been playing guitar and singing for close to ten years before I first sang on stage. In 1961, I was taking guitar lessons from Dave Van Ronk, and he ran a Monday night Hootenanny at the Gaslight Cafe in Greenwich Village, in New York City. If Dave could have worked it out, he would have had guests doing the whole night while he sat upstairs in the Kettle of Fish, drinking with his cronies. Dave was the one who encouraged me to get up and sing, and it was one of the most frightening things I ever did. I did one song..

"Come along with me in 1913
To Calumet, Michigan in the copper country
I'll take you to a place called Italian Hall.."

Starting out with a Woody Guthrie song was as good a way as any to begin performing.

Jerry


25 Jul 03 - 10:03 AM (#990404)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: GUEST,JB


25 Jul 03 - 10:12 AM (#990414)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: GUEST,JB

Sorry 'bout that slip of the pinky finger just now...

Reading this thread has brought back memories of earlier performances of mine. In fourth grade (1964) I was a Confederate soldier in the school variety show, singing "Goober Peas." Then in 7th grade I won first place in the junior high talent show with an act that would probably get a kid detention today: I sang "Little Brown Jug" (with the same for a prop) and after each verse I took a swig from it and acted drunker and drunker until I staggered offstage at the end. That wasn't politically incorrect back then.

I've noticed a theme appearing in some of the posts: teachers who, because of harsh criticism of a child's singing, kept said person from opening his/her mouth for decades, believing that they couldn't sing. What an awful thing for a teacher to do. Everyone has a voice and should use it, and it's shameful that a teacher would so casually stunt the growth of a student in such a way.

It's heartening to hear that folks have overcome such powerful early conditioning. Just think how many more there are out there who haven't.

JB


25 Jul 03 - 10:26 AM (#990428)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: jacqui.c

I totall;y agree with you JB.

I have a grandson of almost three who sings all the time and will be encouraging him to continue. Maybe I can get him to be a real baby folky!

Of course, constructive criticism is always useful to most of us but lots of encouragement as well.


25 Jul 03 - 10:29 AM (#990430)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Steve Parkes

Didn't someone ask this a whie ago? Never mind! My first public performance was in 1969, aged 18, at the Songsmiths Folk Club, the Fitter's Arms, Walsall. I sang Phil Ochs' "Draft dodger rag" (an the grounds that (a) it's a good song and (b) that was the first place Phil had appeared on his British tour (and Imissed it!)) followed by the Goons' "I love you". I must have been awful. Not helped by the fact that I found I couldn't sing loudly in the key I'd practiced because it was too low, and I had to transpose on the fly (from C to G, probably; or the other way).

When I was at school I used to learn and sing stuff by Lonnie Donegan ("Dustman" was a fave, Jeanie!) and Charlie Drake ... I wonder how "My boomerang won't come back" would go down now?

Steve


25 Jul 03 - 10:58 AM (#990448)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: Peterr

Apart from nursery rhymes etc I never sang until my voice broke - for some reason after that event I acquired the ability (is that too strong a word) to sing in tune. First song to an audience was certainly a rugby song which would have been learnt as a youthful caver (as opposed to rugby player)in the Mendips.    Something like 'Ring the bell, verger'.
In a folk club (it would have been Redditch), I wish I could remember what the first one was - theres been a lot of years and songs since then.


25 Jul 03 - 02:50 PM (#990629)
Subject: RE: First Songs You Performed
From: PoppaGator

So many respondants are protesting about how "terrible" they sound -- I don't believe a word of it!

Our common problem is that everyone's own voice sounds completely different from within one's own head -- the way we almost always hear ourselves -- from the way it sounds to everyone else, and also to recording equipment. So, when we hear recordings of our own voices, the sound is unfamiliar, even alien -- "That CAN"T be me!"

This is true of the speaking voice, which sounds strange enough, and also of the singing voice, which involves a much higher degree of anxiety. It's natural to fee discomfort to the point of embarrassment to hear tht throughly unfamiliar voice of yorus coming from a recording, but you have to realize, unbelievable as it may be, that everyone you know except yourself finds that voice to be absolutely natural and completely familiar.