Ray’s chat 16

Hi Folks

So it’s RAYS CHAT Sixteen.
So here we are in 2017: and I am sure it is going to be an interesting time in this World of ours. But one thing we can be SURE of; YES the RED LION FOLK CLUB is going to be GREAT!

In RAYS CHAT Fifteen I said next time we would talk some more about some of the Great Folk days at “THE JUG OF PUNCH”.
More of the memories I have of that wonderful Ian Campbell Folk Club. Yes, so many memories of wonderful evenings at “The Jug”. More than 400 people met every Thursday evening in the Old Digbeth Institute back room. There was always lots of people wanting to perform. Always a MAGIC Night.

We had guest singers from all over: the World: I remember when an American Indian Princess came to perform:
A very Famous Lady name BUFFY SAINT-MARIE. YES: She is a real Red Indian Princess. She was only about 25 when I saw her: She’s 75 now. Brilliant Singer/song writer.
Well Worth looking a her web site. Go to her official site you will see her in Indian Dress.
She is still touring and singing , Now in her 70s. like Joan Baez and Julie Felix. All of that era. And all still singing.
All really GREAT singers from the early days..
Buffy Saint-Marie wrote very many songs of the protest sort. One, she sang at the JUG, was called THE UNIVERSAL SOLDIER. AND; That song got her into a lot of trouble with the American Authorities. Oh Yes. I have found her talking about Universal Soldier, Then singing it’.
DO FIND IT AND WATCH AND LISTEN. It IS well worth listening to her telling how she came to write the song.
Yes just Who is responsible for War?
BUFFY SAINT-MARIE-UNIVERSAL SOLIDER 4.23 Make sure you get the one where she is talking to you.
A live performance.. this will Make you think. She is good.
Yes a brilliant performer; and I am lucky to have seen and heard her. Don’t miss this one.

The JUG had all sorts of Singers/ Writers. Ian liked to bring variety to the Club. And he certainly did that with the next guy.
I remember a fellow called JAKE THACKRAY coming.
He was about 30 when I saw him; He died quite young at 64.
His voice was a bit like Noel Cowards very clipped.
He wrote VERY strange songs which he performed with a weird Guitar style. Very unusual sort of performer.
I couldn’t make-up my mind if I liked him or not.
I am not sure HE really counts as FOLK. But I guess if it was good enough for Ian Campbell.. Well it has to be good enough for me. Jake was on the radio quite a lot with his strange monologues and songs. A VERY different PERFORMER.
And he wrote some very weird songs: Listen to this:
Well you have to agree it’s different.

OH Yes: I remember there was another “Different” performer
A young man from Scotland. Very talented guy named DONOVAN. Do you remember him??
Quite big in the 60’s. Yes and Still singing today at 71.
He was just about twenty when Ian booked him for THE JUG.
Just a slim young lad with a guitar standing there looking so young. But when he started to play, and sing, he had a Magic.
Well; He GOT me. Lovely style of playing and I liked him.
He had a sort of haunting quality in his voice. Yes he was good.
I remember him singing CATCH THE WIND 2.58
Yes good song. Another I liked is COLOURS 2.45.
And he did sing other songs.
His version of THE UNIVERSAL SOLDIER is very good too.
Yes you should listen to Donovan.

THE JUG was a Great Club not just sticking to authentic Folk.
Well I told you Diz Disley was a fairly regular performer at
THE JUG.. And Diz was a JAZZ guy.
Sometimes he came with his friend Stefan Grapelli:
Stefan was probably the World Greatest JAZZ fiddle player;
He very often played with Diz. Diz was famous. He had his own Jazz trio; and very often Stefan would make it a quartet.
When they came to “THE JUG”, and we always had a Great night.
I remember one New Years Eve.. I had a FANTASTIC NIGHT.
What happened was. The New Years Eve fell on a THURSDAY that year. Yes “JUG” night: and Ian decided that the CLUB would go on that night, BUT also the MIDLAND JAZZ wanted to run their Club that night. And they needed the BIG Room:
So Ian agreed we would use the Front Room. Which was more like a theatre with a balcony. And Jazz had our usual back room.
Ian said Tickets were available to allow you to go to BOTH Jazz and Folk.. WOW!! Sounded good; So My Sister Beryl and I had the double event tickets.
Came the Great night: There we were in the Front room and
Diz Disley was there. Beryl and myself were there in the balcony. And Diz came and sat with us.
About 10.30 The mood was a bit on the quiet side;
Diz said, I got to go to the Jazz now as I am on there soon
I said GREAT we can come with you We’ve got joint tickets..
So off we went from the quiet Folk to a MAD Jazz night.. Fantastic atmosphere.. Diz did his bit in the Jazz.
And after a while said: I got to go back to the Folk. I’m on soon.
So we went back with Diz to the Folk.
Mad Crazy Wonderful Night. Diz was just Great Fun.
Next time I saw Ian he told me Beryl and me were the
only ones who bought the Double Tickets
Yes: So YES We were the ONLY ones ever to enjoy BOTH Folk and Jazz on New Years Eve..
Well Diz did as well, of course!!

The funny thing it was only about three weeks later I was at a business lunch in a Town Restaurant; and Who should walk in?
But DIZ.. We both looked at each other and said,
WHAT are YOU doing here?.
Sorry to say that WAS the last time I saw him.
He died in 2010 age 79.
​Nice chatting to You

Ray’s chat number 15

Hi Folks

I hope you had a Great Christmas; and now are looking forward to a HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Yes 2017 is going to be BIG in our lives; What with Brexit:
and I wonder How Donald Trump will change our lives?
So: for 2017 We are going to start the year with looking at SCOTTISH SONGS. And one song that comes to mind is
WILD MOUNTAIN THYME. Maybe because I knew a girl in My JUG OF PUNCH days, Who had a really lovely voice; and I introduced her to Ian Campbell: I told him She really was good: and so He put her on the Singers List:
So: She stood there in front of the 400 hundred or so Jug audience. She stood there and sang unaccompanied singing
THE WILD MOUNTAIN THYME, There was complete silence as she sang: Then the Audience Applause EXPLODED. She had totally WON the Jug Crowd.
Barry Roberts was in the Club that night; He had always been a Solo singer:
But: He was blown away with Pauline’s voice; and from that night Pauline and Barry were a DUO.

So: Yes guess what my First song choice is going to be?
OH Gorgeous singing.
But we have a bit of a problem!! You see the Irish Also say the song is theirs??

So; we will go for a definitive Scottish Song. I have to admit this is a NEW Song to me: But When I heard it,
Wow!! Oh: So good.
Just listen to this gorgeous voice singing unaccompanied.
Yes; a Great find for me: Beautiful singing You don’t
Get to hear such a lovely song, that often. YES MAGIC FIND.
But you might be thinking; Where is a Scottish Song we know?

Well here is a song I am sure you will know ANNIE LAURIE
And this is a singer you may not have heard before: Superb voice.
Well you have to say that is Scottish.

And now for a Blast from the Past: Just listen to:
This really is going way back in History.
Deanna Durbin was an American Child Prodigy, Who sang like an Angel. Yes just listen to her sing Annie Laurie.
She was about Nineteen when she Recorded this in 1940.
Yes: I told you this was HISTORY. But just listen to her gorgeous voice. She was VERY Famous in her day.
She was born 1921 and died in 2013 at the good age of 92.
Yes a real Blast from the past.

Well maybe you are saying THIS IS NOT FOLK!! Ok well you can listen to this;
Yes a Real Folk Song about a real Battle..
Oh The Corries make a Great job of this.
The Corries were one of the VERY Best Scottish Folk Groups.
And strange this song reminds me of something??
OH YES: LONNIE DONEGAN did it as Skiffle.

There are Hundreds of Historical Scottish Songs: Well remember they were very turbulent times over Scottish History and there are lots of songs about BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE;
Try this one it is a Jocobite song and the Corries do a Great Job:

BUT: just listen how Jean Redpath sings it: Put in
You just have to love that: So beautifully sung by one of Scotland’s Singers Best Singers.

So many of the Scottish Songs are Sad songs of Mothers, Wives, Lovers, longing for their loved ones to return from some Battle or other. So many never did return!.

But there is one Scottish Song that I MUST talk about.

This is one of my most favourite songs, that I requested OH So many times in my JUG OF PUNCH days.

It is LORNA CAMPBELL singing a Song that SHE sang BETTER than anyone else ever did: You got to listen to this: It is a sad song written after the Battle of Culloden. OH YES Listen to this:
OHH!! You will never hear better singing than that.
Superbly sung and a gorgeous voice.
I was so Lucky to hear this many times.
If you never to listen to anything else on youtube..
Make sure you don’t miss Lorna. IT IS SUPERB.

One Scottish song I would think most of you have heard is
Loch Lomond. And I have found a really lovely version I hope you will enjoy:
Put in:
And the video of Scottish Lochs is also Rather Good.

So there you are a nice Gentle end to this Rays Chat.

Yes well that’s it for this time: we have looked and listened to some Great Songs and Great Singers.
I just hope I have helped you find something that will give you a great start to 2017.See you then.

So it’s Cheerio time
And Talking About Lorna
Reminds me of more
Days: Next time.
Nice Chatting to You


Ray’s chat number 12

Hi Folks ..

Here we are with

Autumn now well and truly with us: I was tempted to say Winter Draws on!!
But you’ve all heard it before. So let’s just get on with SONGS OF THE SEA. And yes we have plenty to choose from. Oh so many.

As a Sea Faring Nation, Sea Songs were always part of our heritage:
Especially the Working Songs from the days of the old Sailing Ships. The HEAVE HO MY HEARTIES sort of song which were sung by the sailors to keep a rhythm; all pull together lads!!.

And of course Fishing boats have always been going out to catch our sea food: SO YES there are Fishing boat songs.

And songs about people MOVING away by ships. Criminals to Australia. THE FIELDS OF ATHENRY. Is a great example of this kind of song. Paddy Reilly sings a superb version of this. Put in:

So we have many Sea songs in our heritage. Sailing Ships were of course the only way to get from here to there; and Those Sails on the old Sailing Ships were VERY heavy: and if they were WET: WOW They needed a lot of handling and ALL HANDS had to pull together to be able to manage the sails.
So the rhythm of the Sea Shanty was the way of achieving this. And it also gave the lads a great song to sing.
Typical of the working song is:

YES: The Work song, or Shanty, was an ESSENTIAL tool to Sailing Ships. Many of these Working Songs, were unaccompanied, as every man was needed on the lines;
So to get the rhythm, of every man pulling together:
The men Sang as they hauled;
This one is an example.

Maybe you’ve not been familiar with those songs:?
But: We all know at least one Sea Song.
I wonder how many times you have sung “What shall we do with a Drunken Sailor”.??
Well here is how it should sound

WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH A DRUNKEN SAILOR Irish Rovers) 2.40 Yes they do it well

But remember a sailing ship was always at the whim of Mother Nature; and sometimes a ship could be-calmed.. Just no way of moving without the wind in the sails: So they could be away for weeks, months even, and those lads just had to make their own entertainment
So Sea Songs were not only the way of working together BUT were also their one way of making entertainment; a concertina, and maybe pipes would be the accompaniment to many a song. Typical of the sort is:


If you go to YouTube there are some GREAT Sea Shanties there;
A couple I think you will enjoy are:

This is sung by Bob Roberts who has a fine Sea Shanty sort of voice.
And the other I like is:
Sung by Johnny Collins

These are both typical of the sort of songs that were sung on board the sailing ships.
And there are lots more for you to trawl through if you like this sort of singing. Yes go on have a trawl through.
YES there so many to choose from.. Enjoy your Trawl.

Remember for many young lads THE SEA was their only hope of employment; especially if they lived in a harbour town. So you were a Fisherman, or you were a Sailor.

One fine song, telling the story of a young lad leaving home to work on a sailing ship (a very tough life indeed).
This song is maybe the best known of all the sea songs.
It has been sung by many fine singers.
It is THE LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL. Most singers tend to take it FAST.. and YES it is a GREAT: Superb Club participation song.
Folk audiences love it and sing their hearts out.. Yes GREAT song.
But listen to it sung much slower.. it becomes a different song
As sung by the Clancy Brothers.

Oh I know I have used them already: You might say,
Why not use some English Singers????..
Well the Clancys were part of the American Folk revival scene; probably the First Irish group on the scene.
And WELL JUST LISTEN; For a perfectly produced version
you have a real job to beat this:

I hope you have enjoyed the Sea Songs. And hope you have heard some Singers and Songs that are NEW to you.

Well hearing these Great Irish voices
Makes me thing YES lets go IRISH next time.

Nice chatting to You

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