Ray’s chat number 10

Hi Folks .. Hope you all had a GREAT August; and what about all those Medals at he Olympics!!! GREAT STUFF!!

So Here we are Folk Club back for the Winter Season, and we have got to RAYS CHAT NUMBER TEN.
In week eight we touched on American Folk Music: But there is so much more to chat about.
In the early days of America, when it was in effect a lot of little Countries; Before it became THE UNITED STATES.
Each area would have their own traditional songs.
It was the bringing together of these various different peoples with their many different songs that changed things.
Plus the fact that when the English went to America; They had brought Their music with them.. And so did the Irish.
So Folk Music, sort of, was a mingling of all these things.
American Folk Music just evolved.
Many songs were English, or Irish in origin. But Maybe the words got changed. Or sung to a new tune. Got played on differing instruments. AND When the Southern States came part of the Union you got Black peoples Music bringing a new dimension into American Music. Particularly the GOSPEL influence.

If you want to know more: Go look at
it takes 21.30 mins
It’s good. I learnt a lot.
So American Music was a mixture of all sorts of differing cultures.

THEN the new singer song writers started to bring different sounds into their songs; and Jazz, and Country, and Folk singers all started to do their own things.
There is another video worth watching
It takes you 14.54 minutes to watch it.

So: really American Folk Music is difficult to pin point; it is really is, anything goes. But one thing that did make a mark and that was the founding of THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA .
And songs were starting to have a National feel.
And there is one song that definitely says America to me and that is SHENANDOAH.

But as a starter I think we will take
Well Who do we choose to perform that??
There’s a heck of a lot to choose from, Yes over 2,000.
I like this one Put in: THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBIC 5.22
Good Choir Version and Historical video.
But we are a Folk Club. So lets have one of the most famous Folk singers sing it. Yes I choose
JOAN BAEZ The Battle Hymn of the Republic 3.26

But one song seems to crop up time and time again:
People love it and; YES,I think of this as truly American.
It is SHENANDOAH. And lots of choices. Yes believe it or not I had over 2,000 to choose from!! WOW!.
So you can have many happy hours Trawling thro if you wish.
But I have made Three Choices:
My First Choice is An unusual one

Very different version; No She is Not American, BUT what a Gorgeous Voice.

For my Second Choice put in
You have to say: Yes VERY nicely done


The Kingston Trio are one of my most favourite groups.

They always give a great performance and I think this is really one
Of their best.
They were one of the original Folk revival groups that played the
World. They were formed in 1954, hey and quite a few member
Changes over the years But were still playing up until the 80’s
In 1981 the had a re-union.
So far, we have not come-up with much American Folk
So I asked my Search Engine to find me American Folk Songs.
And it did not come up with a lot.
But it did come up with a GREAT Song being sung by one of the
Great Gospel Singers. And Yes: Perhaps Gospel singing has to
Count as American Folk. So Yes listen to Mahalia.. Oh what a voice.
She died in 1972 aged 60; having made Gospel Singing.
Superb Artist.

Then the Search Engine came up with Stephen Foster.
Well I wouldn’t have said he was a Folk Writer.
His songs were famous; But mostly because Al Jolson sang a lot of them; and Al Jolson was BIG in those days.
Foster wrote lots and lots of songs, some you might know are:
Beautiful Dreamer, Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair, Camptown
Races. Well none of those I would count as Folk Music..
I guess that Search Engines don’t know so much!!
So WE are left to sort out what we think should be on the list.

Well there you are: Another RAYS CHAT comes to an end
I hope you are enjoying researching Folk Music with me?
Next time something VERY different.
RAYS CHAT ELEVEN we are going to South Africa. OHH VERY different.

Welcome Back!

We hope you had a great summer (so far) and are looking forward to seeing you back this Friday 2nd September.

It’s always good to start our return from the break on a high note and that’s what we have for you with Mike Davids and Annie Adams who’ll be doing the guest feature.

There’ll be the usual floor spots too, so please come and join us on Friday. We start at 8.

Ray’s chat – number 9.

Hi Folks
My next chat is about an English Folk Singer who I was lucky enough to be there when he sang his First Song at the Jug Of Punch. So Yes it was: Well way back in the early 60’s, 1964 actually; A young guy walked into the Jug Of Punch with a Guitar. Ian Campbell said Hi there; What sort of stuff do you do, and the young guy said I write my own songs.
So Ian put him on the Singers list.
His name was; and still is; HARVEY ANDREWS.
Harvey was a teacher in the Aston area of Birmingham, at the time when Aston was changing FROM the old Back to back houses with a pub on every corner. Buildings were being demolished, many of the Old Pubs were being pulled down. And the old Corner Shops; were no more: replaced by the Super Market half a mile away. He wrote songs about those times. But we will come to them in a little while.
Because: I think the First song I heard Harvey Sing was About: Black and White kids at School, and how they got on Great together. It was only when they grew-up the colour of the skin came to matter. It was a very true to what was going on at that time. Unfortunately I have NOT been able to find THAT SONG for you. Even Harvey said he hasn’t got a copy.
He also wrote about the old Pubs which were being Demolished. The Pubs that the old guys used to go sit and chat and maybe play dominoes. And put the World to rights with their mates;
Their old house GONE! They got moved to a high rise flat; and they sat alone in the Tower block; with a bottle of beer and a fag and they see no one, chat to no one.
Harvey wrote about How The old people of Aston were losing their Old way of life. The old days of the back to backs, when they chatted to all their neighbours; and if someone was ill; they would Be there for their neighbours.
Now they live-in. the New Tall tower bocks of flats isolated from people. There is no one to chat to over the alley wall. AND: The new Super Markets are not like it was: She used to go to Joes Old shop when; He knew all his Customers; and he would greet them “Hullo Mrs Smith how’s the arthritis today?”
Now Mrs Smith has to go to Sainsburys; And she knows no one; and no one knows her. So she can go days and days without chatting to anyone.
Oh Harvey can pull your heart strings I can tell you.
A lovely very sensitive writer; and he sings those songs OH so well. And he is rather Good on the Guitar.
I have found you the sort of song that the Aston song was like:
Days your Grand Parents knew: It is called GHOST TOWN it takes 3,37 minutes of your time to listen to; But I reckon you’ll remember it for much longer than that. Yes: He is a great observer of life. Yes DO listen to it.
For my next Harvey song choice I am choosing something that I reckon WILL GET YOU HOOKED ON HARVEY ANDREWS Remember he wrote this, He plays it, and he sings it, WOW. YES; Just listen to: DOWN SHIFTING it will take 4.36 mins of your time to listen to, and you will have a song you won’t forget. I think this is one of his best songs and Oh so beautifully performed.
You’ve guessed I have ALWAYS been a Harvey fan.
For another lovely gentle Harvey song go to AUTUMN SONG takes 3.04 mins. This is gentle lovely Harvey at his best.
BUT FIRST CHOICE has to be a wonderful gentle song that you MUST listen to the words to understand Oh Harvey can rip you heart out!! What a superb writer he is.
So put in MARGERITA it will take you 5.50 mins to listen to;
But you are going to remember it much longer than that.
Well there you are three songs by one of the BEST Folk singers of today.
Just remember that He writes the songs he sings.. and performs them so beautifully.
I count myself OH so lucky to have known this lovely man for a very long time.
The last time I met Harvey was Just a few years back. I was in Solihull by the Library Theatre; And There he was.
We stood nattering and He looked at his watch and said OH I am supposed to be on now. I didn’t know he was going to be there.. I would have had a front row seat if I had known.
Maybe you’ve never heard of him before? Well it is strange that his name never seemed to have hit THE Fame spot. But he is Very well known, and greatly admired by the Folk World. He has performed all over the World. He has written oh so many songs. And believe this: He has recorded 16 Albums. WOW!!
He has a web site if you want to know more.
He has retired now at 73.
But if you are lucky enough to live in the Shrewsbury area you might have the joy of hearing Harvey sing at some Charity event, or at some local do.
Thank you Harvey. A lovely English Gentleman and it has been My joy to have known You.
Harvey sends his Best Wishes to the Club.

Ray’s Chat – number 8

Shirley Red Lion Folk Club

Hi Folks

Yes we have got to number eight.
Sorry it is late being issued. Simon going to Devon caused a Hitch. And did you hear the Sad News that Dave Swarbrick died on 3rd June. Dave was in the Original Ian Campbell Folk Group line-up; Before pairing with Martin Carthy. and then later was with Fairport Convention. Sad Loss.
And talking about THE IAN CAMPBELL FOLK GROUP; There was a brilliant article by Ken Hunt in “R2” Issue 56 . giving the group History. I did not know they had been REAL BIG in Denmark. Seems they virtually started FOLK there.

I hope you are enjoying the trips down Memory Lane with me. Yes real History this time: Early American Folk Revival stuff from 50’s 60’s.. and even earlier. Yes You have a lot of Great Music in my selections for this time: Researching I have found some Early American FOLK MUSIC: The first one is a 1930 Recording; surprisingly Good Quality… Yes it is the old shellac records. I bet a lot of you have never even seen one??
Carson Robinson. Moonlight on the Colarado 1930.
It takes 3.10 mins to play. YES really 1930 Music. Brilliant quality as well What’s that??? You don’t think that is Folk!! More Country!!… Well where do you draw the Line between Folk and Country?
BUT OK if you want definite Folk: put in
Legends of Folk The Village Scene d.8.58.. WOW!! this is HISTORICAL FOLK from The 50’s If you listen to this really good history of Folk you will know a lot more about the Early Folk scene. These were the guys that were the Pioneers: When the Follk scene was just starting to get Big in America. Lots of New Young guys were coming on the scene.. Peter, Paul & Mary; Phil Oaks, Woody Guthrie, Joan Baez; Julie Felix,
Buffy St. Marie, Tom Paxton. and the biggest name of all Pete Seeger. Pete is no longer with us:
But Tom Paxton is still very much alive and is still singing at 79.
AND: I found a real gem: Tom Paxton chatting to Pete Seeger, and singing with Pete. Magic Stuff.
Put in Ramblin Boy Paxton & Seeger 1963 5.36 mins
And having mentioned Pete Seeger.. Well I really have to say something about him. He was a great influence on the Folk Scene with friends, like Woody Guthrie. But Pete’s political views got him in trouble with the FBI. He was a member of the Communist Party for a while; as indeed were many of the Folk crowd. Well it sort of followed on from The Hippies Flower Power, time. NO: I know, a lot of you won’t remember those times. But “Flower Power” Hippy times were when the young really believed that LOVE could change the World. And the World could live in Peace if everyone joined the Peace movement. And many of the “Hippies” were Folk Singers. Yes it was Peace; and Love; Bells and flowers in your hair time.
I wonder if you have ever heard this next choice:
It was the anthem of the “Hippies” I loved this song; and still do. I used to wish I had the courage to be a Hippy.
Yes I loved the idea of Love, and Music and bells, and Peace. But I made do with Folk !!
Well Pete Seeger was of this period: For a long time he was banned from performing in USA, as indeed were many others including Joan Baez and Harry Belafonte, and of course Woody Guthrie. Pete sang with the Group “The Weavers”, who were a pioneer Folk Group really in at the start of the Folk Revival.
Pete was not only a VERY good performer with a brilliant Banjo technique; But he wrote the songs that he sang. Yes He wrote very many GREAT songs including Turn,Turn,Turn. If I had a Hammer; Where have all the flowers gone. and lots more.
Pete was born May 3 1919, died January 27 2014, age94.
But my choice is not Pete Seeger.
I said earlier that Tom Paxton wrote some real GREAT songs
and I think this one of his Very Best: Yes My Number One Choice: RAMBLIN BOY sung by Tom Paxton takes 4.09 mins
Tom wrote this early in his career and has been a favourite of mine for OHH very many years. This is a lovely gentle song.
Make sure you get Tom singing it, there are lot of others.
Tom has been a GREAT guy for Oh so long. He writes Brilliants songs, and performs them with style.
I have never been lucky enough to see him Live; but I am sure He is one of the GREAT performers . And talking about Great performers of our time. for the next Rays Chat I am going to tell you about one of UKs Greats, who I have been fortunate to know from his first venture into writing Folk Songs and singing his own songs. Yes I am going to chat about Harvey Andrews.
And:: I believe that we might have one of our own Club members singing Ramblin Boy, at the next Club Meeting.

So time to say Cheerio till next time
and I hope you have enjoyed
RAMBLIN BOY: Super Song!

Friday 17th June


Hope to see you at the club for a great night of live music and words.
Our feature spot is The Melancholy Brothers. We’ve been delighted to host them before. Their harmonies are wonderful and in spite of the name, their songs are often wry and catchy – not melancholy at all.

There’ll be plenty of room for floor singers too, so come along and join us. We start at 8.

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