Ray’s chat 14

It’s RAYS CHAT FOURTEEN.

Yes we are fast coming to the end of 2016, And there won’t be any more Chats until 2017
Well I hope you have been enjoying exploring the Folk Music World with me. And WOW!! it is a real trip down memory Lane this time. I’m talking about more than 60 years ago..
So: Yes this time I said we would look at SKIFFLE.
Well; Skiffle was really the start of the UK Folk Scene.
Skiffle started in the early 50’s. And by about 1956 it was really all the GO! Groups sprang up all over the place; Some quite good others; well lets just say; they had FUN:
And some groups moved on from Skiffle to FOLK.
Did you know? the Ian Campbell Folk Group STARTED as a SKIFFLE GROUP.. Yes it is True.
Oh Skiffle was just Great FUN. The thing was anyone could have a go.
Tea chests were available for a few pence; Just add a stick and some cord and you got you a base.
Borrow Dads old banjo; and get Dick down the road to come join.. Well; he’s rich, Yes he’s got a Guitar.
And there you are you got you a Skiffle Band.
And we young guys did just that. We had Great FUN; played a few gigs. Great Fun Time; and some were REAL good.

I have found an early Group.. Don’t know who they are;
BUT they are good and are the essence of Skiffle.
Just watch guy on the Washboard!!
I bet his arms ached after that bashing he gives the board.
This is GREAT STUFF: And this was the sort of stuff got us young going: GO ON: Put in FREIGHT TRAIN SKIFFLE
Unknown Group. You have to agree that this is FUN
WOW!! OH YES: Wonderful memories for me.
A group of us lads had our own Skiffle Group; it just was Wonderful days. I DON’T THINK WE WERE MUCH GOOD;
BUT boy WE DID HAVE FUN!!.

Skiffle came to UK in the 50’s and Lonnie Donegan was one of the guys that got into Skiffle: and WOW he made you love it. Yes it was SO different to Victor Sylvester and His Orchestra stuff.
That was what BBC was playing then!! (Oh You won’t remember him!!)
Yes Lonnie Donegan was just something SO NEW!
And; Freight Train became one of Lonnie Donegans favourite skiffle songs. And we kids loved it.
Lonnie did a great job of it. But I am going to choose other songs of His, in a minute or two.
Another Great Group was the CHAS McDeVITT SKIFFLE GROUP. They had a Great Lady singer called Nancy Whiskey
Listen to this one of theirs
GREEN BACK DOLLAR CHAS McDEVITT SKIFFLE GROUP 2,24 You got to say Skiffle was FUN stuff.
And as I said, for some it led on to Folk.
Skiffle was the first real YOUNG PEOPLES MUSIC.

Listen to this one by Lonnie Donegan: Yes this song of Lonnies was a song WE YOUNG identified with. We loved it
PUTTIN ON THE STYLE 2.50
IT IS JUST MAGIC STUFF.. You just got to love it;
I still love it; Memories of HAPPY DAYS. and WOW Lonnie is really good on that Banjo.. Yes go on play it again and just watch him. He is Magic. OH YES. They just don’t make ’em like that any more.
Wonderful Happy stuff: And so true of the times. Teddy Boys and Mods and Rockers. You know We young really did have Fun without any Drugs, and being Boozed up.
In fact I never had tasted beer until I was about 17 and didn’t like it much then. Never smoked till I was in the RAF doing my National Service.. and my smoking didn’t last long.
Yes Skiffle certainly was GREAT for me
Lonnie Donegan died in 2002 whilst still on tour. Felt like I lost a friend. He was a FUN part of MY life.
and probably this WAS HIS very best song:
LONNIE DONEGAN MY OLD MANS A DUSTMAN
Go on admit it You laughed!!
Oh YES: Skiffle really was FUN; We loved it.
Well I still do because it has taken me back to the great days of Youth:
Oh and of course the other thing that was Big in those days was BARN DANCING.. and SQUARE DANCING.
Oh Yes I was into that as well.
One of my mates was a member of the ‘English Folk Dance Society’ and used to run FOLK DANCES. or BARN DANCES.
Four of us used to go places running Dances:
He and his girl, and me with my girl used to demonstrate the Dances, and then break-up, and bring others on the floor.
Yes GREAT FUN. And sad memories. My Mate and his girl, later his wife, are no longer here. My girl married someone else!!
Yes: just me with memories. BOO HOO!! AHH!
I’m Glad to be still here to be here to share these Memories with you.
Yes well I hope you have listened to these GREAT SKIFFLE songs
I have Suggested to you.
If you have taken the time to listen, Then I know you have had a real GREAT time.. YES Skiffle was FUN.

So this is the last Rays Chat for this year..
Yes the Last Folk Club until 2017.
We have had some real GREAT SHIRLEY FOLK CLUB nights in 2016, so Lets look forward to 2017.
And I hope you have enjoyed going back in time with me with Rays Chats. We have chatted about some GREAT music.
I hope you have searched the web and listened to the choices I made in 2016.
Wonder what choices I will be making in 2017.

So it just remains for me to Wish you all a HAPPY CHRISTMAS
and let us hope 2017
will bring us all Good Fortune.
And Happy Club Nights Nice chatting to You

RAY

RAY’S CHAT number 13

Hi Folks ..

Here we are with
RAYS CHAT NUMBER Thirteen.
Yes Thirteen, unlucky for some!! BUT not for us.
We are the LUCKY ones!! We have a GREAT Folk Club
And this time we are going to have some of the BEST of Folk Singing. OH YES: it’s IRISH NIGHT.

The Irish are GREAT Singers and whenever the Irish came to the Jug of Punch we ALWAYS had a Fantastic Night.
Usually ending with a GREAT Jam session, with The Ian Campbell Folk Group, and anyone else who wanted to, joining in.
OH What Lovely memories.
And one song always finished the night; THE IRISH ROVER.
Probably the BEST finishing song EVER.
There are lots to choose from:
But for me one Group above others made this their song.
Yes; THE DUBLINERS.
THE DUBLINERS sing this with great enthusiasm.
And I found one version recorded live in a Folk Club;
OH what Great audience participation; YES very like the old “Jug” days.
Put in THE DUBLINERS – WILD ROVER 3.15

Well what tune comes to your mind when you think Irish?;
Maybe BLACK VELVET BAND. Yes another Great Irish song.
YouTube has a great version by The Irish Rovers This is another live, in a Folk Club: and it captures a Great atmosphere
Put in IRISH ROVERS – Black Velvet Band.
Well I told you the Irish were Great Singers.

Another song I bet you think of when you think Irish, is
DANNY BOY. Yes well sticking with YouTube try this one:
JUDY COLLINS DANNY BOY live in Concert.
Wow: What a voice. She was 60 when this recording was made.
But YES I know She is not Irish!!.
Well to tell you the truth Danny Boy is not entirely Irish either.. the words were written by and Englishman!!
But for a really lovely rendering you have a job to beat this:
THE CHOIR BOYS BOY, singing DANNY BOY,
Yes you can get it on You Tube. And there is some lovely pipe work there as well.
WELL HOW DO YOU FOLLOW THAT?
Well you can’t get much Irish than this:
IRISH ROVERS. RARE OLD MOUNTAIN DEW
Wow what speed they take it at!!
Yes YOU try singing it at that speed.
Yes: well we’ll have something a little slower now;
And here’s another great Irish song sung by one of the very Best Irish Groups. YES it’s THE DUBLINERS again.
THE DUBLINERS – ROISIN THE BOW
Yes: lovely singing. They are SO good: these slower songs get me.
And this next one really is one of my TOP favourite Groups, and the song is just MAGIC.
You tube has two versions of this song so make sure you get the one with Davey Archer taking 4.19 mins:
Ladies be prepared to weep when Davey Archer plays that banjo.
Put in:
THE FUREYS AND DAVEY ARCHER – WHEN YOU WERE SWEET SIXTEEN.
You got to say THEY are good.

Well no more Weepies: Yes lets get something more lively:
And Strange to say I had NEVER heard this song before:
But I found it; and it is SO catchy I just have to share it with you.
Yes I’m sticking to YouTube so it’s there for you:
Put in:
THE IRISH ROVERS – THE UNICORN SONG
You have got to have loved that. I couldn’t help but sing along. Great Song! Glad I found it.
You know I reckon Our TUESDAY CLUB would make a good job of that!!

One of the Irish Songs I remember from when I was a lad – yes long time ago But I still remember!!. It was a song about Galway Bay and Bing Crosby sang it.
And a little later an Irishman with a GREAT voice sang it:
Do any of you remember JOSEPH LOCKE.. Yes I know; you’ve never heard of him!! Well I tell you; YOU missed a GREAT voice. I was lucky enough to see and hear him, when I was just 20.
He did not need microphones when he was on stage I can tell you: Massive Voice. So I am going to give you the chance of hearing him:
Very old Columbia 78 record, complete with clicks.
But come on this is over 70 years old.
Yes Youtube have got it:
JOSEPH LOCKE GALWAY BAY Choose the 3.12 one.
They don’t make them with voices like that any more.
You have just got to love that man. He died in 1999 age 82.

Well it is time for my last choice: And this takes a lot of beating,
One of the very finest Singers singing a superb song:

Put in:
PADDY REILLY – CARICKFERGUS
Oh what a Great song.
And Paddy Reilly is 77 now: He is certainly one of the great Irish Singers. Listen to him sing Carickfergus, You’ll never hear it sung better than this.

I hope you have enjoyed my chat about Irish Music.
There’s lots more out there for you to discover; and Paddy Reilly is definitely one of the finest solo artists: But there are lots more.
YES EXPLORE.

Well hearing these Great Irish voices has been a joy for me;
and I Hope you are enjoying RAYS CHATS.
Well it’s been Irish this time
So maybe some Scottish next time

Nice chatting to You
Ray

Ray’s chat number 12

RAY’S CHAT
Hi Folks ..

Here we are with
RAYS CHAT NUMBER TWELVE.

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:
PADDY REILLY –THE FIELDS OF ATHENRY 4.36

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:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
by THE CLANCY BROTHER & TOMMY MAKEM 2.02

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.
HAUL AWAY JOE
THE CLANCY BROTHERS WITH LOUIS KILLEN 2.02

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:

ALL FOR ME GROG 3.39

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

SEA SHANTY – WORST OLD SHIP.
This is sung by Bob Roberts who has a fine Sea Shanty sort of voice.
And the other I like is:
LEAVE HER JOHNNY LEAVE HER,
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:
YES THIS IS MY FAVOURITE.
THE CLANCY BROTHERS THE LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL 5.03

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
Ray

Ray’s chat 11

Hi Folks ..

So Here we
WITH have RAYS CHAT NUMBER ELEVEN.
We have so far looked at mostly English, Irish and American Folk Songs: But each Country has their own singing traditions.
So I thought we would have a look around.
And one song has been buzzing around in my head as I have been researching various Folk Music over the weeks.
So I am going to feature it this time.
It is a South African song. In fact the only South African Song I knew , Great song. It is called SHOSHOLOZA.
This song became popular in the early 70’s as the South African
Rugby Team used it as their song.
And it became almost a National Anthem in South Africa.

I first heard it at THE JUG OF PUNCH;
The Ian Campbell Group sang it; they called it the alternative name CHOSOLOSO.
They made a really GREAT job of singing it and the place went CRAZY!! But then it is such a GREAT song you just CAN’T not love it!!
Well: The Jug of Punch crowd really loved it. Sang their hearts out and oH BOY!! I reckon the Old Digbeth Floor boards got a right bashing with 400 of us stamping our feet as we sang our hearts out..
Yes yes Memories!! And Yes it has to be My choice for this week.
Unfortunately I have not found the Campbells version.
BUT: I have found some GREAT South African versions.

This version is going to get you wanting to have a go!!
Put in SHOSHOLOZA by TEKWNI TV takes 2.25 Mins
Oh you have to be taken with the enthusiasm of this..
and the video is quite good.

Well I am sure you will have got caught-up with that: and now here is another good one;
SHOSOLOZA AFRICAN SOUND takes 2.38
I found it very difficult to choose between those two.

AND THEN I FOUND THIS ONE
THE DRAKENSBURG BOYS CHOIR – SHOSHOLOZA
Yes: just when you are thinking the the guys at the start are GOOD!! OHHH then it REALLY gets going.
YOU JUST GOT TO LISTEN TO THIS ONE.
You’ll love it.

But just when I thought I’d found the BEST: I came upon this one. And YES this has to be my Favourite.
EIGHT BEAT MEASURE SHOSOLOZA takes 2.39mins
This is an Acappella Version by a group of JUST 15 American Lads. I think these American lads Have done a Great job. They have so much enthusiasm; and it shows. They loved singing this song and they made me feel I would love to be singing with them.
And that lad on the right. WOW What a voice;; and to sing his part against all the other voices. GREAT. I thought for a NON African Group to achieve the Spirit of the song was a real find. I hope YOU like it.
But: Perhaps the Natives will always have the edge!!

I did not come up with much in my search for South African Music
But this is good;
SARIE MARIAS takes 3.04 min
But this is a 1939 Song.. So not really a Folk Song.

Then this: LAND OF GREEN AND GOLD takes 3.19
And again not really a Folk Song.

But YES This is a Folk Song

Put in: UNIZULU CHOIR (University of ZULULAND SOUTH AFRICAN takes 3.28
Well they enthusiastic; but I think I prefer the sort of songs WE call Folk Songs.

So after trawling thro hours of searching, I have only managed to find just a few South African Folk Songs. Try this:
CALON LAN CAPE TOWN YOUTH CHOIR 2.51
I like this. BUT: Doesn’t it sort of sound familiar???
Almost WELSH!! Did you get that? It’s like I KNOW it; but have never heard it before STRANGE!!

Well there you are our trip to South Africa: Did not find much in the way of Folk Songs.
Except: you have to agree that SHOSHOLOZA was worth listening to?
But for our next RAYS CHAT We will search out some Real Folk. Yes
We will chat about the Work Songs, where so many Folk Songs have derived from.
Yes: THE SEA SHANTIES. And who has the BEST Sea Shanties?? Well England was always a Sea Faring Nation.. So it is only right WE have the BEST
Sea Shanties.
See you next time.

NICE CHATTING TO YOU
RAY

Ray’s chat number 10

RAY’S CHAT
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
DISCOVERING AMERICAN FOLK MUSIC (1982),
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
THE STORY OF AMERICAN FOLK MUSIC 6
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.
Songs like THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPULIC
and JOHN BROWNS BODY.
And there is one song that definitely says America to me and that is SHENANDOAH.

But as a starter I think we will take
THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC
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

SISSEL KYRKSEBO SHENANDOAH 2.42
Very different version; No She is Not American, BUT what a Gorgeous Voice.

For my Second Choice put in
SHENANDOAH THE ROBERT SHAW CHORALE 4.42
You have to say: Yes VERY nicely done

BUT MY NUMBER ONE CHOICE Has to be
THE KINGSTON TRIO 3.55. Singing SHENANDOAH

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
Music.
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.
MAHALIA JACKSON GO TELL IT TO THE MOUNTAIN 3.59
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.
NICE CHATTING TO YOU
RAY

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