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