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Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio

GUEST 25 Jun 12 - 04:23 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Jun 12 - 04:31 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 25 Jun 12 - 04:50 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Jun 12 - 05:30 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Jun 12 - 05:37 PM
GUEST,Guest Ed Silberman 26 Jun 12 - 11:54 AM
Vic Smith 26 Jun 12 - 12:22 PM
Jim Carroll 26 Jun 12 - 01:58 PM
GUEST,Guest Ed Silberman 26 Jun 12 - 09:09 PM
Susanne (skw) 27 Jun 12 - 03:44 PM
GUEST,Mike Yates 28 Jun 12 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,Guest 29 Sep 15 - 08:41 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 29 Sep 15 - 09:53 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Sep 15 - 07:06 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 30 Sep 15 - 07:52 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Sep 15 - 08:42 AM
Vic Smith 30 Sep 15 - 11:32 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Sep 15 - 11:45 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 30 Sep 15 - 03:02 PM
Jim Carroll 01 Oct 15 - 09:25 AM
Vic Smith 01 Oct 15 - 03:40 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 01 Oct 15 - 05:41 PM
Jim Carroll 01 Oct 15 - 08:07 PM
GUEST,Mike Yates 02 Oct 15 - 02:32 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Oct 15 - 04:08 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Oct 15 - 05:18 AM
FreddyHeadey 02 Oct 15 - 11:21 AM
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Subject: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jun 12 - 04:23 PM

Where can I find biographical information on Queen Carolyne Hughes?


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Jun 12 - 04:31 PM

MacColl and Seeger's book, Travellers Songs, would be the obvious source, but I've seen other info elsewhere in the Voice of the People booklets that go with the recordings.


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 25 Jun 12 - 04:50 PM

One of the latest CD sets in Topic's 'Voice of the People' series is called 'I'm A Romany Rai' (TSCD672D)and is devoted to "Songs by English Gypsy Traditional Singers". Disc 2 is devoted to Peter Kennedy's recordings of Carolyne Hughes and some of her family members. Shirley Collins's notes to these recordings, in the accompanying booklet, contains some biographical and autobiographical details relating to Carolyne Hughes.

You may, of course, know about this material already (?)


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Jun 12 - 05:30 PM

From Travellers Songs from England and Scotland - MacColl and Seeger
Jim Carroll

CAROLINE HUGHES

Caroline Hughes (nee Bateman) was born in 1900 in a horse-drawn caravan in Bere Regis, Dorset. 'My mother's name was Lavinia Batemen and my father was Arthur Hughes. I was one of seventeen children. My parents worked all their lifetime to bring we up clean and respectable. My father was a rat-and-varmint destroyer. We could bide anywhere, and was respected with anybody. My father had a good name and a good character. My mother worked hard, use to go hawking to get a living in a straightforward way. Never done no wrong. Never been had up for stealing, robbing, lived a straight life. ... I started to go hawking with my mother time I got up old enough, then I went to school till I was ten year old. Then I took off with my mother to get my living, just like all my sisters did. And I grew up to get married and I knew how to get my living. I met my husband arter he done three years in France a-fighting. When he come back he had a long tarry in hospital. We never courted long before we got married. I was married two years and five month before I had my first child. After that I had three children in three year and seven month. I knowed how to take the basket on my arm to get my own living honest. I didn't want teaching. I knowed to get my living working on a farm, doing things straightforward. My children used to help me go out in the field to pull docks. ... I been out in the fields hoeing all day and come back and done my girt tubs o' washing. I was proud o' that, and done it until I turned fifty-three. Then I met with an accident, which turned me an invalid for nine years. This car-driver, he ran straight on and never stopped. Never mind ... I left that to God.
'Don't I wish they old times would come back again . . . where we used to go and have a drink at a public house, all come back on the old common, singing, hang on our pots of girt big suety puddings, hocks o' bacon, pigs heads ... we done nice then. We was all healthy, never much illness amongst the family. Farmers come round, talking with our lathers and mothers. We children playing with their children. Dancin', playin' gramophone records, tap-dancin', clog-dancin'. You could stay anywhere . . . not today. The world's turned upsidedown part, you can't do as you like. It's a different law. I reckon to myself the Lord Almighty he died to save all we in this world. God wasn't a proud man. He liked every form of mother's child. He liked mine and other children too. He sent this world for we poor people. Sent the mountains for us, sent everything for us all to have a share o't, everything. The Lord send bushes, he send trees, birds, comfort, greens, swedes, potatoes, flowers, everything in the world for one another. Not for one, for the lot.
'My name is Caroline Hughes. I'm a principled woman. I can't read but I tell you I got my knowledge. I got my little wooden caravan, and I got my eight nice children and my thirty-five grandchildren and I love to hear the birds in the morning and get to the copses and woods and set round the old camp-fire. I don't want no saucepans to cook with. I want to follow my great-great-great-grandmother with the old-fashioned, three-gallon pot. My great grandmother had a grandmother lived till she was 104. The next was 101. The next one again was my grandmother, she was 103. That was Alice Baternan, my father's mother. His father was more than a hundred when he died, but my mother was only seventy-two and my father eighty-two, so they didn't follow on their families. But I want to reach there if I can.'
Of her songs, she said, 'My mother sang all the time. When she were making clothes-pegs or making we children's bloomers, shifts and petticoats. We be all around the fire singing these old songs, and I been with my mother listening, listening, and I made her sing them over and over till I learned the lot. Many a time my father and mother have come back with a glass of beer in their hands and they'd say to we children, "Would you like to hear a song?" "Yes," says we. And my father and mother they've sat and sung songs, and there've been local people out in the road a-listening. That was my father and mother, the bestest singers in the world. And there was my brother, he used to play a fiddle and he wrould sing.'
At this point, one of Caroline's daughters interrupted to say, 'My mother done the same with us. She would always sing when she was making tea or to keep we kids quiet. And she always sang to us at bed-time. On Sundays too, when the men came back from the pub, that would always be a time for singing.'
Caroline Hughes concluded the story of her life with these words: 'Where you going to find a good mother when she's gone? One who's worked, slaved hard, runned and raced for you, been through bitter frost and snow, finding snitches of wood, buckets of water, through all the ups and downs. The young girls today don't know the meaning of it. What do they do today? Wear their clothes above their knees so you can almost see their fanny. And there's paint and powder. They're not like the gals what's fifty years ago, nothing like they was thirty, forty years ago. I'm a gal, my name is Caroline Hughes. Ibeenouta-beggin' for my bread. I wish I could do it now. . . .'
Queen Caroline Hughes died in 1971 and was given a gypsy funeral. As is the traditional way among older gypsies, her caravan and all her possessions were burned in the presence of her tribe. She contributed the following songs to this collection:

The Broomfield Hill
Bonny Barbara Allen
The Famous Flower of Serving Men
Sir Hugh
Brake of Briars
Mother, Mother Make My Bed
Long A-Growing
The Three Butchers
The Sailor's Return
If I Was a Blackbird
All Fours
Ring Dang Doo
Seventeen Come Sunday
The Lady and the Soldier
The Bird in the Bush
The Seeds of Love
Died for Love
The Blacksmith
The Cuckoo
The False-Hearted Lover
Blue-Eyed Lover
My Love Lays Cold Beneath
My Feet
Green Grows the Laurel
The Girl I Left Behind
Green Bushes
Too Young
The Banks of Sweet Primroses
Sheep-Crook and Black Dog
The Fatal Snowstorm
The Butcher Boy
Oxford City
The Wexford Girl
All Over Those Hills
McCaffery
The Highwayman Outwitted
The First Day in October
Twenty-One Years
We Dear Labouring Men
The Jolly Herring
Paddy Backwards
Little Poppa Rich
The Two Gypsy Girls
Diddling Songs
Jal Along
Mandi Went to Poov the Grais
The Atching Tan Song

(Collected 1962 and 1966)

HENRY HUGHES
Henry Hughes was born in 1904. Brother to William Hughes, he contributed the ballad 'Geordie' (No. 16) to this collection. (Collected 1962)

SHEILA HUGHES
Sheila Hughes is one of Caroline Hughes's daughters. She contributed the following items to this collection:
Lord Randal
If I Was a Blackbird

(Collected 1962)

WILLIAM HUGHES
William Hughes, brother to Henry and husband to Caroline, was born in 1895 in Dorset, in a horse-drawn caravan. 'All my life I been on the road. Earned my living at anything I could lay my hand to. Harvesting, bird-snaring, chair-making, baskets, dolls, wooden clothes-pegs, mat-making, horse-breaking, pullin' beets, scrap-collecting. Never harmed nobody and brought my childer up as decent as I know how.' He contributed the following songs to this collection:
Camden Town
The Little Chimney Sweep

(Collected 1962)


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Jun 12 - 05:37 PM

PS
Have never understood for the life of me why Topic never issued a separate CD of either Irish or Scottish Travellers, particularly Scottish.
The English Traveller material is interesting, but soooooo fragmentary, yet the Scots (and to a lesser extent, the Irish) have far superior and important repertoires, both in content and condition.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: GUEST,Guest Ed Silberman
Date: 26 Jun 12 - 11:54 AM

(sorry I didn't identify myself by name before)

Thank you all.

My curiosity was aroused by the cd I'm A Romany Rai. I bought it largely for the Carolyne Hughes material. I'd read passing references to her and was anxious to actually hear her. She bowled me over! I remember reading that she inspired the MacColl song (dont know the name) "move along get along move along get along go move shift." Can anyone confirm that?

Jim -- I find the fragmented nature of these songs intriguing. It's like looking at a broken plate. All the pieces are shattered and scattered, but it's beautiful in it's own right. Or like a bunch of what John Cohen calls 'Tennessee haikus" strong together and adding to a story, or at least a glimpse of one.

Not only has the Voice of The People series not (yet?) done anything with Scots an Irish travellers, but it seems to have focused on the south of England an Wales at that. Are there travelling people in other areas, and do they have songs? (Pardon ignorance, American)

And speaking of the US -- Has anyone else noticed the resemblance of
the new Voice of The People logo to the Readers Digest logo. Give me the willies to look at it


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: Vic Smith
Date: 26 Jun 12 - 12:22 PM

Scots & Irish travellers were very well represented in the 20-volume first edition of Voice of the People.


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Jun 12 - 01:58 PM

"Can anyone confirm that?"
'The Moving on Song')that's the title, was inspired by interviews with several Travellers during the making of 'The Travelling People' - I was able to listen to some of the unused material which could easily have doubled the length of the programme.
I think the most powerful influence on the song was the interview with English Traveller Minty Smith who described how the police were forcing the family to move on while she was giving birth inside the caravan - a magnificent combination of the song, Peggy's musical direction, the speaking voice and Charles' overlapping of the music/singing/talking.
As you say - the English Traveller recordings are beautiful in their own right, but it would be good to get some full songs occasionally.
Vic - yes they are well represented, but I would much rather have had a full album of either (or both even) rather than another English one - for me it a serious imbalance in the presentation of the song tradition of these islands.
Not only do they both merit one as part of 'Voice', but there is a wealth of unheard material out there to be sourced - some of the untouched ballad material is stunning.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: GUEST,Guest Ed Silberman
Date: 26 Jun 12 - 09:09 PM

Thank you


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 27 Jun 12 - 03:44 PM

Confirming Jim Carroll's confirmation:
[1990:] In the course of collecting actuality for 'The Travellers', the radio-ballad on nomadic peoples, we recorded the following passage from Misty Smith, a gypsy woman in Cobham, Kent: 'I was expecting one of my children, y'know, one of my babies, and my son ran for the midwife. The policeman came along, 'Come on', he said, 'get a move on! Shift on! Don't want you here on my beat.' So my husband says, 'Look, sir, let me stay - my wife is going to have a baby.' 'No, it doesn't matter about that,' he says, 'you get off!' They made my husband move and my baby was born going along while my husband stayed on the road. Born on the crossroads in my caravan. The horse was in harness and the policeman was following along, y'know, drumming us along. Born on the crossroad!' (Notes Ewan MacColl, 'Black and White')


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 28 Jun 12 - 09:07 AM

With refrence to Susanne (skw)'s contribution. Should "Misty" Smith not be Minty Smith. If so, then you can hear her singing on the Musical Traditions CD "Here's Luck to a Man" (MTCD320. Her photograph can be seen on the cover of this CD.


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 29 Sep 15 - 08:41 AM

I am Caroline Hughes great grand daughter, you can Not get a biography because there isn't one!! The information you read on the internet is mostly false, they can't even get the name of her children right!! Its hurtful that people are making money off her songs when she has been dead for many years and her few children who are still alive find it very up setting,
We are all for remember and honoring her and songs, but when the information is wrong and there's money involved it's not remember a wonderful person it's disrespect.


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 29 Sep 15 - 09:53 AM

Hallo Guest,
I would use your name with a good heart if I knew it. I spent some time talking to Peter Ingram and Carolines daughter Carrie{I hope that's the right spelling}down in Dorset at Danny Price's trailer. We talked about those recordings and also about money.
I understand entirely how you feel. Those feelings went deep I know. Things have changed now, and if a Gypsy singers voice is recorded, then I am sure that he or she WILL see some money nowdays. Those who recorded your Grandmother were not choring from you deliberatly but trying to make sure the songs were saved forever. Danny Price played those recordings to me and he was glad they were made. If you find it hard to trust us here on mudcat, try and be happy that there is more understanding of your feelings now than there were 40 years ago, and even then there was no disrespect meant. I am married to a Romany Gypsy and my best friend is a Lee, and the the family have given me songs out of freindship. That's the best way isn't it. Would you still sing your grandmothers songs? Why not! you have every right, and we would love to hear them. Talk to us again and tell us your name.
God Bless you
Nick

By the way I know that Gypsy has a capital G for respect.


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Sep 15 - 07:06 AM

Can I just clear something up about this common fallacy.
When Caroline Hughes was originally recorded she was paid by the recordists - the family insisted on this and there was no problem in her being paid as the material was being put to public use.
We worked with Travellers, and others, for thirty years and the agreement we had with them was that, if the material was used commercially, all profits should go to the singers
In the time we spent collecting songs, we never made a penny from what we recorded; in fact, as we were working for the love of the music and not as a living, it cost us a great deal in time, equipment and travelling and numerous other expenses, which cane entirely from our own pockets - it was purely a labour of love.
We are proud to have saved the songs we did and are delighted to be able to pass them on in the same spirit they were freely
given - that they should not be forgotten - that is the understanding we had with every one of our singers and it was never at any time questioned by them
To my knowledge, only one collector has ever abused the trust we always encountered, and he is well-known for having done so.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 30 Sep 15 - 07:52 AM

Not my face to face experience Jim. I'm not saying that you are wrong, I can only tell you that this is not how the family sees it.
The exact phrase used to me was 'We ain't going to be made a fool of no more'
Who ever is right or wrong is a trifle compared with the fact that it's killed the Gypsy singing tradition stone dead in the family.
'We don't sing the songs now, we just put the tape on'
My main point in this post is that pointing out the facts as you have done above is understandable, but exactly the wrong way to treat the Travellers. I now don't think I'm going to get a reply from the Guest above. This is not me having a pop at you, far from it, but when Travellers feel abused you must try and gain their trust. My pal Walter Lee said to me 'You cheat me once, shame on you. You cheat me twice, shame on me!' That's where we are at whatever the truth. I could probably defuse it, but it would be a long and difficult job. I was hoping our guest would give me an e-mail and send a phone number, which would be a start.


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Sep 15 - 08:42 AM

"I can only tell you that this is not how the family sees it."
I never encountered such attitudes.
The fact is that, sadly, our folk cultures are ignored and even disparaged by those who hold the purse-strings - there is no money to be had out of folk-song.
I'm happy to share with anybody some of the comments singers have made to us about their songs - Walter Pardon summed it up perfectly when he said "They're not my songs, they're everybody's".
Some of the Travellers we recorded became life-long friends and we are still moved by the thought of their generosity and dedication.
Most collectors, certainly the ones I respect, never cheated anybody and without their efforts, the songs would have died.
I really don't know any other way to respond to the suggestions of cheating and monetary gain other than to tell it as it is - there are no fortunes to be made out of folk songs, there never has been and there never will be.
The people we knew, recorded and cherished as friends accepted that fact and we owed it to them to be as honest as we could with them.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: Vic Smith
Date: 30 Sep 15 - 11:32 AM

Jim wrote:-
"I really don't know any other way to respond to the suggestions of cheating and monetary gain other than to tell it as it is - there are no fortunes to be made out of folk songs, there never has been and there never will be."


.... and he is spot on correct. If there were money to be made then the music industry would move in on it - and it hasn't.
There remains, however, a difficulty over the differences in perception of the processes involved.
The opening question was about a biography of Carolyne/Caroline/Carolyn Hughes (We don't even seem to be able to agree over the spelling of her name). Jim very helpfully gave the one from the MacColl/Seeger 1977 book. No-one has suggested going to her family for their story of her life. The hurt tone of her descendant posting here shows that the family would clearly like to be to have their say. They can see that 40 of songs are included on the new MT CD-ROM and they wonder where the proceeds of any sales are going. Certainly, they know that travellers have had songs recorded from them that have turned up on commercial releases without the singers and their families even being informed. The collectors have told the travellers how valuable the material they they recorded and one side has meant culturally valuable whilst the other side thought that they meant financially valuable.

It must have been on a visit to Blairgowrie before 15 February 1971 (Decimalisation Day) that we visited the Stewarts. At one stage, Belle went to a drawer and took out a royalties cheque from Topic Records for £0 13s 4d (The Stewarts of Blair were already on quite a number of Topic albums at this time). "....and I don't even have a bank account!" Belle said amongst peals of laughter. Innocently, I offered to cash it for her. "You will not!!!" she said firmly. "The number of laughs that I have had from showing folk that piece of paper is worth far more than the amount of money written on it!"


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Sep 15 - 11:45 AM

Lovely story told by Ciaran MacMathunna, the veteran Irish radio broadcaster of traditional music.
Back in the fifties, he spent an evening recording an elderly Kerry fiddle player, and as the session drew to a close he said, "Now there's the matter of the recording fee".
The old man thought for a minute and eventually said, "Well, there's no money in the house at present, but I'm taking a bullock to the mart in the morning if you don't mind waiting".
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 30 Sep 15 - 03:02 PM

With the deepest respect Jim, I think you have missed the point, probably my fault. You say you have 'never encountered such attitudes' well I'm afraid that now you have re-the post above, and so have I down in Dorset. Now I am quite prepared to accept there is not a word of truth in what was said above and to me. What I was trying to say is... which is more important, being right, or re-opening a dialogue with the family. You are not going to get both.
I have spent over three decades with the Travelling community, and I have learned that you either understand them or you don't. There are times when you 'tell it as it is' and times when you try and draw a line and move on to a different relationship with a new set of rules, which they will give to you, or not depending on the degree of trust.
Please don't take all this the wrong way, it's not about right and wrong in my opinion but the greater picture, which could be very rewarding. However I don't think we will hear from our 'guest' again.


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Oct 15 - 09:25 AM

Hi Nick
Sorry - missed your posting
I'd be more than happy to continue this discussion; it interests me deeply, but if it's all the same to you, not on open forum
I probably shouldn't have written what I wrote, but the damage that has been done by a tiny handful of unscrupulous or insensitive researchers worries me deeply - hence my knee-jerk.
I make it a practice not to discuss such matters regarding source singers on open forum, but I would be fascinated to continue it elsewhere (would have PM'd you, but your not a member).
If you are interested, perhaps Joe Offer, or some other kindly forum fairy could pass on e-mail addresses, or someone who knows both of us.....
Am reluctant to put mine up here - nor being paranoid, but have been hacked into by the lunatic fringe more than once in the past
Sorry
Very best,
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: Vic Smith
Date: 01 Oct 15 - 03:40 PM

Nick Dow wrote:-
"Who ever is right or wrong is a trifle compared with the fact that it's killed the Gypsy singing tradition stone dead in the family.
'We don't sing the songs now, we just put the tape on' "


It may not be quite as bad as you think, Nick. About four years ago. Shirley Collins received an email from someone saying that she was a grandaughter and that she had heard that Shirley had some recordings of Caroline and could she send them to her as she was interested.
This was the case; Shirley included a number of songs from both John and Caroline in her show I'm A Romany Rai. As I was the one who prepared the recordings for the show, Shirley passed the email on to me. I made .mp3 recordings of the tracks that we used in the show and emailed them on to her. I heard nothing back for months, then received an email thanking me and stating that she and her sister had learned songs from the recordings I sent and had sung them at their village Christmas concert.


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 01 Oct 15 - 05:41 PM

Good news and what I was hoping for. I'll get in touch with Jim when I am back on my feet from man Flu {Sneeze Mumble Complain Grumble}


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Oct 15 - 08:07 PM

Can I add to that Vic?
The Irish Traveller Tradition included a magnificent track record of musicianship - piper Johnny Doran being the finest in living memory, his brother, Felix, John Doherty, The Dunne Brothers, The Raineys, The Cash's.... a whole list of people who were vital to the survival of the Irish instrumental musical tradition, particularly here in Clare.
Throughout the time we worked with Travellers, we were unable to find a single practicing musician in the community, or word of one, even though we were friendly with members of the Doran family, including Johnny and Felix's sons and cousins.
In the last decade, Limerick University's 'Irish World Academy of Music & Dance' has opened their doors to Traveller musicians and it seems the tradition is now back on the road.
Miltown Malbay now hosts and annual 'Johnny Doran' weekend every spring and their are a rising number of fine, young.... (young, for god's sake!!) Traveller musicians putting the community back in the saddle.
"Who ever is right or wrong is a trifle compared with the fact that it's killed the Gypsy singing tradition stone dead in the family."
Have told this story before - ad nauseum for some, I'm sure.
We started recording Travellers in London in the July of 1973 - one of our trio, Denis Turner, was a teacher (and the only one with any collecting experience) so anything time consuming he did had to coincide with school holidays. We spent a couple of glorious months being passed from singer to singer by people more than willing to sing for us.
At the end of each session, we'd retire to the pub with our friends, drink to closing time, and then go back to the pull-ons to continue to the early hours by the light of fires in the middle of the sites (this was under the West London Flyover at Shepherds Bush).
By the end of the holidays, when Denis was preparing to return to work, we decided to take take a short break, take stock of what we had done and plan our future actions - the break was to last eighteen months.
When we did return, at Easter, 1975, things had changed radically.
The sites we visited were deserted on entry - no sign of a fire, all the trailer doors were closed and the windows were lit up with an odd glow.
They had all gone along to Woolworths and bought portable televisions - it was as if the door of the tradition had slammed shut sometime in the intervening period.
We conducted our first recording session after having to sit through Rio Bravo (for the 135 time!!)
We were lucky enough to meet a couple of singers who were as passionate about saving the songs and stories as we where, and they guaranteed us enough passion to keep us - well, passionate - for a large part of our lives.
"{Sneeze Mumble Complain Grumble}"
Mikeen McCarthy from Kerry, told us that if you sneezed on a stone, put it in a paper bag and left it lying on the road, whoever picked it up and opened it would inherit your cold from you - it was a common cure for warts too.
He said he'd never inflict his illness on anybody else, and we believed him - the choice is yours, Nick!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 02 Oct 15 - 02:32 AM

"there are no fortunes to be made out of folk songs, there never has been and there never will be."

Sadly, Jim, some people do not believe this to be true. In the 1970's I was recording songs from two Sussex singers, George Spicer and Harry Upton. They knew each other and there was clearly some sort of rivalry betyween them when it came to singing. I included a small number of Harry's songs on two Topic anthologies. But Topic had already issued a solo album of George Spicer and Harry was a bit miffed about this.

In late 1977/early '78 I was asked to write an article for the (then) new magazine "Musical Traditions". I chose to write about Harry. I mentioned this to Tony Engle at Topic and Tony suggested that they issue an album of Harry to go with the article. But, they could only issue it if it was limited to 250 copies. Money was tight and so I incorporated the album's notes into the article, thus saving Topic money because they did not having to pay for the type-setting.

I explained all this to Harry, telling him that it was our way of thanking him for singing and for passing on his songs to us all. I clearly said that only 250 copies would be pressed and that this was not a money-making project. I guess that, at the end of the day, Topic might have, financially, broken even, or actually made a small loss.

The album came out and I took a couple of copies down to Harry, who was very happy with things. But then Topic received a letter from Harry's son - who I had never met. It was demanding a large sum of money. I went down to Sussex and spoke to the son. Sadly, he was of the opinion that thousands of albums were being sold and that, like pop singers, his father would make a huge amount of money. I tried my best to explain the situation, but I doubt that he believed me.

It was a sad end to what had initially been a good idea - namely issuing the album as a tribute to his father. I still find the whole thing upsetting and have often asked myself whether or not we should ever have issued the album.(And I am now mentioning this because Musical Traditions have recently asked if they can reissue the album. What to do?)

Reading the comments about other traditional singers on this thread has reminded me of just how easy it is to confuse people. Vic Smith is right when he says that there is a confusion between the terms "culturally valuable" and "financially valuable". I suppose that, over the years, I have always been looking out for that which was "culturally valuable", and that I may not have been clear enough about this to some other people.


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Oct 15 - 04:08 AM

Thanks Mike - it is thanks to the dedication of people like yourself that we were privileged to be granted access to these talented artists (in the real sense of the word).
I have to say that a failure correctly attribute these songs when they are made public hasn't really helped the situation - I have become tired of hearing "I'd like to sing a M.C. or P.B. (or whoever) song by someone who then burst forth with a song passed on by Harry or Sam or Walter.... (not the fault of the names singers, who usually are happy to attribute them rightly)
I am disturbed about the practice of copyrighting 'versions' of traditional songs - the John Reilly, 'Well Below the Valley' or the 'Wild Mountain Thyme' case springs to mind.
These songs were ever made or circulated for monetary gain and if we do it, it is hardly surprising that the relatives of those who gave them should want a piece of the action.
Good luck with the Harry Upton project.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Oct 15 - 05:18 AM

"never made" of course - damn keyboard!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Queen Carolyne Hughes Bio
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 02 Oct 15 - 11:21 AM

Sam Lee has been collecting Romany songs.
Has that been received well?

He's putting on a small show in Birmingham

Sam Lee and Richard O'Neill: Romany Song and Story
October 13 @ 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm
http://travellerstimes.org.uk/Events/Sam-Lee-and-Richard-ONeill.aspx


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