Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles

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tscd666 webVolume 16 of The Voice of The People.
Songs & Dance Tunes of Seasonal Events.
An anthology edited by REG HALL.

1 THE BRITANNIA COCONUT DANCERS with The Nutters Band Live Performance – The Nut Dance
2 JINKY WELLS (of Bampton Morris) fiddle & voice: Highland Mary
3 BAMPTON MORRIS Live Performance – The Quaker
4 EMMA VICKERS (of Burscough Pace-Eggers) voice: The Pace-Egging Song
5 THE MERRYMAKERS (Padstow) Live Performance – The Happy Wanderer
6 GEORGE DUNN voice: While Shepherds Were Watching Their Flocks By The Night
7 WRENBOYS (Listowel) Live Performance – By The Bright Silvery Light Of The Moon. Live Performance – Highland Fling
8 BILL KIMBER (of Headington Quarry Morris Dancers) concertina: Double Set Back
9 MUMMERS voice & melodeon: So Now We’ve Gained Our Victory. The Quaker
10 WAPPING IRISH FLUTE & DRUM BAND & GUEST PIPERS Live Performance – Dublin Fair / The Boys Of Wexford. Live Performance – Garryowen
11 STEPHEN BALDWIN fiddle: The Girl I Left Behind Me
12 THE RIPON SWORD DANCERS (Mummers) Live Performance
13 ABINGDON TRADITIONAL MORRIS DANCERS Live Performance – Jockey To The Fair
14 PHIL TANNER voice: The Wassail Song
15 HELSTON TOWN BAND Live Performance – The Furry Dance
16 SCAN TESTER concertina: While Shepherds Watch Their Flocks By Night
17 FRANK BOND (of North Waltham Jolly Jacks) voice: God Bless The Master Of This House
18 SAM BOND (of North Waltham Jolly Jacks) voice: Where Does Father Christmas Go To?
19 BAMPTON MORRIS Live Performance – Bobbing Around
20 THE SAILORS’ HOBBY HORSE (Minehead) Live Performances
21 BILLY BUCKINGHAM & OTHERS voices: The Waysailing Bowl
22 WIDNES STAR NOVELTY BAND The Great Little Army March
23 WASSAILERS (Bodmin) voices Live Performance
24 THE ABBOTS BROMLEY HORN DANCERS Live Performance – Cock O’The North
25 THE BRITANNIA COCONUT DANCERS with The Nutters Band Live Performance – The Garland Dance No.3
26 THE MERRYMAKERS (Padstow) Live Performance – The Sash

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TOPIC70 packshot webTHREE SCORE AND TEN is seven CDs in a ten by ten inch hardback book, with dust jacket containing 108 profusely illustrated, full colour pages with a narrative portrait of Topic from 1939 to the present day. Also included separately is a complete discography of every Topic release from 1939 to the newest releases in 2009.

There are 144 tracks that cover all aspects of Topic’s recording history in 7 themed CDs with many rare tracks never before on CD. The extensive text gives a detailed recording and social history with profiles of the essential recordings, principle artists and key personages. The many hundreds of illustrations are a revelation in themselves, anchoring the whole project with photos of the artists, album sleeves, advertising leaflets, snapshots and memorabilia.

A quote from page 92 of Three Score and Ten sums it all up pretty nicely:

“From its first release in 1939 and it’s origins in the Workers’ Music Association through the folk revival to the present day Topic Records has always endeavoured to make classic and definitive recordings of traditional music available to the public; a catalogue of records to inform and inspire the listener.” Since the 1950s, Topic has stood virtually alone in continuing to make recordings of traditional music and the tradition based music of the British Isles.

The aims and objects of the Workers’ Music Association (as published in 1944) still stand as a fair description of the ambitions of Topic Records in 2009:
- To present to the people their rich musical inheritance
- To utilise fully the stimulating power of music to inspire people
- To stimulate the composition of music appropriate to our time
- To foster and further the art of music on the principle that true art can move the people
- to work for the betterment of society


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The Voice Of The People


The first TWENTY volumes : TSCD651-670

harry cox web margaret barry web scan tester web

“My favourite sit-down-and-listen records”
Norma Waterson

This series makes available nearly 500 recordings of English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh traditional music drawn from the archives of Topic Records and from private collections.

Compiled as thematic anthologies, each volume stands on its own, but the series as a whole presents an extensive and varied picture of traditional singing, instrumental music-making and dancing throughout the course of the 20th century. Many of the singers and musicians and their recorded performances presented here are classic, but the inclusion of some less well-known performers and genres broadens the horizon by offering glimpses at some little-known nooks and crannies of traditional music-making. This is the home-spun art and entertainment that enriched the lives of working people in pubs and cottages, in social clubs and village halls and on the street, and was made, in the words of one of the musicians in the series, “by people with dirt under their finger nails.”

Society has moved on, but the artistry of these singers and musicians and the emotional impact of their performances are timeless. The timbres and textures of the language and musical expression, the performance skills and techniques, the social values contained in both the material and the performers’ life stories, and the subtleties of meaning in the song texts could easily be lost sight of forever. The cultural voices of these farm workers and men on the buildings, the housewives, the shepherds and cowmen, the gardeners and estate workers, the miners and trawlermen, the dealers in scrap, the country policeman and the village postman, the chambermaid and the hospital nurse are therefore worthy of serious and prolonged attention. Their singing and music-making have made a striking and significant contribution to the cultural roots of these islands.

Best known as a dance musician, Reg Hall is a visiting research fellow at the University of Sussex and, in compiling and annotating this series, he has called on the experience of a long, personal involvement with traditional music-making and an academic historian’s view of its history and social context. His commentary pays tribute to the pioneer pen-and-paper folk-song-collectors of the Edwardian era and to those professionals in the early post-war years equipped with tape recorders. The 1960s and 1970s saw the rise of a small number of enthusiasts, both professional and amateur, who recorded traditional music and broke new ground in discovery and evaluation, and this series owes a great deal to their creative efforts and co-operation.

Ever a critic of the concepts of ‘folk-song’ and ‘folk-dance’, Reg Hall challenges the ground rules of both movements and directs the emphasis in this presentation towards the lives of the performers and the communities and circumstances in which they performed. The songs and dance music had meaning and purpose for the singers and musicians, and the exploration of those realities, as far as we are able to understand them, is far more exciting than perpetuating the myths.

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