logo Editorial
February 2021


Magazine and Records - present and future

Several messages I've received recently indicate that I've not explained the situation all that clearly.  So ...

The Magazine move was actually several month ago, but I continue to edit it from here and Reinhard makes a 'mirror' of it every few days - so it currently exists in two places until I change the DNS pointer to www.mainlynorfolk.info.  After that, I will still continue to edit it.  So, from a reader's perspective, nothing will have changed.  The only difference will be that when the DNS pointer is changed, my rod@mustrad.org.uk email address will probably cease to function.  I will continue to add reviews, articles, etc as and when they are sent to me at rod.stradling.eu

The Records situation is a little more complicated.  I will not be publishing any new MT Records CDs.  Mossy Christian now runs MT Records, and will make new publications under that label in the future, but he will not publish any of the existing MT CDs in that format.  He will be free to use any of the existing tracks in new 'thematic' compilations, in the future.

During the run-down of stocks of the existing MT CDs, it has become clear that some customers have wanted copies of these that had become 'out of stock', and I have decided that I will produce 'Made-to Order' copies of anything in the existing catalogue to those of you who are in need.  Accordingly, there is a Catalogue file (available HERE) listing the complete output of the 88 MT CDs and CD-ROMs, together with their 'Made-to Order' prices and details of how to order them.  This is to avoid any confusion between this 'Made-to Order' service and any new MT Records publications that Mossy may produce in the future.

All the 88 existing MT CDs and CD-ROMs will continue to be available as Downloads, via the Gumroad platform.

Rod Stradling - 11.2.21


NEW MT Records New Year 'Half Price' Sale

Disregard the previous entry - we're down to our last 20 or so titles, most of which have only one or two copies remaining.  All are now HALF PRICE - no more having to buy 2 or more CDs, no more refunds.  These are the prices you'll pay!

And, if you're desperate for something that's now out of stock, let me know by email - I'll happily make you a 'special' at the original price.

18.1.21


MT Records New Year 'Half Price' Sale

As I have explained earlier, I've been selling off my stocks of CDs through to Christmas, and would then hold a 2-for-1 New Year Sale to get rid of any remaining items.  However, that has proven rather difficult, so I've gone one better ... the New Year's Half price sale.

Wheb you can buy two, or more, CDs from the website in the Half Price Sale, I'll send you all of them, and refund you half the cost plus anything more than necessary of the postage.

And, if you're desperate for something that's now out of stock, let me know by email - I'll happily make you a 'special' at the original price.

2.1.21


Season's Greetings 2020

With this my 24th Review of the Year, I'd like to be able to strike a positive note, wishing you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year ... Joy, Health, Love and Peace!  But, in today's medical, economic, political and cultural climate, all four seem to be in pretty short supply.  Not even a Christmas for many people.  But at least, the USA - and the world - will soon have got rid of Trump!

Unsurprisingly, given all that has happened, this has been a fairly quiet year on the MT front in terms of publications and record sales, but quite a lot has been going on behind the scenes with the organisation.  As well as finding a new, permanent home for the Magazine on the Mainly Norfolk platform, I've passed on the Records business to Mossy Christian, who tells me that he will be making 'New' MT CDs in the near future:

And, as you will know, ALL the 'original' MT Records CDs are now available as Downloads at ridiculously low prices via the Gumroad platform - Downloads.  I've also closed down the 'Mobile Friendly' records website since almost no one was using it.  All that work for nothing!

The Magazine has obviously had a fairly lean year, even by current standards.  We've published 7 new Articles and some 15 new Reviews in 2020, along with one Enthusiasm, and a handful of News items and 10 Letters.  This is a good bit less than usual.  On the other hand, I appear to have written some 24 Editorials before this one.

On yet another hand, we have published five new CDs this year ... more than I was expecting.  But sadly, there will not be any more from me, though I will continue to Edit and add to the MT Magazine in its new home - as long as I'm able to!

And maybe I should remind you that, except for messages relating to the MT Magazine, ie. Letters, Articles, Reviews, etc, at the old email address - if you're writing to me on any other matter, please now use the new personal one: rod@stradling.eu.  And Danny has also become danny@stradling.eu

25.12.20


A Wonderful New Article

Quite by chance, a FaceBook post by Ian Anderson prompted a short response by Chris Wood which, almost secretly, revealed an extraordinary article Chris had written for the March-April 2006 issue of the Journal of Music in Ireland.  So sad that it never appeared over here in England.  I rang Chris and asked if I could publish it here - and he said "You're welcome."  I's called Not Icons but Jewels : Music and Loss in England, and I heartily recommend you read it immediately - Here.

8.12.20


Last four 2020 CDs now available as downloads

As before, the latest, and last of the CDs we've produced are now available as downloads; they're the last four items on the Downloads page, and they look like this:

And, as before, rather than waiting almost two years for them to appear, you're now getting them all, almost immediately.  This is because of the COVID-19 emergency, and the undeniable fact that neither you nor I know if we'll be able to deal with them after it's all over.

For those of you who may be new to the Download service, each comprises an HTML file of the complete booklet, within which are clickable links to all the songs or tunes as MP3 files.  Each Download comes as a ZIP file containing one or more HTML files, a 'sound' folder and a 'graphics' folder.  They can be un-ZIP-ed into a single destination (folder) on your device, and run from there.  Needless to say, all the MP3 sound files could also be copied to any other device you might wish to use.

Since downloads require no booklet printing, case covers, CDs, DVD cases or postage, they sell for a far lower price.  Compared to £10, £12, £16 and £20 for the 'normal' publications, the downloads of single CDs are £1.00 or £2.00, double CDs are £4.00, and 3-CD Sets are £6.00.  The facility exists to pay more than these low prices, if you'd like to!

They can be found, along with ALL the previous MT Records' CD publications, on the MT Records' Download page.

29.11.20


MT Records website

As mentioned below, I've amended the website so that only those items with some remaining stock are shown.

However, a problem has surfaced.  The MT Records page is updated whenever a CD is sold, so that you don't get offered one that's now sold out.  But please click the right-button 'Reload Frame' before attempting to buy something ... as at least two readers have ordered CDs that were out of stock - but hadn't been half an hour beforehand!

28.11.20


MT Records website

You'll have seen that I've amended the website so that only those items with some remaining stock are shown - saves you time in hunting through what was originally a very long list!  I've also amended the 'Search for a CD' pop-up in the same way.

All the remaining stock is moving on nicely - with one exception: the two Meeting's a Pleasure sets are not selling.  Indeed, they've never sold half as well as the comparable Far in the Mountains sets, which is a great shame, as they're just as interesting in my opinion, and the booklets are even more so.  So here's a LINK to the review, to whet your appetites.

And if anyone's deperate for a CD that's no longer in stock, I'll happily make specials for you - same price as before - pay me via PayPal.

12.11.20


A Little Box of Delights

A few weeks ago I told you that I would be making no more MT CDs after Catch It, Bottle It, Paint It Green had been published.  But since then I've been rather overwhelmed by all the kind comments about the Records and the Magazine that have poured in via email.  Thank you all - I was touched!  And it got me thinking that, as Catch It had been entirely Gwilym Davies' work, it might be nice if I could end up properly with a little offering of mine to all of you - thus was my Little Box of Delights conceived.

It's a collection, or more properly, a selection, of tracks from various MT Records CDs which are particularly dear to me.  I'm not suggesting they are the very best examples of a particular singer's or player's recordings, but I hope that they may be new to, or may have remained unnoticed by, most listeners.

Some are unusual songs or tunes, some are second or third takes of a particular item that has languished at the end of CDs; performances that stand out despite less than optimal technical sound quality.  Some demonstrate the performers' particular skills.  Some are, quite simply, my favourites.

So this is a personal selection, and I make no apologies for choosing quite a few songs from 2003's Oak and 2005's Songs from the Golden Fleece CDs, performed by long-term friends of mine who share their songs amongst the company.

By no means all of MT Records CDs have been mined for these examples - not because I find anything lacking in those left out; but one track from each of our 100 publications, many of which contain not just one, but two or even three CDs would never fit into a project like this.  But these are forty-one tracks and two and a half hours that particularly delight me and, I hope, fittingly mark the end of twenty-two years of record production.  This 'Little Box' is a '400 Series' release - 2 very full CDs in a double jewel case with no notes - and will cost you just £10.00.  You can get to it on the MT Records website HERE.

The track lists are as follows:

CD One: CD Two:
1 -
2 -
3 -
4 -
5 -
6 -
7 -
8 -
9 -
10 -
11 -
12 -
13 -
14 -
15 -
16 -
17 -
18 -
19 -
20 -
21 -
22 -
23 -
False Lover John - Kevin Mitchell
The Cliffe Hornpipe - EII
The Game of All Fours - Phoebe Smith
Pretty Nancy of Yarmouth - Cyril Poacher
The Death of Parker - Audrey Smith
The Bonny Labouring Boy - Tommy Connolly
Christmas Day in the Cookhouse - Freddy McKay
You Lads of Learning - May Bradley
Tonight I'll Get My Pay - Ken Langsbury
Riding Down to Portsmouth - Tom Willett
Peggy Benn - Bernie Cherry
The May Morning Dew - Kitty Hayes
Reunion Jig, Sarah's Jig, Fox and Geese - Phoenix
Napoleon's Dream - Sam Larner
The Wind Across the Wild Moor - Sarah Porter
Nancy Lee - Walter Pardon
The Lass of Newcastle Town - Oak
The Willow Tree - May Bradley
The Labouring Man's Daughter - Danny Stradling
The Blue-Eyed Lover - Caroline Hughes
The Trees are all Bare - Chris Molan & Harry Langston
Will Watch - Sam Larner
Ballu torrau, ballu sartiu, ballu e trese - Tenores di Fonni
     1 -
2 -
3 -
4 -
5 -
6 -
7 -
8 -
9 -
10 -
11 -
12 -
13 -
14 -
15 -
16 -
17 -
18 -
The Green Mossy Banks of the Lea - Frank Hinchliffe
The Flowers of Bermuda - Bob Bray
Down in the Valley - Daisy Chapman
The Cuckoo - Roger Grimes
Shooting Goshen's Cock Ups - Jack Smith
As I Cam in by Yon Castle Wall - Ellen Mitchell
Young Tommy and the Privy - Ken Langsbury
We Shepherds are the Bravest Boys - Bob Lewis
Flash Gals, and Airy Too - Caroline Hughes
The Masque of Lord Zouch - Phoenix
You Seamen Bold - Bob Copper
Barbara Allen - Jim Wilson
The Green Wedding - Rod Stradling
Charming Blue Eyed Mary - Mary Delaney
Nella Cita di Genova - Rice Girls
London Lights - Lizzie Higgins / May Bradley
The Banks of the Callan - Sarah Makem
La Stella e la Luna - Ritmia

1.11.20


Labour of Love Database - final data update

Since this was first uploaded the year before last, we've published several CDs, details of which are now included in the Labour of Love Database (up to and including the final release, due on 1st November 2020) sorted by MT CD name, now available here as a spradsheet.  Users can, of course, sort it in other ways as required.

If you don't have any spreadsheet software installed, I can strongly recommend the free WPS Spreadsheet and Writer software - available from: https://www.wps.com/office-free

26.10.20


New email address(es)

As mentioned below, when MT is moved to its new home in Mainly Norfolk, I will need to get a new email address.  Until MT has been moved, I will still be able to receive messages relating to the MT Magazine, ie. Letters, Articles, Reviews, etc, at the old address: rod@mustrad.org.uk.

But, from today, if you're writing to me on other matters, please now use the new personal one: rod@stradling.eu.  Danny has also become danny@stradling.eu

21.10.20


Musical Traditions Records - Latest

As you'll have read, below: That latest publication, Catch It, Bottle It, Paint I Green (MTCD379) has now appeared, and CD stocks for sale on the website will begin diminishing, and no longer will I be able to claim "All CDs are always in stock!".

I think it will be helpful to prospective purchasers if the number of remaining CDs is indicated on the website, as well as a notice of any of them being sold out.  Given that most of the CDs appear on numerous pages (Recent, English, American, Gypsy, etc), I think it would be best if only the 'MT CDs' page, listing every publication, was viewable, with 'number remaining' information indicated.

Accordingly, the MT Records website has now been amended in that way.  You'll find only one file available for you to browse.  It should contain all the MT CDs (hoping that I've not missed any), though they're only roughly in chronological or numerical order.  But you can use the 'Search for a CD' facility (top right) to get to the particular one you want.

7.10.20


New MT Records release:

Catch It, Bottle It, Paint It Green

Songs from the Gwilym Davies collection:

A companion CD to the book of the same name

MTCD379 + 24 page integral booklet in DVD case.  £12.00

25 tracks, 64 minutes.

Gwilym Davies has been recording source singers in the UK and USA for nearly 50 years. This CD is a selection of 25 recordings and is a companion CD to his book, Catch It, Bottle It, Paint It Green, which can be obtained from Pegasus Publishers.  You can get to the CD on the MT Records website HERE.

24.9.20


Musical Traditions Magazine

At long last, the future of the Musical Traditions Internet Magazine and MT Records is secure!  As you'll know, I've been worrying about this for a number of years, and have already taken some of the early steps.

Firstly, the Records; I didn't feel I could pass on all the work of making and selling the CDs to somebody else, particularly in view of the minuscule profits the company makes these days.  My solution has been to make all the records available as downloads through the gumroad.com platform.  The downloads comprise the complete, full-length sound files in MP3 format, plus the complete booklets in HTML format, with clickable links to the sound files as and where the song's text appears.  Compared to the physical CDs, these downloads are ridiculously cheap - just £2 for a single CD, usually of around 80 minutes duration.  Similarly £4 for a double CD and £6 for a 3-CD Set.  They sell quite well and produce a small regular income.  My daughter, Hannah, will look after keeping this service going.

Regarding the physical CDs; when the latest publication appears at the end of this month, I shall stop making CDs and gradually run-down the small stocks I keep 'on the shelf' over the next year.  If there are any left, I'll have a big 2-for-1 sale to try to get rid of the leftovers.  So that will be the end of 21 years of making some pretty damned wonderful and important music and song available.

You might think it strange that I'm stopping making MT CDs whilst doing a lot of work to ensure the continued availability of the Magazine.  Certainly the CDs have been very important, but I wouldn't want anyone to forget just how important the Magazine has been ... and don't just take my word for it:

I've repeatedly asked for someone to offer to take over the Magazine in various Editorials but, beyond several 'good luck with that' messages, I've had no takers.  It's an indication of how little we Brits value our own cultural heritage that only two people have bought all the MT Records CDs ... one is an Italian and the other, a German!  This latter gentleman has both the interest and the IT skills necessary, and his name is Reinhard Zierke.  Does that mean anything to you?  Maybe not, but I bet you've both used and marvelled at the splendid Mainly Norfolk website.  That's run by Reinhard, who's also a systems administrator at Universität Hamburg.  I approached him, only to find that he was about to contact me to offer to house the Magazine within the Mainly Norfolk website.  So Musical Traditions Internet Magazine will continue, in a very good home, and won't cost anyone anything!  Reinhard will continue to update it regularly whilst I continue to add material and, in due course, I will amend the DNS file to point to www.mainlynorfolk.info.

Then I just need to get new, personal, email addresses for Danny and myself.  I'll let you know about those when they're set up.

Job done!

19.9.20


New MT Records CD release

For some reason, I can't get my mass-mailout system working at the moment - so this is to inform you of a new release.

You can get to it on the MT Records website HERE.

The Old Out and Homer

Norfolk Melodeon Players

MTCD204   57 tracks, 60 minutes   £10.00

Four of the best melodeon players of their generation from North Norfolk: George Craske; Herbert Mallett; Walter Newstead; and Percy Brown.  Featuring hornpipes (of course) plus breakdowns, stepping jigs, tunes for the Long Dance, marches and lots of music-hall song tunes.

5.9.20


American Songs in the British Folk Repertoire

When Mike Yates and I published the 3-CD Set Wait Till the Clouds Roll By, back in May, Steve Roud wrote to us: So we did - or tried to.  It's now published as Article 329, 80Kb in size, and has 902Kb of photos and pictures.  And I have to say that it's mostly the work of Mike Yates - so it's very well-informed and interesting.  Do have a look.

25.8.20


MT Records & Magazine - the future

In March 2015, I wrote that I needed to think about how to ensure the continuation of MT Records & Magazine when I'm no longer able to do it.

As you will know, I have now made ALL the MT Records publications available as Downloads via the Gumroad website.  This brings in an income of, on average, some £50 per month.  The hosting of the complete Magazine and Records websites, via 1&1, costs £6 per month - so there's a profit to be made here!

Now, with COVID 19 likely to be with us for the forseable future, and me with 77 years on the clock, I think it's time to appoint someone to take over.  By this I mean just to continue paying the hosting fees and, perhaps, adding the occasional new Magazine items that come in.  There's no suggestion that my successor would continue to sell the MT CDs nor to make any new ones - although it would be nice if s/he did.

So, very simply, please let me know if you'd be interested this position - and to earn around £40 per month in the process.  I would hope that this wouldn't be needed just yet, but there's a deal of information to pass over in preparation, so it would be best if we were to start the learning process as soon as possible.

17.8.20


US Postal rates rise

On July 1st, the Post Office made a 'secret' change to some postal rates to the USA, raising them by 50%.  I say secret because I never heard anything about it, and nor did the folks at Stroud Post Office!

Not to all of the rates, but to Small Packets and above (ie. more than 25mm thick, or more than 2 CDs).  They have done this by creating a new pricing area called World Zone 3 applying only to Trump's USA.

Accordingly, to send a 490g Small Packet of 4 CDs to the US (as I have just done) cost me not £10.06, but £15.18.  Had I known, I could have sent these CDs in two Large Letters of 250g for £5.30 each (very similar to the previous £10.06), rather than paying a fiver more for a single Small Packet.  If you send stuff to the USA - be warned!

And to any prospective purchasers for the USA - if you plan to buy more than two CDs, don't do it via the website, but email me your order and I'll give you the cheapest postage rate available, payable via PayPal.

17.8.20


Horsham Songswappers late-1950s

I just received this amazing photo from Terry Potter - it's from an event at the Horsham Songswappers from the late-1950s, taken by Tony Wales.  It was rather over-exposed, so I've had to bring up the mid-tones - which is why the background is grey, not white.

Does anyone recognise any of the other faces seen in the photo?

Can't imagine many folk clubs, then or since, to have been able to present three of the area's top traditional performers at the same time - Scan Tester (concertina), a very young-looking William Agate (meloeon) and George Belton standing between them.  Which reminds me to remind you that we've just recently published the 'complete recorded repertoire' of George on A True Furrow to Hold MTCD378.

10.6.20


Labour of Love Database - new data

Since this was first uploaded last year, we've published several CDs, details of which are now included in the Labour of Love Database, sorted by MT CD name, now available here as a spradsheet.  Users can, of course, sort it in other ways as required.

If you don't have any spreadsheet software installed, I can strongly recommend the free WPS Spreadsheet and Writer software - available from: https://www.wps.com/office-free

9.6.20


Wait Till the Clouds Roll By (MTCD518-0)

As promised, part 3 of the Old World/New Word Trilogy is now available.  It is a 3-CD Set containing 79 tracks, of 222 minutes duration, plus a 52 page integral booklet in DVD case.

The track lists are as follows:

CD One: Duration: 72 minutesCD Two: Duration: 77 minutes
1. Johnny the Drunkard: Asa Martin
2. Get Away Old Man: Ernie Payne / Vernon Dalhart
3. Cruel Slavery Days: Fields Ward
4. Cruel Slavery Days: Mary Anne Haynes
5. Leaving Dear Old Ireland: Charlie Poole
6. The Bunch of Shamrock: Cecilia Costello
7. If There Wasn't Any Women ...: Fiddlin' John Carson   
8. If There Wasn't Any Women ...: Bill Smith
9. Kitty Wells: The Hill Billies
10. Kitty Wells: Cecilia Costello
11. Sailor Boy: The Carter Family
12. Your Faithful Sailor Boy: Daisy Chapman
13. Swinging Down the Lane: Carter & Young
14. Swinging Down the Lane: Chris Willett
15. The Gypsy's Warning: Vernon Dalhart
16. The Gypsy's Warning: Bob Hart
17. Wait Till the Clouds Roll By: Uncle Dave Macon
18. Wait Till the Clouds Roll By: Charlie Bridger
19. There'll Come a Time: The Blue Sky Boys
20. There'll Come a Time: Bill Elson
21. When the Frost is on the Pumpkin: Fred Jordan
22. Lamp-lighting Time in the Valley: Asa Martin
23. Lamp-lighting Time in the Valley: Cyril Poacher
24. Two Convicts: Levi Smith
25. California Blues: Gene Autry
26. California Blues: Derby Smith
27. Rock All Our Babies to Sleep: Jimmie Rodgers
28. Rock All Our Babies to Sleep: Doris Davies

1. The Ship that Never Returned: Asa Martin
2. The Ship that Never Returned: Harry Upton
3. Will the Angels Play Their Harps: Bud Billings
4. Will the Angels Play Their Harps: Bill Smith
5. When You and I were Young Maggie: Fiddlin' J Carson
6. When You and I were Young Maggie: Danny Stradling
7. Break the News to Mother: Carson Robison Trio
8. Break the News to Mother: Bob Hart
9. He's In the Jailhouse Now: Jimmie Rodgers
10. He's In the Jailhouse Now: Derby Smith
11. The Drunkard's Lone Child: Spicer / Dalhart
12. The Little Old Log Cabin: Fiddlin' John Carson
13. The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane: Walter Pardon
14. The Birds Upon Tree: Charlie Bridger
15. The Strawberry Roan: Paul Hamblin
16. The Strawberry Roan: Wiggy Smith
17. The Wanderer's Warning: Carson Robison Trio
18. Riding Along on a Free Train: Wiggy Smith
19. Granny's Old Arm Chair: Frank Crumit
20. Granny's Old Arm Chair: Jack Smith
21. Come Little Leaves: Walter Pardon
22. Ben Bolt: Eleonora de Cisneros
23. Ben Bolt: Walter Pardon
24. Whistling Rufus: Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers
25. Whistling Rufus: Levi and Derby Smith

CD Three:. Duration: 73 minutes
1. You Taught Me How to Love You: Buell Kazee
2. You Taught Me How to Love You: Bob Hart
3. Twenty One Years: Frank Luther & Carson Robison
4. Twenty One Years: Caroline Hughes
5. Two Sweethearts: The Carter Family
6. A Group of Young Squaddies: Joan Taylor
7. Silver Threads Among the Gold: Richard Josè
8. Silver Threads Among the Gold: Bob Hart
9. I'll Be All Smiles Tonight: Carter Family
10. I'll Be All Smiles Tonight: Tom Newman
11. The River in the Pines: Gloucestershire Gypsy
12. The Girl I Left in Sunny Tennessee: Floyd City Ramblers   
13. Tennessee: Eddie Penfold
14. Mother, Queen of My Heart: Jimmie Rodgers
15. Home in Texas: Levi Smith
16. All Alone by the Seaside: Fiddlin' John Carson
17. In a Cottage By the Sea: Harry Upton
18. Waiting for the Robert E Lee: The Heidelberg Quintet
19. Waiting for the Robert E Lee: Harry Lee
20. Blue-Haired Jimmy: Horton Barker
21. The Blue-Haired Boy: Pop Maynard
22. Gentle Annie: Asa Martin
23. Gentle Annie: Billy Pennock
24. Two Little Girls in Blue: Bradley Kincaid
25. Two Little Girls in Blue: Cyril Poacher
26. The Volunteer Organist: George Belton

There are commercial recordings of American songs that have made it back to the Old World via 78rpm discs and/or printed music, together with how they sounded when taken up by the British oral tradition.  Quite a few of the songs here you probably never knew were American, nor could imagine what the 'original' sounded like.

As usual, it's available from the MT Records' website, priced just £20.00

2.6.20


An Old World/New Word Trilogy

You may have noticed that MT Records have been releasing a number of Anglo-American CDs in conjunction with Mike Yates recently.  We began with A Distant Land to Roam: 'Anglo-American songs and tunes from Texas to Maine' (MTCD516) in 2018.  This was followed, a year later, by Oh Listen Today ... : 'The Roots of American Old-Timey fiddle music' (MTCD517).  But, in the way of such things, neither Mike nor I realised that these two CDs would form the first two parts of what is now an Old World/New Word Trilogy - though even that is something of a misnomer, since it actually comprises five CDs!  Yes, Part 3 is actually a 3-CD Set (our third - the other two being The Brazil Family and Sarah Makem).

This 3-CD Set will be Wait Till the Clouds Roll By (MTCD518-0) and has the format 'American song available in the UK as a 78rpm disc', followed by how that song became absorbed into the tradition in the mouth of a British traditional singer.  There are a few deviations to this rule, so Mike has provided an Article explaining how it all came about - An Old World/New Word Trilogy is now available as MT Article 328, which also lists all 134 tracks and 95 singers/musicians appearing in this Trilogy.

The 3-CD Set will be published in the next few weeks, but we thought this Article would be a nice little taster for what is to come.

20.5.20


2019/20 CDs now available as downloads

As before, the latest of the 110 CDs and CD-ROMs we've produced over the years are now available as downloads; they're the last four items on the Downloads page, and they look like this:

As they're all single CDs, the price is £2.00 each (or more, if you like).  And, as before, rather than waiting almost two years for them to appear, you're now getting them all, almost immediately.  This is because of the COVID-19 emergency, and the undeniable fact that neither you nor I know if we'll be able to deal with them after it's all over.

For those of you who may be new to the Download service, each comprises an HTML file of the complete booklet, within which are clickable links to all the songs or tunes as MP3 files.  Each Download comes as a ZIP file containing one or more HTML files, a 'sound' folder and a 'graphics' folder.  They can be un-ZIP-ed into a single destination (folder) on your device, and run from there.  Needless to say, all the MP3 sound files could also be copied to any other device you might wish to use.

Since downloads require no booklet printing, case covers, CDs, DVD cases or postage, they sell for a far lower price.  Compared to £10, £12, £16 and £20 for the 'normal' publications, the downloads of single CDs are £1.00 or £2.00, double CDs are £4.00, and 3-CD Sets are £6.00.  The facility exists to pay more than these low prices, if you'd like to!

They can be found, along with ALL the previous MT Records' CD publications, on the MT Records' Download page.

21.4.20


New MT Records release

I'm very pleased to be able to announce our second release of 2020, and the first of Spring and of the COVID-19 lockdown period.  Assuming you may welcome something new to liisten to while not going out!

George Belton: A True Furrow to Hold

George Belton was a great Sussex singer, who was born in Oxted, Surrey in 1898, the youngest of five.  He followed his father into farming and worked on farms in Surrey and Sussex, mainly with horses, throughout his life.  The second half of his life was spent on farms around Chichester and he lived in retirement at Birdham.

He had a sizeable repertoire of songs which were mainly learned from his parents and other members of his family, but others that he had 'picked up along the way'.  Traditional songs were the central part of his repertoire, but he also sang Victorian sentimental parlour ballads and Music Hall songs.

This CD is another of our 'complete recorded repertoire' releases, containing 27 songs - many of which are very full versions.

MTCD378 + 32 page integral booklet in DVD case. 27 tracks, 81 minutes.  It's now available on the MT Records' website, price just £12.00.

30.3.20


New MT Records releases

I thought it might be useful to let you know of several new MT Records releases being planned.  Only 'planned' at the moment because, when I went to the post office with six freebie copies of the first one just now, I was told that I should only be sending 'essential' mail now.  Before going, I had checked on the Post Office website to see if POs were still open - they are if they have the staff to open them, and the full gamut of services remain available - but there was no mention of 'only essential mail' being taken in.  I don't quite know what essential mail entails, but I would have thought that if they're allowed to open and and are providing the staff, then what's the point of restricting what can be posted?

Anyway, the new MT Records releases concerned are:

However, given my earlier experience at the Post Office, I wonder if any of them will actually be published this year if I can't post them to purchasers.  Pleased to say, regarding that, I was able to post two parcels today, with no complaints.

Also - and importantly, re. the proposed Bob Cann and Charlie Bate CD - does anyone have a photo of the two of them together, please?

25.3.20


A Life in Music

As you'll see from the piece below, we didn't have much of a Christmas and New Year in 2019.  What's more, it was almost a month before I felt really 'normal' again.  Not what one ought to expect after a bout of 'flu.  I imagine that this might be due to my great age - 77 next birthday, and it brought on what I suppose people mean when they say 'intimations of mortality'.  That and this country's utterly stupid decision to leave the Euporean Community as of last weekend.  I can think of no other reasons for my starting to work on this piece of writing.

It's not all new, quite a lot of it has appeared here and elsewhere in various forms, but I thought it might be a good idea to pull it all together into one place - just in case!  It's a fairly lengthy piece, and covers the 60-plus years of my life that I've been interested in, and involved in, music - mainly of the traditional kind.  Please don't assume that I don't enjoy other kinds of music as well - I certainly do - but traditional music has always been my main interest.

It has six parts, plus a side-bar enabling the reader to navigate around the various interests, places and times.  It also has a graphics folder in which the numerous photos and graphics are stored.  It's available from the Articles page (No.327) or here, for a direct link.  I hope you find it interesting!

But, here's another thing - I now have two more CDs of traditional singers in the stocks for delivery this year: George Belton and Bob Cann & Charlie Bate.  That will be nice!

3.2.20


Season's Greetings and Review of 2019

Happy Christmas! Yes, it's that time of the year again, and remembering last years's problems with me being carted off to hospital for major vascular surgery at this time, I thought I'd get everything ready well in advance.  I spent most of a day writing, but somehow, it never seemed to get finished, and over-ran into the night-time.  I was writing on my lap-top computer on the pillow beside me.  Eventually, I fell asleep and, when I awoke, I couldn't find the bloody lap-top ... unsurprising, I realised later - because I don't own one!  Most of the previous day had been an hallucination, brought on by a 'flu-type bug, which, I realised, was not something I should be passing on to the rest of the family at Christmas.  So I got together all the presents to take them down to Bristol, where they all now live, and I should then keep well away until I was better.

Danny noticed that a lot of cars were passing me on the motorway, and tooting horns or flashing lights, as I was finding it very hard to concentrate on what I was supposed to be doing, and staying in the right lanes.  Daughter Hannah, bless her, took my car keys away, having seen me shivering and shaking in my seat, saying "You're not going anywhere in that car ... and I'm driving you home." - which she did.  I went to bed, where I continued to write this piece on my make-believe computer, only to be woken later in the day by Danny telling me that she was now suffering the same symptoms as me ... and so we bade farewell to Christmas 2019.  I am astonished how much I've been affected by this 'simple' bout of 'flu; knocked completely sideways, dreaming in a phantasy world for at least four days.  I now feel as if I'm a bit better, but this little message - four short paragraphs has taken me almost three hours to write, and almost every word began as a typo!

***

Now back to the mundane realities of life.  The Magazine has had a fairly lean year, even by current standards.  We've published just 6 new Articles and some 50 new Reviews in 2018, along with 2 Enthusiasms, 4 News items and 6 Letters.  By past standards, this is slightly more active than usual.  On the other hand, I appear to have written some 11 Editorials before this one ... which seems to be about par for the course.

On yet another hand, we have published two more CDs this year than I was expecting: a new one from MT Records: Charlie Bridger Won't you Buy my Pretty Flowers? (MTCD377) was followed by Songs of the North Riding (MTCD406-7) and, just recently, Mike Yates' Oh, Listen Today.  I have no idea if there will be any more.

No extraordinary rush of orders in November this year, but quite a few - 50 sales - nonetheless.  And December has been fairly busy, too - 37 sales - long may it continue!

With this my 23rd Review of the Year, I'd like to be able to end on a positive note - Joy, Health, Love and Peace! and all that - but, we haven't even begun the downward spiral yet.  This is a time to decide who your friends really are ... and keep them by you.  You will need them very soon.

(And I just noticed two more typos!)

5.1.20


Correspondence:

Rod Stradling, 1 Castle Street, Stroud, Glos GL5 2HP, UK
E-mail: rod@mustrad.org.uk
- or, if you don't mind the fact that he's getting a bit deaf ...
Phone: 01453 758519 or Mobile: 0793 099 1641

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