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12" 1980s 33 rpm Folk LP

Dorky uncles get down

The cliché about books and covers applies double to recorded music. Some LP sleeves, especially those produced by little independent folk labels, take gauche, add extra gauche, then multiply by the number you first thought of. The music may be brilliant; it’s just that the graphic design was entrusted to the bass player’s second cousin, […]

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12" 1970s 33 rpm Folk LP Soundtracks

Big in Norway

Jon English, an Australian singer and actor, died earlier this year. I had one of his records for sale online, the soundtrack to a 1978 historical drama, all about Australia in convict times, Against the Wind.  Soon after Jon died, someone ordered it. Not too surprising – except that the order came from, of all […]

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12" 1970s 33 rpm Comedy Folk LP

The unpasteurised milk paradigm

Humour is a funny thing. Beautiful music can transcend time and place and culture; humour, not so much. What is comedic genius to one audience can fall flat to another, be offensive to a third, mystify a fourth. I write parody lyrics to popular songs, and some get performed on a radio show, The Coodabeen […]

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12" 1960s Folk LP

The wheel turns

“Majella has a very bright future” declares the sleeve note on this LP. There are lots of quotes from the papers, too. “Majella will be a recording star of international fame,” says one. “Majella Brady is currently tipped to be Ireland’s top pop export for many years,” opines another. On it goes: “A new star […]

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1960s 7" Choral Singing Folk Soundtracks

Going to movies alone

I saw the film An Angel at My Table at a difficult time in my life. I was very young, and working as a journalist on a daily paper. It was a stressful and high pressure job with a boozy workplace culture. The killer was the shiftwork. You could be rostered to start work at […]

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12" 1970s 33 rpm Folk LP

Tangled-up and confused and sad

Now here’s an album which my inner folk purist can enjoy, free of guilt. It was recorded by the Chieftains, heavyweights of the Celtic revival from the 1960s on, master instrumentalists of traditional Irish folk. The only stain on its purity is that it was not actually manufactured in Dublin – this is an Australian […]

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1960s 45 rpm 7" Folk Nineteenth Century

What matters is the jam

Folk music is my first love. Like a lot of first loves, we have had our ups and downs. Folk music, you see, has a scene, and with a scene comes purists. Tedious people. I was at the more liberal and inclusive end of earnest debates about what could or should be labelled “folk music”, […]