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Peggy Quotes

On the exceptional Odd Collection, Peggy offers up 18 original songs - and one spoken word performance - that reveal her to be a perspicacious commentator on both personal and political issues and a gifted composer, lyricist and singer. - Mike Regenstreif, Sing Out

Peggy Seeger: She must be one of the most complete artists around today. Peggy Seeger's tongue-in-cheek look at life comes accompanied by music from all sorts of sources. Alongside the piano, the guitar, the Appalachian dulcimer, the concertina and the banjo, she set the lot aside for a moment or two last night and just simply created rhythm and music by taping the side of her guitar. For her it spelt out a sort of rhythm of life. - Neil Johnston, Belfast Telegraph

 

Set into Song

Set into Song: Ewan MacColl, Charles Parker, Peggy Seeger and the Radio Ballads

240 x 160mm, 304 pages, 45 b/w photographs
978-0-9551877-1-1 Hardback £20
Labatie Books, 91 Hertford Road, London N2 9BX, 0208 883 6952


USA - order from Peggy Seeger
England - order from www.setintosong.co.uk

 

Read the Reviews and Excerpts


setintosong coverCoinciding with Peggy's UK tour in May 2008, was the publication of Peter Cox's new book Set Into Song - Ewan MacColl, Charles Parker, Peggy Seeger and the Radio Ballads. In it he tells the story of a remarkable collaboration, one which produced a groundbreaking series of eight hour-long radio programmes for the BBC. The first, The Ballad of John Axon, was originally broadcast on 2 July 1958, so this year is its 50th anniversary.

Uniquely, the programmes took the speech of working people, until then almost always voiced by actors, and allowed them to tell their own stories. They told them into the new 'Midget' mobile tape recorder wherever they lived and worked - in railway yards, on fishing vessels, down pits, on bulldozers, in Traveller encampments. Their stories were woven together by Ewan MacColl with songs that he wrote specially for the programmes, after listening intensely to the language and rhythms of the voices, and by the young Peggy Seeger, who designed the musical setting and directed the performers. The programmes were rehearsed and recorded under the overall direction of the visionary Birmingham radio producer Charles Parker, a pioneer of the new painstaking art of tape splicing.

The book tells the story of the making of the programmes, and of the lives of their begetters - three very different people, whose complementary talents created brilliant radio programmes which were hugely influential on subsequent documentary makers. Begun in 1958, they were ended by the BBC in 1964, as radio lost its popularity and its money to television.

In researching the book, Peter scoured the archives, but above all tracked down every living participant, from singers to jazz musicians to radio engineers, to record their memories. Names that form a roll-call of the early folk revival, such as Ian and Lorna Campbell, Bob Davenport, Ray Fisher, John Faulkner, Stan Kelly, Louis Killen, Gordon McCulloch, Jimmie McGregor, Colin Ross, Elizabeth Stewart and Dave Swarbrick - as well as Peggy herself.

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