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Frank Warner & Family

Frank tells of a lifetime's experience of collecting folksongs on the Eastern seaboard, meeting traditional folk musicians like Leadbelly, Frank Proffitt, Yankee John Galusha and Lena Bourne Fish. It was from Proffitt that he learned TOM DOOLEY and, from Fish, her WHISKY IN THE JAR, their versions of which have become widely known in Britain. Frank accompanies himself on a hand-made North Carolina 5 string banjo, and he is joined by his two sons, Gerret and Jeff, on guitar, concertina, jews harp and spoons. Alan Lomax said of Frank Warner: "To hear him is to hear America sing". Timings go to the end of each item. # References are to the numbers in Francis J.Child's ENGLISH & SCOTTISH POPULAR BALLADS and to those in the book of their collecting by Frank & Anne Warner: TRADITIONAL AMERICAN FOLKSONGS (Syracuse University 1984)

1. THE JOLLY ROVING TAR (#71) - Frank with Gerret & Jeff Warner (concertina) (see FOLKTRAX 90-922) - 2'55"

2. Talk about collecting and meeting Lena Bourne Fish followed by song: SWEET WILLIE (Child #7/ Warner #79) - Frank (unaccomp) - 3'27"

3. Talk about previous song & Nathan Hicks, dulcimer-maker, followed by song OLD JOE CLARK - Frank (banjo); Gerret (guitar) and Jeff (jews harp & spoons) - 6'26"

4. Talk with story of song: TOM DOOLEY (Warner #118) - Frank (with banjo & chorus) - 5'29"

5. Talk about the Eastern Seaboard & meeting "Tink" Tillett of Wanchese (see Folktrax 926), "The Lost Colony" in 1941 with imitation of dialect (Cf Cornwall) & song: PAUL JONES (Warner #153) - Frank (unaccomp) - 6'58"

6. Talk about John Galusha (FOLKTRAX 921) & song: THE BRITISH SOLDIER (DYING BRITISH SERGEANT)/ Warner #10) - Frank (unaccomp) - 5'47"

7. Talk about lumberjack's drinking song: SHOVE AROUND THE GROG, BOYS (LEWISTON FALLS) Frank (unaccomp) - 1'56"

8. After an interval he talks about and sings: RACOON'S GOT A BUSHY TAIL - Frank with Jeff (spoons) - 2'46"

9. Talk and song: SPRINGFIELD MOUNTAIN (Warner #23) - Frank (unaccomp) followed by talk about how the song was adapted: FOD - Frank (with banjo) - 9'16"

10. Talk about himself, his vocation as a collector, meeting Leadbelly (Hudie Ledbetter) from New Orleans in a Texas penitentiary and the many names of folk performedrs who have signed their names on his babnjo followed by Frank sing8ing Leadbelly's song: THE GREY GOOSE - 7'57"

11. Moving to Elizabeth City and meeting Sue Thomas and hearibng: HE'S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HAND (Warner #168) - Frank (with banjo) - 1'58"

12. Frank teaches audience the last song from Sue Thomas: HOLD MY HAND, LORD JESUS (Warner #169) - Frank (with banjo & chorus) - 5'15"

This recording was made by Peter Kennedy 16th June 1973 at an informal concert he arranged at The Cider Press, Dartington, Devon, to an audience of students, parents and children. Edited by Peter Kennedy and first published by Folktrax 1975. Phonographic copyright control. COPYRIGHTS: #1, #10, #11 & #18: Hollis Music Inc. #2, #3, #4, #6 & #9: TRO Melody Trails Inc./ #7 & #15: Ludlow Music.

FRANK WARNER was born in Alabama in 1903 and died at his home in Long Island, N.Y. in 1978. Raised in North Carolina, he attended Duke University in Durham and was president of the Glee Club and a prize-winning quartet. His interest in folk music was kindled by Dr Frank C.Brown, the noted N.C. folk collector. Folk music for Frank was his vocation, for he had a 40 year long professional career with the Young Men's Christian Association in N.C. and, prior to retirement in 1938, he was the Executive Director of the Long Island YMCA, the Long Island YMCA's in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and, before that, was with the Transportation Dept of the National Council of "The Y" in New York City. He and Anne Locher were married in New York in 1935 and they began to spend their holidays in collecting trips. They travelled from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Outer Banks and Tidewater, Virginia, and from New England to the Adirondacks. Frank's fretless 5-string banjo was made by Nathan Hicks, the drum head of which was eventually signed by 265 of his admirers, starting with Carl Sandberg in 1939.

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