Tributes to Ewan MacColl

In Ewan MacColl’s centenary year the Charles Parker Day will celebrate his legacy along with many others.  Here is information about some other tributes:

On Thursday 22 January (11.30 am) there will be a BBC Radio 4 documentary called Freeborn Man: The Story of Ewan MacColl presented by John Cooper Clark

On Fridays 23 and 30 January at 7pm the two-part series Freeborn Man will be broadcast on Irish radio’s Lyric FM (RTE’s arts station); hopefully, both will be accessible at http://www.rte.ie/lyricfm/the-lyric-feature after the broadcasts:

  • Programme one covers Ewan’s early life in Salford, touching on his theatre work, his move to folk song and the part he played in the creation of the British folk scene and his attitude to songmaking.  Excerpts from Interviews with Peggy Seeger paint a vivid picture of their first meeting, their work together and the effects each had on the other as creative artists. Recordings from The Singers Club give a taste of a night there, with both of them at their best in front of a live audience.  Towards the end of the programme, Ewan talks of his love of and great respect for traditional ballads, describing them as ‘high art’.  He goes step-by-step through one of these, ‘Clyde’s Water’, highlighting its beauty and significance.
  • Programme two will largely cover his ideas on traditional singing through his work with The Critics Group; also his work with Irish people through the Radio Ballads and the songs composed for the film ‘The Irishmen’.

On Sunday 25 January there will be a tribute concert called Blood and Roses: the songs of Ewan MacColl, at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall as part of Celtic Connections

On Monday 23 March there will be a talk and performance by Sam Richards at Plymouth University called The Ballad of Ewan MacColl

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