Documentary on Irish Travellers living in England

‘Rambling Candyman’ will be broadcast on Newstalk 106-108fm on Saturday 29 July at 10pm, and Sunday 30 July at 8am, then available online.

The documentary celebrates the work of two important song collectors who deserve to be much better known.

Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie are an extraordinary pair who recorded the vestiges of a unique way of life before it disappeared. Their work recording the songs and stories of Irish Travellers living in England, beginning in the early 1970s is invaluable. The relative isolation of travelling life meant that, while traditional singing was in decline, it was in a better condition than in most Irish settled communities, and several ancient ballads were still in the repertoire of traveller singers that had long faded from the wider scene.

This programme charts the couple`s early interest in folk and traditional music as part of Ewan McColl`s “Critics Group” showing how they first encountered and established a relationship with Traveller and Singer “Pops” Johnny Connors who introduced them to other fine singers among the travelling community.

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