I've been a fan ever since, though I've only seen her live once more - in the late 80s in a Camden pub, supported IIRC by the late Willie Scott.
Well, it was in October that I wrote of :
The glorious Scots folk singer Ray Fisher - I can see I'll have to get "Pride of Glencoe" or "Mill O'Tifty's Annie" onto Youtube.To my delight someone's beaten me to it. Thanks to wrongwayup, whoever he be, for Pride of Glencoe, from my favourite (and almost impossible to get hold of *) 'The Bonny Birdy', recorded with Carthy, Hutchings et al in 1972. I think the backing on this track is by Liz and Stefan Sobell.
P.S. Those who have trouble with the Labanic musical taste will know enough not to click through when I point out that my post on the unavailability of the legendary Mrs Mills' oeuvre no longer applies .
* The Bonny Birdy, along with a host of other goodies like Lal and Mike Waterson's "Bright Phoebus", was recorded on Bill Leader's Leader/Trailer label in the early 70s. Alas the company (or a successor) folded, and as I understand it the contracts had no clause by which rights reverted to the artist in the case of insolvency. According to Folkopedia :
In the 1980s the Leader catalogue was sold to another record company which then went into receivership. Subsequently sold to Celtic Music, the vast majority of Leader records have remained unobtainable since then, with only a handful of tracks re-released on CD.Celtic Music is apparently owned by a couple of chaps called Dave Bulmer and Neil Sharpley, who are sitting on a what appears to be a small goldmine of classic folk material (although a depreciating one, as the target market grows older, the tapes decay and downloadable mp3s of their products appear all over the Internet), capable of being exploited with a laptop, CD duplicators and a bit of time to set up a direct sales website.
For some reason it appears they don't want to do it. Like an aged recluse in a gorgeous but uncared-for mansion who 'doesn't want strangers poking round the house', even if they're there to stop it collapsing, they're sitting on their treasures like a hen on a bad egg. Don't ask me why. Admittedly the market for many of these CDs isn't that large - but 1,000 copies of 'the Bonny Birdy' would be gone in a month or so once word got round.
The problem is not just that Laban can't buy the CDs. While the company won't issue them, the artists, who aren't as young as they used to be, won't get any money either. Some of them are now dead.
It makes no sense to me at all. Don't they want to make some money ?
Partly because of the non-availability of the music, but IMHO more because of the financial impact on the artists involved, a lot of people seem to hate their guts (I don't think a thread headed 'photo of Bulmer required' is necessarily from a fan). I now understand why, when I mailed Ray Fisher a few years back to ask where I could buy her music, I was directed to Celtic Music but couldn't find that any was for sale. She must get fed up with people asking. Imagine having people wanting to buy your music, but the owners won't sell any !
Altogether a sad and inexplicable tale, and a depressing one. Because the mp3s are out there. When everyone who would have bought the CD has a download, Celtic Music won't make any money - and worse, neither will the artists.