Folk Britannia: Ballads and Blues

BBC Music Entertainment   |   UK

This three part series on British Folk music begins with the birth of the folk revival in the 50's and the political struggles that ensued over the ownership of the movement. Lined up on one side were the traditionalists in The English Folk Song and Dance Society whose patron was Princess Margaret, and on the other, communists like Ewan McColl and A.L. Lloyd whose patron was more likely to be Joseph Stalin. Programme one also takes in the skiffle explosion and the birth of a more bohemian brand of folk which would eventually end the left's dominance of the scene. Reason for Submission: Kalbir Dhillon sourced a rich mix of colour footage of 1950s field recordings from The Alan Lomax Archive, classic archive such as 'Caller Herrin' and Philip Donellan's 'The Irishmen', performances from the 60s folk series 'Hullabaloo' and rare footage and stills from the vaults of the English Folk Dance & Song Society. The wealth of stills includes gems from the Brian Shuel Collection and Peter Kennedy's archive. The series earned plaudits from mainstream press as well as the folk community, many of whom who uphold it as the definitive history of modern Folk Music in the British Isles.