FTX-207-CAN'T YOU DANCE THE POLKA?

STANLEY SLADE - Bristol Shellback Shantyman

The last of the "professional" shanty-men to have sailed before the mast, having an exceptionally loud voice, he was later employed employed upon the early sailing-steamships to entertain the passengers with his more bawdy verses. On this selection of 28 shanties, half of them unaccompanied, while others have a chorus and piano-accordion accompaniment. Other singers are Tom Purvis and Mountford Scott. Recorded by Peter Kennedy, and used in BBC broadcasts from Bristol in 1950, for European exchange programmes and Children's Hour.

1. SACRAMENTO - (with chorus & accordion) - 2'57"

2.. MOBIL' BAY (unacc & chorus) - 2'09"

3. CAN'T YOU DANCE THE POLKA? or SANTY ANNA (with chorus & acc) - 1'37"

4. BLOW THE MAN DOWN (unacc & chorus) - 1'42"

5. ON BOARD OF THE KANGAROO (with chorus & acc) - 2'37"

6. THE RIO GRANDE (with chorus & acc) - 2'21"

7. CAPTAIN NIPPER sung by Mountford Scott (with chorus & acc) - 2'57"

8. SHENANDOAH (with chorus & acc) - 2'17"

9. HAUL ON THE BOWLIN' (unacc & male chorus) - 0'53"

10. THE RYANS AND THE PITMAN'S (Newfoundland) sung by Tom Purvis (with ch & acc) - 2'52"

11. ROLLING HOME - sung by Mountford Scott (with ch & acc) - 2'32"

12. ROCK AND ROLL ME OVER or JOHNNY BOKER(unacc solo/ two verses only) - 0'27"

13. TOM'S GONE TO HILO (unacc solo/ one verse only) - 0'22"

14. JOHNNY'S GONE DOWN TO HILO (unacc solo/ one verse only) - 0'32"

15. GOODBYE, FARE YOU WELL (unacc solo/ one verse only) - 0'43"

16. ROLL THE COTTON DOWN (unacc solo/ one verse only) - 0'18"

17. THE DEAD HORSE SHANTEY (unacc solo/ one verse only) - 0'17"

18. WON'T YOU GO MY WAY? (unacc solo/ two verses only) - 0'30"

19. TIME FOR US TO LEAVE HER (unacc solo) - 2'03"

20. A HUNDRED YEARS AGO (unacc solo) - 1'56"

21. WE'RE ALL BOUND TO GO or HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNY (unacc solo) - 2'33"

22. ROUND THE CORNER, SALLY (unacc solo) - 1'21"

23. THE BLACKBALL LINE (unacc solo) - 1'51"

24. HAUL AWAY, JOE (with ch & acc) - 0'46"

25. SALLY BROWN (with ch & acc) - 1'17"

26. A GIRL'S ASLEEP WITH A BLUE DRESS ON (unacc with ch) - 1'20"

27. OLD STORMY' S DEAD or Mr STORMALONG (with ch & acc) - 1'07"

28. A-ROVING (with ch & acc) - 2'39"

Unless otherwise stated solos are by Stanley Slade with The West of England Male Chorus and Peter Kennedy's Haymakers Band with Sandy Moir (piano-accordion). Recorded & edited by Peter Kennedy and first published on Folktrax cassettes 1975.

Every time there was a radio broadcast of sea-shanties by professional singing groups like the West of England Male Chorus, Stanley would march into Broadcasting House in Whiteladies Road, Bristol, and would indulge in some fairly strong seafaring language. So, when Peter came to the West of England BBC in 1949, to develop folk music programmes in the region, he was requested to go and see Mr Slade and use some diplomacy to explain the need for the BBC to consider its broad spectrum of sensitive listeners.

Instead, after visiting his house, full of precious objects gathered on voyages around the world, Peter got Stanley into the studio, with a "property capstan", in order to make a series of "authentic" broadcasts. At first choruses were provided by the West of England Chorus but Stanley was always unhappy with them, so Peter found he could get more authentic results with some less "voice-conscious" singers, by just going out into Whiteladies Road and inviting into the studio a gang of passing pedestrians.

Arrangements were made with HMV to record him at Abbey Road, but alas, he died only a few days before the recording date. However Peter persuaded the Education Dept. of the HMV Gramophone Company to issue one 78 rpm disc made up from some of the recordings on this cassette. Sandy Moir, the accordion player in Peter's Haymakers Band, was the third musician in the first recordings at Abbey road of Jimmy Shand and Jimmy Cameron.

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