Harrow County School for Boys

Anglo-American Music Society 1952

Throughout the School year, meetings of the Society have been held regularly on numerous aspects of the large body of musical forms collectively termed "Anglo-American Folk Music."  They have ranged from a series of remarkable recordings made in 1950 by veteran instrumentalists from New Orleans recalling the music they played more than half a century before, to a group of five performance led by the pianist Ferdinand Morton on whom a number of talks have previously been given in the Third Programme.  Programmes have also been given on white musicians whose style developed with or was inspired by that of the coloured players, and others have been devoted to the work of individual folk singers and performers.

As the private collections of members have increased, the Society has been able to broaden its scope; authentic spirituals, gospel songs and sermons being the subject of a recent meeting.

Apart from meetings in the School, members have visited other clubs and concerts given at the Albert Hall, etc. by bands playing in the traditional styles.  Infinitely more important than these performances in a borrowed idiom were the visits to England of "Big Bill" Branzy and Lonnie Johnson, both negro folk singers and guitarists now in their sixties who gave performances of spirituals, blues, ballads and work-songs at the Cambridge Theatre and the Festival Hall.

A full programme is in preparation for the coming year and the meetings are open to all boys in the school who care to attend whether they are familiar with the subject or not.

Paul H. Oliver


(from Gaytonian July 1952)

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