Canadian Journal for Traditional Music (1977)


Edith Fowke

A large part of this issue consists of papers given at a folk music session held when the Folk Studies Association of Canada met in Moncton last June. Neil V. Rosenberg who organized that panel describes it and introduces the participants on the following pages. As he notes, the papers formed a coherent group — in fact Edward Ives commented: "It was as if we had all been working together forever, or as if we had all been writing papers for the same seminar at which Phillips Barry and Patrice Coirault were the professors."

Another paper, Michael Taft's discussion of "Dig-Songs," which was submitted independently, also fits neatly into the group: it illustrates Peter Narváez's article on "The Folk Parodist" and has interesting relationships with John Ashton's discussion of "Truth in Folksong."

The issue is completed by Madeleine Béland's comprehensive analysis of "Les Chansons énumératives" — another paper given at the FSAC meetings in a different panel, and Jay Rahn's report on an important collection of Canadian folk music at Columbia University.

Once again we must express our gratitude to the Ontario Arts Council:

their generous grant makes possible the publication of this magazine.

ALAN MILLS (1914-1977)

Last year we announced the sad news of François Brassard's death, and this year we must report another tragic loss to Canada's folk music community. Alan Mills, perhaps the best known interpreter of Canadian folk songs, died in Montreal last June. Thirty years ago he started his popular CBC radio program, "Folk Songs for Young Folk," which was for many Canadians their first introduction to folk music. He also published The Alan Mills Book of Folk Songs and Ba/lads (1949), Favourite Songs of New/bundland (1958), and Favourite French Folk Songs: Sixty-five Traditional Songs qf France and Canada (1963), and he was co-author of Canada's Stoiy in Song (1960). His numerous records — the first to make Canadian folk songs available to the general public —included Folk Songs of Newfbundland, Folk Songs qf French Canada, Canada 's Story in Song, Maritime Folk Songs, and, with Héléne Baillargeon, Duet Songs of French Canada and Chansons d'Acadie. In 1967 he brought together a varied group of singers to record a nine-record set of Canadian Folk Songs for the Centennial. He appeared at many festivals and sang for many audiences in Canada and also in the United States and Britain. No other singer did so much to make our songs known to a wide audience.