When recording Ditty Box
back in April 1998 at the TEPA Studio, Osterholz-Scharmbeck, little did I expect that I was about to embark on a "recording career". At that time I thought it would be just a one-off, an amusing idea for my friends and relatives, and something to bore my environment with for the rest of my life. I had not taken Internet into account.
To say that I have been overwhelmed with attention ever since would be an outright lie or at least a terrible exaggeration. There has however been a steady trickle of emails from surfers who either comment (all favourably, believe me! [so far - scratch cranium!!]) on the recorded songs - The Ballad of Bethnal Green
has been of particular interest), make suggestions/or inspire songs for future recordings e.g. Jehann
, provide encouragement, further information and are generally supportive. With this wider encouragement, and I do not need very much, from people who I have never met in the flesh I felt that there was reason enough to record further songs.
Consequently, and with great enjoyment, a second round of recording took place with Ralf Stahn at his Yellow Jacket Studio, Worpswede in July, 2000 whereby some 39 titles were "immortalised". From these songs
was finally produced in November 2001 (but not yet released), whilst both
In t' Praties
Mostly at Sea
were available as DAM-CDs at mp3.com
shortly after their recording.
These recordings have been made with vast personal enjoyment, are entirely non-commercial and are dedicated to all those kind people who have encouraged me. In the main, they will rarely entertain the greater public, it is just possible some may find their way to an almost extinct form of music making and learn to love those old songs. They do document a style of "singing" prevalent in the rural area of Worcester, England in the 1940s (their roots extending back to the late Victorian period), heavily laced with murdering of songs as perpetrated in the Royal Navy in the 1950's and 1960's and no little influenced by the renderings of the recently departed Brian Kelly
Geoff Grainger, Vegesack, 4th March, 2002.