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C. Parker Mom Nan
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C. Parker Mom Nan

15.01.2020

In 2018, whilst researching oral histories and the media, I discovered that one of the many people to visit my Nan's living room in the 1970s was the audio documentary maker, Charles Parker.

As one of the early adopters of experimental oral testimony on BBC Radio, Charles Parker alongside Ewan McColl and Peggy Seeger created the Radio Ballads. In these audio relics of a pre-digital era, folk music intertwined with working class histories of teenage life, mining, boxing and fishing.

Here, I interview my Mom and Nan about their relationship with these histories, alongside Birmingham's trade unionist, communist and folk music scenes and those who would regularly met to ‘jam’ in their living room, in Shard End.

But from where they stood in relationship to the cultural producers of middle class, London-oriented high brow cultures, my Mom and Nan tell another story.

This recording is part of a long term project that seeks to reexamine and rework the Radio Ballads. Do get in touch if you are interested to get involved.

– Georgia Anderson