Albert Lancaster Lloyd (1908-1982) was a leading figure in the English folk song revival and an important collector of songs.
He was born in London but after the death of his parents, was sent to Australia in 1923 for ten years. He returned to Britain via South Africa. He spent much time in the British Museum Reading Room and learned about the social history of English people and he began collecting folk songs. He joined the Communist Party and in 1937, joined a whaling trip to the Antarctic. On his return he worked as a journalist, broadcaster and folklorist. He was an active member of the Workers' Music Association. His book The Singing Englishman was published in 1944 and Folk Song in England was published in 1967.
Lloyd researched the music for Geoffrey Bridson's production for the BBC in 1947 of Johnny Miner: An Opera for Coal which was the first English radio ballad to use folk music and employ dialect speech, though source singers were not yet being employed.
The recordings here show Lloyd's interest in folk singing styles in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. They reflect particularly an interest in epic and in polyphony. He did a considerable amout of field recording in Eastern Europe in the 1960s. The ' Songs of the People' was a series of thirteen programmes on folklore and music on certain themes, such as childhood, travel, crime etc. There are also some undated recordings of ballads of the Australian outback and sea shanties.
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