Can you learn one of the 3 parts of this 16th century spanish villancico before we meet again in person? Beware, the catchy tune and rhythm with an extra beat thrown in at the end of phrases can quickly become an endless loop in your aural channels.
During the 2021 Winter Solstice online song circle, we played the first two minutes of this recording of Al Cox leading Children, Go Where I Send Thee, from 48 years ago at the Christmas Folk Song Circle on December 19, 1973. Here’s the full recording (which still doesn’t capture the whole song, but that’s all we’ve got!):
You are all most welcome to attend our annual Winter Solstice event, which is online once again this year. We can only hope next year will be brighter for us all.
On Tuesday, December 14, if you are on our Zoom email list, you will get the usual email with the Zoom link, and an invitation to sign up ahead of time for one of 15 Main Stage spots. There will also be extended breakout rooms where you’ll get the chance to share one or two songs.
The schedule for our Winter Solstice evening: Wednesday, December 15. Theme: Seasonal songs we love. With special guest hosts, Mary Armitage and Steve Deering.
We are sad to share the news that Al Cox, one of the founding members of the VFSS, passed away peacefully on September 22. Al’s beautiful voice can be heard on many of the VFSS archival recordings, both as frequent MC of events and as a performer. Eli, his daughter, wanted the VFSS members to know how grateful she is that her dad was able, in his last days, to enjoy our tape that Steve put together of the 62nd Anniversary. She has told us how much it meant to Al that he was able to listen to the many songs that were familiar to him and especially to be able to hear himself, in the Highriggers, sing The P.G.E. Song. She also said that the extended family, who knew very little about Al’s musical activities, were thrilled to have his voice on record. The family will be planning a memorial soon. We will share those details when available. Our condolences go out to the family.
During the September 1, 2021 online song circle, we played the first couple minutes of this recording of Gretchen Grinnell singing Who Killed Cockie Robin?, from the first anniversary of the VFSS, July 20, 1960. Here’s the full recording:
Marian Buechert has been sifting through boxes of VFSS archives to organize them and digitize some of them. She also provides archival recordings to be played for selected online Folk evenings. Marian was so intrigued by Gretchen’s beautiful voice that she felt the family should have Gretchen’s recordings. Through her search Marion was able to contact one of Gretchen’s daughters who was very excited to hear her mother’s voice as indeed the family had no recordings. As Marion says, “I’m happy to say I was able to share with her seven lovely recordings. She wrote to me and said she was teary-eyed when she listened to them.”
The first meeting at the Folk Song Circle as the VFSS was then called was at the Alma YMCA on the first Wednesday of July 1959. The five people who were responsible for founding the Folk Song Circle were Albert Cox, Jeannie (Cox) Moss, Phil and Hilda Thomas, and Rolf Ingelsrud. Of those founding members, Jeannie Moss, now 97, has dementia. She and Al Cox are the last remaining members. Jeannie perks up when she recognizes a song being sung to her and often sings along. Al Cox is presently 99 years old and is now a resident at Kerrisdale Crofton Manor.
On Sunday, September 26, 2021, the VFSS held its first online Retreat. Sixty folks attended by Zoom. For archival purposes, here are links to all the information that was emailed and/or posted on our Home page before and immediately after the event.
I had completely forgotten creating this video for Youtube four years ago. Proof positive that we’ve been digging shanties for a lot longer than any TikTok dilettantes. I love the robust, spontaneous crew singing from the crowd at The Friends’ that evening. Someday, we’ll be doing that again, folks!