Selected Videos Of And Commentary About Some Classic Folk, Roots, And Americana Songs
Monday, December 21, 2015
A Brief Note On CV101
For most of this year nearly past, I have used these blog pages to post radio shows and podcasts and have drifted rather far afield from the original intent of the venture - which was to use what was still the fairly new phenomena (in mid-2008 when we started up here) of YouTube and other video sites to explore the ways that acoustic folk and roots and singer-songwriter tunes transform themselves over time and in the hands of different interpretive artists. As of today, a bit short of eight years into the project, Comparative Video 101 has 203 posted articles (exclusive of this year's 12 radio/podcast pieces) with just under a quarter of a million posts viewed/accessed since Google started keeping stats in May 2010, with readership since January 2013 in 161 countries worldwide.
Needless to say, I have been delighted and gratified by this response. However infinitesimally small these numbers may be in the vast universe of the worldwide web, they are beyond anything that I ever thought either possible or likely, especially for articles that are actually personal essays on songs and performers who for the most part enjoyed their greatest popularity more than half a century ago. There is often a bit of background in the pieces (and as an academic myself, I wouldn't call it "research" per se), but the writing in these pages with which I am most satisfied is that which details emotional connections - mine and others' - to the songs and the manner in which they have resonated with me, often in fascinatingly evolving ways, through all the decades that I have known them.
All of this is simply preparatory to a relaunch of the song and performer articles, in addition to a continuation of the podcast and radio show postings. One of the constants here over the years has been an annual "For The Season" publication in the last seven Decembers of a profile of an often lesser-known traditional Christmas tune, in addition to five more articles about other songs with at least a tangential relationship to our Christian solstice celebration. I have two such essays in process now and will post them during this upcoming week, signalling (I hope) a return to form for this blog in 2016. To paraphrase John Paul Jones - I have not yet begun to write - or as Shakespeare notes in The Tempest - "What's past is prologue."
Comparative Video 101 is a resource for performance videos of some of the classic popular folk songs of the last several decades with personal commentary on them by Jim Moran, a teacher of literature for nearly forty years and a folk musician and writer for a decade longer. He is also co-host of the "Roots Music And Beyond" radio program on KPFK-FM in Los Angeles. Some of these posts appeared originally on the Kingston Crossroads message board, and many of the profiled songs were performed by the classic pop folk group the Kingston Trio. The page will be updated once or more per month. Your comments are welcome.
As of this writing in March of 2017, the Blogspot site that hosts CV101 has "deprecated" or made obsolete the old video code that I have been using since 2007 to make videos visible in these articles. That's ironic, since for several years Blogspot was not accepting the newer code that is now required, forcing me into a workaround that is now useless. The upshot is this. Of the 222 posted articles, more than 200 include multiple YT videos, up to ten but averaging about seven per post - more than 1400 videos in all. The change has left me with the choice of either abandoning this project, which at its inception in 2006 elsewhere was a kind of pioneer in presenting embedded videos with commentary - or going into every single article and changing the code for every single video. I hope that no one is surprised that I am choosing to do the latter. I do believe that there is some value in this site, and several hundred thousand people over the years have enjoyed it. However - changing all those codes is going to take some serious time to complete, so I beg your indulgence. If you happen by here and find an article that intrigues you but that is missing all or some of the videos, please drop a short comment at the end of the post and I will get to the restoration as soon as I can. As always, thanks for your attention to this project of mine.
Use the Google Search Bar above as you would use the Google web search. Enter the name of a song or artist, press "search," and the results will appear showing every mention of your search term in the 150+ articles on this blog. An alphabetical index of song titles is coming soon; until then, the Google Search This Blog will substitute for it.
Since Blogspot/Google has recently begun including readership statistics as part of its service to bloggers like me, I have become aware that the readership for these pages is far more extensive and international than I had ever dreamed, usually approaching 1,000 visitors per week from literally all around the world. I am profoundly appreciative of the interest in these posts and glad that folk music fans find enjoyment and value in them.
There are currently more than two hundred articles here, and nearly all of the twelve hundred posted videos in those articles are from YouTube. Most readers will already know that because YouTube is another subsidiary of Google, the latter company is being sued for copyright infringement by a significant number of content providers like Sony-BMG and Warner's Music Group. YouTube/Google's normal response to infringement claims is to remove the disputed videos or ban them from certain countries in which the claims have been filed.
This, of course, has a profound effect on the content of posts like the ones in this blog. Videos that I have selected for any given article can be and often have been removed at any time without warning. I try where possible to replace deleted videos with other versions of the same performance or with similar renditions of the songs, though this is not always possible.
Policing the hundred plus posts to be sure that there are interesting and representative video performances is itself a major undertaking, one that involves a significant commitment of time. I hope that those of you good enough to stop by this blog will have a bit of patience. I review as many of the older articles as I can every week with the goal of maintaining the integrity of each, and sometimes this enables me to find newer, better, and more exciting performances of the songs profiled here.