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Jeff Place Folkadelphia Child Ballad Feature and Guest DJ Set (4​/​26​/​2017)

by Folkadelphia



On this episode of Folkadelphia Radio, Jeff Place, senior archivist and curator at Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, helps us figure out what Child Ballads are. These highly influential and omnipresent songs in folk music and other genres have nothing to do with children (and in fact, children should probably avoid them!) Instead, they are named after 19th-century scholar and historian Francis James Child, who collected 305 ballads and their variations. To this day, they are staples of the folk music toolbox.

In advance of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings' new release 'Classic English & Scottish Ballads (from the Francis James Child Collection,' which pulls together fantastic renditions of Child Ballads from the Folkways catalog, Jeff Place sat down with us to talk about his role in the production, why these ballads remain so attractive and influential, why people should care, and, of course, to guest host Folkadelphia.

You can learn more about Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and purchase 'Classic English & Scottish Ballads' (out 4/28/2017) here: folkways.si.edu


released April 27, 2017

Thank you to Jeff Place for his time and his conversation about Child Ballads, to Pete Reiniger at Smithsonian Folkways for recording the conversation, and to James Clark Conner for his usual superb editing work.

Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

At the time of recording, regular host Fred Knittel also works at Smithsonian Folkways Recordings in addition to Folkadelphia Radio.


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