Thank you for all that, Chris. I don't watch much TV nowadays, but living in England until 1998 I enjoyed a lot of it. I enjoyed American programs too, broadcast in Britain, and was amused by the way the writing fell into segments: you could tell where the commercial breaks were in the USA even though the ads themselves were missing. American network TV is written around the adverts! In the mid-1980s I was living in southwest London; I wish I had a recording of Themes Television's logo music.
        I didn't know about the archive problem. Of course it stands to reason - nobody invests in broadcasting as a public service, any more than politicians serve because it is their duty. 

Donald Clarke

On Jul 4, 2013, at 5:00 AM, Chris J Brady wrote:

However the other disaster in the making which endures today is that the archives of these ITV companies were never consolidated into any one place. As the companies lost / gained / traded their franchises their archives were scattered far and wide. Indeed many defining programmes were simply wiped or junked - much like the BBC did with its own programmes. 

It was only through the private off-air recording of early enthusiasts such as Bob Monkhouse that many of these programmes were 'saved' albeit still locked away in vaults and never made available, but at least hopefully to be preserved.

BSkyeB's archives are a case in point. Most programmes were lost from the early days. Now there is a world-wide search for what remains.

Anglia TV made a name for itself with it documentaries and nature programmes. It lost its franchise, the archives were lost too.

Luckily many t.v. and radio programmes in the 1960s onwards were home-taped and are now appearing on torrent sites.

But even now the BBC is not really interested in its archives especially for genre such as folk music and song. 

I personally have the only off-air recordings of many defining folk programmes from the 1960/70s, e.g. Folkweave and London Folk Song Cellar. We know that the masters have all been dumped. The BBC doesn't want them. The BL Sound Archives aren't interested. Even the folk scene isn't interested. So how do I get the material back into the public domain? I can't. So the recordings will eventually get dumped anyway.

However there is one shining light in the whole sorry mess - the Pirate Radios of the 1960/70s, e.g. Radio London, Radio Caroline, even such as Radio Sutch, et al. Archival recordings are tracked down, processed, and uploaded to a huge data store by true enthusiasts - and this is available to the public.


--- On Wed, 3/7/13, Donald Clarke <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> From: Donald Clarke <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Folk Music in America
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Date: Wednesday, 3 July, 2013, 17:27
> Independent commercial television in
> Britain was very good, because it had to compete with the
> BBC; the people who owned it described it as a license to
> print money: somehow they made good programs without garish
> commercial intrusion every 15 minutes, as in this country.
> Then Mrs Thatcher put it all out to bid and the result was a
> disaster. The people who gobbled it up spent so much money
> outbiding each other that they had no money to make
> programs. It took them a decade to recover, if they ever
> did. I was a fan of Thatcher's government, but she made
> mistakes, and that was one of them. The people who bid to
> buy airwaves will do so only because they think they'll make
> money. 
> DC