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The legacy (that which we leave behind for the following generations) of folk music is impossible to quantify. The influence on later performers and songwriters, the political/social/cultural history of communities, countries and movements are deposited in folk music.
While many recording companies during the decades have issued folk music, one example is Folk-Legacy Records, founded by Sandy Paton, who died in 2009. He set it up as an independent record label specialising in traditional and contemporary folk music of the English-speaking world in 1961.
Regarded with affection by folk devotees, the label was acknowledged by Sing Out!’s editor Mark Moss as ‘hardly hi-tech’, but to pass on a legacy of such music it didn’t need to be. It had a love, dedication and vision that was unwavering. And that is what a legacy is; that is what folk music is.
The 1969 seminal album from Fairport Convention. While recovering from a car crash that had killed their drummer and a friend, they researched traditional English folk songs and dances. Members, including Sandy Denny, debated the merits of various old songs and themes. The upshot was the album of which it was said, ‘folk-rock is born’.
In 2006, BBC Radio 2 listeners voted it the Most Influential Folk Album Of All Time.
What it did was to electrify jigs, ballads, myths and yarns with energy and skill. Fiddler Dave Swarbrick created an inspired partnership with guitarist-songwriter Richard Thompson.