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In The Beginning

In The Beginning
Ewan MacColl 1915 - 1989
Peggy Seeger 1935 -
Charles Parker 1919-1980
The Original Ballads
The Ballad of John Axon 1957
Song of a Road 1958
Singing the Fishing 1959
The Big Hewer 1960
The Body Blow 1961
On the Edge 1962
The Fight Game 1963
The Travelling People 1964
The New Radio Ballads
John Tams
The Song Of Steel
The Enemy That Lives Within
The Horn of the Hunter
Swings and Roundabouts
Thirty Years of Conflict
Ballad of the Big Ships

The Radio Ballads

The radio-ballad is an audio documentary format created by Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger, and Charles Parker in 1958. It combines four elements of sound: songs, instrumental music, sound effects, and, most importantly, the recorded voices of those who are the subjects of the documentary. The latter element was revolutionary, for previous radio documentaries used professional voice actors.

The radio-ballads were originally recorded for the BBC. MacColl wrote a variety of songs especially for them, many of which have become folk classics. The trio together made eight radio-ballads between 1958 and 1964.


The Ballad of John Axon - 2 July 1958
Song Of A Road - 5 November 1959
Singing The Fishing - 16 August 1960
The Big Hewer - 18 August 1961
The Body Blow - 27 March 1962
On The Edge - 13 February 1963
The Fight Game - 3 July 1963
The Travelling People - 17 April 1964

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