Outline of the book


  1. What Is This Book About?
  2. Beginning in the Middle - Mariposa, 1961
  3. The Invention of Folk Music
  4. A Child Shall Lead Them
  5. Canadian Beginnings
  6. Gibbon and the Canadian Mosaic
  7. Red Is The Colour- The Other Mosaic –1900’s-30’s
  8. The Early Labour Song Tradition in Canada
  9. Red Front to Popular Front
  10. New Deal and No Deal
  11. Birth of a Nation
  12. Put Canada First!
  13. People’s Songs and People’s Music
  14. The Golden Age of Canadian Folk Song 1947- 1962- The Beginning
  15. The Emergence of a Repertoire
  16. The First Tour- The UJPO Folksingers
  17. Foreign Affairs
  18. World Music in the Golden Age
  19. Founding Folkies
  20. From Bonavista to the Vancouver Island
  21. Sam Gesser and Folkways Canada
  22. Country and Folk
  23. The “Revival”- Folk as Pop
  24. Mariposa Revisited- The End of the Beginning
  25. The Boom - Early Canadian Folk Professionals and the Marketplace
  26. The Songwriters
  27. East is East and West is West- Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver & Smaller Towns and Smaller Scenes
  28. Folk Rock
  29. The Real Boom- Folk in the 70’s
  30. The Festivals
  31. The Message in the Music- Political and Social Images in Songwriting and Folk Music in Canada in the 60’s and 70’s
  32. Bigger Than Ever- the 80’s
  33. New World, New Music
  34. The Little Folk- Children and Folk Music
  35. Looking Forward – Looking Backward- Folk Music at the End of the Century and the Beginning of the New Millennium
  36. What Does It Mean
36. What Does It Mean?

At the beginning of the 20th century a few collectors of what were then called “living antiquities” began writing down ballads and other folk songs. Mackenzie, the first English Canadian folklorist, asserted that to find a real folk singer one had to look for a person of at least 80. The early folklorists were convinced they were gathering the last remnants of the genre. By mid century the young activists of the Left were assembling a body of music they called folk, that included traditional songs they inherited from the folklorists, new songs by writers operating outside the margins of the pop music industry, and music from a variety of non-Canadian traditions. They, more than anyone else, created folk music as a component of popular culture. By the early 60’s this body of work had acquired a dynamic of its own and was spreading among a new generation mainly unaware of its roots. For the next four decades folk music has evolved, growing and mutating, picking up audiences as it did. Today folk music is pervasive, eclectic, and inclusive. The folklorists were wrong. When Great Big Sea recorded Lukey’s Boat on their first record and sold several hundred thousand copies of it, it reached more ears than ever heard it by an out port pier. The vision of a “people’s music” hatched by a few thousand socialists 50 years ago has become a reality. Yet not in the way they planned. Folk music and the organized workers’ movement never acquired the organic connection envisioned by the left, and while a real link between many folk music artists and an array of social movements has existed and continues to exist, folk music also has evolved into the minor leagues of the pop music industry. Folk music has become the official opposition of the mainstream of the popular music industry- in it but not of it. Ambiguous, contradictory, and plain indefinable, folk music in English Canada continues to grow.

Copyright © 2008-2015 Gary Cristall. All rights reserved.