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Author Topic: What's in it for us? Looking for melodeons in eighty years of Topic Records  (Read 977 times)

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Alan Pittwood

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INTRODUCTION

In 2016, Rod Stradling, the editor of Musical Traditions, wrote about his own experience[1]:
In the early 1960s, when I first started getting interested in traditional songs, there were fewer than ten LPs of traditional singers from these islands available . . .The availability situation slowly improved, but Topic (for example) still had only about a dozen LPs of traditional singers from the British Isles by 1967, and only two of these were English [2].

More recently, Alan Morley [3] wrote
When I first started to learn melodeon, I was hungry for any records which I could find featuring boxes

The 80th anniversary of Topic Records [4] seems a good opportunity to re-examine albums and tracks with melodeon/button accordion.
And to consider if musicians were any better served than singers in the search for English traditional music.

I have divided the period from 1954 to the present day into six periods: 1954-1969, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s.  And this Introduction is matched with Some conclusions.

Although some of the materials used are my own, I must acknowledge, and sincerely thank, the compilers and publishers of the two discographies: Reinhard Zierke for Mainly Norfolk [5] and Mike Brocken, Alistair Banfield, Rod Stradling for the Topic discography [6] that have been used to identify and check the greater part of the output of Topic Records.  And, of course, anyone looking at Irish music in London in the post-war period owes an immediate debt to Reg Hall's PhD thesis and the two 3-CD collections that followed [7].


[1] Stradling, R (2016) The ups and downs: a look back at life [Enthusiasms no.78] Musical Traditions
         Available at https://www.mustrad.org.uk/enthuse.htm
[2] The two records were The Willett family and Fred Jordan. 
      The Willett Family  The Roving Journeymen English Traditional Songs sung by Traditional Singers  12T84 (1963)
      Fred Jordan Songs of a Shropshire Farm Worker 12T150 (1966)
Then, between 1966 and 1969, there was the addition of just one, the LP by Willie Scott
        Willie Scott  The Shepherd's Song  Border Ballads  12T183 (1968)
[3] Morley, A (2019) http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,24037.0.html
[4] Topic Records http://www.topicrecords.co.uk/
[5] https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/records/topic.html
[6] http://www.mustrad.org.uk/discos/discog.htm
[7] Hall, R (2016) A few tunes of good music: a history of Irish music and dance in London, 1800-1980 & beyond.
     Available at http://www.topicrecords.co.uk/a-few-good-tunes/files/inc/261cf51b41.pdf
« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 09:31:43 AM by Alan Pittwood »
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Alan Pittwood

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1954-1969

The period 1954-1969 marks the replacement of 78rpm shellac and the emergence of vinyl in various sizes of 45rpm EP and 33rpm LP.
The melodeon was used by singers to accompany themselves and by a few musicians to accompany some singers.
 
Three traditional singers, Cyril Poacher, John MacDonald and Willie Scott played a melodeon to accompany their own singing, a fourth, Davie Stewart, used an accordion. 

In the revival:
Geoff Rose and Leon Rosselson played piano accordion to accompany Stan Kelly on TOP27.
John Hasted, accordion, accompanied Dominic Behan on 10T28
Johnny Handle played melodeon on TOP75 and TOP78, then switched to the piano accordion for 12T122, 12T186 and 12T189. 
Reg Hall played melodeon to accompany Bob Davenport on TOP83 [the first appearance on Topic Records of The Rakes (Reg Hall, melodeon; Michael Plunkett, fiddle and whistle; Paul Gross, fiddle)
Harry Boardman played melodeon to accompany his own singing of The Bury new loom on 12T188
Dave Arthur played melodeon to accompany his and Toni's singing of Six jolly miners on 12T190

However, there were five who played airs and dance music.

One was the Slovenian, Mirko Decman, piano accordion player in The Tine Rožanc Ensemble playing Slovenian, Serbian, Macedonian and Albanian dance music, TOP64 and TOP112

The other four were Irish button-accordion players: Tommy Maguire, Joe Tunney, Tim Lyons and Tony MacMahon.
 
Tommy Maguire's two tracks, The Bunch of Keys/The Heather Breeze (reels) and Maguire’s Favourite/Tralee Gaol/Maggie in the Wood (polkas) first published on  Street Songs and Fiddle Tunes 10T6 in 1957 were republished on Her mantle so green 12T123 in 1965.  That LP, with four additional tracks [tracks 5, 9,12 and 16], was reissued as a CD in 1994 and remains in the Topic catalogue.

Joe Tunney played song airs on a button-accordion in duet with a fiddle 12T153.

Tim Lyons was featured on two tracks of The Exiles' LP 12T164.  The reels Corner House/Sally Gardens [button accordion, guitar, banjo and fiddle] and the button-accordion solo, Planxty Davis.

Tony MacMahon and the fiddlers Martin Byrnes and Andy Boyle played the reels Lucy Campbell/Toss the Feathers on 12T176 Paddy in the smoke.

Both Tim Lyons and Tony MacMahon were included on 12T184 The breeze from Erin
Tim and the whistle player Feichín Ó Connluain (Festy Conlan) play the reels The Bag of Potatoes/The Sligo Maid and the jig Queen of the rushes
Tony plays the air and reel Bean Dubh an Ghleanna/The Ewe.


Discography
Margaret Barry, Michael Gorman  Street Songs and Fiddle Tunes  10T6 (1957)
Stan Kelly Liverpool Packet  Songs of the Great Seaport TOP27 (1958)
Dominic Behan  Irish Songs recalled by Dominic Behan 10T28 (1958)
The Tine Rožanc Ensemble Yugoslav Dances  TOP64 (1961)
Louis Killen  Northumbrian Garland  Songs from the North-East and the Border  TOP75 (1962)
Johnny Handle  Stottin' Doon the Waall Songs of mining and miners, written, sung and played by Johnny Handle  TOP78 (1962)
       The three EPs TOP74, TOP75, TOP78 were republished in 1968 as the LP Along the coaly Tyne [with the omission of The day we went to the coast
       (TOP78)].
       The 1998 CD reissue of Along the coaly Tyne has five additional tracks taken from the High Level Ranters' 1976 LP,
       Ranting Lads [and still omits The day we went to the coast]
The Tine Rožanc Ensemble  Macedonian and Albanian Dances TOP112 (1964)
Louis Killen, Tom Gilfellon, Johnny Handle, Maureen Craik, Colin Ross, Tommy Armstrong of Tyneside, 12T122, (1965)
Margaret Barry, Michael Gorman Her Mantle So Green Irish Street Songs & Fiddle Tunes  12T123 (1965)
Paddy Tunney, Arthur Kearney, Frank Kelly, Joe Tunney, Ireland Her Own 12T153 (1966)
Cyril Poacher   Various Artists  Songs of Seduction The Folk Songs of Britain Volume 2  12T158 (1968)
John MacDonald   Various Artists Jack of All Trades The Folk Songs of Britain Volume 3 12T159 (1968)
The Exiles, The Hale and the Hanged  12T164 (1967)
Various Artists, Paddy in the Smoke: Irish Dance Music from a London Pub 12T176 (1968)
Willie Scott  Various Artists Festival at Blairgowrie  12T181 (1968)
Davie Stewart   Various Artists Festival at Blairgowrie 12T181 (1968) 
Willie Scott  The Shepherd's Song Border Ballads 12T183 (1968)
Various Artists  The Breeze from Erin Irish Folk Music on Wind Instruments  12T184 (1969)
The High Level Ranters, Northumberland For Ever  12T186 (1968) [later reissued in stereo as 12TS186 and as a CD TSCD483 (1997)]
Various Artists Deep Lancashire Songs and Ballads of the Industrial North-West  12T188 (1968)
Louis Killen, Johnny Handle, Colin Ross  Along the Coaly Tyne Old and New Northumbrian Songs 12T189 (1968)
Dave & Toni Arthur The Lark in the Morning  12T190 (1969)


Reflection
The singers had The Willett family, Fred Jordan and Willie Scott.
But no English traditional musician, playing dance music, [with or without a melodeon] was available on Topic Records in the period 1954-1969.




« Last Edit: July 14, 2019, 09:47:14 PM by Alan Pittwood »
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richard.fleming

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Did they never record Bob Roberts, the last trading skipper of a Thames barge (The Cambria) who played melodeon to accompany himself on songs such as 'I once was a fisherman bold'. I saw him once in a folk club in Ipswich, which I guess was his home port at the time.
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Alan Pittwood

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Bob Roberts was recorded in 1977 and his twenty-one track LP Songs from the sailing barges 12TS361 was published in 1978.
Bob had given up the spritsail barge SB Cambria out of Pin Mill, Suffolk in 1970 and was then based in Ryde, Isle of Wight, as skipper of the coaster Vectis Isle: which is where the recording was made.  Bob Roberts died in 1982.

The full details will appear in the section headed, 1970s



(I) My dad (once) was a fisherman bold  is the first line of The candlelight fisherman which Bob sang to his own melodeon accompaniment: it is the first track on 12TS361
« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 09:25:32 AM by Alan Pittwood »
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richard.fleming

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He still had the Cambria when I saw him. I must be getting old..
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(I) My dad (once) was a fisherman bold  is the first line of The candlelight fisherman which Bob sang to his own melodeon accompaniment: it is the first track on 12TS361

My Dad learned this song from Bob Roberts and taught it to me! I have been known to perform it in public  ;)
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Jeremy Burnett

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There are a number of Bob Roberts songs on Saydisc "Seasongs and Shanties" I believe he was taught to play the Melodeon by Henry Trefusis who was a local landowner here near Falmouth. He sailed with Bob on voyages to West Africa and Brazil.
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  • Is e obair latha toiseachadh.

(I) My dad (once) was a fisherman bold  is the first line of The candlelight fisherman which Bob sang to his own melodeon accompaniment: it is the first track on 12TS361

My Dad learned this song from Bob Roberts and taught it to me! I have been known to perform it in public  ;)

Accompanying yourself on your melodeon? .... I feel a TOTM suggestion coming on.
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Alan Pittwood

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There are a number of Bob Roberts songs on Saydisc "Seasongs and Shanties" I believe he was taught to play the Melodeon by Henry Trefusis who was a local landowner here near Falmouth. He sailed with Bob on voyages to West Africa and Brazil.

I have chosen to use the 80th anniversary of Topic Records to review, chronologically, their publication of traditional music, with particular reference to melodeons and melodeon players.  Once that analysis is complete we may find that there were other opportunities to hear traditional music that may mitigate the evidence of Topic's activities.

You are right, Bob Roberts accounts for 14 of the 26 tracks on:

Sea Songs and Shanties: Traditional English Sea Songs and Shanties from the Last Days of Sail Saydisc Records CD-SDL 405 (1994)
« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 09:14:57 PM by Alan Pittwood »
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Alan Pittwood

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He still had the Cambria when I saw him. I must be getting old..

You are not alone in getting old.  I had to re-check a number of the facts about Bob's life and employment for this project: I'm sure I had them to hand fifty years ago.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2019, 10:35:35 PM by Alan Pittwood »
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Alan Pittwood

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(I) My dad (once) was a fisherman bold  is the first line of The candlelight fisherman which Bob sang to his own melodeon accompaniment: it is the first track on 12TS361
My Dad learned this song from Bob Roberts and taught it to me! I have been known to perform it in public  ;)

It is true that Bob Roberts did influence the performance by others of a large number of the songs in his repertory.  But I am sure that The candlelight fisherman was already a folk-club "standard" by the second half of the 1960s.  Its singing by Phil Hammond of Morston, Norfolk, [1.2 miles west of Blakeney on the north Norfolk coast] had been included on Jack of All Trades  The Folk Songs of Britain Volume 3  Caedmon (1961)
« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 08:30:50 PM by Alan Pittwood »
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Alan Pittwood

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1970s

Revival
The melodeon continued to be used for song accompaniment, played by the singer or another musician.

Harry Boardman 12T204 (1970) and 12TS236 (1973) accompanied by his own melodeon.  Roy Harris was accompanied the melodeons of Notts Alliance 12TS217 (1972), Vic Gammon 12T256 (1975) and Roger Watson 12TS327 (1977).
 Reg Hall (melodeon), Michael Plunkett and Lucy Farr (fiddles) accompanied Peta Webb on her first solo album 12TS223 (1973).
The Broadside, from Grimsby, used melodeon for song accompaniment 12TS228 (1973).

On 12TS219 (1972), a compilation of songs and tunes from the North East, Johnny Handle used a melodeon for song accompaniment but
a piano accordion for dance tunes. Similarly, Colin Ross used a melodeon for songs but a fiddle for the dance tunes.  In 1975 Johnny Handle re-arranged and re-recorded songs that he had written between 1958 and 1974.  Released as 12TS270 (1975): Farewell to the Monty was sung unaccompanied, without the melodeon and Stottin doon the wall was sung with piano accordion accompaniment, rather than a melodeon.  For The High Level Ranters' double album 12TS271/2 recorded at the same time, but released in 1976, Johnny used a melodeon to accompany two songs The hewer and I wish pay Friday would come.  12TS297 (1976)was a mixture of songs and tunes and Johnny used the piano accordion for both.   As The High Level Ranters' 12TS388 (1979) was purely instrumental, Johnny played accordion.
Johnny Handle played accordion on one track of Tom Gilfellon's LP 12TS282 (1976)

Ian Holder, piano accordion player in the Etchingham Steam Band, and Bill Molan, melodeon player in Bird Lane played melodeon on Shirley Collins' LP 12TS238 (19774)
Bob Davenport's album 12TS274 (1975) has twelve unaccompanied songs, one song accompanied by The Rakes [melodeon, fiddle, fiddle] and one with a band of fiddles, flutes, pipes, melodeon and piano.  This left space for the The Leeds Band to play two sets, jig and polka; and for Webbs Wonders to play two sets, jig and polka; a band of fiddles, flutes, pipes, melodeon and piano play a reel; and Jim Bainbridge [melodeon] to play a barn dance.
On Bob's album 12TS350 (1977) The Rakes [melodeon, and two fiddles] accompany two songs and play five dance tune sets.

In the mid 1970s John Kirkpatrick and Sue Harris began to record a series of LPs: 12TS247 (1974), 12TS295 (1976), and 12TS355 (1977).  On all three, John was recorded playing a British Diatonic Chromatic Three-Row Button-Key Accordion [1] and not a melodeon, although he used two-row and one-row melodeons on the LP Plain Capers recorded for Free Reed Records in 1976.

John Tams played melodeon on Archie Fisher's LP Will ye gang, love  12TS277  1976
Tony Hall played melodeon on June Tabor's LP Airs and graces 12TS298  1976

Ian Manuel 12TS301 (1977) sang Scots traditional songs accompanied by a four-piece band that included two melodeons.
Lal, Norma and Maria Waterson 12TS331 were accompanied by a band that included the melodeon of Rod Stradling.
John Kirkpatrick played accordion on Martin Carthy's 12TS389 1979
Phil Cunningham played piano accordion on three tracks of Cilla Fisher and Artie Trezise's 12TS405 (1979)


Revival discography
Various artists Owdham edge12T204 (1970)
Roy Harris The bitter and the sweet  12TS217  (1972)
Various artists Canny Newcassel: ballads and songs from Newcastle and thereabouts  12TS219  (1972)
Peta Webb I have wandered in exile 12TS223  (1973)
The Broadside from Grimsby The moon shone bright: songs and ballads collected in Lincolnshire 12TS228  (1973)
Harry Boardman A Lancashire mon: ballads, songs and recitations by Harry Boardman 12TS236  (1973)
Shirley Collins Adieu to old England 12TS238  (1974)
John Kirkpatrick & Sue Harris The rose of Britain's isle  12TS247 (1974)
Roy Harris Champions of folly: folk songs and ballads  12TS256  (1975)
Johnny Handle The collier lad  12TS270  (1975)
The High Level Ranters, Harry Boardman and Dick Gaughan The bonnie pit laddie  12TS271/2  (1975)
Bob Davenport Down the long road  12TS274  (1975)
Archie Fisher Will ye gang, love  12TS277  (1976)
Tom Gilfellon In the middle of the tune  12TS282  (1976)
John Kirkpatrick & Sue Harris Among the many attractions at the show will be really high class band  12TS295 (1976)
The High Level Ranters Ranting lads  12TS297  (1976)
June Tabor Airs and graces 12TS298  (1976)
Ian Manuel  The dales of Caledonia: Scots traditional songs 12TS301 (1977)
Roy Harris  By Sandbank Fields songs and ballads 12TS327 (1977)
Lal & Norma Waterson with Maria Waterson A true hearted girl  12TS331  (1977)
Bob Davenport 1977  12TS350 (1977)
John Kirkpatrick & Sue Harris Shreds and patches  12TS355  (1977)
The High Level Ranters Four in a bar  12TS388  (1979)
Martin Carthy  Because it's there  12TS389  1979
Cilla Fisher & Artie Trezise  Cilla & Artie  12TS405 (1979)


Contemporary
In the 1970s, criticism of the "dance establishment", in both England and Scotland, grew louder.  In England, some reacted against the Americanisation - the 'mid-Atlantic stomp' [1] - that ignored stepping in English social dances[2].  Similarly, there were stepped social dances in Scotland and the Western Isles that were no longer performed [3].  Others raised concern over the 'rising tide of badly-played Irish music'.[4]

There were new bands [some formed by old names] that led the attempt to develop an alternative sound and style for social dance music.  Although it must be acknowledged that such a narrow focus on their recordings and their sessions in back-bars at Sidmouth completely ignores local bands, in many other parts of the country, often formed by morris and clog dance musicians, that were also involved in changing social dance music in the 1970s.

Oak released Welcome to our fair 12TS212 (1971) with Rod Stradling's melodeon at the heart of a Sussex/Suffolk/Norfolk sound.  And yet there were only two completely instrumental tracks New Rigged Ship/Rig-a-Jig-Jig and Scan's PolkaThe Nutley Waltz led into the song The faithful sailor boy and the jig set The Perfect Cure/The Sweets of May led out from the song The bunch of thyme

A different sound and a mix of set dances and couple dances [including the Military Two-step and the Waltz] can be heard as Bryce Anderson, piano accordion, led the Cheviot Ranters' Country Dance Band through three LPs 12T214, 12TS222, 12TS245 released in 1972, 1973 and 1974. 

By the end of the 1970s there were musicians who believed that interesting tunes would sell an LP.  The New Victory Band [including Pete Coe and John Adams, melodeons] came to the Berkshire Midsummer Folk Festival just after the release of 12TS382 (1978) with Pete pleased at that prospect.  However, he was not at all pleased that NVB in the album cover photograph had been described, rather uncharitably, as looking like a bunch of superannuated tram drivers.

Contemporary discography
Oak Welcome to our fair  12TS212  (1971)
The Cheviot Ranters Country Dance Band Sound of the Cheviots 12T214  (1973)
The Cheviot Ranters Country Dance Band The Cheviot hills: English country dance music  12TS222  (1973)
The Cheviot Ranters Country Dance Band Cheviot barn dance 12TS245  (1974)
New Victory Band One more dance & then  12TS382  (1978)


Traditional
Topic Records had two approaches to traditional music: issue and reissue.
Firstly to find, record and issue the work of living, working musicians who had a repertory for dancing in their communities. Secondly to reissue recordings of traditional musicians: some of these recordings had been commercial productions, but there were also recordings made by radio broadcasters and by enthusiasts.

English country music from East Anglia 12TS229 (1973) was Topic Records' first release of English traditional musicians: twenty three tracks of dulcimer, melodeon and mouth organ for step dance, barn dance, polka and waltz.  The two melodeon players were Oscar Woods four-stop one-row melodeon and Percy Brown two-row melodeon.

12TS239 (1974) shows that there were active local musicians often with well established family lines of performance. Donald Ridley, piano accordion, played five tracks of dance tunes.  12TS267 (1975) included the piano accordion of Alan Coulson and the button- accordion of Tommy Edmondson.

Bob Cann was well known locally, regionally and nationally by the start of the 1950s.  On Dartmoor he played for step dance competitions and social dances; regionally he had contacts across Devon and further west into Cornwall; and nationally through the EFDSS [English Folk Dance and Song Society] and BBC radio.  He was recorded by Peter Kennedy for the BBC in 1952 and by Tony Engle for Topic Records in 1975.   In the 1950s he had a two-row Hohner in C/C#: in 1975 Bob used his red Hohner Club III M with 2.7 rows in D/G/accidentals. 

By the end of the 1970s there was, thanks to the work of Keith Summers, a better understanding of the network of of working musicians in Suffolk: as shown by the two albums 12TS374, with Font Whatling playing melodeon and step dancing, and 12TS375, with Fred Pearce playing melodeon, released in 1978.
In the same year, Bob Roberts' album Songs from the sailing barges 12TS361, accompanied by his own melodeon, was released: although by that time he had given up the SB Cambria and Pin Mill, Suffolk and was then skipper of the coaster Vectis Isle based in Ryde, Isle of Wight, where the recording was made.

At the end of the 1970s there were releases of traditional song and music recorded in Devon. On 12TS349 (1979) Tom Orchard snr, Tom Orchard jnr and Brian Holland played melodeon for step dancing.  And on 12TS395 (1979) Bill Elson [accordion] played for step dancing and Lemmie Brazil [melodeon] played the tune God killed the devil.  However, Bill Elson had been recorded playing a mouth organ on 12T253 (1973) and it is a mouth organ not an accordion that he is playing here.

On 12TS248 (1974), John Lyons sang unaccompanied and played button accordion for one reel set, one jig set and a wedding tune.
John MacDonald 12TS263  (1975) now styled "the singing molecatcher of Morayshire" sang both unaccompanied and with his own accordion accompaniment. He played dance tunes and a pipe march on the accordion.  Davie Stewart 12T293 (1978) sang both unaccompanied and with his own accordion accompaniment.  The LP cover shows a large instrument with three rows of basses but the treble side is not shown: Vic Smith, in his review of the Greentrax reissue in 1998, refers to both melodeon and piano accordion used for Davie's song accompaniments.

Half the tracks of Rose Murphy's 12TS316  (1977) are played on accordion [the other half on the fiddle]: Rose played a Hohner B/C melodeon "push and draw" on the outside, B, row.
Terry Teahan and Gene Kelly 12TS352 (1977) demonstrate differences in repertory and style.  Gene played a C#/D accordion and Terry a number of one-row melodeons.
In the Music from Sliabh Luachra series Johnny O'Leary played button accordion on 12TS357 (1977) and Jackie Daly button accordion on 12TS358 (1977).

Traditional "issue" discography
Various artists English country music from East Anglia  12TS229 (1973)
Various artists Bonny North Tyne: Northumbrian country music  12TS239  (1974)
John Lyons The May morning dew  12TS248 (1974
Terry Teahan and Gene Kelly  Old time Irish music in America  12TS352 (1977)
Various artists Songs of the open road: gypsies, travellers and country singers  12T253  (1975)
John MacDonald  The singing molecatcher of Morayshire: Scots ballads, bothy songs melodeon tunes  12TS263 (1975)
Various artists Morpeth rant: Northumbrian country music  12TS267  (1975)
Bob Cann West country melodeon  12TS275 (1975)
Davie Stewart  12T293  (1978)
Rose Murphy Milltown lass: old time Irish fiddle and accordion 12TS316  (1977)
Various artists Devon tradition: an anthology from traditional singers  12TS349  (1979)
Terry Teahan and Gene Kelly Old time Irish music in America  12TS352  (1977)
Johnny O'Leary Music for the set: music from Sliabh Luachra Vol.5  12TS357  (1977)
Jackie Daly Traditional accordion and concertina music from Sliabh Luachra: music from Sliabh Luachra Vol.6  12TS358  (1977)
Bob Roberts Songs from the Sailing Barges  12TS361 (1978)
Various Artists  The Earl Soham Slog: Step Dance and Country Music from Suffolk  12TS374 (1978)
Various Artists  Sing, Say and Play: Traditional Songs and Music from Suffolk  12TS375 (1978)
Various artists Travellers: songs, stories and tunes from English gypsies 12TS395 (1979)


Boscastle breakdown 12T240 (1974) was the first of Topic's reissues of field recordings: six by the BBC in Dorset and Cornwall in 1943 and 1944, three by Ken Stubbs in Sussex and in Surrey in 1962 and 1964 respectively, two by Steve Pennells and Ken Stubbs in Kent in 1962, and four by Bill Leader in Norfolk in 1962.  There were two melodeon players, William Hooper in Dorset and the inimitable Albert Farmer [a one-man-band of melodeon, bass drum and cymbal] in Surrey.
Holey Ha'penny: classic recordings of traditional music from the North-East of England 12T283 (1976) was, with two exceptions, the work of Peter Kennedy for the BBC in June and July 1954 [the two tracks of Tom Clough, Northumbrian pipes, were recorded in 1929 for EMI].  The only melodeon player was Willy Taylor playing The Linehope Lope.

The first edition of English Country Music had been produced as English Country Music  Record No. 1 (1965) in a limited edition of 99 copies to avoid purchase tax [a sales tax on luxury goods that was used in the UK between 21 October 1940 and 2 April 1973].  Walter and Daisy Bulwer [fiddle, mandolin-banjo and piano] of Shipdam, Norfolk and Billy Cooper [dulcimer] of Barford, Norfolk were joined by Reg Hall, Mervyn Plunkett and Russell Wortley.  There is only one melodeon player, Reg Hall.
This second edition 12T296 was influential in that it did lead, later, to some learning about English country music and musicians.  Rod Stradling's review of English Country Music is useful as it begins to demolish some of the myth that was in danger of developing about the attitudes toward, and performance of, music deliberately based on earlier recordings. [5]

On the two albums re-mastered from Bob Smith's Ideal Band 78s: Tony Capaldi played a four-row continental accordion on 12T319, and Alec Bisset played a melodeon on 12T320.

Between the early 1920s and the late 1930s The Flanagan brothers were the most popular group of Irish entertainers in New York city.  Joe Flangan, played a two-row accordion that had two rows of keys rather than buttons.
(as discussed in June 2019, see post at http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,24062.msg286671.html#msg286671 )
A selection of their work was re-mastered as the 16-track LP 12T365.

John McGettigan and His Irish Minstrels included Sam Moore and Dan Marquette on accordion.  A selection of their work was re-mastered as the 18-track LP 12T367.
Thomas Senior, accordion, was a later addition to Dan Sullivan's Shamrock Band.  A selection of their work was re-mastered as the 18-track LP 12T366 (1979)
Melodeon Greats 12T376 sampled the recorded work of nine Scottish melodeon players that had been released on 78s in the period 1909-1920.


Traditional "reissue" discography
Various artists Boscastle breakdown: Southern English country music  12T240  (1974)
Various artists Holey ha'penny: classic recordings of traditional music from the North-East of England  12T283 (1976)
Walter and Daisy Bulwer, Billy Cooper, et al.. English country music  12T296  (1976)
Bob Smith's Ideal Band Ideal music for all the year round  12T319  (1977)
Bob Smith's Ideal Band Better than an orchestra  12T320  (1977)
The Flanagan brothers  An Irish Delight: classic recordings of Irish traditional music in America  12T365 (1979)
Dan Sullivan's Shamrock Band: classic recordings of Irish traditional music in America  12T366 (1979)
John McGettigan  John McGettigan and His Irish Minstrels: classic recordings of Irish traditional music in America  12T367 (1979)
Various Artists  Melodeon Greats: a collection of melodeon masterpieces  12T376 (1978)


Notes and References
[1] Kirkpatrick J M (1967) The British Button Box or The British Diatonic Chromatic Three-Row Button-Key Accordion English Dance and
     Song
Vol XXIX, No 4, Winter 1967
     Available at: https://www.johnkirkpatrick.co.uk/wr_BritButtonBox.asp
[2] Kirkpatrick, J (1969) The mid-Atlantic stomp  English Dance and Song Vol XXX1 No 2 Summer 1969.
     Available at: https://www.johnkirkpatrick.co.uk/wr_MidAtlanticStomp.asp
[3] Jennifer Millest, co-founder of the Reading Traditional Step Dance Group [aka Reading Cloggies] considered it important for the
     Cloggies to perform  reels from Barra, Shetland and Orkney and to restore stepping to English reels and treepling to Scottish social dances.
[4] Smith, V (1999) Review of: Davie Stewart  Greentrax Recordings CDTRAX9052 (1998)  Musical Traditions
     Available at: http://www.mustrad.org.uk/reviews/d_stewar.htm
[5] Stradling, R (2000) Review of: Walter and Daisy Bulwer, Billy Cooper, et al. English Country Music Topic Records 12T296 (1976) TSCD607
    (2000).  Musical Traditions
    Available at:  http://www.mustrad.org.uk/reviews/ecm.htm








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1980s

Revival
The melodeon continued to be used for song accompaniment, played by the singer or another musician.

Tony Hall played melodeon on four tracks of Nic Jones' LP Penguin eggs  12TS411  1980

The band Umps and Dumps brought together the melodeons of Tufty Swift [one-row], John Kirkpatrick [two-row and accordion] and Derek Pearce [one-row] 12TS416 1980
Derek Pearce played melodeon [and other instruments] on the Roaring Jelly LP 12TS420 (1981).

Dave Whetsone played melodeon in The Hemlock Cock & Bull Band.  The songs and tunes on 12TS421 1981 developed an Anglo-French sound that continued on 12TS440 1985 when the band had become known as The Cock & Bull Band.

Jack Evans played melodeon to accompany the song Kempy Kaye on Jock Tamson's Bairns' LP 12TS424 1982

The departures of Alistair Anderson and Tom Gilfellon to pursue solo careers.  Jim Hall and Peter Wood joined Colin Ross and Johnny Handle on 12TS425 1982.
Colin, fiddle, and Jim, small pipes, led the dance tunes and Johnny played piano accordion for all the tracks except two, when he played the piano.
Peter Wood left and the remaining trio produced Border spirit 12TS434 in 1983.

In The House Band, Chris Parkinson played melodeon on 12TS439  1985, 12TS445 1987 and 12TS451 1988.

Phil Langham played button accordion in the backing band for Bill Caddick 12TS441 1986.

Topic Records republished Shanchie 79062, the LP by Andy M Stewart backed by Phil Cunningham, accordion, and Marcus Lunny: 12TS443  1986.

John B Spencer's LP, originally published in Holland by Any Record, became 12TS444 1986, with Geraint Watkins, accordion and Roger Williams on trombones and tuba. 

John Kirkpatrick played button accordion on Martin Carthy's 12TS426 1982 and one-row melodeon and button accordion on Martin Carthy's 12TS452 1988. 
John continued to play button accordion on LPs recorded with Sue Harris, 12TS408 1980, 12TS453 1989. 

Simon Care, melodeon, joined Albion Band '89 for 12TS454  1989


Revival discography

John Kirkpatrick & Sue Harris Facing the Music 12TS408 (1980)
Nic Jones  Penguin eggs  12TS411  (1980)
Umps and Dumps  The moon's in a fit  12TS416 (1980)
Roaring Jelly  In the roar  12TS420  (1981)
The Hemlock Cock & Bull Band  All buttoned up  12TS421 (1981)
Jock Tamson's Bairns  The lasses fashion  12TS424  (1982)
The High Level Ranters  The new High Level Ranters  12TS425 (1982)
Martin Carthy  Out of the cut  12TS426  (1982)
The High Level Ranters  Border spirit  12TS434  (1983)
The House Band  The House Band  12TS439  (1985)
The cock and Bull Band  Eyes closed and rocking  12TS440  (1985)
Bill Caddick  The wild west show  12TS441  (1986)
Andy M Stewart, Phil Cunningham, Manus Lunny  Fire in the glen  12TS443  (1986)
The House Band  Pacific  12TS445  (1987)
The House Band  Word of mouth  12TS451  (1988)
Martin Carthy  Right of passage  12TS452  (1988)
John Kirkpatrick & Sue Harris Stolen ground  12TS453  (1989)
Albion Band '89  Give me a saddle, I'll trade you a car  12TS454  (1989)


Contemporary
The innovation in the 1980s was the use of brass insturments with free reed instruments for both song accompaniment and dance tunes.
Brass had been used in the 1970s for the accompaniment of singers: Gabriel's Horns [trumpet, trombone, C-melody saxophone and tuba]
had accompanied the Watersons on track 5 of 12TS346 1977.  And the trombone had been used by John Adams in The New Victory Band 12TS382 1978.
The five-piece Brass Monkey, brought together by Martin Carthy and John Kirkpatrick, included Howard Evans,  Roger Williams and Martin Brinsford.

John Kirkpatrick and Howard Evans had contributed to two of Martin Carthy's albums Because it's there 12TS389 1979 and
Out of the cut 12TS426 1982. 

Contemporary discography

Brass Monkey  Brass Monkey  12TS431  1983
Brass Monkey  See how it runs  12TS442  1986


Traditional
No recording of a traditional musician was either issued or reissued in the 1980s.









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John Kirkpatrick & Sue Harris Facing the Music 12TS408 (1980)
A highly influential recording for me; it showed me what the melodeon and anglo were capable of in great hands. Sue's oboe and dulcimer playing also fantastic. I still listen to it and get a buzz from it. Great stuff!
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1990s

Only two vinyl LPs were published in the 1990s as the CD became the medium.  Topic Records begin to re-publish as CDs a number of LPs from their own catalogue and also from other label's catalogues.  Usually, the reissued album kept the original LP number but with a TSCD prefix: this meant that the CD numbers are not in date order.  New compilations emerged, sometimes having little to do with the source LP.

The practice of 1990s LP-length CD re-releases was sternly criticised by Rod Stradling in reviews in Musical Traditions


Revival

Simon Care continued to work with The Albion Band playing melodeon on TSCD457 1990

Three of Martin Carthy's LPs with John Kirkpatrick's accordion and one-row melodeon were reissued as TSCD389 1995, TSCD426 1994 and TSCD452  1998.

John Kirkpatrick's Plain capers a compilation and arrangement of Cotswold Morris tunes first published as a 15-track LP in 1976 by Free Reed Records was reissued by Topic Records
as a 15-track CD TSCD458 1992 [it was later reissued by Free Reed Records as a 17-tack CD with the addition of one more audio track and also a video track].  John played one-row and two-row melodeons and button accordion [and Anglo concertina and Jew's harp].

Donal Murphy played accordion on Four men and a dog's CD TSCD461 1992: Connor Keane played accordion on their Shifting gravel CD released in 1993 on Topic Records
Special Delivery label SPCD1047.

As Reinhard Zierke has pointed out [1]The Iron Muse: a panorama of industrial folk music TSCD465 1993 was not a reissue of the 21-track vinyl LP of the same name 12T86 1963 [also published by Electra EKL279 1964 USA as a 20-track LP].  TSCD465 was compiled from thirteen Topic Records EPs and LPs published over an eighteen year span from 1957 to 1975.  Johnny Handle is included playing both melodeon [track 25] and piano accordion [tracks 1, 2 and 10].

The complete Brass Monkey TSCD467 1993 was an 18-track compilation of the band's first and second albums 12TS431 1983 and 12TS442 1986.
The band's third album was the CD Sound and rumour  TSCD501 1998

The CD A short history of John Kirkpatrick TSCD473 1994 was compiled from six LPs by John Kirkpatrick and Sue Harris, the Umps and Dumps LP and the Plain Capers LP.

Saul Rose played melodeon on Waterson:Carthy Common tongue TSCD488 (1996) And Saul contributed vocals and melodeons to Broken ground TSCD509 (1999)

Huw Warren played piano accordion, and Andy Cutting played diatonic accordion, on June Tabor's album Aleyn TSCD490 (1997)
 
The High Level Ranters with Harry Boardman and Dick Gaughan double-LP The bonny pit laddie: a miner's life in music and song was reissued unchanged as TSCD486 1997: Johnny Handle played melodeon and piano accordion.

The High Level Ranters Northumberland for ever 12TS186 1968, unchanged, became the CD TSCD483 1997
The LP Tommy Armstrong of Tyneside 12T22 1965, unchanged, became the CD TSCD484 1997.

The twenty-seven track CD Deep Lancashire TSCD485 1997 combines twelve tracks from Deep Lancashire 12T188 1968 (omitting three tracks) and
fifteen from Owdham edge 12T204 1970(omitting one track). 

Eliza Carthy and The Kings of Calicutt released TSCD489 1997 with Saul Rose playing melodeon.

The LP 12T189 (1968) Along the coaly Tyne: old and new Northumbrian songs was a reissue of three EPs TOP74, TOP75, TOP78; with the
omission of The day we went to the coast from TOP78.  The 1998 CD reissue of Along the coaly Tyne TSCD498 has five additional tracks taken from the High Level Ranters' 1976 LP, Ranting Lads - and still omits The day we went to the coast.  Johnny Handle played melodeon.

Eliza Carthy used Martin Green piano accordion on Red TSCD493 (1998)and Saul Rose one-row and two-row melodeons on Rice TSCD494 (1998)

Ben Murray played accordion on the Tarras album Rising TSCD506 (1999)

The Lal, Norma and Maria Waterson album  A true hearted girl a twelve-track LP 12TS331 (1977) was reissued as a fourteen-track CD TSCD507 (1999):  Rod Stradling played melodeon.

Revival discography

The Albion Band 1990 12TS457 1990 / TSCD457 1990
John Kirkpatrick Plain capers  TSCD458  1992
Four men and a dog Barking mad  TSCD461  1992
Various artists The Iron Muse: a panorama of industrial folk music  TSCD465 1993
Brass Monkey  The complete Brass Monkey  TSCD467 1993
Martin Carthy  Out of the cut  TSCD426  1994
John Kirkpatrick  A short history of John Kirkpatrick  TSCD473  1994
Brass Monkey  Sound and rumour  TSCD501  1994
Martin Carthy  Because it's there  TSCD389  1995
Eliza Carthy  Heat light & sound  TSCD482  1996
Waterson:Carthy Common tongue TSCD488 1996
The High Level Ranters  Northumberland Forever  TSCD483  1997
Various Artists  Deep Lancashire  TSCD485 1997
The High Level Ranters with Harry Boardman and Dick Gaughan The bonny pit laddie: a miner's life in music and song TSCD486 1997
Eliza Carthy  Eliza Carthy & The Kings of Calicutt  TSCD489 1997
Eliza Carthy {b]Red[/b]  TSCD493 1998
Eliza Carthy {b]Rice[/b]  TSCD494 1998
Brass Monkey  Sound and rumour  TSCD501  1998
Martin Carthy  Right of passage  TSCD452  1998
Tarras Rising TSCD506 1999
Lal & Norma Waterson with Maria Waterson  A true hearted girl  TSCD507 1999
Waterson:Carthy  Broken ground  TSCD509  1999


Traditional
Lewis 'Scan' Tester's double album 2-12TS455/6 1990 had been eagerly awaited.  Scan, with the tambourine player Rabbity Baxter, had opened the Boscastle breakdown LP in 1974 (their influence on the contemporary dance music of the 1970s was considered in the 1970s section).
Among the musicians included in the two LPs were the melodeon players Art Winter and William George 'Jack' Norris (1898-1972).  Art was the resident melodeon player at the Trevor Arms (Glynde, Sussex).  Jack (Cuckfield, Sussex) played a two-row Hohner in C/C#.[3] 

Reinhard Zierke [2] states that Her mantle so green TSCD474 1994 is "a reissue of the 1965 LP Her mantle so green with four bonus tacks".  However, the 1965 LP 12T123 Her mantle so green was itself a reissue of Street songs and fiddle tunes 10T6 1957 but omitting the song Our ship is ready and including four new songs (The flower of sweet Strabane, The turfman from Ardee, The Galway shawl, My Lagan love).  As Our ship is ready is included, it should be stated properly that TSCD474 is the whole of 10T6 1957, plus the four songs that were new on 12T123 1965, plus three new tune sets.  Everything was recorded in London between 1955 and 1957.  Tommy Maguire, button accordion, plays the polka set and the reel set that he recorded in 1956.

Irish Dance Music was a 14-track LP produced by Reg Hall, from 78rpm records released between 1922 and 1948, for Folkways Records, New York FW 8821 (1973).  The 'second edition' was a 24-track CD TSCD602 (1995).  Only three tracks survived the transition to CD, although John McKenna and Michael J Grogan were still included but playing different tunes.   Joe Flanagan and Michael J Grogan played button accordion.

The seventeen-track LP Paddy in the Smoke 12T176 (1968) was reissued as a twenty-track CD TSCD603 (1997).   The additions for the CD were:
Edmund Murphy, fiddle, Con Curtin, fiddle, Reg Hall, piano,  Mulvihill's / Tie the Bonnet / The Abbey
Tommy Maguire, accordion, Father O'Keeffe, mandolin,  Condon's Frolics / James McMahon's Favourite
Jimmy Power, fiddle, Jimmy Dunleavy, fiddle  The Jolly Tinker

[Father O'Keeffe is audibly playing a mandolin-banjo.  This is confirmed by the photograph, Hall(2016) page 958 [4], although Hall does not correct the name of the instrument. In the Mainly Norfolk discography, Reinhard Zierke misspells the family name as O'Keefe]

Voice of the People comprises 491 tracks arranged thematically over twenty CDs [volumes 1 to 20].  There is also a sampler selection TSCD751.
Fourteen years later, four CDs [volumes 21 to 24] of songs from the Peter Kennedy and Bob Copper collections, compiled and annotated by Shirley Collins,Steve Roud and Rod Stradling were released.
In April 2014 four CDs [volumes 25 to 28] of mostly Peter Kennedy recordings were added: selected and presented by Reg Hall.

The first twenty volumes are dealt with here.  The eight volumes, 21 to 28 are dealt with in the 2010s.

The four of most interest to melodeon players are: volumes 9 TSCD659 (1998); 11 TSCD661 (1998); 13 TSCD663 (1998); 14 TSCD664 (1998); 16 TSCD666 (1998); 18 TSCD668 (1998) and 19 TSCD669 (1998).
Although most of the tracks have been taken from 1970s LPs, there are newly available recordings of The Sailors' Hobby Horse, Minehead [in 1972 and in 1979], Ruth Askew, Tom Orchard, Lemmie Brazil, Will Powrie, Michael Grogan, Gargan's Athlone Accordion Band, George Tremain  and Arthur Marshall.

vol.9 TSCD659 (1998)
Bob Cann  Woodland Flowers / Uncle Jim's Barndance West Country Melodeon 12TS275 (1975)
Font Whatling  Untitled Polka / Golden Slippers / Mick's Tune The Earl Soham Slog: Step Dance and Country Music from Suffolk (12TS374, 1978)
Oscar Woods  The Italian Waltz English Country Music from East Anglia (12T229, 1973)
Oscar Woods  Untitled Polka / Untitled Polka English Country Music from East Anglia (12T229, 1973)
Percy Brown  The Veleta / The Heel and Toe Polka English Country Music from East Anglia (12T229, 1973)
Percy Brown  The Yarmouth Breakdown hornpipe English Country Music from East Anglia (12T229, 1973)
Ruth Askew & George Privett (melodeon & spoons) The Manchester Hornpipe / Click Go the Shears
The Dorset Trio (fiddle, melodeon & cello) The Italian Schottische Boscastle Breakdown: Southern English Country Music (12T240, 1974)
The Sailors' Hobby Horse (melodeon & two drums) Live Performance (The Boat Is Tipping Over) 1972

vol.11 TSCD661 (1998)
Lemmie Brazil  God Killed the Devil   Travellers: Songs, Stories and Tunes from English Gypsies  (12TS395, 1979)
Tom Orchard, with Tommy Orchard step dancing: Two Untitled Step dance Tunes  1975
Tom Orchard  Untitled Step dance Tune  1975

vol.13 TSCD663 (1998)
Will Powrie accordion w/ piano: The Drunken Piper march / Highland Whisky strathspey / The High Road to Linton reel  matrix M14300; Beltona 1855

vol.14 TSCD664 (1998)
Percy Brown melodeon: Old Joe, The Boat Is Going Over / Untitled Polka  English Country Music from East Anglia (12T229, 1973)
Font Whatling & Wattie Wright melodeon & stepping: The Pigeon on the Gate stepdance The Earl Soham Slog: Step Dance and Country Music from Suffolk (12TS374, 1978)
Michael Grogan accordion: The Queen of the Fair / The Lark in the Morning jigs  matrix CAS12-1; Regal Zonophone G23380
Gargan's Athlone Accordion Band: The Soldier's Joy reel  matrix CAL16-1; Regal Zonophone MR2563

vol.16 TSCD666 (1998)
The Sailors' Hobby Horse (Minehead) live performance, (Joe, the Boat Is Tipping Over)  1979

vol.18 TSCD668 (1998)
George Tremain The Huntsman's Chorus  matrix OEA2169; HMV B8365

vol.19 TSCD669 (1998)
Arthur Marshall & The Loftus Sword Dancers: The Oyster Girl - 1st Figure / The Lass of Dallowgill - 2nd Figure
Willy Taylor accordion: The Pop Along Polka from BBC 20630 and as The Linehope Lope on Holey Ha'penny (12T283, 1976)


Traditional discography

Scan Tester I Never Played to Many Posh Dances  12TS455/6 1990
Margaret Barry & Michael Gorman  Her Mantle So Green  TSCD474 1994
Various Artists  Irish Dance Music  TSCD602 (1995)
Various artists Paddy in the Smoke  TSCD603  (1997)
Various Artists  Rig-a-jig-jig  The Voice of the People Volume 9 TSCD659 (1998)
Various artists My Father's the King of the Gypsies The Voice of the People Volume 11  TSCD661 (1998)
Various Artists  They Ordered Their Pints of Beer and Bottles of Sherry  The Voice of the People Volume 13 TSCD663 (1998)
Various Artists  Troubles They Are But Few  The Voice of the People Volume 14 TSCD664 (1998)
Various Artists  You Lazy Lot of Bone-Shakers The Voice of the People Volume 16 TSCD666 (1998)
Various Artists  To Catch a Fine Buck Was My Delight  The Voice of the People Volume 18 TSCD668 (1998)
Various Artists  Ranting & Reeling  The Voice of the People Volume 19 TSCD669 (1998)

Notes and References
[1] Zierke, R (ND) The Iron Muse: a panorama of industrial folk music.  Mainly Norfolk: English folk and other good music.
    Available at: https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/records/theironmuse.html#cd
[2] Zierke, R (ND) Her mantle so green.  Mainly Norfolk: English folk and other good music.
    Available at: https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/records/margaretbarry.html#hermantlesogreencd
[3] Hall, R (1990) I never played to many posh dances: Scan Tester, Sussex musician, 1887-1972. Musical Traditions supplement no.2.  pp.58, 60
[4] Hall, R (2016) A few tunes of good music. A history of Irish music and dance in London 1800-1980 & beyond.
     Available at: http://www.topicrecords.co.uk/a-few-good-tunes/files/inc/261cf51b41.pdf   [This file may be downloaded and saved.]

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