Jack Goodban

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Jack Goodban: from Dover, had a small but extremely interesting repertoire.  When Mike Yates first met him, Jack was helping a neighbour put up fence poles in a field that bordered the top of the famous White Cliffs.  "When I mentioned old songs, Jack asked me if I was from the BBC, adding that they had written to him in the ‘50s to say that they would like to record him.  Sadly though, they never turned up!

To begin with, Jack denied knowing any songs at all and it was only as I turned to leave that he said, “You mean those old historical songs...  like The Shannon Frigate?” If anything was guaranteed to stop me dead in my tracks, then it was a comment such as that."

Jack was a keen gardener and these recordings were made in the kitchen as his wife sat quietly salting runner beans into large earthenware pots.  Jack, it turned out, had also sung in The Wheatsheaf at Martin, where his father sang and taught him The Shannon Frigate and The Aylesbury Girl, a song that was also sung by a couple of brothers named Wood.

Part of the booklet notes, written by Mike Yates, to the Musical Traditions Records CDs Up in the North, Down in the South (MTCD311-2)