Our friend Paul Williams has asked us to get the word out about a great campaign that he’s working on to get a documentary about the seminal folk legend Shirley Collins made. Trust me, documentaries are not cheap to make, and this is one that I really want to see, so see if you can dig deep, and get some money to these guys to make this great project happen:
Some further information from the campaign:
Our goal is to make a feature documentary called The Ballad of Shirley Collins. The film will be a lyrical response to the life and work of this musical pioneer and folk legend.
“Shirley is beyond folk, it’s more than that. Put a pair of lips on a heart and that’s what Shirley sounds like.” – David Tibet
Partly inspired by her beguiling autobiography America Over the Water, the film will retell the tale of the famous song-collecting trip she took around the Deep South of America with legendary field-recordist Alan Lomax – a trip on which they uncovered and documented the music that would later inspire the soundtrack to the Coen Brothers’ O Brother Where Art Thou.
But the real story is more fascinating than the myth. We will blend the story of the trip with a celebration of her role in the folk revival of the 50s, 60s and 70s, when – amongst many other achievements – she and her sister Dolly produced the era’s most defining monuments in their seminal albums Anthems in Eden and Love, Death and the Lady. Largely forgotten outside hardcore folk circles due to her enforced absence from the world stage, the film will also reclaim Shirley and her sister’s contribution to music for posterity.
We have put together some very special rewards for backers, including exclusive musical treats and one-off experiences. As part of the range of rewards, we’re incredibly excited to offer a special edition of a new book Shirley is currently writing. Part songbook, part travelogue, part psychogeography, By the Mark On His Hand will explore her relationship with the English countryside she so dearly loves.
Shirley’s work has been an inspiration to so many people. Performers through the decades have cited her as a huge influence, and some of them have worked with us to put together an album of songs inspired by and dedicated to her – read on for more about this and how you can hear it via backing this project.
We’re so grateful that you’ve taken an interest in helping us make this film, and we’re excited to introduce those of you who didn’t previously know of Shirley to what an influence she has been to folk music and culture in general. People like Shirley Collins don’t come along very often, and we are determined to tell her story to the world in a way that does her justice.
You can get all sorts of cool rewards for pledging money, so go and drop some cash on this great project at