Between 1959 and 1980 the English Folk Dance and Song Society’s (EFDSS) President, Shirley Collins MBE, changed the course of folk music in England and America.
The team behind folk hit Way of the Morris, Burning Bridges & Fifth Column Films, are currently running a crowdfunding campaign to make a feature documentary called The Ballad of Shirley Collins. The film will be a lyrical response to Shirley’s life and work.
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.
All donations will go entirely towards making the film. Any possible profits made from the film will be put to use in further work with Shirley.
If £25,000 - 50,000 is raised the team behind this project will be able to make a basic film about Shirley’s life, with limited archive footage, interviews with Shirley and other artists, and the beautiful landscapes of Sussex. It would be a more abstract and poetic film, rather than tracing the story of Shirley’s life, and with minimal post-production work. This figure also includes all the associated basic costs of putting this together.
With eight days to go until this campaign closes, find out more about the project and support it if you can.
There are some very special rewards for backers, including exclusive musical treats and one-off experiences.
Comedian Stewart Lee talks about the album that brought him to Shirley Collins, and why she's in the top ten of all artists in his eyes.
Blur guitarist Graham Coxon talks about how he discovered Shirley Collins and how her work inspired a real musical passion in him.
Jeff Tweedy of Wilco talks about the significance of the 1959 field recording trip Shirley went on with Alan Lomax.
Singer Linda Thompson describes Shirley Collins as 'the seminal figure in folk music' and explains why the songs affected her so deeply.