Monday, September 21, 2009

Alex Hood sings of Australia's First Hundred Years LP c1960

Alex Hood was one of the early participants and collectors of the folk revival and has been continuously involved ever since as an individual and a member of different folk groups. He has produced several albums and is still a regular performer at folk festivals. Another of his albums "While the Billy Boils" was posted here in January 2009.
I am guessing as to when this LP was released. I never owned this album but I recall buying the "Boomerang" songbook for it in late 1963 and the LP had been out for a while then.

This is another of the albums provided by Dave and it is a very welcome addition to the blog. Franz has also done a great clean-up on this album so many thanks to both of you.
I hope to be in a position to post his follow-up LP soon "The Second Hundred Years" but it needs a lot of work yet.

1. The Catalpa
2. Jim Jones
3. Plains of Emu
4. Bold Jack Donahue
5. Dead Horse
6. South Australia
7. "Where's Your Licence"
8. The Old Bark Hut
9. New England Cockie
10. Death of Ben Hall
11. Kellys, Byrne & Hart
12. Old Bullock Dray
13. Bluey Brink
14. The Overlander

Download link removed following request from copyright owner (see comment)


  1. Email received:
    "Dear Paul,

    I refer to your recent post via entitled “Potential Copyright Issues”. I confirm that J. Albert & Son Pty Limited (“Albert Music”) is the Copyright owner of the following titles:

    * Alex Hood – “The Second Hundred Years” LP 1970
    * Alex Hood - Alex Hood sings of Australia’s First Hundred Years LP c1960

    Unfortunately, we can not allow for these works to be made available via free downloads. We would ask you to kindly remove all links for works written and performed by Alex Hood immediately.

    We are in the process of supplying back catalogue to digital music providers, such as iTunes. This only ensures that the music is available, and the songwriters receive royalties from each download."

    1. You are in the process etc... 1964 at a place long gone and forgotten (Folk Attic. Kings Cross) a group of soldiers on their way to Vietnam spent a number of nights listening to Alex Hood sing and recite stories that were retold by many of us and sung by us. I sang with Alex, Sean & Sonja at the venue and I have sung those songs since to my sons and grand children. I have also used the words in English classes here where I live (Czech Republic). Does that mean I'm a criminal? those songs belong to Australians not to Albert and his friends.

  2. I refer to the sentence above:

    ‘This only ensures that the music is available, and the songwriters receive royalties from each download.’

    I am sure that Alex Hood has not and will not claim authorship or collection right of the songs listed here. How could he? Clearly he did not write these ‘Traditional Songs’. In his sleeve notes on ‘Alex Hood Sings Songs Of Australia’s First Hundred Years’ he wrote – and I quote:

    ‘I have attempted, on this record, to present a cross section of Australian folk songs and illustrate a quality which is uniquely Australian.’

    In this statement Alex Hood is unequivocally accepting the public domain nature of the songs. How then can this or any other recording company claim a right over the music of the people?

    In my 40+ years as an active member of the Australian Folk Community I have listened, participated and enjoyed these ‘Australian’ songs. They are presented, by singers and players too numerous to mention, informally at various venues and formally at Folk Clubs, Concerts and Festivals.

    These songs appear on many recordings. One may also find the words of the songs in hard copy in many publications over many years. Any Internet users will find them in numerous places on the World Wide Web. Folk Music News Group enthusiasts will supply the words of almost any song on request.

    So… why is this Albert fellow demonstrating such a pointless ‘dog in the manger’ attitude? Surely, any claim of copyright over material that has been in the ownership of the common people from the birth of Modern Australia is spurious. If the law supports such a claim of right then clearly ‘the law is an ass’.

    Albert, why are you being so terribly short sighted? Perhaps it’s because your old-world view is seriously limiting your options. Or perhaps it is a typical recording industry case of head stuck tightly up bum syndrome.

    However, as an afterthought… If you decide to give a little, be a little less intractable, who knows how much goodwill you will garner?

    Kindest Regards

  3. Good God! 1964 was the year I met Alex and had the privilege of singing with him at a place long gone and maybe forgotten (Folk Attic in Kings Cross Sydney)and we sang many of these songs together. We were on our way to Vietnam and I distinctly remember Sean & Sonja and Alex singing these songs and their voices and the stories Alex told are still with me today. Shame on Albert. They are not your's to make money on, they belong to us, so let us have and enjoy them. Oh yes! I've used the words in teaching English here in Czech.Opp's, maybe I'm a criminal. Such is Life.

  4. I expect that poor Albert is referring to the performance by Alex, not the words...

    This would be OK under Copyright Law, I think!

    I wrote this to Paul a few days ago, and thought some readers may like to read it!

    Dear Paul,

    Have not thought of Alex for years.

    We bought his early records, and played tapes of them in the car on trips to Perth and back with the kids in the 70s..


    I first met Alex at a private party on Sydney's North Shore in the early '60s, with Ian Williams, (see Flickr), and a Bob .... both from SUSS.

    We found out Alex could sing, but he had forgotten to bring his guitar...
    Ian volunteered to drive Alex to his flat across to the other side of Sydney to get it.

    We waited in the car as he popped up to retrieve it, we saw the lights come on upstairs and a couple of doors close, and Alex returned to the car.

    "You wouldn't believe what just happened", he exclaimed..

    " I turned to come out of the bedroom and swung around and smashed the guitar on the door jamb!"

    So we returned to the party sans guitar...

    A nice guy, and worthy collector of Australian history..

    1. Yes, the performance is covered by copyright for 70 years. The lyrics are public domain. Thanks for the comment Speleo

  5. I grew up listening to this record. loved it then and still now. my parents still have the LP