Page last updated at 09:13 GMT, Wednesday, 22 October 2008 10:13 UK

Sea shanty recordings unearthed

Advertisement

Family hears dead relative's song

Relatives of a sea captain from Sunderland have heard their long dead ancestor singing sea shanties recorded in the 1920s.

The songs, which were in a collection recorded on wax cylinders by American academic James Madison Carpenter, were restored for a BBC documentary.

Mark Page, born in 1836, ran away to sea as a boy and contributed to the scholar's work when he retired.

The recordings then lay untouched in an attic for decades.

Relatives of Mr Page were tracked down by BBC documentary makers and invited to the family reunion, but not told the reason why. One guest came from Australia.

Hundreds contributed

After hearing her great-great-grandfather sing, Cynthia Ellmore said: "It's like history laying a hand on your shoulder."

James Madison Carpenter was particularly interested in sea shanties and toured ports in the 1920s asking retired mariners to sing into his contraption, named an Ediphone, which recorded on to wax.

Julia Bishop, from the James Madison Carpenter Project, said: "We think about 800 people contributed to this collection, who knows how many others out there may find their ancestors represented on these wonderful cylinder recordings."

The story will feature on Inside Out on BBC one in the North East and Cumbria at 1930 BST on Wednesday.



Print Sponsor


RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific