The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) is the professional association for music writers in the UK. BASCA works to foster a sense of community amongst songwriters, lyricists and composers, and to campaign on their behalf in the domestic, European and international political arenas. Gold Badge recipients are presented with a gold tuning-fork lapel-badge and a certificate of honour. The badge is worn by past recipients as an acknowledgement from their friends and colleagues of the skill, devotion and commitment they have displayed in their particular field.
In 2008 Martin received the BASCA Gold Badge award, sponsored by the Musicians’ Union (MU).
The Musicians’ Union was established in 1893 and represents over 30,000 musicians working in all genres of music. As well as negotiating on behalf of its members with all the major employers in the industry, the MU offers a range of services tailored for the self-employed by providing assistance for professional and student musicians of all ages.
The MU website announced the award on 30 October 2008.
Gold Badge Award for folk legend
Martin Carthy received the Musicians’ Union (MU) sponsored award at yesterday’s (Wednesday 29 October) Gold Badge awards. Mr Carthy has been described as `arguably the greatest English folk song performer, writer, collector and editor of them all’ by Q magazine.
He is widely regarded as one of the finest singers and interpreters of traditional music from the British Isles, as well as a highly influential guitarist and was awarded an MBE in 1998 for services to English music. Martin has also won a spectrum of BBC Folk Awards during his 45 year career.
Aside from his successful solo career, Mr Carthy has worked with folk artists such as Steeleye Span, Dave Swarbrick, The Watersons, Brass Monkey and The Imagined Village. His guitar based interpretations of traditional songs influenced a generation of artists, including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon.
Martin Carthy says: “I am delighted and astonished to receive this award. Throughout my career I have worked extensively with songs with unknown writers and for me, this award helps to underline the place of ‘anon’ as one of the world’s greatest unacknowledged songwriters.”
John Smith, General Secretary of the MU says: “Martin is a longstanding member of the MU and I am delighted that he has received this accolade. He has been at the forefront of the English folk scene for over 45 years now and has considerably enriched British music heritage. He continues to be one of the great innovators of folk music and this award could not have gone to a more deserving musician.”
The Gold Badge Awards, which are hosted by the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters (BACS), reward the much admired but sometimes little recognised champions of the music industry. Covering a diverse range of disciplines, ages and musical styles, the Gold Badge Awards are the composing communities’ acknowledgement of a group of people who have made exceptional and enduring impact on Britain’s entertainment industry.