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A Modern Folkie Tale

I was maybe six years old when my parents put on a record, probably not the first time, of an album entitled "The Weavers at Carnegie Hall." From the infectious, rocking opening bars of "Darling Corey" through the gospel tunes like "I've Got A Home In That Rock" to the tender Indonesian lullaby "Suliram," I remember being hooked at a very early age. I played and played and played that record, finding something hugely appealing about the songs, not even understanding the true meaning of most of the lyrics. The only other "folk music" album I remember in the house at that time was the Kingston Trio's refreshingly unusual Christmas album, "The Last Month Of The Year."

My parents saw my passion early, and took steps to nurture it. They took me to a concert for my 7th birthday in Seattle, not telling me who the performers would be until they walked onstage to keep it a surprise. When I saw it was the Weavers, I was ecstatic. They also took me to see Peter, Paul and Mary when they were a brand new act fresh from rehearsing in a Greenwich Village apartment.

To this day, I am at a loss to explain what it is about the folk music that was so popular in the late 1950s and early 1960s that I found so addicting. The Weavers' Carnegie Hall concert was recorded in 1955, the year I was born; the Kingston Trio's megahit "Tom Dooley" entered the American consciousness in 1957 when I was two. College students were nuts over the Kingston Trio from 1957 through 1964 until the Beatles came along and bumped them off the charts for good. I was still in grade school by then. I should have been listening to Disney music and kids' songs. Why, then, did I love that music so much?

I still can't explain it -- and I still love it.

Since that time, I have led a folk fan's dream in so many ways that only a fellow folkie can truly appreciate. That's what "Hootenanny" will be all about. I will tell my stories of the music I've performed, the folk music luminaries I've met along the way, and even a few that I befriended.

Everyone has had a fantasy of meeting their favorite performers and singing with them. I have lived it. I will tell this story, and many others! And I want to know yours.

1 Comment

Jun 26, 2023

I too saw Peter Paul and Mary in concert. Loved every album they ever made. Thanks for the memories.

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