SH Spotlight The Weavers!! Here are all of their amazing 1951 short music movies together...

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. Eric Weinraub

    Eric Weinraub Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oregon
    My parents turned me onto the Weavers when I was a kid in the early 1970s. In my neck of the woods Weavers vinyl is hard to come by but I've been fortunate while searching the used bins. I watched the reunion concert on PBS when it first aired in the early 80s and both loved it and was saddened seeing Lee Hays struggle and then pass away. And of course, we just lost Pete. Great music we must make sure survives.
     
  2. adriatikfan

    adriatikfan Forum Resident

    Steve - thanks for the information. It's criminal that 'Wasn't That A Time' hasn't seen a DVD release - I'm sure you'll enjoy the book.

    I hope you don't mind me posting an additional link in your thread.

    I think it would take a very cold person indeed not to have a tear in the eye for having watched this:

    'We are travelling in the footsteps
    Of those who've gone before,
    and we'll all be reunited
    on a new and sunlit shore...'

    Watch out for the affection shown Ronnie about 2:05 minutes in.



    Now, can anyone tell me what event this is from please?

    Best Wishes,
    David
     
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  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Thanks for that, much appreciated.
     
  4. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Led a Pete Seeger tribute singalong for 50 1st graders at my daughters' school just after he passed. Brought in all my Dad's Weavers records to display against the chalkboard and passed one around so kids could see what an album was.

    Apart from hearing my Dad sing to me in the crib, these guys were my introduction to music. Then I discovered the Beatles when Yellow Submarine (film) came out when I was 3.

    Just Friday night I had the joyous experience of leading about 20 people, divided up into different vocal parts, in a singalong of Wimoweh in a bar in Princeton.

    Pete and Lee's spirits live on wherever people gather together in song.
     
  5. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    s
    I was at a Hollywood party in the 90s with my actor friend Jeff, met my girlfriend there that night in fact. All actors, agents, not many musicians. The owner of the house had 5 (count em', 5) Gibson acoustics laid out so we could all jam. I grabbed one, others got ready as well and when we tuned up, all of a sudden I realized that this bunch of (to me) strangers) had to rely on songs we all knew. The stereo was turned off, all eyes were on us, we started with "oldies" like BYE BYE LOVE, Beatles I'LL BE BACK, etc. and as the evening wore on, everyone there (about 50 people) were all gathered around watching us. My new girl-friend was sitting by me (I hadn't realized it yet that she had me in her sights, the only non-actor there) and as the evening was ending, I started GOODNIGHT, IRENE. No one knew the song, of course, but I remembered the words from my 1980's intense infatuation with the Weavers so I knew a lyric or two.

    We did the chorus first, getting down the simple chords and words, and then I sang the verse (totally solo): "Sometimes I live in the country, sometimes I live in town. Sometimes I have a great notion to jump into the river and drown."

    All of a sudden, everyone started singing along to the chorus, I mean, everyone. It was amazing (caught it all on a cassette I still have). I looked around and a few of the girls were actually weeping, just like a scene out of "The Band Wagon" or something.

    That "jumping into the river" part hit home with so many out of work actors, I guess. At any rate, we sang the "Irene, goodnight" part for at least 3o minutes, my new friend with her arms draped around me, sobbing in my ear.

    It was a crazy, fun, intense night and I have Leadbelly, the Weavers and Gordon Jenkins to thank for it...
     
  6. Eric Weinraub

    Eric Weinraub Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oregon
    Both of my parents have passed away years ago and the Weavers music provides me with a connection to them. A lof of the music they listened to I didn't appreciate until I got older...especially my dad's intense love of classical. Not the Weavers, as a kid I always hung around when they put it on the record player.
     
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  7. dhoffa85

    dhoffa85 Well-Known Member

    That's awesome. until this thread I am ashamed to admit I only knew the Leadbelly version. I plan to check out more Weavers stuff they are great!
     
  8. johnny 99

    johnny 99 Down On Main Street

    Location:
    Toronto
    The Weavers At Carnegie Hall is one of the 1st albums I fell in love with as a little child.
    My Dad was a huge fan and had many of their Vanguard albums.
    They were great; It's no wonder I was ready for Dylan at a very young age because The Weavers introduced me to and made me love Folk Music.
     
  9. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Funny, I went backward, ending up back at the Weavers, Woody, etc. from Dylan.
     
  10. David R. Modny

    David R. Modny Forum Resident

    It's from the Harold Leventhal, Carnegie Hall tribute show that was held in 2003. The clip is from Jim Brown's 2004 film "Isn't This A Time," his "follow-up" to "Wasn't That A Time," which documents this event and Harold's life/career. Unfortunately, it's not on commercial DVD either ("Wasn't That A Time" could only be had on DVD exclusively through PBS).

    That's later-day Weavers member, Erik Darling, as well as Eric Weissberg, that's part of this reunion incarnation of The Weavers...along with Ronnie, Fred and Pete.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
  11. David R. Modny

    David R. Modny Forum Resident

    I'll just also add that the 1980 Carnegie Hall show was technically not the group's final live appearance with Lee. The foursome played a short set at a Hudson River festival in NY in the summer of 1981 that was recorded and broadcast by a local radio station. Two months before Lee died. Though, I've never actually heard the tape. :)
     
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  12. adriatikfan

    adriatikfan Forum Resident


    Thank you so much for the information - maybe the two films will see light of day again one day.

    Best Wishes,
    David
     
  13. adriatikfan

    adriatikfan Forum Resident

    Again, thank you. I knew that there had been a follow-up performance but didn't know where.

    If it was broadcast by a radio station, it's likely that someone somewhere will have taped it - something to hunt for!

    Best Wishes,
    David
     
  14. johnny 99

    johnny 99 Down On Main Street

    Location:
    Toronto
    My Dad and his good friend (who were huge "folk" fans in the 50's), actually "met" all The Weavers backstage at Toronto's Massey Hall in the mid 50's (just after 'At Carnegie Hall' was released)
    Cool, huh?
     
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  15. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lawrenceville, NJ
    So what are Fred and Ronnie up to these dates (along with latter day banjo players Erik Darling and Peter Krause). Any prospect of rousing some of these folks to take the stage together again or has that ship sailed?
     
  16. David R. Modny

    David R. Modny Forum Resident

    Erik Darling passed away in 2008. Eric Weissberg really only played with the band for the Leventhal tribute gig in 2003, as well as when they did a short set at the world premiere of "Isn't This A Time" in Toronto in 2004. Bernie Krause never really worked with the band after their '63 shows (IIRC, he was originally "discovered" doing folk parodies in a club by Lee Hays), and we all know he went on to far greater renown in the electronic music world. The other later-day, "replacement" member, Frank Hamilton, went on to found the Old Town School Of Folk Music in Chicago. He's still around as well.

    Here's a recent article I posted on Ronnie. As I noted in that post, she briefly performed at a Pete Seeger tribute that was held in Berkeley a few weeks back and webcast. Though, at 87, she pretty much considers herself retired (the article also mentions that she was recently filmed performing with Holly Near for a movie project, too).


    http://www.marinij.com/marinnews/ci_25043767/lib-at-large-mill-valleys-ronnie-gilbert-remembers


    Fred still pops up from time-to-time as well and lives in CT (he'll be 87 in May). Here's a clip of him performing with Pete from 2010 and a recent piece on him. He released his first ever solo album in 2005 -- a Vaudeville album.



    http://06880danwoog.com/tag/fred-hellerman/
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
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  17. David R. Modny

    David R. Modny Forum Resident

    You're very welcome. :)

    The 1981 Hudson River benefit, radio station recording is mentioned in one of the books (perhaps the Willens book...I honesty can't remember which one), but if memory serves me well, it was something that Fred agreed to let happen, and was also perhaps something that some of the rest of the group weren't particularly keen on upon finding out about. I believe the same book refers to that final performance as being somewhat and understandably "loose," and thus, that radio station recording really just ending up being an unflattering historical artifact. So, history aside, it's probably something I personally wouldn't even want to hear.

    Luckily, there's always the "Together Again" album/CD (which Fred did a great job of puting together) and Jim Brown's wonderful movie to properly document the big and proper, 1980 Carnegie Hall reunion. As of a few years ago, Fred still even had a small stash of leftover, original "Together Again" CDs for purchase on his site, along with his then current, and first ever solo, Vaudeville album if one were interested. While those TA CDs may be gone, it can still be purchased for download on various legal download sites (e.g. CDBaby, iTunes, etc.).
     
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  18. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    "Wasn't That A Time" was also a theatrical release. It centered around a Weavers reunion. Fred Hays died shortly afterward,I recall.

    Pete Seeger was a favorite of my dad's, for musical and political/social reasons. I took my dad to see Pete Seeger with Arlo Guthrie in '80s.

    I have also seen Ronnie Gilbert twice in concert. She toured quite a bit with Holly Near.

    Anyway, Steve Hoffman, I thank you so much for posting those videos. This is one of my favorite posts of all time.
     
  19. Bruce M.

    Bruce M. Forum Resident

    What a wonderful clip. And how lovely that it's Arlo Guthrie introducing them. Somewhere up above, I'll bet his dad was smiling.
     
  20. Hey Vinyl Man

    Hey Vinyl Man Forum Resident

    They made at least one album together, Singing With You. And it's excellent.

    I've also been meaning to post this, from Peter, Paul and Mary with the three then-surviving Weavers in 1995:

     
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  21. ShockControl

    ShockControl Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I mentioned in another thread that my Dad was a session singer and he worked as Gordon Jenkins' chorus contractor for recording sessions (in New York, prior to Gordon's move to the west coast). Gordon and my Dad were also drinking buddies. The two were bar hopping the night Gordon first heard the Weavers. My Dad is in the chorus on most of those Decca Weavers sides. Great to see those videos.
     
  22. David R. Modny

    David R. Modny Forum Resident

    I just have to say...that's a really cool story.

    I'll confess that I've never been much of a fan of most of the group's Jenkins' produced, "Hit Parade-oriented" Decca sides -- much preferring their later, stripped-down Vanguard output and even parallel live material from '49-'53 -- but hearing something like this almost makes me want to dig out some of those souped-up Decca sides...lol. Really great piece of associative musical history there!
     
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  23. ShockControl

    ShockControl Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Times were different. Records during that era had to offer something larger than life. Without Gordon Jenkins, the whole timeline of the folk revival could have been radically different. Also, while it is fair to say that Jenkins' oddball aesthetics over the many decades didn't always translate into good records, it is admirable that he recognized something in the Weavers that few record biz types would have picked up on in 1949 or whenever.

    I generally agree with your assessment, but I must say that the Jenkins-arranged Weavers single of "Wimoweh" backed with "Old Paint" is one of the greatest slabs of wax in their entire career. The band is great on "Wimoweh." And I love the substitute chords that Gordon puts on the final stanza of "Old Paint," the stanza that Ronnie sings. Totally brings the song into new territory. If you listen to no other of the Weavers Decca records, check out those two. I hope they are on CD someplace.
     
  24. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Agreed. That Wimoweh version is so off-putting at first but then it gets really crazy.
     
  25. adriatikfan

    adriatikfan Forum Resident


    Thanks David - I've just tried to locate a website for Fred Hellerman and can't do so.

    I sure hope I'm not doing something stupid here and missing a real obvious link - I can find plenty of biographies but no actual artist site.

    Best Wishes,
    David
     

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