Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Mar 30, 2014.
Thanks for the article link for the interview with Ronnie - makes good reading.
Indeed they were. Good and bad...as the group's history would soon bear out.
In terms of that parallel universe that I referenced, I would also recommend that people check out the Omega label, 2-CD "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" release that came out in the 90s. It was compiled from tapes that Fred had, and shows what the band was doing from a live standpoint between 1950-1953 while their Decca material was being released.
In that regard, you have what probably would've been considered one of the most "radical and subversive" groups going those days on one side of the coin, while also being gussied up in a way that was palatable for middle America on the other. The huge ("mostly Decca") Bear Family set has a nice taste of this parallel universe as well -- with some of their pre-Decca, private label Charter 78s and private recordings (e. g. indispensable "The Peekskill Story") -- but the Omega set really fleshes out the picture and actually sounds remarkably good considering the vintage of the tapes.
Not to mention...the aforementioned stuff is a great [and often tragic] history lesson.
At the time (around 2005-2006), it was really only a simple webpage promoting, and where one could order Fred's solo vaudeville CD, "Caught In The Act." Though, it appears it's not up anymore. As noted, he also had a small supply of the original "Together Again" CDs for sale. I bought one as a gift for someone else (purchased my own copy at a Record Den in the 1980s!), and it came straight from his address in CT.
Many thanks - Fred's CD is available at Amazon UK - I would like to buy directly from him but in the absence of any contact details, I do have Amazon UK as a fallback position.
I have Holly & Ronnie's first CD - do you have 'This Train Still Runs'? The setlist looks promising.
'Kisses Sweeter Than Wine' just ordered from Amazon UK - many thanks for the heads-up.
Sorry, don't have any of Holly and Ronnie's releases. I did use to have a solo Ronnie PBS concert that I recorded off-air, circa 1986, that she did to promote her album, "The Spirit Is Free." She also appeared on a local Cleveland morning TV show around that time, performing "The Midnight Special," while also promoting the same solo album.
Unfortunately, like a good deal of the stuff I've "pack-ratted" over the years, I have no idea where those video tapes might be.
How is the sound on that 1950-1953 live material. I can't imagine live recordings from that era would be very good.
Not audiophile quality...but not bad at all or unlistenable. IIRC, most of it stems from a 1952 Town Hall performance, which was probably recorded to magnetic tape. Some of the other stuff might be from wax or wire recordings (there's a Leadbelly bonus disc from the 40s that comes with the set as well). I used to have more detailed scribblings about all this stuff, but they've vanished.
I just found this entry, and I think there are some samples here:
I ordered the Lee Hays biography "Lonesome Traveler", hardback, 1988 printing. Grand total: 99 cents plus 3 bucks shipping.
Such a deal.
listened to the best of the decca years on the way to work today. boy a few of the songs are really really sad. Also I didn't know they covered that John B song, such a great tune.
Their version of Sloop John B was the one I grew up on. Pretty much anything they did I first heard from them.
Finished LONESOME TRAVELER this week (took a while to get around to it). Great reading.
The 1951 Weavers videos are marvelous! "Tzena" and "Around the World" are proof positive that Pete Seeger underestimated himself as a banjo player. First time I'd seen these. Thanks for sharing them. It even led me to a link for the superb documentary Wasn't That a Time which I've wanted to see for years. The scenes of the picnic and the living room rehearsals were surely a profound influence on those scenes in A Mighty Wind.
After reading the bio on Lee Hays, watching these short films again is pretty overwhelming.
I was pretty certaim you'd enjoy it. (And you got it for a good price too)
Any record of who is playing bass with them off camera?
Thanks again for the book suggestion. It was a great read. A complex man but decidedly a wonderful one.
Bump for The Weavers! Reopened.
I am somewhat sad but still happy remembering my times with Pete Seeger. He knew what he meant to us but refused the pedestal he was offered. I have said that Pete was a father , brother, teacher, mentor, and friend rolled into one beautiful man.
Thank you Pete for the lifetime of songs.
Pete walked into a room where another guy and I were checking out his new guitar. The guy was saying that he wasn't going to keep it because he "didn't like the tone". Pete asked to see the guitar and the guy handed it over. Then Pete began playing a Bach piece. Jaw dropping, and he kept shaking his head like he did it wrong. He didn't, it was amazing. He handed back the guitar and said "nice tone" and left. I grinned and asked him if he wanted to sell the git. He carefully put it back in its case and said "not a chance".
Lee used to say that due to the criminal Red Channels they took a sabbatical which turned into a "Tuesdical and a Wednesdical"
And yes the guys who ran the red scare were just extortionists and blackmailers.
And DAMN wasn't Ronnie Gilbert a good lookin' woman?!
And just for gits and shiggles Here is Ronnie and Fred Hellerman doing a commercial in 62. No question who is singing.
I can't believe they are all gone. Fred went towards the end of 2016. I treasure their gift of musical activism. My parents turned me on to them in the early 70s and was a fan for life. I am sure they would see life in the present much like they did in the 50s. LONG LIVE THE WEAVERS.
Fred lived a good long life. Loved that guy.
Thanks for this reminder of The Weavers.
How could anyone not feel inspired by their music?
I wonder if those videos are on a DVD.
Time to upgrade and fill in my collection on The Weavers.
I saw Pete Seeger only once, at the Fox Theater in San Diego in 1984, I think it was. Or was it the California Theater. I forget which but it was one of them. He sold out the house and held the audience spellbound with just his voice and banjo. There was one song where all the women in the audience chime in on the refrain. I don't think he was expecting the response, but when it came, he repeated the verse, and the response came from the female half even more enthusiastic than before, and then a lot of audience interaction followed on the songs. It was a great night for him and a memorable concert. He said that from now on he would add San Diego to his itinerary. He came back three months later with a band.
I am going to assume the song was I'm Gonna Be An Engineer written by his sister Peggy. I have seen the response you speak of.
From Live At Wolftrap(PBS). Wish this were on home video
Separate names with a comma.