Friends of Old Time Music: The Folk Arrival 1961-1965

Friends of Old Time Music: The Folk Arrival 1961-1965


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At the height of the folk revival in the early '60s, three movers and shakers -- Ralph Rinzler (a member of the Greenbriar Boys folk group), John Cohen (of the New Lost City Ramblers) and Israel "Izzy" Young (owner of the Folklore Center in Greenwich Village) -- presented a number of traditional folk concerts in New York City under the umbrella of the Friends of Old Time Music. Among the now-legendary artists they brought to the city, some for the first time, others for the first time in decades, were Doc Watson, Maybelle Carter, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys, Roscoe Holcomb, Dock Boggs and Mississippi John Hurt, whose song "Coffee Blues," including the phrase "lovin' spoonful" and performed here, provided a future New York rock band with their name. The 14 concerts in the series, which took place between 1961 and 1965, were recorded by Peter K. Siegel, who produced and annotated this three-CD boxed distillation of highlights from the events. For fans of the kind of pure, unadulterated folk music that flourished on campuses and at folk festivals during those years before Bob Dylan discovered electricity, the set is a rejoice-worthy find. Folk music at that time encompassed not just the stereotypical guitar-strumming troubadour carrying a message, but also raw blues, Appalachian ballads, kickin' bluegrass, gospel and other strains of roots Americana, and the performances heard by the fortunate big city audiences were honest, moving and, most importantly, devoid of outside intervention or corrupting influence -- most of these artists were shell-shocked to be playing to appreciative audiences in a place like New York City after decades of toiling for the locals down south. The songs proffered by these musicians, of poverty and jail time, hard drinking and mining disasters, were not contrived but, true to the folk process, familiar tales handed down via the oral tradition, or written anew to add to it -- many, like Jesse Fuller's "San Francisco Bay Blues," Maybelle Carter's "Foggy Mountain Top," Monroe's "Shady Grove" and Roscoe Holcomb's "Rising Sun Blues" (aka "House of the Rising Sun"), have long been accepted as staples of the American folk repertoire, but were relatively new to mainstream audiences at the time, regardless of their vintage and their familiarity in the rural regions that birthed these performers. Friends of Old Time Music is, of course, a valuable historical document but, better than that, it's a rewarding listening experience. This is the real item, the sound -- in excellent fidelity, incidentally -- of America's treasured heritage peeking out from its longtime hiding places -- 53 of the 55 recordings have never before been released -- and fanning out across the land and into the permanent cultural fabric.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/26/2006
Label: Smithsonian Folkways
UPC: 0093074016022
catalogNumber: 40160
Rank: 106932

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jesse Fuller   Bass,Harmonica,Cymbals,Kazoo,Vocals,Fotdella,Guitar (12 String Acoustic)
Mississippi John Hurt   Guitar,Vocals
Del McCoury   Banjo,Baritone (Vocal)
Bill Monroe   Mandolin,Vocals,Tenor (Vocal)
Ralph Stanley   Banjo,Tenor (Vocal)
Doc Watson   Guitar,Vocals,Accompaniment
Mike Seeger   Fiddle,Guitar,Accompaniment
Joseph Spence   Guitar,Vocals
Kenny Baker   Fiddle
Tom Paley   Banjo,Vocals
Dock Boggs   Banjo,Vocals
Roscoe Holcomb   Banjo,Guitar,Vocals
Mississippi Fred McDowell   Guitar,Vocals
Clint Howard   Guitar,Vocals
Sam McGee   Guitar,Accompaniment
Mother Maybelle Carter   Banjo,Guitar,Vocals
Bessie Jones   Vocals
Annie Bird   Vocals
Gaither Carlton   Fiddle
John Cohen   Guitar
Jack Cooke   Guitar,Vocals
Vernon Derrick   Fiddle
John Herald   Guitar,Vocals
Bessie Lee Mauldin   Bass
Kirk McGee   Banjo
Ralph Rinzler   Mandolin,Baritone (Vocal)
Carter Stanley   Guitar,Vocals
Arnold Watson   Banjo,Harmonica,Bass (Vocal),Vocals
Bob Yellin   Banjo,Tenor (Vocal)
Fred Price   Fiddle,Vocals
Hobart Smith   Banjo
Ed Young   Fife,Vocals
Clarence Ashley   Banjo,Vocals
John Hurt   Guitar,Vocals
Horton Baker   Vocals
John Davis & the Georgia Sea Island Singers   Vocals
Fiddlin' Arthur Smith & His Dixieliners   Fiddle
Emma Ramsay   Vocals
Edith Pinder   Vocals
Stanley Thompson   Vocals
Clifford Ellis   Bass (Vocal)
Ethel McPhee   Vocals
McKinley Peebles   Guitar,Vocals
Curley Lambert   Mandolin
John Cooke   Guitar

Technical Credits

Jesse Fuller   Composer
Ralph Stanley   Composer
Doc Watson   Arranger
Dock Boggs   Arranger
Mississippi Fred McDowell   Composer
Charlie Monroe   Composer
Sam McGee   Composer
Mother Maybelle Carter   Arranger
Daniel Decatur Emmett   Composer
Gaither Carlton   Arranger
A.P. Carter   Composer
John Cohen   Liner Notes,Introduction,Essay,Poster Design
Peter K. Siegel   Producer,Engineer,Liner Notes,Track Notes
Jody Stecher   Liner Notes,Essay
Gene Sullivan   Composer
Pete Reiniger   Producer
Wiley Walker   Composer
Tex Grimsley   Composer
Ed Young   Arranger
Peter Bartok   Engineer
John Hurt   Arranger
John Davis & the Georgia Sea Island Singers   Arranger

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