Big Bill Broonzy

Big Bill Broonzy was truly a big man. In honky tonks and bars where he played the blues and where fist fights and shootings were normal, his almost six and a half feet and over two hundred pounds had a calming affect. Alan Lomax remembers: „When there was trouble in a bar where he was playing, he had only to rise from his chair on the bandstand and look around, and things would quiet down. Ive seen that.“ [Alan Lomax, The Land Where the Blues Began, New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Co., 1993. p. 448.]

Bill's father, a sharecropper and elder of the Baptist Church , raised his fourteen children strictly. Bill and his twin sister were the youngest and were born in Mississippi in June 1883. The family lived in Bolivar, where the yearly floods of the Mississippi River were part of the rhythm of life. When Bill was eight, the family moved to Arkansas .

A homemade fiddle was Bill's first instrument. A white neighbor bought him a real one so that Bill could play at his parties. Later Bill spent four years as a Baptist preacher and gave up the fiddle, which the Baptists considered „the devil's instrument.“ But Bill was married and money was short and what he earned as a farmer from corn and cotton was not enough to feed his family. Bill picked up the fiddle again when offers came from white folks in the area to play music at their parties,

When the United States entered the First World War, Bill was drafted. He was sent to France , where his all-black unit did work behind the lines. While in France , Bill learned to read and write, so that he could write letters home. He was 27 years old.

Back in Arkansas , he saw the life of rural Blacks with different eyes. His first experience after returning home was being forced by a white man to take off his uniform. A „nigger,“ he was told, was not worthy of wearing Uncle Sam's uniform.

In 1920, Bill hopped a freight and went to Chicago , arriving on February 2. He was part of a great migration. Between 1914 and 1920, a half a million Blacks moved from the rural South to northern cities. Bill soon found work and continued to have „normal jobs“ all his life, making music on the side.

The 1920s in Chicago were a period of cultural blossoming. The city experienced King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Ma Rainy, Bessie Smith and Ethel Waters, also country blues people like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Tampa Red, Blind Blake and Furry Lewis.

With the help of Papa Charlie Jackson, Bill learned to play the guitar. He made his first recording, „Big Bill's Blues“ in 1926 and his records sold well up into the forties.

Bill took young musicians under his wing, helped them get a start, found jobs for them and saw to it that they had opportunities to record. In 1938 and 1939, Big Bill Broonzy played Carnegie Hall, but with the advent of electric blues, his style fell out of favor. In the 1950s, he sang in Europe with a jazz band, but also continued to sing folk songs. With the help of Yanick Bruynoghe, Broonzy published his autobiography, Big Bill's Blues, in 1955.

In 1957, Bill learned that he had lung cancer. During an operation in July his vocal chords were damaged and he could no longer sing. Friends in Europe and America held benefit concerts to assist him. In the spring of 1958, the cancer began to grow again and Bill died on August 15 of that year.

Big Bill Broonzy in internet
Big Bill Broonzy lyrics

"The music of Big Bill Broonzy," by Ron Jakobs

Big Bill Broonzy: in Belgium, 1956


(2004) France
1951, (2004) France
1951-1952, (2005)
All the Classic Sides 1928-1937, (2004) England; Box Set
Amsterdam Live Concerts 1953, (2006) Holland
Best of Big Bill Broonzy
Big Bill Blues,
Big Bill Blues, (2002) Australia
Big Bill Blues, (2002) England
Big Bill Broonzy, Vol. 9 1939
Big Bill Broonzy, Vol. 7: 1937-1918,
Big Bill's Blues
Big Billy Blues,
Big Billy Blues: His 23 Greatest Songs 1927-42, (2004) United Kingdom
Bill Broonzy Story, (1999) Box Set
Black, Brown & White, (1995)
Blues is My Business, (2003)
Can't Be Satisfied England
Chicago 1937-1945
Chicago Calling
Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 (1927-32)
Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 (1932-34)
Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 4 (1935-36),
Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 5 (1936-37), (1992)
Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 6 1937), (1993)
Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 10 (1940), (1993)
Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 11, 1940-42), (1993)
Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 12 (1945-47)
Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 8 (1938-39), (1993)
Complete Vogue Recordings, , Germany
Do That Guitar Rag 1928-1935, (1991)
Essential Big Bill Broonzy, (2001)
Get Back, (2004)
Good Boy, (2005)
Good Time Tonight, (1990)
Historic Concert Recordings, (1957)
I Can't Be Satisfied, (2001)
King of the Blues – Father of Chicago Blues
Kings of the Blues
Legendary Blues Recordings: Big Bill Broonzy
On Tour in Britain: Live in England and Scotland,
(2002) England
Part 2: 1937-1949 Remastere,d (2005) United Kingdom – Remastered
Pye Blues Legends in London, England
Remembering, England
Sings Folk Songs
Southern Blues,
Southern Blue,s (2000) Germany
These Blues Are Doggin' Me
Trouble in Mind
Volume 2: 1945-1949: The Post-War Years, (2000)
Where the Blues Began, England
Young Bill Broonzy

Big Bill Broonzy and Roosevelt Sykes
Legend of Country Blues Guitar – Volume One
Big Bill / Leadbelly Broonzy
Blues Masters – The Essential History of the Blues V.
1 (1966)

The Guitar of Big Bill Broonzy: taught by Woody Mann, Woody Mann. Mel Bay Publications, Inc.,1999.
Big Bill Broonzys Story, Yannick Bruynoghe. Oak Archives, 2007.
Big Bill blues,: William Broonzy's story as told to Yannick Bruynoghe, Bill Broonzy. Cassell, 1955.
I Feel So Good The Life and Times of Big Bill Broonzy, Robert Reisman, 2006
The Guitar of Big Bill Broonzy: taught by Woody Mann, Woody Mann. Mel Bay Publications, Inc. ,1999.















David Campbell

The songwriter, singer, poet, painter, writer and storyteller David Campbell was born and raised in Guyana, the son of an Arawak Indian and a Guyana Portuguese mother. He lived in Sweden , England and Scotland before settling in Canada. Today, he is a Canadian citizen and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

David Campbell has recorded 20 albums of the more than 1600 songs he has written. He has performed throughout Canada as well as in Holland, Germany, the USA , Guatemala and Guyana. Campbell has often appeared on Canadian television, including the children's program, “Mr. Dress Up.” Five books of his poetry and song lyrics have been published and Campbell gives numerous poetry readings.

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David Campbell in internet

Book of Love
Bound for The Sun
Dream Spinner
Earth and Us
Healing Circle-Vol 1
Healing Circle-Vol 2
Immigrant Songs-Canada
Immigrant Songs-UK
Keepers of The Fire
Let the Peace Dance
Little Victories
My Kind of Song
Old What's His Name
People of the Salmon
People of Turtle Island
Pretty Brown
Through Arawak Eyes
The Time Will Go
Twilight Rambler
Up The Mountain
West Coast
Underneath the Blue Canadian Sky

David Campbell's recordings can be ordered over his website.


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Bruce Carlson

If you have any information about the Bruce Carlson who wrote "Montana Backroads" please contact me at

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Harry Chapin

Harry Chapin was born in New York in 1942. His father was a jazz drummer who played with Jimmy Dorsey and Woody Herman. He was always on the road and the marriage failed. Harry had five brothers as well as three half-brothers and three half-sisters. While in high school, Harry sang with the Brooklyn Heights Boys Choir. He first began to play the trumpet. Then he heard the record, The Weavers at Carnegie Hall and he switched to the guitar.

After high school, he spent three months enrolled in the Air Force Academy, three semesters at Cornell University before he quit to do odd jobs. He went back to Cornell, but soon gave it up to pursue music full-time with his brothers. Chapin wrote: „Dad joined the group that summer and backed us up on drums. We were still green but we were definitely different; part folk, part rock, topped with Grace Church harmonies and a jazz beat from the old man swinging in behind.“ But the pressure from the draft forced his brothers to return to college to avoid service in Vietnam.

Chapin began to work in the film industry. A documentary he produced about boxing, Legendary Champions, won gold prizes at the New York and Atlanta film festivals and was nominated for an Academy Award. He also travelled to Ethiopia to do a documentary about the impact of the World Bank on the underdeveloped world. But he chose to leave the film industry to work on a musical.

Chapin married in November 1968. His wife, Sandy Gaston, had taken guitar lessons from him. To support his wife and the children she brought into the marriage, he again began producing and directing documentary films. By late 1970, though, he was out of work and again writing songs, songs which were strongly influenced by his cinematic work. Soon, however, he received more film work.

In 1971, Chapin put together a band and in November of that year he signed a recording contract with Elektra Records. During the following year, he released his first album, Heads and Tails, which became an instant hit as a result of the success of the single „Taxi.“ There followed Sniper and Other Love Songs (1972), Short Stories (1973) and his best-selling album, Verities and Balderdash (1974), from which came the single „Cat's in the Cradle“ was taken, the lyrics of which were written by his wife.

At that point, Chapin ceased touring to work on the musical The Night that Made America Famous. It opened on February 26, 1975 and had a run of 75 performances. It won two Tony nominations. Harry Chapin won an Emmy for his work of the ABC children's series Make a Wish, which was hosted by his brother Tom. That same year, Chapin co-founded an organisation to raise money to fight famine, World Hunger Year.

In the fall of the year 1975 he had released the album Portrait Gallery. In the spring of the following year, he released a live album, Greatest Stories – Live. His political activism led him to be a delegate at the Democratic National Convention which nominated Jimmie Carter that summer. And in the fall he released On the Road to Kingdom Come. In 1977, Harry Chapin was appointed by President Carter to the Presidential Commission on World Hunger, which Chapin himself had helped initiate.

Three rather unsuccessful albums followed and in 1980 he switched labels to Broadwalk Records and had moderate success with Sequal.

On July 18, 1981, Harry Chapin died in a car crash which might have been caused by a massive heart attack. He was 38 years old.

After his death, a memorial fund was established in his name, which has raised over five million dollars for groups fighting hunger as well as other charities Chapin had supported.  

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Harry Chapin in internet

Behind the Music Collection‚ Rhino Records, 2001
The Bottom Line Encore Collection, Bottom Line / Koch, 1998
Dance Band on the Titanic, Elektra/Asylum, 1977
Essentials, Warner Strategic, 2002
The Gold Medal Collection‚ Elektra/Asylum, 1988
Greatest Stories Live, Elektra/Asylum Elektra/Asylum, 1976
Harry Chapin: Story of a Life, Rhino Records, 1999
Heads & Tales, Elektra/Asylum, 1972
Last Protest Singer, Dcc Com pact Classics, 1989
Legend of the Lost & Found, Elektra/Asylum, 1995
Living Room Suite, Elektra/Asylum, 1978
On the Road to Kingdom Come, Elektra/Asylum, 1976
Portrait Gallery, Elektra/Asylum, 1975
Remember When the Music, Dcc Compact Classics, 1971
Short Stories, Rhino Flashback, 2003
Sniper & Other Love Songs, Wounded Bird Records, 2002
Storyteller, Brentwood, 1999
Verities & Balderdash‚ Elektra/Asylum, 1974  

(The songs of Harry Chapin)  
Harry Chapin Tribute, Relativity, 1991  

Harry Chapin Guitar Anthology, Warner Brothers Publications, Guitar Tab, January 2000.
A Legacy in Song, Harry Chapin, Milton Okun (Editor), Tom Chapin . Cherry Lane Music Company, 1987. Looking...Seeing. Poems and Song Lyrics, Harry Chapin. Rob White, (illustrator). 1978.
Taxi: The Harry Chapin Story, Peter Morton Coan. Kensington Publishing Corporation, January 2001.


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Hazel Dickens

Hazel Dickens was born in Mercer County , West Virginia on June 1, 1935, the eighth of eleven children. Several of her brothers worked on the coal loaders and in the mines. When the shafts were gradually closed, the family began to move from place to place looking for work, Spence Hollow, Montcalm, Big Anger, Beckley , mountainous areas where coal was still mined.

Hazel's father had „gotten religion“ when he was a young man and was a Primitive Baptist preacher. Hazel did not like going to church, but she did enjoy singing in the church choir. Her father supported the family by hauling lumber to the mines with his own truck.

The whole family sang and sometimes her father played the banjo, though the church frowned on the playing of instruments. Every Saturday evening, they listened to the Grand Ole Opry on the radio. The children were only allowed to listen to „good music.“ „Good“ in her father's opinion meant the Carter Family, J.E. Mainer, Uncle Dave Macon, Bill Monroe, and the Stanley Brothers.

At the age of sixteen, Hazel dropped out of high school and went to Radford , Virginia , lived with relatives and worked in a factory and as a waitress. More and more mountain people were moving to the city as the shafts closed. Hazel Dickens: „Getting some money and having something meant a lot to anybody that was raised like we were raised, without anything. It made you more of a person if you had something to show for your work. We were always looking up to people that had material things because we didn't...I later found out that dont mean a hell of a lot.“ [ Sing Out! Vol. 21, No. 1, p.3-4. ]

Cut off from the landscape and the culture in which they had grown up, the mountain people who moved into the city had orientation and identity problems. Something most held onto was the music. That was also true for Hazel Dickens. When she was nineteen, she moved to Baltimore . After two of her brothers, who played guitar and banjo, settled in the city, she began to join them at „pickin‘ parties.“ When one of her brothers was hospitalized for tuberculosis, he met Mike Seeger, who, as a conscientious objector to military service, was working in the hospital. Her brother introduced Mike to Hazel. Soon she and Seeger were performing together and Hazel began to play the guitar.

Mike Seeger became Hazel's introduction to the burgeoning bluegrass scene in Baltimore and Washington , D.C. He introduced Hazel to Alice Gerrard, a classically trained musician who loved old-timey and bluegrass music. The two formed a duo. Backed by bluegrass musicians Chubby Wise, David Grisman and Lamar Gried, the recorded their first album, Who's That Knocking? , on Folkways in 1965. A second album, Won't You Come in and Sing , followed in 1969. In 1973, Hazel and Alice appeared on the Rounder label. After the release of Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard in 1976, the duo split up. Hazel continued as a solo artist, though it was not until 1979, that she was able to make her living entirely from music. „I decided of I was going to starve, I was doing something I liked.“ [ quoted in: Steve Holden, „Folk Tunes That Address Real Folks,“ New York Times , May 29, 1992. ] Her first solo album, Hard Hitting Songs for Hard Hit People , appeared on Rounder in 1981.

In the mid-seventies, Hazel had recorded four songs for the documentary film Harlan County, U.S.A. In the 1987 film, Matewan , about a coal miners‘ strike in the 1920s, she appeared singing a funeral dirge at a miner's funeral.

Hazel Dickens released three more albums during the eighties, By the Sweat of My Brow (1984), It's Hard to Tell the Singer from the Song (1986), and A Few Old Memories (1987). In 1997, she contributed to the album Coal Mining Women . Together with Ginny Hawkins and Carol Elizabeth Jones, Dickens recorded the album Heart of a Singer in 1998.

Over the years, she has gained ever more respect as a performer and songwriter. While Jimmy Carter was president, Hazel Dickens played in the White House. In the early nineties, she played a featured set at the International Bluegrass Music Festival in Kentucky , and in 1996, she was a featured performer at the Smithsonian Institution's Festival of American Folklife on the Mall in Washington , D.C.




















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Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota. When he was just six years old, the family moved to Hibbing , Minnesota. His father, Abraham Zimmerman, owned an appliance store.

Bob Dylan is a self-taught musician. In elementary school he began to play guitar, harmonica, and piano. He listened to country and western and blues, from Jesse Fuller to Big Joe Williams, liked cowboy songs and Hank Snow, but Elvis Presley, Bill Haley, and above all Little Richard were his idols. He founded a band, the Golden Chords. In 1959, he enrolled at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and became part of the local folk scene.

When he arrived in New York, Robert Zimmerman called himself Bob Dylan, was a folk singer and had given himself a new biography. His image was based upon the legend of Woody Guthrie. Soon he was singing at the Café Wha? and spending weekends with Woody at the home of Bob Gleason in East Orange. There Bob met Pete Seeger and his wife Toshi, Jack Elliott, Cisco Houston, and others.

Dylan's first recordings were made in the fall of 1961, when he accompanied Big Joe Williams on the harmonica. On September 26, 1961, he began a two-week engagement at Gerde's Folk City. In the audience the first night sat music critic Robert Shelton. The following day a long article appeared in the New York Times praising Dylan. That same day, Dylan played harmonica on a recording by Carolyn Hester. There he was heard by John Hammond, who arranged for a recording contract with Columbia Records. His first LP, Bob Dylan, was released in February 1962.

The years following were a period of intense creativity. His second LP, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, attracted much attention and after Peter, Paul and Mary had a hit with „Blowing' in the Wind,“ Bob Dylan's name was a household word. Joan Baez, at the time better known than Dylan, supported him and asked him onto the stage during her concerts. The LP The Times They Are A-changin' contains primarily protest songs. It was followed, however, by Another Side of Bob Dylan, on which for more personal songs were heard. With the release of Bringing it All Back Home, Dylan mutated to a folk-rocker. The first side was acoustic, the second electric. Many in the folk music scene, unaware of Dylan's roots, considered him a traitor when he started using an electric guitar. But Greil Marcus wrote: „Even as a folk singer, Bob Dylan moved too fast, learned too quickly, made the old new too easily; to many he was always suspect.“ (Greil Marcus, Invisible Republic, Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1997. p. 26.)

Dylan's life became hectic and his next two albums, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde, established him firmly as a rock musician.

On July 29, 1966, Bob Dylan had a motorcycle accident and had to recuperate for a lengthy period. He returned with his peaceful masterpiece John Wesley Harding followed by his country album Nashville Skyline, complete with a duet with Johnny Cash.

Just as interesting were the so-called Basement Tapes, which were recorded with the Band, but were not intended for release. The music is folk rock rooted in the past and yet modern. After the recordings had circulated for years as bootlegs, they were officially released in 1975. (See: Greil Marcus, Invisible Republic . Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes. New York: Henry Holt and Company, Inc., 1997.)

During the seventies, Dylan produced some of his best work: New Morning, Planet Waves (with the Band), Blood on the Tracks, Desire, and after his conversion to Christianity, a decision he later reversed, Slow Train Coming.

After several poorly received and uninteresting recordings in the 1980s, Dylan released the solo albums Good As I Been to You and World Gone Wrong in 1992 and 1993. On both, he plays acoustic guitar and harmonica and sings folk songs and blues. The first of the two was heavily criticized because Dylan failed to mention the sources of his arrangements. The second was perhaps the strongest recording since Desire. This return to the roots perhaps laid the groundwork for his next CD, Time Out of Mind, on which his songs clearly reveal their roots in American traditional music.

Probably no other modern musician or songwriter is as rooted in the traditional music of America as is Bob Dylan. Early in his career, he was criticized for using older melodies to make new songs, but that is a method with a long and honourable tradition. The melody for „Don't Think Twice, It's Alright,“ for example, came form the old song „Who'll But Your Chickens When I'm Gone.“ The criticism in this case centered around the fact that folksinger Paul Clayton had „discovered“ the old song. One could see the matter in a different light: making new songs from the old is keeping the tradition alive.

Bob Dylan has also done much else to keep the tradition alive and well. Harold Leventhal reported after Woody Guthrie's death that many people contacted him to say how sorry they felt, but only one actually said that something should be done: Bob Dylan. Out of that suggestion came the two benefit concerts for the victims of the disease that killed Woody. (A Tribute to Woody Guthrie, Warner Brothers 9 26036-2, CD) When Moe Asch's huge Folkways collection was threatened, it was Dylan who took the initiative to save it. The CD Folkways: a Vision Shared brought many musicians together to connect the old and the new. His connection with the tradition was also demonstrated by recording in old-timey style „The Ballad of Hollis Brown“ with Mike Seeger on the CD Third Annual Farewell Reunion and his participation on the Ralph Stanley project Clinch Mountain Country. Dylan's duet with Stanley on „The Lonesome River “ is considered by many to be the highpoint of the recording. He has also contributed to tribute recordings forJimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams, and Johnny Cash. (The Songs of Jimmie Rodgers: A Tribute, Timeless: Hank Williams Tribute, and Kindred Spirits: A Tribute to the Music of Johnny Cash.)

With the release of Love and Theft in 2001, Bob Dylan showed that his musical creativity has not waned and demonstrated his rootedness in American musical traditions. As one critic wrote, the songs, „take you on a journey through American musical history.“ (review on

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Bob Dylan in internet

Bob Dylan: "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright"
Bob Dylan: "Blind Willie McTell"

Another Side of Bob Dylan, Columbia CD8993, CD
The Basement Tapes (with The Band), Columbia CD466137 2, CD
Before the Flood (with The Band), Columbia CD2213, CD
Biograph, Columbia CD65298, CD
Blonde on Blonde, Columbia CD 22130, CD
Blood on the Tracks, Columbia CD33235, CD
Bob Dylan, Columbia CD 32001, CD
Bob Dylan at Budokan, Columbia CD467 850 2, CD
the bootleg series vols. 1-3, 1961-1991, Columbia CD65302, CD
The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4 Bob Dylan Live 1966, Columbia COL 491485 2, CD
The Bootleg Series Vol. 5 Bob Dylan Live 1975. The Rolling Thunder Revue, Columbia CD 510140 2
The Bootleg Series 6: Concert at Philharmonic Hall, Sony
Bringing It All Back Home, Columbia CD 32344, CD
Desire, Columbia CD32570, CD
Down in the Groove, Columbia CD460 267
Dylan, Columbia 32286
Dylan and the Dead, Columbia CD463 381 2, CD
Empire Burlesque, Columbia CD467 840 2, CD
Essential Bob Dylan, Sony CD 85168
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, Columbia CD8786, CD
Good As I Been to You, Columbia CD53200, CD
Greatest Hits, Columbia CD9463, CD
Greatest Hits, Vol. 2, Columbia CD31120, CD
Greatest Hits, Vol.3, Columbia CD66783, CD
Hard Rain, Columbia CD32308, CD
Indidels, Sony 38819
Knocked Down Loaded, Columbia CD467 040 2, CD
Highway 61 Revisited, Columbia CD9189, CD
John Wesley Harding, Columbia CD463 359 2, CD
Live: 1961-2000, Sony International, CD 2438
Love and Theft, Sony CD 85975
Love Sick: Dylan Alive! Phantom
Love Sick, Pt. 2, Sony International CD 65997
Modern Times, Columbia CD
MTV Unplugged
, Columbia COL 478374 2, CD
Nashville Skyline, Columbia CD63601, CD
New Morning, Sony CD 30290
Not Dark Yet: Dylan Alive, Vol. 2, Sony
Oh Mercy, Columbia CD465 381 2, CD
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Sony CD 32460
Planet Waves (with The Band), Sony CD 37637
Real Live, Sony CD 39944
Saved, Columbia CD32742, CD
Self-Portrait, Columbia CD460112 2, CD
Shot of Love, Columbia CD474 689 2, CD
Slow Train Coming, Sony CD 36120
Street Legal, Columbia CD32389, CD
Time Out of Mind, Columbia COL 486936 2, CD
The Times They are A-Changin', Columbia CD 32021, CD
Things Have Changed Alive 3, Sony International, CD 2306
Under a Red Sky, Columbia CD467 188, CD
World Gone Wrong, Columbia CD474 857 2, CD

(the songs of Bob Dylan)
20th Century Masters - A Tribute to Bob Dylan, Bmg Special Products CD 44673
30th Anniversary Concert Celebration, Sony CD 53230
All Blues'd Up! (Tribute to Bob Dylan), Smith & Co
Any Day Now, Joan Baez. Vanguard Records CD 79306
Beth Loves Bob: The Songs of Bob Dylan, Beth Scalet
Blowin' in the Wind: A Reggae Tribute to Bob Dylan, Madacy Records CD 6377
Bob Dylan: This Ain't No Tribute Series, Compendia CD 9619
Bob Dylan Uncovered. 2006 Paradiddle Records (857967001010)
Duluth Does Dylan
2000 Spinout Records (634479648526)
Duluth Does Dylan Revisited , 2003 spinout
Dylan Country
, Shout Factory
Gerry Murphy, Gerry Murphy sings Bob Dylan. 2001 Being arranged
Gerry Murphy, Gerry Murphy Sings Bob Dylan Ballads, vol. 2. 2005 Being Arranged
Gotta Serve Somebody: Gospel Songs Bob Dylan
, Sony
I Shall Be Unreleased: Songs of Bob Dylan, Rhino Records CD 70518
Is it Rolling Bob?: A Reggae Tribute to Bob Dylan, Sanctuary Records
It Ain't Me Babe: The Songs of Bob Dylan, Castle
Jewels and Binoculars: The Music of Bob Dylan, Michael Moore, Lindsey Horner, Michael Vatcher. Universal Japan
Joe Valenti, 'Much Obliged' Tribute to Bob Dylan, Vol. 1. 2001 joevalenti
Joe Valenti, 'Much Obliged' Tribute to Bob Dylan, Vol. 2. 2001 joevalenti
Joe Valenti, 'Much Obliged' Tribute to Bob Dylan, Vol. 3. 2001 joevalenti
Judy Sings Dylan...Just Like a Woman
, Judy Collins. Geffen Special Products CD 4612
Masters of Dylan, Highway 61 Revisited, Highway 61 Revisited CD BD1415H
May Your Song Always Be Sung 1, Bmg International
May Your Song Always Be Sung Again 3, Bmg International
Missouri salutes Bob Dylan, Million Dollar Bash ( Missouri salutes Bob Dylan). 2006 Special Rider Music c/o Hometone Records (837101227179)
A Nod to Bob: An Artists' Tribute to Bob Dylan on His Sixtieth Birthday
, Red House CD 154
Odetta Sings Dylan, Odetta. Bmg/Camden
Portraits of Bob Dylan, Steve Howe, Cleopatra CD 600
Positively 12th & K: Bob Dylan Tribute, Sal Valentino, Jack Greene, Mick Martin. Dig Music
Rolling Thunder, The Never Ending Rehearsal: The Music of Bob Dylan. 2001 Bluefrog Music
The Songs of Bob Dylan, Vol. 2: May Your Song Always Be Sung
, Bmg International CD 84693
The String Quartet Tribute to Bob Dylan, Vitamin Records
Tangled Up In Blues: Songs Of Bob Dylan - This Ain't No Tribute , House of Blues CD 458
Thinking About Bob Dylan , 2002 IndieCDs Recording Group (643157132820)
Tom Corwin And Tim Hockenberry Mostly Dylan: New Perspectives On The Songs Of Bob Dylan
2005 Special Rider Music/dwarf Music/rams Horn Music/livalittle Music (880336001366)
A Tribute to Bob Dylan, Vol. 1, Sister Ruby CD 1

(by Bob Dylan)
Chronicles. Volume One, Bob Dylan. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004.
Lyrics: 1962-2001. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004.
Tarantuala, Bob Dylan. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1966.

(the person and his music)
The Art of Bob Dylan: Song and Dance Man , Michael Gray. New York: St. Martin‘s Press, 1981 revised.
Bob Dylans message songs der Sechziger Jahre , Mathias R. Schmidt. Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang, 1982.
Bob Dylan, Bericht über einen Songpoeten , Frederik Hetmann. Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1976.
Bob Dylan. A Bio-Bibliography, William McKeen. London: Greenwood Press, 1993.
Bob Dylan: A Life in Stolen Moments Day by Day, 1941-1995, Clinton Heylin. Schirmer Books, 1996.
Bob Dylan: American Poet and Singer: An Annotated Bibliography and Study Guide of Sources and Background Materials, 1961-1991 , Richard D. Wissolok. Scholars Bibliography Series, No. 2.
Bob Dylan. A Retrospective , edited by Craig McGregor. New York : William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1972.
Bob Dylans surrealistische Songpoesie , Fritz Werner Haver. Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang, 1987.
Bob Dylan: Watching the River Flow - Observations an His Art-In-Progress, 1966 - 1995 , Paul Williams. Entwhistle Bocks, 1996.
A Darker Shade of Pale: A Background to Bob Dylan , Wilfrid Mellers. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.
Dylan: A Commemoration , edited by Stephan Pickering. No Limit Books, 1971.
Invisible Republic, Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes, Greil Marcus. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1997.
Jokerman. Reading the Lyrics of Bob Dylan , Aiden Day. New York : Basil Blackwell, Inc., 1988.
No Direction Home: The Life and Music of Bob Dylan, Robert Shelton. Da Capo, 1997.
Positively Bob Dylan: A Thirty-Year Discography, Concert, and Recording Session Guide, 1960-1991 , Michael Krogsgaard. Popular Culture Ink, 1991.
Positively Main Street. An Unorthodox View of Bob Dylan. New York: Coward-McCann, Inc., 1971.
Reunion Sundown. Bob Dylan in Europa, Günter Amendt. Frankfurt/Main: Zweitausendeins, 1985.
Song and Dance Man: The Art of Bob Dylan, Michael Gray. Toby Thompson. New York: St. Martin 's Press, 1972.
Voice without Restraint. Bob Dylan's Lyrics and their Background , John Herdman. Edinburg: Paul Harris Publishing, 1981.

Anthology 2
Bob Dylan Song Book
, New York: M.Witmark & Sons.
The Songs of Bob Dylan from 1966 through 1975, New York: Alfred A. Knopf/Cherry Lane , 1978.
Bob Dylan Lyrics. 1962-1985. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985.
Classic Dylan
Good as I Been to You
MTV Unplugged
The 30 th Anniversary Concert celebration
The Very Best

Biography - Bob Dylan (A&E DVD Archives) (2005)
Bob Dylan 1975-1981 Rolling Thunder and the Gospel Years (2005)
Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Concert (2000) (VHS)
Bob Dylan - After The Crash
Bob Dylan - The Archive Vol. 01
Bob Dylan - The Best Of Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan - Broadcasting Live - The First 30 Years [UK IMPORT]
Bob Dylan- Celebrating Bob
Bob Dylan - Don't Look Back
(1967), D.A. Pennebaker
Bob Dylan- Hard to Handle (With Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)
Bob Dylan - Live in Australia (The "Hard to Handle" Tour, with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) (1986)
Bob Dylan - MTV Unplugged (1989)
Bob Dylan - No Direction Home (2005) Martin Scorcese, Paramount
Bob Dylan - TV Live & Rare '63-'75
Bob Dylan - World Tour 1966: The Home Movies
Bob Dylan World Tours 1966-1974, Through the Camera of Barry Feinstein (2005)
The Concert for Bangladesh
Festival! - The Newport Folk Festival
Gotta Serve Somebody - The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan (2005)
The Last Waltz (1978)
Masked and Anonymous (2003)
Music of Bob Dylan (2000)
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973) (Sam Peckenpah)
Tales From a Golden Age - Bob Dylan - 1941-1966 (2000)
Traveling Wilburys - The Multimedia Collection : 2 CDs + DVD Set


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Dallas Frazier

Dallas Frazier was born on October 27, 1939 in Spiro, Oklahoma. The family migrated to California and he was raised in Bakersfield, California. Hardly a teenager, her could play several instruments and was a featured member of Ferlin Huskey’s band. At the age of 14 he recorded his first single, “Space Command,” and in 1957 he had a hit with his cover of “Alley Oop.” Frazier moved to Nashville and worked as a songwriter. He wrote a number of hit songs, among them: “Timber I’m Falling” for Ferlin Huskey, “There Goes my Everything” for Jack Greene and “Ain’t Had No Lovin’” for Connie Smith and “I’m a People” for George Jones. Engelbert Humperdinck had a huge hit with “There Goes my Everything.”
In 1966, Frazier released the first of his four albums, Elvira. Above all, Dallas Frazier remained a sought-after songwriter, his songs being recorded by Merle Haggard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Willie Nelson, Brenda Lee, Charlie Pride, Elvis Presley, Rodney Crowell, Ronnie Hawkins, the Oak Ridge Boys, Emmylou Harris and George Strait, among others.
In 1988, Dallas Frazier left music to devote himself to the ministry.

1966 Elvira, Capitol
1967 Tell It Like It Is, Capitol
1970 Singing My Songs ,RCA Victor
1971 My Baby Packed Up My Mind and Left Me, RCA Victor

photos of Dallas Frazier


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Steve Gillette

Steve Gillette's father played the piano and sang Fats Waller and Hoagy Carmichael songs. When the family got together, they always sang and Steve learned classic songs such as „Down in the Valley“ and „Frankie and Johnnie.“ In high school, Gillette learned to play the five-string banjo from Pete Seeger's How to Play the Five String Banjo. While studying at UCLA, he joined a bluegrass band and discovered the Carter Family and Flatt and Scruggs. After finishing college he learned to play the guitar.

In Whittier , California , where he was working in a donut shop, Gillette sang in a coffee house and accompanied himself on the guitar, the banjo and the autoharp. He began to write songs with friends. In 1966, Steve was invited to the Philadelphia Folk Festival and in the same year Ian and Sylvia recorded his song „Darcy Farrow,“ which was also being sung by many others. His first LP, recently re-released on CD, Steve Gillette, appeared in the spring of 1968. Back on the Street Again and Alone...Direct followed. His fourth LP, A Little Warmth, was produced by Graham Nash. Since their marriage in April 1989, he has been working with Cindy Mangsen. Their duo recordings, Live in Concert and The Light of Day, have been released by their own company, Compass Rose Music. Steve Gillette wrote the book Songwriting and the Creative Process published by the Sing Out Press. He composed the title music for the film The Outfit as well as the Walt Disney films The Pond, The Grass is Greener, Summer Run and Door to Door. Songs for the Walt Disney characters Jiminy Cricket, Dumbo, Rainbow Brite and Winnie-the Pooh are also from his pen. Steve Gillette has performed in many countries, at most of the major folk festivals and has conducted workshops on songwriting.  

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Steve Gillette in internet

A Little Warmth , Flying Fish
Alone...Direct , Sierra
Back on the Street Again , Outpost
Steve Gillette , Vanguard
Texas and Tennessee , Redwing Music RWMCD 5404, CD
The Ways of the World , Compass Rose Music CD4, CD

(with Cindy Mangsen)
The Light of the Day , Compass Rose Music CD7, CD
Live in Concert , Compass Rose Music CD2, CD
A Sense of Place

Forty of the Best Known Songs of Steve Gillette, Compass Rose Music, 1991.
Songwriting and the Creative Process, Sing Out Press.


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Wylie Gustafson

Wylie Gustafson is a singiong Montana cowboy. He was born in Conrad, Montana on June 7, 1961. His father is R.W. “Rib” Gustafson, a veterinarian, author and singer. The elder Gustafson learned how to yodel from Austrians while a member of the Montana State College ski team in Bozeman and taught it to his son.
Gustafson, a product of the rock generation, initially hoped to be a rock star, but his yodelling pushed him in another direction. “It really started for me in the mid-'80s, I was living in southern California, had a band going down there, and one night we were playing at Madame Wong's, an old rock club. It was tough being in a band down in L.A.; you had to do something a little different to get people's attention because they've seen everything. So I whipped out a yodel song and, bam, got everybody's attention. By the end of the song, everybody had their focus up on the stage.” [Joe Nickell, Missoulian, Friday, October 15, 2010.]
In 1988, in Los Angeles Wylie Gustafson founded his band, Wylie and the Wild West at the Palomino Club. They were regulars on Ronnie Mack’s Barn Dance,
where Gustafson met guitarist Ray Doyle, still a member of the band. He began to yodel for commercials, for Mitsubishi, Taco Bell, Porsche, and Miller Light. Then in 1996 he created and sun a yodel for Yahoo Inc. It changed everything and made it possible to concentrate on a musical career. Later, he published instructional book on yodelling, “How to Yodel: Lessons to Tickle Your Tonsils.”
Wylie and the Wild West have released 13 albums. They have played at festivals, state fairs, bars and dances. They have made appearances at the Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, the National Folk Festival, MerleFest, the Bumbershoot Festival, and the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. The band  has made more than 50 appearances on the Grand Ole Opry and appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and A Prairie Home Companion. He also has a symphony program to present his songs with a symphony orchestra.
Billboard Magazine praised the band: “When Wylie & The Wild West play, folks get up and dance!” Of the band Wylie says, “We are a good-time cowboy band that hates to be boring. I know that the young urban crowds in Seattle appreciate us as much as the working cowboys do. Our music is not limited to one type of listener.” The band has also toured abroad, playing in Australia, Europe, South America, and Japan.
Wylie Gustafson founded the Cross Three Quarter Horse Ranch in 1995 near the town of Dusty, Washington in 1995, but always remained involved in the ranch near Conrad. He trains and sells quarter horses and frequently competes in cutting horse competitions and rodeos. He won the 2005 NCHA Western National Finals Championship, 2007 Non-Pro Reserve Championship, and was an Open Finalist in 2006 and 2008. [] He recently moved back to Montana. Gustafson still rises at 5:00 a.m. to tend his horses and cattle. About his life as a cowboy and musician he says:
The connection between my cowboy life and my music is extremely close,” he says. “I believe in creating a song that inspires the listener, either lyrically or rhythmically. It is also important that I offer something that takes traditional ideas and bends them in a new direction.
In the life of Wylie Gustafson horses and music have a symbiotic relationship and his music is about the West.
I guess the whole focus of my music is this Western lifestyle. I know a lot of people who listen to our music care a lot about that, too. We're in a pretty special place. There's this common thread with all of us, whether you work in a bank in downtown Missoula or ranch up on the Blackfeet Reservation, there's this connection to the land. I sing directly toward that, to the landscape and the connections we have with it; and the audience that comes to our shows, they're into it. It's amazing to see that diversity of our audience and to share the common interest we have.” [Joe Nickell, Missoulian, Friday, October 15, 2010.]

Wylie and the Wild West in Internet
A day in the life of the musician Wylie Gustafson

Unwired, November 2009
Hang -n- Rattle! January 2009
Yodel Boogie! November 2008
Christmas for Cowboys December 2007
Bucking Horse Moon 2007
LIVE! At the Tractor 2005
Cowboy Ballads & Dance Songs 2004
Hooves of the Horses 2004
Paradise 2001
Ridin' the Hi-Line 2000
Total Yodel! 1998
Way out West 1997
Cattle Call: Songs of the Wild West 1996
Glory Trail: Cowboy and Traditional Gospel Songs 1996
Get Wild 1994
Wylie & The Wild West Show 1992

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Arlo Guthrie

Arlo Guthrie was born on Coney Island in Brooklyn , New York on July 10, 1947. His father was a musician, singer, songwriter and author, his mother a dancer. His parents played host to many guests and Arlo can remember visits by Lead Belly, Cisco Houston, Sonny Terry, Pete Seeger, and Jack Elliott. In his own living room, Arlo got to know not only the world of folk music but also blues and much more. His father had a huge record collection of music from all over the world: Peruvian flute music, African music, Red Army choruses, Indian drum music, cowboy songs. Arlo listened to all of it. When Arlo was six, his father gave him a Gibson guitar and from his mother he learned the first chords. In the sixth grade, he was taken from a public school and put in a private „progressive“ school. All the children there knew his father's songs. But Arlo didn't know them. Only then did he become conscious of the fact that his father was a well-known person. He decided to learn his songs.

Arlo sang in public for the first time when he was only thirteen. That same year – the family was now living in Queens – a young man came looking for his father. He called himself Bob Dylan. At the time, though, Arlo's father was no longer living at home. He was suffering from Huntington's disease and would spend the rest of his life in a hospital.

Arlo has never stepped out of Woody's shadow because he had never stood in his father's shadow. Woody was influenced by the old-time ballads his mother had sung, by the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, and the Monroe Brothers, Arlo by Bob Dylan, the Everly Brothers, Otis Redding, the Beatles and the songs of his father. Arlo did not become famous as his father's son, though that certainly opened doors, but rather based on his own talents. After finishing high school, he went to Europe and played music in the streets and in clubs. He only managed six weeks as a student at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana.

It was the success of Bob Dylan that convinced Arlo to try to make a living with music. In 1966, he began to appear in clubs on the east coast. Toward the end of that year, he toured England for the first time. The breakthrough came at the 1967 Newport Folk Festival. Arlo ended the festival with his story/song „Alice's Restaurant.“ From it came not only a record that sold well but also the film of the same name directed by Arthur Penn. His reputation as a singer and storyteller was firmly established. With the profits from „Alice's Restaurant“ Arlo bought a farm in the Birkshires in Massachusetts. He performed at the Woodstock Festival and in 1972, he had a hit with his friend Steve Goodman's song „City of New Orleans.“

In 1969, he married Jackie Hyde. Despite the fact that he might carry the disease which crippled and killed his father and for which he never let himself be tested, he founded and raised a family. To date he has shown no symptoms of the disease.

Arlo's records during the 70s, Washington County , Hobo's Lullaby , and Last of the Brooklyn Cowboys presented a music that was a mixture of folk, country, ragtime, blues, and other elements. From 1975, he performed with the band Shenandoah. The albums Arlo Guthrie and Amigo had a more contemporary sound.

In 1986, Warner/Reprise dropped several big name artists from their roster, [ The company also dropped were Gordon Lightfoot, Bonnie Raitt, and Van Morrison. ] among them Arlo Guthrie. So Arlo founded his own record company, Rising Son Records, in order to make sure that his records remained available and to make projects possible which other record companies might have rejected. In 1992, he released Son of the Wind , a collection of cowboy songs and two years later a collection of Woody's children's songs sung by Woody and, thanks to modern technology, Arlo and Woody's grandchildren. Woody's 20 Grow Big Songs received a Grammy nomination for Best Children's Record. Arlo continues to perform with Pete Seeger occasionally and their cooperation produced two double live albums, Together and Precious Friend . In 1994, Rising Son released two CDs of live performances of Arlo, his children and Pete and his grandson Tao Rodriguez, More Together Again In the following year, Arlo surprized everyone with an updated recording of „Alice's Restaurant“, The Massacree Revisited , as well as a prize-winning children's book, Mooses Come Walking , illustrated by Alice Brock, the Alice from the song. For one season, Arlo played an aging hippie in the television series Byrd of Paradise . Primarily though, Arlo Guthrie is a musician, who, supported by his family and especially his son Abe, spends ten months a year on the road. In 1996, Rising Son Records released Arlo's first original recording in ten years. Mystic Journey was, as the title implies, about Arlo's own religious journey. „I was raised as a Jew. My dad was a Protestant. I spent a lot of time meditating on the Hindu version of life, on the Tibetan Buddhist approaches. I think they're all fabulous. The truth is that in the presence of God, my sneaking suspicion is that they all melt away, that all of the forms disappear.“ ( Boston Globe , December 1988.)

Pete Seeger has said about Arlo: „Arlo is his own man. He has some of Woody's qualities and a lot of brand new ones. He's one of the most conscientious musicians I know. He thinks long and hard about the kind of music he wants to make. Then he gets on stage, and by gosh, he does his level best, I'm very proud that he likes to work with me, and I know that I love to perform with him.“ ( Frets , September 1979. )

In 1993, Arlo bought the Old Trinity Church in Housatonic, Massachsetts, where he had written „Alice's Restaurant“ and where the film had been made. It became the office of Rising Son Records and home for the Guthrie Center, an interfaith church foundation which serves the community among other ways with programs for abused children and people who are HIV positve.

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Arlo Guthrie in internet
Rising Son Records

Arlo Guthrie: "Motorcycle Song "
Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger: "Alabama Bound"
Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger: "Union Maid"

Arlo Guthrie: "City of New Orleans"

2 Songs (1992) Rising Son RSR-0006
Alice's Restaurant, (1967) Warner Brothers, CD6267 / Rising Son RSR-6267
Alice's Restaurant II: Masacree Revisited, (1996) Rising Son RSR-0010 / KOCH CD7959, CD
All Over the World, (1991) Rising Son RSR-0002
Amigo, (1976) Reprise 2239 / Rising Son RSR-2239
Arlo, (1968) Reprise RS-6299 / Rising Son RSR-6299 / Koch KOC-7948
Arlo Guthrie, (1974) Reprise MS-2183 / Rising Son RSR-2183 / Koch KOC-7953
The Best of Arlo Guthrie, (1977) Warner Bros. BSK-3117
Hobo's Lullaby, (1972) Reprise MS-2060 / Rising Son RSR-2060
In Times Like These (2007) Rising Son RSR-1126
Last of the Brooklyn Cowboys, (1973) Reprise MS-2124(stereo) MS4-2124(quadraphonic) / Rising Son RSR-2124 / Koch KOC-7952
Live in Sidney, Rising Son Records
More Together Again, (1994) Rising Son RSR-0007
Mystic Journey, (1996) Rising Son RSR-0009
One Night, (1978) Warner Bros. BSK-3232 / Rising Son RSR-3232
Outlasting the Blues, (1979) Warner Bros. BSK-3336 / Rising Son RSR-3336
Power of Love, (1981) Warner Bros. BSK-3558 / Rising Son RSR-3558
Precious Friend, (with Pete Seeger) (1982) Warner Bros. 2BSK-3644 / Rising Son RSR-3644
Running Down the Road, (1969) Reprise RS-6346 / Rising Son RSR-6346 / Koch KOC-7949
Someday, (1986) Rising Son RSR-0001
Son of the Wind, (1992) Rising Son RSR-0003
Together in Concert, (with Pete Seeger) (1975) Reprise 2R-2214 / Rising Son RSR-2214
Washington County, (1970) Reprise RS-6411 / Rising Son RSR-6411 / Koch KOC-7950

(recordings on which Arlo Guthrie appears)
Alice's Restaurant: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Various
Harp, Holly Near, Arlo Guthrie, Ronnie Gilbert, Pete Seeger
A Tribute to Woody Guthrie, Various
Folkways: A Vision Shared, Various
Baby's Storybook, Arlo Guthrie
Woody's 20 Grow Big Songs, The Guthrie Family
Woody Guthrie: Hard Travelin', (Soundtrack), Arloco ARL-284
Bound For Glory
A Tribute to Steve Goodman, Various
Storytellers: Singers and Songwriters
Other Voices, Other Rooms, Nanci Griffith
Earl Scruggs and The Earl Scruggs Revue, Various
A Tribute to Leadbelly, Various (1977)
Rainbow Sign, Various
What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits, Doobie Brothers
Southbound, Hoyt Axton
Bread & Roses: Festival Of Acoustic Music, Vol. 1, (1977)
Baby's Morningtime, Judy Collins
Me & Bobby McGee, Ramblin' Jack Elliott
We Ain't Down Yet, Woody Guthrie
Sonny & Brownie, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee
The Bitter End Years, Various
Baby Boomer Classics: Mellow Sixties, Various
Further More, Various
Troubadours Of Folk, Vol. 4:...The '70s, Various
70s Greatest Rock: Hitchin' A Ride, Various
Baby Boomer Classics: Mellow Seventies, Various
Super Hits Of The '70s: Have A Nice Day Vol. 16, Various
Peaceful Easy Feeling, Various
Ben & Jerry's One World One Heart, Various

Folk City 25th Anniversary Concert [VIDEO], Various

(by Arlo Guthrie)
Alice's Restaurant, Random House Trade Paperbacks, 1968.
Mooses Come Walking, illustrated by Alice Brock. Chronicle Books LLC, 2004.
This Is the Arlo Guthrie Book, MacMillan Publishing Company, 1969.

(the person and his music)
Arlo, Alice, and Anglicans, Laura Lee. Berkshire House Publishers.
Richard Skelly, „Still a Half-a-Mile From the Railroad Track,“ Sing Out! Vol. 37, No. 1, May/June/July, 1992


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Woody Guthrie

Woodrow Wilson Guthrie was born on July 14 1912, in Okemah, Oklahoma. The Guthrie family had been pioneers in the area when it had still been known as Indian Territory. Woody‘s father, Charley Guthrie, worked as a trader and real estate salesman and not without success. He was also a local politician and had a reputation as a good fist fighter. As a member of the Democratic Party, he named his son after the party's presidential candidate of 1912, Woodrow Wilson. But the father was hit by financial setbacks, lost his political influence, his wife showed signs of psychological instability, and Woody‘s sister died from burns suffered in a household accident. The family fell apart when Woody's mother was committed to a psychiatric hospital. The children went to live with relatives and neighbors. Before finishing school, Woody hit the road. He found jobs, stayed with relatives and made a little money on the side playing the harmonica. His Uncle Jeff taught him to play the guitar. Woody also learned mandolin and fiddle and played for dances. He married Mary Jennings and worked occasionally as a sign painter in Pampa, Texas.

Woody Guthrie's mother had been a ballad singer and played the piano, his father played the guitar and banjo. Woody grew up with music, and not only his family's, but also that of the Blacks and Indians in Oklahoma . From his mother, he learned many old songs, and he also learned songs from records. The influence of the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers is unmistakable. It is said he learned his singing style from listening to recordings of Blind Lemon Jefferson.

When the land began to dry out and the wind storms made life harder and harder, Woody left his family and traveled to California. Soon, he was singing on radio station KFVD with his singing partner Lefty Lou and enjoying wide popularity. Woody switched to the Mexican station XELO in Tijuana, but soon returned as a soloist to KFVD, where he hocked his first collection of songs. In California, he began his political education by singing for migrant workers and unions.

In 1940, Woody traveled to New York with actor Will Geer and connected with the local folk music circles and also the Communist Party. He wrote a column for the Communist newspaper Daily Worker. For Victor Records he made his first recordings and was a regular radio guest. In 1943, he published his autobiographical novel Bound for Glory.

Mary divorced him and Woody married the dancer Marjorie Mazia. During the war, he joined the Merchant Marine and survived more than one torpedo attack. After the war, he settled down on Coney Island, sang, began to write a second book and made many recordings for Moe Asch. But the symptoms of the disease he had inherited from his mother, Huntington's Chorea, were becoming ever more noticeable. Friends thought he was an alcoholic as his behavior became ever more erratic. His second marriage fell apart and he entered a third brief marriage.

Woody Guthrie was a contradictory human being. He acted like an uneducated hick, yet he was a well-read individual. His songs championed society's victims, but he showed little sense of responsibility for friends and family. Moe Asch once said that it was difficult to get close to Woody because he was, „a man who could not care less about other people.“

Woody Guthrie spent the last fifteen years of his life in hospitals. [youTube: Woody at Greystone] He died on October 3, 1967.  

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Woody Guthrie Foundation
Woody Guthrie Correspondence 1940-1950

Pampa's Tribute to Woody Guthrie
The Woody Guthrie Folk Festival
Woody Guthrie this man is your myth, this man is my myth

Ballads of Sacco & Vanzetti, Smithsonian-Folkways, SF-CD40060, CD
Columbia River Collection, Rounder CD1036, CD
Dust Bowl Ballads, Rounder CD1040, CD
Early Masters, Tradition CD1017, CD
Library of Congress Recordings, Rounder CD1041, CD
THE LIVE WIRE: Woody Guthrie In Performance 1949
Long Ways to Travel – The Unreleased Folkways Masters 1944-1949
, Smithsonian-Folkways SF-CD 40046, CD
Muleskinner Blues: The Asch Recordings Vol. 2, Smithsonian-Folkways, SF-CD40101, CD
Struggle, Smithsonian/Folkways SF 40025, CD
This Land is Your Land, The Asch Recordings Vol. 1, Smithsonian-Folkways, SF-CD40110, CD
Woody Guthrie Sings Folk Songs, Smithsonian-Folkways, SF-CD40007, CD

(with Lead Belly)
Folkways: The Original Vision , Smithsonian-Folkways, SF-CD40001, CD

(with Arlo Guthrie)
This Land is Your Land: An All American Children's Folk Classic , Rounder CD8050, CD

(the songs of Woody Guthrie)
Cisco Houston, Cisco Houston Sings the Songs of Woody Guthrie , Vanguard VSD-2131, LP
Hommage a Woody Guthrie , Le Chant du Monde LDX 74 684/85, LP
A Tribute to Woody Guthrie , Warner Brothers 9 26036-2
Woody Lives! A Tribute to Woody Guthrie , Pläne 88619, LP

(by Woody Guthrie)
American Folksong, Woody Guthrie. Hrsg. Moses Asch. New York: Oak Publications, 1961.
Born to Win, New York: Macmillan, 1965.
Bound for Glory, New York: E.P. Dutton, 1943; New American Library Trade, 1995.
California to the New York Island, New York : Oak Publications, 1960.
Pastures of Plenty: A Self-Portrait. The Unpublished Writings of an American Folk Hero
, edited by Dave Marsh and Harold Leventhal. New York: HarperPerennial, 1990.
Seeds of Man: An Experienced Lived and Dreamed, Woody Guthrie. University of Nebraska Press, 1995.

(the person and his music)
The American Proletarian Revolutionary Song Writer and Singer, Woodrow Wilson (Woody) Guthrie , Robert Lumer. Germany: Topos Verlag AG, 1979.
A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly, Will Schmid. Music Educators National Conference, 1990.
A Mighty Hard Road: The Woody Guthrie Story, Henrietta Yurchenco. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1970.
Ramblin' Man: The Life and Times of Woody Guthrie, Ed Cray. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2004.
Woody, Cisco, and Me: Seamen Three in the Merchant Marine, Jim Longhi. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1997.
Woody Guthrie A Life, Joe Klein. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980.
Woody Guthrie: American Balladeer, Janelle Yates. Ward Hill Press, 1995.
Woody Guthrie and Me: An Intimate Reminiscence, Ed Robbin. Berkeley, California: Lancaster-Miller Publishers, 1979.
A Woody Guthrie Bibliography 1912-1967 , Richard A. Reuss. New York: Guthrie Children's Trust Fand, 1968.

American Folksong, Woody Guthrie. Hrsg. Moses Asch. New York: Oak Publications, 1961.
Roll On Columbia: The Columbia River Collection , Woody Guthrie and William Murlin. Sing Out Publications, 1991.
A Tribute to Woody Guthrie, New York: TRO Ludlow Music, 1972.
Woody Guthrie. Folk Songs von A bis Y, Frankfurt am Main: Zweitausendeins, 1977.
The Woody Guthrie Songbook, edited by Harold Leventhal & Marjorie Guthrie. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1976.
The Woody Guthrie Songbook, New York , Woody Guthrie Publications, 1976.


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Merle Haggard

Merle Haggard was born on April 6, 1937, in Bakersfield, California, in a rebuilt refrigeration car from the Southern Pacific Railroad, for which his father was working at the time. The Dust Bowl had driven the Haggard family from Checotah, Oklahoma to California.
His father, a fiddler, died when Merle was nine years old. Without the influence of a father, the boy got on the wrong track. He was to spend seven years behind bars, beginning with a term for car theft in the Ventura County Jail. Terms in juvenile detention did not straighten him up, on the contrary. At seventeen, he entered a troubled ten-year marriage.
In 1957, he was convicted to from six to fifteen years penetentiary for armed robbery. While serving in San Quintin as prisoner Nr 845 200, he heard Johnny Cash give a concert for the inmates. Haggard had already been making music and had played in different bands. San Quintin opened his eyes. Boredom, humiliation, violence, conversations with death candidates, and seven days in solitary confinement brought the change. He was determined to have no further conflicts with the law. In 1960, after three years, he was released.
Haggard’s life in freedom was not easy. His wife had had a child by another man, but Haggard was only rarely at home anyway. Soon he was able to live from his music. Bakersfield developed into the country music center of the West and the leading figure was Buck Owens. He and his wife Bonnie Owens, who later became Haggard’s second wife, helped him. In 1961, Haggard signed a recording contract, but the results were unsuccessful. He became the bassist for Wynn Stewart in 1962. It was not until his recording of „Sing a Sad Song“ that he found success. In 1966, „Im a Lonesome Fugitive,“ written by Liz Anderson, became number one. It was the first song in which he exploited his criminal past. With songs like „Branded Man,“ „Sing Me Back Home“ and „Mama Tried“ he cultivated the image of a „badman.“ During the following years, he had a series of hits.
In 1969, Merle Haggard released a song he says was intended as a satire, „Okie from Muskogee.“ He sang it for the first time for non-commissioned officers of the Green Berets in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The soldiers loved the lyrics and did not think it satire. President Nixon congratulated Haggard on the song, and California governor Ronald Reagan granted him a full pardon. The Country Music Association chose the song as „record of the year“ and it was sung at the Honor America Day Demonstration, which was in support of the war in Vietnam. At concerts in the South as well as the North, the song almost caused hysteria. But if „Okie from Muskogee“ was misunderstood satire, there was absolutely nothing satiric about „Fighting Side of Me.“ George Wallace sought Haggard’s support in his presidential campaign. But Haggard prefered not to become politically active. Until „Okie from Muskogee,“ many in leftist circles had seen Merle Haggard as a folk poet in the tradition of Woody Guthrie. Haggard later expressed regret at having written the song.
It certainly did not damage his popularity. Between 1973 and 1976, Haggard had nine consecutive number one records.
After 95 hits on Billboard’s country charts, 38 of them reaching number one, Haggard dropped out of the spotlight. He had alcohol problems, he divorced his fourth wife in 1991 and two years later declared bankruptcy. Yet he was still active and enjoyed great respect. Two tribute albums have appeared and his 2000 CD If I Could Only Cry was well-received.
Much in Haggard’s songs do remind one of Woody Guthrie, the fascination with the 1930s, with hoboes and migrant workers. Though the perspective is always from the bottom of the social ladder and the language is that of those who live there, there are differences. Haggard’s workers drink a lot, reject government support, and are unquestioningly patriotic. „Working Man Blues“ is typical of this attitude. In 1975, Haggard surprised everyone with „If We Make it through December.“
Merle Haggard has continued doing solid work, has remained traditional and has avoided being put into a cubbyhole. He has done a record with a New Orleans jazz band, a tribute to Bob Wills with members of Wills’ old band, the Texas Playboys, released an album about trains, and collections of songs by Jimmie Rodgers and Lefty Frizzell. Since the mid-seventies, Haggard‘s music has had its ups and downs, but as a singer and musician, he is deeply rooted in tradition.
In 2001, Merle Haggard released Roots, Volume One, honoring some of his earliest influences, Hank Thompson and Hank Williams, but above all Lefty Frizzell, recording their songs in the swinging, stripped-down honky-tonk style popular during the middle of the 20th century.


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Butch Hancock

As a youngster, Butch Hancock, born on July 12, 1945, in Lubbock , Texas , listened to border radio stations and enjoyed going to square dances and fiddle contests. Of his Lubbock background, Hancock has said,

„That whole Lubbock environment is a very surreal environment because nothing really looks like it belongs there, because - in effect - it doesn't. Everything out there is imported. Everything! Because there's not even any of that old buffalo grass left hardly, and most of the dirt probably blew in from the next state. So literally, EVERYTHING out there is an applied object. The only REAL things out there are the flatness and the sky. And then, being raised in the Twentieth Century, the third basic element is The Road.“ []

After high school, Hancock started studying architecture at Texas Tech, which he believes was an excellent training as a songwriter.

„So studying architecture was a perfect thing for how to build songs. Instead of building a building, you're simply building a song. You put together all these totally weird, unrelated things that make a coherent, useful, hopefully "beautiful" - whatever that may mean - whole. Like in songwriting, there's gotta be melody, rhythm, and the basic elements of design: ‚balance,‘ ‚emphasis,‘ ‚surprise,‘ ‚sequencing,‘ and ‚color‘ - See? ‚Color‘ can take on both the literal meaning of color as well as the metaphorical meaning of color. So I learned an immense amount of things studying architecture that have served me in songwriting“ []

In 1968, he dropped out of architecture school and spent ten months driving a tractor for his father, who ran an earth-moving business near Lubbock .

„It was an amazing experience, a turning point in my life. I was outdoors every day, six days a week, maybe seven, doing earth-moving work with my dad, sunrise to sunset. I got really tuned in to the earth and the weather.

„I was reading all kinds of great books at the time - stuff that really opened up the metaphysical universe for me. So I'd read a little bit, sit on the tractor, and contemplate. It was a time that really turned me on." [„The Image Maker Singer-songwriter Butch Hancock puts some of his visions on films,“ by Brad Buchholz. The Dallas Morning News, Sunday, May 29, 1994]

In 1969-70, with Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Joe Ely, whom he had known since junior high school, as well as mandolinist Tony Pearson and musical saw player Steve Wesson, Hancock formed the Flatlanders. They played only locally, at weddings, funerals, at gas stations. In 1972, they recorded an album, which was released in only limited numbers as an eight-track tape. Not until 1980, was it released by Charly Records in London under the title, One Road More. Rounder Records released it yet again ten years later as More a Legend than a Band.

Butch Hancock did not release his first solo album until 1978. From that release until 1987, he recorded seven more albums on his own Rainlight label. Selections from six self-produced cassettes were released on the 1989 album Own and Own. Hancock settled in Austin , Texas , which had a burgeoning music scene.

„So at the end of the 60's when America was splitting apart and going kinda nuts for a couple of years there, Austin was definitely a radical place. The students where trying to figure out, ‚What's going on in America ? Hey, Stop! Let's wait a minute and figger this all out.‘ It was the collision of the cultures that was destined to happen. The cowboys loved Country music; all the crazy hippies loved good, old Country music and self-made, home-made music. All of that mixed together, and The Armadillo World Headquarters became the focal point of the community in Austin . Austin was pretty small but significantly big enough to support a lot of musicians. That grew and spread and it attracted layers of people; at first people who really, really love that kind of music and the whole idea of being in Austin playing it; and then those who love the idea of the idea of that; and then those who love the idea of those who love the idea of that.“ []

Hancock is a man of many talents. In addition to his songwriting, he is also a photographer. He collects antique cameras and his photos have been shown in Texas museums and can be seen in the Austin gallery he founded in 1990, Lubbock or Leave It. In Austin , he also began producing a weekly cable-TV music program.

In 1991, Hancock began a project called „No 2 Alike,“ consisting of fourteen cassette tapes with a total of 140 songs, which could be purchased by subscription. Each cassette had a cover photo taken by Hancock. When all fourteen were layed together, it made one picture. Those who acquired all fourteen cassettes were promised a „Foto/Songbook“ with the lyrics to all the songs as well as seventy to a hundred of Hancock's photographs. The book is yet to appear.

Not until 1995, did Butch Hancock release his first studio recording, Eats Away the Night, released by Sugar Hill.

In the mid-nineties, Hancock bought land in Terlingua , Texas and built an „architectually bizarre“ house. He began working as a musical river rafting guide for a private tour company in Big Bend National Park .

The Flatlanders reunited for a tour in 2000 after having produced a song for Robert Redford's film The Horse Whisperer . In May 2002, their second album, Now Again , was released. With the exception of Utah Phillip's „Going Away,“ all the songs are compositions by Gilmore, Ely, and Hancock.

1981: A Space Odyssey, 1981
Diamond Hill. Rainlight Records, 1980
Eats Away the Night. Sugarhill [Country], 1995
Firewater. Rainlight Records, 1981
No Two Alike, (14 cassettes) 1990.
On the Way Over Here, Sugarhill [Country], 1993
Own & Own, Sugarhill [Country], 1989
Split & Slide II, 1986
War and Peace, Two Roads Records 2007
West Texas Waltzes and Dust-Blown Tractor Tunes. Rainlight Records, 1978
The Wind's Dominion. Rainlight Records, 1979
You Coulda Walked Around the World. Rainlight Records, January 1, 2000

(Marce Lacouture)
Yella Rose. Rainlight Records, 1985

(with Jimmie Dale Gilmore)
Roads: Live in Australia, Caroline, 1990.

(with the Flatlanders)
More a Legend than a Band, Rounder Select, 1990
One Road More, 1972
Now Again, New West Records, 2002
Wheels of Fortune, 2004
Live at The One Knife, June 8, 1972, 2005

Butch Hancock in internet


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Joseph Mills Hanson

Joseph Mills Hanson war born in Yankton, Dakota Territory, in 1876. His father, John R. Hanson, had gone west in 1858, served in several territorial offices, was appointed Indian Agent for the Upper Missouri by Abraham Lincoln and dealt in real estate.
Joseph Mills Hanson attended school in the East and became a cadet at St. John’s School in Manlius, New York. Thereafter, he went to work for the Otis Elevator Company before turning to writing. In 1909 he published his most successful book, The Conquest of the Missouri, still in print today. Hanson became an officer in the South Dakota National Guard and in 1916 served on the Mexican border. When the United States entered the First World War Hanson was shipped to France with the American Expeditionary Force, where he wrote a chronicle of the American efforts in the war for the Stars and Stripes.
After the war, he returned to Yankton, where he stayed until he and his second wife moved east. Hanson became an Assistant Historian for the National Park Service and in 1942 Superintendent oft eh Manassas National Battlefield Park, where he remained until he retired in 1947. He died on February 11, 1960.
Hanson published historical works, pageants, and poetry, including:
“The Conquest of the Missouri”
“Frontier Ballads”
“With Sully into the Sioux Land”
“With Carrington on the Bozeman Road”
“Pilot Knob”
“South Dakota in the World War, 1917 – 1919”
“The World War through the Stereoscope”
“The Trail to El Dorado”
“The Marne: Historic and Picturesque”
“Bull Run remembers: The history, traditions, and landmarks of the Manassas (Bull Run) campaign before Washington, 1861-1862”
“Artillery Hell: The Employment of Artillery at Antietam
with Curt Johnson and Richard C. Anderson, Jr.
as well as articles and poetry in journals and newspapers.


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Sid Hausman

Sid Hausman, singer, musician, storyteller, illustrator, and writer, lives in Tusuque, New Mexico. He plays dobro, five-string banjo, and 12-string guitar. His music has been influenced by Bob Wills, Jimmie Rodgers, Flatt & Scruggs, Lead Belly, and the ranchero music of the Southwest. As a songwriter and performer, his orientation is toward folk and the traditions of the American Southwest, but one always hears the influence of bluegrass music. Sid Hausman spent more than fifteen years teaching music to Navajo, Pueblo, and Zuni children in New Mexico and has conducted workshops for children on reservations in seven other states. He has illustrated children's books and is the author and illustrator of the counting book, One Bullfrog . Hausman tours as a soloist throughout the United States and has also sung in Great Britain and Europe . He is a member of the Western Music Association and performs regularly at western music and cowboy music gatherings, but his understanding of western culture includes Indian and Hispanic elements. Hausman has performed with Doug Kershaw, Don Williams, Merle Travis, and Ralph Stanley. His songs reflect the physical surroundings of the American Southwest.

Sid Hausman in internet

Border Town at Midnight, Folk Era Records
Cactus Critter Bash
Country & Western mit Sid Hausman, Tonomatic Tonträger
Geronimo's Land, Blue Bhikku Records
High on the Lonesome Timberline, Blue Bhikku Records
Slim Pickins, Blue Canyon

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Joe Hill

Joel Emmanuel Hägglund was born on October 7, 1879 in Gävle, Sweden, the son of Olof Hägglund and his wife Margareta. His was a musical family of nine children. Early on, he learned to play the piano and the organ. Later, he also masterd the accordeon, the guitar and the violin. Olof Hägglund, a railroad worker, died in a job-related accident when Joe was eight and the remaining six children had to go to work to support the family. Joe worked in a rope factory and later shoveled coal on a steam engine for a construction company. He contracted a form of tuberculosis and was treated by massive doses of X-rays. Margareta Hägglund died in January 1902 and the family broke apart. Joe learned English at the YMCA and on ships running between England and Sweden. With his brother Paul, he emigrated to the United States. Using the money they received from selling the family home, they booked passage to New York, arriving at Ellis Island in October 1902. After a year in New York, Joe cleaning spittoons in a bar, Joe went to Chicago. Little is known of life during the following years. When the big earthquake struck the city in April, 1906, hee was in San Francisco. During these years, during which he probably worked at a series of poorly-paid jobs, he began to call himself Joe Hillstrom.

By 1910, he had joined the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and was a member of the Portland, Oregon local. By now his name had been shortened to Joe Hill. In 1911, he may have been involved with other IWW members in the revolution in Mexico. That same year, while working on the docks of San Pedro, he wrote his first song, „Casey Jones – the Union Scab,“ a parody of the song „Casey Jones,“ which had been published two years earlier. He wrote the song for striking employees of the Southern Railroad. The song was a success. Printed on colorful cards, it was sold to support the strike fund. Soon workers had spread the song all over the country. Legend has it that during the following years, he fought almost every fight the IWW fought.

In the autumn of 1913, Joe traveled to Utah. The reason why he went there is, however, not clear. Perhaps he wanted to help organize miners, perhaps he visited family. He is thought to have worked in a mine in the mountains outside Salt Lake City for a time.

In January 1914, Hill was living with friends in Salt Lake City. During the evening of January 10, a Saturday, he left the house. About 11:30 he had himself treated by a doctor for a gunshot wound. Joe explained that a friend had shot at him because he had insulted the friend's wife. Joe returned home at one o'clock in the morning.

At about ten o'clock that same evening, two men had entered the grocery of John Morrison, a former policeman, and had shot the owner and one of his two sons. It appeared to be an act of revenge for Morrison's work while he was with the police. The doctor who had treated Joe, Dr. Frank M. McHugh, lived only four blocks from the scene of the crime. When he had gone to the doctor, Joe had been carrying a gun which belonged to him. While the doctor was driving Joe home, he had had car trouble and Joe had taken advantage of the situation to throw the gun out of the window. Joe never offered an explanation for throwing the gun away.

With the help of Dr. McHugh, Joe was arrested on the 13 th. During the arrest, Joe, unarmed, suffered two further gunshot wounds. On January 20, he was charged with murder. He identified himself as Joe Hillstrom. The initial press coverage did not mention his connection to the IWW and this fact received no public attention until just before the trial began.

The trial began on June 17, 1914, and lasted 21 days. Joe pleaded innocent, but refused to give details of his activities during the night of the murder. The IWW got him a lawyer, Based on circumstantial evidence, Joe was found guilty. On July 8, he was sentenced to death. His petition for a new trial was rejected because of Joe's continued refusal to testify in his own behalf. He was offered his freedom if he would tell his lawyer in confidence of his activities the night of the murder. This offer, too, Joe turned down. He continued to demand a „fair trial,“ but refused to testify.

The Swedish ambassador asked President Wilson to intercede on Hill's behalf. Wilson sent a telegram to Utah governor William Spry, who postponed the execution. The Swedish ambassador contacted the Utah justice authorities directly, but the petition for a new trial was again rejected based on Joe Hill's refusal to testify. The execution was set to take place on November 18. The conservative American Federation of Labor, a competitor with the IWW, the daughter of the president of the Church of Latter Day Saints and many others sent telegrams to the president, pleading with him to spare Joe's life. On November 17, President Wilson again asked governor Spry to grant Hill clemency, but the governor refused. From the death cell, Joe Hill sent a last message to „Big Bill“ Haywood: “Bill, I die like a true rebel. Don‘t mourn for me but organize.“ On the morning of November 19, 1915, the convicted man stood before the firing squad. Joe Hill, his eyes covered with a blindfold, defiantly gave the command to fire himself.

A first funeral service was held in Salt Lake City on November 21. A second, with 30,000 people attending, was held in Chicago when the body arrived there on November 25, Thanksgiving Day. A reporter wrote about the services: „What sort of man is this whose death is celebrated with the songs of rebellion, who has more mourners that a prince or a potentate.“ (Booklet in the LP We Have Fed You all a Thousand Years, Utah Phillips. Philo 5008. ) Utah Phillips, who sings many of Hill's songs, wrote, „He learned to look at the country, especially the West, from the bottom up, instead of from the middle down, or from the top down.“ (Utah Phillips, Starlight on the Rails , p. 54.) The IWW did its level best to create the myth of Joe Hill. It was claimed that he was murdered by the legal authorities of the state of Utah because of his activities as an IWW organizer. His ashes were, as Hill had wished, put in small envelopes and sent to IWW locals on every state in the Union except Utah, as well as to many countries around the world, among them Russia, New Zealand and South Africa. On May 1, 1915, Joe Hill's ashes were scattered in the wind.

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Joe Hill in internet

Joe Hill discography:
Various artists, Don't Mourn - Organize!: Songs Of Labor Songwriter Joe Hill. Smithsonian Folkways.

Case of Joe Hill , Philip Sheldon Foner. Intl Pub., 1965.
Guerrilla Minstrels: John Lennon, Joe Hill, Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan , Wayne Hampton. University of Tennessee Press, 1986.
Joe Hill , John McDermott. Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1984.
Joe Hill , Gibbs Smith. Gibbs Smith, Publisher; Reprint edition, 1969.
Joe Hill , Wallace Stegner. Penguin; Reprint edition, 1990.
Joe Hill , Fred Thompson. IWW, 1971.
Joe Hill: The IWW & the Making of a Revolutionary Workingclass Counterculture, Franklin Rosemont. Charles H. Kerr Publishers Company, 2003.
Joe Hill: IWW Songwriter, Dean Nolan and Fred Thompson. Pirate Press, 1999.
Joe Hill, poet/organizer, Barrie Stavis. Roundhouse Publications, 1964.
Labor Martyr: Joe Hill (The Universal library), Gibbs M. Smith. Grosset & Dunlap, 1969.
The letters of Joe Hill, Joe Hill. Oak Publications, 1965.
The man who never died: A play about Joe Hill : with notes on Joe Hill and his times, Barrie Stavis. Dramatists Play Service; Rev. acting edition, 1959.

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Tish Hinojosa

Leticia „Tish“ Hinojosa was born on December 6, 1955, the youngest of 13 children of Mexican immigrants, and grew up in San Antonio, Texas, a city full of Mexican music: conjunto, tejano, and other traditions; also songwriters like Agustin Lara and José Alfredo Jiminez. By way of her parents, Tish also heard older Mexican traditions. Her father was from Tamaulipas, her mother from Coahuita. But she listened to folk, country and rock and roll as well. Linda Ronstadt was a strong influence, just as were Buffy Sainte-Marie and Joan Baez.

In the early 70s, Tish's mother got her a job singing jingles at the Mexican radio station. A local disc jockey who sent her to Robert Grever, who had just founded a record label. Hinojosa recorded four songs for Cara Records. The recordings were not a great success, but Tish stuck with music. (Cara Records later became the most important label for tejano music in the Southwest.)

In 1979, Tish Hinojosa moved to Red River , New Mexico and soon won the newcomer prize at the Kerrville Folk Festival. In Red Rock, under the influence of an uncle, she began to sing country music.

Tish relocated to Nashville in 1983 and signed a writing contract with a music publisher and recorded demos for other songwriters. In Nashville , she also met and married Craig Barker. Tish had a baby and her husband worked as a waiter. Two years later, they returned to San Antonio, because her mother was suffering from a fatal illness.

After a year in San Antonio , the family moved to New Mexico, where Barker had been accepted at the University of Mexico law school. Hinojosa released her first self-produced cassette, Taos to Tennessee, in 1987. It consisted of recordings made in Nashville, enriched by a few new songs. During the recording, Hinojosa was eight months pregnant. Despite having two children and a student husband, she kept up with music, taking her children and her mother-in-law on tour.

The next move took the family to the music city of Austin, Texas , where Craig enrolled at the University of Texas to finish his law studies. In 1989, Homeland, produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, appeared on A&M Records. The record was a success, but the label was taken over by another company and Hinojosa was scratched from the artist roster. Aquella Noche as well as Memorabilia Navidena (Christmas Memories) were released in 1991 on the Watermelon label. Then the critically acclaimed Culture Swing came out on Rounder Records. The recording won the NAIRD Award for Best Folk Album. Tish was invited to sing at Bill Clinton's first inauguration. In 1994, the more pop-music oriented Destiny's Gate appeared on Warner Brothers. For Frontejas, which she described as a tribute to popular Texas/Mexico border music, Hinojosa returned to Rounder. With the exception of one bi-lingual song, all the lyrics were Spanish and the music also showed her Mexican roots. Tish recorded a Spanish children's album, Cada Nino, and for Warner Brothers, Dreaming from a Labyrinth in 1996, releasing a Spanish version of the same recording a year later, Senor Del Laberinto. Her most recent recordings are Sign of Truth and A Heart Wide Open.

Aquella Noche, Watermelon 1005, CD
The Best of the Sandia. Watermelon 1991-1992, Watermelon
Best of Tish Hinojosa – Live, Rounder, CD
Cada Nino/Every Child
, Rounder CD8032, CD
Culture Swing, Rounder CD3122, CD
Destiny's Gate, Warner Brothers 9362-45566-2, CD
Dreaming from the Labyrinth/Sonor del laberento, Warner Brothers 9 46203 2, CD
From Texas for a Christman Night, Lone Star Records, CD
, Rounder CD 3132, CD
A Heart Wide Open, Valley Entertainment, CD
Homeland, A & M CD 5263, CD
Memorabilia Navidena
Retrospective, Varese Sarabansde CD
Sign of Truth, Rounder, CD
Taos to Tennessee,
Watermelon, 1008, CD

articles by Tish Hinojosa:
A Mother's Day Story: Maria de Refugio Hinojosa Coronado
Perspective in Bilingualism
Tish's Global Divas Report
articles about Tish Hinojosa:
Tish Hinojosa: Music From a Different Neighborhood
Out of the Spotlight: Women in the Business of Music
Tish Hinojosa Concert Review
"Mein Vorbild war eine Nonne" (article/interview from Switzerland, in German, PDF)
Newfound maturity of Hinojosa's voice is audience's delight
4 Songwriters prove you don't mess with Texas
Across the (cultural) border
What It Means to Be Tex-Mex
True To Her Roots
"Casa Blanca" gala
Hinojosa Reveals a Voice of Pure Substance

Tish Hinojosa in Internet


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Craig Johnson

While attending college in Ann Arbor , Michigan , Craig Johnson played country blues. In a local club, the Ark , he met the old timey band Skunk's Misery, which convinced to change musical directions. In 1977, after having moved from Ann Arbor to Washington , Johnson joined the Double Decker String Band as lead singer. He also played the banjo and the fiddle. The band played popular tunes from around 1900,in part using instruments no longer common today, like the ukelele-banjo.

Today, Craig Johnson lives in Morgentown , West Virginia . He is a social worker and teaches part-time at the University of West Virginia .

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Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson was born on May 8, 1911 in Hazelhorst, Misssissippi as the eleventh child of Julia Dodds. His father was a field hand, Noah Johnson, with whom the mother had a brief relationship. Her husband had had to flee Mississippi in 1907 after a personal conflict. Later, the couple reunited and lived in Memphis , together with the husband's mistress and their common children. Julia Dodd moved back to Mississippi and settled in Robinsonville. In 1918, Robert went to live with his mother, who had remarried.

Robert Johnson began to make music with the Jew's harp and the harmonica, but longed to play the guitar.

In February 1929, the seventeen-year-old Johnson married the fifteen-year-old Virginia Travis, but she died in childbirth in April of 1930. A year later, he married Calletta Craft, ten years his senior, but by that time was spending most of his time with bluesman Ike Zimmerman, who tutored him on the guitar. Johnson left his wife, who died a few years later.

Robert Johnson settled just across the Mississippi River from Robinsonville, in Helena , Arkansas , where he lived with an older woman. He spent most of his time on the road, though. He got to know other bluesmen: Rice Miller (Sonny Boy Williamson II), Johnny Shines, Elmore James, and Howlin‘ Wolf. Johnson traveled much, to Memphis, St. Louis, Chicago, often accompanied by Johnny Shines, David „Honeyboy“ Edwards, or most often Robert Lockwood, Jr.

Like most bluesmen, Johnson's repertoire was certainly not limited to the blues. As an itinerate entertainer, he could and did play everything from „Yes, Sir, That's My Baby“ to „Tumbling Tumbleweeds.“

Giles Oakley wrote about his music: „At times he seems scarcely able to control the extremities of feeling which press in on him or the tensions and the neuroses which drive, harry and confuse him. As if on the edge of an abyss of complete psychic disintegration his voice changes from high frenzy to little-boy vulnerability, While his slide guitar shifts from controlled affirmations to exaggerated effects. Even when his voice is quiet and softly lyrical and his guitar deliberate, his haunted pain is always close to the surface.“ [Giles Oakley, Blues die schwarze Musik. p. 306.]

Johnson often showed signs of religious desperation or of being haunted by bad spirits. „He also painted pictures of constant travel and uninhibited sexuality.“ [Lawrence Cohn, Nothing But the Blues, The Music and the Musicians. New York: Abbeville Press, 1993. p.74.] That led to the legend that he had made a deal with the devil in exchange for his talent.

Robert Johnson wanted to make records. H.C. Speir, a record store owner, who had spotted Son House and Charley Patton, introduced Johnson to a talent scout for the American Recording Company (ARC), Ernie Oertle. Oertle brought Johnson to San Antonio to make recordings with Don Law. They found Robert Johnson a place in a black boarding house. During the evening before the first recordings were to take place, Johnson was arrested and beaten by the police, his guitar destroyed. The police called Law, who managed to get Johnson out of jail. He gave Johnson 45 cents to get himself something to eat and took him to his boarding house. Later that same evening, Johnson called Law and told him that he was lonesome. He had a „lady“ with him who wanted 50 cents. He was a nickel short.

The recordings were made in an improvised studio in the Gunter Hotel . On Monday, November 23, 1936, eight blues were recorded. On Thursday, November 26, Johnson recorded one blues and the following day seven.

A second recording session with Don Law took place on the 19 th and 20 th of June 1937 in a warehouse in Dallas . There Robert Johnson made thirteen recordings. The first song Johnson sang on the 20 th was „Hell Hound on My Trail.“

The first record released was „Terraplane Blues,“ the second „Stones in My Passway.“ They were probably the only ones that Johnson ever had the opportunity to hear. The remaining songs were released by ARC and Vocalion. The special strength of Johnson's recordings, according to Samuel Charters, was that Johnson, „wasn't trying to entertain anybody, he was singing about his own torments, his pain, his joy...“ [Samuel Charters, Robert Johnson. New York: Oak Publications, 1973. p. 17.]

After the recording sessions, Johnson set out on a long trip with Johnny Shines and Calvin Frazier, which took them to Decatur, Chicago, Detroit, Windsor, Ontario and New York .

In 1938, John Hammond organized a concert in Carnegie Hall and wanted Robert Johnson to take part. He contacted Law, who counselled against the plan: „I think you're making a mistake, because if you put him on the stage at Carnegie Hall, he'll die of fright.“ [Samuel Charters, Robert Johnson. New York: Oak Publications, 1973. p. 17.] Yet Law asked Ernie Oertle to look for Johnson anyway. The concert was scheduled to take place in the fall. Oertle had to report to Law, that Robert Johnson was dead. [As a substitute for Robert Johnson, Hammond invited Big Bill Broonzy.]

On August 13, 1938, Johnson was playing at the Three Forks roadhouse in Greenwood , Mississippi with Sonny Boy Williamson and David „Honeyboy“ Edwards. He was enamored by a woman who happened to be the owner's wife. After drinking from a bottle of whisky, he became seriously ill, leading to the belief that he had been poisoned. Johnson contracted pneumonia and died on August 16, at the age of 26, and was buried in the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church cemetery.

Musically, Robert Johnson was somewhere between the rural and the urban blues. Many blues and rock musicians refer to Johnson as an influence. During the 1980s, Johnson's life was used as the basis for the film Crossroads. In 1990, Columbia Records released a box set of Johnson's music, The Complete Recordings of Robert Johnson. The collection earned a Grammy and sold more than half a million copies. From the proceeds, a memorial was built on the cemetery where Johnson is buried. His gravestone is inscribed with words from „Me and the Devil Blues.“

Early this mornin‘ when you knocked upon my door
And I said, Hello, Satan, I believe it's time to go...
You may bury my body down by the highway side
So my old evil spirit may catch a Greyhound and ride.

The Complete Recordings, Columbia CD64916, CD
The Gold Collection 40 Classis Performances, R2 CD 40-14, CD
King of the Delta Blues Singers, Columbia CL 1654, LP

Robert Johnson, Samuel Charters. New York: Oak Publications, 1973.
Robert Johnson, Bob Groom. England: Blues World, 1969.

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Si Kahn

Si Kahn was born on April 23, 1944, in Boston, Massachusetts and grew up in State College, Pennsylvania , the son of Benjamin Kahn, a rabbi and executive director of the Jewish organization Hillel, which serves college campuses, and Rosalind Kahn, an artist. His father played the violin, his mother the classical piano. The family spent a lot of time in the synagogue and sang around the dinner table at home. Early on, Si Kahn began to write songs. When he was 15, the family moved to a Washington, D.C. suburb, where Si discovered the Archive of Folk Music and the music of the Appalachians. Soon he became interested in bluegrass music.

At Harvard University , Si Kahn studied medieval history and literature. While a student, he went to the South to do volunteer work in the civil rights movement. This move determined the rest of his life. He explained his political activism with the fact that all four of his grandparents had been born in Europe and come to America as refugees. „These stories I heard from and about my grandparents shaped my sense of self and identity. We are Jews. We are outsiders. We are at risk. We are lucky to be here. We owe something back.“ (Si Kahn Songbook, Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Publishing Company, 1989, p.6.) For SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Kahn worked as a volunteer on voter registration in Forest City , Arkansas, the place where former Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forest had founded the Ku Klux Klan. In the late sixties and early seventies, Kahn worked in Georgia as an organizer for civil rights and voting rights.

Si Kahn also worked for the United Mineworkers of America (UMWA). He was involved in the Brookside strike in Kentucky (1973-1974), which was documented in the film Harlan County, USA , and he served as an adviser for the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union in the campaign against textile giant J.P. Stevens, which was the background for the film Norma Rae. Kahn continued his work by founding Grassroots Leadership in 1980, an organization which advises local organizations and coalitions and trains their members in seminars. He later founded the Jewish Fund for Justice, which funds Jewish and non-Jewish activist groups.

Music always played a role in his political work. About his time in the civil rights movement, he says, „That‘s where I first started understanding that music is not something you do in addition to political works at a meeting, it is the political work of a meeting. It works to draw people in and have them feel a part. It gives people something that they can do individually that they also do collectively. Which is important -- particularly when you‘re trying to prepare people to do something that they have to do collectively and individually that has some danger in it, like marches in the civil rights movements and picket lines almost always have“ (Si Kahn Songbook, Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Publishing Company, 1989, p. 74 – 75 )

About 1970, Si Kahn began to write down and keep some of the songs he was writing. A friend gave him a tape recorder and asked him to record the songs. Si began sending tapes to friends. When June Appal Records was founded in 1974, Jack Wright asked Si Kahn to make a record. In a friend's house in West Virginia , Si Kahn recorded seventeen songs in just two days. New Wood appeared in 1975 and became an important folk recording. On the cover, there was not even a picture of Si Kahn. One could only speculate about the singer and songwriter because up to the point Si Kahn had never performed in public. That remained the case for the following four years.

His first public appearance was at the Chicago Folk Festival in 1979, when he was 35 years old. The performance netted him a recording contract with Flying Fish Records, for whom he recorded five albums: Home (1979), Doing My Job (1982), Unfinished Portraits (1984), I'll Be There (1989), and I Have Seen Freedom 1991). Especially Doing My Job , recorded with his friends the Red Clay Ramblers earned critical acclaim.

It was not until 1982 that he began to devote more time to music. In 1986, together with his friend John McCutcheon, he released Signs of the Times on Rounder. That same year, he recorded Carry It On: Songs of America's Working People with Pete Seeger and Jane Sapp. A children's record, Good Times and Bedtimes, followed.

Si Kahn has also written three musicals: 220 RPM, Some Sweet Day, and Mother Jones. His 1997 CD, Companion, contained songs for people who have accompanied him through his life, his wife, his son, Pete and Toshi Seeger, and others. Been a Long Time, a bluegrass CD, was recorded with Pete Wernick in 1998 and released in 2000 by Sliced Bread Records. In 1999, Kahn recorded Threads in Wolfenschiessen, Switzerland with the Krüger Brothers.

But Si Kahn continued his political work, wrote two books about grassroots political organizing ( How People Get Power, McGraw-Hill, 1972; NASW Press, 1994 and Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders, McGraw-Hill 1982; NASW Press, 1991.) and performed three or four times a year. He continued to record, wrote the songs for the musical If I Live to See Next Fall as well as soundtracks for short films and television movies. Si Kahn still sees himself first and foremost as a political organizer. „I see myself by profession as organizer and by avocation a musician.“ (Country Music. The Encyclopedia. Irwin Stambler and Grelun Landon. New York : St. Martin 's Press, 1997. p. 320.) He has often described his music as, „a hobby that got out of hand.“ (quoted in: Denise Sofranko, „Si Kahn: Empowering the Community.“ Dirty Linen, April/May 1993. p. 25.) Musically, he identifies more with the old singers from the Appalachians like Aunt Molly Jackson and Florence Reese („Which Side Are You On?“) than with the protest singers of the sixties.

Si Kahn lives with his wife Elizabeth K. Minnich, a feminist philosopher and educator, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Si Kahn in internet

Been a Long Time, Sliced Bread CD-SB71202
, Appleseed, CD1020, CD
Doing My Job
, Flying Fish C221
Good Time and Bed Times
, Rounder CD8027, CD
, Flying Fish 207, LP
I'll Be There
, Flying Fish CD509, CD
In My Heart: Live in Holland
, PHI-CD1169, CD
New Wood
, Philo CD1168, CD
Unfinished Portraits
, Flying Fish 312, LP

(with John McCutcheon)
Signs of the Times, Rounder CD4017, CD

(with Pete Seeger and Jane Sapp)
Carry It On: Songs of America 's Working People

(by Si Kahn)
How People Get Power, Si Kahn. New York : McGraw-Hill, 1972; National Association of Social Workers Press, 1994.
Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders, Si Kahn. New York : McGraw-Hill, 1982; National Association of Social Workers Press, 1992.

(the person and his music)
Ken Hunt, „Educating Writer“, Folk Roots, April 1992 No. 106.
Charles Johnson, „Si Kahn: The Man Who Wrote 'Aragon Mill,'“ Bluegrass Unlimited, July, 1985.
Mark Moss, „Si Kahn: Carrying It On“, Sing Out!, Vol. 32. No. 4, Spring 1987.

Si Kahn songbook, Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Publishing Company, 1989.

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James Keelaghan

James Keelaghan was born in Calgary on October 28, 1959 and lives there today. He began performing while studying history at the University of Calgary . Early influences were Neil Young, Tom Paxton , and Jesse Winchester. Keelaghan never completed his degree, but history remained a passion and that interest has brought forth some of his most remarkable songs. He became known to a wider public when Garnet Rogers recorded Keelaghan's song “Jenny Bryce.” On his first album, Timelines (1987), Keelaghen sings historically oriented ballads on topics ranging from the early days of the Canadian Pacific Railroad to the evacuation of Dunkirk in the Second World War. On Small Rebellions (1989), he sings about, among other things, the Métis rebellion in Saskatchewan . In the past few years, he has turned to more contemporary topics, but his songs with historical background remain his most interesting. Keelaghan's lyrics are complex and poetic. Yeats, he says, was an influence. Once, while searching for a record company, it was said that he was „too poetic“ for Nashville .

Keelaghan's 1993 CD, My Skies , was the Juno Award (The Juno is the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy.) for the Best Roots Traditional Recording. A Recent Future (1995) was likewise nominated for a Juno Award. In 1997, James Keelaghan ventured a Latin-Celtic fusion with Oscar Lopez on the recording Compadres , which brought a third Juno Award. With Road in 1999, Keelaghan broke out of the historically oriented songs and recorded an album of very personal material, as well as being his musically most ambitious project. Home , from 2002, is again very personal, but is also historical and musically more straight forward.

James Keelaghan works on radio as well. For the CBC, he hosts the program „Songlines,“ on which he asks songwriters about their favorite songs. For CKUA in Alberta , Keelaghan hosts the program „Sense of Place,“ asking musicians why they live where they do.

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James Keelaghan in internet

James Keelagan: "Hillcrest Mine"
James Keelaghan: "Boom Gone to Bust"
James Keelaghan: "My Skies"
James Keelagan: "Kiri's Piano"

Timelines, 1987. Tranquilla Productions
Small Rebellions, 1989. Tranquilla TM 2
My Skies, 1993. Green Linnet and Justin Time JTR 8455-2
A Recent Future, 1995. Green Linnet and Justin Time JTR 8453-2
Compadres, 1997. Jericho Beach JBM 9701-2
Road, 1999. Jericho Beach JBM 9901
Home, 2001. Jericho Beach JBM 0201
Then Again, 2004. Jericho Beach JBM 0401

Daryl Betenia, „From History to Contemporary Issues. James Keelaghan's songwriting progression,“ Sing Out! Vol. 38. No. 2 Aug./Sep./Oct. 1983.
Levesque, Roger. "Keelaghan's music career accelerates on straightaway," Edmonton Journal , 20 Oct 1995.
Niester, Alan. "More than just plain folk," Globe and Mail , 6 Apr 1999.
Eshleman, Annette. "James Keelaghan: A good story," Dirty Linen, April/May 2000.


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Henry Herbert Knibbs

Henry Herbert Knibbs was born in 1874 in Clinton, Ontario to well-to-do American parents. His parents encouraged him to read the works of Longfellow, Lord Byron, Whittier, Tennyson and Edgar Allen Poe. He also developed a love for the fiddle. At the age of 14, Knibbs attended Woodstock College, then Bishop Ridley College for three years and he studied English at Harvard for three semesters, though he never received a college degree.

Knibbs moved to California in 1901 and wrote his first novel, Lost Farm Camp . He went on to write twelve more novels, most of which were set in the American West of in revolutionary Mexico. He also published several volumes of poetry.

During his final years, he was the owner/operator of a violin shop in Banning, California. Knibbs died in 1945.

Cowboy Poetry Claassic Rhymes, Henry Herbert Knibbs, H. Mason Coggin (Editor), Janic Coggin, Janice M. Coggin (Editor), Cowboy Miner Productions, 1999.
Riders of the Stars. A Book of Western Verse. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1916.
Saddle Songs and Other Verse, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. ca. 1922.
Songs of the Lost Frontier, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. 1930.
Songs of the Outlands, Ballads of the Hoboes and Other Verse. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. ca. 1941.
Songs of the Trail

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Lead Belly

Huddie Ledbetter was born between 1885 and 1888 in Lousiana, but was raised in a thinly populated and inaccessable region in eastern Texas . His father was a sharecropper until he was able to buy his own piece of land. Huddie Ledbetter grew up in the „Jim Crow“ South, a society of racial discriminatiion and racial violence, but in an area in which only Blacks lived. Sometimes they took wagonloads of cotton to Shreveport , Lousiana. He learned the music and songs of that culture: worksongs, spirituals, lullabies and hymns. Early on, he learned to play the accordeon and the guitar and played for dances called „sukey jumps.

Ledbetter was known and respected for his enormous strength and the ability to work hard, just as he was known for his drinking, his philandering and violent nature. He always carried a gun that his father had given him for self-defence. After he had made a girl pregnant for the second time without marrying her, he had to leave that rural area. He went to Shreveport , to the red light district along Fanning Street . Based on the technique of the barrelhouse piano players, he developed his guitar playing with an emphasis on the bass strings. He also learned to play the piano and began to integrate blues into his repertoire. He worked where he found it and made music when he could.

Ledbetter was often in Dallas , where he met blues singer Blind Lemon Jefferson, for whom he says he acted as lead man, In any case, he learned much from Jefferson , from his style of playing guitar using a knife or a bottleneck. He absorbed all musical genres from cowboy songs to blues. And he continued his musical education in prison.

He served time from 1917 to 1925 on the Shaw State Prison Farm for assault with intent to kill and again from 1930 to 1934 on the Louisiana State Farm in Angola , Louisiana for murder. It was probably in prison that Ledbetter got his neckname „Lead Belly.“ His first prison term ended on January 16, 1925, when Texas governor Pat Neff signed a pardon. Lead Belly had sung and danced for him when the governor visited „Sugarland.“ He had sung the governor a song asking for a pardon and the governor had promised to free him someday. He did so just before he left office. In 1933, Lead Belly was visited in Angola by John A. Lomax and Alan Lomax. He was pardoned again in 1934. He then traveled to New York and did a tour of northern colleges. In 1936, the book Negro Folk Songs as Sung by Leadbelly was published by the Lomaxes. Lead Belly gave concerts, made recordings and sung on the radio.

In 1949, he traveled to Europe for a series of concerts. Soon thereafter, he became ill with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) and died in December 1949.

Only six months after his death, his song „Good Noght Irene“ became a hit by the Weavers and sold over two million copies. In 1976, Paramount Pictures released the movie Leadbelly , starring Roger E. Mosley and directed by Gordon Parks.

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Lead Belly in internet

Leadbelly: 1945 "Pick a Bale of Cotton" - "Grey Goose" - "Take This Hammer"
Leadbelly News Report with John A. Lomax

Absolutely the Best, Varese Sarabande
Alabama Bound, RCA
All Time Blues Classics, Music Memoria (Fra)
At New York Town Hall 1947, American Music Records
Best of Lead Belly, Cleopatra
Black Betty, Universe Italy
Blues Best, Classic World
The Blues: Bourgeois Blues 1933-1946, Fremeaux & Assoc. Fr
Blues, Stay Away from My Door, Liquid 8
Boll Weevil, Fruit Tree Italy
Borrow Love and Go, Masked Weasel
Bourgeois Blues: Golden Classics, Pt. 1, Collectables
Bourgeois Blues: Leadbelly Legacy, Vol. 2, Smithsonian Folkways
Bridging Lead Belly, Rounder Select
The Definitive Leadbelly, Catfish UK
Collectables Classics, Collectables
Complete Recorded Works Volume 1: 1939-1947, Document
Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 3 (1943-1944), Document
Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 5 (1944-1946),Document
Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 7 (1947-1949), Document
Easy Rider , Catfish UK
Easy Rider Blues, Our World Records
Genius of Folk, St. Clair Records
Go Down Old Hannah, Rounder
Golden Classics: Pt. 2 (Defense Blues), Collectables
Good Morning Blues, Pearl
Good Mornin' Blues (1936-1940), Indigo
Goodnight Irene, Iris Music
Good Night Irene, Music Trax
Goodnight Irene, Pilz
Gwine Dig a Hole to Put the Devil In, Rounder
Huddie Ledbetter's Best, Bgo – Beat Goes On
Huddie Ledbetter's Best, Navarre Corporation
Important Recordings 1934-1949, Jsp Records
In the Shadow of the Gallows Pole, Tradition Records
King of the 12-String Guitar, Sony
Kings of the Blues
Last Sessions!
, Universe Italy
Leadbelly, Capitol
Leadbelly, Sony
Leadbelly: Members Edition
Leadbelly V.1, Abm
The Leadbelly, Vol. 1: 1934-1935, Document
The Leadbelly, Vol. 2: 1935, Document
The Leadbelly, Vol. 3: 1935, Document
The Leadbelly, Vol. 4: 1935-1938, Document
The Leadbelly, Vol. 5: 1938-1942, Document
Leadbelly's Last Sessions, Smithsonian Folkways
Leadbelly Sings Folk Songs, Smithsonian Folkways
Leadbelly Sings For Children, Smithsonian Folkways
Legendary Leadbelly, Mastersong
The Legend of Leadbelly: Goodnight Irene, Legacy
The Legend of Leadbelly: The Tradition Years, Empire Musicwerks
Legendary Masters Series, Allegro Corporation
Let It Shine On Me, Rounder
Live: New York 1947 & Austin, Texas 1949, Document
Lowdown Blues, First Budget
Masters, Blue Moon
Memorial, Vol. 1-2, Collectables
Memorial, Vols. 3 & 4, Collectables
Midnight Special, Empire Music Group
Midnight Special, Griffin Music
Midnight Special, Past Perfect Si
Midnight Special, Rounder
My Last Go Round, Recall Records UK
Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen, Vol. 5, Rounder
Party Songs/Sings & Plays, Collectables
Private Party November 21, 1948, Document
Rock Island Line, Naxos
Shout On: Leadbelly Legacy, Vol. 3, Smithsonian Folkways
Story of the Blues: Huddie Leadbelly, Membran/Blues Archive
Take This Hammer, RCA
Take This Hammer, Snapper UK
The Titanic, Vol. 4, Rounder
Tradition Masters, Tradition Records
You Don't Know My Mind, Fabulous
Volume 2, Abm
Vol. 2: 1940-1943, Document
Vol. 6: 1947 Complete Recorded, Document
Where Did You Sleep Last Night: Lead Belly Legacy, Vol. 1, Smithsonian Folkways

(Lead Belly's songs)
Long John Baldry, Remembering Leadbelly, Stoney Plain Records
Various Artists, Folkways: A Vision Shared - A Tribute to Woody Guthrie & Leadbelly , Sony
Various Artists, Leadbelly: A Tribute, Rhino/Wea
Various Artists, Tribute to Leadbelly, Blues Alliance

(the person and his music)
The Life and Legend of Leadbelly, Charles Wolfe & Kip Lornell. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1992.

The Leadbelly Songbook, New York: Oak Publications, 1962
A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly
, Will Schmid. Music Educators National Conference, 1990.

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Tom May

Tom May is from Nebraska and first learned to play classical guitar. He has been a „professional folk singer“ for more than a quarter of a century. During the seventies, he lived in the Pacific Northwest and got to know and became involved in the Canadian folk music scene. Toward the end of the decade, he was opening concerts for Joni Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot. He has also performed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium and Germany .

For many years, Tom May has been doing a radio/television program out of Omaha, Nebraska, „River City Folk,“ which is broadcast nationally. The popularity of the program led to the foundation on a folk festival in Omaha . In September 1994, May gave a series of concerts with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra. Two years later, he moved to Eatonsville , Washington. He is on the road six months a year.

„One of the things that folk music strives to do is be a memory. A memory of people and geography and jobs and situations and economic conditions and history of all types, and that‘s something that‘s more and more needed in our society“ (Leo Biga, „Interstate 80 revisited“, The Reader, Jan. 15, 1998.)

Tom May in internet

Blue Northern, Vignette Records, VP 004
Coming Home
From the Prairies to the Past. Anthology 1978-1986
, Vignette Records VP 006, CD
Open Spaces, Prairie Winds, Vignette Productions VP 003, Cas
River & the Road, Folk Era FE 1420 CD, CD
Trace of the Troubador
, Blue Vignette

(with Mark Moebeck)
20 Years of Irish Music

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Harry „Mac“ McClintock  

Harry „Mac“ McClintock was always a man who got around a lot. He was born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1882. As a youth McClintock began riding boxcars. When he was fourteen, he ran away from home to join the circus „Gentry Brothers, Dog and Pony Show.“ When the circus folded in 1896, he kept going and soon discovered, for example on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, that he could keep his head above water by singing.

As a youth who looked even younger than his age, he was endangered by hoboes who liked to sexually bind young men to them. McClintock: “Most of the vagrants were mechanics or laborers, uprooted and set adrift by hard times and they were decent men. But there were others, ‘blowed-in-the-glass-stiffs,‘ who boasted that they had never worked and never would, who soaked themselves in booze when they could get it and who were always out to snare a kid to do their begging and pander to their perversions.  

“The luckless punk who fell into the clutches of one of these gents was treated with unbelievable brutality, and I wanted no part of such a life. As a ‘producer‘ I was a shining mark; a kid who could not only beg handouts but who could bring in money for alcohol was a valuable piece of property for any jocker who could snare him.  

“The decent hoboes were protective as long as they were around, but there were times when I fought like a wildcat or ran like a deer to preserve my independence and my virginity. I whittled my way out of two or three jams with a big barlow knife, and on one occasion I jumped into the darkness from a boxcar door - from a train that must have been doing better than thirty miles an hour.“ [ quoted in Kenneth Allsop, Hard Travellin' , p. 215-216.]  

McClintock was a soldier, seaman, journalist, and cowboy as well as a hobo. He was in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War and also traveled to China , Africa, Australia , South America , Alaska and throughout the entire continental United States. In the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) first street band he played the clarinet and edited the first edition of the union's Little Red Songbook . He wrote „Hallelujah, I'm a Bum,“ - which became the hymn of the IWW - and „ Big Rock Candy Mountain .“ Almost every child in America knows the latter song, but few know that it is about the sexual abuse of young hoboes.  

When McClintock settled down, he began a career as a cowboy singer. He became well-known as an early radio personality, working one of the earliest hillbilly radio programs for KFRC in San Francisco from 1926, calling himself „Haywire Mac“ McClintock. From 1927 to 1931 he made more than forty recordings for RCA Victor, cowboy songs like „Sam Bass,“ „Jesse James“ or „Texas Rangers,“ but also worksongs and „The Great American Bum.“  

During the 1950s, Harry McClintock published a songbook, Songs of the Road and Range , worked on the radio and recorded his classic songs for Folkways Records. He died in San Francisco on April 24, 1957.  

Cowboy Songs on Folkways , Various Artists. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings - SFW40043 1991 (Harry McClintock – “ Utah Carroll”)
Haywire Mac, Harry "Haywire Mac" McClintock , Cook Records - COOK01124 1950

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Gary McMahan

A native of Greeley , Colorado , Gary McMahan learned all the skills of a working cowboy and also won honors in the rodeo arena. His writing and performing of western songs, poetry and humor have taken him all over the West. Gary: 

" Like horse manure, I've been all over the West, first with my Dad as he hauled cattle from Montana and the Dakotas to Texas and all points in between, then as a cowboy, and finally as an entertainer. For most of my life, I've somehow managed to make my living either with a horse or a guitar. I can remember when Ian Tyson, Chris LeDoux, and I were the only genuine cowboy types kicking around Nashville in the early seventies. All three of us were pretty much out of work, and it stayed that way for over a decade. But we all three hung and rattled and made it through that drought. I managed to extract myself from horse outfits and singing in windy little Naugahyde bars when the cowboy poetry gatherings came along. It was there that my audience and I found each other. Now I make my living performing at banquets and concerts. These songs and poems are a lot like horse manure... if you leave them in a pile they just lay there and stink but, if you spread them around they green things up and sometimes make a little money. My guitar and I continue to travel the country 'spreading it around' and probably will 'til we both give out. "  

Gary McMahan's songs have been recorded by Ian Tyson, Chris LeDoux, and Riders in the Sky .  

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Gary McMahan in internet

Colorado Blue, 1980 by HorseApple Records.
Saddle 'Em Up and Go!, 1988 by HorseApple Records.
A Cowboyin' Day, 1992 by HorseApple Records.
Poems and Yodels, 1997 by HorseApple Records.

Gary McMahan Live!, 1995 by HorseApple Records.

Gary McMahan In Poem and Song, 1997 by The Record Stockman.

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Blind Willie McTell

Willie Samuel McTell, was probably born south of Thomson , Georgia , thirty miles west of Atlanta in 1898. The correct family name was McTier or McTear. McTell probably came about as a result of a misunderstanding at one of the schools for the blind, which McTell later attended. He came from a musical family, both his mother and his father played the guitar. His father, however, left the family shortly after Willie's birth. In 1907, mother and son moved to Statesboro. The extended family looked after Willie as a child as well as later during his musical career. He first learned to play the accordeon and the harmonica, but as soon as he was big enough, he switched to the guitar.

Willie McTell was either born blind or lost his sight as an infant. Numerous examinations and operations were unsuccessful. He attended schools for the blind, learned to read Braille and received music instruction. McTell was a rarity among blues musicians in that he could read and write music, of course in Braille. He attended the school for the blind in Macon, Georgia, but also schools for the blind in New York City, Michigan, and North Carolina and undoubtedly received a better education that most Blacks of his time. Later, he paid for his wife's training as a nurse.

Willie McTell was self-confident and independent and never let himself be led. Unlike other blind musicians, he oftern traveled alone, even led other blind musicians. He had memorized the streets of Atlanta , Statesboro, the New York subway as well as the Atlanta bus and streetcar system.

His excellent memory made it possible for him to have a broad repertoire so that he could sing the right song for any occasion. He played the twelve-string guitar in the Piedmont blues style, a style „less black“ than the Delta blues. His music ranged from blues and ragtime, from minstrel show songs to hymns and hillbilly music. That is, there were several connections to white music. He sang in a nasal style similar to the hillbilly singers.

Between 1927 and 1956 Willie MeTell made sporadic recordings of about 120 songs altogether, yet he never had a hit. That was in part due to the fact that his best recordings were made during the Depression. Sometimes he disappeared from view for a time or made recordings under numerous pseudonyms: Blind Willie, Georgia Bill, Hot Shot Willie, Blind Sammy, Barrel House Sammy, P 'n' Whistle Red. For the recordings he made for the Library of Congress, Alan Lomax paid him ten dollars.

Blind Willie McTell played mostly in Georgia , but he traveled to all the major cities of the South as well as to cities from Oakland to New York . In 1965, he gave up music to become a the pastor of an Atlanta church. Willie McTell died in 1959 after two stokes.

Blind Willie McTell in internet (with discography)

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Bill Monroe
Bill Monroe, the youngest of thirteen children, was born on September 13, 1911, near Rosine, Kentucky. As a child, Bill was extremely shy and poor vision only made matters worse. The family worked 675 acres and when Bill walked the fields, he sang. In church, too, the boy could develop his voice. Because he could not read the notes in the songbooks, he learned music by ear.
Monroe’s mother played the fiddle, the accordeon and the harmonica and his father was a gifted dancer. His brother Birch played the fiddle and his brother Charlie and his sister Bertha both played the guitar. The only instrument left to Bill was the mandolin. His mother’s brother, Pendleton Vandiver, was a fiddler and a major musical influence on the boy. Bill Monroe later honored him with the song, „Uncle Pen.“ At age 13, Bill was already backing his uncle on the guitar or mandolin at local square dances. Another musician in Rosine who had a strong influence on Monroe was the black guitarist and singer Arnold Schultz, who gave Monroe a feeling for the blues, which later became an essential element in Bill’s future music. And of course there were phonograph recordings, making it possible to hear a much wider range of musicians.
Bill was only ten when his mother died, but sixteen when his seventy-year old father passed away. The boy moved on with an uncle, Jack Monroe, and later with Uncle Pen. In 1929, Bill Monroe followed his two older brothers to Whiting, Indiana, a suburb of Chicago, where he worked at the Sinclair oil refinery until 1934. In the North, he also heard other types of music, among them jazz.
In the evenings, he and his brothers played at parties and dances for other migrants from the South. From 1934, Charlie and Bill played on station WLS on Chicago as „the Monroe Brothers.“ Thereafter, they worked for other stations in various parts of the Midwest and South.
In 1936, the Monroe Brothers made their first recording for RCA Victor. „What Would You Give (In Exchange for Your Soul)“ sold well and led to further recordings. Business and personal differences, however, led the brothers to split up in 1938. Bill formed a new band, the Kentuckians, in Little Rock, Arkansas, but soon moved to Atlanta, Georgia. His next band, the Bluegrass Boys, was named after his home state.
In October 1939, Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys tried out for the Grand Ole Opry and were hired on the spot. He played on the Opry until his death. Otherwise, he and his band traveled across the country with their own tent, often with such guests as DeFord Bailey or Uncle Dave Macon, put on shows and even organized baseball games before their performances.
Monroe kept changing his music, added banjo and accordeon. In 1945, he signed a recording contract with Columbia Records and had hits with „Kentucky Waltz“ and „Footprints in the Snow.“ The members of the band started doing solos in the style of a jazz band. Then the accordeon disappeared and guitarist Lester Flatt and banjoist Earl Scruggs were hired. This formation, including Chubby Wise on the fiddle and Howard Wells (known as Cedric Rainwater) on the bass, remained together until 1948 and developed the sound which later came to be known as „bluegrass music.“ Bluegrass is a synthesis of white dance music and blues with jazz elements, a thoroughly modern music with deep roots in the traditional music of the South. During the years following, the membership of the Bluegrass Boys remained in constant flux.
The first song that Elvis Presley, a big fan of Bill Monroe, recorded was Monroe’s „Blue Moon of Kentucky.“ Despite that, the rock and roll years were meager ones for Bill Monroe. The folk music revival, though, brought with it better times. In 1970, Bill Monroe was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Right up to his death and despite a bout with cancer and a heart operation, Monroe continued to perform and enjoy great popularity.
In a career spanning six decades, Bill Monroe was one of the most creative figures in American musical history. With bluegrass, he created a musical genre and then proceeded to train generations of musicians in his own band. Monroe composed instrumental music, set standards as a mandolin player and was a prolific song writer.
Bill Monroe died on September 10, 1996. He is buried in Rosine.














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Ben Perkins

Ben Perkins was a rancher in the Chino and Verde valleys between Prescott and Flagstaff, Arizona. His grandfather, M. A. Perkins drove the first cattle there in November 1900. The 1500 cattle had been shipped from Fort Davis , Texas to San Marcial, New Mexico and driven from there to the Luna Valley, near Springerville , Arizona. There they were kept for a year before being driven on to the Chino Valley.

M. A. Perkins had three sons. Ben's father, Nick continued to ride and work on the ranch up into his 90s. While “Old Nick” was running the ranch, his wife Evelyn taught school for 50 dollars a month. From her income, they bought cattle for the ranch.

Nick and Evelyn had four sons, Marion, Dave, Tom and Ben, all of whom continued to work on the ranch.

Ben Perkins played the guitar and sang. “Benny,” wrote Katie Lee in her book Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle , “was kind of a talking singer with a wide range of inflection. So the tune, which didn't matter much anyway when he sang it, often got lost or pushed around by his interpretation.” (p. 195) He had a voice, she wrote, “that's a cross between a whine and a gentle moo – part talk, part song – and a guitar that leads or follows as the songs tells it, that voice fits this rough, rocky country like horns on a bull.” (p. 131)  

Ben Perkins died in 1971 after a five-year bout with cancer.

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U. Utah Phillips

U. Utah Phillips, „the Golden Voice of the Great Southwest,“ as Bruce Phillips calls himself, was born in Cleveland, Ohio on May 15, 1935. His mother worked for the Congress of Industrial Organization (CIO). His father was a Communist. During the war years, the family lived in Cleveland and Dayton. As a child, Phillips listened to the Grand Ole Opry, the Louisiana Hayride, and the Old Dominion Barn Dance and learned to play the ukelele. In 1947, after the separation of his parents, he moved with his mother and stepfather to Utah. Bruce picked up the name nickname „U. Utah “ while working at Yellowstone National Park, because he never ceased talking about his idol T. Texas Tyler.

Still in his teens, Bruce started riding the rails and came to know the world of the hobos. He was inducted into the army. „I wanted to learn a trade, but all they taught me was how to shoot.“ He was disgusted by what he experienced while serving in Korea. „I saw the arrogance of this white army treating the people they were supposed to be helping as if they were subhuman. That's where I learned about sexism, racism and imperialism.“

Phillips was unable to settle down when he returned to the United States. He roamed around the country, often hopping freights. In Salt Lake City , he met the pacifist and anarchist Ammon Hennessy of the Catholic Workers Movement. Hennessy ran the Joe Hill House for migrants and the homeless. He helped Phillips get off the bottle and turned him into an anarchist. Phillips began working as a social worker at the Joe Hill House, and he became politically active. He worked for union causes, walked picket lines, and was actively opposed to the war in Vietnam. He sang at small folk venues and sometimes at union rallies. His main source of income, however, was giving children guitar instruction and working for the Utah state archive. In 1961, Phillips had recorded his first LP, Nobody Knows Me. Rosalie Sorrels recorded six of Phillips songs on her LP If I Could Be the Rain.

In the mid-sixties, Bruce Phillips founded the Sloth and Indulance Party, fused with the Peace and Freedom Party and ran for the United States Senate from Utah in 1968. He didn't get elected but did draw over 6000 votes in conservative Utah.

In 1969, at the urging of Rosalie Sorrels, Phillips traveled to New York to sell some of his songs and attempt to make folk singing a full-time job. In 1974, he settled on a farm near Spokane, Washington.

Most of the songs Utah Phillips sings are about the West or about hoboes or both. The LP Good Though for Philo Records, a concept album about railroads and tramps, complete with train sounds, remains a classic. In the fall of 1975, El Capitan appeared with songs and stories about the West. Other concept albums followed. All Used Up: A Scrapbook was about the residents of America 's skid rows. We Have Fed You All for a Thousand Years is a collection songs of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) of which Phillips is a member. Phillips reaction to the Golf War was the CD I've Got to Know, a live studio recording on which he, without a single interruption, expresses his rage over the war in speeches, poems and songs.

Since 1995, Phillips has no longer been able to tour regularly due to a heart problem, but he has remained active. From his home in Nevada City, California , he hosted a weekly radio program for the Pacifica Radio Network called “Loafer's Glory: Hobo Jungle of the Mind.” In 1996, the CD The Past Didn't Go Anywhere was released. On it, Ani DiFranco backed up stories by Phillips with music ranging from avant-garde to rap. The hope was to make Phillips accessible to a new generation. The same year Red House released The Long Memory , which Phillips had recorded with his old friend Rosalie Sorrels. The National Association of Independent Record Distributors named it the Best Traditional Folk Album. Together with Mark Ross , he put together a collection of songs and stories about hoboes, Loafer's Glory , which came out in 1997. The same year Kate Brislin and Jody Stecher released a collection of Phillips' songs, Heart Songs, which was nominated for a Grammy. In 1999, Fellow Workers, his second collaboration with Ani DiFranco, received the same honor and Red House released another collection of his stories, Moscow Hold .

At the end of April 2002, Utah Phillips was forced to suspend his production of “Loafer's Glory” because he was unable to get the financial backing necessary. His health prohibited him from doing the weekly show and also traveling to the gigs which pay his bills.

In 2005, Phillips released the four-CD "Starlight on the Rails: A Songbook," containing all his songs and his commentary about each one.

Utah Phillips died on May 23, 2008.

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Utah Phillips in internet

Utah Phillips: The funniest story he ever heard
Utah Phillips: "Railroading on the Great Divide"

All Used Up: A Scrapbook, Philo C1050, Cas
El Capitan, Philo C1016
Good Though, Philo CD1004, CD
I've Got to Know, ALCA CD114, CD
The Moscow Hold and Other Stories, Red House RHR 118, CD
Nobody Knows Me, Prestige 13040, LP
Starlight on the Rails: A Songbook, AK Press AKA 0412CD
The Telling Takes Me Home (includes El Capitan and All Used Up ), Philo CD1210, CD
We Have Fed You All a Thousand Years (IWW Songs), Philo CD1076, CD

(with Jack Elliot & Spider John Koerner)
Legends of Folk, Red House 31, CD

(with Rosalie Sorrels)
The Long Memory, Red House Records, CD 83, CD

(with Mark Ross)
Loafer's Glory, Redhouse CD103, CD

(with Ani DiFranco)
Fellow Workers, Righteous Babe RBR015-D, CD
The Past Didn't Go Anywhere, RIGHT CD009, CD

Starlight on the Rails & Other Songs, U.Utah Phillips. San Francisco: Wooden Shoe, 1973.

(the person and his music)
Rik Palieri, „ Utah Philips: True Timing,“ Sing Out! Vol. 44. No. 1, 1999, S. 57.
Joe Ross, „U. für Pres. Joe Ross hears the philosophy according to Mr Phillips„ Folk Roots April 1993 No. 118.

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John Prine

John Prine was born on October 10, 1949 in Maywood, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. His parents came form western Kentucky. Many relatives still lived there. His grandfather played guitar with Ike Everly, father of the Don and Phil. To avoid working in the mines, John‘s father, William Prine, had gone to Chicago, where he became president of the steel workers' union. John Prine spent many summers with relatives in Paradise, Kentucky. There he heard the music and the stories that were to form him.

Prine's eldest brother, Dave, urged him to learn to play the guitar. At age fourteen, John began to write songs. Two out of that early period, „Sour Grapes“ and „Frying Pan,“ were later recorded for the album Diamonds in the Rough. After graduation, John went to work for the post office, but he was drafted into the army. During 1966 and 1967, he was stationed in Germany. After the army, he went back to the post office.

John Prine sang in public for the first time in 1970, in the Chicago club Fifth Peg. He quit his job at the post office and soon met Steve Goodman. In the summer of 1971, Goodman opened for Kris Kristofferson. He sang a John Prine song that impressed Kristofferson and later took Kris to hear Prine. Soon thereafter, Prine and Goodman went to New York to make demo tapes. At a gig by Kristofferson, Prine was asked to sing three of his own songs. Jerry Werder of Atlantic Records was in the audience. On the following day, Prine signed a recording contract. Before the end of the year John Prine was on the market and became one the legendary albums of all time, with a series of classics like „Paradise,“ „Hello in There“ and „Angel from Montgomery.“ Prine was hailed as the new Bob Dylan.

During the fifteen years that followed, John Prine recorded eight albums with new songs, but none met with the critical or commercial success of his first outing. He seemed cursed by his early success. Prine continued to switch record companies until he founded his own „O'Boy“ label in the early eighties. During the mid-eighties, Prine considered giving up music. He had remained a name for insiders and though cherished by his colleagues and a small group of loyal fans, he never achieved a breakthrough. A second marriage failed and the death of his friend Steve Goodman hit him hard.

Not until 1992 did a new CD, The Missing Years, appear. The recording won a Grammy as the best contemporary folk CD and suddenly John Prine was back. His next CD, Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings, was also well-received. In 1999, he released a recording of duets with female country singers, In Spite of Ourselves.

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John Prine in internet

John Prine: "Paradise" - "Donald and Lydia"
John Prine: "Angel from Montgomery"
John Prine: "Hello in There"
John Prine and Nanci Griffith: "Speed of the Sound of Loneliness"

Aimless Love, Oh Boy CD002, CD
Bruised Oranges, Oh Boy CD006, CD
Common Sense, Atlantic CD18127, CD
Diamonds in the Rough,
Atlantic CD7240, CD
Fair and Square, Oh Boy, 2005
German Afternoons,
Oh Boy CD003, CD
In Spite of Ourselves, Oh Boy UTCD 008, CD
John Prine, Atlantic CD19156, CD
The John Prine Anthology Great Days, Rhino R2 71400, CD
A John Prine Christmas
John Prine Live,
Oh Boy, CD005, CD
Live on Tour, Oh Boy, CD015, CD
Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings,
Oh Boy, CD013, CD
The Missing Years, Oh Boy, CD009, CD
Pink Cadillac, Oh Boy, CD007, CD
Prime Prine,
Atlantic-CD18202, CD
Storm Windows,
Oh Boy, CD008
Sweet Revenge, Atlantic -CD7274, CD

"John Prine. One of 'The Good Guys,'" John Kruth, Sing Out! Vol. 49 #4.

John Prine - Live from Sessions at West 54th

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Frank Proffitt

Frank Proffitt was born on June 1, 1913, in Laural Blooney, Tennessee, the son of Wiley and Rebecca Alice Creed Proffitt. His father was a farmer, cooper, and tinker. John Proffitt, Frank‘s grandfather, had gone from North Carolina to Tennessee to fight for the North as a member of the 13 th Tennessee Cavalry, USA. His brother had fought for the South. The grandparents, John and Adeline Perdue Proffitt, moved to Tennessee from Wilkes County, North Carolina shortly after the end of the Civil War. When Frank was a boy, the family moved back to North Carolina, to Watauga County, only a few miles from the Tennessee border. They lived a primitive life. At age sixteen, Frank Proffitt walked across the mountains to see a city for the first time, Mountain City, Tennessee. He walked barefoot.

After the sixth grade, Proffitt left school to work with his father on the farm, yet he continued to read everything he could get his hands on. He learned songs from his father, from relatives and neighbors, from lumberjacks and anyone who knew a few songs. He was interested in the origins of the songs. Proffitt was proud of the culture of his mountain home. Few people could understand his interest in „that old stuff.“

Photograph of Frank Proffitt

From his father, he also learned the art of building banjos. „As a boy I recall going along with Dad to the woods to get the lumber for banjo-making. He selected a tree by its appearance and sounding...hitting a tree with a hammer or ax broadsided to tell by the sound if it's straight grained...when the strings were put on and the pegs turned and musical notes began to fill the cabin, I looked on my father as the greatest man on earth for creating such a wonderful thing out of a piece of wood, a greasy skin, and some strings.“ (Irwin Stambler and Grelun Landon, Encyclopedia of Folk, Country, and Western Music. New York: St. Martin 's Press, 1964, p. 243.) In 1922, he got his first „store-bought“ instrument, a guitar.

Frank Proffitt married Bessie Hicks, who also came from a musical family, in 1932 and reared five sons and a daughter. He raised tobacco, but in order to support his family he was sometimes forced to leave his family and seek work elsewhere. He worked for a time in a spark-plug factory in Toledo, Ohio, built roads for the WPA, and worked as a carpenter in Oak Ridge, Tennessee during the Second World War. Using patterns learned from his father, he also built and sold dulcimers and banjos.

In 1937, song collectors Frank and Anne Warner visited Bessie Profitt's father, Nathan Hicks. When they returned to North Carolina in June of the following year, Hicks saw to it that his son-in-law was present. The first song Frank Proffitt sang for the Warners was „Tom Dooley.“ After the success of The Kingston Trio with „Tom Dooley,“ Proffitt was invited to the first University of Chicago Folk Festival. Thereafter, he occasionally performed at other northern folk venues, including the Newport Folk Festival in 1964 and 1965. He recorded albums for Folkways and Folk Legacy.

Frank Proffitt died on Thanksgiving, November 24, 1965 in Vilas, North Carolina. He was buried in a private cemetery about a mile from his house. The first line of „Goin‘ Across the Mountain“ is engraved upon his gravestone.

Frank Proffitt of Reese, Folk Legacy, NC CD-1
Memorial Album, Folk Legacy, CD 36
Traditional Songs and Ballads of Appalachia, Folk Legacy
Warner Collection, Vol. 2: Nothing Seems Better to Me - The Music of Frank Proffitt and North Carolina, Appleseed Records, 1036  

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Buck Ramsey

Buck Ramsey, whose real name was Kenneth, was born on January 9, 1938 in New Home, Texas, the son of David and Pearl Ramsey. He was raised in the Texas Panhandle, north of the Canadian River. In the Primitive Baptist Church he learned to sing four-part harmony and sang solos with his sisters who formed a gospel quartet and preformed all over the Panhandle.

After high school, Buck attended college at Texas Tech for a short time, then traveled to Canada and worked in California and New York before returning to Texas. He served in the Marines and enrolled at West Texas State College. It was while going to college that he became a working cowboy. In 1962, he was thrown from a wild horse. His neck was broken and his spinal cord suffered injuries, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Ramsey worked as a newspaper reporter, freelance writer, political speech writer and he wrote and performed poetry.

He researched and sang old cowboy songs and won respect as an historian. From 1989 until his death, Buck Ramsey was a featured performer at the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko , Nevada . He was called the „spiritual leader of the cowboy poetry movement.“ His album of cowboy songs, Rolling Uphill to Texas won the Western Heritage Wrangler Award given by the Cowboy Hall of Fame for traditional western music. In 1995, he was named „National Endowment for the Arts Fellow“ and he received a National Heritage Master Artist Award from Hillary Clinton at the White House.

Buck Ramsey died of congestive heart failure at his home in Amarillo, Texas on January 3, 1998, just one week before his sixtieth birthday.

Buck Ramsey in internet

Rolling Uphill from Texas , Buck Ramsey
Buck Ramsey: Hittin' the Trail, Smithsonian Folkways 50002 - 2 CD set.

Buck Ramsey's Grass: With Essays on His Life And Work. Texas Tech University Press; Book & CD edition, 2005.
Christmas Waltz , Buck Ramsey, Janet Hurley (Illustrator). Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1996.
And As I Rode Out on the Morning , Buck Ramsey. Texas Tech University Press, 1993.

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Jerry Rasmussen

Jerry Rasmussen grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin, a small town on the Rock River, about 50 miles west of Milwaukee. And he grew up with the popular music of the fifties. In 1960, he went to New York to attend Columbia University and discovered Greenwich Village. He spent two or three nights a week in the Gaslight Café and heard Dave van Ronk, Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs, Richie Havens and Bob Dylan. From Dave van Ronk he learned country blues and fingerpicking as well as an appreciation for the Harry Smith Folk Music Anthology. Rasmussen bought his first banjo at a pawn shop. After four years in New York he moved to Connecticut and became the director of the Stamford Museum.

Sing Out! wrote, „Out of the recollections of his boyhood...he has fashioned many fine songs which offer us a glimpse of life in the northern Midwest several decades ago.“ ( Sing Out! Vol. 32, No. 2. p. 26.) About Jerry Rasmussen's record The Secret Life of Jerry Rasmussen Tom Paxton wrote: „This album is like a visit with an old friend, so pull up a chair.“ Sally Rodgers described Rasmussen as, „one of those rare songwriters who notices the mundane in life and then writes a gem of a song about it, capturing kernels of 'The Truth' in the process and making our lives the better for it.“ (Booklet in the CD The Secret Life of Jerry Rasmussen, Jerry Rasmussen. Folk-Legacy FSI-101.) Sandy Paton of Folk Legacy Records writes about his songs: „Perhaps it is only in our minds and in our songs that we can ever go home again.“ (Booklet in the CD Get Down Home, Jerry Rasmussen. Folk Legacy FSI-77.)  

Get Down Home, Folk Legacy C-77, Cas
Handful of Songs, Folk-Legacy, C-516, Cas
The Secret Life of Jerry Rasmussen, Folk Legacy C101, Cas

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George F. Root

George Frederick Root was born in Sheffield , Massachusetts on August 30, 1820. He was musically gifted and at the age of twelve could already play thirteen different musical instruments. Root moved to Boston in 1838 and studied music under George Wells. In 1845, he moved to New York and played the organ at the Church of Strangers and taught music at the Abbott Institute for Young Ladies. During the year 1850, he toured Europe . Upon his return he worked with Lowell Mason at Boston 's Academy of Music and began composing minstrel songs under the pseudonym G. Friedrich Wurzel. („Wurzel“ is German for „root.“) From 1853 to 1858, Root lived again in New York and collaborated with other songwriters. He relocated to Chicago in 1859 and began work at his brother's music publishing company, Root and Cady. He sold musical instruments and songbooks, and published a music magazine, The Song Messenger of the Northwest .

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Root, a radical abolitionist, began writing patriotic songs. Many of those songs have become classics, „Just before the Battle , Mother“, „The First Gun was Fired,“ and „Tramp, Tramp, Tramp“ became classics. In 1864, he published the song which was to become the anthem of the Civil War, „The Battle Cry of Freedom.“

In 1872, George F. Root received an honorary doctorate in music from the University of Chicago . Later, he helped found the New York Normal Institute to train music instructors. In 1891, he published his autobiography, The Story of a Musical Life . George F. Root died on August 6, 1895 in Bailey Island, Maine.

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Mark Ross

Utah Phillips rates Mark Ross, „One of the 10 best singers of Traditional Music.“ On his web site, one can read, „With a working repertoire of close to 500 songs he runs the gamut of American Roots Music, from hobo ballads & train songs, blues, western swing, mountain ballads, fiddle tunes, raucous banjo melodies, early jazz to the works of contemporary songwriters.“ ( He plays guitar, banjo, fiddle, harmonica, mandolin, Hawaiian guitar, autoharp, jews' harp, bass, dulcimer, tenor guitar, and 12-string guitar. Mark calls himself, „America’s Most Famous Unknown Folksinger,“ and there may be something to it. Though having produced only one solo recording, Look for Me in Butte, he has performed all over the continental United States, „in bar rooms, ball rooms, coffeehouses, union halls, hobo jungles, kitchens & living rooms, bedrooms, grade schools, colleges & universities (guest lecturing on American folk music, railroad songs, labor songs and the History of American Labor and radical politics), folk festivals, concert halls, street corners, railroad stations, and bus depots.“ He has also been heard at the Vancouver Folk Festival, the Philadelphia Folk Festival as well as the Smithsonian Institutions' Festival of American Folklife.
Mark Ross was born in New York. He left home at age 17 and began playing in the Greenwich Village „basket clubs“ at the age of thirteen. The singers were not paid; instead a basket was passed for donations. On some evenings, he shared the stage with singers like Emmylou Harris or Steve Goodman.
In 1976, Ross left New York and spent a year and a half in Wichita, Kansas before traveling around for a time. During one of his trips, he happened to be in Missoula, Montana. On his second evening there, a friend took him to Luke’s Bar, where he won a talent show. Mark lived in Missoula for several years, running the local office of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) for three years and doing a live radio program on Montana Public Radio every Saturday night for five years. He resided twelve years in Butte, Montana, where he was Artistic Director and Producer of the Butte FolkFest from 1997 to 2000.
About Mark Ross, Utah Phillips has written:
It is no exaggeration to say that Mark Ross is the best tramp I know, the only one in my experience to survive a train wreck. Mark is the official troubadour uf the Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa where I’m a Grand Duke myself. Now, you could count on the fingers of one hand those folk musicians making their living sharing the traditional repertoire. Mark is, to my way of thinking, the best. Song, harmonica, guitar, banjo, mandolin, blues to bluegrass, Appalachia to the Labor Movement, Mark has delved into and mastered an enormous amount of traditional American music which be performs with style, panache, and vast élan. He’s simply the best, so latch on to him now. He ain't getting any younger.“ [Booklet in the CD Loafer’s Glory, Utah Phillips & Mark Ross. Redhouse CD103.]
Mark Ross lives in Eugene, Oregon.

Songs of the Cowboys (1976) National Geographic Records
Rebel Voices (1987) Flying Fish, with member od I.U. 630 IWW. The Songs of the IWW.
Look for Me in Butte (1996) Smokestack Productions, a subsidiary of No Guff Records, co-produced with Utah Phillips.
Loafer's Glory (1997) with Utah Phillips, Redhouse Records.
Trains, Trams and Traditions (2001) with The Rose Tattoo, Cookieman Music.




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Tom Russell

Tom Russell grew up in California in the 1950s. He listened to the music of the immigrants from Kentucky and Oklahoma: Merle Travis, Joe Maphis, Tex Williams and the Maddox Brothers and Rose. „As a child,“ Russell says, „I had tons of folksong books and old editions of Sing Out!, and I fought my way through the songs.“ It was the content of the songs which fascinated him and he sees his knowledge of folk music as the basis of his own work.

Russell studied criminology and taught for a year in Nigeria before he decided to devote himself to music. He moved to Vancouver and worked as a laborer to support his family while he sang evenings in bars with his band Mule Train. „We played behind topless dancers, strippers, transvestites, trained dogs and sword swallowers...then in 1973, I heard about the progressive country scene in Austin, Texas.“ In Austin, Russell formed a band with pianist Patricia Hardin and recorded two albums, Ring of Bone and Wax Museum, which were later released together as one CD.

After the band broke up in San Francisco , Russell moved to New York. He drove a taxi and wrote novels. Not until two years later did he return to music. Together with guitar player Andrew Hardin, he toured Europe, especially Scandinavia . In Norway, he recorded three CDs: The Road to Bayamon, Poor Man's Dream and Hurricane Season.

Tom Russell has also been active as a producer. He produced the tribute to Merle Haggard, Tulare Dust, on which he also sings.

The single „Navajo Rug“ from the CD Cowboy Real and sung with Ian Tyson won the Country Music Associations „Best Single of the Year“ award in 1987. He also recorded two CDs with soul singer Barrence Whitfield.

In the early seventies, Russell began work on a song cycle which later became the CD The Man from God Knows Where . He wanted to write a piece of American history that is not in the history books. Soon he realized that the story of his own family provided enough material for his project, beginning with his ancestors from Ireland and Norway. Russell: „Eight years ago I began to sketch out a cycle of song; I heard a dark, personal hymn of the voices f my ancestors against the backdrop of American music and sounds: steam locomotives, orphan trains, Sioux war songs, the cry of the red wolves, the song of the chained prisoners. America, as it shakes its bones in your face.“

Russell worked on this „folk opera“ for seven years. From the United States Russell, Dave Van Ronk and Iris DeMent sing the roles. Dolores Keane from Ireland and Kari Bremmes from Norway sing the roles of Russell's ancestors. The recordings were made in a manor house near Hardangar Fjord in the West of Norway. Along with the American instruments, one can hear uillean pipes and the Hardangar fiddle.

Russell's most recent recordings have been Borderland, Modern Art and his tribute to Bohemian America Hotwalker: Charles Bukowski & A Ballad for Gone. The last has been called his " most conceptually ambitious (and audacious) release to date." (Review,

Today, Tom Russell lives near El Paso, Texas.

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Tom Russell in internet

Tom Russell: "El Gallo di Cielo"
Tom Russell: Cambridge Folk Festivel 2006 "Who's Gonna Build Your Wall?

Tom Russell discography:
Beyond St. Olav's Gate, Roundtower 40, CD
Borderland, Hightone
Box of Visions, Philo CD1158, CD
Cowboy Real, Philo CD1146, CD
Heart On A Sleeve, Bear Family 15243, CD
Hotwalker: Charles Bukowski & A Ballad for Gone, Hightone Records
Hurricane Season, Philo-CD PH 1141, CD
Indians Cowboys Horses Dogs, Hightone Records
The Long Way Around, Hightone Records HCD8081, CD
The Man from God Knows Where, Hightone Records FXCD 209
Poor Man's Dream, Philo CD PH1139, CD
Raw Vision: The Tom Russell Band 1984-1994, Philo / PGD
Road to Bayamon, Philo CD1116, CD
The Rose of San Joaguin, Hightone HCD 8066, CD
Songs of the West
, Hightone Records HMG 2501, CD

(with Patricia Hardin)
Tom Russell & Patricia Hardin 1975-79 The Early Years, Dark Angel

(with Barrence Whitfield),
Cowboy Mambo, Roundtower 64, CD
Hillbilly Voodoo, East Side Digital/Roundtower 55, CD

Hearts on the Line , Hightone Records

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Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger war born on May 3, 1919 in New York City. His father was the musicologist Charles Seeger, his mother the violin teacher Constance der Clyver Seeger. Pete attenden private schools and from 1938 to 1938 studied at Harvard, where he joined the Young Communist League. After leaving Harvard, Seeger traveled through the South with Alan Lomax to make recordings for the Library of Congress. In 1936, Charles Seeger had taken his son to a folk festival in Ascheville, North Carolina. There Pete heard a five-string banjo for the first time, a event which changed his life.

In 1940, Pete Seeger met Woody Guthrie in New York City and together with Lee Hayes, Millard Lampell, Bess Lomax Hawes und others organized the Almanac Singers. Initially, the Almanacs sang peace songs as well as songs against Franklin Roosevelt, following the political line of the Communist Party, which Pete joined in 1941. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union the group sang anti-fascist songs until the war tore the Almanacs apart. In 1942, Pete was drafted into the army.

After his discharge, Pete Seeger organized People's Songs in December 1945 and became its first director. At its peak, People's Songs had about 2000 members.

Pete played in the movie To Hear My Banjo Play and in the folk musical Dark of the Moon. In 1948, he played a prominent role in the presidential campaign of the populist Henry Wallace.

Together with Lee Hays, Ronnie Gilbert and Fred Hellerman, Pete founded The Weavers in 1949. The name was taken from a play of the same name by Gerhard Hauptmann. The Weavers toured extensively and had several hits, the biggest of which was Lead Belly's „Good Night Irene“ which sold more than two million copies and spent three months in the charts. A weekly television show was planned, but before it got off the ground, the Weavers were denounced for their connections to the Communist Party. In 1952, the group was dissolved. A couple of years later the group was revived, but in 1958, Pete left the group for good, and five years later the Weavers ceased to exist.

In 1955, Pete had to appear before the House Committee on Unamerican Activities. He refused to testify and was found guilty of contempt of Congress in ten instances and sentenced to a year in jail. An appeals court turned over the conviction in 1962.

During the 1950s Pete Seeger practiced what he called „cultural guerilla tactics.“ He traveled alone across the country, performing in schools, at universities and summer camps, wherever he was not banned. Sometimes he would drop by the local radio or television station, speak and sing a couple of songs before anyone knew what was going on. Since 1945, Pete has written a column for the magazine Sing Out!

Seeger had the idea of a magazine devoted exclusively to political songs. Broadside was the first place a Bob Dylan song was ever published. Pete also helped revive the Newport Folk Festival in the early sixties.

The Seeger family took a trip around the world in 1963 and 1964. Pete played music and made a film of their experiences. When they returned to the United States, Pete became involved in the civil rights movement.

In 1967, Pete Seeger was able to perform again on national television since his blacklisting, on the Smothers Brothers Show, but his antiwar song „Waist Deep in the Big Muddy“ was cut out of the program. It was not until later that he was able to repeat it.

From 1967 to 1970, Pete was chairman of the Hudson River Sloop Restoration, Inc., but when his connection with the project began to breed ever more controversy, he withdrew from the leadership.

Pete Seeger has written several books and has had small roles in movies: Tell Me that You Love Me, Junie Moon and Alice's Restaurant. He also began performing more and more with Arlo Guthrie.

Pete Seeger is also an important songwriter. Alone or with others he is responsible for „If I Had a Hammer,“ „Where Have All the Flowers Gone,“ „Turn, Turn, Turn“ and many others.

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Pete Seeger in internet


Pete Seeger: "Bring 'Em Home"
Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger: "Alabama Bound"
Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger: "Union Maid"
Tom Paxton and Pete Seeger: "Ramblin' Boy"
Pete Seeger: "Solidarity Forever"
Pete Seeger: "Which Side are You On?"
Pete Seeger and Buffy Sainte-Marie: "Cindy"

Pete Seeger, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee: "In the Evening"
Pete Seeger, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee: "Cindy" and "Rock Island Line"

Pete Seeger discography:
Abiyoyo, Other Story Songs For Children Smithsonian/Folkways 45001, CD
American Ballads, Folkway s , FA 2319, LP
American Favorite Ballads, Folkway FA2320, LP
American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 2, Folkway FA2321, LP
American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 3, Folkway FA2322, LP
American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 4, Folkway FA2323, LP
American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 5, Folkway FA2445, LP
American Folksay, Vol. 1-4, Collectables 5600
American Folksay, Vol. 5-6, Collectables 5601
American Folk Songs for Children, Smithsonian-Folkways, SF-C45020, CD
American Game and Activity Songs, Smithsonian-Folkways, SF-C45025, CD
American History in Ballads and Song, Vols. 1, 2, Folkways FH5801, 5802, LP
American Industrial Ballads, Smithsonian/Folkways 40058, CD
Banks of Marble, Folkways FTS 31040, LP
Bantu Choral Folk Songs, (with chorus), Folkways FW6912, 10“
Birds, Beasts, Bugs & Fishes Little & Big: Animal Folk Songs, Smithsonian/Folkways 45039, CD
The Bitter and the Sweet, Columbia CL1916/CS8716; Mobile Fidelity 873
Broadside Ballads – Vol. 2, Broadside Records 302, LP
Broadsides, Folkways FA2456, LP
Can't You See This System's Rotten Through and Through, Greenwich Village GVR 234, LP
Champlain Valley Songs, Folkways FH5210, LP
Children's Concert At Town Hall, Columbia 46185
Circles & Seasons, Warner brothers BSK 3329, LP
Clearwater Classics, Sony Special Products 17865
The Complete Carnegie Hall Concert June 8 th 1963, Columbia CD45312, CD
Dangerous Songs, Columbia CD65261, CD
Darling Corey, Folkways FA 2003, 10“
Darling Corey / Goofing-Off Suite, Smithsonian/Folkways 40018, CD
The Essential Pete Seeger, Vanguard CD
Essential Pete Seeger, Sony CD
The Folksinger's Guitar Guide, Folkways FQ8354
Folksongs for Young People, Smithsonian-Folkways, SF-C45024, CD
Folksongs of Four Continents, Folkways FW6911, 10“
For Kids and Just Plain Folks, Sony, CD
Freight Train, Music for Pleasure MFP 50115, LP
Frontier Ballads – Vol. I, Folkways FA2175, 10“
Frontier Ballads – Vol. II, Folkways FA2176, 10“
Gazette with Pete Seeger, Vol. 1, Folkways FN2501, LP
Gazette – Vol. 2, Folkways FN2502, LP
Genius of Folk, St. Clair Records
God Bless the Grass, Sony CD 65287
Goofing-Off Suite, Folkways FA2045
Greatest Hits, Columbia 9416
Highlights of Pete Seeger at the Village Gate with Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon, Folkways FA2450, LP
Hootenanny at Carnegie Hall, Folkways FN2512, LP
Hootenanny Tonight, (with Jerry Silverman, Sonny Terry & Bob DeCormier), Folkways, FN 2511, LP
How to Play the Five String Banjo, Folkways , FTS 38303, LP
I Can See a New Day, Columbia CL2252/CS9057
If I Had a Hammer: Songs of Hope & Struggle, Smithsonian/Folkways SF 40096, CD
In Prague 1964 [LIVE], Flyright Records
A Link In The Chain, (1996) Columbia/Legacy C2K 64772 A
Little Boxes & Other Broadsides, Verve Folkways FV/FVS-9020, LP
The Nativity, Folkways35001, LP
Pete, Living Music LMUS 0032 , CD
Pete Seeger, Archive of Folksong, FS-201, LP
Pete Seeger and Brother Kirk Visit Sesame Street, Children's Records of America CTW22062, LP
Pete Seeger and Sonny Terry, Folkways FA2412, LP
Pete Seeger at the Village Gate, Folkways FA2451, LP
Pete Seeger, Children's Concert at Town Hall , Columbia CS8747; Harmony 30399, LP
A Pete Seeger Concert, Tradition 2107
Pete Seeger: Folk Music of the World, Legacy 342
Pete Seeger Live at Newport, Vanguard 77008
Pete Seeger Now, Columbia CS9717, LP
Pete Seeger Sampler, Folkways FA2043, 10“
Pete Seeger Sings and Answers Questions at the Ford Forum in Boston, Broadside BRS502, LP
Pete Seeger Sings Leadbelly, Folkways FTS31022
Pete Seeger Sings Woody Guthrie, Folkways FT31002, LP
Pete Seeger: Story Songs, Columbia CL1668/CS8468, LP
Pete Seeger Young versus Old, Columbia CS9873, LP
Pete Seeger's Family Concert , Sony 48907
Pete Seeger's Greatest Hits, Columbia CL2616/CS9416, LP
Rainbow Quest, Folkways FA2454, LP
Rainbow Race, CBS S 64445, LP
Singalong: Live at Sanders Theater, Cambridge, Massasssachusetts 1980, Smithsonian-Folkways, SF-CD40027/8, CD
Sings Leadbelly
Sleep Time
, FC7525
Song & Play Time, Smithsonian-Folkways, SF-C45023, CD
Songs of the Civil War, Folkways FH 5717, LP
Songs of Struggle and Protest, Folkways FH5233, LP
Stories & Songs for Little Children, HIGWI-CD1207
Stranger and Cousins, Columbia CL2334/CS9134, LP
Traditional Christmas Carols, Smithsonian-Folkways, SF-CD40024
Waist Deep in the Big Muddy, Columbia 57311 , CD
We Shall Overcome, Columbia 45312, LP
We Shall Overcome: Complete Carnegie Hall Concert [LIVE], Sony 54312
With Voices We Sing Together, Folkways FA2452
The World of Pete Seeger, Columbia KG31949, LP

(with friends)
If I Had a Song: The Songs of Pete Seeger, Vol. 2, Appleseed Records
Seeds - The Songs Of Pete Seeger: Volume 3, Appleseed Recordings
Where Have All The Flowers Gone: The Songs of Pete, Appleseed Recordings

(with Jean Carignan, Marcel Roy & Denny MacDougal)
Old Time Fiddle Tunes, Folkways FG3531, LP

(with Len Chandler and others)
WNEW's Story of Selma, Folkways FH5595, LP

(with William Cook, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, Frank Robinson)
Country Dance Music Washboard Band, Folkways FA2201, 10“

(with Erik Darling and the Song Swappers)
Camp Songs, Folkways/Scholastic Records SC7628

(with Larry Eisenberg & Mike Seeger)
American Playparties, Folkways FC 7604, LP

(with Arlo Guthrie)
Together in Concert, Rising Son Records
Precious Friend, Warner Brothers, CD3644, CD

(with Arlo Guthrie and Families)
More Together Again – In Concert Vol. 1, Rising Son Records RSR 0007, CD
More Together Again – In Concert Vol. 2, Rising Son Records RSR 0008, CD

(with Frank Hamilton)
Nonesuch , Folkways FA2439, LP

(with the Hooteneers)
Sing Out! Hootenanny, Folkways FN2513

(with Ed Renehan)
Fifty Sails on Newburgh Bay, Folkways FH5257, LP

(with Martha Schlamme)
German Folk Songs, Folkways FW6843, 10“

Almanac Singers
Songs for John Doe, Keynote 102
Talking Union and other Union Songs, Keynote 106, Folkways 5285
The Soil and the Sea, Fontana Mainstream TL 5299
Dear Mr. President, Keynote III
Almanac Singers: Their Complete General Recordings, MCA 11499, CD

Best of the Weaver, Decca DL 8893/DXS 7173
Folk Songs of America and Other Lands, Decca DL-5285, 10“
Kisses Sweeter Than Wine (Live Early 1950's) Omega 3021/22
Reunion at Carnegie Hall , 1963 (May 2/3, 1963) Vanguard 2150 , CD
Reunion at Carnegie Hall, Part 2, Vanguard 79161
Together Again, (November 28/29, 1980) Loom 1681
Travelling On with the Weavers, Vanguard VRS9043
Weavers Almanac, Vanguard 79100
Weavers at Carnegie Hall, (December 1955) Vanguard 73101 , CD
The Weavers at Home, Vanguard VRS9024/VSD2030
Weavers Classics, Vanguard 73122
Weavers Greatest Hits, Vanguard 15/16
Weavers On Tour, Vanguard 73116
The Weavers Songbag, Vanguard SRV73001
The Weavers: The Best of the Decca Years, (1996) MCA 11465
Weavers Wasn't That A Time, (1993) Vanguard 4-147/50
We Wish You A Merry Christmas, (Early 1950's) MCA 20725

Pete Seeger bibliography
(by Pete Seeger)
Abiyoyo. New York: Macmillan, 1985.
American Favorite Ballads, Tunes And Folksongs As Sung By Pete Seeger. New York: Oak, 1961.
Bantu Choral Folk Songs. New York: G. Schirmer, 1959.
The Bells Of Rhymney And Other Songs And Stories. New York: Oak, 1964.
Bits And Pieces. New York: Ludlow Music, 1965.
The Carolers Songbook (with the Weavers). New York : Folkways, 1952.
Carry It On: The Story Of America 's Working People In Story And Song. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1985: Bethlehem , PA: Sing Out Publications, 1991.
Everybody Says Freedom. New York: W. W. Norton, 1991.
The Folksinger's Guitar Guide. New York: Oak, 1967.
The Foolish Frog. (with Charles Louis Seeger). New York: Macmillan, 1973.
The Goofing Off Suite. New York: Hargail, 1961.
Hard Hitting Songs For Hard Hit People (with Woody Guthrie and Alan Lomax). New York: Oak, 1967.
Henscratches and Flyspecks: How To Read Melodies From Songbooks In Twelve Confusing Lessons. New York: Berkeley Books, 1973.
How To Make And Play A Chalil . self-published, 1955.
How To Play The Five-String Banjo. self-publshed, 1948; New York: Oak, 1962.
The Incompleat Folksinger. (edited by Jo Metcalf Schwartz) New York: Simon and Schuster, 1972.
Oh Had I A Golden Thread. New York: Sanga Music, 1968.
Pete Seeger On Record. New York : Ludlow Music, 1971.
Pete Seeger Sings Songs Of The American People. Moscow: State Publishers Music, 1965.
Songs For Peace. (edited by Jeff Marris and Cliff Metzler). New York: Oak, 1966.
The Steel Drums Of Kim Loy Wong. New York: Oak, 1961.
Traveling On With The Weavers (with the Weavers). New York: Harper, 1966.
The Twelve String Guitar As Played By Leadbelly. (with Julius Lester). New York: Oak, 1965.
The Weavers Sing. (with the Weavers). New York: Folkways, 1951.
Weavers Songbook. New York: Harper & Row, 1960.
Where Have All the Flowers Gone. A Singer's Stories, Songs, Seeds and Robberies, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: A Sing Out Publication, 1993.

(the person and his music)
David Dunaway, How Can I Keep from Singing: Pete Seeger, New York: Cd Capo Press, 1980.
Anon., „Big and Muddy“, Newsweek , September 25, 1967.
Anon., „Good Night, Irene“, Time, August 14, 1950.
Anon., „ Legendary Folk Balladeer“ Frets, September 1979.
Anon., „Out of the Corner“, Time, September 25, 1950.
J. C. Barden, „Pete Seeger“, High Fidelity, January 1963.
Jim Capaldi "Broadside: The Struggle Continues", Folk Scene, February 1977.
Carl Joachim Friedrich, „The Poison in Our System“, Atlantic Monthly, June 1941.
Jack Hope, „A Man, a Boat, a River, a Dream“, Audubon , March 1971.
Paul H. Little, „Seeger Helps Restore American Folk Heritage“, Down Beat , May 30, 1956.
Peter Lyon „The Ballad of Pete Seeger“, Holiday, July 1965.
Jon Pankake, „Pete's Children: The American Folk Song Revival, Pro and Con“, Little Sandy Review, March-April 1964.
„Penthouse Interview: Pete Seeger“, Penthouse, January 1971.
Roger Siminoff and Don Kissil, „Workin' at the Other End: A Conversation with Pete Seeger “, Pickin' , May 1976.

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Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen was born on September 23, 1949, in Freehold, New Jersey. His father, Douglas Springsteen, worked as a bus driver and a factory worker. In 1965, Bruce played in the Greenwich Village club Café Wha with the Castiles. After high school, he played in the blues-rock trio Earth, then in the group Child, which was later called Steel Men. In 1971, Springsteen dissolved Steel Men and formed the band Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom. Thereafter, as a solo performer, he was taken under contract by Mike Appel and Laural Canyon Productions. In 1972, he signed with John Hammond of Columbia Records. His first LP, Greetings from Ashbury Park, New Jersey (1973), aroused little interest. His second recording, The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle, attracted critical acclaim and sold reasonably well. He toured extensively with his E-Street Band, but it was not until his third LP, Born to Run (1975), backed by a massive ad campaign promoting him as the „new Bob Dylan,“ that he landed a true success, making Springsteen's national celebrity. His face appeared on the covers of both Newsweek and Time.

Despite the success, Springsteen's next album, Darkness at the Edge of Town, did not appear until 1978, due to an extended legal battle with his manager Mike Appel.

Springsteen felt himself drawn to country music. He said, “Country asked all the right questions. It was concerned with how you go on living after you reach adulthood. I was asking those questions myself. Everything after Born to Run (1984) was shot full with a lot of country music - those questions.“ [Nicholas Dawidoff, In the Country of Country. New York: Vintage Books, 1997. p. 311.] The River (1980) was well-received. Then he surprised everyone with Nebraska (1982), done without accompanying musicians and recorded in his living room.

Musik Express called Bruce Springsteen, „the most American on American rock musicians.“ He built an image of the „guy next door,“ as illustrated by the cover of Born in the USA . He sang about migrant workers, Vietnam veterans, small-town criminals, and factory workers. Stephen Holden of the New York Times wrote that it was, „a sad and serious album about the end of the American dream...“ [quoted in Country Music. The Encyclopedia. Irwin Stambler and Grelun Landon. New York: St. Martin 's Press, 1997. p. 583.] During the tour which followed, he urged his fans to contribute to food banks to help the hungry victims of American society. Some people began to compare Springsteen to Woody Guthrie.

In 1986, Springsteen released a five-LP live set, which documented his development up to that point. The next three albums were more personal, reflecting changes in his personal life, a marriage which ended in divorce, a second marriage, and fatherhood.

For the 1993 film, Philadelphia, Springsteen wrote „Streets of Philadelphia,“ dealing with the AIDS epidemic. The song won an Oscar as Best Song as well as a Grammy for Song of the Year in 1994. In 1995, Springsteen won three Grammies and sales of his records soared. Born in the USA had by 1994 already been sold fourteen million times.

In November 1995, The Ghost of Tom Joad was released, presenting a bare-bones recording of songs about the outsiders and the losers in the „American way of life.“

Tracks , a four-CD retrospective of unreleased material appeared in 1998. The following year Bruce Springsteen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Don Everly: „ “He‘s brilliant, He‘s wonderful. I‘m a little disappointed in country music right now. Country music is supposed to be for working people. Ain‘t no working dass in country anymore. But Bruce Springsteen, I can relate to that.“ [quoted in Country Music. The Encyclopedia. Irwin Stambler and Grelun Landon. New York: St. Martin 's Press, 1997. p. 310.]

In 2002, Springsteen released The Rising , in which he deals with the events surrounding the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

His latest project, We Shall Overcome. The Seeger Sessions, is not only a tribute to Pete Seeger but also a step back to the roots of American music.

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Bruce Springsteen in internet

Bruce Springsteen lyrics

Bruce Springsteen: "John Henry"
Bruce Springsteen: "Youngstown"

Born in the USA, Columbia CD83804, CD
Born to Run, Columbia 33795, CD
Darkness at the Edge of Town, Columbia 35318, CD
Devils and Dust, Columbia 520000 2, CD
18 Tracks, COL 4942002, CD
The Ghost of Tom Joad, Columbia CD, CD
Greatest Hits, Columbia CD478555 2, CD
Greetings from Ashbury Park, New Jersey, Columbia CD32210, CD
Human Touch, COL 4714231, CD
In Concert (MTV Unplugger), Columbia CD 473860 2, CD
Live 1975-85, Columbia CD450227 2, CD
Lucky Town, Columbia CD471424 2, CD
Nebraska, Columbia CD463360 2, CD
The River, Columbia 477376 2 , CD
Tunnel of Love, Columbia CD460270 2, CD
Tracks, Columbia CD492605 2, CD
We Shall Overcome. The Seeger Sessions, Columbia 82876830742 CD
The Wild, the Innocent and the E-Street Shuffle, CBS 32363, CD

(the person and his music)
Backstreets: Springsteen, the Man and His Music, edited by Charles R. Cross.
Blinded by the Light: Bruce Springsteen, Patrick Humprhies, Chris Hunt, 1994.
Born in the U.S.A. Bruce Springsteen and the American Tradition, Jim Cullen. New York: HarperCollins, 1997.
Born to Run: The Bruce Springsteen Story, Dave Marsch, 1996.
The Boss: Bruce Springsteen, Sharon Starbrooks.
Bruce Springsteen, Teresa Noel Celsi, 1994.
Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gambaccini.
Bruce Springsteen, Patrick Humphries, 1996.
Bruce Springsteen, Teresa Koenig. Center Stage/Crestwood.
Bruce Springsteen, Marianne Meyer.
Bruce Springsteen, M. Stewart.
Bruce Springsteen: The Boss, Elianne Halbersberg.
Bruce Springsteen: The Ghost of Tom Joad, edited by Jeanette Delisa, 1996.
Bruce Springsteen: Here and Now, Craig MacInnis.
Bruce Springsteen (Pop Culture legends), Ron Frankl, 1995.
Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones File: The Ultimate Compendium of Interviews, Articles, Facts and Opinions from the Files of the Rolling Stones, edited by the Editors of Rolling Stone.
Dear Bruce Springsteen, (novel), Kevin Major, 1988.
It Ain't No Sin to be Glad You're Alive, Eric Alderman, 1999.
The Moral Passion of Bruce Springsteen, Patrick Primeaux, 1996.
Springsteen, Frank Moriarty, 1998.
Tramps Like Us: Music & Meaning among Springsteen Fans, Daniel Cavicchi, 1998.

Bruce Springsteen: The Ghost of Tom Joad, 1999.
Bruce Springsteen (Guitar Anthology Series), 1997.
Bruce Springsteen Songbook, 1999.
Bruce Springsteen Songs, 1998.
Bruce Springsteen's Greatest Hits, 1997.
The New Best of Bruce Springsteen for Guitar, 1999.
Pickin on Bruce Springsteen, 1999.
The Rock Styles of Bruce Springsteen
, 1999.
Thunder Road: Bruce Springsteen's Greatest Hits, 1998.

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Bill Staines

Bill Staines was born on February 6, 1947 in Medford, Massachusetts. He bought his first guitar for eight dollars, a Silvertone. A plane was used to get rid of the cowboy painted on it. While still in school, he organized and led a folkclub, The Barn. His first public appearances as a performer were as a member of the Green Mountain Boys, but Bill was more interested in ballads than bluegrass. During the 1960s, he was a part of the Cambridge folk scene and was the announcer at the Sunday hootenannies at Club 47. His fingerpicking style was influenced by Jackie Washington and Tom Paxton. Without restringing, Staines plays left-handed. He performed in small venues and about 1965 he began writing his own songs. His first long-playing record, Bag of Rainbows , appeared in 1966, Somebody Blue following the year after. During the 1970s, when folk was not big business, Bill Staines carried on, traveling in a van from performance to performance, appearing at major folk festivals. In 1975, he won the National Yodeling Championship at Kerrville , Texas. A series of six excellent albums, culminated in Whistle of the Jay on the Folk Legacy label. His songs have been covered by Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy, Nanci Griffith, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Grandpa Jones.

During the 1980s, Staines continued to produce high quality albums: Rodeo Rose , Sandstone Cathedrals , Bridges, Wild, Wild Heart, and Redbird's Wing, and the retropective The First Million Miles .

Even in the 90s, Bill Staines continued to give about 200 concerts and drive more than 60,000 miles a year. He was also active on radio and television as a regular guest on the program „A Prairie Home Companion,“
Mountain Stage ,“ and the „Good Evening Show“ as well as hosting programs on PBS and network television. Two well-received children's recordings, The Happy Wanderer and One More River, were also released and in 1994, he brought out Alaska Suite, a musical exploration with brass and strings of the nation's largest state.

When he is not traveling, Bill Staines lives with his wife and son in Dover, New Hampshire.

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Bill Staines in internet

Bill Staines: "River"

The Alaska Suite, Mineral River CD1007, CD
Bag of Rainbows, Heritage Records, LP
Bill Staines, Evolution Records, LP
Bridges, Red House Records, CD 25, CD
The First Million Miles, Rounder CD5283, CD
The First Million Miles, Volume II , Rounder CD5287, CD
Going to the West, Red House Records, CD56, CD
The Happy Wanderer, CD-5285, CD
Journey Home, RH139
Just Play One Tune More
, Folk Legacy C66, CD
Look for the Wind, Red House CD79, CD
Miles, Mineral River Records MR1001, LP
October's Hill, Red House
Old Wood and Winter Wine, Mineral River MR1003, LP
One More River, CD-5284, CD
Redbird's Wing, Philo C5289, Cas
Rodeo Rose, Philo Records PH1079, LP
Sandstone Cathedrals, Mineral River1005, LP
The Second Million Miles, RH189
Somebody Blue
, Champlain Records, LP
Third Time Around, Catfish Records, LP
Tracks and Trails, Philo CD5282, CD
Whistle of the Jay, Folk Legacy C-70, Cas
Wild, Wild Heart, Philo-Rounder 1100, LP

(by Bill Staines)
The Tour: A Life Between the Lines
, Philadelphia : Xlibris Press, 2004.

All God's Critters Got a Place in the Choir, Puffin Books, 1989.
If I Were a Word, I'd Be a Song. Songs by Bill Staines, Sharon, Connecticut: Folk-Legacy Records, Inc., 1980.
Movin' It Down the Line . Songs by Bill Staines, Dover, New Hampshire: Mineral River Music, 1986.
Music to Me, Hal Leonard Books, 1994.
River, Viking Children's Books, 1993.

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Ric Steinke

Ric Steinke resides in Livingston , Montana . Together with Linda Hausler, as Open Range , he performs original material, new and old songs of the West, as well as contemporary folk songs throughout the western states. In the mid-seventies, Ric spent some time in Texas playing the Texas honky tonks and learning the western swing style. He is also featured on vocals, electric, and steel guitar in the dance band Lucky Pockets & the Melody Rockets . Ric Steinke has shared the stage with Vince Gill and the Pure Prairie League, Michael Martin Murphey, Waddie Mitchell, Wally McCrae, and others.

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Jack Thorp

Jack Thorp

Nathan Howard „Jack“ Thorp was born in New York on June 10, 1867, the youngest son of a wealthy lawyer. He attended St. Paul 's School in Concord, New Hampshire, where he sang in the choir. Summers were spent on his brother's cattle ranch near Stanton, Nebraska. He had already learned to ride back East and had been on a polo team with Theodore Roosevelt, but in Nebraska he began bronc riding.

After his father lost all his money in a real estate transaction, Jack, still a teenager, went west to fend for himself. He began buying western ponies and shipping them east, training them for polo on a farm near Newport, which he ran with his cousin Frank Underhill. After the death of his mother in 1894, he rarely returned to the East.  

Jack Thorp, trained as a civil engineer, became superintendent of the Enterprise Mining Company, in Kingston, New Mexico (now a ghost town). Within a year, the mine was closed down and Jack bought 200 head of longhorn cattle. Soon, however, he went to work for the Bar W, one of the biggest ranches in the area, running ten to fifteen thousand head of cattle. Later, he made several more or less successful attempts at ranching.  

When the news of gold in Alaska broke, Jack Thorp and a friend headed for Seattle to book passage to Alaska. In Seattle , they discovered that they didn't have enough money for both of them, so they sat down for a poker game to decide who would go. Jack lost and never heard from his friend again. Instead, Jack sailed from Seattle to Peru with a group of engineers who were to build a railroad. The outfit soon went broke and Jack found himself trapped in Peru with no money to return home.  

„One day a steamer came in, bound for San Francisco . It had six Negro stokers. While the ship was in port, one of them died. Thorp, who was a powerful man, offered to take the dead man‘s place in pay for his passage. The offer was accepted – ‚I was the sixth nigger!‘ The members of the stoker crew ... would work in the stokehold for fifteen minutes, then come up for five minutes to be hosed down with cold water. When he left Peru , Jack weighed two hundred pounds; when he got to San Francisco , he weighed one hundred and twenty.“ (Pardner of the Wind, N. Howard „Jack" Thorp, in collaboration with Neil M. Clark. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1941, p. 15.)  

Jack Thorp loved to tell stories and was seldom serious. „All Jack needed was a good listener. He never seemed to run out and yet his stories always had pertinence and were based on character than on anything else,“ wrote Neil M. Clark in the introduction to Thorp's book, Pardner of the Wind .  

Jack Thorp was a man of action and loved adventure, but his special interest was almost from the beginning cowboy songs. He collected them and noted the verses in his notebook. He traveled about searching out songs and also wrote to people who might have something of interest.

„Few people know of the difficulties encountered in gathering those first songs. Today you can find scores of cowboy ballads in song books accessible anywhere, and Tin-pan Alley manufactures new ones fresh every hour. In the nineties, with the exception of about a dozen, cowboy songs were not generally known. The only ones I could find I gathered, a verse here and a verse there, on horseback trips that lasted months and took me hundreds of miles through half a dozen cow-country states, most of the time being spent in cow camps, at chuck wagons and line camps.  

„Songs of the range had a special appeal for me. I was a singin‘ cowboy myself, by adoption, with a little mandolin-banjo that went where I went, and the songs I heard some cowboys sing were an authentic feature of the land and life that made it seem good to me. Sometimes on the trail or in camp I would think up a song of my own.“ (Pardner of the Wind , p. 22)  

At first, there had been no thought of publication, but when he had collected quite a number, he thought otherwise. He cleaned up the often obscene language and put a collection together. Finding no interested publisher, he paid for the publication of Songs of the Cowboys himself in 1908, paying the News Print Shop in Estancia, New Mexico, six cents each to print 2000 copies. The collection had the lyrics to 23 songs, but no music. Thorp himself had written some of the songs, the most famous of which was „Little Joe, the Wrangler,“ but did not identify himself as the author.  

In 1921, Songs of the Cowboys was published again in an expanded version by Houghten Mifflin. In 1926, he published Tales of the Chuckwagon. After learning that recordings of „Little Joe, the Wrangler“ had been made, he hired a lawyer to help him get royalties. He filed suit against RCA Victor in 1932, but his efforts remained unsuccessful.

Jack Thorp died in 1940. His book Pardner of the Wind was published in 1945.

Songs of the Cowboys, Nathan Howard „Jack“ Thorp. Houghten Mifflin Company, 1921.
Songs of the Cowboys, N. Howard Thorp. Applewood Books, May 1989.
Tales of the Chuckwagon , 1926.
Pardner of the Wind, N. Howard „Jack Thorp, in collaboration with Neil M. Clark. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1941.

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Ian Tyson

Ian Tyson's father, George Tyson, came to Canada from Wales in 1906, to work on a ranch north of Calgary. He later became an insurance salesman, but he always had horses. Ian was born on September 23, 1933 in Victoria, British Columbia, and grew up on a small farm in Duncan, on Vancouver Island . He read the books of Will James about the wild west and dreamed of becoming a cowboy. While still in his teens, Ian began riding broncs in rodeos and continued bronc riding and calf roping until a serious injury in 1956 forced him to quit. During recuperation from surgery in a Calgary hospital, he learned to play the guitar, starting with Johnny Cash's „I Walk the Line.“

Upon his release, he began performing in a local country band and later in the rockabilly band from Vancouver, the Sensational Stripes. Ian also attended the Vancouver School of Art.

In 1958, Ian Tyson moved to Toronto, where he worked as a graphic artist and sang evenings in the city's folk clubs. At the First Floor Club in Toronto 's Yorkville district, he met Sylvia Fricker, with whom he formed the duo Ian and Sylvia . They recorded twelve albums and enjoyed great popularity in Canada and the United States. With a repertoire of many English and Scottish ballads, they went to Greenwich Village in 1961, where they were taken under contract by Albert Grossman. Tyson's compositions „Four Strong Winds,“ „Summer Wages,“ and „Someday Soon“ became standards. Ian and Sylvia also introduced songs by Phil Ochs, and fellow-Canadians Joni Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot to a larger audience for the first time. They married in 1964, bought a house in Toronto, and had a son the following year. After the British rock invasion, they made an abortive attempt at country-rock with their band Great Speckled Bird.

In 1969, Ian and Sylvia were invited to host a Canadian TV show, “ Nashville North.” After Sylvia's departure, it was renamed the “Ian Tyson Show” and aired for five years.

Following his divorce from Sylvia in 1975, Ian Tyson went to Nashville, but became disillusioned and in 1977 went to southern Alberta, where he worked for two years as a hand on a ranch on Pincher Creek, meanwhile becoming known for his boozing and brawling as well as his womanizing. In 1979, Neil Young had a hit with Tyson's „Four Strong Winds.“ With the royalties, Tyson put a downpayment on a 160 acre ranch at Longview, south of Calgary, the T-Bar-Y and began raising cutting horses.

To help pay for the ranch, he also started singing again, including regular performances at the Ranchman's Club in Calgary . There he met his second wife, Twylla Dvorkin, who was working there as a waitress. Their relationship was considered scandalous. Twylla was still a teenager, 27 years younger than Tyson. They married in 1986. (They have since divorced.)

In 1983, Ian Tyson recorded an album of old and new songs about cowboys, Old Corrals and Sagebrush, as a Christmas present for friends. CBS heard the recording and offered Tyson a contract. The record was not a big-seller, but it launched his second music career. The following year, Tyson was invited to the first Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko , Nevada . He discovered that what those working cowboys were doing, „was more folk music“ than anything he had done as a folk singer. The Elko gathering opened up a whole new audience for his songs about the West. It gathering was the symbolic beginning of what has been called the „cowboy renaissance,“ a renewed interest in the cowboy subculture, and Ian Tyson became its most visible representative.

In 1986, Ian Tyson released his landmark recording, Cowboyography , which has become a classic, selling over 1,000,000 copies. It was chosen as the „Best Album of 1987“ by the Canadian Country Music Association, the song „Navajo Rug“ as the best single and Tyson as the best Canadian country singer.

Since then, Tyson has become an institution in Canada , winning too many awards to mention. In 1989, he was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Honour. Together with Gordon Lightfoot, he opened the Calgary Olympics, and often performs with symphony orchestras. In 1975, he became a member of the Order of Canada .

Ian Tyson has been called a, „Stetson-crowned god,“ and, „the Bob Dylan of the western music writing.“ Tyson describes what he is doing as, „western folk music.“

His songs are not romantic visions of the West. „The West that Tyson draws on to inspire his words and music isn't a myth,“ wrote one critic, „it's an everyday reality of long cold winters that seem to never end, of sudden spring snowstorms at calving time, of sharing his music, his life with other real cowboys who come to gatherings like Elko and understand. He ponders how long the West will remain as he knows it and he hopes some of his music will live on.“

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Ian Tyson in internet

Ian Tyson – Ol‘ Eon, (A&M Records, 1973)
One Jump Ahead of the Devil, (Boot,1978, re-released by Stony Plain Records, 1992)
Old Corrals and Sagebrush, (Columbia, 1983)
Ian Tyson (Columbia, 1984)
Cowboyography, (Stony Plain, 1986)
Old Corrals and Sagebrush and other Cowboy Culture Classics, (Columbia, 1988)
I Outgrew the Wagon, (Stony Plain, 1989)
And Stood There Amazed, (Stony Plain, 1991)
Eighteen Inches of Rain, (Stony Plain and Vanguard, 1994)
All the Good'uns, (Stony Plain and Vanguard, 1996)
Lost Herd, (Stony Plain, 1999)
Live at Longview, (Vanguard Records, 2002)
Songs from the Gravel Road, (Vanguard Records, 2005)
Yellowhead to the Yellowstone and other Love Stories (Stoney Plain, 2009)
Songs from the Stone House, 2010

I Never Sold My Saddle, Greystone Books, a division of Douglas & McIntyre Ltd., 1615 Venables Street, Vancouver, British Columbia.
The Cutting Horse - song lyrics by Ian Tyson. Published by the national Cutting Hose Assoc., Fort Worth.
The Long Trail: My Life in the West. Random House Canada, 2010

'Ian Tyson: This is My Sky

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Andy Wilkinson

In his songs, Andy Wilkinson from Lubbock, Texas specializes in the history and the present of the Great Plains. Before becoming a full-time writer and singer, he had worked a dozen years as a policeman and equally as long as a businessman. In addition to songs, Andy Wilkinson writes poems and has written three plays, Charlie Goodnight's Last Ride , My Cowboy's Gift and The Fires of Camp. He has recorded four CDs, Charlie Goodnight ( 1994), The Road is Still the Road (1996), Storyteller (1998) and An Ordinary Christmas (2000), and travels and performs regularly in the United States and abroad. Wilkinson researches his songs thoroughly, visits the sites where the events took place and spending hours in libraries, museums and doing interviews. He also gives siminars and courses on songwriting.

Andy Wilknson in internet

Charlie Goodnight. His Life in Poetry and Songs, (Grey Horse Press, 1994)
Deep in the Heart
My Cowboy's Gift
An Ordinary Christmas, (Grey Horse Press, 2000)
Radio Free America
The Road is Still the Road
, (Grey Horse Press, 1996)
Storyteller, (Grey Horse Press, 1998)
Texas When Texas Was Free

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Kate Wolf

Kate Wolf was born Kathryn Louise Allen on January 27, 1942 in San Francisco. The family moved several times, to Michigan and Oregon, finally settling in Berkeley, California.

Kate had begun taking piano lessons from her grandmother by the age of four, but by the time she was 16, she was no longer making music. In the early sixties, she began singing in coffeehouses while attending San Francisco State. She married Saul Wolf and dropped out of college to start a family. Max was born in 1964, Hannah in 1967. When Hannah was just one, a babysitter gave Kate the Rosalie Sorrell's album If I Could be Rain, on which Sorrels sings six of Utah Phillips songs. It inspired Kate to want to play folk music and write songs. It was not until she was 27, however, that she met a circle of musicians in Big Sur who gave her encouragement. From that circle, she received support especially from Gil Turner, who had written one of the anthems of the civil rights movement, „Carry It On.“

In 1971, she separated from her husband and decided to pursue a musical career. For the first six months, she lived in her Plymouth station wagon. Soon, however, she found a better place to live and the children moved in with her. For a couple of years, she was kept busy raising the children and sang only once or twice a week in a restaurant.

Kate got a job with a newspaper and sang once a week in a bar. At a gig, she met Don Coffin, a rural mailman, whom she married in 1974. With Coffin, she formed her first band, The Wildwood Flower. Kate hosted a live show on radio station KVRE, „Uncommon Country.“ In 1974, she organized the first Santa Rosa Folk Festival and invited Utah Phillips to perform. Kate later led the „ Sonoma County Singers Circle “ on station KSRO. By way of this second program, she had the opportunity to record an album. A fan gave her $4000 to record Back Roads . She founded her own record company, Owl Records, and in order to retain the rights to her songs, formed Another Sundown Publishing Company. Back Roads sold 7000 copies in a year and a half and along with her live performances, gained her a solid following. It was seconded by Lines on a Paper in 1977. The first pressing of 2800 copies sold out in a month.

After 1977, Kate began touring all over the United States. With the help of Utah Phillips, she had the opportunity to play the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Soon she could be heard at major festivals in Calgary , Winnipeg and Vancouver .

In January 1978, Kate Wolf separated from Don Coffin and their band. Thereafter, she was usually accompanied by Nina Gerber, who played on Kate's 1979 album Safe at Anchor. Gerber had been inspired to become a musician after seeing Kate perform at a pizza parlor and had taken lessons from Don Coffin. On Safe at Anchor and Close to You, Kate sang only her own compositions.

Kate married Terry Fowler in 1982. With her music, she supported the anti-nuclear movement, environmental issues and Native American rights. In 1983, Kate toured the Southwest with the film The Four Corners : A National Sacrifice Area? Thomas Banyacya of the Hopi spoke, Kate sang, and then the film was presented. In 1983, the double album Give Yourself to Love was voted „Best Folk Album“ by NAIRD (National Association of Independent Record Distributors and Manufacturers). After that success, she took a year off.

Kate Wolf‘s last tour was during the fall of 1985. Her final studio album, Poet's Heart , was voted „Best Folk Album“ by NAIRD in 1986. Kate also appeared on the musical television series „ Austin City Limits“, which gave her exposure to a much wider audience.

In April 1986, however, Kate Wolf was diagnosed with leukemia and underwent chemotherapy. She returned home and friends organized concerts to help her with the medical costs. In September, she received a bone marrow transplant. She felt good after that and was planning a new tour, but the operation had destroyed her immune system and she never regained her health. Kate rejected a further operation. She died on December 10, 1986.

Kate Wolf was the first inductee into the NAIRD (National Association of Independent Record Distributors & Manufacturers) Hall of Fame. Tom Paxton: „Somewhere in her life before I met her she learned the secret of loving and proceeded to give it away with her voice, over and over, until the day she died.“ (Kate Wolf Revisited. A Second Volume of Songs . San Rafael, California: Another Sundown Publishing Company, 1991. p. xi.)

Her friend Utah Phillips said, „She had a turbulent and in many ways painful life and she was able to reach into her own heart of darkness and come out with songs of enormous forgiveness, which is as heroic as I can imagine. I can't imagine anyone using their art more heroically and gently. That music deserves to continue and do its work, and it's the music's work now, of course, Kate's not here.“ (quoted in Country Music. The Encyclopedia. Irwin Stambler and Grelun Landon. New York: St. Martin 's Press, 1997. p. 682.)

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Kate Wolf in internet

Back Roads, Kaleidoscope Records Kal F-06
Close to You, Kal F-15
An Evening in Austin, Kaleidoscope
Give Yourself to Love, Kal F-3000
Gold in California, Kal F-3001
Lines on the Paper, Kal F-07
Looking Back at You, Rhino R2 71613
A Poet's Heart, Kal F-24
Safe at Anchor, Kal F-11
Looking Back at You, Rhino R2 71613
Weaver of Visions: The Kate Wolf Anthology, Rhino Records, 2000.

(the songs of Kate Wolf)
Treasures Left Behind: Remembering Kate Wolf, Red House Records RHR CD114, CD

Kate Wolf Revisited, A Second Volume of Songs, San Rafael, California: Another Sandown Publishing Company, 1991.
The Kate Wolf Songbook, San Francisco: Another Sundown Publishing Company, 1987.

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