Full Program And Flyer: Folksong '59 At Carnegie Hall 1959
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as of 10/24/2014 12:40 EDT details
- Publication Date:1959
- Upon his return to New York in 1959 after a nearly a decade spent based in London, UK, Alan Lomax produced a concert, Folksong '59, in New York City's Carnegie Hall, featuring Arkansas singer Jimmy Driftwood; the Selah Jubilee Singers and Drexel Singers (gospel groups); Muddy Waters and Memphis Slim (blues); Earl Taylor and the Stony Mountain Boys (bluegrass); Pete Seeger, Mike Seeger (urban folk revival); and The Cadillacs (a rock and roll group). The occasion marked the first time rock and roll and bluegrass were performed on the Carnegie Hall Stage. "The time has come for Americans not to be ashamed of what we go for, musically, from primitive ballads to rock 'n' roll songs," Lomax told the audience. According to the Izzy Young, owner of the Folklore Center, and chronicler of the Greenwich Village folk music scene, the audience booed when Alan Lomax told them to lay down their prejudices and listen to rock 'n' roll. In Young's opinion, "Lomax put on what is probably the turning point in American folk music . . . . At that concert, the point he was trying to make was that Negro and white music were mixing, and rock and roll was that thing." According to the DC Bluegrass Union: That night back in April of 1959 when Earl Taylor and the Stoney Mountain Boys played Carnegie Hall (along with Muddy Waters and Memphis Slim, Jimmy Driftwood, and Mike and Pete Seeger, among others). Curtis Cody, who was guesting on fiddle for the Baltimore-based bluegrass band, peeked through the curtains before the start of the show. The elegant hall was packed with Northern folk-music fans, as the first bluegrass group ever to perform at the elegant and historic concert hall - more accustomed to playing in bars in and around Baltimore - paced nervously backstage. Curtis turned to banjo player Walter Hensley and said, "Walt, I don't think they'll like us a bit." Walt recalls that his legs "were like Jell-O - and we had to play the fastest song we knew." But when Walt, with
Historic Concert program and even more scarce...the original poster/handbill. Many artists including Muddy Waters were recorded live, a resultant LP on UA was released but had a short shelf life. Pete & Mike Seeger's first Concert duet,; Woody Guthrie was in attendance as Pete Seeger introduced a newly concocted song "Plane Wreck At Los Gatos" (later revived by the Byrd's on 'Easy Rider') from one of Woody's poems. a great record of an historic evening of music.
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