BN.com Gift Guide

Goodnight Irene: The Weavers, 1949-1953

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
There are great records, and then there are records like this one, which is an adventure as well as incomparable listening. And don't be repelled by the 100-plus dollar price tag -- this five-disc set manages to be a hootenanny, a history lesson, a light-hearted voyage through pasts musical, political, and cultural, and a pop-culture travelogue all in one, and an investment that will pay off five or ten times that amount in smiles and a few tears. The usual assumption is that the Weavers started their recording career with Gordon Jenkins at Decca Records, adapting their folk sound into an early-'50s popular style, but disc one dispells this notion, going back to the ...
See more details below
CD (Box Set)
$211.84
BN.com price
(Save 5%)$222.99 List Price
Other sellers (CD)
  • All (2) from $108.59   
  • New (2) from $108.59   

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
There are great records, and then there are records like this one, which is an adventure as well as incomparable listening. And don't be repelled by the 100-plus dollar price tag -- this five-disc set manages to be a hootenanny, a history lesson, a light-hearted voyage through pasts musical, political, and cultural, and a pop-culture travelogue all in one, and an investment that will pay off five or ten times that amount in smiles and a few tears. The usual assumption is that the Weavers started their recording career with Gordon Jenkins at Decca Records, adapting their folk sound into an early-'50s popular style, but disc one dispells this notion, going back to the quartet's true recording debut, for Charter Records in 1949. We walk in on them singing in blues and gospel styles, freely injecting elements of country music and also going for some of the kind of four-way acrobatics that one more commonly associated with pop ensembles of the era -- in other words, doing all of the stuff that they made their names with in their reunion years of the middle/late '50s, except that these sides have mostly been unheard for 51 years. Some of this music is topical and might have come off as dangerously confrontational in the reactionary political climate of 1949, but most of it would probably have slipped by on its sheer beauty and inventiveness, and much of it, if it could have been issued during the 1960s, would surely have found an audience. At least one song, "Dig My Grave," would even have qualified as "world music," had such a term existed at the time, drawing on a Bahamian source. Lee Hays' "Love Song Blues" and the group's original version of "The Hammer Song" (co-authored by Hays and Pete Seeger), which were never even issued by the Charter label, are worth a quarter of the price of this box, and they're only two of the highlights on the first disc. A March-April 1950 demo filled with more topical songs shows some of the material that they abandoned in favor of safer songs when they began recording for Decca the following month, so there is a bit of lost history here -- and the disc is rounded out by eight live performances from WNYC radio from 1949 and 1950, hosted by Oscar Brand, opening with the broadcast on which Lee Hays announces that the quartet have finally selected a name; these recordings preserve the sense of humor that put the quartet over the top with audiences at the Village Vanguard; the broadcast performance of "Love Song Blues" is, if anything, even more impressive than the unissued Charter recording; and despite a few technical flubs, Hayes' "Washington Square Blues" is also a highlight, featuring some killer harmonizing (in a blues idiom) and fascinating acoustic guitar and banjo flourishes. Discs two and three are given over to their history with Decca Records, which is usually maligned by folk purists --regardless of the pop music elements added by Gordon Jenkins, however, the quality of the singing and the care that went into it resound far more loudly than anything else on those records; they might not be ideal representations of what the Weavers were about, but the 54 Decca sides are mostly good and even occasionally superb recordings, displaying a wide-ranging array of musical influences in an era when most pop artists were looking for the safety of Tin Pan Alley and novelty tunes; those two discs include half a dozen previously unissued tracks. Disc four is made up of sides that the group cut for non-commercial release, most notably "The Peekskill Story," recorded in conjunction with Paul Robeson, telling of the riot that greeted the legendary black singer/activist in Peekskill, NY, at a 1949 rally, rounded out by solo and duo recordings by Hays, Fred Hellerman, and Ronnie Gilbert. Disc five is a DVD (playable on many computers) of five "telescription" performances done by the quartet in the early days of television -- performing live in front of the camera, the group is spontaneous and charming in their straight-laced, straightforward appeal, the 1950 equivalent of MTV Unplugged performances. The box also includes an accompanying hardcover book by Dave Samuelson (with addenda by Richard D. Cohen) that's about the most detailed account of the quartet's pre-1955 history ever published, with the usual thorough Bear Family discography as well.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/25/2000
  • Label: Imports
  • EAN: 4000127159304
  • Catalog Number: 15930
  • Sales rank: 211,441

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Wasn't That a Time (2:59)
  2. 2 Dig My Grave (2:29)
  3. 3 Freight Train Blues (2:30)
  4. 4 Love Song Blues (3:17)
  5. 5 The Hammer Song (2:18)
  6. 6 No Irish Need Apply (2:22)
  7. 7 The Hammer Song (2:01)
  8. 8 Banks of Marble (2:55)
  9. 9 When the Saints Go Marching In (1:23)
  10. 10 Rock Island Line (1:24)
  11. 11 Lonesome Traveler (2:04)
  12. 12 I Don't Want to Get Adjusted (1:02)
  13. 13 Wasn't That a Time (2:53)
  14. 14 The Johnson Boys (1:26)
  15. 15 Goodnight Irene (2:35)
  16. 16 Lousy Dime (2:19)
  17. 17 Every Night When the Sun Goes Down (2:31)
  18. 18 Talking Blues (1:28)
  19. 19 East Virginia Blues (2:16)
  20. 20 Love Song Blues (2:57)
  21. 21 Tzena, Tzena, Tzena (2:15)
  22. 22 El Quinto Regimento (1:47)
  23. 23 Wimoweh (2:09)
  24. 24 Around the World (2:43)
  25. 25 Poor Howard's Dead and Gone (4:01)
  26. 26 Dig My Grave (3:09)
  27. 27 Love Song Blues (3:27)
  28. 28 Washington Square Blues (3:51)
  29. 29 Freight Train Blues (2:21)
  30. 30 The Johnson Boys (3:13)
  31. 31 Lousy Dime (1:56)
  32. 32 The Fireship (1:43)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Around the World (2:34)
  2. 2 Tzena, Tzena, Tzena (2:10)
  3. 3 Tzena, Tzena, Tzena (2:45)
  4. 4 Goodnight Irene (3:23)
  5. 5 Lonesome Traveler (2:41)
  6. 6 So Long (It's Been Good to Know Yuh) (3:22)
  7. 7 Wreck of the John B (2:26)
  8. 8 Midnight Special (2:49)
  9. 9 The Roving Kind (2:46)
  10. 10 Follow the Drinking Gourd (3:05)
  11. 11 Trouble in Mind (3:09)
  12. 12 Along the Colorado Trail (3:03)
  13. 13 Suliram (I'll Be There) (2:55)
  14. 14 Hush Little Baby (1:14)
  15. 15 I Know Where I'm Going (1:49)
  16. 16 Across the Wide Missouri - Terry Gilkyson (3:02)
  17. 17 On Top of Old Smokey - Terry Gilkyson (2:43)
  18. 18 The Frozen Logger (2:36)
  19. 19 Follow the Drinking Gourd (2:36)
  20. 20 Darling Corey (2:08)
  21. 21 Greensleeves (1:45)
  22. 22 Easy Rider Blues (2:26)
  23. 23 Along the Colorado Trail (3:04)
  24. 24 Greensleeves (1:43)
  25. 25 When the Saints Go Marching In (2:42)
  26. 26 Run Home to Ma-Ma (2:45)
  27. 27 Quilting Bee (2:27)
  28. 28 Kisses Sweeter Than Wine (3:01)
  29. 29 Jig Along Home (2:56)
  30. 30 (Come on and) Join into the Game (3:01)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Old Paint (Ride Around Little Dogies) (3:04)
  2. 2 Wimoweh (3:02)
  3. 3 Midnight Special (2:58)
  4. 4 The Gandy Dancer's Ball (2:49)
  5. 5 Around the Corner (Beneath the Berry Tree) (2:28)
  6. 6 Hard, Ain't It Hard (3:06)
  7. 7 Bay of Mexico (2:44)
  8. 8 True Love (2:31)
  9. 9 Clementine (2:53)
  10. 10 Down in the Valley (2:58)
  11. 11 Rock Island Line (2:35)
  12. 12 Benoni (2:44)
  13. 13 Taking It Easy (3:05)
  14. 14 Slyvie (Bring Me Li'l Water, Sylvie) (2:47)
  15. 15 We Wish You a Merry Christmas (2:27)
  16. 16 Burgundian Carol (2:09)
  17. 17 God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (1:19)
  18. 18 Go Tell It on the Mountain (2:31)
  19. 19 Twelve Days of Christmas (2:37)
  20. 20 Lulloo Lullay (2:04)
  21. 21 It's Almost Day (1:27)
  22. 22 One for the Little Bitty Baby (Go Where I Send Thee) (2:46)
  23. 23 Poor Little Jesus (2:05)
  24. 24 The Seven Blessings of Mary (2:52)
  25. 25 Joy to the World (0:54)
  26. 26 Masters in This Hall (1:14)
  27. 27 Goodnight Irene (3:14)
  28. 28 The Roving Kind (2:49)
  29. 29 Tzena, Tzena, Tzena (2:43)
  30. 30 Around the World (3:04)
  31. 31 So Long (It's Been Good to Know Yuh) (3:06)
Disc 4
  1. 1 Trenton Six, Pt. 1 & 2 (9:09)
  2. 2 Peekskill Story, Pts. 1 & 2 (6:25)
  3. 3 Train to the Zoo, Pt. 1 & 2 (7:05)
  4. 4 New York City (2:05)
  5. 5 We Shall Not Be Moved (1:00)
  6. 6 Old Man Atom (2:52)
  7. 7 Pity the Downtrodden Landlord (2:24)
  8. 8 (Ma Come Bali) Bella Bimba (2:24)
  9. 9 Calla, Calla (The Bride) (2:42)
  10. 10 Flamenco (2:44)
  11. 11 Just One More Chance (3:06)
  12. 12 Goodnight, Sweet Dreams (2:45)
  13. 13 November 24, 1950, Interview (8:49)
Disc 5
  1. 1 Goodnight Irene (3:23)
  2. 2 The Roving Kind (2:47)
  3. 3 Tzena, Tzena, Tzena (2:41)
  4. 4 Around the World (3:02)
  5. 5 So Long (It's Been Good to Know Yuh) (3:06)
Read More Show Less

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Weavers Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Primary Artist
Oscar Brand Guitar, Vocals
Pete Seeger Banjo, Recorder, Vocals
Paul Robeson Narrator
George Barnes Guitar
Gordon Jenkins Leader
Norman Rose Narrator
Terry Gilkyson Vocals
Howard Fast Narrator
Cliff Bruner Vocals
Robert Alexander Trombone
Sue Allen Vocals
George Berg Saxophone
Ralph Brewster Vocals
Mac Ceppos Violin
Sidney Edwards Cello
Ronnie Gilbert Vocals
Lee Hays Piano, Vocals
Julius Held Violin
Fred Hellerman Guitar, Vocals
Cliff Leeman Drums
Jack Lesberg Bass
Joe Mondragon Bass
Harry Melnikoff Violin
Louis Mucci Trumpet
Jimmy Nottingham Trumpet
Richard Perissi French Horn
Samuel Rand Violin
Sylvan Shulman Violin
Vic Schoen Leader
Sid Weiss Bass
Vincent DeRosa French Horn
Alton Hendrickson Guitar
Felix Orlewitz Violin
Thomas Parshley Saxophone
Harry Hoffman Violin
Ezelie Watson Saxophone
Technical Credits
Lead Belly Composer
Woody Guthrie Composer
Carl Sandburg Composer
Pete Seeger Composer
The Weavers Composer
Cliff Bruner Illustrations
Junior Blankenship Illustrations
Clyde Brewer Illustrations
Paul Campbell Composer
Milt Gabler Producer
Sonny Geraci Composer
Ronnie Gilbert Composer
Lee Hays Composer, Producer
Fred Hellerman Composer
Jimmy Hilliard Producer
Dave Kapp Producer
Steve Lasker Mastering
Harold Leventhal Illustrations
John A. Lomax Composer
Mitchell Parish Composer
Vic Schoen Producer
Isaac Watts Composer
Leo Raley Illustrations
Leon Selph Illustrations
Lowell Mason Composer
Doc Lewis Illustrations
Lee Bell Illustrations
Bob Pinson Illustrations
R.A. Andreas Illustrations
Richard Weize Producer, Reissue Producer, Re-Release Producer
Sylke Holtrop Artwork
Dave Samuelson Liner Notes, Reissue Producer, Biographical Notes, Re-Release Producer
Irwin Silber Producer
Holger Von Bargen Art Direction
Kevin Coffey Producer, Liner Notes, Illustrations
Nick Tosches Illustrations
Deacon Anderson Illustrations
Solomon Linda Composer
Achim Elsner Mastering
Wolfgang Taubenauer Artwork
Traditional Composer
David Banner Illustrations
Isaachar Miron Composer
Julius Grossman Composer
John W. Work II Composer
Mario Casetta Producer
Ernie Lieberman Producer
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously