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|Rod McKuen||Composer, Producer|
|Joseph F. Laredo||Liner Notes|
|Randy Sparks||Composer, Producer|
Posted October 1, 2010
In the wake of Christopher Guest’s mockumentary, “A Mighty Wind,” Varese’s pulled together eighteen tracks that essay the folk revival of the early-60s. To get at the revival’s roots, the collection begins with a trio of seminal inspirations: Woody Guthrie’s late-40’s recording of “This Land is Your Land” and mid-50’s tracks by Pete Seeger (“Where Have All the Flowers Gone”) and Odetta (“He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”). ¶ By the early ‘60s the folk trios and quartets of Greenwich Village, North Beach San Francisco and college campuses everywhere were in heavy rotation. Several fine examples can be heard here, including The Kingston Trio’s “A Worried man” (penned by the Trio’s Dave Guard along with Tom Glazer, the latter of whom would return to fame with “On Top of Spaghetti”), The Limeliters banjo-driven “John Henry, The Steel Driving man,” The Brothers Four’s chart-smash “Greenfields,” and The Chad Mitchell Trio’s early reading of Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind.” ¶ Of interest to collectors will be The Tarriers’ version of “The Banana Boat Song,” which paralleled Belafonte’s single up the chart, and Vince Martin’s 1956 take of “Cindy Oh Cindy,” a song eventually covered by Eddie Fisher, The Beach Boys, and Waylon Jennings! Hoyt Axton’s original “Greenback Dollar,” sung slow, solo and with a bluesier edge than the Kingston Trio’s cover hit is also a treat, as is Judy Collins’ pre-Byrds “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season).” Phil Ochs “I’ll Be There,” recorded in 1963, but unreleased until 1987, is the only post-50s track that feels more like “folk” than “folk revival.” ¶ Folk/beat poet/opportunist Rod McKuen makes a trio of appearances; first, as songwriter of Barry “Eve of Destruction” McGuire’s treacly “One by One,” second as songwriter and co-singer (with Jimmie Rogers) on “Two-Ten, Six-Eighteen (Doesn’t Anybody Know My Name),” and again with the original talking-blues “Advice to Folk Singers.” McGuire also checks in as lead-singer of The New Christy Minstrels (you’ll swear you’re listening to The New Main Street Singers from “A Mighty Wind”). ¶ This collection covers an impressive amount of ground in eighteen cuts. Rather than attempting to be authoritative in a single disc (after all, no Dylan, no Peter, Paul & Mary, etc.), the track list bridges the inspirational works of the 40s and 50s with the revival of the 60s. It’s an interesting introduction from which a listener can draw direction for further exploration.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.