The Golden Age of American Popular Music: The Folk Hits

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Though Ace's Golden Age series of discs was initially devoted entirely to rock & roll, after numerous such volumes it branched out with thematic installments covering other forms of music that experienced success on the U.S. pop charts between the mid-'50s and mid-'60s. The Golden Age of Popular Music: The Folk Hits is another such imaginative anthology, compiling 28 folk singles that reached the Billboard charts during the era. There are, as you'd expect, some of the biggest such smashes, including the Kingston Trio's "Tom Dooley," the Rooftop Singers' "Walk Right In," Peter, Paul & Mary's "If I Had a Hammer," Gale Garnett's "We'll Sing in the Sunshine," the...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Though Ace's Golden Age series of discs was initially devoted entirely to rock & roll, after numerous such volumes it branched out with thematic installments covering other forms of music that experienced success on the U.S. pop charts between the mid-'50s and mid-'60s. The Golden Age of Popular Music: The Folk Hits is another such imaginative anthology, compiling 28 folk singles that reached the Billboard charts during the era. There are, as you'd expect, some of the biggest such smashes, including the Kingston Trio's "Tom Dooley," the Rooftop Singers' "Walk Right In," Peter, Paul & Mary's "If I Had a Hammer," Gale Garnett's "We'll Sing in the Sunshine," the Highwaymen's "Michael," the New Christy Minstrels' "Green, Green," the Springfields' "Silver Threads and Golden Needles," and the Brothers Four's "Greenfields." What makes this several cuts above the usual Time Life sort of collection of this material, however, is the inclusion of quite a few low-charting (or even barely charting) 45s that never get played on oldies radio, and give listeners a more rounded picture of the style than is commonly funneled through mainstream historical media. From well-known stars, for instance, there's Johnny Cash's cover of Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me, Babe," Joan Baez's "We Shall Overcome," Pete Seeger's "Little Boxes" (his only chart single as a solo artist), and the Simon Sisters' "Winkin', Blinkin' and Nod" (featuring a young Carly Simon). There are also oddball items from less celebrated figures, like Bud & Travis' orchestrated, dramatic "Ballad of the Alamo"; Joe & Eddie's ridiculously exuberant "There's a Meetin' Here Tonite"; the Greenwoods' "Please Don't Sell My Daddy No More Wine," featuring C. Carson Parks, older brother of Van Dyke Parks; and the Shacklefords' "A Stranger in Your Town," co-written by group member Lee Hazlewood. If there are any grounds on which listeners might be mildly disappointed with this set, those would be that numerous major hits by the Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul & Mary are missing (though to be fair, each of those acts could easily fill an entire disc of hits on their own), and that there's a dated, cutesy pop-folk feel to much of the material. You certainly don't get earthy roots folk from the likes of Dave Van Ronk, Odetta, or a young Bob Dylan here, so it shouldn't be taken as a representative overview of the folk revival as a whole. But as far as providing a thorough single-disc compilation of the folk revival at its most commercially successful, it would be hard to beat, especially considering it's packaged with 32 pages of informative liner notes.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/26/2008
  • Label: Ace Records Uk
  • UPC: 029667030328
  • Catalog Number: 1175
  • Sales rank: 15,592

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Walk Right In - Rooftop Singers (2:36)
  2. 2 If I Had a Hammer - Peter, Paul and Mary (2:00)
  3. 3 Where Have All the Flowers Gone - The Kingston Trio (3:02)
  4. 4 Green, Green - The New Christy Minstrels (2:09)
  5. 5 It Ain't Me, Babe - Johnny Cash (3:04)
  6. 6 Michael - The Highwaymen (2:45)
  7. 7 We Shall Overcome - Joan Baez (2:51)
  8. 8 Greenback Dollar - The Kingston Trio (2:51)
  9. 9 A Stranger in Your Town - The Shacklefords (2:09)
  10. 10 Winkin', Blinkin' and Nod - The Simon Sisters (Lucy and Carly) (2:09)
  11. 11 Ballad of the Alamo - Bud & Travis (2:56)
  12. 12 Tom Dooley - The Kingston Trio (3:02)
  13. 13 A Dollar Down - The Limeliters (2:37)
  14. 14 Greenfields - The Brothers Four (3:04)
  15. 15 Silver Threads and Golden Needles - The Springfields (2:13)
  16. 16 We'll Sing in the Sunshine - Gale Garnett (2:58)
  17. 17 Hootenanny - The Glencoves (2:09)
  18. 18 Don't Let the Rain Come Down - Serendipity Singers (2:45)
  19. 19 Reverend Mr. Black - The Kingston Trio (2:58)
  20. 20 Please Don't Sell My Daddy No More Wine - Greenwoods (2:26)
  21. 21 Lizzie Borden - Chad Mitchell Trio (3:22)
  22. 22 Ode to the Little Brown Shack out Back - Billy Edd Wheeler (3:02)
  23. 23 Cotton Fields - The Highwaymen (2:12)
  24. 24 There's a Meetin' Here Tonite - Joe & Eddie (2:40)
  25. 25 Tom Cat - Rooftop Singers (2:07)
  26. 26 Summer's Come and Gone - The Brandywine Singers (2:29)
  27. 27 Little Boxes - Pete Seeger (1:52)
  28. 28 The Unicorn - The Irish Rovers (3:18)
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Album Credits

Technical Credits
Lead Belly Composer
Dimitri Tiomkin Composer
Hoyt Axton Composer
Guy Carawan Arranger
Erik Darling Composer
Bob Gibson Composer
Cisco Houston Composer
Malvina Reynolds Composer
Pete Seeger Composer
Shel Silverstein Composer
Bob Dylan Composer
Lee Hazlewood Composer
Jerry Leiber Composer
Barry McGuire Composer
Frank Hamilton Arranger
Gus Cannon Composer
Gale Garnett Composer
Terry Gilkyson Composer
Alan Lomax Arranger
Marty Cooper Composer
Carlos Alomar Composer
Lee Hays Composer
Zilphia Horton Arranger
Chuck Kentis Composer
John A. Lomax Arranger
Dick Reynolds Composer
Mike Stoller Composer
Paul Webster Composer
Hosea Woods Composer
Randy Sparks Composer
Lynne Taylor Composer
Ersel Hickey Composer
Rob Finnis Liner Notes, Annotation
Duncan Cowell Mastering
Tom Lane Composer
Jack Rhodes Composer
Willard Hooker Svanoe Composer
Richard Dehr Composer
Frank Warner Arranger
Frank Miller Composer
Eddie V. Deane Composer
Traditional Composer
Seeger, Petersen + Marsalis Arranger
Kennard Ramsey Composer
George Goehring Composer
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