Wasn't That a Time? [Living Era]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
When the Weavers Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, Ronnie Gilbert and Fred Hellerman first hit the pop charts in 1950, they brought with them a fairly radical concept: the notion that music was more than just entertainment but could be used effectively as a force for social change, and it is both ironic and a bit miraculous that the decidedly left-leaning Weavers enjoyed their greatest commercial success just as the Cold War and all its attendant paranoia was reaching full steam. Part of the credit for that commercial success has to go to arranger Gordon Jenkins, who realized that a mellow folk group with a political agenda needed something extra to get the public's attention. ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
When the Weavers Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, Ronnie Gilbert and Fred Hellerman first hit the pop charts in 1950, they brought with them a fairly radical concept: the notion that music was more than just entertainment but could be used effectively as a force for social change, and it is both ironic and a bit miraculous that the decidedly left-leaning Weavers enjoyed their greatest commercial success just as the Cold War and all its attendant paranoia was reaching full steam. Part of the credit for that commercial success has to go to arranger Gordon Jenkins, who realized that a mellow folk group with a political agenda needed something extra to get the public's attention. Jenkins convinced Decca Records to release Weavers tracks augmented by horns and orchestration, and almost overnight the group went from being a political folk quartet to being a pop phenomenon. From 1950 to '52 the Weavers placed several songs in the Top 40 including "Goodnight, Irene," which hit number one in 1950, but the delicate balance between being a commercial force and simultaneously being a political one was never going to last, and it didn't. By 1955 the Weavers had more or less officially disbanded, although they reunited often for concerts, including a show in 1957 at Carnegie Hall which Vanguard Records recorded and released as The Weavers at Carnegie Hall, and still probably the best introduction to this elegant singing group. Wasn't That a Time? collects the best of the Weavers Decca-era tracks, including "So Long, It's Been Good to Know Yuh," which managed to put a Woody Guthrie song in the Top Ten number four in 1950, the first commercial recording of the Bahamian maritime lament "The Wreck of the Sloop John B," a version of "Follow the Drinking Gourd," which outlines the song's connection to the Underground Railroad, the soothing yet haunting "Bring Me Li'l Water, Sylvie," and a pair of charting songs drawn from Leadbelly's vast traditional repertoire, "The Midnight Special" and the beautiful waltz "Goodnight, Irene." The Weavers' later Vanguard recordings probably best present the group's musical philosophy, but these Decca tracks are the ones that caught a nation's ear as the Cold War beckoned.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/18/2006
  • Label: Asv Living Era
  • UPC: 743625561722
  • Catalog Number: 5617

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Wasn't That a Time (2:59)
  2. 2 If I Had a Hammer (2:01)
  3. 3 Around the World (2:33)
  4. 4 Tzena, Tzena, Tzena - Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra & Chorus (2:45)
  5. 5 Lonesome Traveler - Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra & Chorus (2:41)
  6. 6 So Long (It's Been Good to Know Yuh) - Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra & Chorus (3:20)
  7. 7 Wreck of the John B - Leroy Holmes & His Orchestra (2:26)
  8. 8 The Roving Kind - Leroy Holmes & His Orchestra (2:46)
  9. 9 Across the Wide Missouri (3:02)
  10. 10 On Top of Old Smokey - Vic Schoen (2:44)
  11. 11 Follow the Drinking Gourd (2:35)
  12. 12 The Frozen Logger (2:36)
  13. 13 Darling Corey (2:08)
  14. 14 Easy Rider Blues (2:27)
  15. 15 When the Saints Go Marching In (2:42)
  16. 16 Kisses Sweeter Than Wine (3:00)
  17. 17 Go Where I Send Thee (One for the Little Bitty Baby) - Jimmy Carroll & His Orchestra (2:46)
  18. 18 Old Paint (Ride Around Little Dogies) - Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra & Chorus (3:03)
  19. 19 Wimoweh (Mbube) - Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra & Chorus (3:02)
  20. 20 The Midnight Special - Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra (2:57)
  21. 21 Around the Corner (Beneath the Berry Tree) - Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra & Chorus (2:28)
  22. 22 Hard, Ain't It Hard (3:05)
  23. 23 Bay of Mexico (2:45)
  24. 24 Oh! My Darlin' Clementine (2:53)
  25. 25 Rock Island Line - Larry Clinton & His Orchestra (2:36)
  26. 26 Taking It Easy - Larry Clinton & His Orchestra (3:06)
  27. 27 Bring Me Li'l Water, Silvy - Larry Clinton & His Orchestra (2:47)
  28. 28 Goodnight, Irene - Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra & Chorus (3:19)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Weavers Primary Artist
Pete Seeger Tenor (Vocal), Group Member
Terry Gilkyson Vocals
Ronnie Gilbert Soprano (Vocal), Group Member
Lee Hays Bass (Vocal), Group Member
Fred Hellerman Baritone (Vocal), Group Member
Sonny Terry Harmonica
Sid Weiss Double Bass
Julius Grossman Track Performer
Technical Credits
Lead Belly Arranger, Composer
Woody Guthrie Arranger, Composer
Carl Sandburg Composer
Pete Seeger Arranger, Composer
The Weavers Composer
Paul Campbell Composer
Ervin Drake Composer
Sonny Geraci Composer
Ronnie Gilbert Composer
Lee Hays Composer
Fred Hellerman Composer
John A. Lomax Composer
Jimmy Shirl Composer
Greg Gormick Liner Notes
Josef Marais Composer
Mark Ranshaw Artwork
Solomon Linda Composer
Arnold Stanton Arranger, Composer
James Stevens Composer
Jesse Cavanaugh Composer
Traditional Composer
Alan Bunting Remastering
Tom Geraci Arranger
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