American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 4

American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 4

by Pete Seeger


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By the time it reached its third volume in 1959, Folkways Records' series of Pete Seeger albums called American Favorite Ballads seemed to be running out of gas, as Seeger re-recorded old Weavers hits like "Goodnight Irene" and "Wimoweh" (the latter, of course, not even American). But arriving after two years in 1961, American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 4 seems much closer to the series' original intent to present a variety of generally well-known, traditional American folk songs in Seeger's inimitable style. Variety is the key here, as Seeger ranges from a murder ballad ("Banks of the Ohio") to a patriotic anthem ("America the Beautiful"), with comic novelties ("Hole in the Bucket") contrasting with plaintive anti-war statements ("Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier"), a children's tune ("Froggie Went A-Courtin'"), and a spiritual ("Go Down Moses"), not to mention a raucous sea chantey ("What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor?") and a hyperbolic and hilarious tale of army life ("Gee, But I Want to Go Home"). The ringer in the bunch is "You Are My Sunshine," which might sound like an old song, but really dates only from 1940, when its co-author, Jimmie Davis, introduced it. (It went on to help him become governor of Louisiana.) No matter. Seeger continues to contemporize a wide range of American folk music with performances that are unfailingly engaging. [A reissue added 16 songs taken from other Seeger Folkways recordings, including nine from the 1962 album American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 5; a smattering of cuts from material he recorded for Folkways in the '50s; and even a previously unreleased performance (date not given) of "Old Maid's Song."]

Product Details

Release Date: 05/23/2006
Label: Smithsonian Folkways
UPC: 0093074015322
catalogNumber: 40153
Rank: 175027

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Pete Seeger   Primary Artist,Banjo,Guitar,Vocals,12-string Guitar

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Elvis Presley   Composer
Richard Burgess   Marketing,Staff
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Jeff Place   Liner Notes,Introduction,Annotation,Song Notes
Ronnie Simpkins   Staff
Guy Logsdon   Introduction,Annotation,Song Notes
Carla Borden   Staff
DuBose Heyward   Composer
Gitz Rice   Composer
C.C. Mitchell   Composer
Lee Michael Demsey   Staff
Traditional   Composer
Margot Nassau   Staff,Financial Director,Licensing
Mark Gustafson   Marketing,Promotions Director,Staff
Norman van der Sluys   Staff
Helen Lindsay   Public Relations,Staff
Amy Schriefer   Staff
Betty Derbyshire   Staff,Financial Director
J.B. Rodgers   Composer
Toby Dodds   Management,Staff
John Smith   Marketing,Staff
Stephanie Smith   Staff

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