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Posts Tagged ‘Mimi & Richard Farina’

Died On This Date (June 6, 2015) Ronnie Gilbert / Folk Music Great; The Weavers

Posted by themusicsover on June 6, 2015

Ronnie Gilbert
September 7, 1926 – June 6, 2015

ronnie-gilbertSimply put, Ronnie Gilbert was folk music royalty.  Along with Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, and Fred Hellerman, Gilbert formed the Weavers in 1948.  Based in the folk mecca of New York’s Greenwich Village, the band was arguably the most influential folk group the scene had ever produced.  Artists and activists like Joan Baez, Bob DylanMimi & Richard Farina, and Peter, Paul & Mary were all products of the folk revival they kicked off by putting a contemporary spin on folk music.  The band gained popularity, mostly by word of mouth, while their songs resonated with so-called progressive causes like civil rights and workers’ rights.  Their recordings of “If I Had a Hammer,” “This Land is Your Land,” and “Goodnight Irene” – among many others – became folk music standards.  During the 1950s, the Weavers became a victim of the “Red Scare,” causing them to become blacklisted from radio stations, television and beyond.  Due to a lack of bookings and recording opportunities that followed, the band broke up.  But in 1955, they reunited for a much-heralded performance at Carnegie Hall, which lead to renewed interest in their music.  The group continued on, though with Erik Darling replacing Seeger, over the next decade before calling it quits again.  Gilbert went on to enjoy a career in theater as well as as a solo recording artist.  In 1980, the surviving Weavers reunited once again to a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall.  Ronnie Gilbert was 88 when she passed away on June 6, 2015

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Died On This Date (April 30, 1966) Richard Fariña / Respected ’60s Folk Singer

Posted by themusicsover on April 30, 2010

Richard Fariña
March 8, 1937 – April 30, 1966

richard-farinaAlong with being a beat writer, Richard Fariña was a folk singer-songwriter who performed and recorded with second wife, Mimi Fariña, sister of Joan Baez.  As a counterculture author, Fariña had stories published in the Transalantic Review and Mademoiselle.  He also wrote the critically acclaimed and cult favorite novel, Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me.  Considered a protest singer, Fariña’s music career was born around 1961 in the Greenwich Village folk scene.  At the time, he was married to Carolyn Hester who introduced him to Bob Dylan, thus launching a friendship that would eventually lead him to meet Joan Baez and younger sister, Mimi.   After divorcing Hester, Fariña married Mimi and together they moved to the central coast of California where they began writing songs together.  Mimi & Richard Fariña signed to Vanguard Records who released three albums, one of which after Richard’s untimely death.  Just two days after the release of Been Down So Long, the Farinas were home celebrating Mimi’s 21st birthday.   During the party, Richard got on the back of a friend’s motorcycle for a ride.  Allegedly driving at a high rate of speed, the driver lost control of the bike on a windy road, causing it to crash.  Richard Fariña was killed instantly at the age of 29.

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Mimi and Richard Farina: The Complete Vanguard Recordings - Mimi and Richard Farina

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