Posted by themusicsover on June 6, 2015
September 7, 1926 – June 6, 2015
Simply 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 Dylan, Mimi & 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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Posted in Folk, Singer | Tagged: Bob Dylan, Erik Darling, Fred Hellerman, Joan Baez, Lee Hays, Mimi & Richard Farina, Mimi Farina, Pete Seeger, Peter Paul & Mary, Richard Farina, Ronnie Gilbert | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on January 25, 2012
DOB Unknown – January 25, 2012
Dick Kniss was a talented bassist who is best remembered for his tenure with both singer-songwriter, John Denver, and legendary folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary, with whom he played for the better part of 50 years. As a member of Denver’s first band during the ’70s, Kniss co-wrote one of his biggest hits, “Sunshine On My Shoulder.” The list of artists he also worked with includes jazz luminaries Woody Herman and Herbie Hancock. Dick Kniss died of pulmonary disease on January 25, 2012. He was 74.
Posted in Folk, Jazz, Musician, Rock | Tagged: Dick Kniss, Herbie Hancock, John Denver, Peter Paul & Mary, Woody Herman | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on April 1, 2010
January 7, 1930 – April 1, 2008
Sam Gessar at right; Photo by John W. MacDonald
Sam Gesser was a Canadian concert promoter who brought the likes of Joan Baez, Pete Seeger and Janis Joplin to Montreal in the ‘60s. With a career that spanned over 50 years, Gesser started as radio and television writer, later joining the Folkways label as their Canadian representative. While with Folkways, he produced over 100 albums. He switched to concert promotion in the ‘60s and produced shows and tours by Harry Belafonte, Van Cliburn, Peter, Paul & Mary, Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger and many more. Gessar died of cancer on April 2, 2008 at the age of 78.
Posted in Producer, Promoter, Record Label | Tagged: Harry Belafonte, Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Peter Paul & Mary, Sam Gesser, Van Cliburn | Leave a Comment »