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Folk Hits
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This interesting collection takes a broad view of folk music, including tuneful singalongs, chart hits and protest songs like Joan Baez's Joe Hill. Odetta's spiritual track adds even more flavour to the eclectic mix. My favourites are There But For Fortune by Phil Ochs, Universal Soldier by Buffy Sainte-Marie (her song Soldier Blue would have been a great inclusion too), Turn Turn Turn by Judy Collins, and the two Joan Baez duets: It Ain't Me Babe with Dylan, and Colours with Donovan, which is really superb. Ian & Sylvia, The Kingston Trio, Richard & Mimi Farina and Pete Seeker are very good too and their songs remain charming and poignant. These are definitely some of the very special voices and songs from three decades of folk. Unfortunately some major artists like Joni Mitchell and James Taylor have been omitted, and it would also have been nice to see people like Tim Hardin amongst the artists here. This enjoyable album showcases the many strands of American folk music in the 20th century and ought to interest the listener in the excellent work of these artists.
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on 19 June 2010
With the Rooftop Singers shown on the sleeve its a reminder that the Vanguard label was the source of all these recordings.Urban Folk Music was all about cover versions anyway-you expected to hear plenty of covers on albums made by its stars and WALK RIGHT IN was the biggest hit of all in what is the original version of a revived blues song from the 30s.It led to the mass use of 12 string guitars and also to the rediscovery of the original artists Gus Cannon who was then around 70s and reduced to living on the streets.
The Rooftop Singers themsleves had an interesting pedigree-Eric Darling had been in the Tarriers in the 50s while Lynn Taylor had been a jazz singer in the early 50s editiin of the Benny Goodman Band even cutting an album under her own name
Yet I wonder how the Kingston Trio could have appeared on Vanguard-they were signed to the Capitol label and even a live recording made at Newport Folk Festival would have needed permission.At least it would then-I take it there were live albums issued at the time
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