Folk Revival 90.5FM

This is a blog for the audience of WICN's The Folk Revival ~ 3 hours of the folk of the folk revivals of the 20th century into the 21st century. Hosted by Nick noble sharing some of his favorite roots and branches of folk music. Scroll down right column for interesting lists and information.

Friday, March 7, 2008


Next week:
All-Irish show next week, featuring Spailpin, the Dubliners, the Irish Rovers, Tommy Makem & the Clancy Brothers, the Grehan Sisters, Barleycorn, Mick Moloney, Joan Baez, Brier, the Limeliters, John McEvoy, the Highwaymen, Chris Ball, Fair Isle Folk, Patsy Watchorn, the Dublin City Ramblers, Josef Locke, the Chieftans, the Black Brothers, Mary O’Dowd and the Robert Shaw Chorale.
This week we heard from:

Terry Gilkyson, Eliza Gilkyson (singing her stuff and one of her Dad’s songs), and Tony Gilkyson (singing his stuff, a song of his Dad’s w/Eliza, and a Woody Guthrie song). Woody Guthrie, Arlo Guthrie, and Sara Lee Guthrie (a couple of her songs and a Hoyt Axton song, with Dad Arlo singing on one of them).
Josh White and Josh White, Jr. (one from each, plus a 1945 broadcast recording featuring Josh Sr, 4-year old Josh Jr, an d Duke Ellington’s Orchestra).

Johnny, June Carter, and Rosanne Cash (a total of five songs)
Harry (2 songs) and Shari (1 song) Belafonte. Levon Helm and daughter Amy (Ollabelle). Gil Robbins (Cumberland Three, Highwaymen) and son Tim Robbins (singing Pete Seeger’s ALL MY CHILDREN OF THE SUN). Bonnie Raitt (a Pete Seeger folk song and a duet with Dad John—OK, it was ANYTHING YOU CAN DO by Irving Berlin).

We raised $255 (show’s goal was $200) and then someone matched it.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

This week's show ~ Feb 21, 2008

"When the Village Was Green" -- the original Highwaymen: 50 Years of Folksinging. Nick had two guests-- Dave Fisher and Bob Burnett of the original Highwaymen-- and they had a great time. He played 40 songs over the three hours, they talked a lot, and they sang one song live in the studio -- "Finnegan's Wake". Thanks to all.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day Show - FEB 14th

On Valentine's Day Nick played 50 folk love songs—all types—romantic, sweet, happy, sad, cynical, tragic—all kinds.
Artists included The Seekers, Jean Ritchie, the Highwaymen, the New Christy Minstrels, the Dublin City Ramblers, Brier, the Grehan Sisters, Joan Baez, Joe & Eddie, Ann Reed, the Brandywine Singers, Dave Fisher (solo), Judy Collins, Ian & Sylvia, Peter-Paul-&-Mary, Noel Paul Stookey (solo), Mary Travers (solo), The Monkees, Burl Ives, Scott McKnight, John Jorgensen, Aloha Steamtrain, Mitch & Mickey (from A MIGHTY WIND), and The Maple Street Project.

Next week: The original Highwaymen—50 years of folk music, with guests Bob Burnett and Dave Fisher of the original Highwaymen in the studio with Nick Noble on The Folk Revival.

Women in Folk Music - FEB 7th

Before there was Joan, Judy, Joni there was Carolyn Hester, Barbara Dane and Odetta.
below is a traditional song about the Irish famine recorded in 1963 as part of "Bob Dylan and Co."that another member put up. It was also on Carolyn's second Columbia LP.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Joan and Mimi sing in Spanish at Sing Sing - 1972

On Thanksgiving Day, 1972, New York's Sing Sing Prison invited B.B. King, Joan Baez, the Voices of East Harlem, comedian Jimmy Walker, and others to perform for the inmates. New York's Daily News called it one of the greatest concert moments in live entertainment. B.B. King later said it was maybe the best performance that he had ever given.

Thanks to Nick for his great show on American folk singers performing folk songs in
many languages.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Thanks to Nick Noble Jan 24th

The Thursday 1/24 show was in part a tribute to John Stewart, who died one week ago at age 68, in part a celebration of the Dr King holiday week, and in part an eclectic mix of my favorites old and new (kincluding Union songs, story songs, etc.). Artists featured included The Cumberland Three, the Kingston Trio, John Stewart, Dion (ABRAHAM, MARTIN, & JOHN), Joan Baez, Nancy Griffith, the Highwaymen, the Limeliters, Josh White, Tom Glazer, Roseanne Cash, Peter-Paul-&-Mary, Mary Travers (solo), Schooner Fare, the Brothers Four, the Brandywine Singers, Bud & Travis, and many others.

Thursday 1/31 the general focus will be on artists of the Folk Revival singing songs in other languages.
Thursday 2/7 – The Women of the Folk Revival
Thursday 2/14 – Love Songs of the Folk Revival (in time for Valentines Day)
Thursday 2/21 – The Highwaymen and their contemporaries – “When the Village Was Green”
Thursday 2/28 – NO NICK (out of state)
And in March—a show featuring Irish and Scots music of the Folk Revival (there was a LOT of it) as we head into St. Patrick’s Day

And a Tribute to Doctor Martin Luther King...
Joan Baez sings "We Shall Overcome"

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hear Woody's Music live - Ribbon of Highway Tour

January 12 - 8:00p - MASSACHUSETTS
Ribbon of Highway, Endless Skyway
A Celebration in the Spirit of Woody Guthrie
With Jimmy LaFave, The Burns Sisters, Joel Rafael, Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion.
Joyful Noise Coffeehouse
The First Baptist Church
1580 Massachusetts Avenue
Lexington, MA 02420
T: (781) 861-0142

January 13 - 7:30p - VERMONT
Ribbon of Highway, Endless Skyway
A Celebration in the Spirit of Woody Guthrie
With Jimmy LaFave, The Burns Sisters, Joel Rafael, Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion.
Tunbridge Church
Turnbridge, VT 05077
T: (802) 431-3433

January 14 - 7:30p - NEW YORK
Ribbon of Highway, Endless Skyway
A Celebration in the Spirit of Woody Guthrie
With Jimmy LaFave, The Burns Sisters, Joel Rafael, Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion.

The Knitting Factory
74 Leonard Street
New York, NY 10013
T: (212) 219-3121
Venue Website

Friday, January 4, 2008

The facts of his life ~ Woody Guthrie

Woody Guthrie
Date of Birth
14 July 1912, Okemah, Oklahoma, USA
Date of Death
4 October 1967, Queens, New York, USA. (huntington's disease)
Birth Name
Woodrow Wilson Guthrie

IMDb Mini Biography By: Ed Stephan

Charley and Nora Guthrie named their son after the Democrat elected president that year. Woodrow Wilson Guthrie knew hard times as a youngster (his house burned down, his sister Clara burned to death, his father's small-town business and political careers never went anywhere, his mother suffered from undiagnosed Huntington's Disease and was declared insane), but he enjoyed performing (dancing, playing harmonica, writing songs) and learning (he read voraciously in the public library). In 1933 he married Mary Jennings, five years his junior, with whom he would have three children. In 1935 he joined the Oakies and Arkies driven to California by theDust Bowl. His songs went from describing the tragedy of the migrants to urging their unionization. Though he wrote a column for the Weekly People, he never joined the Communist Party. When Will Geer got a part in the play "Tobacco Road" he invited Woody to join him in New York where he met Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, Leadbelly, Cisco Houston. He was commissioned to write songs for a never-completed documentary on Washington State's Grand Coulee Dam, and it was in the Pacific Northwest that his family left him. Back in New York in 1940, Woody joined Pete Seeger's Alamanc Singers and married Martha Graham dancer Marjorie Mazia. His autobiography, Bound for Glory, was published in 1943. He served in the Merchant Marine in World War II, and three ships were torpedoed from under him. In 1946 he and Marjorie's daughter, Cathy, was burned to death in an apartment fire. They had three more children: Arlo, Joady and Nora. In 1953 he married for a third time, to Anneke Van Kirk. They had a child, Lorinna Lynn Guthrie. Anneke solely raised her until her premature death (at age 19) in 1973, from a car accident in California.

In the 1950s he experienced bouts of irrational behavior and was often unable to play his guitar; his condition was ultimately diagnosed as Huntington's Disease. The rest of that decade and into the 1960s a new generation, notably including Bob Dylan, began to discover and play his music, adapting some of it to the new Civil Rights movement.

Anneke Van Kirk (2 December 1953 - 1956) (divorced) 1 child
Marjorie Greenblatt Mazia (November 1945 - July 1953) (divorced) 4 children
Mary Jennings (28 October 1933 - 1940) (divorced) 3 children


Father of Arlo Guthrie

He and Marjorie had four children. Cathy (died aged 4 in a fire) Arlo Guthrie, Joady (named for Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and Nora.

His daughter, Nora, recently invited English singer/songwriter Billy Bragg to look through the family archives, especially all the thousands of song lyrics that Woody had left in his notebooks. Billy, together with American country band Wilco, put them to music and recorded them for the album Mermaid Avenue.
He was cremated and his ashes were scattered off Coney Island. The family scattered the ashes of Marjorie in the same place when she died.
Was featured in 1998 on a 32-cent U.S. postage stamp in the Legends of Folk Singers stamp series.
Elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (under the category Early Influences) in 1988.
February 22, 1954: daughter: Lorinna Lynn Guthrie, with Van Kirk.

Was Bob Dylan's idol and mentor. Dylan visited him many times in the hospital in the last years of his life, and modeled his own folk-writing style after Guthrie's. The first song Dylan ever wrote was 'Song to Woody', which appeared on his 1962 debut album.
He was portrayed by David Carradine in Bound for Glory (1976), an apparently faithful adaptation of Woody's life story.
His guitar was inscribed with the words, "This machine kills fascists."
Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.
Is portrayed by Garth Gilker in I'm Not There. (2007).

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Woody Guthrie Pt 1 January 3, 2008

Big thanks to our friend Larry Siegel of Royalston who has opened up his collection to our show. We will start off this week's Revival with songs from 40 year old set of vinyl with live music from one of the first tribute concerts for Woody Guthrie, in 1968. for all things "Woody" go to:

On January 20, 1968, three months following Guthrie's death, Harold Leventhal produced "A Tribute to Woody Guthrie" at New York City's Carnegie Hall. Performers included Jack Elliott, Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, Bob Dylan and The Band, Judy Collins, Arlo Guthrie, Richie Havens, Odetta and others. Leventhal repeated the tribute on September 12, 1970 at the Hollywood Bowl. Recordings of the two concerts were eventually released as 2 LPs then later as one CD.

A Woody Guthrie tribute show took place at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio in September 1996. The 10-day celebration, included notable musicians such as Arlo Guthrie, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg, The Indigo Girls, Ellis Paul and Ani DiFranco. DiFranco's record label, Righteous Babe, released a compilation of the event, 'Til We Outnumber 'Em, in 2000.

From 1999-2002 the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service presented the traveling exhibit, "This Land Is Your Land: The Life and Legacy of Woody Guthrie". In collaboration with Nora Guthrie, the Smithsonian exhibition draws from rarely seen objects, illustrations, film footage, and recorded performances to reveal a complex man who was at once poet, musician, protester, idealist, itinerant hobo, and folk legend.

In 2003 Jimmy LaFave produced a Woody Guthrie tribute show called Ribbon of Highway, Endless Skyway. The ensemble show toured around the country and included a rotating cast of singer-songwriters individually performing Guthrie's songs. Interspersed between songs were Guthrie's philosophical writings read by a narrator. In addition to LaFave, members of the rotating cast included Ellis Paul, Slaid Cleaves, Eliza Gilkyson, Joel Rafael, husband-wife duo Sarah Lee Guthrie (Woody Guthrie's granddaughter) and Johnny Irion, Michael Fracasso, and The Burns Sisters. Oklahoma songwriter Bob Childers, sometimes called "the Dylan of the Dust," served as narrator.[69][70] When word spread about the tour, performers began contacting LaFave whose only prerequisite was to have an inspirational connection to Guthrie. Each artist chose the Guthrie songs that he or she would perform as part of the tribute. LaFave said, "It works because all the performers are Guthrie enthusiasts in some form". The Ribbon of Highway tour kicked-off on February 5, 2003 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The abbreviated show was a featured segment of "Nashville Sings Woody," yet another tribute concert to commemorate the music of Woody Guthrie held during the Folk Alliance Conference. The cast of "Nashville Sings Woody," a benefit for the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives, also included Arlo Guthrie, Marty Stuart, Nanci Griffith, Guy Clark, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Janis Ian, and others.

Woody and Marjorie Guthrie were honored at a musical celebration featuring Billy Bragg and the band Brad on October 17, 2007 at Webster Hall in New York City. Steve Earle also performed. The event was hosted by actor/activist Tim Robbins to benefit the Huntington¹s Disease Society of America to commemorate the organization's 40th Anniversary.

“Life has got a habit of not standing hitched. You got to ride it like you find it. You got to change with it. If a day goes by that don't change some of your old notions for new ones, that is just about like trying to milk a dead cow.”

Woody Guthrie quotes (American Composer and Singer, 1912-1967)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

DEC 27th ~ The Almanac Singers to "A Mighty Wind" ~ Folk groups of the Revival

Nick Noble took us on a wonderful journey through the history of folk groups (trios and more) of the Folk Revival, filling us in on the interesting interconnections of personnel. As always, Nick supplemented our collection from his own and played a fabulous amount of music, from rarely heard versions of traditional songs to many number one and top 10 hits on the pop charts. Below are some fun videos of the Weavers, the Limeliters, The Tarriers and the Byrds reunion singing with Bob Dylan.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bob Franke

"It's his integrity. I always think of Bob as if Emerson and Thoreau had picked up acoustic guitars and gotten into songwriting. There's touches of Mark Twain and Buddy Holly in there, too." -- Tom Paxton

"While fans from Claudia Schmidt to June Tabor may have...incredible taste in picking songs...when they sing Massachusetts-based Bob Franke's tunes, neither they nor anyone else can come close to the emotional (and spiritual) depth Franke brings to his understated songs of the heart, from 'Hard Love' to 'The Great Storm Is Over'. He continues also to dig into Robert Johnson's blues, and songs that offer hilarious uses of everything from bicycle repair to computers as metaphors for sex. In the folk singer-songwriter realm, Franke is simply the best." Express, Berkeley, California

"In the folk singer-songwriter realm, Franke is simply the best." Larry Kelp, Express, Berkeley, CA

" . . . a singer-songwriter unsurpassed for his lyrical grace . . . one of our wisest and most spiritually graceful songwriters" The Boston Globe, Boston, MA

"...a standard of songs that most writers can only dream about, and admire in drop-jawed silence" Folk Roots

Bob's Latest Recording is "The Other Evening in Chicago."
See the article about Bob entitled "Bob Franke: Patience is a Virtue" in the Spring 2005 issue of Sing Out Magazine.

Bob's New Blog: The Song Journal
Bob has started a blog called The Song Journal (, which is a way for him to offer "miscellaneous news and writing by Bob Franke, mostly about songs as a portable art form, and the process of creating them and enabling them to do their work in the world."

In 2003, Kathy Mattea covered Bob's song "Straw Against the Chill" on her second Christmas album, "Joy For Christmas Day."

In the spring of 2004, Peter, Paul and Mary released "Alleluia, The Great Storm Is Over" on their CD "In These Times."

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

New friend - old music

New friend of the Folk Revival Nick Noble has sent us some

He will be co hosting and playing some Hannukah songs tomorrow night
December 6th 2007 9PM.


From the ORIGINAL Highwaymen. Recorded on 05-05-07 at Spearfish, South Dakota.
"Michael" a traditional Georgia Sea Island spiritual, was a #1 hit for the Highwaymen in 1961 (and throughout much of the world-- their "Michael" is the most successful traditional recording by a folk group of all time). Here it is sung by the original Highwaymen (Burnett, Fisher, Trott, Butts, with Johann Helton on bass) at a recent concert (2006) in the Dakotas.

Huddie Ledbetter's (Leadbelly) "Cotton Fields" was a Top 20 hit for the Highwaymen in 1962. Here sung by the original Highwaymen (from l to r: Bob Burnett-- VP of Bank of America in RI; Dave Fisher-- professional musician; Steve Trott-- Federal Appeals Court Judge on the 9th Circuit; and Steve Butts-- retired college administrator; with bassist Johann Helton of Boise, ID). They are seen here on the 2002 PBS Special "This Land is Your Land-- the Folk Years".

Saturday, October 27, 2007

"If amethysts could sing...they would sound like Judy Collins." -Richard Farina.

This week we are thrilled to feature Judy Collins! And we have a ton of her recordings in the original vinyl. Below is fabulous video from youtube and her bio from

Judy Collins has thrilled audiences worldwide with her unique blend of interpretative folksongs and contemporary themes. Her impressive career has spanned more than 40 years. At 13, Judy Collins made her public debut performing Mozart's "Concerto for Two Pianos" but it was the music of such artists as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, as well as the traditional songs of the folk revival, that sparked Judy Collins' love of lyrics. She soon moved away from the classical piano and began her lifelong love with the guitar. In 1961, Judy Collins released her first album, A Maid of Constant Sorrow, at the age of 22 and began a thirty-five year association with Jac Holzman and Elektra Records.

Judy Collins is also noted for her rendition of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" on her classic 1967 album, Wildflowers. "Both Sides Now" has since been entered into the Grammy's Hall of Fame. Winning "Song of the Year" at the 1975 Grammy's Awards show was Judy's version of "Send in the Clowns," a ballad written by Stephen Sondheim for the Broadway musical "A Little Night Music."

Released on September 29th, Judy's new book, Sanity and Grace, A Journey of Suicide, Survival and Strength, is a deeply moving memoir, focusing on the death of her only son and the healing process following the tragedy. The book speaks to all who have endured the sorrow of losing a loved one before their time. In the depths of her suffering, Judy found relief by reaching out to others for help and support. Now, she extends her hand to comfort other survivors whose lives have been affected by similar tragedy.

In a recent appearance on ABC's Good Morning America, Judy performed "Wings of Angels," the heartbreaking ballad that she wrote about the loss of her son. The song is currently available on the newly released Judy Collins Wildflower Festival CD and DVD, which also feature guest artists Arlo Guthrie, Tom Rush and Eric Andersen. This extraordinary concert was filmed at the famed Humphrey's By the Bay in San Diego, CA. The concert was the culmination of a 25 city national tour.

With Leonard Cohen in 1976 on PBS

Judy Collins Video 1966

Judy loses the words a bit here but that is beauty of live music.

Bob Dylan's Dream