Folk New England

Folk New England FOLK New England’s mission is to create a dialogue between the history of folk music and the future of folk, through robust collections development, multi-disciplinary education, and engaging entertainment programs for the public.

FOLK New England is a 5-year old non-profit organization based in Massachusetts, not far from Harvard Square where the folk music revival of the 1960s kicked off a cultural revolution. FOLK New England is a living repository of folk music history materials, featuring 50 year-old audio recordings of rare performances and interviews; a photograph collection documenting the past and the active presen

FOLK New England is a 5-year old non-profit organization based in Massachusetts, not far from Harvard Square where the folk music revival of the 1960s kicked off a cultural revolution. FOLK New England is a living repository of folk music history materials, featuring 50 year-old audio recordings of rare performances and interviews; a photograph collection documenting the past and the active presen

Operating as usual

05/23/2021

Ready for the Kennedy Center Honors, with Gabe and Jasmine. Be sure to watch when it airs on CBS June 6th. #kennedycenterhonors

Dayle Stanley, 1939-2021  A REMEMBRANCEBy Tom CurrenDayle Stanley was one of the key performers in the Boston-Cambridge ...
01/25/2021

Dayle Stanley, 1939-2021 A REMEMBRANCE
By Tom Curren

Dayle Stanley was one of the key performers in the Boston-Cambridge Folk Revival and was among the first women in folk music circles to become a singer-songwriter. She was an enormously gifted artist, popular throughout the East Coast, and her influence can be heard in the style and substance of the generation of women folksingers who followed her.

Dayle Stanley was born and raised in Weymouth, on the Massachusetts South Shore. She attended local schools, and at an early age, began taking voice lessons in Boston; before she was in her teens, she was a trained operatic singer. Like many of her contemporaries in the early revival, she was heavily influenced by the popular folk music of Harry Belafonte and became inspired to take up the guitar. She embraced the ethic of the early revival and by about 1961 was performing in public locally. Eventually, she ventured into Boston to appear during the brief life of a club in Kenmore Square called “The Green Frog,” whose operating demise was noted by David Wilson in the pages of the first issue of Broadside in May of 1962.

Thus deprived of her first paying gig, Dayle made her way across the Charles to the Club 47 Mt. Auburn where she encountered Betsy Siggins, who remembers that she “signed her up on the spot!” In short order, Dayle became one of the first “regulars” at the Club. She is listed in an early undated poster as one of the sixteen featured performers at the Club, along with Tom Rush, Eric von Schmidt, Keith & Rooney, Bonnie Dobson, Jackie Washington, Geoff Muldaur, and the Charles River Valley Boys. In 1963, she was appearing weekly at the Club, at first sharing a regular bill with Muldaur. She appeared solo at “the 47” scores of times between 1962 and 1964, and on at least two occasions, she presided over a Sunday night hootenanny on Mt. Auburn Street.

At that time, recording contracts were extremely hard to come by, but in 1963 Dayle signed with Squire Records and produced her first record album, “Child of Hollow Times.” In that year, she was voted “Most Popular Female Folk Artist” in Boston by the Broadside. A second album on Squire, “After The Snow,” appeared in 1964. Cuts from both albums were frequently featured on Jefferson Kaye’s Sunday night radio program called “Hootennany,” and Dayle’s impact, along with that of a number of other Boston artists, was amplified by 50,000-watt exposure that ran well beyond New England. Soon she was appearing in Greenwich Village, in Philadelphia, and in Baltimore, where she was well-received by local folk audiences. Dayle participated in a number of civil rights benefits concerts in Cambridge and developed a strong reputation both as a singer of ballads and as the composer of unique and powerful songs, including “Nobody Knows That I Have A Name,” and “The Years.”

Sometime in 1965 or 1966, Dayle withdrew from performing in public. She continued to compose privately, and over the course of the following decade made studio recordings in Boston, in New York. At about the time Folk New England began to work with the University of Massachusetts, Betsy Siggins came back in contact with Dayle, who, it developed, was living quietly with her husband on the North Shore, where she had become an accomplished painter and horsewoman. Her records and a number of her reel to reel tapes have been digitized by FNE and are permanently archived at the Special Collections Department at University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

Much of the focus of Folk New England has been on the art of key performers who did not receive widespread appreciation after the 1960s. Dayle Stanley is at the top of any list of the most talented and effective performers of the Revival. Her name is among the most frequently invoked in remembrance of the era. Folk New England is honored to have been the recipient of her generosity and to perpetuate a performance repertoire that has had enormous impact on thoughtful folk singers over the course of the years. Dayle made her mark on all of us and on the Boston-Cambridge Folk Revival that she so wholeheartedly devoted herself to, in the effort, as she put it a few years ago, “just to make a better world.” She was a talented artist, a tireless advocate, and a kind and caring soul, and we miss her greatly.

Photo by Tom Curren. Dayle Stanley and Betsy Siggins Schmidt, on The Old Songs' Home radio show on Cape Cod Community Radio WOMR. Thanks to host Bob Weiser.
.

Dayle Stanley, 1939-2021 A REMEMBRANCE
By Tom Curren

Dayle Stanley was one of the key performers in the Boston-Cambridge Folk Revival and was among the first women in folk music circles to become a singer-songwriter. She was an enormously gifted artist, popular throughout the East Coast, and her influence can be heard in the style and substance of the generation of women folksingers who followed her.

Dayle Stanley was born and raised in Weymouth, on the Massachusetts South Shore. She attended local schools, and at an early age, began taking voice lessons in Boston; before she was in her teens, she was a trained operatic singer. Like many of her contemporaries in the early revival, she was heavily influenced by the popular folk music of Harry Belafonte and became inspired to take up the guitar. She embraced the ethic of the early revival and by about 1961 was performing in public locally. Eventually, she ventured into Boston to appear during the brief life of a club in Kenmore Square called “The Green Frog,” whose operating demise was noted by David Wilson in the pages of the first issue of Broadside in May of 1962.

Thus deprived of her first paying gig, Dayle made her way across the Charles to the Club 47 Mt. Auburn where she encountered Betsy Siggins, who remembers that she “signed her up on the spot!” In short order, Dayle became one of the first “regulars” at the Club. She is listed in an early undated poster as one of the sixteen featured performers at the Club, along with Tom Rush, Eric von Schmidt, Keith & Rooney, Bonnie Dobson, Jackie Washington, Geoff Muldaur, and the Charles River Valley Boys. In 1963, she was appearing weekly at the Club, at first sharing a regular bill with Muldaur. She appeared solo at “the 47” scores of times between 1962 and 1964, and on at least two occasions, she presided over a Sunday night hootenanny on Mt. Auburn Street.

At that time, recording contracts were extremely hard to come by, but in 1963 Dayle signed with Squire Records and produced her first record album, “Child of Hollow Times.” In that year, she was voted “Most Popular Female Folk Artist” in Boston by the Broadside. A second album on Squire, “After The Snow,” appeared in 1964. Cuts from both albums were frequently featured on Jefferson Kaye’s Sunday night radio program called “Hootennany,” and Dayle’s impact, along with that of a number of other Boston artists, was amplified by 50,000-watt exposure that ran well beyond New England. Soon she was appearing in Greenwich Village, in Philadelphia, and in Baltimore, where she was well-received by local folk audiences. Dayle participated in a number of civil rights benefits concerts in Cambridge and developed a strong reputation both as a singer of ballads and as the composer of unique and powerful songs, including “Nobody Knows That I Have A Name,” and “The Years.”

Sometime in 1965 or 1966, Dayle withdrew from performing in public. She continued to compose privately, and over the course of the following decade made studio recordings in Boston, in New York. At about the time Folk New England began to work with the University of Massachusetts, Betsy Siggins came back in contact with Dayle, who, it developed, was living quietly with her husband on the North Shore, where she had become an accomplished painter and horsewoman. Her records and a number of her reel to reel tapes have been digitized by FNE and are permanently archived at the Special Collections Department at University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

Much of the focus of Folk New England has been on the art of key performers who did not receive widespread appreciation after the 1960s. Dayle Stanley is at the top of any list of the most talented and effective performers of the Revival. Her name is among the most frequently invoked in remembrance of the era. Folk New England is honored to have been the recipient of her generosity and to perpetuate a performance repertoire that has had enormous impact on thoughtful folk singers over the course of the years. Dayle made her mark on all of us and on the Boston-Cambridge Folk Revival that she so wholeheartedly devoted herself to, in the effort, as she put it a few years ago, “just to make a better world.” She was a talented artist, a tireless advocate, and a kind and caring soul, and we miss her greatly.

Photo by Tom Curren. Dayle Stanley and Betsy Siggins Schmidt, on The Old Songs' Home radio show on Cape Cod Community Radio WOMR. Thanks to host Bob Weiser.
.

01/19/2021

Winter 2021 Newsletter

In the winter, warmth stands for all virtue.

Henry Thoreau

We hope that your holidays were enjoyable, that you are warm, well-supplied, and safe, and that we can join in with the old blues singer who sang "I seen better days, but I'm puttin' up with these!" Just about ten months ago, the appearance of the coronavirus outbreak necessitated the postponement of our Jim Kweskin and Geoff Muldaur concert at the Old Chapel at UMass. A good time would have been had by all and will be, we're sure, when the coast clears, and we can reschedule the concert in Amherst and possibly one in the Boston area as well. We'll keep you posted.

We're all hunkered down by our Victrolas, and the UMass Special Collections Department is on a significantly reduced schedule. Still, nonetheless, we've been able to make progress in our efforts to keep the region's folk traditions and the Revival alive and thriving. We are proud to have been the recipients of a trove of archive material from Mitch Greenhill. He generously donated the tapes of his interviews for his excellent book "Raised by Musical Mavericks," which we highly recommend. You can obtain copies at your local bookstore or online via a large South American river. Included in the gift were copies of correspondence that his dad Manny engaged in while setting up his first folk music concerts back in the 1960s.

We are using this time to complete the annotation of the FNE tape collections and begin planning for access to this wonderful music, possibly online (which involves obtaining release rights) and certainly in a listening room at Amherst. In the meantime, we've been happy to receive word of additional items being donated by Chris Smither and Tom Rush. Also, near-mint collection of dozens of New England folk lp's (including, for example, copies of the Charles River Valley Boys second album that appeared on three different labels (Mt. Auburn Records, Prestige Inter-national, and then good old Prestige Folklore). All of this continues to strengthen our position as the Largest Collection of Fritz Richmond Recordings in the western hemisphere. Someday, out west of Belchertown, you may come across that sign on a billboard on an exit off the Mass Pike.

Of course, our goal here is to remember the Folk Revival and pass it on to new generations, and this is where our partnership with Special Collections at the University of Massachusetts is so important. We are in hopes that the Club 47 tapes and calendars, the old issues of Broadside, the transcriptions of interviews, and all the other wonderful components of the collection will be used by faculty and students as they seek to explore our regional musical heritage and to learn what it both feels and it sounds like to set out to change the world.

In that regard, we make note that a documentary film on the life and work of Jack Landron (Jackie Washington) is now underway, as is a new history of the Boston-Cambridge Folk Reviv-al, both of which have been enriched by the study of the material preserved in the FNE archive. We have much to remember, much to be grateful for and to rejoice in, and much to look forward to as the days grow longer and move now in the direction of a joyful and safe reunion.

Warm best regards, and thanks from all of us at Folk New England.

Tom Curren Betsy Siggins Brian Quinn

Happy Birthday Joan Baez! Here with Betsy Siggins.
01/09/2021

Happy Birthday Joan Baez! Here with Betsy Siggins.

Happy Birthday Joan Baez! Here with Betsy Siggins.

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Sunday at 4pm! Join us for Squirrel Butter in Concert: A Revels Facebook Live Event. They brought down the house in the Christmas Revels. Enjoy them live in concert on Sunday! #StayHomeStaySafe #MusicConnects #RevelsConnects
INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT https://www.expectingrain.com/dok/int/gooding.html AUDIO ‘(I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle’ (Hank Williams/Jimmie Davis) ‘Fixin’ to Die’ (Bukka White) ‘Smokestack Lighning’ (Howlin’ Wolf) ‘Hard Travelin” (Woody Guthrie) ‘The Death of Emmett Till’ (Bob Dylan) ‘Standing on the Highway’ (Bob Dylan) ‘Roll on John’ (Rufus Crisp) ‘Stealin” (traditional) ‘It Makes a Long Time Man Feel Bad’ (traditional) ‘Baby, Please Don’t Go’ (Big Joe Williams) ‘Hard Times in New York Town’ (Bob Dylan) /https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/bob-dylan-pre-fame-radio-show-cynthia-gooding-1962
1964
When and where is Betsy being honored??
Revels is pleased to partner with Cambridge Forum on this special program with Old-Time musicians Jake Blount and Libby Weitnauer of Tui, next Wednesday, Nov. 6. Learn about the history and roots of Appalachian music at this free event! www.cambridgeforum.org
Cambridge scene is still breathing!
....Or is it because you remind me of something that used to be Something that's crossed over from another century?” .... - Bob Dylan (Something There Is About You) at Gerde's Folk City 1961
Thanking talented musician Kim Moberg for helping us celebrate our exhibit at the reception at the Freepoint Hotel in Cambridge last eve.
BRYAN SUTTON: “I wanted to make a career in music. There was never a ‘Plan B’.” Interesting in-depth and quite personal interview just published with this 10 time IBMA Guitar Player of The Year award winner. He talks about his 1st touring gig with Ricky Skaggs in front of 5,000 people & his second with Bela Fleck in front of 10,000 people - yikes! Critical family influences… dealing with undeserving feelings… getting out of his own way, and more. This is a rare, extremely candid, and very personal glimpse into the life of one of the greatest acoustic guitar players of modern times, at
anyway i could get a copy of the club 47 post! thanks!
John Prine, from Greg Kot's terrific profile in the April 20 Chicago Tribune, in advance of Prine's Chicago Theater concert on April 27: "I still miss smoking to this day. If someone fires up outside a restaurant, I step over to get that initial blast. I thought, if I put this in a song, where can I smoke? And the answer is heaven. No cancer there, no no-smoking signs.”