Dean & Jane
Names & Dates
Nice & Easy
Life & Death
The SFFMC board meets on the second Tuesday of each month-potluck at
6:30 p.m., meeting at 8:00 p.m. All Club members are welcome to attend
the potluck dinner and the Board meeting.
September 13: Melissa Sarenac’s house,
October 11: Ed Hilton’s house
November 8: Phil Morgan’s house
NEXT FOLKNIK FOLD-IN/FOLK SING: Sunday,
October 30, at Abe and Joan Feinberg’s
Don Burnham, bandleader of Lost
Weekend, was inducted into the Western Swing Hall of Fame August 14.
Melissa Collard, Lost Weekend’s vocalist and guitarist, received the
Will Rogers Award for Western Swing female artist of 2005 from the
Academy of Western Artists.
Rick Dougherty, tenor, opera
director, singer, songwriter, performer and formerly with the
Limelighters is now singing with the Kingston Trio.
Sylvia Herold Chuck Ervin
will be singing old-fashioned duets every Tuesday night at an intimate
tea shop in Alameda. Mandolinist Paul
Kotapish joins them in a musical revue of Everly Brothers, Buddy
Holly, Sons of the Pioneers, jazz standards, Victorian parlor songs and
classic country. This is three-quarters of the folk trio Sylvia Herold
& Euphonia so they will also be performing songs from the new CD
Lovely Nancy. Julie’s Tea Garden is a small, friendly hangout on
Alameda’s main drag. Children are welcome. It’s fine to stop in for one
set (or less) and sing along! Tuesdays, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at Julie’s
Coffee & Tea Garden, 1223 Park St. (one block west of
Encinal), Alameda. No cover!
“Vintage pre-plugged paleo-acoustic folksinger” Joe Hickerson will be doing a house
concert at the home of Jon & Debbie Hickerson, 407 Abbey St.,
Winters, on Saturday, October 8. Joe is another Club alumnus; his day
job, from 1963 to 1998, was Librarian and Director of the Archive of
Folk Song/Culture at the Library of Congress. He’s available for a
similar event in Northern California a day or so before October 8th —
contact him at
or (301) 270-1107, or see www.joehickerson.com.
Having a jam, wedding, baby, CD
release, gig? Share the news with the Club —
Faith's Birthday Looms
A commemorative CD of songs written about Faith is being released at her
birthday party at the Freight & Salvage September 17. The
compilation disc has songs written over a span of decades and performed
by various favorite folkies. Artists on the CD include Aileen Vance,
Clem Small, Ed Bronstein, Estelle Freedman, Faith herself (singing her
original “Life”), Laurie Story Vela with Ray Frank, Magpie, Marilyn
Robinson with Paul Machlis, Nancy Schimmel, Bob Reid & Van Rozay.
CDs are available for a tax-deductible sliding-scale donation; any
proceeds will benefit the Club. Send checks to SFFMC, 885 Clayton St.,
San Francisco, CA 94117, or to Laurie Story Vela at POB 831, Sutter
Creek, CA 95685. You can read more and hear some samples on-line at www.lauriesstories.com/Faith.html.
“This Land is Your Land” and Pete Seeger — Part 1 The September-October 1993 Peter
included a letter of mine asking for some new verses for “This Land is
Your Land” that are appropriate for the whole world, not just a part of
it. That summer I had worked at Lake Baikal in Siberia with the Sierra
Club, and we often sang at night with our Russian and Buryat coworkers.
“This Land is Your Land” was our most popular song — we even made up
verses in both English and Russian about Siberia — but the original
verses such as “from California to the New York Islands” seemed a bit
too nationalistic to some of us.
As an afterthought I sent a copy of my folknik letter to Pete Seeger,
whom my chorus the San José Peace Chorale had been fortunate to
sing with in a benefit concert at Foothill College (Faith was MC) in
1992. I wasn’t expecting a response, since Pete had told us during our
two-hour rehearsal with him that he and his wife Toshi handled their
correspondence themselves and it was becoming increasingly burdensome.
But several weeks later I got a nice letter from him, naturally on 100%
Recycled Paper, in which he wrote, “Arlo says it stands for the world
anyway, if you go from the redwood forests to the Gulf stream waters by
way of Japan & Europe”! Since then several friends have told me
that Arlo now incorporates this thinking-outside-of-the-box observation
in his concerts.
Our rehearsal with Pete was very memorable, partly because he shared
many anecdotes and bits of wisdom, several of which he used later in
the evening concert.
His suggestion of a motto for the world was “Plan, but plan for
improvisation.” He said this saying came from jazz, but it also fit our
concert, since partly due to our lengthy rehearsal (I expected a
half-hour) our chorale never got a sound check. This motto also
reminded me of my favorite Woody Guthrie quotation, also used by Pete,
“Take it easy, but take it.” [A great folk trivia question: who
introduced Pete to Woody’s music? Answer — Will Geer, who played
Grandpa Walton on the old TV show The Waltons.]
Pete passed on humorist Russell Baker’s speculation that if Walt
Whitman came back today, he would not write, “I hear America singing.”
Rather, he would write that he saw America listening to expert music on
marvelous Japanese equipment. David Dunaway wrote in his biography How
Can I Keep From Singing: Pete Seeger, “In Sing Out!, Pete introduced
songs he hoped would catch on, including one from the Georgia Sea
Islands, ‘Michael Row Your Boat Ashore.’ He suggested people set up
singing groups in each other’s houses: Hold potlucks and sing! If Pete
had run the land, these clubs might have been a unit of government.”
That’s all we have room for this
issue — read the rest in the folknik November-December .
Groups Seek Singers
Know any women in the Ukiah area who love to sing? If so, the Inland Valley Women’s Chorus may be
of interest. They sing songs of peace, justice, inspiration, and fun,
from easy rounds to choral arrangements, from their own songwriters to
international folksongs. No experience or audition required. They meet
Tuesdays from 6:30-8:00. Directed by Folk Club member Madge Strong. For
info, contact Carol Gottfried at
or (707) 463-0492; or Madelyn McCauley at (707) 463-0626 or
Treble Makers, a women’s vocal
quartet directed by Ellen Robinson, is looking for one soprano singer.
They sing a variety of music from jazz standards to Broadway, to folk,
to Jewish, Country, etc. in harmony. They have “LOADS of fun” and have
recently started performing at open mikes. Contact Ellen Robinson at
The World Harmony Chorus,
directed by Daniel Steinberg, welcomes singers of all ages and
abilities for its Fall season. Weekly rehearsals are in Mountain View
and Oakland; for more information see instantharmony.com/chorus.html,
or call Daniel at (650) 947-9669.
Johnny Cash Tribute Planned
The National Traditional Country Music Association is holding the first
tribute to Johnny Cash in Missouri Valley, Iowa, on September 1, as
part of its thirtieth National Old Time Country & Bluegrass Music
Festival and Pioneer Ag Exposition For information see www.oldtimemusic.bigstep.com.
Faith, Utah Hit the Big Screen
Faith and Utah Phillips appear in A Union Man: The Life and Work of Julius
Margolin, a new film by George Mann (co-producer with Julius of
the Hail to the Thief! CDs).
Julius Margolin, now 89, is a living legend in the New York City labor
movement, active since the 1930s in the CIO, National Maritime Union
and the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees. A
tireless fighter for justice, equality and peace, Julius has been
making music and CDs since 1999 with George Mann while still hitting
picket lines and organizing workers in New York City and around the
A Union Man is the story of
his life through his eyes and the eyes of those he’s met and worked
with. This short film, with guest appearances by Utah Phillips, Faith
Petric and former NMU Vice President Joe Stack, and concert
performances, is a touching portrait of a rank-and-file activist still
in the struggle for justice and workers’ rights. Premier screenings are
still being scheduled; so far we have September 23 in Ukiah, September
24 at the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists (with Faith),
September 25 in San Francisco, and September 29 in Reno. For more
information, see www.georgeandjulius.com.
John Herald (September 6, 1939 - July 18, 2005) was a well-loved folk
and bluegrass songwriter, solo and studio musician, and one-time lead
singer/guitarist of the Greenbriar Boys.
Born in Greenwich Village to an Armenian immigrant poet and his wife,
who died when John was three. John was a teenager at summer camp when
he heard the music of Pete Seeger. In John’s words “[Pete] let me know
that I could sing in the sense of saying, ‘Come on, sing along with
this tune here if you feel the spirit and maybe you will hear your
voice sailing above the crowd . . . .’” His father’s record collection
introduced him to Leadbelly, Hobart Smith, Riley Puckett, and Don Reno.
When he finished school, John was primed to join the nascent Greenwich
Village folk music scene.
With John Yellin and Eric Weissberg John formed the Greenbriar Boys in
1959. They were the first touring bluegrass group, and the first group
from outside the South to win the Galax Fiddlers Convention
competition. They backed Joan Baez on her second LP and went on to
record three albums for Vanguard Records.
After the Greenbriar Boys split up, John managed Bill Monroe and played
sessions for Vanguard. He recorded a solo album for in 1972, then
recorded an “electric country bluegrass” disc in 1978 with the John
Herald Band. His last recording was “Roll On John” in 2000.
Contributions to funeral expenses, memorials, etc., can sent to the
Estate of John Herald, c/o Kurt Henry, 840 Country Route 2, Accord NY