Label: Folkways Records.
Release Date: July, 1958.
Recording Time: 50 minutes.
Recording Date: December 27, 1957.
Release Info: Live Recording.
Releases: 1963 (Folkways), 2012 (Smithsonian Records).
Recorded at their Carnegie Hall concert, December 27th, 1957.
Styles: Folk Revival, Folksongs, Traditional Folk, Folk Blues.
Blues harmonica player and singer Sonny Terry was the special guest at Pete Seeger's holiday concert at Carnegie Hall on December 27, 1957, and if he doesn't quite earn the co-billing he receives on this resulting live album, he does add some enthusiasm in his appearances on the closing tracks of each side of the LP, notably his harmonica showcase, "Fox Chase," and his vocal contribution to "Pick a Bale of Cotton." Elsewhere, Seeger turns in a typical performance, mixing up material that includes banjo instrumentals such as his own composition "Goofing-Off Suite"; spirituals like "Twelve Gates to the City (Oh, What a Beautiful City)"; a comedy routine during "Arkansas Traveler"; traditional folk songs like "In Tarrytown"; contributions from Woody Guthrie; and children's songs. For once, he doesn't exhort his listeners to sing along. That doesn't seem to be necessary; anyone attending a Pete Seeger concert at Carnegie Hall apparently knows what's expected, and the venue's acoustics enhance the crowd's efforts as they accompany the singer on the familiar tunes. Seeger himself adds a literary quality to the evening by reciting sections of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass in between songs.
by William Ruhlmann
Folkways Records (FW02412 / FA 2412):
Two popular Folkways Records artists, Pete Seeger and Sonny Terry, came together at Carnegie Hall in 1958 to combine banjo, harmonica, and vocals for an energetic sing-along performance. Seeger’s commentary highlights the origins of the songs, which include Angola, Wales, and different areas of the United States. In addition to biographical information, the liner notes also offer lyrics and banjo and guitar tablature for selected songs.
Credits: John Allison - composer; Almanac Singers - composer; Peter Bartok - recorder; Dick Blakeslee - composer; Ronald Clyne - design; Idris Davies - composer; Woody Guthrie - composer; Lawrence - photographer (Cover); Harold Leventhal - presenter; Pete Seeger - banjo, composer, guitar, primary artist, vocals, producer; Sonny Terry - composer, primary artist, harmonica, vocals.
Tracks: 1) Goofing-Off Suite - Opening Theme / Kumbaya / Twelve Gates to the City (Oh, What a Beautiful City) - medley; 2) Coal Creek March / Pay Day at Coal Creek / Roll Down the Line / Arkansas Traveler - medley; 3) Fox Chase / Right on That Shore/ Pick a Bale of Cotton - medley; 4) Rozhenkes Mit Mandlen / In Tarrytown/ Clean-O / Ladies Auxillary - medley; 5) Bells of Rhymney / Sinking of the Reuben James / There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly / Study War No More (Down by the Riverside) - medley; 6) Passing Through.