I didn't get to meet him in person, but he certainly was gracious to me over the Internet - great storyteller, too. On rec.music.folk, I asked about the German Christmas Carol, "Josef Lieber, Josef Mein." Sam e-mailed me and said he first heard that song onstage at UCLA in 1938, when a beautiful redhead walked down a winding staircase singing that song. He married that redhead, and was proud to be married to her for well over fifty years.
I could wish that he rest in peace, but he seemed to be a man who lived in peace. He triumphed over the blacklist and maintained his integrity and his sense of joy. What a nice man, and what a wonderful musician!
And oh, what a harmonica player!!