The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #13115   Message #107447
Posted By: Frank Hamilton
22-Aug-99 - 01:04 PM
Thread Name: What was Lee Hays really like...?
Subject: RE: What was Lee Hays really like...?

It took me a while to realize this but that show business entered as a component of the folk music revival. I saw Gibson as a showperson, basically, who found folk music as an entertainment vehicle. I didn't have a problem with this. I think that if I could have developed a show-biz approach to what I was doing at the time I might have also. But I never confused it with traditional folk music. So I guess I couldn't share your disillusionment about lighting switches. In my estimation, one of the greatest folk music showpersons in this century is Pete Seeger. Show biz doesn't always equate with dishonesty. As a fine actor interprets a part with honesty and often humility, the great showpeople sometimes do something like that. Some of them communicate with warmth to a sizeable audience and bring to their performance a meaning. This is IMHO a positive side of show business. Sometimes, if they are revivalists, it helps to create an audience for traditional folk music. I don't have to tell you. Maybe there wouldn't have been an awareness of Frank Profitt or Frank Warner if it hadn't been for the legal troubles of the Kingston Trio. (As usual, with my big mouth, I stir up more controversey.)

I think Lee thought something like this too. He had no problem with trying to "commercialize" his songwriting because he felt he was saying important things. He was also a great showman as many audiences remember.