Had a 15-minute chat with Ewan MacColl at the bar of a London pub. We later exchanged letters and he very kindly contributed a song, "The Campanero," to A Bonnie Bunch of Roses, my folk song collection. MacColl was someone whom I admired from my teenage years so that was very special. He was interested, sincere and gracious.
When Margaret Barry was in New York, she would often stay with me. She usually called Alan Lomax and he would invite us to his apartment for dinner, drinks and a few songs.
In 10 years of running a folk club in NYC and touring with a traditional band, I met and/or sang with a who's who of folk performers. Martin Carthy was easily the most down to earth. Ray Fisher among the friendliest; Peter Bellamy, Paul Brady and Lou Killen the most powerfully absorbing; Joe McKenna and Joe Burke the most virtuosic.
Dave Van Ronk came to one of our "Sing Around" nights and did a few Irish songs he had learned from his mother; Ed McCurdy and Rosalie Sorrels likewise. I met Robert Pete Williams, an incredibly intense Missippi bluesman and one of my all-time favorites, at the 1966 Berkeley Folk Festival and spent a few hours with him. I was in the company of Johnny Shines and Walter Horton for quite a few hours years ago in San Franciso.
The brilliant jazz pianist, Bill Evans, who recorded with Miles Davis and with his own trio, was my seatmate on a flight between NYC and Tokyo 25 years ago.
Outside of music, I've met a few princes, presidents, ambassadors and cabinet ministers... but I don't know whether any of those people were or will be great. We all made a big fuss over them but secretly wanted to get home to take our pants off and change into our slippers.
All the best,