The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #160526 Message #3808229
Posted By: GUEST,Anne Neilson
03-Sep-16 - 11:49 AM
Thread Name: Obit: Fred Hellerman (1927-2016)
Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Hellerman (1927-2016)
I saw The Weavers in Glasgow, Scotland in 1960 (I think) and even managed to get their autographs on a concert ticket via my teacher who was the concert organiser (before I was sent home by the same teacher with a flea in my ear because I wouldn't be home till close to midnight).
I have such wonderful memories of the energy generated by their singing, and the response from the audience in every chorus -- as well as the choreography of four performers + two instruments sharing one microphone!
And as I grew up and had available cash, I bought Weavers' records whenever I could and learned to appreciate the immense musicality of these four very special people: I had a particular fondness for Ronnie's passion in songs such as 'Venga Jaleo', I loved Pete's ability to change rhythmic gears (the medley that culminates in 'Hey Lillee'), Lee's immense underpinning with that rumbling bass -- and one of my favourite tracks of all time was Fred's singing of 'Buddy, Can You spare a Dime?' This was my first introduction to the song and his delivery, so honest and heartfelt, has been influential.
I always felt that he perhaps missed out by not being larger than life, like the other three -- but then, the chemistry probably wouldn't have worked without his very musical, but understated, input.
Thank you, Fred, for great and tasteful performances of important songs, and commiserations to his family.