The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #30428   Message #390398
Posted By: GUEST,
05-Feb-01 - 11:09 AM
Thread Name: Rick Von Schmidt, any Info?
Subject: RE: Rick Von Schmidt, any Info?

You're right, it is close to Davis's "Lay It On You," but everything came from everything back then, and in the tradition of folk and country blues, Eric Von Schmidt wrote, and passed (more importantly) "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down" on to the young Dylan. Like the intro days, Rick was a blues guitar player from Cambridge, (from Connecticut, actually), and is largely responsible (along with Joan Baez, Rolf Cahn, Jim Rooney, Bill Kieth, Jim Kweskin, and a host of others) with forcing Cambridge's folk-scene upon the city in the early 60's. Clubs like Club 47, and I think it was "The Golden Lion" or something like that, became very popular folk venues during a very popular folk time, attracting newly revived folk artists through it's doors (John Hurt, Skip James, Howlin' Wolf, all played there). Cambridge was a huge part of the folk-revival of the early 60's. It introduced many artists to the world and legacy of the music (see above list, for starters), and Von Schmidt was a large part of the making of the scene. He is well known, and recently received a lifetime ASCAP achievement award for his contribution to folk, well known for ransacking the Smithsonian archives in Washington for old traditonal song lyrics and bringing them back to life by sharing them with the young folknicks of Cambridge. This could be how he got his hands on "Baby, Let Me Lay It on You." He lives in CT, and, unfortunately, became quite ill, with, I think, throat cancer, and had his larynx removed before last summer. Other than that, I think he's in ok shape. I talked with him a few times this summer and he's plenty excited to talk about any old thing. If you want to learn more about him and Cambrige, he wrote a book in 1979 with Jim Rooney called, appropriately, "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down." It is still in print. Take care.

andy friedman