The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #32857   Message #434749
Posted By: Don Firth
06-Apr-01 - 02:53 PM
Thread Name: Need info: Gateway Singers
Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
Mrrzy, I have one of their records also, which has Dr. Freud on it. Probably the same record you had. Unfortunately, right now it's packed away I know not where, otherwise I could at least give you info from the liner notes.

This I do know: they didn't precede the Weavers. They were, in fact, a frank and open imitation of the Weavers. I'm not sure when they were formed, but it had to be sometime around the mid-Fifties (the Weavers were formed in the late Forties). There were four of them, three men and a woman, just like the Weavers. They operated out of San Francisco (hence "Gateway" Singers -- Golden Gate, Gateway to the Orient, etc.), doing a lot of their singing at the Hungry I. Unlike the Weavers, they changed personnel a lot. Two members, at least at one time, were Lou Gottlieb, who later became one of the Limeliters (formed in 1959), and Travis Edmondson, who joined up with Bud Dashiel to form "Bud and Travis" (very slick, but they did a nice job on Mexican songs). Several others were sort of in and out of the group, which seemed to be a bit like a revolving door.

The Gateway Singers did a concert at the University of Washington in 1959, and after the concert, I wound up at a party with the (then) banjo player from the group. I can't recall his name; in fact, I don't think I ever heard it. He admitted that until he joined the Gateway Singers, he didn't know diddly about folk music, and still didn't know very much. He played fairly reasonable 5-string banjo (which he learned so he could join the group), and at the party he sang a very nice rendition of Pretty Saro. He was a nice guy, but it was obvious that he was doing folk music because it was the current thing, and he could just as soon be doing jazz or pop.

They came after the Weavers, but before the Kingston Trio. One of the harbingers of the Great Folk Scare.

Don Firth