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Anybody heard of this singer? - Joe Hansen/Hanson

Don Firth 06 Apr 08 - 07:59 PM
Don Firth 06 Apr 08 - 08:02 PM
GUEST,Bardford 07 Apr 08 - 12:18 AM
Don Firth 07 Apr 08 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,Bardford 08 Apr 08 - 09:39 PM
GUEST 29 Jan 14 - 04:15 AM
Don Firth 29 Jan 14 - 01:44 PM
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Subject: Anybody heard of this singer?
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 07:59 PM

This may be a futile attempt, but. . . .

In the very early 1950s, shortly after I first got interested in folk music, I was pawing through the rather meager (at the time) collection of folk music records at a favorite record store. All 10" LPs, there were a couple by Burl Ives, one by Richard Dyer-Bannett, one by Pete Seeger (Darling Corey on Folkways), one Josh White, one by soprano Maureen Forrester (with piano accompaniment), and?

One by a fellow named Joe Hansen (or Hanson). He had a pleasant but sort of reedy sounding voice, tenor or light baritone, and he accompanied himself on the autoharp. There was no photo as I recall, but a drawing on the album cover showed a man playing an autoharp laying flat on his lap, not cradled in his left arm a la Maybelle Carter. There were maybe ten or twelve songs on the record. I remember they included Greensleeves, All Through the Night, Turn Ye to Me, The Drownéd Lover, and the nicest translation (from the Welsh) of Venture Gwen that I've ever heard.

I don't know who he was or where he was from, and that record is the only thing I know about the man. It was not on any of the usual labels (Decca, Capitol, RCA, etc., nor Folkways or Elektra), it was a label I'd never heard of. I didn't buy the record at the time (short of funds), but I friend of mine did. I heard it again a couple of times at his place, then shortly thereafter he moved out of town.

An internet search has turned up absolutely nothing. Nada. Zip.

Besides me and my long gone friend, has anybody heard of this person?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Anybody heard of this singer?
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 08:02 PM

And beyond that, I would love to get my sweaty little hands on his record, or a copy thereof.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Anybody heard of this singer?
From: GUEST,Bardford
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 12:18 AM

Wikipedia has a page on Joseph Hansen, a mystery writer/poet who " briefly sang with a folk-music-group on a California radio-station". Time frame seems to fit.


Joseph Hansen wikipedia


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Subject: RE: Anybody heard of this singer? - Joe Hansen/Hanson
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 01:49 PM

GUEST,Bardford, it looks like you scored a bingo! Many thanks!

And you apparently picked up on a simple expedient that I entirely missed. I kept searching for "Joe Hansen" and came up with nothing relevant, when trying "Joseph Hansen" would have produced results. I continued searching along that line and came up with a fair amount about Joseph Hansen, including this:    CLICKY.

At the end of the first paragraph, he writes
About the same time, I was singing folk songs on radio as "The Stranger from the Sea." The two albums that resulted did not exactly make the top forty.
That rang a very large bell in my head. If I recall correctly, the title of the album was "The Stranger from the Sea." And as you say, the time frame is about right. The "about the same time" Hansen speaks of was 1952, when some of his writing was first published.

If that one record was any example, I'd say his singing should have received far more recognition than it did, and if it had, he may have kept up with it, which would have been a good thing. As I mentioned, he had recorded on "obscurity label," and that may have had something to do with its not really going anywhere. The voice was good, and although his autoharp work wasn't outstanding, he was at least picking out melody lines with it. His rendition of "Greensleeves" was a bit too long (sang too many of the dumber verses), but it was the first time I'd ever heard "Turn Ye to Me" (haunting song), which I have also heard sung by Gordon Bok, and his "Venture Gwen," with a very singable translation from the Welsh, was excellent.

Homosexual who hated the term "gay," but met it head-on and was active in the Gay Rights movement. Domestic life must have been a bit bewildering. Married a lesbian, had a child with her, and later, the child had a sex-change operation.

But?be that as it may. I sure wish I could get my hands on a copy of his record. Several songs on it that I'd like to learn and haven't found anyplace else.

Again, many thanks!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Anybody heard of this singer? - Joe Hansen/Han
From: GUEST,Bardford
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 09:39 PM

Glad to help, Don. Sounds like an interesting fellow. Had a rough go near the end, though, judging by the bio you linked to.

Good luck in your search for the record. I'll keep my eyes peeled.

Bardford


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Subject: RE: Anybody heard of this singer? - Joe Hansen/Hanson
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jan 14 - 04:15 AM

I have two joe hansen stranger from the sea records they are red u want to buy them greensleeves is on there


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Subject: RE: Anybody heard of this singer? - Joe Hansen/Hanson
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Jan 14 - 01:44 PM

Fantastic, GUEST!

How much are you asking for them?

Don Firth


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