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Obit: Erik Darling (1933-2008)

GUEST,Cheri Foster 17 Feb 18 - 05:57 PM
GUEST,Cheri Foster 12 Jan 18 - 07:36 PM
GUEST 08 Sep 14 - 03:48 AM
GUEST 07 Sep 14 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,banjopicker91 01 Nov 11 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,Bill Anderson 09 Jul 11 - 06:52 PM
Stringsinger 06 Apr 09 - 11:42 AM
open mike 05 Apr 09 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,Michael Kac 27 Aug 08 - 03:59 PM
Joe Offer 18 Aug 08 - 09:28 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 17 Aug 08 - 10:59 AM
GUEST,yornoc 14 Aug 08 - 12:32 PM
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DonMeixner 08 Aug 08 - 02:36 PM
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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (1933-2008)
From: GUEST,Cheri Foster
Date: 17 Feb 18 - 05:57 PM

I hear that Erik's website is for sale. Perhaps someone could buy it and put it back online, and people could contribute to it with experiences with Erik, interviews, photos, videos, etc. on him as well. However if there were things that Erik put on the site himself, I would leave those alone, do not delete or erase them. that would be like deleting or erasing Erik Darling(we do not want that, do we?)That will be losing history. This is basically Erik Darling speaking for himself on this site. If we want to learn more about Erik Darling, what better way to do it, than to read it, hear it, etc. from Erik Darling himself? Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (1933-2008)
From: GUEST,Cheri Foster
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 07:36 PM

Maybe someone could create a website(with an app) on Erik Darling, with information, photos,videos,etc.to perhaps paint a better picture of his life,and bring him to 2018, and beyond.He has been ignored,and forgotten for far too long.I have first heard Erik Darling on PBS 2003 "Isn't This a Time" Carnagie Hall Thanksgiving concert back in July. I have since bought the DVD of the concert plus various other folk CDs. So far I have bought Erik's book and six of his CDs. I must say that he was one of the most gifted people to walk this earth.His loss is truly saddening.Lord knows we could use more people like Erik Darling today,with all the nonsense that is going on.Although much that went on with the Tarriers,Weavers,etc, came about before I was born(1959),I have heard some of his songs,when I was a kid.Erik Darling should be brought up to new generations of people.I am new to this site,and this is my first post.Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (1933-2008)
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Sep 14 - 03:48 AM

Beautiful sogs indeed


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 05:47 PM

Bob or anybody that has a video of Erik Darling singing, could you please post it? I can only find one picture of him singing with the Weavers in 2003. The other songs that actually show him performing are the Walk right in. I would like to see him as a more mature singer. Please post if you possibly can,
Thanks,
G Pennington


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: GUEST,banjopicker91
Date: 01 Nov 11 - 12:49 PM

Just purchased Eriks album sings and plays from itunes and love it


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: GUEST,Bill Anderson
Date: 09 Jul 11 - 06:52 PM

Erik is one of my heros. I attended a Rooftop Singers concert in a modest school gymnasium in Monticello, Arkansas in the 60's....Erik, Bill, Lynn and a fabulous bassist made up the group. No front band....just the guys you had come to see.   

If I could go back and relive one concert, that night would be it. After multiple standing O's, I hung around and visited, mostly with Erik, as they tore down the sound system. I was in high school, but we really hit it off. He is deeply missed, but we are all blessed to have known him and his music.........Bill


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Stringsinger
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 11:42 AM

Chris Walz, Mark Dvorak (from the OldTownSchool of Folk music) and I visited Erik just
before his demise. He mentioned nothing to us of his illness. We saw him taking lots
of medication and wondered about it. He was of course as Freddie says, extremely talented. He brought a new dimension to the Weavers.

I think that his "Train Time" is his lasting masterpiece on the Carnegie Hall concert.
After that, "New Religion", his earliest lp.

Erik loved the Golden Gate Quartet and attempted to bring this manner of singing and style to the Weavers and the Rooftop Singers. "Fight On" and "In That New Jerusalem" are two
Weaver's hallmarks influenced by Erik. Also, the haunting "Subo" and "Mi Caballo Blanco".

Frank


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: open mike
Date: 05 Apr 09 - 03:54 PM

Yesterday, I played one of the cuts from his "album" Bordertown at Midnight on my radio show. When looking up background info, I found out about Erik's passing and history. The song I played was "Out on the Western Trail", a Leadbelly (Huddie Ledbetter) western song. see:
http://www.erikdarling.com/


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: GUEST,Michael Kac
Date: 27 Aug 08 - 03:59 PM

I'm weighing in very late to this discussion because I learned about Erik's death only a few days ago. I hardly knew him, but when I was first starting to get involved with folk music as a college student in the early 60's I found him a source of particular fascination. Lots of people played guitar and banjo, many of them very capably, but no one played them the way he did. At a Weavers concert late in 1961 I felt as if he raised the curtain on a world I'd never known about before but which I was determined to travel to.

About a year ago Erik graciously took time away from finishing his book to help me with a writing project I was involved with. We ended up trading e-mails for several weeks, talking about all sorts of things of mutual interest; I wish I'd known him better, and it saddens me that I'll never get the chance. All I can do is add my voice to the chorus of those who mourn his passing.

Michael Kac


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Aug 08 - 09:28 PM

Here's the Associated Press obituary:

'60s songwriter Erik Darling dies at 74
By ESTES THOMPSON – Aug 7, 2008

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Erik Darling, the reedy-voiced guitarist and banjo player who deftly stepped in when Pete Seeger left the pioneering folk music group The Weavers, has died after battling lymphoma. He was 74.

He died Sunday in Chapel Hill, not far from Raleigh.

Darling was perhaps best known for his hit "Walk Right In" and for his arrangement of the iconic Southern true-crime ballad "Tom Dooley," which inspired The Kingston Trio's recording of the song that topped the charts in 1958. He was a member of the Tarriers, known for its version of "The Banana Boat Song (Day-O)" — the signature tune of Harry Belafonte.

Darling also replaced Seeger in the Weavers in the late 1950s, a few years after the band was blacklisted for its political views.

Fred Hellerman, an original member of the group, said he learned of his friend's death by e-mail earlier this week.

"He was immensely talented — immensely talented," Hellerman, 81, said Thursday in a telephone interview from his home in Weston, Conn. "When he came into the Weavers to replace Pete Seeger, which was a pretty tall order, he not only did that, but he brought so much of his own talents to bear that it was overwhelming. It really was."

Hellerman said Darling moved to Chapel Hill a couple of years ago to be near Willard Svanoe, a fellow member of The Rooftop Singers, the band with which he recorded "Walk Right In," a No. 1 hit for Vanguard Records in 1963.

In an e-mail posted on Darling's Web site, Svanoe said Darling died early Aug. 3.

The Weavers first burst on the scene in 1948 in Greenwich Village and had their first national hit in 1950 with "Goodnight Irene." But during the red scare of the 1950s, their politics came under scrutiny and the group was brought in to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

They soon found themselves blacklisted, and disbanded in 1953. It wasn't until a Christmas 1955 concert at Carnegie Hall that they re-emerged to rejoin the national folk music revival they'd helped launch.

"He was an absolutely logical person to be brought in" after Seeger's departure, Hellerman said. "Of the next generation of Weavers, I mean he was so outstanding that it was hard then or even now to imagine who else we could have brought in other than Erik."

Hellerman said he didn't learn until many years later that Darling was uncomfortable with his band mates' leftist leanings.

Hellerman said they last spoke about a year ago, but he had received a package from Darling in the mail a couple of weeks ago. It was a copy of Darling's recently published memoir, "I'd Give My Life — A Journey by Folk Music." Hellerman said he couldn't put it down.

Ronnie Gilbert, also an original member of The Weavers, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press that she too was reading the autobiography when told of Darling's death. She, like Hellerman, didn't know Darling was ill.

"Three musicians who had recently been planning something with him told me he didn't tell them, either," Gilbert wrote. "A close friend of his said he was a great eccentric. Sure. He was also a beautiful soul. I will miss him very much."

Funeral arrangements were handled by the Cremation Society of the Carolinas in Raleigh.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 10:59 AM

I was planning on re-broadcasting an interview that I did with Erik, but unfortunately the recording is missing from my archives. I'm hoping it was separated from the rest of my show recordings and ended up in a different box that was placed in storage. I will continue to search for the recording so that I can re-broadcast in the future, but it will not be aired today (8/17).   I apologize to anyone who was planning to tune in for this


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: GUEST,yornoc
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 12:32 PM

Iwas foryunate to take banjo and guitar lessons from Erik Darling. He was quite an interesting man and an innovative musician. After about 6 lessons each on banjo and guitar he said to me, "you've learned pretty much the style you're going to play. Now spend the rest of your life learning what not to play." Last Christmas, Erik sent me a video of Aunt Rhodies Christmas. He had recorded the song on his Revenge of the Christms Tree CD. He wll be greatly missed.
                                                             Bob Conroy


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Leadbelly
Date: 08 Aug 08 - 04:29 PM

Just listening to the great recording of "Walk right in" for some while I have had a little dream. If Lead Belly would have had such a wonderful guitar and such modern recording techniques available Erik has had...


Manfred


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 08 Aug 08 - 03:08 PM

The New York Times ran an obituary today:

Erik Darling Dies at 74; Musician in the Weavers
By WILLIAM GRIMES
Published: August 7, 2008

Erik Darling, a preppy Ayn Rand devotee who replaced Pete Seeger in the Weavers and who was associated with two of folk music's biggest commercial hits, "The Banana Boat Song" and "Walk Right In," died Sunday in Chapel Hill, N.C. He was 74.

Erik Darling, far left, with Lynne Taylor and Bill Svanoe in 1963.

The cause was lymphoma, said Allan Shaw, president of Folk Era/Wind River Records, for which Mr. Darling had made albums in recent years.

A virtuoso guitarist and banjo player, Mr. Darling performed with two of the leading folk groups of the day, the Tarriers and the Weavers, which he joined after Mr. Seeger left in 1958.

Mr. Darling "was the first guitar gunslinger I came across," said the singer and songwriter Don McLean, who befriended him in the early 1960s. "He practiced endlessly, and he got a beautiful sound out of his guitar and his banjo. Today you see any number of fabulous guitar players, but back then there were only a handful, and he was one."

Erik Darling was born in Baltimore and grew up in Canandaigua, in the Finger Lakes region of New York, where his father ran a paint business. His interest in folk music was sparked when the Sons of the Pioneers came to town for a concert.

After his parents divorced, he lived with his mother in New York City, where he attended the Rhodes Preparatory School.

"One New York Sunday I took a double-decker Fifth Avenue bus down to Washington Square, where I had been told people sang folk songs," he once wrote. At the time he knew only a few basic guitar chords. "I didn't dare play that first day, but I became part of that crowd and did not miss a Sunday for years," he wrote.

He improved. Later, when he was not performing and recording with his own groups, Mr. Darling played backup on recording sessions for artists like Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Oscar Brand, Jean Ritchie and Judy Collins.

In the early 1950s Roger Sprung, a banjo player prominent on the folk scene, invited Mr. Darling and Bob Carey to form the Folksay Trio, which recorded four songs, including "Tom Dooley," for the tiny Stinson label. Their syncopated interpretation of the song, which introduced a signature pause, or hiccup, between the words Tom and Dooley, strongly influenced the Kingston Trio when that group recorded the song.

After Mr. Darling's next group, the Tunetellers, disbanded, he and Mr. Carey formed the Tarriers, a trio that searched desperately for a stable third member until a young actor named Alan Arkin agreed to leave Los Angeles and join the group, which soon scored a Top 10 hit with "Cindy, Oh Cindy."

In 1956 the Tarriers (once billed as a dog act called the Terriers by a confused promoter) adapted a traditional work song that the folk singer Don Gibson had heard in Jamaica and brought to Washington Square. After fusing it with another Jamaican song called "Hill and Gully Rider," they recorded it for Glory Records as "The Banana Boat Song" and watched in amazement as it climbed the pop charts and set off a craze for calypso music, fueled in part by Harry Belafonte's reworked version of their song, "Day-O."

The Tarriers, swept along by the calypso tide, appeared in the film "Calypso Heat Wave," whose performers included Maya Angelou. "Every time we appeared on a TV show, the set was palm trees and bananas, or pilings, barrels and docks, or all five," Mr. Darling once wrote.

When Mr. Seeger left the Weavers, Mr. Darling replaced him, initially on a trial basis as the group rushed to complete a half-finished album. He stayed for four and a half years as the group evolved into a genuine quartet rather than a trio appended to Mr. Seeger.

"He had an interesting voice rather than a beautiful voice," Mr. Shaw said of Mr. Darling. "But he was a superb instrumentalist and arranger."

Mr. McLean said: "Erik brought new energy and new harmonies to the group. He was good for them, and they were good for him."

His voice blended better than his libertarian politics, however, which eventually created friction.

In 1962 Mr. Darling formed the Rooftop Singers specifically to update "Walk Right In," originally recorded by Cannon's Jug Stompers in the 1920s but rearranged by Mr. Darling with twin 12-string guitars, played in a pounding, percussive style. The song became a No. 1 hit and created a fad for 12-string guitars.

The Rooftop Singers disbanded in 1967, and Mr. Darling, after recording a duet album with Pat Street, a replacement vocalist for the Rooftop Singers, drifted away from the music business for many years.

In 1994 he recorded "Border Town at Midnight" for Folk Era, a collection of western-tinged songs that reflected his new home, Santa Fe, N.M. In 2000 he recorded a concept album, "Child, Child," devoted to what he called "the most vital issue of our time — the thoughtful raising of children."

Mr. Darling is survived by his former wife, Joan, of Chapel Hill. Shortly before his death he completed an autobiography, "I'd Give My Life!: A Journey by Folk Music" (Science and Behavior Books).

Mr. Darling "brought folk music to people who had never heard it before," said Richie Unterberger, an author of several books on the genre. "It might not have been the rootsiest folk music, but it was very enjoyable to listen to."


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: DonMeixner
Date: 08 Aug 08 - 02:36 PM

I seem to recall late nights for about a month in some early 70's year I'd watch The Lorenzo and Henrietta Music show. I seem to recall Erik Darling was a regular along with Bob Gibson. They'd join Lorenzo and Henrietta in some solid renditions of Weavers and Roof Top like songs.

But I could wrong and memories do fail. Erik Darling certainly helped color my appreciation of music. His was one of the names I looked for on unknown albums. If Erik Darling was on board it was always worth a spin.

And now I see Joe Frazier (One of my folk heroes) has joined the Cat.

Don


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: MissouriMud
Date: 08 Aug 08 - 02:18 PM

I thought in that first album (with the Stop Sign)Eric used banjo and 6 string guitar, and didnt record with 12 string until later, but my memory isnt what it once was.   I havent listened to the album in 30 years and dont have it any more.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Stringsinger
Date: 08 Aug 08 - 02:12 PM

Both Erik and Pete were enamored of Leadbelly. Pete told me at one time that he would give up his banjo playing if he could play 12 like Leadbelly. I think Erik heard Leadbelly before he took up the banjo. It was one of those records that he took home and fell in love with.

I think it has more to do with the influence of Leadbelly on folk music.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: PoppaGator
Date: 07 Aug 08 - 05:25 PM

I always found it interesting and a little bit curious that when Pete Seeger put down his banjo to play guitar, it was invariably a 12-string guitar. I don't know that Pete ever played a regular plain old 6-stringer in performance or on a record.

Erik Darling also preferred the 12-string as his second instrument after the banjo. I wonder if he consciously "followed" Pete in this regard, or perhaps was required to use those two intruments as Pete's "replacement" in The Weavers ~ or if, on the other hand, it's just coincidence, a matter of the personal preferences of two individuals. Perhaps there's just something about the "jangly" sound that attracts certain folks to both the banjo and the 12-string, to the relative exclusion of the basic 6-string guitar.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: bobad
Date: 07 Aug 08 - 05:04 PM

"With the Weavers, Mr. Darling was more than merely a substitute for Seeger, according to one student of the folk scene. Instead, wrote Ron Kolesko in his online "Folk Music Notebook," Mr. Darling "introduced new songs and styles to the group and really held his own.""

That should read Ron Olesko, to give credit where it's due.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Aug 08 - 03:31 PM

I think I'll post the text of that Washington Post article - they have a habit of disappearing over time.
-Joe-

Erik Darling, 74; Singer-Songwriter and Folk Musician

By Martin Weil Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, August 7, 2008; B05

Erik Darling, 74, a singer, songwriter and instrumentalist who played a vital role in the revival of American folk music and was identified with the pulsing 1960s pop hit "Walk Right In," died Aug. 3 in Chapel Hill, N.C. He had lymphoma.

Starting in the late 1950s as the replacement for Pete Seeger, Mr. Darling spent more than four years with the Weavers, the celebrated group at the heart of the post-World War II folk resurgence.

In an interview, Seeger called Mr. Darling a "tremendously talented musician with a subtle sense of poetry and musicianship. . . . He wasn't loud, he wasn't flashy, but very sensitive."

A master of the banjo, a virtuoso on the 12-string guitar, and the possessor of a well-received tenor voice, Mr. Darling over the years could be heard or seen in films and on television, and on records and CDs, as well as on college campuses and at other concert venues in the United States and abroad.

Music reviewer Steve Leggett on allmusic.com called Mr. Darling a "behind-the-scenes innovator on the folk scene for decades."

Climbing quickly to the top of the 1963 charts, " Walk Right In," as arranged and recorded by Mr. Darling and the other two members of the Rooftop Singers, exerted an irresistible uptempo appeal with lyrics such as "Walk right in, sit right down; Baby, let your mind roll on."

Earlier, the Tarriers, another folk group in which Mr. Darling was a member, produced a highly successful version of " The Banana Boat Song," the catchy Jamaican folk number that included the cry "Day-O" and ignited a brief Calypso craze. (The Harry Belafonte version became even better known.)

With the Weavers, Mr. Darling was more than merely a substitute for Seeger, according to one student of the folk scene. Instead, wrote Ron Kolesko in his online "Folk Music Notebook," Mr. Darling "introduced new songs and styles to the group and really held his own."

Fred Hellerman, one of the original Weavers, said yesterday: "Pete never swung the way Erik could swing. His banjo could take command and carry everybody along with it."

Hellerman said Mr. Darling left the group because he "felt at odds with some of our political stances. There was no pressure, but he was reading Ayn Rand and had a libertarian streak."

Of Mr. Darling's later career, Hellerman said his friend "was constantly full of surprises. Erik would disappear for a while and all of a sudden pop up with songs or an album so completely off the wall and different, and of such high quality."

"He would practice the banjo the way Heifetz would practice his violin," he said. "Most of those kids would spend more time fiddling around on it, without concentration. He was aiming for perfection."

Mr. Darling's banjo can be heard accompanying the Kossoy Sisters on the soundtrack of the 2000 film "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"

Erik Darling was born Sept. 25, 1933, in Baltimore, where his mother's family lived, but grew up in Canandaigua, N.Y. He was divorced from television actress and director Joan Kugell Darling. He had no immediate survivors.

Much of Mr. Darling's musical education was obtained in New York's Washington Square, which during his teenage years was a focus of the burgeoning folk movement that included Seeger, Belafonte, Bob Dylan and Mary Travers.

Early on, Mr. Darling recorded an updated arrangement of "Tom Dooley" with Roger Sprung and Bob Carey as the Folksay Trio, a version the Kingston Trio later adapted to far greater popular success.

In the mid-1950s, he formed the Tunetellers, which later became the Tarriers, and included future actor Alan Arkin.

In a memoir published this year, "I'd Give My Life!," Mr. Darling recounted how the Tarriers were sometimes confused for a dog act and billed as the Terriers.

The group soon had a top-10 hit in 1956 with the calypso-influenced "Banana Boat Song," which Mr. Darling reportedly had heard from folk musician Bob Gibson in Washington Square.

Mr. Darling left the Weavers in 1962 to form the Rooftop Singers, in which he was credited with leading a 12-string guitar revival when he hit upon the idea of using the instrument that year for his version of "Walk Right In." The song had been written and recorded in 1929 by Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers and had been regarded as an essentially forgotten classic.

Mr. Darling formed the Rooftop Singers specifically to release "Walk Right In" in updated form. Recorded after a wait of weeks for the construction of the guitars, the song became Mr. Darling's biggest commercial hit.

The Rooftop Singers came to include Pat Street, one of Mr. Darling's closest friends over the years, who called him a "wonderful and imaginative" individual whose musical contributions went far beyond the two smash hit songs of the 1950s and 1960s.

He and Street collaborated on such songs as "Rainy River" and "That Ain't Love." Another song written by the two, " Child, Child," gave its name to one of Mr. Darling's solo CDs from 2000.

Some insight into Mr. Darling's upbringing, and the emotions and sentiment that informed his work, comes from the title of an instrumental piece on that 2000 release.

According to a written account by Mr. Darling, it is something that his father, a painter in oils and watercolor, would say from time to time as they sat together on the porch of their home on New York's Lake Canandaigua: "Far Through the Memory Shines the Happy Hour."


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: goatfell
Date: 07 Aug 08 - 12:09 PM

there's no many of the weavers left noo.
Tom frae Scotland

so sad


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Janie
Date: 07 Aug 08 - 11:03 AM

This a nice article from the Washington Post.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Stringsinger
Date: 07 Aug 08 - 10:44 AM

Before Erik left us, Mark Dvorak, Chris Walz and I drove up to his house in NC for a music session and confab. He seemed in good spirits and played really well. He also sang well in that full tenor voice of his. He shared stories with us. Chris recorded the interview and session and he is putting it together now.

I still can't believe he is gone. That's the way it is with people you've known for years.
When they leave the planet, it's such a void. I can't believe that I can't pick up the phone
and call him or get an e-mail from him occasionally.

There must be many others who share my grief.

It reinforces how important it is to acknowledge those who are still with us and
revere and be grateful for each moment of life.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: GUEST,David Brower
Date: 07 Aug 08 - 10:27 AM

I work for WUNC, the NPR station in Chapel Hill, and am interested in speaking with someone who played with, or was close to Mr Darling. If you can recommend someone please send a note to dbrower@wunc.org or call 919-445-9171. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Mary Katherine
Date: 07 Aug 08 - 10:15 AM

Hi Joe, and welcome to the Mudcat; sadly, Lynne Taylor died many years ago. Heidi, are you also Skip's daughter? He was a good buddy of mine until he too passed away some years back. PM me if you would like some photos of him.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Nancy King
Date: 07 Aug 08 - 12:19 AM

Another of my heroes gone. Erik Darling has been one of the premier names in folk music for about as long as I can remember.

Once, back in the early '60s, my Dad asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I flippantly replied that I'd like "Erik Darling Fingers." My Dad, a very patient and generous but musically clueless man, made the rounds of music stores, trying valiently to comply, before somebody finally suggested I might have been putting him on... Wouldn't Erik Darling Fingers have been a swell thing to have? But I guess there was only one set.

"True Religion" is one of my favorite albums of all time. I still sing "Woody Knows Nothing" which I learned from that album.

RIP, Erik.

Nancy


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Vicar
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 11:50 PM

Heidi,

       Only met your mother, Lynne, twice (on Hootnanny shows) Really nice lady who actually kicked off her heels when they started singing that song of theirs. Where is she?

                                                                                                            Joe Frazier
                                                                                                            Chad Mitchell Trio


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Janie
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 11:08 PM

I had the opportunity to meet and make a little music with him a year or so ago at the home of mutual friend here, just outside of Chapel Hill. I enjoyed him thoroughly and we had a nice conversation at the intersection of his interest and work with children and mine in clinical social work.

I'm surprised that neither the Raleigh News& Observer, the Durham/Chapel Hill Herald Sun, nor WUNC have made special mention of his death or done at least a small tribute. Maybe it is too soon, but I just e-mailed the mutual friend, who also occasionally writes for the above mentioned papers, suggesting he consider writing a piece honoring Erik's legacy, and have e-mailed WUNC, our local and quite good NPR station, to suggest his life and passing are significantly newsworthy to warrant coverage.

My condolences to you Frank, at the loss of your friend, and to all who knew and loved him.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: GUEST,Heidi Wilson
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 09:00 PM

I am the daughter of Lynne Talor of the Rooftop Singers.
Erik was one of the most precious human beings to ever grace this planet.Not to mention one of the most talented, and he is my "family" I wont say goodbye Erik, i'll just say "see ya soon"


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: MissouriMud
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 05:57 PM

Sad news indeed. Eric was one of my first folk influences. I had the 1950's self titled album , with him leaning against the stop sign, and just totally absorbed his mountain tuning banjo renditions of Pretty Polly and Swananoah Tunnel, as well as his guitar work on Aboline and J.C Holmes - I still play the guitar pieces. And his later 12 string work was always fun. I learned to love folk music first from Pete Seeger and the early Weavers - but I learned technique from Eric.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Leadbelly
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 04:05 PM

Thanks Mark. What a great sound!

Manfred


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Mark Ross
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 03:46 PM

Both Erik and Bill Svanoe(?) used Gibson 12 string guitars. Bill had a left-handed one made for him.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 03:12 PM

It's nice to see that it can still be a small world--sad news brings old friends back together again. Welcome to Mudcat, Vicar.

Stilly River Sage


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Leadbelly
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 03:00 PM

Although mostly banjo orientend, on "Walk Right in" his 12-string really swings. Unbelieveable! By hearing this song the first time, I was absolutely fascinated.
Which product did he use for this great song? Guild??

Manfred


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Mark Clark
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 02:41 PM

Frank, I'm so sorry. Thanks for the notice, I haven't see this anywhere else.

I've ordered his book and look forward to reading it.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Vicar
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 02:38 PM

Mark,
      As you see, I just joined. Bruce Murdoch just sent me his new CD. Apparantly, he had stopped singing for a long time. Let's correspond and I'll tell you more Good to find this website - ours is chadmitchelltrio.com


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 02:19 PM

Erik Darling has been a name on folk music albums as long as I have known about folk music. I never met him, heard him live or thought of him as a solo performer, yet he was as much a part of the fabric of what I listened to as anyone.

I guess I first became aware of his talent on the (in)famous "Dalliance" series with Ed McCurdy, where that happy, tinkling banjo provided just the right touch to those bawdy songs.

I was just a kid in Kansas and met very few in that era. I envy those of you who knew him.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Mark Ross
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 02:07 PM

Joe,

Long time no hear. If you join Mudcat(it's free), I can send you contact info.
I remember hanging around with you and Murdoch in the Village, last I saw you was 30 some years ago at the Bottom Line, you had become a preacher in Pennsylvania.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: GUEST,Joe Frazier - Chad Mitchell Trio
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 01:37 PM

I always felt he lived up to his name - quiet, creative, pleasent man to be around and to make music with. Recording sessions, concerts - even "Hootnanny" - were enhanced by his music. Requiem aeternam!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Genie
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 04:09 AM

Very sad news.   Erik's is one of the first names I remember ever hearing about in folk music, back in the day.    Leaves a great legacy.

G


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: folkwaller
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 04:30 PM

Suffolk will miss you Erik.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: GUEST,tom riker
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 03:34 PM

We lost a great player and a close friend of mine. We wrote 5 books together over the years and a few songs as well( Border Town at Midnight)...Sorry to see him leave us and the world of music...but we all have his memories and the music he left.

Tom Riker (arttom@Wcasco.net)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 03:16 PM

I've been enjoying Erik's recordings the last couple days. Collectors' Choice Music has reissued his self-titled Elektra album, and you can hear several cuts from his Christmas album at http://www.erikdarling.com/.

I didn't realize how well "The Night Before Christmas" fits the tune to "Sweet Betsy From Pike." I'm going to add Erik's version to my repertoire.

Rest in peace, Erik.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Stringsinger
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 03:16 PM

Erik was one of the most creative of all the folk musicians that I knew.
His "Train Time" is a classic recording.

Al Arkin was also creative. I often wonder what the two of them would have done
if they had continued to work musically together.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 03:09 PM

Rest in Peace...


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 03:05 PM

The Rooftop's cover of Gus Cannon's "Walk Right In"---done definitively by Eric in Leadbelly 12-string style -- will always be one of my favorite traditional variations. It was a real emotional improvement to the older song. Frank, thanks for the sad information. I do wish I'd met him somewhere--some time.

Art


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: GUEST, TJ in San Diego
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 01:20 PM

I heard Erik perform with a number of different groups in the fifties and early sixties. His work with the Weavers was a really energizing influence on the group. I especially remember the banjo and twelve-string work. I'm trying to recall how many of my old LP's on which his name appears, either as a backup or featured performer. My sincere regrets to his family. Ironically, I did not know he was in the Chapel Hill area. My brother and his family also live in that lovely part of NC.

I think what touches so many of us, when we hear of another such passing, is our own mortality. I realize that most of the entertainers I knew growing up are long gone. Those people whose music and humor touched our lives - indelible memories - go, one by one, to a higher calling.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 12:33 PM

As I recall Erik, he was a nice kid. He was in high school, at the time. (His principal once cautioned him about wasting his tim just fiddling around, to which Erik responded "But I play the banjo!). Aside from his awesom musicianship, I remember most vividly his enthusiasm for music.
He soaked up source material like a sponge, and then squeezed it out with a good deal of himself added.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: GUEST,Greycap
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 12:28 PM

First five-string picker I ever saw, Leeds town hall, with the Weavers
in 1959. A great loss.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Erik Darling (3 August 2008)
From: Cool Beans
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 12:02 PM

How very sad. My condolenes, Frank. I learned a lot of music (and enjoyed even more) from Erik's recordings and performances. I agree with you, Frank, about "True Religion." Erik also played a hip and terific version of "Oh, What a Beautiful City."


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