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The Wanderin' Five - seek info

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KyCal 18 Jan 10 - 06:19 PM
Thomas Stern 18 Jan 10 - 08:25 PM
Joe Offer 19 Jan 10 - 01:05 AM
GUEST,Stan Edwards 16 Feb 11 - 08:28 PM
Amos 16 Feb 11 - 08:43 PM
GUEST 07 Jan 13 - 05:20 PM
GUEST,Morna Leonard 20 Jan 20 - 05:16 PM
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Subject: The Wanderin' Five
From: KyCal
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 06:19 PM

I recently pulled out an album (remember those, kids?) I hadn't heard in forty years: "Come on in - we're Pickin' and Singin' - Folk Songs by the Wanderin' Five." It was obvious from first hearing that the female voice was Jean Ritchie: I always wondered who the other four were. Googling just now was no help but in an old thread here about early Judy Collins singing with the Wanderin' Five, I noticed Jean Ritchie said she would identify the members of the group. That without admitting she was one of them. As far as I can tell she never did. Does anyone want to 'fess up?
(I also found a YouTube of Judy singing "Turtle Dove" with the W.5, and Jean's voice is evident on alternating verses.)

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Subject: RE: The Wanderin' Five
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 08:25 PM

There are 2 albums I am aware of:

Somerset SF-18600
The Wanderin' Five...Come on In, We're Pickin' and Singin'
Recorded under the direction of D.L. Miller. Cover Art W. Dressler.
"Stereo-Fidelity records are manufactured by Miller International
Co., Media, PA, USA."

Somerset SF-19900
HOOTENANNY at the Limelight in the Village - 1963
"The Wanderin' Five" "The Appalacians" and Their Friends
also some tracks on Golden Guinea(UK) ggl 0214

The voices of Judy Collins and Jean Ritchie stand out, the
male voices are not known to me, however the following names
have been suggested: Clarence Cooper, Eric Weissburg.

I would be very interested in correct identification of
the participants, and the circumstances of the recording.

Best wishes, Thomas.

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Subject: RE: The Wanderin' Five - seek info
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 01:05 AM

Well, here's the track listing for Hootenanny (from the Richard Hess Website section on Judy Collins):

HCA025 HOOTENANNY at the Limelight in the Village - 1963 ?? - Somerset SF-19900

Judy is again, as in Railroad Bill not credited on this album. A group called "The Wanderin' Five" is credited, but a second album with that group on it did not include Judy.

  1. Old Greenback Dollar
  2. Midnight Special
  3. Rovin' Gambler
  4. Lonesome Valley
  5. Cindy
  6. The Riddle Song
  7. Who's Gonna Be Your Man
  8. I'll Not Marry At All
  9. Mary Don't You Weep
  10. Black Eyed Susie
  11. Turtle Dove

Amazon has a Wanderin' Five MP3 album titled Folk Songs available with the following tracks:

  1. Shenanadoah
  2. Marry, Marry
  3. Tree In The Valley
  4. Blue Grass Joe
  5. O' That Girl
  6. John Henry
  7. I'm A Rover
  8. Wreck Of The 97'
  9. Go Tell It On The Mountain
  10. Raggle Taggle Gypsies
  11. Flop Eared Mule
  12. Have You Seen My Dear Companion

I'm listening to the MP3 album right now. It's a bit scratchy, but it's a good album - a little commercial-sounding for a Jean Ritchie recording, however. The recording of "Have You Seen My Dear Companion" has Jean singing lead, and it's wonderful.


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Subject: RE: The Wanderin' Five - seek info
From: GUEST,Stan Edwards
Date: 16 Feb 11 - 08:28 PM

I also have both of the Wanderin Five albums - have had Pickin and Singin since it came out. A few years ago in trying to trce the group, I was pretty sure that I found out that one of the male voices, and maybe the leader of the group was John Hall.

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Subject: RE: The Wanderin' Five - seek info
From: Amos
Date: 16 Feb 11 - 08:43 PM

What an interesting flash-back to the early days of the Great Folk Scare. The Wandering Five have a sort of bland, immature sound--with the exception of Jeannie--which is reminiscent of the newness of those young people who were the major body of the Scare...

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Subject: RE: The Wanderin' Five - seek info
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 05:20 PM

Jean Ritchie has confirmed that three members of the "Wanderin' Five" were herself, Judy Collins and Clarence Cooper (of The Tarriers). She also thinks Eric Weissberg (also of The Tarriers) was part of the group. The link to the earlier Mudcat discussion is here:

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Subject: RE: The Wanderin' Five - seek info
From: GUEST,Morna Leonard
Date: 20 Jan 20 - 05:16 PM

I grew up with that album -- the versions of certain songs on there are the versions I think of as "right." I actually emailed JR about it in 2007. Here is her her reply:
Yes. The record was done as a "Dimestore Special," which means an album usually sold only in dimestores, supermarkets, etc. Almost never appeared in high-toned music stores (no pun intended). The recording company had to pay us union wages but that was all, so all the performers had to get permission from their regular recording companies to do this, and we were all given permission if we did not allow our real names used. We did two albums, Among the performers on one or the other of the two were, in addition to myself, Mike Settle, Eric Weissberg (I think), Judy Collins. In those days we all needed to take any job to help pay our rent!"       Best, JR"

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