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Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb

pastorpest 29 Aug 00 - 06:47 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 29 Aug 00 - 07:58 PM
GUEST,leeneia 29 Aug 00 - 09:58 PM
GUEST,Barry Finn 29 Aug 00 - 11:01 PM
Stefan Wirz 17 Apr 02 - 12:20 PM
Don Firth 17 Apr 02 - 02:11 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 17 Apr 02 - 09:08 PM
John Hindsill 18 Apr 02 - 10:57 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 18 Apr 02 - 03:37 PM
Don Firth 18 Apr 02 - 04:31 PM
Art Thieme 18 Apr 02 - 05:20 PM
musicmick 18 Apr 02 - 06:36 PM
Herga Kitty 18 Apr 02 - 06:53 PM
John Hindsill 18 Apr 02 - 11:49 PM
GUEST,PEPE 12 Jan 04 - 06:21 PM
GUEST,Mary Katherine 12 Jan 04 - 10:24 PM
GUEST,Bill W. 21 Apr 07 - 05:45 PM
leeneia 22 Apr 07 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,dan verbeck 29 Apr 07 - 04:12 AM
GUEST,Jonathan Talbot 29 Oct 10 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Oct 10 - 12:20 PM
Stringsinger 30 Oct 10 - 04:43 PM
GUEST,Belle Randall (formerly Belle Stauber) 11 Aug 11 - 02:33 PM
GUEST,Issac Stacey 25 Jun 12 - 03:43 AM
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Subject: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: pastorpest
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 06:47 PM

I have a CD from 1997, produced in Vancouver entitled "Shenandoah: Songs by Leon Bibb". Great CD! Rightly or wrongly I associate him with the folk revival of the 1960s. Why would an American be making a recording in Vancouver? Any information about him, what he has been doing, what he sang back then, and background would be appreciated. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 07:58 PM

I had the delight of interviewing his son Eric a number of years ago when he was performing in in the Berkshires (USA---I have to remember that this is international).

His father, Leon, has been seperated from his wife for many years and lives in the Vancouver area. He still does some performing there.

He was, indeed, quite popular during the "folk revival", but he also was quite popular in the more "musical" field.He has sung songs from the traditional to the pop. If you check out some old Vanguard and Decca recordings I think you will find some interesting things there.

His son is a wonderful performer on stage---gospel and blues are his forte.

If you can listen to his album called Needed Time. Just great.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 09:58 PM

Your query takes me back. In the 1960's I had a friend from Lexington, Kentucky who was a Leon Bibb fan. I listened to his music and liked it, especially a lovely song called "Adieu Madras." I still sing snatches of it from time to time.

We didn't think of Leon Bibb as being part of any so-called folk revival. We just thought of him as a gentle person who sang enjoyable songs. At that distant time, enjoyable songs were still occasionally permitted on commercial radio.

I think terms like "folk revival" and "Celtic fringe" represent the viewpoint of uninformed people in LA and Nashville who don't know that traditional never really dies.


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Subject: RE: Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: GUEST,Barry Finn
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 11:01 PM

I first started listening to prison work songs in the late 60's & the closest I could come to were the odd song by Odetta or Taj Mahall or Leon Bibb, that was my intro to him. Barry


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Subject: RE: Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: Stefan Wirz
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 12:20 PM

Since he just published a CD with his son Eric, I thought it to be a good idea to start and gather some info on this guy ;-) First results of my research can be found here
Additional info appreciated !!!
Stefan


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Subject: RE: Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 02:11 PM

I saw him on TV a number of times -- in the late 50s and/or early 60s, if I recall correctly. Because he did similar material, most people seemed to regard him as a Harry Belafonte clone (there was a lot of that going on about then). Undoubtedly unfair, because he was darned good in his own right. Glad to hear he's still at it!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 09:08 PM

Leon Bibb was probably the first "folksinger" I ever heard, live. I heard him in Madison, Wisconsin, probably in the late 50's, accompanied from what I remember by Marshal Brinkman. Also, from rather dim memory, I seem to recall that he had been in a broadway musical. I bought an album of his back then, long since left behind somewhere. I think the comparison to Belfonte was understandable because both of them were singers, who sang folk songs, among other kinds of music.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: John Hindsill
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 10:57 AM

Will Holt was a singer who 'sang folk songs, among other kinds of music'. Does anybody confuse him with, or compare him to Belafonte? Or consider him a clone of Belafonte? My guess is no. Maybe there is something else that makes us think of Belafonte/Bibb...their last names begin with 'B'. :>]


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Subject: RE: Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 03:37 PM

Belafonte and Bibb are both black... More "B"s. I don't know Will Holt. Both Belafonte and Bibb also sang broadway show tunes.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 04:31 PM

And, except when they were backed by an orchestra or band, they both stood there singing while someone else accompanied them on the guitar. At least, back when I saw Leon Bibb on TV.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: Art Thieme
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 05:20 PM

I do seem to recall Leon Bibb playing at the Gate of Horn in Chicago in the late 50s. Will Holt too---doing Kurt Weil songa with good theatrical effect. Fond memories. Especially liked The Exciting Artistry Of Will Holt LP on Elektra Records. This wasn't "rural" music----it was hip and "urban" and essentially cabaret music---much like Josh White was so much more/different than a blues singer by then. It was nightlife and hard liquor drinks and hitting-on-chicks music that mixed folk and jazz and beat sensibilities with humor and suave showmanship. Lenny Bruce and Bob Gibson and early Shel Silverstein too. I, for one, was glad I was there then. It was a great place to spend my late teen and early twenties years.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: musicmick
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 06:36 PM

I remember Leon Bibb quite well. His act was similar to Belafonte's in that they both used an accompanist, who sat off to the side, in an unlit section of the stage. Their voices were similar, and so were their repitores. Certainly, Bibb was promoted and presented in an attempt to take advantage of Belafonte's popularity. Recording executives and booking agents hoped there was a space for another black, slack-shirted, romantic singer. They were almost right. Leon Bibb was a very talented performer but the mass market wasn't open enough for two black sex symbols at that time. I, myself, worked as the guitarist for another, less successful, black singer. He, too, was gifted and comely, but, if there wasn't a market for two Belafontes, there sure wasn't room for three. By the way, Bibb's unlit guitarist was the wonderful John Stauber, and what ever happened to him?

mike Miller


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Subject: RE: Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 06:53 PM

Stefan Wirz

Thank you - I've seen Eric Bibb in England, but didn't know he'd recorded with his father.

Good stuff

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: John Hindsill
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 11:49 PM

Thank you Jerry & Mike for making my point; most folks largely make the comparison of Belafonte and Bibb because both are black. Will Holt was caucasian.

Jeez, I loved to hear and see Belafonte, and did regularly at the Greek Theater in those long gone days. Saw Bibb once in person at one of the LA clubs and he was very exciting. Only saw Will Holt on TV a time or two, but have a couple of his records. Art captured his essence well, and his repetoire could have largely been the same as Belafonte's, at least in spirit.


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Subject: RE: Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: GUEST,PEPE
Date: 12 Jan 04 - 06:21 PM

Leon Bibb was and still is one of my favorite singers. He has a very fluid and well trained voice. Inspite of what others say, his voice was not like Belafonte's in the sense that Bibb has a much larger voice than Belafonte. Almost like a classical high baritone with much polish and an almost coppery color.
    I have 4 of his LP's. "Cherries And Plums", "Love Songs", "Foment. Ferment. Free, Free" and "Leon Bibb Sings".
    For years I have been trying to find the album that I heard in the Providence Public Library which has in it the folk songs "Red, Rosy Bush" and "Take This Hammer". The latter being his best song in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: GUEST,Mary Katherine
Date: 12 Jan 04 - 10:24 PM

Pepe, the Leon Bibb album you are looking for is called "Leon Bibb Sings Folk Songs," and is Vanguard VRS 9041. The tracks are

Side One
1. Sinner Man
2. East Virginia
3. Turtle Dove
4. Darlin'
5. Rocks and Gravel
6. Poor Lalette

Side Two
1. Look Over Yonder
2. Red Rosy Bush
3. Take This Hammer
4. Skillet
5. Jerry
6. Dink's Blues
7. Irene

Fred Hellerman is credited on the front cover as guitarist, and Milt Okun as conductor. I don't know whether Vanguard has ever reissued any Leon Bibb LPs onto CDs; I've nevber seen any, but a look at Amazon.com or Vanguard's web site should tell you for sure. Till then, I'm hanging on to my old LPs!!

Mary Katherine


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Subject: RE: Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: GUEST,Bill W.
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 05:45 PM

Earlier someone mentioned a song by Leon Bibb entitled "Adieu Madras". It indeed is a gorgeous song. Will Holt happens to be the composer of this beautiful tune. On the newly reissued 3 DVD set titled HOOTENANNY, Leon's Bibb's version of "Adieu Madras" is easily the best song on the entire 3 DVD set. Johnny Cash introduces Bibb to the college crowd, and then Bibb puts them in a trance with this haunting ballad.


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Subject: RE: Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: leeneia
Date: 22 Apr 07 - 08:17 AM

Thanks for the info, Bill W. Could you possibly post the words to Adieu Madras? I remember the meldoy. If you provide the words, I won't need to buy a 3 DVD set.

As I said above, I was introduced to Leon Bibb in the 1960's. None of us thought that Leon Bibb was anything like Harry Belafonte. We really were smart enough to understand that there could be more than one black male singer in the world.

Radio-station managers might have been a different story.


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Subject: RE: Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: GUEST,dan verbeck
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 04:12 AM

Maybe senility is taking hold but i've been haunted lately by some of those Will Holt tunes on his    album The Exciting Artistry of Will Holt. The Weill/Brechtian ones that smack of the darkness of the Berlin 30's. Never saw Holt but did, as a kid, frequent the new Gate of Horn across from Mr. Kellys on Rush Street in the 60's. recall seeing Gibson and Camp. and years later discovered the manager of the old Gate on Chicago Ave. Her name was Nancy and she became an AFTRA union sister when I moved to Kc, Mo in the mid 70's. Lovely and talented in voiceover by then. Any recordings still available of Holt?


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Subject: RE: Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: GUEST,Jonathan Talbot
Date: 29 Oct 10 - 01:32 PM

musicmic asked about John Stauber. John and I shared an apartment before and during the time he started accompanying Leon and I worked with both of them at The Second Fret in Philadelphia where I was the opening act during one of Leon's appearances there.. John originally came from St. Louis, MO and I have tried to find out what happened to him myself but have had not success. Jonathan Talbot, www.talbot1.com


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Subject: RE: Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 12:20 PM

There are a number of Leon Bibb's performances to be heard on YouTube.

Is the singer Leon B the same as the newscaster Leon B?


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Subject: RE: Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: Stringsinger
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 04:43 PM

As I recall, Leon Bibb was part of People's Artists in New York along with Betty Sanders,
Ernie Lieberman, Pete Seeger, and others.

He was at the time what I would call a "Progressive folk singer" singing for various political and social causes.


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Subject: RE: Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: GUEST,Belle Randall (formerly Belle Stauber)
Date: 11 Aug 11 - 02:33 PM

In answer to the question, "Whatever happened to John Stauber?": I was briefly married to John Stauber, Leon Bibb's guitarist, in the sixties and am still in touch with him. As of this entry, in 201l, John is still playing the guitar in his home town of St Louis. John was working back-up and doing arrangements for Leon, with whom he toured regularly, when we met in 1959. After we married in 1961, John continued to work for Leon until 1963, when we opened The Jabberwock, a restaurant with live music, in Berkeley in 1963. The Jabberwock performers included John Fahey, Jesse Fuller, Terry Garthwaite, Alice Stuart and Bukka White (to name a few).

I'm glad to see that Leon and John are not forgotten. John is modest, and when I write about his accomplishments, he tends to correct me, but I know that he worked with many other fine musicians, including the Clancy Brothers, the Harry Belafonte singers, and Fred Neil. Those who want to learn more can see my web site at Belle Randall.prosody.org--specifically the reminiscence "The Day Bob Dylan Came to Visit," which tells about our lives together 1961-5.
Thanks for listening! Belle


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Subject: RE: Help: Tell me about Leon Bibb
From: GUEST,Issac Stacey
Date: 25 Jun 12 - 03:43 AM

I remember John Stauber from my short stint in Greenwich Village in 1969-70.
I was entertaining at the Feenjon Cafe and John took an interest in my guitar playing.
He took me to his apartment and for the next 24 hours, gave me a complete tutorial on the guitar. He said, "Just listen and when you need what I am about to tell you, you will remember it." He began with the layout of the strings, went through the building of scales, then chords, and ended with transpositions. It still is one of the fondest memories I have of New York City.

He also invited me to jam with Bob Dylan but, since I was still a novice with the guitar, I said no. Probably the worst decisions of my life.
Issac Stacey, AKA Minstrel john, AKA John David Velarde


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