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Need info: Gateway Singers

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Help: Any Info on the Gateway Singers Pre 1960 (13)


Mrrzy 06 Apr 01 - 12:29 PM
Don Firth 06 Apr 01 - 02:53 PM
GUEST,Carol's Friend Don 06 Apr 01 - 03:13 PM
Mrrzy 06 Apr 01 - 04:30 PM
Don Firth 06 Apr 01 - 04:41 PM
GUEST,Carol's Friend Don 06 Apr 01 - 05:07 PM
Don Firth 06 Apr 01 - 06:38 PM
Don Firth 06 Apr 01 - 06:46 PM
raredance 06 Apr 01 - 07:09 PM
Big Red 07 Apr 01 - 12:49 AM
Big Red 07 Apr 01 - 01:21 AM
Don Firth 07 Apr 01 - 01:57 PM
Don Firth 07 Apr 01 - 02:00 PM
Tiger 07 Apr 01 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,Pete Curry 07 Apr 01 - 04:11 PM
raredance 07 Apr 01 - 05:51 PM
GUEST,Apparent Defense 07 Apr 01 - 07:33 PM
GUEST,Apparent Defense 07 Apr 01 - 07:37 PM
Don Firth 07 Apr 01 - 09:00 PM
GUEST,ApparentDefense 08 Apr 01 - 02:29 PM
Deckman 08 Apr 01 - 03:04 PM
Don Firth 08 Apr 01 - 03:26 PM
Deckman 08 Apr 01 - 07:45 PM
GUEST,Carol's Friend Don 09 Apr 01 - 12:05 PM
wishwillow 29 Jun 05 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,barry 26 Jan 08 - 10:23 AM
GUEST,Dennis Nyback 22 Jul 11 - 12:33 AM
Joe Offer 10 Jan 18 - 01:54 AM
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Subject: Gateway Singers
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 12:29 PM

Hi, anybody heard of these folks, especially those of you who aren't in the younger set? I think they predated the Weavers but were similar... we had an album of theirs long ago, the only song I can remember is Dr. Freud (it's in the Trad, similar version to the one this group did). I sang O Dr. Freud to my intro to psych class yesterday (we were doing the chapter on Those ambitious doctors Adler, Jung and Freud... it's the first time I've sung to a group of people, really, it went very well but got me thinking, and I can't seem to find anything about this group that I want to know...

Anyway, thanks, all.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 02:53 PM

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


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: GUEST,Carol's Friend Don
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 03:13 PM

Don F. I'm pretty sure they did not predate the Kingston Trio, who had a 45 of "Tom Dooley" and "MTA" by '56. But I do recall an album of theirs coming out in '62 or so. Is it possible that they didn't get into the studio until after the Trio?

You also raise a question in my mind. Who was the gal from the "Michigan School of Big-Boned Women" who had a voice like a tugboat in mating season? A voice deeper than Ronnie's, and sort of a pre-Cass Eliott. And didn't Dave Guard do an album with her before falling off the earth?

(Please put the children to bed before answering).


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 04:30 PM

I had The Gateway Singers At The Hungry I (is that still extant???) - probably the same album, yes. I am surprised that they were so late, their record seemed so much older than the Weavers records we had... but this is all very interesting, and I'd like anything anyone can add. Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 04:41 PM

Re: Gateway Singers/Kingston Trio chronology -- According to everything I've been able to find, the Kingston Trio didn't get together until 1957, and they were still in school at the time. Tom Dooley became a "hit song" late in 1958. Check the puff job here (makes it sound like they invented folk music in the basement of their frat house).

I can't find much info about the Gateway Singers in cyberspace, other than that some of their records have been re-issued on CD, and a few things about a few people (such as Gottlieb) who were in the group. There seems to be another group out now calling themselves the "Gateway Singers," but I got the impression they do gospel songs (as in "Pearly Gates" or something like that -- probably never even heard of the folk group).

I'm sure the Gateway Singers predated the Kingston Trio by a couple of years at the very least. The Weavers drew a big audience in the very late Forties and early Fifties. When they were blacklisted, the Gateway Singers jumped in pretty quickly to try to fill the hole. The Gateway Singers got started in the early Fifties, no later than the mid-Fifties. They had records out by then.

I was there. I remember. But I also check to make sure I'm remembering correctly.

Re: the gal from the "Michigan School of Big-Boned Women" -- I'm afraid I don't know. Sounds interesting.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: GUEST,Carol's Friend Don
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 05:07 PM

Thanks, we're both trying to remember. If you can, try tracking Guard's career, (I'm at work). I'd be interested in the outcome. And I could have sworn the 45 was from '56. By the way, trivia question, how many folk songs did go out on 45's? I'm thinking KT, Burl Ives, and maybe Highwaymen and PP&M? I can't think of many.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 06:38 PM

Actually, back in those thrilling days of yesteryear, almost everything (at least classical) that came out on LP was also issued on 45, in a boxed set that contained everything on the LP. Some pop stuff came out only on 45. Or a popular singer might have an LP come out, but it would contain one or two songs in particular that the record company wanted DJs to push, so they would issue those on 45.

Bingo!

I typed "Dave Guard Kingston Trio" into google.com and came up with a whole potful! Check this!

If you scroll to the bottom of the web page, there are a half-dozen songs in RealAudio. After listening to "Dave Guard and the Whiskeyhill Singers" do The Bonnie Ship the Diamond, my guess is that Judy Henske is the lady in question. Helluva voice!

*************************************************** Further -- I just typed "Judy Henske" into google.com and found another potful:

"... forget about breaking genteel crystal wine goblets, Judy could shatter tempered windshields in the parking lot." -- Jac Holzman, founder of Elektra Records & author of "Follow the Music"

Here's more Judy Henske in RealAudio. Gotta be the one!

(Gawd! I think she just blew out my speakers!!)

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 06:46 PM

When I first heard Judy Henske on RealAudio, think my mouse flipped out of my hand and landed on the asterisk key!

Gotta go now. I'll check back later.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: raredance
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 07:09 PM

I have a little bit to add, "Gateway Singers At the Hungry i" is Decca DL 8671. Maybe somebody can find a date knowing the album #. My copy is pathetic, almost unlistenable. I found it in the 1970's on a trash pile and I have no dust jacket. tha album has the Sigmund Freud song (also done by the Chad Mitchell Trio on the Belafonte Returns to Carnegie Hall album). Othe well known songs includ, Rueben James, Oleanna, This Little Light of MIne, the Fox, Roving Gambler, Erie Canal and a few more. A second LP of mine is "The Gateway Singers On The Lot" that one is Warner Brothers W 1295 and has a 1959 date on it. On the back of the dust jacket in a "May We Suggest: section" is listed "Gateway Singers, Decca 8671". So the other album predates this one and is 1959 or earlier. The "ON the Lot" album lists the performers as Elmerlee Thomas ( a woman who had at least one solo album), Jerry Walter (more below), Ernie Sheldon (around folk music for a long time, solo albums, replaced Glenn Yarbrough in Limeliters et al) and Marc Richards (I don't think the same one Clinton pardoned). Walter is holding the banjo on the cover photo. Songs on that album are: I won't be Worried Long, Gypsy-O, Ariran (Korean), Hurrican, Come All Ye Fair & Tender Maidens, East Virginia, Don't you LIe Daddy-O (variation of Sail Away Ladies), Dehlia's Blues, The MTA (yes that one), Come Along Charlie, Pretty Saro, Keep A-Movin'.

And one more thing is an album called "The Gateway Trio" (Capitol T 2184). This album followed "The Mad MAd MAd Gateway Trio" which puts it at later than 1961, actually a few years later because the inside sleeve has advertising for 3 Beatles albums and 2 Beach Boys albums. The Gateway Trio are Jerry Walter, Betty Mann, and Milt Chapman. The pargraph about Walter says: "Jerry Walter, an ex-radio Jack Armstrong, and all-Chicagoan boy, soap opera'd his way to audience recognition....Having accumulated such basics as a family, guitar and five-string banjo, glib tongue, and a Private's degree from Uncle Sam's army, Jerry finally put his formal training from the American and San Francisco conservatories of music to work in 1956, when he organized the folk-centered Gateway Singers. When by 1961 the "Singers" were professionally disbanded, Walter embarked on the project that was to catapult him into entertainment stardom with his crowning accomplishment - the formation of the Gateway Trio"

Conclusions - Gateway Singers (1956)were a year or more ahead of Kingstons (1957). Don, the banjo player you chatted with was probably Jerry Walter, the group's organizer. Jerry's "stardom" was apparently not long-lived.

Unanswered question - did the Gateway MTA preceed or follow the Kinston MTA?

rich r


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: Big Red
Date: 07 Apr 01 - 12:49 AM

I do have the album the Gateway Singers at the Hungry i and it is in reasonably good shape. Am always willing to make a tape. Contact me at the personal pages.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: Big Red
Date: 07 Apr 01 - 01:21 AM

Just read on the jackets that Jerry Walter the banjo player was also in the Gateway Trio. Also, noted that on the GS album that Lou Gottlieb was their bass player and left after the album was cut to go back to school to get his doctorate.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Apr 01 - 01:57 PM

Jogged my memory, Big Red. The name rang a bell. I'm pretty sure the banjo player who came to the party was indeed Jerry Walter. I had no idea of his background (Jack Armstrong?? I listened to Jack Armstrong when I was a kid!) and I was unaware that he had formed the group. I got the impression from what he said that he had joined the group later on, but I could have been wrong. I'm trying to recall a conversation that happened forty-two years ago. He was fairly quiet and modest, and seemed to be more interested in listening to us sing. He just sang the one song, Pretty Saro, and did such a nice, straightforward job of it that I decided to learn it myself. Thanks for the info.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Apr 01 - 02:00 PM

Sorry! Writing in haste, I got the names mixed. It was rich r who provided the memory-jogger. Thanks to you both.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: Tiger
Date: 07 Apr 01 - 04:11 PM

That's EMERLEE Thomas (correct spelling), and she was wonderful.

Like Ronnie Gilbert in a way, big strong voice which more than held up to the men.

I've still got their first album on tape somewhere in the vault. I remember it had Sinking of the Reuben James and This Little Light of Mine, as well as the aforementioned Dr. Freud.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: GUEST,Pete Curry
Date: 07 Apr 01 - 04:11 PM

Rich R: According to ³Folksingers and Folksongs in America² by Ray Lawless (Second Ed., 1965), the Gateway Singers¹ LP ³At the Hungry I² was released in 1958.

The other Gateway Singers album you mention, 1959¹s ³On the Lot,² is news to me and is very interesting because it contains TWO songs closely associated with the Kingston Trio-- ³The MTA² and ³I Won¹t Be Worried Long² (which I assume is the same song as the Kingston Trio¹s ³Worried Man²).

The Kingston Trio¹s recording of ³MTA² was released as a single on June 18, 1959. (It was taken from their album ³At Large² which was released the same month). According to the book ³The Kingston Trio On Record² (Kingston Korner, Inc., 1986), ³the group first heard the song from Will Holt.² Holt included ³MTA² on his 1957 Coral LP ³World of Will Holt.² (That album also featured the original recording of ³Raspberries, Strawberries,² which the KT also recorded.) But clearly, depending on when in 1959 the Gateway Singers recorded and released ³On The Lot,² their version of ³MTA² could also have been a source for the KT.

Parenthetically, we know that the KT covered many songs previously recorded by the Gateway Singers such as ³Reuben James,² ³Oleanna,² ³This Little Light of Mine² and ³Saro Jane.² And it has been reported that Dave Guard modeled his between-song patter after Lou Gottlieb who was with the Gateways until after they recorded ³At the Hungry I² in 1958. Then, according to the liner notes on that album, he left to complete his PhD dissertation and was replaced by Ernie Sheldon.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: raredance
Date: 07 Apr 01 - 05:51 PM

Not meaning to get pedantic or picky, but it is "Elmerlee" twice on the "On the Lot" dust jacket.

The "MTA" was written by Bess Lomax Hawes as a campaign song for Walter F O'Brien the Progressive Party candidate for mayor in 1948. Will Holt's Coral recording of the song brought the record company a bunch of protests from Bostonians objecting to the song making a hero of a "radical". The record was withdrawn and reissued removing reference to O'Brien. The line became "fight the fare increase, fight the fare increase". K3 brought back O'brien but changed his first name.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: GUEST,Apparent Defense
Date: 07 Apr 01 - 07:33 PM

I may be wrong but I seem to recall a Gateway Singers back in the Forties who predated The Weavers. Woody, Cisco Houston, Sis Cunningham ( Little boxes on the hillside...) and another man.

Might have to go into the deep archives for that one


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: GUEST,Apparent Defense
Date: 07 Apr 01 - 07:37 PM

I may be wrong but I seem to recall a Gateway Singers back in the Forties who predated The Weavers. Woody, Cisco Houston, Sis Cunningham ( Little boxes on the hillside...) and another man.

Might have to go into the deep archives for that one.

As for Dave Guard & THe Whiskeyhill Singers...Guard quit The Kingston Trio because he wanted to do more 'complex' songs/arrangements. The Whiskeyhills were: Guard, Dave 'Buck' Wheat, who was the Kingston Trio's bass player, Judy Henske and Cyrus Faryar who later was a member of The Modern Folk Quartet with Tad Diltz, who later became the photographer of the Rock Stars.

The Whiskeyhills bombed big time, Henske grew to hate Guard who moved to Australia for a time and passed away in the 1980's, I believe.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Apr 01 - 09:00 PM

Apparent Defense, it sounds to me like you're thinking of the Almanac Singers.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: GUEST,ApparentDefense
Date: 08 Apr 01 - 02:29 PM

Thaks, Don. I stand corrected. That was the Almanac Singers.

AD


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: Deckman
Date: 08 Apr 01 - 03:04 PM

Whew ....! I just caught this thread! I'm exhausted after all the past time travel! Actually, this is really fun ... of course when you've lived long enough to actually have known these folks, it doesn't take much to exhaust oneself. Don, do you remember when the Limelighters, or was it the Gateway singers, came to town and we hooted with them at John and Sally Ashfords? And, did you know that Glenn Yarborough (sp?) has (did?) strong Seattle contacts because of his strong interest in deep sea sailing


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Apr 01 - 03:26 PM

Jeez! The hoot I was referring to, with Jerry Walter, was at John and Sally Ashfords, when they lived on the north end of Capitol Hill. I don't remember some of the details of that -- who all was there, etc.

I'm beginning to think I'm older than dirt! In fact, when the Big Bang occurred, I was the one who yelled, "What in the hell was that??"

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: Deckman
Date: 08 Apr 01 - 07:45 PM

Be sure and wash your hands before supper ... Bob


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: GUEST,Carol's Friend Don
Date: 09 Apr 01 - 12:05 PM

Don Firth, YOU DA MAN! Judy Henske... You've kept my cranial flatulence at bay for at least another day.

Suffered a back wash in the heart on reading of Guard's death... guess I'll put a memory scratch on the old Vega Folk Ranger...

By the way, when you hollered "What the hell was that?" my response was, "Whoa, this can't be good..."


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Subject: gateway singers cds available
From: wishwillow
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 04:53 PM

At The Gateway Singers website http://www.starbeams.com, the group's albums (Puttin' on the Style, at the hungry I, In Hi Fi) can now be obtained on CD. All proceeds go directly to the last surviving member of the group who first recorded. This is the way re-releases should be handled!


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Subject: RE: Help: Gateway Singers
From: GUEST,barry
Date: 26 Jan 08 - 10:23 AM

I, too, have an early Gateway Singer Album...it is A Meeting At the Building. It did not have Lou Gottlieb but does have Travis Edmonson. If you need a tape copy, e-mail me at bdscgt@skybest.com. I may be able to put it in MP3 and e-mail it back...
Barry


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Subject: RE: Need info: Gateway Singers
From: GUEST,Dennis Nyback
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 12:33 AM

I have a 16mm black and white film: "Listen and Sing" featuring The Gateway Singers. It was made by Carol Levene and copyrighted 1961 for Bailey Films. There is a copyright entry that says that Bailey was a re-release and the film was from April 1959. The songs are Rock Island Line, I Was Born 10,000 Years Ago, Colorado Trail and Come to the Dance. The members at that time: Emerlee Thomas, Jerry Walter, Marc Richards and Ernie Sheldon. www.dennisnybackfilms.com


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Subject: RE: Need info: Gateway Singers
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jan 18 - 01:54 AM

There's a very nice Website honoring the Gateway Singers here:


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