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Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest

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Subject: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
Date: 15 May 98 - 09:23 PM

I have seen snatchets from the Pete Seeger TV program "Rainbow Quest" that was aired in the 60s and I would like to get videos of complete programs.

Elderly's has a list of a few, but none that I want. Is there a more comprehensive offering somewhere? I am particularly interested in the ones with rediscovered blues singers. I have seen snatchets of John Hurt and Gary Davis singing on the programs, but I would like to see the interviews and their interaction with the other guests, etc.


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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: Art Thieme
Date: 16 May 98 - 11:03 AM

I'm sure ALL of those programs are readily available. Check with (talk to) Elderly. They should know.

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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
Date: 13 Nov 98 - 02:11 AM

I thought I would refresh this thread.

I contacted Elderly's as Art suggested and they told me there was no distributor for the videos at the moment. A recent check at Elderly s shows they still aren't available through them.

If anyone sees the Mississippi John Hurt one languishing in a store, can you let me know. I would like to ask you to buy it for me and send it. I will pay for it and the postage, of course.--but contact me first just in case more than one person finds it.



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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: DonMeixner
Date: 13 Nov 98 - 08:01 AM

The Rainbow Quest Videos are available on loan from many public Library systems in New York State. I took them all out of the Onondaga County System some years back and I (gasp! ) copied them. I have them on the convenient and easy to watch Beta II format. An investigation of the Onondaga system might hook you up with resource that they obtained them from.

Lastly, a note Peter Seegar may help you along too. There is a fine episode with John Hurt, but there is one with Sonny Terry and Brownie Magee that is worth the price of admission. As I recall, and I haven't seen them in a few years there are:

Sonny and Brownie Judy Collins Richard Farina and Mimi Farina Doc Watson, Fred Price, & ?? The Clancys (- Tom I think) and Tommy Makem The New Lost City Ramblers And a few others who escape my memory right now.

The great Art Thieme, Golden Voice of the Dells and Parts of the Upper Penninsulla) may have a line on these tapes as well. Art monitors this list.


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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: J-boy
Date: 04 May 11 - 10:28 PM

Since I am a recent convert I've been enjoying clips from the show on You-tube.

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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 05 May 11 - 02:10 AM

You waited 13 years to say that ?

Dave H

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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: J-boy
Date: 05 May 11 - 02:28 AM

No. I wasn't even aware of the show's existence before I saw it on You-tube about a year ago. Being a young(ish) mudder I thought there might be others who would want to check it out.

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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 05 May 11 - 12:56 PM

Amazon has, I believe, seven of these shows available on DVD (new and used). Hard to pick a favorite but there was the time the Beers family was featured and Martha Beers sang "Dumbarton's Drums." Wow.

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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: GUEST,Dom
Date: 05 May 11 - 07:04 PM

I remember seeing the dvds for sale a couple of years ago in amoeba records,san francisco-best record shop I have ever seen! bought the one with sonny + Brownie and the clancys -great stuff

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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 05 May 11 - 07:41 PM

Shanachie issued 6 dvd's, but sadly has no plans for further releases.
Rainbow Quest - Shanachie DVDs

Tapes (U-matic and VHS) of the entire series WERE available in years past, but are no longer.

Here is a list of the 38 TV programs:
1.Tom Paxton, The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem DVD
The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem from Ireland sing traditional and contemporary Irish songs, including "Butcher's Boy." Seeger joins Tom Paxton, a singer/songwriter, on his song "Ramblin' Boy."

This is a solo performance by Seeger in which he sings some of the songs composed by the famous black folksinger Huddie Ledbetter. He also performs his well-known allegorical story about the power of music, "Abiyoyo." Rare films of Leadbelly are included.

3.Elizabeth Cotton, Rosa Valentin and Rafael Martinez             DVD
Seeger and Elizabeth Cotton sing her famous song, "Freight Train" and she demonstrates her left-handed guitar playing. Rosa and Rafael sing songs from their native Puerto Rico, including "Las Popules de la Tierra" (The Poor People of the World).

4.Ruth Rubin
Ruth Rubin is America's foremost collector of Yiddish folk music and the translator of countless Yiddish songs. Here she performs several well-known Yiddish songs including "Chanuke O Chanuke" and "Tumbalalayka."

5.Jean Ritchie and Bernice Reagon
Jean Ritchie, long-time collector of Cumberland Mountain songs, sings from her extensive repertoire and plays the dulcimer. She also displays several folk toys. Bernice Reagon sings gospel and freedom songs a cappella.

6.Malvina Reynolds and Jack Elliott
Malvina Reynolds, who made up songs almost daily from stories she read in the newspapers, sings her famous "Little Boxes" among others. Jack Elliott, a protege of Woody Guthrie, sings some of Guthrie's songs including "Talking Dust Bowl" and "Talking Sailor Blues."

7.Bessie Jones and Children from the Downtown Community School
Bessie Jones and the children sing and dance a number of children's play-party songs such as "Thread & Needle" and "Drawing a Bucket of Water." Seeger sings Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" and several children's songs.

8.New Lost City Ramblers                      DVD
The group includes Pete Seeger's brother Mike, his brother-in-law John Cohen, and Tracy Schwartz. Among them they play fiddle, guitar, banjo, mandolin and autoharp on such songs as "Maid of Constant Sorrow," "Cuckoo Bird" and "Arkansas Sheik." Mike shows films of a Japanese fiddle band.

9.The Beers Family
Robert Beers, his wife and daughter, sing in a hauntingly beautiful style including their own "Dumbarton's Drums." Mr. Beers plays the Psaltry, an ancient instrument that is plucked with feathers.

10.Herbert Manana
South African singer, dancer, songwriter Herbert Manana sings and dances several African songs including "Zula", "Wimoweh" and "Tinasizsw" (We Africans).

11.Martha Schlamme
German-born Martha Schlamme, accompanied by Abraham Stockman on piano, sings several songs in German including the Brecht/Weill songs "Bilboa Moon" and "Pirate Jenny." She also sings several songs in Yiddish and Spanish and joins Pete in the World War II concentration camp song "Peat Bog Soldiers."

12.Doc Watson, Clint Howard and Fred Price             DVD
Three legendary figures of country folk music join Seeger with their guitars and fiddle in a long list of traditional songs, including "Old Dan Tucker" and "My Mother Chose My Husband."

13.Norman Studer and Grant Rogers
Scholar Norman Studer talks about the folklore of upstate New York and introduces composer-fiddler-guitarist-quarry worker Grant Rogers. Rogers and Seeger trade songs, including "Down by the Glenside," "Bessie the Heifer" and "My Dirty Stream," one of Seeger's recent songs about the Hudson River.

14.Pete Seeger: Solo
With his songs and a display of cartoons and unusual documents, Seeger traces the history of political satire from the early days of the U.S. He sings such songs as "John Brown's Body,", "Casey Jones," "We Shall Overcome" and his own anti-Vietnam War song "King Henry."

15.Lino Manocchia, Ralph Marino and Federico Picciano
Italian folk music is the subject of the program, including a film of a group sing in an Italian village. His guests, with two of their friends, accompanying themselves on guitars and accordion, sing songs from both northern and southern Italy, including "Eh Volla Volla" and "Manuela." Seeger sings "D-Day Dodgers," a song about the Italian campaign in World War II.

16.Mimi and Richard Farina
This program was taped a short time before Richard Farina's death in an auto accident on April 30, 1966, and contains many of the songs he wrote including "Celebration for a Grey Day," "Bold Marauder" and "Pack Up Your Sorrows." Richard plays harmonica and dulcimer (in a style all his own) and Mimi plays guitar.

17.Roscoe Holcomb and Jean Redpath             DVD
Seeger and Roscoe trade traditional American songs including "John Hardy" and "Birdie, Pretty Birdie." Jean Redpath sings several songs from her native Scotland: "The Beggar Laddie," "The Sky Fisher's Song," I Lost Ma Love" and "The Branca's Gotten Loose and Etten all the Corn."

18.Clinch Mountain Boys and Cousin Emmy    DVD
The Clinch Mountain Boys, which includes the well-known Stanley Brothers, sing a number of old-time favorites, including "Worried Man Blues," "The Clinch Mountain Backstep" and "I'm Thinking Tonight of My True Love."

19.Sonia Malkine
Ms. Malkine specializes in songs from France, especially those from the Auvergne, a mountainous area in southern France whose songs are well-known in America. She sings "Baylero", a shepherd's song, accompanying herself on an unusual 6-string lute (with a simultaneous translation in subtitles on the screen). She also provides a French rendition of Seeger's "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" and Seeger counters with a German translation.

20."Woody Guthrie"
This is a solo performance by Seeger, in which he sings some of the hundreds of songs composed by Woody, including "Philadelphia Lawyer," "Roll on Columbia" and "Put Your Finger in the Air," the popular children's song. Rare film footage and photos of Woody are included.

21.Pat Sky and the Pennywhistlers
A combination of recent and traditional songs, including Pat Sky's well-known "Separation Blues" and Seeger's "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" The Pennywhistlers perform songs from Bulgaria, Russia and South Africa in the original languages, including the original Russian song on which Seeger's "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" is based.

22.Len Chandler
Seeger and Chandler trade songs they have written, including Chandler's "Keep on Keeping On," "Beans in My Ears" and "Move on Over" and Seeger's "Walking Down Death Row," Seeger also sings such traditional songs as "Mrs. McGrath" (Irish) and "Die Gedanken Sind Frei" (Thoughts are Free) in German.

23.Donovan and Rev. Gary Davis
Donovan, the British recording star, sings a number of songs, accompanied on the sitar by Shawn Phillips, who also demonstrates the Indian instrument in detail. Rev. Gary Davis plays his guitar and sings some gospel songs including "I'm Feeling More Like Shouting" and "Oh Glory, How Happy I Am."

24.Alexander Zelkin
A young Russian emigré living in Canada, Alexander Zelkin trades songs from all over the world with Seeger. Sometimes they sing two songs to the same melody in two different languages. Seeger discusses the use of the tune to "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" in different cultures. Zelkin sings "Sylvestrik," a French song, and "Oy Tumani," and Seeger sings his song "Bells of Rhymney," which is based on a Welsh poem.

25.The Cajun Band                        DVD
Descendants of the Acadians who moved to Louisiana when the British made the French leave Nova Scotia, the Cajun Band shares its traditions and music. They sing a number of songs in their native language including (titles are translated) "I Passed Your Door and Didn't See Any Light" and "While Your Mother's Not Here Let's Dance Real Close." Seeger demonstrates his style of banjo playing and sings several "play-party" songs, including "Skip to My Lou," "Big Mammoo" and "Colinda."

26.Frank Warner
Seeger and his guest Frank Warner sing songs of the Adirondack Mountains and reminisce about Yankee John and Frank Proffit. Proffit is seen in a film as he performed at the Newport Folk Festival. Included in the show are Frank Proffit's most famous song, "Tom Dooley," as well as "Little Men," "Little Phoebe" and "Hudson River Steamboat."

27.Paul Draper
Paul Draper, the famous dancer, improvises to music played by his accompanist Coleridge Perkinson and to several songs and rhythms played by Seeger. Illustrating the importance of dance to a country's musical life, Seeger shows films of schoolchildren in Samoa, Indonesia and an East African Village.

28.Penny and Sonya Cohen
The subject of this show is work songs and lullabies, the latter occasionally being the former, as when sung by a babysitter. We hear and see films of men singing as they work: boatmen in Ghana and woodsmen at Texas State Prison. Seeger welcomes to the show his sister Penny and her infant daughter Sonya, and mother and uncle sing a medley of lullabies, including "Hush Little Baby," "By and By" and "All the Pretty Little Horses." After the prisoners in the film sing "Long Gone," "Jody" and "Down by the Riverside," Seeger himself reprises "Down by the Riverside."

29.Theodore Bikel and Rashid Hussain
Israeli and Arabic music and poetry are presented in their original language and in translation. Seeger demonstrates how to make a shepherd's flute out of bamboo. Seeger on banjo and Bikel on guitar join together on the Israeli song popularized in this country by the Weavers, "Tzena,

30.Steve Addiss and Bill Crofut with Phan Duy
Addiss and Crofut, American folksingers who have traveled extensively in the Far East singing under U.S. Department of State auspices, together with Phan Duy, "the Woody Guthrie of Vietnam," explore the Vietnamese musical traditions. With Seeger joining in they sing several of the 350 songs Duy has written. They also sing the well-known American song "Clementine" in Vietnamese.

31.The Greenbriar Boys                  DVD
The fiddle and banjo are featured instruments in the Greenbriar Boys' repertoire of Blue Grass Music. Seeger joins in with his 12- string guitar and they sing "Wabash Cannonball," "The Midnight Special," "Danville Girl," "Dink's Song," and the Mexican song "La Feria Das Flores" (The Flower Fair).

32.Judy Collins                   DVD
Seeger relates three parables and then trades songs with the popular singer Judy Collins. Together they sing "Daddy You've Been on My Mind," Bob Dylan's "Fare Thee Well," "Wild Mountain Thyme," "Tim Evans" and Seeger's "Turn! Turn! Turn!" Photos made during Seeger's visit to a guitar-maker in Mexico are shown.

33.Jim and Hazel Garland
The Garlands tell about life in Kentucky in the days when the mineworkers' union was struggling to be a force in the mines. Jim Garland, a former mineworker himself, sings his "I Don't Want Your Millions Mister." Jim plays the jews harp to Seeger's banjo on "Turkey in the Straw." Seeger sings the union song "Which Side are You on?"

34.Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee             DVD
Sonny Terry, the blind harmonica player, and Brownie McGhee, on guitar, trade songs with Seeger, including "Rock Island Line," "I'm a Burnt Child," "Down by the Riverside" and many more.

35.Bessie Jones and Children from the Downtown Community School
In this return visit, Ms. Jones and the children sing and dance with Seeger playing "Skip to My Lou," "Beans in my Ear," "Cumberland Mountain Bear Chase" and "This Land is Your Land."

36.Paul Cadwell and Mississippi John Hurt          DVD
Paul Cadwell plays several banjo solos including a cakewalk, "Georgia Camp Meeting." Mississippi John Hurt, a singer who had faded from public view, was rediscovered in his eighties and began a whole new career, sings "Lonesome Valley," "John Henry" and "Goodnight Irene."

37.Herbert Levy, K.L. Wong and Hi-Landers Steel Band
Playing their steel drums, the Hi-Landers sing songs of their native Trinidad, mostly in the Calypso tradition. Songs include "Mary Ann," "Love, Love Alone," "Yellow Bird," "Walk Around" and "When the Saints Go Marching In." Seeger shows a film on the making of steel drums from large oil

38.Buffy Sainte-Marie
Composer, singer, guitarist Buffy Sainte-Marie, through song and conversation expresses the American Indians' mixed feelings of love of country and bitterness at the unfair treatment they have received. Buffy demonstrates the mouth-bow and sings some of her own songs, "My Country 'Tis of Thy People You're Dying" and "Little Wheel Spin and Spin."

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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 05 May 11 - 09:58 PM

Wow, what a list. We have a couple of the DVDs. Sure wish someone would make the complete set available - through iTunes, or something. Among others, I'd love to see Frank Warner, Bessie Jones, and more of Grant Rogers (a portion of that one is on YouTube).

~ Becky in Long Beach

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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: Nancy King
Date: 05 May 11 - 11:50 PM

I got five of the DVDs for Christmas -- great stuff!

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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 06 May 11 - 04:03 PM

To Thomas...thanks for posting that comprehensive list. I remember watching most, if not all, with my parents. Always a good time.

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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: Martha Burns
Date: 07 May 11 - 12:52 PM

Yes, thanks Thomas. Thought I had seen all the shows on YouTube. But your list shows me that still more pleasure lies ahead. It was such a great show.
Haven't double-checked, but I do think they're all available on YouTube. Anyone?

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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 May 11 - 02:26 PM

I looked reasonably hard the other day. There are several, but they're not well-labelled, so searching on "Rainbow Quest" doesn't get even all that are there.

~ Becky in Long Beach

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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 07 May 11 - 05:52 PM

It is nice that some clips are on youtube, but the quality there is wretched. This series cries out to be issued on DVD. An incredible catalog of Folk Revival performers, and wonderfully presented.
Sadly, it seems that the "folk community" does not support such projects - sales for some incredible reissues are pathetic.
In Japan and Europe, where copyright is 50years, much material from the USA is available, but sadly no US company would ever consider releasing.

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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 13 May 11 - 11:22 PM

There are four available streaming on Netflix:

- Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem & The Cajun Band
- Stanley Brothers/Doc Watson
- Johnny Cash/Roscoe Holcombe (June Carter Cash and Jean Ritchie are also on this)
- Sonny Terry/Brownie McGhee/John Hurt (also Hedy West and Paul Cadwell)

~ Becky in Tucson

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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 14 May 11 - 12:35 AM

Also on Netflix: The New Lost City Ramblers/The Greenbriar Boys

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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: Bettynh
Date: 14 May 11 - 01:21 PM

Netflix used to carry but no longer has the DVD of "A Musical Journey - the films of Pete, Toshi and Dan Seeger". The quality isn't great and the films are very short, since they were originally 16mm, but are very interesting. Stefan Grosman was involved in selecting from their film stash. Hopefully, the stash still exists so more can come.

Here's a list of contents lifted from Amazon's description of the DVD:

"Titles include: Sonny Terry & J.C.Burris 1958: Crazy About You Baby, Buck Dance, Hand Jive; Jean Carignan 1957: La Grande Fleur, Interview, Sherbrooke Jig, Irish Tune; Big Bill Broonzy 1957: Worried Man Blues, Hey Hey, How You Want It Done, John Henry, Blues in E; The McPeake Family 1964: Jug of Punch, Will Ye Go Lassie Go?, Pipes/Harp Instrumental, Oro Se; Pete Steele 1962: Pay Day at Coal Creek; Coal Creek March, Galilee; Ellis Unit Huntsville Texas 1964: Working All Day Long, Grizzly Bear/Down the Line, 23, I Believe I'll Call My Baby; Oklahoma Fiddle Contest 1957: Segments; Schuyler Michaels 1957: Two Tunes, Waltz, Soldier's Joy."

If a few more people list this DVD as wanted/will wait for it, maybe Netflix will buy a few more for distribution. 25 bucks for less than an hour of film is a little steep for me to spend at Amazon.

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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 14 May 11 - 01:45 PM

Bettynh, they don't have the DVD, but they do offer "A Musical Journey" streaming.

~ Becky in Tucson

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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 14 May 11 - 01:52 PM

Hmm -- just spotted another Rainbow Quest on Netflix: Elizabeth Cotten and Judy Collins.

They don't necessarily have "Rainbow Quest" or even "Pete Seeger" included in the titles and descriptions, so there's no way to bring them all up on one search. You'd have to go through the whole list.

However, that does mean that if there's one you're interested in (from the list so kindly provided by Thomas Stern, above) it's worth looking for it on Netflix.

~ Becky in Tucson

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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: Bettynh
Date: 14 May 11 - 05:09 PM

Becky, it doesn't seem to be offered here in NH. It's been on my wait list for months. I did get the DVD a couple years ago and wanted to watch it again. Hmmm, now I'm really confused. There's nothing I can see that indicates I can stream it.

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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 14 May 11 - 07:07 PM

I didn't realize there might be regional differences in streaming. Weird.

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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: GUEST,Rodrigo Ferreira
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 06:50 PM

Anyone know of anyway to get the Richard and Mimi Farina? They used to be on youtube, but have been removed for some reason. I'm a huge fan from Brazil who is desperatly seeking for it. Would be more than thankful if anybody had a clue. If so, email-me:

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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 08 Oct 11 - 01:42 AM

Wikipedia has a good entry on the program and the story on the videos and DVDs. It includes a full list of the 39 episodes:

    The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem with Tom Paxton
    "Lead Belly" (solo performance by Seeger)
    Elizabeth Cotten with Rosa Valentin & Rafael Martinez
    Ruth Rubin
    Jean Ritchie and Bernice Reagon
    Malvina Reynolds and Jack Elliott
    Bessie Jones and Children from the Downtown Community School
    New Lost City Ramblers
    The Beers Family
    Herbert Manana
    Martha Schlamme & Abraham Stockman
    Doc Watson with Clint Howard and Fred Price
    Norman Studer and Grant Rogers
    "Political Satire" (solo performance by Seeger)
    Lino Manocchia, Ralph Marino, and Federico Picciano
    Mimi and Richard Fariña (February 26, 1966)[1]
    Roscoe Holcomb with Jean Redpath
    The Stanley Brothers and the Clinch Mountain Boys with Cousin Emmy
    Sonia Malkine
    "Woody Guthrie" (solo performance by Seeger)
    Pat Sky and The Pennywhistlers
    Len Chandler
    Donovan and Reverend Gary Davis
    Alexander Zelkin
    Mamou Cajun Band
    Frank Warner and film of Frank Proffit
    Paul Draper & Coleridge Perkinson
    Penny Cohen and Sonya Cohen
    Theodore Bikel and Rashid Hussain
    Steve Addiss and Bill Crofut with Phan Duy
    The Greenbriar Boys
    Judy Collins
    Jim Garland and Hazel Garland
    Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee
    Bessie Jones and Children from the Downtown Community School
    Mississippi John Hurt, Hedy West & Paul Cadwell
    Herbert Levy, K. L. Wong and Hi-Landers Steel Band
    Buffy Sainte-Marie
    Johnny Cash & June Carter

~ Becky in Long Beach

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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Oct 11 - 10:05 AM

brilliant programme and pete is a great man

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Subject: RE: Pete Seegers Rainbow Quest
From: GUEST,banjopicker
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 05:19 PM

I have to say That it is very hard to pick out of all of them since there was SO much talent on the show. I have watched all of them and I would have to say that the Elizabeth Cotten and Sonny Terry and Brownie are my favorites . Would have been great if he had the weavers on the show but cant ask for everything

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Mudcat time: 24 September 11:45 PM EDT

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