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Folk music (however you define it) on TV

Rick Fielding 04 Dec 02 - 11:08 AM
Wesley S 04 Dec 02 - 12:40 PM
GUEST 04 Dec 02 - 12:43 PM
Bert 04 Dec 02 - 12:45 PM
Declan 04 Dec 02 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,Don Meixner 04 Dec 02 - 04:09 PM
Rick Fielding 04 Dec 02 - 05:35 PM
Ron Olesko 04 Dec 02 - 05:40 PM
wysiwyg 04 Dec 02 - 06:26 PM
Big Mick 04 Dec 02 - 07:15 PM
Nancy King 04 Dec 02 - 07:41 PM
Phil Cooper 04 Dec 02 - 07:52 PM
johnross 04 Dec 02 - 08:48 PM
Mr Happy 04 Dec 02 - 09:03 PM
van lingle 04 Dec 02 - 09:21 PM
GUEST 05 Dec 02 - 03:33 PM
Malachy 05 Dec 02 - 07:42 PM
GUEST,jaze 05 Dec 02 - 08:26 PM
GUEST,Bardford cookieless 05 Dec 02 - 08:56 PM
Rapparee 05 Dec 02 - 09:23 PM
GUEST,Don 06 Dec 02 - 09:22 AM
GUEST 06 Dec 02 - 10:34 AM
Declan 06 Dec 02 - 10:46 AM
Rick Fielding 06 Dec 02 - 11:11 AM
GUEST 06 Dec 02 - 11:32 AM
wysiwyg 06 Dec 02 - 11:34 AM
CET 06 Dec 02 - 10:34 PM
GUEST,Ceejay 07 Dec 02 - 09:50 AM
GUEST 07 Dec 02 - 10:20 AM
CET 07 Dec 02 - 10:22 AM
GUEST 07 Dec 02 - 12:05 PM
GUEST 07 Dec 02 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 07 Dec 02 - 01:12 PM
Big Mick 08 Dec 02 - 12:33 AM
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Subject: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 11:08 AM

Good December Morning folks. I've been reading the thread on "PBS nostalgia folk fundraising," and it got me thinking about other attempts to put unpopular music on the tube.

I never saw any of the Pete Seeger "Rainbow Quest" shows when they came out, but rented ALL of them last year from the library. Great music, both from Pete and his guests, although a more awkward host would have been hard to find. Watching my life-long hero attempting an interview with The Greenbriar boys was positively painful, ha ha!

Here in Canada we had "Let's Sing Out" hosted by Oscar Brand. It ran for a few years, had some reasonably non-commercial acts (I was on it a couple of times) but unfortunately the Producer apparently doesn't want to make the tapes available. Too bad.

Jack Linkletter's "Hootenanny" was a totally weird experience for me. I was very aware that they had blacklisted Pete Seeger (the official explanation was that he 'couldn't hold an audience', ha ha!!) so I really DIDN'T wanna watch it...but I DID. Faithfully. Just too hooked on the music I guess. Saw Bob Gibson, The New Lost City Ramblers, Judy Collins, and a shit load of commercial acts like Joe and Eddy, The Backporch Majority, Nice Crusty Mistrials, Serendipity Singers etc. I even bought the "Hootenanny Magazine". Probably learned the names of every member of the Wayfarers, Brothers Four, and other groups.

It must have been difficult for the producers to tread that very thin line...getting as much dollar value from "the folk scare" while trying to downplay that the core of this movement was bent on changing a whole social structure.

Remember this was only a few years after Dylan was told not to sing "Talkin' John Birch Society Blues" on Ed Sullivan and told THEM to go F**k themselves.

I did three separate TV series in Toronto, on (pretty) traditional folk music (with SOME singer songwriters) and fortunately remembered to get at least one copy of each show (think there were about 20 shows in all) for my own archive. I was pretty happy with the shows, but they featured local guests only.

Probably the strangest TV 'folk' experience I've ever had (I think Peter T has also seen this) was a CBC (in black and white) show featuring the young Bob Dylan in a set made up to look like a BUNK HOUSE IN A LOGGING CAMP (!!) Bobby wandered around tables annoying actors playing tough loggers, with "The Times They Are a Changin"....just the thing that a REAL logger would wanna hear! A fitting close to the show might have been the loggers throwing Bobby's Gibson on the fire and getting him to "squeal like a pig"!!

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: Wesley S
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 12:40 PM

Rick - or someone - correct me if I'm wrong, but did Pete Seeger ever have a guitar instruction show on PBS or was it part of the Rainbow series ? I could swear I saw something like that.

Also worth checking out tonight is the Bravo channel - "Smothered" about the troubles the Smothers Brothers had with the censors on their show. My guess is a few good artists might make their way on to the show.


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 12:43 PM

Well, I suppose it is the country you are viewing "folk" or "traditional" music in. In Ireland, I often enjoy the music on RTE and TnaG, even though the hosts are usually quite wooden. And the archival stuff is especially entertaining.

But then, now and then, we get something along the lines of the Bringing it All Back Home or Transatlantic Sessions, and the pure droppers start to have coronaries, because MY GAWD, what have the Everly Brothers to do with traditional music of Ireland and Scotland?

Same phenomenon, different countries.


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: Bert
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 12:45 PM

There's been nothing on our TV for years.

Many years ago in England, I remember seeing Lonnie Donnegan, Rolf Harris, Pat Doonican, Shirly Abicair, Mikki and Griff, Steve Benbow and many others. I guess we're just unfashionable at the moment.

I tried to get our local PBS to visit some of the many open mikes in the area but they couldn't even be bothered to reply.

Do you think if we all got 10000 watt amps they might hear us?


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: Declan
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 12:49 PM

Guest,

I know loads of people who you would describe as "Pure Droppers" and I've never ever heard one of them giving out about the Everly Brothers appearing on Bringing it all Back Home. Most of the ones I know were delighted to have any program featuring traditional music on the Television, although there's a lot more around since TG4 started.


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: GUEST,Don Meixner
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 04:09 PM

One of my fondest memories of Folk on TV was watching Bob Gibson and Erik Darling on the Lorenzo and Henrietta Music Show.   The show ran maybe a week and half but LOrenzo and Henrietta were by God good singers and adding Bob Gibson and Erik Darling to the list was great.

I must have been their only legit fan. My write in campaigne to save the show failed unfortunately. I was forced to watch Ryan's Fancy on the CBC there after.

Don, at work


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 05:35 PM

Heather remembers watching Robin Hall and Jimmie MacGregor on Scottish TV.

Don, I remember vaguely the Lorenzo and Henrietta Music show....but never watched it. Bugger, Erik Darling's one of my favourite musicians.

I AM curious about whether local TV in California (or Washington State) featured any folk music.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 05:40 PM

My "earliest" folk memory on TV was watching Captain Kangaroo during the "folk boom". I distinctly remember hearing Sloop John B., Don't Let the Rain Come Down, Lemon Tree, Hole in the Bucket, and many other songs that fit into the folk genre.   Sure it was commercial songs geared for children, but I think it helped steer me towards folk music.


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 06:26 PM

All I know is, I find good music on TV all the time, whatever it may be called.

And I would LOVE to have a copy of that Canadian cartoon about the Log Driver, which tune (Log Driver's Waltz) caught me so good the first time it flew past me that I found I accurately remembered it, note for note, till I saw it again a year later.... because I whistled it for hours after hearing it so I would never forget it. What a thrill to find the words here, too!

Little is much when good music is in it. If I never heard another good piece, I could spend years learning what I have heard and seen just on TV.

I still have the old worn audiotape of a Folkstage performance WTTW-Chicago and a local radio station simulcast in the.... many years ago. (I was there in the audience for the taping, too. Gibson, Paxton, Josh White Jr., and Odetta.) And the songs and philosophies and sound still come out of my music now.

Anyone remember "Sing for the Song, Boys"?

Also have a great WTTW-Chi meatball-audio from a program of trad music done on fiddle and hammer dulcimer, by a local duo. Just happened to catch it as I was surfing.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: Big Mick
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 07:15 PM

Ron, I remember the same thing on Capt. Kangaroo. But it wasn't until I saw Pete Seger on The Smothers Brothers singing "Big Muddy", and understanding what he was putting across, that I knew that I wanted to sing this music.

Great thread, Rick.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: Nancy King
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 07:41 PM

I remember watching a program some years ago about Bascom Lamar Lundsford. Don't remember any details about who produced it or anything, but I do remember it was really good.

Also, wasn't the Weavers' reunion concert televised? Along with interviews with them?

I also remember seeing (or maybe I heard it on the radio...) an interview with Arlo Guthrie in which he stated that the Everly Brothers' music was folk music, because it's what folksingers sing when they get together to sing.

Cheers, Nancy


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 07:52 PM

Years ago, the summer before I went to college (1973) I was watching the beginning of a Tom Jones variety special. I was about to turn it off (not being a Tom Jones fan), when he announced that Tom Paxton was one of the guests. This was after the album Tom Paxton 6 had been released on Elektra. I don't remember the other guests, and wondered what Tom Paxton would sing. He performed "Who's Garden Was This?" Then, in the obligatory duet with Tom Jones, they sang a bowlderized version of "Saturday Night." As the applause died from that nubmer, Tom Paxton walked to a darked set and performed one of my favorite songs, "Jimmy Newman." I was surprised to see that played on ABC. A shame this sort of thing doesn't happen more often on major TV outlets.


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: johnross
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 08:48 PM

"Sesame Street" would occasionally have folksingers as guests--among them Pete Seeger and Michael Cooney.

Considering that the closest thing to a "variety show" on US network TV today is probably "Saturday Night Live", there's not much room for folk music except on some PBS stuff and maybe a cable channel or two.

As for local shows, they hardly exist at all anymore, except news and sports.

Anybody remember the shows made at the Philadelphia Folk Festival in oh, must have been about 1970 or '71?


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: Mr Happy
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 09:03 PM

s4c [wales] has a bit of folk on from timt 2 time- but its mostly all in welsh- still makes a change from all their shows about sheep!


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: van lingle
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 09:21 PM

Yeah Nancy King, I think you're thinking of "Wasn't That a Time" which used to air on PBS from time to time. It was a great show featuring the original lineup of The Weavers at their reunion concert, doing interviews and hanging out off stage if memory serves me. I think the video is still available somewhere. Maybe at Elderly Instruments. vl


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Dec 02 - 03:33 PM

Public libraries often carry PBS specials on video, so you might want to investigate inter-library loans if your local library doesn't have the one you are looking for.


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: Malachy
Date: 05 Dec 02 - 07:42 PM

I don't think I'm wrong in saying that we don't get Folk Music on TV (Satellite or otherwise)in the UK. Transatlantic Sessions was the last thing. Occasionally Jools Holland has a token folk artist on, but you have to listen to a lot of shite just to hear one song..I'm thinking of Linda Thompson..a few weeks back and that wasn't exactley brilliant. We haven't even been able to get CMT for the past 5 years or so....since they decided to leave Europe and concentrate on the 'Asian Market' whatever that meant !!!
I also notice that if I tune into channels 800 onwards on Sky Digital there is a wealth of Asian programs to be viewed. I'm not racist and hope I haven't appeared that way.. I actually have enjoyed some of the music and videos that I've seen on those channels. But is it too much to ask to have folk music or even C/W represented?
Mal...
going to bed before I write something even more stupid.


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: GUEST,jaze
Date: 05 Dec 02 - 08:26 PM

Anyone see Sharon,Lois and Bram's"Elephant Show". Eric Nagler was on it too. My kids loved that show.


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: GUEST,Bardford cookieless
Date: 05 Dec 02 - 08:56 PM

Hey WYSIWG - is this what your looking for? Looks like you have to buy one of the compilations (scroll down), or travel to Montreal to see this animation, but as far as I can tell, the videos are reasonably priced.

National Film board clicky

Cheers,
Bardford


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: Rapparee
Date: 05 Dec 02 - 09:23 PM

I was driving across the Mississippi River (on a bridge, I'm not that holy!) when Chicago's WLS (!) played the Clancy's "Brennan on the Moor." That did it; I was hooked.

The next year I started dating someone from Chicago, who introduced me to Ochs, Paxton and others. LPs with Bob Gibson, the Smothers, the New Christys, Pete Seeger, PP&M, Odetta, Bob Camp, were in the stores and my friends and I bought them, played them, learned the songs. When the Smothers Comedy Brothers Hour was on TV, we were glued to the set. And yes, I remember when Pete Seeger was on the show, and I remember him singing "Big Muddy."

I also remember discussions way back then, in the '60s, about the "commercial" versus the "real" singers. 'Tain't anything new.

Myself -- whatever gets folks interested in folk. If that's PP&M, I don't care. The music is the thing, and it can't be allowed to wither away.


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: GUEST,Don
Date: 06 Dec 02 - 09:22 AM

Speaking of "Brennan on the Moor", I have a very vague remembrance of hearing that song on an episode of the old Danny Thomas Show (aka "Make Room for Daddy".) In the episode, the Danny Thomas character was having some dealings with an Irish family (presumably "just off the boat"), who may have been related to the wife character (I'm sorry, but I can't remember the character's name nor the actress's name (Marjorie Lord??).) At one point, several of the family members broke into a rendition of "Brennan".

I wonder if the actors portraying the several grown sons of the family in that episode were in fact real singers?


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Dec 02 - 10:34 AM

And speaking of Chicago--there are still local broadcasts of folk music. WTTW in Chicago, for instance, broadcasts music events like this one from the Old Town School of Folk Music:

http://www.networkchicago.com/latinfest/

And speaking of Chicago and Old Town School of Folk Music, where is Frank Hamilton these days?

Seems as I recall, Studs Terkel had a show on in Chicago in the early or mid (?) 50s, which had folkies of the day on it.

Then there is HoundDog.tv (a cable show in Chicago):

http://www.hounddog.tv/

Chicago has long been a magnet and center of country folk music traditions, from the old WLS days of "National Barn Dance" which was one of the longest continuously running radio programs in American history, to a whole lotta honky tonk music, down to today's alt country music scene with folks like the Waco Brothers, Leftover Salmon, the Texas Rubies, etc. In fact, I wonder why it is so rare to see any of the newgrass and Americana roots/alt country artists discussed here in too often moribund and backward looking Mudcatville. Everyone is always bemoaning the fact that young people aren't getting involved in the music, especially the live music anymore.

Hello! I know tons of Chicago 20 somethings who are INCREDIBLY into this music. They are also addicted to baseball (the reincarnation and revival of Wrigleyville, just to "be there"), and really they aren't all that different from what we were like in the 60s so-called "folk" revival.

Now, I know Chicago is and always has been an incredibly vibrant music city, but I'm always god damned at how much the current Chicago newgrass/Americana roots/alt country music scene remains totally off the national radar, and a secret to the rest of the world.


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: Declan
Date: 06 Dec 02 - 10:46 AM

The Clancy Bros (& Tommy Makem) who popularised Brennan on the Moor were actors as well as musicians. I'm not familiar with the show you're talking about but if it was in the late 50s or early 60s, it may well have been them.


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 06 Dec 02 - 11:11 AM

Frank Hamilton (of Old Town, and The Weavers) lives in Florida (I believe) and has been a part of Mudcat for several years now.

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Dec 02 - 11:32 AM

Thanks Rick. I know where Frank lives, about the CD, and all that might fine stuff. But he hasn't been posting here at Mudcat in sometime, IIRC. And he knows a lot about the history of the American "folk scare" or "folk revival" and long before it, too.

I'm guessing he'd be a pretty good source of information about folk music on TV (especially that Studs Terkel show I mentioned) in Chicago in the 50s and 60s.


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: wysiwyg
Date: 06 Dec 02 - 11:34 AM

Guest, are you still in Chicago? Wish you'd join Mudcat so we could exchange PMs. My husband and I get back there several times a year and it would be great to get together.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: CET
Date: 06 Dec 02 - 10:34 PM

This is a bit of a thread creep, but I would like to know more about the Old Town School of Folk Music. I bought a great folk song book in a used book store a few months ago called "Songs of Man", edited by Norman Luboff and Win Stracke, who was associated with the School, and I have been wondering if it was still in operation.

Edmund


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: GUEST,Ceejay
Date: 07 Dec 02 - 09:50 AM

Ireland's TV Channel 'TG4' has several regular traditional music shows with the best of trad musicians but the Irish govt is cutting its funding to the channel.


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Dec 02 - 10:20 AM

CET, you can try tracking down this book:

Grayson, Lisa, ed. Biography of a Hunch: The History of Chicago's Legendary Old Town School of Folk Music. Chicago: Old Town School of Folk Music, Inc., 1992.

Their website is:

www.oldtownschool.org/

It is the largest and most comprehensive organization dedicated to folk and traditional music education and presentation in North America. Which makes it quite surprising that is so rarely mentioned here at Mudcat. A forum search using "Old Town School of Music" doesn't register a single hit.

An interesting note, Old Town School of Music received a Distinguished Building Award Citation of Merit for it's restoration of the old Hild Public Library (which now houses the adult education center known as the Chicago Folk Center). The shell of the 1929 Hild Public Library was inventively transformed into the nation's largest facility dedicated to folk music. The social center of the 43,000-square-foot building is a semi-circular performance hall, located where there were once four floors of library stacks. A thrust stage, encircled by a combination of cabaret and bench seating on two levels, provides an intimate setting where no audience member is more than 45 feet from performers. Two large sliding doors make the backstage wall disappear so that during the day the hall welcomes visitors and doubles as the school's café. Two restored WPA murals help celebrate the work and music of the common man.

You can view a picture of the stage and murals here:

http://www.aiachicago.org/special_features/1999_Design_Awards/DBA/winners/12.html

An interesting article about the school can be found here:

http://www.consciouschoice.com/culture/oldtownschool1304.html


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: CET
Date: 07 Dec 02 - 10:22 AM

Thanks, Guest.

CET


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Dec 02 - 12:05 PM

You are most welcome, CET.


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Dec 02 - 12:27 PM

Wesley,

I bet you were thinking of Tony Saletan from Boston. He plays a Pete Seeger style banjo.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 07 Dec 02 - 01:12 PM

Hi Rick,

Just a sunny hello from Georgia where we live now. We were just up in Chicago for the 45th anniversary of the Old Town School of Folk Music.
It now has 6500 people going through it's doors a week. We had a wonderful Friday night singing session in the art gallery with thirty or more people playing and singing together in three part harmony. The Saturday night concert was amazing to me. Everyone was asked to do just two songs. There was quite a variety of music in this wonderful facility (accoustically beautiful stage).Weavermania closed out the set with all of us on board leading the audience in Down By The Riverside.

I scratch my head in wonder! It started in the living room of the Greening Family from Oak Park Illinois where I was teaching a folk music class and met Win Stracke in early 1957. We opened our doors in November of '57.

I wish every city and town in the US (or even in the country for that matter) had an Old Town School of Folk Music.

Thanks for thinking of me.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Folk music (however you define it) on TV
From: Big Mick
Date: 08 Dec 02 - 12:33 AM

Frank, many of us think of you often. I brag to my friends in the business about the respected folkies that inhabit the place from time to time. Yours is one of the first names to come up, along with Sandy Paton, Art Thieme, Rick Fielding, Dan Milner, and others.

Great to hear from you, and I hope you are enjoying Georgia.

Mick


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