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The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)

musicmick 14 Jan 03 - 01:52 AM
GUEST 29 Dec 11 - 05:13 AM
GUEST,Jessica Bryan 06 Jun 14 - 12:46 AM
GUEST,Phil Nester 17 Jun 14 - 12:30 PM
GUEST,GUEST, Jerry Landis 17 Nov 14 - 12:28 PM
GUEST 03 Mar 15 - 12:02 AM
GUEST 23 Jul 15 - 08:30 PM
GUEST,Lin 24 Jul 15 - 02:04 AM
GUEST,Myra Chanin 09 Mar 16 - 03:50 AM
GUEST,Geri Mathews Kephart 28 Aug 16 - 12:09 AM
GUEST,Jane 27 Oct 16 - 03:58 PM
GUEST,GUEST 28 Jan 17 - 01:22 AM
GUEST,Pat Sharp 11 Mar 17 - 08:31 AM
GUEST,Lynne 27 May 17 - 01:27 AM
GUEST,angeline 27 Jun 17 - 12:52 PM
GUEST 27 Jun 17 - 04:59 PM
GUEST,Guest 19 Oct 17 - 04:31 PM
GUEST 15 Jan 18 - 11:10 PM
GUEST,Guest 16 Jan 18 - 09:26 PM
GUEST,bruce 09 Jul 18 - 11:14 PM
GUEST,Elliot 16 Aug 18 - 05:15 PM
EBarnacle 19 Aug 18 - 03:14 PM
GUEST,Liz Dougherty 15 Sep 18 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,Carol LeCoff 23 Oct 18 - 05:44 PM
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Subject: The Gilded Cage
From: musicmick
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 01:52 AM

In Philadelphia, back in the 50's, the center of the folksong revival was a coffeehouse called the Gilded Cage. Every Sunday afternoon, the front room was crowded with young, enthusiastic pickers and singers, eager to share and show their latest song finds. Many of the singers became professional performers who enriched the folk boom of the 60"s.
I was a regular at the Sunday sessions and at the weeknight jams in the back room. I would love to hear from other Cageniks.
BTW, The Cherry Tree club is presenting a reunion show in early February. They had one last year and the place was jammed and crammed with those who had been to the Cage and those who wished they had.


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Subject: RE: The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 05:13 AM

wish a place like the gilded cage could be again in philly!


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Subject: RE: The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)
From: GUEST,Jessica Bryan
Date: 06 Jun 14 - 12:46 AM

I lived for Sunday afternoons and evenings at "The Cage" from about 1965 until about 1969 when it closed. Some of the songs I learned to sing there I still perform. My best memory, other than the Italian pastries, was one Sunday when the Pennywhistlers came in and sat in different places in the front room. I had never heard of them. Then they all began to sing "Bright Morning Star" in harmony. I thought I was hearing the very angels from heaven. I live in Ashland, Oregon now, age 69 but still singing strong.


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Subject: RE: The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)
From: GUEST,Phil Nester
Date: 17 Jun 14 - 12:30 PM

I hung out at the Cage on Fridays or Saturdays when ever I could in 1964 and 1965. I loved listening to Esther Halpern sing in the back room. Loved the espresso and the food. I had been searching for the 45th Anniversary CD "Esther Halpern sings from the Gilded Cage" made in 2001 - a remake of her original album. I finally found one! It arrived yesterday from Kiev, Ukraine (Esther's parents came from the Ukraine).


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Subject: RE: The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)
From: GUEST,GUEST, Jerry Landis
Date: 17 Nov 14 - 12:28 PM

In the 1950s and early 1960s I lived above a deli at 128 S. 19th Street in Philadelphia, a block from Rittenhouse Square, and spent Sunday afternoons at the Gilded Cage. I now live in Berkeley, where there are a number of coffee houses in the university area, scattered among the Thai restaurants. How about the Philadelphia Folk Festival? I remember one year Joan Baez introduced a young kid she'd met - his name was Bob Dylan.


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Subject: RE: The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 12:02 AM

I hung out at the Gilded Cage for the music on Sunday afternoons when I was 15 or 16 (1958-1959). I lived in Lansdowne then, outside of Philly. I felt young, not hip, and not really a part of it, but I loved it. I remember being there at night, too - espresso in glass decanters and eclairs. I never tried the chocolate covered ants. I live in Grants Pass, OR now.

I also remember the Humoresque and the Second Fret. Though I wasn't there that night, I remember when Rizzo raided the Humoresque. My friends and I looked down on the Second Fret - too mainstream. But one night while I was there the Clancy Brothers dropped in by surprise, and that was something.


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Subject: RE: The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jul 15 - 08:30 PM

I too hung out at the Gilded Cage in the late 50's either on weekend evenings or Sunday afternoons. The least expensive pot of tea was $.40. The folksingers were always there with guitars and sing-alongs. The "back room" was for the in-crowd and the chess players and not for the younger people who thought the Cage was "it" in Philadelphia. Joan


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Subject: RE: The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)
From: GUEST,Lin
Date: 24 Jul 15 - 02:04 AM

Is there any old footage of any of the singers that were singing there in the 1960's? Were there any LP's ever released of a collection of different singers performing there?
Sounds like it was a great coffeehouse!
I wonder if Canadian folk singer, Bonnie Dobson ever played there?


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Subject: RE: The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)
From: GUEST,Myra Chanin
Date: 09 Mar 16 - 03:50 AM

Esther HALPERN not only sang she made great onion soup with her own chicken soup base


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Subject: RE: The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)
From: GUEST,Geri Mathews Kephart
Date: 28 Aug 16 - 12:09 AM

So happy to find this site. Grew up in center city and lived about 1.5 blocks away from the Cage. My friend and I got up the fortitude to enter and we're thrilled with the experience. An eclectic group and Sunday afternoon with group singing with guitar, Banjo and even a mandolin. Black clothes, long hair and cigarettes were important. Definitely a great place to socialize. Someone wrote about Rizzo's Raiders at the Huoresque and brought back a chuckle. And the person who lived over the old R&W deli brings memories of those very enchanted days.


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Subject: RE: The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)
From: GUEST,Jane
Date: 27 Oct 16 - 03:58 PM

Oh yes Oh Yes. My first experience as a teenager going someplace "cool". Put on my beret, got my smokes, and away I went. So good to remember.


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Subject: RE: The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)
From: GUEST,GUEST
Date: 28 Jan 17 - 01:22 AM

Spent many a night at the CAGE in '65 through '66 before I went SF and then found out I was DRAFTED.
Remember reading in the back, listened to Esther sing and others who came by
Best was seeing Buffy St Marie one night.
Wintertime my friend Patrick and I would travel the underground ( transport, El, Subway, Patco ) tunnels to get as close as we could and then hang out at an awesome place.
Thanks all for the memories1


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Subject: RE: The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)
From: GUEST,Pat Sharp
Date: 11 Mar 17 - 08:31 AM

Does anyone remember an art film illustrated in woodcuts, subject A Walt Whitman poem..... I hear America Singing " ??? I hope to find it archived somewhere.


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Subject: RE: The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)
From: GUEST,Lynne
Date: 27 May 17 - 01:27 AM

Remember maria and midnight at the oasis


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Subject: RE: The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)
From: GUEST,angeline
Date: 27 Jun 17 - 12:52 PM

We three would take the subway into center city to spend our time at the Gilded Cage. We were still in high school, but that did not stop us from going (sneaking out of the house) to drink "Cha" tea and listen to music. One of my favorite periods in my life. We met a lot of exciting people. Penny, Lisa,
and Jeannie


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Subject: RE: The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jun 17 - 04:59 PM

Great stories. I likewise grew up in/around Philly. Never made it to the Gilded Cage, but would cut school to public trans my way out to the Main Point https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Main_Point in Bryn Mawr. Caught some great shows there.

~ Steeleye Span on tour promoting their Parcel of Rogues album; at the end of the show they set down their instruments, walked past the mics to the front of the stage and delivered the title song acapella. Gave me chills.
~ Fingerstyle monster Paul Geremia opening for Jerry Jeff Walker.
~ Bonnie Raitt, Ramblin Jack Elliot,..

Of course the downside of growing up in Philly is that you become a cultural imperialist about cheesesteaks, hoagies, grinders, pizza, pretzels, water (wooder) ice,...


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Subject: RE: The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 19 Oct 17 - 04:31 PM

We hung out at the Gilded Cage 1965 -66. We were still in high school but would take the El and the subway surface car to 22nd & Market and then walk down to the Cage. Loved it. We met so many great people. Some great guys: Andy & Dave..... Remember drinking Grenadines.....


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Subject: RE: The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jan 18 - 11:10 PM

What was the address of the Gilded Cage?


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Subject: RE: The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 16 Jan 18 - 09:26 PM

It was at 21st and Rittenhouse. The building became the Friday, Saturday, Sunday restaurant.


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Subject: RE: The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)
From: GUEST,bruce
Date: 09 Jul 18 - 11:14 PM

how could I ever forget the gilded cage use to work at sam goodys all day then go to the cage at night also worked at electric factory nights not working always hung out at the cage had the best onion soup Ed and ESTHER what great people. the only bad thing I met my first wife there but that's my fault made great friends there harry levine chuck berlin irv Ronnie Jackson id say expect for nam the 60s were best time in my life


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Subject: RE: The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)
From: GUEST,Elliot
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 05:15 PM

Grew up in downtown Philly, moved to LA in early 50s, but returned to visit my mother in summers...spent almost every nite at the cage...anyone remember a singer, Ronnie Gilbert?


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Subject: RE: The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)
From: EBarnacle
Date: 19 Aug 18 - 03:14 PM

Yes, she is the last survivor of the original Weavers and a mentor to many.


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Subject: RE: The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)
From: GUEST,Liz Dougherty
Date: 15 Sep 18 - 06:39 PM

So glad I found this site. I often think of the Cage and wondered if it were still around. Used to go there when I was in high school('61-'65). Felt very hip riding the train in from Chestnut Hill (the old Pennsylvania RR). Also used to get homemade, hand-packed ice cream at the drug store on Locust. I moved from Philadelphia in 1969, and I still miss it!


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Subject: RE: The Gilded Cage (Philadelphia Coffee House)
From: GUEST,Carol LeCoff
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 05:44 PM

One of the go-go girls dancing in the suspended cages here in the early 60s


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