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Hootenanny!

GUEST,Big Red Guest 28 Jun 05 - 10:09 PM
Deckman 28 Jun 05 - 10:32 PM
Joe Offer 28 Jun 05 - 11:24 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 29 Jun 05 - 02:08 AM
GUEST,Matt_R 29 Jun 05 - 03:30 AM
Deckman 29 Jun 05 - 06:49 AM
Suffet 29 Jun 05 - 07:13 AM
Allan C. 29 Jun 05 - 08:24 AM
woodsie 29 Jun 05 - 08:34 AM
Rapparee 29 Jun 05 - 08:47 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 29 Jun 05 - 11:38 AM
PoppaGator 29 Jun 05 - 02:21 PM
GUEST,fretless 29 Jun 05 - 02:55 PM
Don Firth 29 Jun 05 - 02:57 PM
Don Firth 29 Jun 05 - 03:11 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 29 Jun 05 - 03:12 PM
PoppaGator 29 Jun 05 - 04:02 PM
Don Firth 29 Jun 05 - 04:27 PM
johnross 30 Jun 05 - 12:45 AM
LadyJean 30 Jun 05 - 12:53 AM
Mark Cohen 30 Jun 05 - 03:50 AM
GUEST,Don Firth (through the 'Cat flap) 30 Jun 05 - 12:16 PM
GUEST,Leadfingers (Also Cat Flapped) 30 Jun 05 - 12:51 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 01 Jul 05 - 10:47 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 01 Jul 05 - 11:11 AM
Deckman 01 Jul 05 - 03:19 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 01 Jul 05 - 03:28 PM
Mark Cohen 02 Jul 05 - 02:16 AM
Suffet 27 Dec 07 - 02:57 PM
Stringsinger 27 Dec 07 - 04:33 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 27 Dec 07 - 07:30 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 27 Dec 07 - 08:19 PM
GUEST,reggie miles 27 Dec 07 - 08:38 PM
Art Thieme 27 Dec 07 - 09:14 PM
Barry Finn 27 Dec 07 - 09:35 PM
Suffet 27 Dec 07 - 10:01 PM
PoppaGator 28 Dec 07 - 12:49 PM
Don Firth 28 Dec 07 - 01:49 PM
johnross 28 Dec 07 - 01:57 PM
Stringsinger 29 Dec 07 - 11:58 AM
Fred Maslan 29 Dec 07 - 08:04 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 29 Dec 07 - 10:45 PM
johnross 30 Dec 07 - 02:03 PM
topical tom 30 Dec 07 - 05:42 PM
Suffet 06 Jan 08 - 12:18 PM
Don Firth 06 Jan 08 - 01:42 PM
Suffet 06 Jan 08 - 09:31 PM
GUEST,Chris 09 Jan 08 - 04:51 PM
GUEST,Chris 09 Jan 08 - 04:57 PM
Suffet 18 Jan 08 - 12:51 AM
Suffet 22 Jan 08 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,Bubba MIller 20 Apr 16 - 07:18 PM
PHJim 21 Apr 16 - 12:01 PM
Jack Campin 21 Apr 16 - 02:08 PM
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Subject: Hootenanny!
From: GUEST,Big Red Guest
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 10:09 PM

Remember the 50's & 60's when the hootenanny was a staple on the college campus? It's still alive and well at the University of Tennessee. Check out http://www.cumberlandtrio.com
They are now offering a CD & DVD of their second re-union concert. The Cumberland Trio is joined by Taylor Pie (of Pozo-Seco fame and still a great folk star), Lou Wamp and others in a free-wheeling tribute to the "good old days." Together they show how to have a great time with folk music. Their web-site has samples and photos. Try it. It's a HOOT!


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 10:32 PM

"Hoots" happen in peoples living rooms! Bob


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 11:24 PM

Well, hootenannies did get kid of commercial on college campuses in the late 1960's. "Booking folk acts" sounds like heresy to many of us, but there was a time when people could actually make money making "folk" music.
Then they realized it wasn't really folk music, so they called it "singer-songwriter."
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 02:08 AM

I had my first NannyHoot in a remote log cabin referred to as "Alice's Restaurant."



Unfortunately, at the time, I was still welded to reading and used a music-stand and notation.



Fortunately, for me, they tolerated the accordian and my attempts to harmonize. What a wonderful experience. No alcohol present - coffee and cocoa until 4:00 a.m.



Sincerely,

Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: GUEST,Matt_R
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 03:30 AM

I thought this was gonna be about The Replacements :-(


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Deckman
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 06:49 AM

I'm so damned old that I think I'm seeing the 7th or 8th "revival" now! SSSHHHHEEEEEUUUUUHHHHH! Bob


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Suffet
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 07:13 AM

If the idea of a hootenanny was that a diverse group of folk musicians would get together for a joint performance, each doing his/her/their own music, but learning from one another, and perhaps backing each other up vocally or instrumentally, then hootenannies still do exist, but not necessarily by that name. Today hootenannies take the form of workshops, folk music weekends, a song circles, folk jams, or round robin concerts. Many of the events at participatory festivals such as NEFFA can be considered hootenannies, especially when several performers who may never have known each other are scheduled to do an event together.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Allan C.
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 08:24 AM

For a nostalgic look at the "who's who" of popular folk artists of the time as well as a few relative unknowns, have a look at this listing of the casts of each episode of the TV show, "Hootenanny."


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: woodsie
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 08:34 AM

Judy henske was involved in a movie of this i think?


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Rapparee
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 08:47 AM

So THAT'S what was going on while I was pounding gravel at Ft. Leonard Wood!

Geez, those cast listings bring back memories....


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 11:38 AM

Hootenanny was a nonsense word that Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie first heard in Seattle.   They brought it back east and tacked it onto the social gatherings that brought people together to sing. Hootenannys took place in various settings.

The DVD & CD that is mentioned in the first posting contains a clip from the old ABC-TV series "Hootenanny". The show traveled to various college campuses and mixed local talent with nationally known names. The Cumberland Trio were from Tennessee and they were a hit. After this appearance, they went into an RCA studio with Chet Atkins and made some memorable recordings.   Unfortunately, they decided to sign with another record label instead of RCA and things did not work out so well. The record company went bellup, and the Trio eventually disbanded.

A few years ago the Trio reunited for a concert at the University of Tennesse. The group sent me a copy of their reunion concert, plus a CD of their original RCA recordings. I was very impressed.   IF they had a bit more luck, I do believe we would have remembered the Cumberland Trio as we do other successful collegiate groups of the time - The Kingston Trio, The Highwaymen, Chad Mitchell, etc.   There had some beautiful original tunes that I feel stand up to any song from that era.    As for their reunion concert, you can see the genuine love for the music shine through. Unlike that cheesy PBS special where many of these groups walked through their songs, the Cumberland Trio really showed how much they loved what they are doing, and they are not doing it to make a buck like other groups of that era.   

I realize that this style of "folk" music is not to everyones likeing, especially with the traditionalists here on Mudcat. However, I find the Cumberland Trio to be a really refreshing reminder of what was GOOD about those times. It wasn't all commercial claptrap. There were people who were genuine in their love of the music, and while their performance may be a bit theatrical for some tastes - you can't argue with the fun they were having. Isn't that one of the best reasons to enjoy music?


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: PoppaGator
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 02:21 PM

woodsie:

There was a "B-movie" called Hootenanny Hoot produced during this period (i.e., a quickie film slapped together in a rush, in order to exploit a current pop-culture trend). Featured performers included Judy Henske, The Brothers Four, Shep Wooley, Johnny Cash, Joe and Eddie, and a few others I'm failing to remember. (Joe and Eddie, who I had completely forgotten, were excellent ~ it seemed to me that their performance held up over the years much better than anyone else's in the film.)

The plot was ridiculous, of course, and the "lead" actors are all now-long-forgotten nobodies, but the muical performances ~ most of them anyway ~ make the film worth a look.

I saw it on Turner Classic Movies several months ago (maybe as long as a year ago), so we can be fairly sure it'll pop up again on that channel sooner or later. There is some info on the internet ~ copies may be available for sale, but I know that it is not available for rental from Netflix.

There's another, older, Mudcat thread where this film is mentioned and discussed.


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: GUEST,fretless
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 02:55 PM

There's an extended trailer for Hootenanny Hoot on line at http://www.turnerclassicmovies.com/Multimedia/Popup/0,,76108|76109,00.html or here. No comment.


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 02:57 PM

Purist Alert! Purist Alert!

The original hootenannies, back in the Forties and Fifties, were gatherings of folk singers who got together to swap songs and generally jam. A very few of these were in halls such as the Friends Meeting House or the lounge in Eagleson Hall (the U. of W. student YM/YWCA), but the vast majority of them were in private homes. They were unstructured. There was lots of solo singing, some group songs, some sing-alongs, and often a chance for a beginner to try out his or her stuff in front of other singers and folks who were generally sympathetic, supportive, and helpful. There was no segregation of singers and non-singers—which is to say, it was not a "performer / audience" thing.

The point is, a hootenanny was (and still is, here in Seattle) an informal get-together of, by, and for folk-oriented singers and musicians. If others wanted to come and listen, as long as they weren't just "party-crashers" and behaved themselves, they were welcome:   including welcome to haul off and sing something if they wanted to (you never knew what might pop up!). There was no kind of admission charge. If any money changed hands at all, it was to kick in for the case of beer or the jug of cheap wine (the hoots at the Friends Meeting House and at Eagleson Hall were non-alcoholic, of course, which may account for private homes being the location of choice, although drinking was moderate and I rarely saw anyone get sloshed at a hoot).

As Ron says, Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie picked up the word in Seattle in the Forties. When they got back to New York, they started calling the Saturday afternoon gatherings at the house they shared with a whole bunch of other singers "hootenannies," and the word spread from there. Pete describes this in his book, The Incompleat Folksinger. The word meant "an informal gathering of folk singers." [Note:   I think Pete said that they did ask something like 35¢ (hat in the middle of the floor), because they were trying to get enough money together to pay the rent. Sort of like British "skiffle parties," to raise rent money.]

When, after the Kingston Trio's recording of "Tom Dooley" hit the charts in 1958 and the Pundits of Profit learned, to their surprise, that there was money to be made from folk music (if they could get around the fact that most of it is public domain), promoters began putting on multi-performer concerts (performers on stage, audience sitting in theater seats) and, in the manner of such carpetbaggers everywhere, they picked up the jargon without knowing or caring what it really means and called them "hootenannies." In 1963, ABC television started a half-hour program on Saturday nights featuring four acts in each show, and they called it "The ABC Hootenanny."

I make no comment about the quality of the performances;   that's another discussion. What I take issue with is the terminology. The shows were not "hootenannies." They were multi-performer concerts. But because this was their first exposure to the term, lots of people thought, and still think, that this is what a hootenanny is, and thus another perfectly good term gets usurped and corrupted by the forces of commercialism.

As Deckman says, with rare exceptions, "hoots" are held in private homes. If it's held in a hall or theater, and/or if you have to pay to get in, and/or if you can't bring your own guitar, banjo, nose-flute, or musical saw and jump in when the spirit moves you—it most emphatically is NOT a hootenanny, at least not the way the word was "traditionally" used.

Some people may quibble and squawk at this, but that, folks, is how and where the word got started. But words change with usage, and dictionaries often tend to reflect this. Merriam-Webster now defines "hootenanny" as "a gathering at which folksingers entertain often with the audience joining in." So I guess I'm tilting at windmills.

Don Firth

P. S. Etymology : Prior to its application to the folk music context, the word "hootenanny" was one of those made up terms like "thingamajig" or "whatchacallit" that people would use if they couldn't think of the correct word for something. Specifically, a "hootenanny" was defined as "a noisy contrivance of doubtful utility." Some unknown Seattle folky in the Thirties or Forties thought the term was appropriate for folk singers' get-togethers, started using that way, and Pete and Woody picked it up from there.


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 03:11 PM

I recall that when someone heard that Judy Henske had been in this movie and said they'd like to see it, Judy's response was, "Oh, God! Please! No!! Promise me you won't! No, no no!!"

Thanks for posting that link to the film clip, fretless. I didn't see it back then, I've been curious, and now all of my curiousity has been more than satisfied. I'm afraid I couldn't get through the entire movie without a large supply of airsick bags. . . .

Lest anybody get a false impression, that was most emphatically not the way things were back in the Sixties--except maybe in Hollywood!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 03:12 PM

"the word "hootenanny" was one of those made up terms like "thingamajig" or "whatchacallit" that people would use if they couldn't think of the correct word for something. Specifically, a "hootenanny" was defined as "a noisy contrivance of doubtful utility... Some unknown Seattle folky in the Thirties or Forties thought the term was appropriate for folk singers' get-togethers"

So Don, if you want to really be "pure", the word "Hootenanny" was usurped by some folkie in the 40's which technically makes those Seattle gatherings an illegal use of the word since that wasn't the "traditional" usage of the word!!!!

Not to be picky, but words have a tendancy to evolve. Festivals have changed dramatically since the first "Folk" festivals in the 1930's.

I do agree with you that the word "hootenanny" has changed since the original connection with folk music, but is it really that big of a deal???


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: PoppaGator
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 04:02 PM

Thanks, fretless, for the link to that trailer. It captures the worst qualities of the film quite well.

I had forgotten how awful the choreography was ~ the exact same dancing styles as in a bikini-beach-party movie! I suppose that, for a visual medium like cinema, performers standing or sitting still with their instruments were not going to cut it.

The songs were entertaining enough, and interesting at least from a historical perspective. Whether one wouldt be able to sit through the other stuff without gagging depends upon how highly refined one's sense of irony or "camp" might be.


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 04:27 PM

No, Ron, no big deal.

There is a legend about the eleventh century Danish king, Canute the Great. He is perhaps best remembered for his sitting on the beach and commanded the waves to recede.

According to the legend, he grew tired of flattery from his courtiers. When one such flatterer gushed that the king could even command the obedience of the sea, Canute attempted to proved him wrong by practical demonstration. He had his throne moved to the beach where he sat and ordered the tide to recede. Of course, it did not obey him. The point he was attempting to make was that even a king's powers have limits. Unfortunately, this legend is often misunderstood to mean that he believed himself so powerful that the natural elements would obey him, and that his failure to command the tides only made him look foolish.

Thus, like King Canute, sitting on my throne at the water's edge, I command the tide to recede, but of course, again like he, I am fully aware of the futility of my rant.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: johnross
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 12:45 AM

The earliest usage of "hootenanny" to describe a music event was in July of 1940 at Seattle's Polish Hall. It was a fundraiser for a lefty newspaper called the Washington New Dealer, whose editor was Terry Pettus. Pettus was a transplanted Indiana Hoosier, and he remembered the word from his youth. As others have noted in this thread, the older meaning was similar to a "thingamajig" or "whatchamacallit." The first event was a success, so they continued at least once a month for several years.

The earliest hootenannies were nonspecific social events, which could have been dances, singing sessions, potluck dinners or beer parties. Often some combination. If there was some visiting performer in town, they might include a stage show.

In 1941, Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie came through Seattle, played at one or more of the regular hootenannies, and took the idea and the name back with them to New York, where the Almanac Singers started their own hoots, which continued through the 1950s. But the first use of the word to describe a music event was definitely in Seattle.

Meantime, back in Seattle, the original Hoots continued and changed from being fundraisers for the New Dealer to house parties and other music-related gatherings. The events that Don Firth described upthread had evolved from the earlier fundraisers.

This is all documented in a paper by Peter Tamony called "Hootenanny: The Word, Its Content and Continuum," which includes a letter from Terry Pettus. It was originally published in Western Folklore (July 1963). It was reprinted in a 1967 collection called "The American Folk Scene" published by Dell Laurel.


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: LadyJean
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 12:53 AM

At School For Scottish Arts in Banner Elk North Carolina in the 1970s, we had Hootenannies. That was what the director, Miss Sally Sutherland, an amazingly prim spinster, called them. Now, I wonder how many alumnae of S.S.A. are catters.
If you're out there, I'd love to hear from you.


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 03:50 AM

No, no, no--a hootenanny is a mythical creature resulting from the mating of a male owl and a female goat. There was even a poem written about it, which begins: "The Owl and the Nanny Goat went to see/What they could do in a boat."

There used to be something called an "Old-Fashioned Hootenanny" held monthly at the Swallow Hill Folk Music Center in Denver. I went to one in 2000...it was basically an open mike. Not quite a concert, but not a house party, either. But nobody told Harry Tuft he couldn't call it a hootenanny.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: GUEST,Don Firth (through the 'Cat flap)
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 12:16 PM

John, thanks for filling in the details and clarifying things.

I learned the general history of hootenannies from Walt Robertson and Ken Prichard back in 1952, when they were planning the first hootenanny there'd been in some time. I'd heard the gag about a goat/owl hybrid as enunciated by Mark, above (I didn't know there was a poem; I heard it on a Spike Jones record), but Walt and Ken clued me in as to its application to gatherings of folk singers, and they did mention the connection with unions. Ken, incidentally, ran The Chalet restaurant in the U. District (basement of Eagleson Hall) where the hootenanny was held. That was the first one I ever attended, with my $10.00 apple-crate guitar and my repertoire of about eight songs. It wasn't until I read Seeger's The Incompleat Folksinger that I learned the term was first applied to such events here in Seattle.

[By the way, John, the Wi-Fi's working fine. Thanks a million! As soon as Barbara gets some of her activities organized, we'll give you a call.]

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: GUEST,Leadfingers (Also Cat Flapped)
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 12:51 PM

So thats where it all came from ! MY intro to 'Folk' was a BBC television show from 'The Place' in Edinburg called 'The Hootenanny Show' - A half hour of the early UK folkers every Saturday eveing in 1964 ! The Ian Campbel Folk Group (WITH Swarb) , The Corrie folk Trio with Paddie Bell , The Dubliners and just about every one else !!


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 01 Jul 05 - 10:47 AM

The Hootenanny Show hosted by Jack Linkletter was such a joke. Sure it showcased some of the popular acts of the time, but few of the meaningful ones. Controversy was taboo. Had that show been my introduction to folk music, I would have thought it was no big deal.

BTW, here in Los Angeles there is an hour folk show wherein many songs of the 50s & 60s are played. But the host provides no context for them, so they seem quaint. But I guess someting is better than naught. The program is Sunday Night Folk at 10pm on AM 870. Did I forget what day its on? Oh, it's in the name.---John Hindsill


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 01 Jul 05 - 11:11 AM

Hmmm.   Controversy was taboo?   Well, the show presented the Tarriers - and at the time it marked the first interacial group performing on network television. They allowed the Chad Mitchell Trio to sing some of their topical songs, including John Birch Society.   While Dylan wasn't there to sing it, I believe the show also offered the first network television airing of "Blowing in the Wind".

While there was a lot of "commercial" folk music mixed in, the program offered artists like Leon Bibb, Miriam Makeba, Josh White Jr., Doc Watson, Bill Monroe, Johnny Cash, Bonnie Dobson, Judy Collins, the New Lost City Ramblers (with Mike Seeger) and many others. For some, it was their first and perhaps only network television exposure. If it wasn't for the silly blacklist, which even Pete Seeger was against, perhaps folk music would have been more popular on television.   Sure networks make stupid decisions, but don't we all?


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Deckman
Date: 01 Jul 05 - 03:19 PM

I've enjoyed reading all these postings to this thread. I'm pleased to see the return of geniality.

At my advanced age (168), I finding it increasingly important to succeed in elevating myself any way possible. When I sneer, smugly I might add, at others' missuse of the term "Hoot", I can successfully feel superior to those that "were not there."

Please don't deny me any advantage I can garner ... my opportunites are seldonm these days! CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 01 Jul 05 - 03:28 PM

As long as a word has an application, it can't be misused. Luckily there are no copyrights on "hoot" or "hooteanny".   If there were, someone would have sued the first folksinger that stole it.


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 02 Jul 05 - 02:16 AM

Gotcha, Don. The poem was my idea.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Suffet
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 02:57 PM

Hold this date!

Hoot at the Yip!
NEW YORK HOOTENANNY
Round Robin Folk Song Fest

featuring

Joel Landy
Mimi LaValley
Anne Price
Steve Suffet

Saturday • February 23, 2008
8:00 to 10:00 PM
Yippie Museum Cafe
9 Bleecker Street
Between Elizabeth Street & the Bowery
New York, NY 10012

Phone: 212-677-5918
Website: www.yippiemuseum.org
No admission fee. No cover charge.
Tips and CD purchases are certainly welcome.

Be there!

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Stringsinger
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 04:33 PM

I think that the term was done before the 1940's. Bob Miller, a publisher and songwriter from the Thirties employed the word in a song he wrote called "Hootenanny,hootenanny,hootenanny hoot!" It can be heard on a CD compilation by Ron Cohen and Dave Samuelson of early labor, left-wing and union songs. It was performed in a show which we would today call a Hootenanny.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 07:30 PM

I stopped using the term even before they named a TV show after it.


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 08:19 PM

Pete Seeger appears to have been the thread into common vernacular.

We referred to ours as "Nannyhoots" (the "Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's" spontaneous infusion (they requested "musical housing for the night" each band member stayed at a different individual's abode and jammed with residents until nearly dawn) into the local community - previously related in another thread - created a fusion of energy that lasted years.))

J.E. Lighter's RHD Am. Slang
[orig. unkn.] 1. a comparatively small ting whose name is unkown or forgotten; a shatchamacallit; gadget; 9hence, rarely an inconsequential peron. (Lighter references 1929 to 1977)

2. a. any sort of informal social event or party 1940.

b. a performance of folk music, esp. by a number of artists with a degree of audience paricipation. Now colloq.

1957 P. Seeger om Sing Out! (Winter) 34: Another took a tapre recorder with her and set up amall hootenannies in courtry stores, and recorded the singing. 1960 Seeger & McColl Singing Island The kind of songs which are delighting audiences at concerts and hootenannies up and down Great Britain.


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: GUEST,reggie miles
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 08:38 PM

No offense to johnross or Peter Tamony and his work of research, which I've not been able to read yet, but in my brief research about the word online I found this link http://folkarchive.de/political.html that describes a song called, "The Hootenanny Song" by Miller's Bullfrog Entertainers. According to this reference Bob Miller recorded this song in NYC, NY in 1929. Apparently it has some political reference to the message as it's included in a compilation of political songs. I'm not familiar with this rendition. This seems to predate anything already presented both in this thread and in another of the same subject where we all had a good go round about this same subject.

In that thread I was more convinced that Texas Jim Lewis might have been the first to use the term as a musical reference to his washboard gizmo that he called Hootenanny Annie. He had been a cowboy performer in the western swing genre and had recorded his music as far back as the 1930s. His Hootnennay Song was even included in a cowboy film "The Stranger from Ponca City" (1947). He formed the Lone Star Cowboy Band in 1934 and had appeared in 11 Hollywood films. I surmised that Lewis's long musical history might have made him the earliest candiddate to attach a musical twist to the word but this Bob Miller reference seems to predate even Texas Jim's.


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 09:14 PM

The first hootenanny I attended was the Sunday afternoon matinee shows at the folk club called the Gate Of Horn at Chicago Ave. and Dearborn Streets in Chicago---circa 1959. There was a side bleacher area for folks too young for liquor.

The hosting act for those hootenannies was a trio called The Frets: Johnny Carbo, Louis MacDonald and Jim "Roger" McGuinn. The guest act that day was Odetta Felious---who was the main nighttime folk act at the club all that week. Bob Gibson showed up with his banjo (no guitar for Bob yet---way before the 12-string) and did a set too. Bob was the opening act for Odetta at that gig. Sandy Paton was on the show too. I was a senior in high school that year.

And Frank Hamilton, if my memory is right, was the house instrumentalist who played with anyone who wanted some backup.

From here, now, it seems like a whole other millennium ago!! Well, I guess it was, sort of, that.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Barry Finn
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 09:35 PM

Art, it was a whole other millennium. Glad you were there & in on it, to let us "others" know.

Thanks

Barry


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Suffet
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 10:01 PM

Greetings:

Whether we credit Bob Miller for his song, Terry Pettus for using the word to describe musical fundraising parties, or Pete Seeger for popularizing the word, I have been doing what I can to revive the hootenanny, mostly here in New York City. And by hootenanny I mean a multi-performer event which is more structured that a jam session or singaround, but less structured than a formal concert.

Each of my hootenannies has presented several folk musicians who take turns singing one or two songs at a time round robin style, with the other musicians remaining on-stage to provide vocal and/or instrumental accompaniment if asked to do so. I also encourage the audience to sing along on choruses and refrains -- not that there is anything I can do to stop them -- and I often call people out of the audience to come up and join the musicians on-stage for a song or two.

My attempts have included the annual Woody Guthrie Birthday Bash, which took place at CB's 313 Gallery from 2001 to 2006, and which was moved to the Bowery Poetry Club this year. They have also including the Midwinter Hoot held at CB's 313 Gallery in 2003 and 2004, the Hoot workshop that my band MacDougal Street Rent Party presented as a Philadelphia Folksong Society house concert in 2005, and the Halloween Hoot at the Baggot Inn in 2006. And now I'm honored to have been asked to produce the New York Hootenanny at the Yippie Museum Cafe this coming year.

The hootenanny to me is not some historical artifact. It is a living tradition of the urban folk scene that continues to this day. Come to the Yippie Museum Cafe on February 23 at 8:00 PM and see for yourself.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: PoppaGator
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 12:49 PM

Geez, I knew Art was an old-timer, but had no idea he dated back to when Odetta had a last name!


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 01:49 PM

Definitely not a "historical artifact," Steve. There have been hootenannies (or "hoots" for short) as I have described above--sometimes in public halls or meeting rooms, more often in private homes, in which there is no seperation between singers and audience--here in Seattle in an unbroken line since the first one I attended in 1952.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: johnross
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 01:57 PM

Reggie, if you're still in Seattle, you're welcome to come and both read the Tamony paper and listen to The Hootenanny Song. Send me a PM.

The notes to the Miller song in Songs For Political Action says: "...the word was long used as a folk expression; in the Midwest it referred to an impromptu party. But the concept of a "hootenanny" as a musical and social affair was generally limited to residents of Seattle. Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie are generally credited as the persons who made the concept popular in the east, although Seattle native Earl Robinson probably shared responsibility."

There is no question that the word had around before Terry Pettus used it for the New Dealer's events. Bob Miller, Texas Jim Lewis, and probably others had independently used the word. But it was the Seattle hootenannies and the Almanacs' copycat events in New York that but that led to the modern meaning as a folk music event.


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Stringsinger
Date: 29 Dec 07 - 11:58 AM

Pete Seeger once described to me as what he thought was an ideal Hootenanny. He saw it as a concert format in which the audience would participate by singing along. Pete didn't want it confined to just the popular notion of folk music. We discussed taking a jazz tune like "How High The Moon" and teaching the audience to sing a counter line while musicians on the stage or a singer would perform the song.

Pete may have learned the name from a Seattle event but this concept is probably more in line with how folk music is taught within a community. Often in a rural setting, singers were called upon to lead singing and the sense of participation came about because of the audience ownership and involvement of the music. This came through churches or back porch get-togethers where the music emphasized the uniqueness of that community.
This idea was certainly not invented in Seattle, although this label to describe this process that Pete and Woody had heard apparently started there.

This is what folk music really is, a sense of participation where the performer is part of the audience and attempts to involve them. This is in contrast to the concert performance where the audience is a spectator and the wall is built up between performer and listener.

The attempt to tear down the wall and allow singalongs, clapping, participation in movement and even leading to a dancing audience distinguishes the Hootenanny from other forms.
Maybe a rock concert might be a form of Hootenanny also or a street corner Do-Wop or hip-hop event also.

Folk music is like sand-lot baseball in that pure spectator sports lessens with the audience involvement.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Fred Maslan
Date: 29 Dec 07 - 08:04 PM

Nobody mentioned Sherif Tex, who had a regular childrens TV show in Seattle in the 50's, where he played his Hootenany a contraption made up of a washboard bells whistles and other things which made noise or music .


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 29 Dec 07 - 10:45 PM

Stringsinger-

Your explanation, directly reflects my experience at "the clove of the decades 60's-70's"...the performer desired to be closer to the roots...and gave the impression that the performer and audience were equals...the NGDB wanted to LEARN from the locals...added lyrics, new songs and riffs.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: johnross
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 02:03 PM

Fred, Sheriff Tex was Texas Jim Lewis. Same guy, different names.


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: topical tom
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 05:42 PM

You're bang on, Frank.The highest form of folk music ,to me, includes at least some audience participation.This is why, in my view, some of the greatest performers are people like Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, Odetta, Bill Staines, and many, many more.Pete Seeger always maintained that the love of music was one thing but singing and/or playing was the true treasure to be enjoyed.Nevertheless, as my wife maintains, everyone needs an audience.She neither sings nor plays but thoroughly enjoys the music.


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Suffet
Date: 06 Jan 08 - 12:18 PM

An evening of good old-fashioned acoustic folk music.
Some traditional, some contemporary, some in-between.


New York Hootenanny
Round Robin Songfest

featuring...

Joel Landy
Mimi LaValley
Anne Price
Steve Suffet

Saturday • February 23, 2008
8:00 to 10:00 PM
Yippie Museum Cafe
9 Bleecker Street • New York City

Between Elizabeth Street and the Bowery

212-677-5918 • www.yippiemuseum.org
No cover charge. Tips and CD purchases welcome.


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Jan 08 - 01:42 PM

Just a historical note, if I may. The hootenannies I attended didn't "feature" anyone. No seperation between performer and audience. Anyone there was a potential performer.

This may sound like pure chaos, but it wasn't.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Suffet
Date: 06 Jan 08 - 09:31 PM

Greetings:

From what I understand, Don describes the style of hootenannies that Terry Petus organized in Seattle. In other words, they were musical parties that may have had leaders who kept things going smootly, as well as some invited musicians so there would be a certain level of competence. In many ways, the picnic at Kytrad's house on Long Island this past August was a modern example of that kind of hootenanny.

By contrast, the hootenannies that I organize are modeled after the kind the Almanac Singers started in New York around 1941. They are essentially multi-performer mini-concerts, in which the performers provide vocal and instrumental accompaniment for one another, and in which the audience is encouraged to sing along. I often call upon people I know from the audience to join performers on-stage for a particular song, and I have sometimes even handed a guitar to someone and asked him or her to play along on a familiar song, such as This Train Is Bound for Glory. Nevertheless, in spite of their informality, the hootenannies that I produce are concerts, not sing arounds. That's why I am using the title New York Hootenanny to describe the one I am presenting on February 23. I may be wrong, but as far as I know, no one else is currently producing this kind of hoot in the USA.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: GUEST,Chris
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 04:51 PM


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: GUEST,Chris
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 04:57 PM

No, you're not the only one doing concerts like that. Maybe in New York, but not in the whole United States. Go out west and you will see that it's done a lot that way.


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Suffet
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 12:51 AM

Note personnel change for Feb. 23rd. Mimi LaValley needs to be in Los Angeles that day, so she had to bow out. Stepahnie Faul, a top notch singer and guitarist from Washington, DC, stepped in to take her place.

Here's how things now stand:

New York Hootenanny
Round Robin Songfest

featuring...

Stepahnie Faul
Joel Landy
Anne Price
Steve Suffet

Saturday • February 23, 2008
8:00 to 10:00 PM
Yippie Museum Cafe
9 Bleecker Street • New York City
Between Elizabeth Street and the Bowery

212-677-5918 • www.yippiemuseum.org

No cover charge. Tips and CD purchases welcome.

Be there!

--- Steve


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Subject: Hoot Gets the Boot!
From: Suffet
Date: 22 Jan 08 - 03:03 PM

Hoot Gets the Boot! NYC 2/23/08 show postponed!

Oh, such sad news. I just want to cry!

Our February 23 New York Hootenanny at the Yippie Museum Cafe ("Hoot at the Yip") has been pre-empted by a birthday party for the son of one of the museum founders. The little tike may be twenty-something and have his own rock'n'roll band, but we should all wish him a happy birthday just the same.

But be of good cheer, as you still have plenty of opportunities to hear me and the rest of the gang over and over again. Your first opportunity is coming up this very Friday, January 25, at 7:00 PM when Anne Price makes a solo New York appearance at the 169 Bar in Lower Manhattan. The address is 169 East Broadway, between Rutgers and Jefferson Streets. It was once a rough and tumble dive known as the Bloody Bucket. I've heard it's cleaned up its act, but please don't pass out on the floor. You just might wake up aboard a clipper ship heading down to Valparaiso.

Your next chance after that will be this coming weekend, January 25-27, when Joel Landy and I will be at the Peoples' Music Network Winter
Gathering in Boston and Brookline, MA. I believe each of us is leading a workshop -- at least I know I am -- but the schedule won't be available until we get there. That's pretty typical of PMN gatherings. Rather than being frustrating, it's actually pretty endearing, once you get used to it. For the latest details, please visit the PMN website: www.peoplesmusic.org

Then some time in the spring Anne and I will be performing at Eco-Fest on the campus of Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, NY, while Joel and I will be appearing at the New England Folk Festival (NEFFA) in Mansfield, MA. The festival dates are April 8-10 and April 25-27, respectively. I'll send you the details once they are finalized.

But here's a date you can be sure of. On Saturday, May 3, Joel Landy and I will be appearing at the Peoples' Voice Cafe in New York City from 8:00 to 10:30 PM. The cafe is moving to new digs next season, so this will be the last show for us at the Workmen's Circle Building at 45 East 33rd Street in Midtown Manhattan. Please be there!

So what about the Hoot at Yip? We will try to reschedule it for some time later in the year. Meanwhile, Joel Landy is still running the Thursday night Songs of Freedom shows there. Stephanie Faul is down in DC singing up a storm, and Mimi LaValley is all over the place, but especially in the young and hip nightspots of Brooklyn, NY.

Oh, just in case you're wondering, the Eighth Annual Woody Guthrie Birthday Bash will be back at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City on Sunday, July 13, from 7:00 to 9:30 PM. That's at 308 Bowery, right around the corner from the Yippie Museum Cafe.

Further down the line will be the Anne Price & Steve Suffet Awesome English Adventure this coming October. I will say more about it as the time approaches

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: GUEST,Bubba MIller
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 07:18 PM

I know this post is long dead but I felt I needed to put in the last word. :) Bob Miller's song "Hootenanny" is about an informal party with guests invited to perform songs. (This song was also released by Miller as "Jennie's Strawberry Festival".) It was included in Songs for Political Action because there is one line remarking on politicians.It was recorded in July of 1929 with his wife taking the part of "Jennie".
Curiously, there is a connection between Bob Miller and Pete Seeger. Pete was a member of the Almanac Singers, whose first publisher was ... Bob Miller. They were good friends as Bob had populists/left wing leanings and was very involved with the NY music scene through the 30's and 40's. So it's possible, though a stretch, that Pete heard the term hootenanny through Bob.
Bubba Miller, grand nephew of Bob Miller


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: PHJim
Date: 21 Apr 16 - 12:01 PM

I can see why Judy Henske regretted doing this movie.

Judy Henske sings Omie Wise

I felt that George Hamilton IV's performance was the least embarrassing in the movie and man, does he ever look young.


George Hamilton IV sings Abeline


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Subject: RE: Hootenanny!
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Apr 16 - 02:08 PM

Can anybody here lip-read? Was Henske on screen even singing the same song as on the soundtrack?


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