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Cynthia Gooding -- Information

Related threads:
Cynthia Gooding's Old English Folk (17)
Cynthia Gooding (3)


Don Firth 12 Sep 05 - 03:28 PM
John MacKenzie 12 Sep 05 - 03:36 PM
Midchuck 12 Sep 05 - 03:52 PM
johnross 12 Sep 05 - 07:28 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Sep 05 - 07:38 PM
Deckman 12 Sep 05 - 07:46 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 12 Sep 05 - 10:43 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 12 Sep 05 - 10:56 PM
johnross 12 Sep 05 - 11:42 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 13 Sep 05 - 12:13 PM
dick greenhaus 13 Sep 05 - 09:28 PM
Mrrzy 13 Sep 05 - 09:32 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 13 Sep 05 - 10:44 PM
Don Firth 14 Sep 05 - 01:39 PM
GUEST 14 Sep 05 - 09:27 PM
GUEST 10 May 10 - 04:08 PM
GUEST,Wally Macnow 10 May 10 - 04:43 PM
Deckman 10 May 10 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,JACR 23 Oct 10 - 02:49 PM
Thomas Stern 25 Oct 10 - 09:21 PM
Tannywheeler 26 Oct 10 - 09:16 PM
Roberto 27 Oct 10 - 04:12 AM
oldhippie 27 Oct 10 - 10:06 AM
oldhippie 27 Oct 10 - 11:42 AM
keberoxu 30 May 16 - 12:03 PM
keberoxu 30 May 16 - 04:04 PM
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Subject: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: Don Firth
Date: 12 Sep 05 - 03:28 PM

Back just a few moments after the Big Bang (early Fifties), when I first fell in with questionable companions and started singing folk songs, other than a few books, such as Folk Song U. S. A. by the Lomaxes and Carl Sandburg's American Song Bag, phonograph records were the main source of songs to learn. The first stack of records (10" LPs) that I brought home from Campus Music and Gallery on University Way included two by Burl Ives, one by Susan Reed, one by Richard Dyer-Bennet, Pete Seeger's Darling Corey record on Folkways—and The Queen of Hearts by Cynthia Gooding.

Cynthia Gooding made a number of records, most in English, but she was a multi-lingual singer and recorded Spanish, French, Italian, and Turkish folk songs as well. It came as no surprise when she and Theodore Bikel did a record together (A Young Man and a Maid: Love Songs of Many Lands on Elektra).

She was one helluva singer! I have never had the privilege of hearing her in person, but I know someone who wound up at a song fest with her in Idaho once. He was mightily impressed. In addition to her huge repertoire of songs and her very big voice, he said that she—a tall (six feet), slender redhead—was most impressive and agreeable to look upon.

She seems to have vanished sometime during the Sixties. At least I've heard nothing about her since then. Wanting to learn more about her, I googled her, hoping to find something such as an actual web site by or about her, or at least a bio and some information on her. A power-search here on Mudcat turned up the information that she died in 1984 (she wasn't that old!). But other than that, all I have been able to find are a number references to her records—and that apparently she had a radio program back in the Sixties and, at one time, she interviewed Bob Dylan. A google search turns up an estimated 12 x 1043 pages referring to this particular interview—but about Cynthia Gooding herself, I find diddly-squat!

Can anybody give me any information about her? Background, biography, that sort of thing?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 12 Sep 05 - 03:36 PM

Sad Don, I too remember the name from 'Way back when'
Giok


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: Midchuck
Date: 12 Sep 05 - 03:52 PM

"It came as no surprise when she and Theodore Bikel did a record together (A Young Man and a Maid: Love Songs of Many Lands on Elektra)."

I bought that record in college and still have it.

Interesting thing is that the Kinston Trio rather obviously stole Coplas offum it.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: johnross
Date: 12 Sep 05 - 07:28 PM

When the Internet doesn't produce results, the next step is to consult an actual book. In this case, Folksingers and Folksongs in North America, by Ray Lawless (1965 edition) has an entry on Cynthia Gooding. Here's a summary:

   Born Rochester, Minnesota August 12, 1924. Attended several fancy private girls' boarding schools, and "She considered going to college but instead went to live in Mexico for two years." [Reading between the lines, I'm guessing that she must have been something of a hell-raiser who did not change shools voluntarily]

She developed her interest in folksongs in Mexico while studying the guitar and the Spanish language Her first performance was on a Mexico City radio station in 1945 in a "good-will program sponsored by the American Embassy." Returned the the US in 1947, moved to New York and played at a cabaret called the Soho in Greenwich Village. "The place closed when I left to get married." Her husband was a Turkish engineer who worked for General Electric.

Performed around the eastern US for a dozen years, selecting repertoire in several languages. Collected many of her songs by "spending a great deal of time in the library." It's my sense that she was mostly doing concert recitals, rather than less formal folk music events.

Moving to another book, "Rainbow Quest; the Folk Music Revival & American Society 1940-1970," by Ronald D. Cohen, it appears that Gooding was part of the group of "International singers" who were based in New York in the 1950s. Others included Theo Bikel, the Clancy Brothers, Marta Schlamme and several Israeli singers. Jean Ritchie was also part of that group. From what I can reconstruct, this was a separate social scene from the younger singers who coalesced around Washington Square Park, but there was some interaction, and when Izzy Young and others began to produce concerts, they drew from both groups.

In Jac Holzman's "Follow The Music," his memoir of Elektra Records, he says, "Cynthia Gooding was the first artist I had a crush on. She was Amazon-tall, dark-haired, slener, with long legs you could just dies for. And piercingly intelligent." Gooding herself says, "Jac and [Cynthia's husband] Hassan got along very well because I don't think either of them thought what women had to say was terribly important. I don't think Jac would have recorded me except that my husband was a very good talker, and the two of them talked a lot. I think Jac liked what I sang but not neccissarily what I said."

Jean Ritchie (in Follow the Music): "Cynthia sang songs from different countries, but highly arranged and very elaborate. Great sort of flamenco licks on the guitar. She didn't sing them like a peasant, but they were ethnic songs to begin with. And she was very good as a singer."

Mark Abramson (also in FtM): "A commanding presence. Nothing prima donna about her, but very dignified. Later on I saw her at the Newport Folk Festival, which was always kind of bedlam and chaos, and when Cynthia performed, everybody quieted down, like, 'Oh, we'd better pay attention.' "

Don, please let me know if you want to borrow any of these books.


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Sep 05 - 07:38 PM

So- where is she now, if still alive?
I still have a fine 2-lp album of Mexican and Latin songs by her.


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: Deckman
Date: 12 Sep 05 - 07:46 PM

Don ... Very good questions ... and John ... very good answers! I also remember our mutual friend telling tales of his meeting with her ... about her great stature and presence. As I recall, it was at a hoot held in a high mountain fire lookout station in the never never land of Idaho ... in the fifties.

I also would appreciate any personal remeberences of her. CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 12 Sep 05 - 10:43 PM

According to a posting here at Mudcat [May Song,


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 12 Sep 05 - 10:56 PM

2nd try!
According to a posting here at Mudcat [May Song, 29 Mar 01], Ms Gooding had passed on about 10 years earlier. Also someone posted about 6 or 7 of her solo albums. Damn she was good! The archetype for Judy Henske, both vocally and in physical stature,---John


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: johnross
Date: 12 Sep 05 - 11:42 PM

Are you serious, John on the Coast? Other than their appearance, I can't think of two singers whose styles were farther apart than Cynthia Gooding and Judy Henske. Gooding was an erudite singer of songs in many languages who accompanied herself with a highly embellished guitar style; Henske was loud, brash and profane. About the only characteristic they had in common was "tall women."


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 12:13 PM

I still treasure Queen of Hearts. Every song a gem.

I liked Cynthia's Turkish, Spanish and Mexican stuff too. She had surprising command of it, considering she was not native to any of those musical cultures. As Jean Ritchie says, not an authentic singer. But a fine folk revivalist with a sometimes hot contralto who could have sung nearly anything. It's a wonder she didn't try to do folk-rock; she may not have liked the newer music, but she certainly had the verve, versatility and brass to do it.

She was a New York radio interviewer for a good many years, I believe. (WNYC? not sure.) Her Dylan interview gets all the press, but she had folksingers on her shows regularly, interviewed them, showcased their songs. It may be that she lost her own musical drive in the course of fostering others'.

She was a hell of a fine lady and a great spirit. I was not aware that she had passed away. Wonder what was the cause, illness, fast living, or...?

Guess I had hoped she was still hanging out in a garret someplace, with traces of her former musical talents, long legs, red (grey?) hair and all, and am sorry to find it's not so.

It's amazing how much of the 50s folk scene we all knew, loved, and moved in and out of has now become impossible to find out about. Somebody should have interviewed Gooding. Her life would make a book.

(To anticipate suggestions, No, I'm not going to write it. I'm already deep in the thickets of my full-length Paul Clayton biography, and sincerely plan never to write another.)

Bob


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 09:28 PM

Ah, the good old days of folk, when male singers were high tenors and females were baritones. Cynthia was a wonderful singer. Sadly, no CD re-releases as yet.


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: Mrrzy
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 09:32 PM

I have been SO looking for her stuff on CD - any possibility? We have her Faithful Lovers And Other Phenomena and Queen of Hearts albums and I've always wanted to know more of her songs... she really belts out Lillibulero!


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 10:44 PM

OK I take it back.


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Sep 05 - 01:39 PM

Thanks, everybody, especially johnross. That's exactly the kind of information I was looking for (apart from hearing that she's still alive and singin' up a storm somewhere).

Thanks for the offer of the loan of the books, John. I'll ponder the matter. Actually, beyond a collection of things such as the aforementioned Folk Song U. S. A. Sandbag's Songburg, and about twelve feet of bookshelf space containing song collections and academic stuff about the songs and their backgrounds (Sharp, several Lomaxes, Wells, Leach, et al, and a copy of Child on CD-ROM), plus a copy of Old Troubadour about Carl Sandburg that Bob the Deckman gifted me with a couple of years ago, lately I've been amassing books more about the performers and associated people themselves, such as Joan Baez's autobio And a Voice to Sing With, Positively 4th Street, Follow the Music, and When We Were Good (boy, I thought I wrote long, rambling, convoluted, opaque sentences until I read that sucker!).

I just finished reading The Mayor of MacDougal Street a couple of days ago. Absolutely fascinating! Apart from our different approaches to singing folk songs—around here, with records as our main sources of songs, the only models we had for how to sing the songs were what Dave Van Ronk referred to as "art singers" like Cynthia Gooding, Burl Ives, Richard Dyer Bennet, and Susan Reed (I don't know anybody around here who even heard about Smith's "Anthology of American Folk Music" until late in the Fifties, and most of us on coffee house pay were too penurious to afford it), whereas Van Ronk and most of the people he knew were into "roughening up" their voices in order to sound more "folk"—I find that he and I, even though on different sides of the country, are in remarkable agreement about many aspects of the folk scene and many of the people who inhabited it. I consider this a "must read" for anyone interested in "The Great Folk Scare" and the Fifties and Sixties folk scene in general.

John, I've made note of the books you mention above and I'm open to any other suggestions you might have. I can hear Barbara now: "More books!? You're ordering more books!??" Not that she, a certified and ordained book freak and world-class accumulator, can say much about my tendency to stuff more books into my personal library.

Thanks all! I'll be grateful for any more tidbits about Ms. Gooding that anyone can come up with.

Don Firth

P. S.   S'pose a letter-writing campaign could persuade Elektra (or somebody) to re-issue her records on CDs?


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Sep 05 - 09:27 PM

The sampler Electra CD "Follow the Music" (comes with Jac Holzman's book of the same name) has Cynthia gooding singing "The Sprig of Thyme"


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: GUEST
Date: 10 May 10 - 04:08 PM

Hi
I know that these posts are much older than mine, but I was looking up the lyrics to Queen Eleanor and then found this sight. Since Bikel and Gooding performed with so many other folk singers such as Joan Baezin an area in St. Louis called Gaslight Square , that is a very likely link up . The Crystal Palace was the main place for these acts, and, for those of you that love family link ups, it was owned by the Landesman family, whose children were Rocco, Knight, wyatt and Cliff. Want to have some real fun?? Look up these brothers, especially Rocco and Knight. and the rest of the whole family.

Gaslight , a true haven for beatnicks and coffeehouses, was razed in the past few years and is now high end condos. Only a very small exhibit of it is at the city museum in downtown St. Louis.


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: GUEST,Wally Macnow
Date: 10 May 10 - 04:43 PM

Would there be any legal problem if someone digitized and made her songs available on the net?


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: Deckman
Date: 10 May 10 - 04:46 PM

Not as far as I'm concerned ... or unless my check bounced! Bob(deckmanNelson


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: GUEST,JACR
Date: 23 Oct 10 - 02:49 PM

I have been searching for a copy of "The Queen of Hearts" for many years, as I have very fond memories of the many hours my entire family spent listening to Cynthia Gooding (and several other great folk singers) thanks to my father's incredible taste in music. Unfortunately none of my brothers of sisters can find that particular LP in the records they inherited. I have searched the internet, tons of record store archives and have even thought of trying to write to Jac Holzman to see if there is any chance of finding a copy.

I see in this thread that there are a few of you who have copies, and even a suggestion of digitizing and posting her songs, any chance of sharing the songs from "The Queen of Hearts"? (I did find "Faithful Lovers and Other Phenomena" on ITunes and purchased it).

Thanks,
Jane


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 09:21 PM

The 12" version of QUEEN OF HEARTS shows up frequently on eBay etc.,
sometimes at ridiculous prices, but if you are patient, I'm sure
a fairly priced copy will appear.

If anyone is interested, I will pull together a list of
her albums.

Best wishes, Thomas.


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 09:16 PM

My dad, John Henry Faulk, sometimes played her records on his CBS program in the '50s, before the blacklisting incident. Tw


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: Roberto
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 04:12 AM

GUEST JACR: I have the LP and put it on a CD-R, I can make and send a copy for you if you give me your address. PM me. R


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: oldhippie
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 10:06 AM

There is a CD of the Bob Dylan interview. Cynthia had Dylan as her guest on her WBAI NYC radio show "Folksingers Choice" March 11 1962. The CD is "Bob Dylan - Folksingers Choice" Yellow Dog Records YD-017 1992.


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: oldhippie
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 11:42 AM

above available here:
http://www.chromedreams.co.uk/bob-dylan---folk-singers-choice-733-p.asp


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 May 16 - 12:03 PM

Amazon.com lists Cynthia Gooding's Spanish, Mexican, and Turkish album as a compact disc from the Collector's Choice label.


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Subject: RE: Cynthia Gooding -- Information
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 May 16 - 04:04 PM

Ms. Gooding's husband was Turkish, and their daughters -- not sure of spelling, here -- were Aisha and Layla.


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