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Limeliters - background information

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HARMONY
HEY JIMMY JOE JOHN JIM JACK
THE BALLAD OF HARRY POLLITT


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Joe Offer 23 Apr 06 - 03:11 AM
John on the Sunset Coast 23 Apr 06 - 11:13 AM
Joe Offer 03 Apr 10 - 03:11 AM
Allan C. 03 Apr 10 - 06:32 AM
GUEST,Janet 03 Apr 10 - 11:57 AM
Acorn4 03 Apr 10 - 02:50 PM
Stringsinger 03 Apr 10 - 07:05 PM
pdq 03 Apr 10 - 07:14 PM
Reiver 2 03 Apr 10 - 07:43 PM
michaelr 03 Apr 10 - 09:06 PM
michaelr 03 Apr 10 - 09:09 PM
Joe Offer 03 Apr 10 - 09:34 PM
pdq 03 Apr 10 - 09:46 PM
pdq 04 Apr 10 - 01:11 PM
Stringsinger 05 Apr 10 - 12:43 PM
BrooklynJay 10 Apr 11 - 01:54 PM
GUEST 17 Sep 16 - 08:53 AM
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Subject: Limeliters - background information
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 03:11 AM

I see from the Limeliters Website that Alex Hassilev, the only remaining original member of the group, is retiring - after 47 years (the group was founded in 1959). Tenor Glenn Yarbrough left the group early on (1963), and was replaced by a cycle of tenors - most significantly Ernie Sheldon, Red Grammer, and Rick Dougherty. The third founding member, Lou Gottlieb, stayed with the group until he died on July 11, 1996. I think the death of Gottlieb effectively ended the group, but Hassilev kept on keepin' on. I guess he's finally seen the writing on the wall, that the Limeliters are dead and it's time for Alex to retire.
The current members of the group are Gaylan Taylor, Andy Corwin, and Mack Bailey - has anybody ever heard of any of them? Oh, I see the group is now known as The Limeliters® - that registered copyright symbol just kills me. They're no longer a music group - they're a franchise.


Anybody have stories of the Limeliters they'd like to share?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Limeliters - background information
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 11:13 AM

Joe, other groups 'evolve' with time [is that a redundancy because evolve involves time?]. The Sons of the Pioneers haven't had an original member in 40 year. The Riders of the Purple Sage had the New RPS, and currently there is a new group with that name, and we have at least Hank Williams III. And what about all those 50s rock groups that have 2 or 3 incarnations touring at any giveen time. ---- John


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Subject: RE: Limeliters - background information
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 03:11 AM

I really enjoyed this YouTube Video. The yarmulkes add a dimension.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Limeliters - background information
From: Allan C.
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 06:32 AM

When I was just 13 years old my first guitar teacher, a Mrs. Ramos, in Rio de Janeiro, told me that Alex Hassilev was a student of hers just two years before I started with her. She remembered him as a good student who spoke some five languages with great facility. It was she who taught him, (and later, me) the song, "Curimao," which the Limelighters recorded not long after.


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Subject: RE: Limeliters - background information
From: GUEST,Janet
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 11:57 AM

I loved the original group and wore out the vinyl recording of Through Children's Eyes. I saw them when Red Grammer was a member. I think that was at the Warwick Musical Theater ("The Tent") in RI. That's now the site of a Lowe's hardware store.


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Subject: RE: Limeliters - background information
From: Acorn4
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 02:50 PM

I've still got a vinyl album called "We, The Tokens, Sing Folk" - they seem to have ploughed a similar furrough, renowned of course for those falsetto vocals later adopted by the Four Seasons and Beach Boys.


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Subject: RE: Limeliters - background information
From: Stringsinger
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 07:05 PM

Joe,

Ernie Sheldon is Ernie Leiberman who had a name change with the Limelighters
due to McCarthy's blacklist. He is an old friend, a songwriter par-excellence and has written some hits such as "Baby the Rain Must Fall" which Glen Yarborough did not like to do for some reason.

Lou Gottleib was a brilliant humorist, a PHD in musicology and a fine fellow.

Alex has a Russian background. "Gari Gari" was one of their songs. He also is a good
flamenco picker as well. He invented a kind of banjo pick that up-picks and frails (down-pick) at the same time. He plays some nice banjo on their records.

They were named for the Limelight Club (a folk place) in I think Denver.


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Subject: RE: Limeliters - background information
From: pdq
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 07:14 PM

I've still got a vinyl album called "We, The Tokens, Sing Folk"

Be a little bit careful with that album. Check with a record dealer as it was worth a fair amount of money at one time.


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Subject: RE: Limeliters - background information
From: Reiver 2
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 07:43 PM

My kid's favorite record was "The Limelighter's Trough Children's Eyes; Little-Folk Songs for Adults." OK, it was one of MY favorites, too! I still have the old LP which quotes the Limelighters, on the jacket, as calling it "...The Best Album We've Ever Been Associated With." I agree with Stringsinger that Lou Gottlieb was a brilliant humorist. That recording is a good example.

The Limelighters were not alone among folk groups in undergoing changes in personnel. The Kingston Trio comes to mind. And as I recall, even the Dubliners underwent several changes in personnel. Some groups were able to keep up the quality of their performances in spite of the changes, others were never quite as good in their reincarnations as the original. I've always had mixed feelings about carrying on the group name when the original performers were no longer together.

Reiver 2


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Subject: RE: Limeliters - background information
From: michaelr
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 09:06 PM

Lou Gottlieb bought some land here in Sonoma County (NorCal) with his Limeliters earnings and opened it up to all comers. There soon was a thriving hippie commune happening, until the sheriffs shut it down for building without permits. Gottlieb officially deeded his land to god so he could claim in court not to be the owner.

A couple of years ago, I was part of a musical "MorningStar" written by Nick Alva about that time.


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Subject: RE: Limeliters - background information
From: michaelr
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 09:09 PM

See here: MorningStar.


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Subject: RE: Limeliters - background information
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 09:34 PM

Hi, Frank -
I knew of ernie Sheldon mostly from Bring Me a Rose, and had forgotten about the Limeliters connection. I also didn't know that he and Ernie Leiberman were the same person. Thanks for tying the pieces together.
Was he as strong a tenor as Yarbrough, Grammer, and Dougherty?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Limeliters - background information
From: pdq
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 09:46 PM

At one time, Ernie Sheldon shared lead singing with Travis Edmonson as a member of the Gateway Singers, late 1950s.


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Subject: RE: Limeliters - background information
From: pdq
Date: 04 Apr 10 - 01:11 PM

Here is an article with a lot of great pictures at the Hungry i.

It was a reunion with Enrcio Banducci, Bob Shane and others in 2007.

Ernie Sheldon, Tom Lehrer and other were there also.

Sadly, John Stewart, Enrico Banducci and Travis Edmonson have all passed on since...

                                                                this Hungry i reunion


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Subject: RE: Limeliters - background information
From: Stringsinger
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 12:43 PM

Joe, I'm not sure Ernie would have called himself a strong tenor. He had a pleasant voice and musicality for sure. His gifts were more as a lyricist but he could perform well as a singer/guitarist and did so in the earlier days with People's Artists along with Betty Sanders and others.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Limeliters - background information
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 01:54 PM

When Joe started this thread some years ago, he wanted to know if anyone had any stories about the Limeliters to share. This story is a bit different, and I'm hoping that perhaps some Mudcatters might be able to provide an answer to something that's puzzled me for thirty years.

Here's the story:

In early (February?) 1981, I saw an ad in the New York Daily News announcing that the Limeliters were going to play a gig at the Copa in New York City. I was thrilled - after all these years I would finally get the chance to see them in person. (They were a big musical influence on me, to put it mildly.) They would be there for a few weeks.

I looked at the announcement. They were to share the bill with the Kingston Trio, which was okay as far as I was concerned, but then I noticed that the ad said "The Limeliters," but underneath the name it then said "Glenn Yarbrough." I knew that Red Grammer had joined the group a few months before, having seen the Limeliters perform on a short-lived PBS interview show ("Over Easy" hosted by Mary Martin and Jim Hartz.) in late 1980. So I called the Copa. I was told that Yarbrough would not be singing with the Limeliters; he would do his own set. Alright, I guess; Red Grammer had a good tenor voice and I would still get to see Glenn Yarbrough, albeit as a solo performer.

Then, right before their gig, I came down with the flu for the first time in my life. Damn. I was quite ill and on my back for around two weeks. I wasn't going anywhere. As soon as I was ambulatory, I called the Copa to see about tickets - after all, there was still time to see the group - or so I thought. The man who answered the phone told me that the remainder of the gig had been cancelled. When I asked why, he said that ticket sales were not good and the engagement had ended early. I asked if there was any chance of their returning at some point, he said no and hinted that the Limeliters would probably never play NYC again (and I don't believe they ever did).

Well, I was heartbroken. There went my only chance to see the Limeliters in live performance.

Now, let's jump forward thirty years:

I recently went looking for Limeliters videos on YouTube and, MUCH to my surprise, there were several professionally shot videos from that very Copa gig! And, even more surprising, Glenn Yarbrough was singing with them, and not Red Grammer. Hassilev, Gottlieb and Yarbrough were in fine form and the venue certainly did not look like they were wanting for paying customers.

But there, on the page for one of the videos, I noticed a posted comment: Someone had also wanted to see the 1981 Copa gig and arrived there only to find the place closed and no Limeliters. He was quite upset as well, and wanted to know if anyone knew what had happened. I don't believe anyone responded to his post, but now I knew that I was not the only one baffled and disappointed by the unexplained "early termination" of their engagement.

So, I put this to the Mudcat community: Does anyone know what happened way back in 1981? I have to confess that even after thirty years, I'm still a bit sad about missing my only chance to see what turned out to be the last time (I believe) the original three Limeliters played NYC. Guess I'm lookin' for some closure...

Lou Gottlieb died in 1996, Alex Hassilev has retired and there seems to be some question as to where (and how) Glenn Yarbrough is today (see another thread on this topic). I've heard the new incarnation of the Limeliters, and while they are all quite competant musicians and vocalists, to me the group is now nothing more than a cover band "in the Limeliters' style."

So, can anyone shed a little light on this mystery?

Jay


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Subject: RE: Limeliters - background information
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Sep 16 - 08:53 AM

Glenn Yarbrough died in July or August, 2016. At one point in the '70's or '80's he made records again with the other two original members, Hassilev and Gottlieb.


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