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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
balladeer Toronto Folk History (53* d) RE: Toronto Folk History 03 Apr 09


Hey Duke, great to see you here. Just for the record, the Sharon you mentioned above, spelled her last name T-R-O-S-T-I-N before she married Joe Hampson and made history with Sharon, Lois, and Bram.

And speaking of SL&B, back before Bram Morrison hooked up with Sharon and Lois, he had a lovely career as Alan Mills's guitar accompanist, and spent a lot of time on the road as a result. (You may recall Alan Mills was a great collector and performer of actual Canadian folk songs, unlike some of us who sang songs from everywhere and felt guilty about not doing enough to carry on the Canadian legacy - but that's another story.)

Circa 1960, The Bohemian Embassy in St. Nicholas Street was the place to be on a Sunday evening. The hootenanny that happened there was extraordinary by today's open-stage standards. Sometime in the last year or two, before his very sad and too-early passing from this earth, Peter Kastner sent me a pencil-scratched program from one of those nights. It had his name and my name back-to-back, but also the names of folks like Amos Garrett and Bill Cosby and Gordon Lightfoot. If you were gigging in Toronto from in or out of town, you might stop by of a Sunday night and play a couple.

And that's how I met Bram. He had a night off from his steady gig with Alan and he chose to spend it hanging at the hoot. He backed me up on a couple of songs that night. Come to think of it, that's also how I met Amos. He accompanied me on The House of the Rising Sun on the Embassy stage the first time I sang it in public. It became my signature song until the Animals turned it into a mainstream monster hit. I lost interest in it after that.


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