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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Suffet Urban Folk Music of the 1960s (43) RE: Urban Folk Music of the 1960s 11 Jun 11

I was born in 1947, and except for two years when my family lived out of New York City, I grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens. I was not allowed to take the subway into Manhattan by myself until I turn 13, so I didn't really discover Washington Square Park until 1960. I quickly became fascinated with the folk singers around the fountain, and within two years I had bought myself a Harmony Stella guitar and a copy of Jerry Silverman's Beginning the Folk Guitar. I then began spending warm Sunday afternoons trying to immerse myself in the folk scene. Of course, I was only a kid who had to be home by dinnertime and get ready for school Monday morning.

Nevertheless, I did learn a lot of music, and pretty soon I began performing in several of the pass-the-basket coffee houses just south of Washington Square Park. That's something I continued to do off and on throughout the 1960s. By that time I had started hanging around the Broadside magazine apartment/office on the Upper West Side, and I participated in a couple of the informal hoots that Sis Cunningham and Gordon Friesen organized. I had already discovered folk scenes outside of Greenwich Village. These included the one centered on the Abmaphd coffee house near Hofstra University in Nassau County, Long Island, and another based around the Interlude coffee house in Kew Gardens, Queens. I even made a couple of pilgrimages to the Boston/Cambridge area and one to Philadelphia.

Quite a coming of age!

--- Steve

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