mudcat.org: Life of Burl Ives
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Life of Burl Ives

DigiTrad:
LOLLIPOP TREE
THE LITTLE WHITE DUCK


Related threads:
Origins: The Lollipop Tree (26)
Burl Ives the musician (instrumentalist)? (46)
Burl Ives - Flying Clipper (film) (3)
Is Burl Ives underated? (42)
Burl Ives records: Historical America in Song (40)
Lyr Req: A Man Can't Grow Old (from Burl Ives) (20)
Lyr Req: I'm the Boss (from Burl Ives) (7)
Lyr Req: Sweet Little Robin (Burl Ives) (39)
Lyr Req: On the Front Porch (from Burl Ives) (13)
Burl Ives LP: A Collection of Songs from Burl Ives (27)
Lyr Req: Funny Little Show (Burl Ives) (4)
Burl Ives CD (12)
Lyr Req: Two-Car Garage (Burl Ives) (12)
Burl Ives experts? (27)
Burl Ives 'Were You There' (12)
Burl Ives Chautauqua DVD - photographs (2)
Lyr Req: Saxby Gale (from Burl Ives) (6)
Lyr Req: River of Smoke (from Burl Ives) (10)
Lyr Req: Silver and Gold (Burl Ives) (6)
Olde Burl Ives Records (5)
Burl Ives: story? (47)
Lyr Req: The Lollipop Tree (from Burl Ives) (16) (closed)
Lyr Req: Little White Duck (Burl Ives) (12)


Gary D in Central MN 25 Apr 97 - 10:44 PM
Gene Graham 26 Apr 97 - 03:52 AM
Bobby O'Brien 26 Apr 97 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,Alex Ives 23 Mar 09 - 10:41 AM
Dave Hanson 23 Mar 09 - 11:17 AM
Big Mick 23 Mar 09 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 23 Mar 09 - 11:25 AM
NormanD 23 Mar 09 - 02:00 PM
The Sandman 23 Mar 09 - 02:05 PM
Big Mick 23 Mar 09 - 02:18 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 23 Mar 09 - 02:19 PM
PoppaGator 23 Mar 09 - 02:29 PM
Ebbie 23 Mar 09 - 02:44 PM
GUEST,kendall 23 Mar 09 - 03:00 PM
DougR 23 Mar 09 - 03:09 PM
Don Firth 23 Mar 09 - 03:18 PM
The Sandman 23 Mar 09 - 04:48 PM
Little Hawk 23 Mar 09 - 04:57 PM
GUEST,DWR 23 Mar 09 - 06:29 PM
Big Mick 23 Mar 09 - 06:34 PM
Uncle_DaveO 23 Mar 09 - 06:56 PM
Sandra in Sydney 23 Mar 09 - 08:26 PM
DougR 24 Mar 09 - 01:38 AM
Fidjit 24 Mar 09 - 05:05 AM
DougR 24 Mar 09 - 05:03 PM
Don Firth 24 Mar 09 - 06:31 PM
GUEST,too scared 25 Mar 09 - 12:08 AM
Charley Noble 25 Mar 09 - 08:10 AM
JJ 25 Mar 09 - 08:49 AM
Thomas Stern 25 Mar 09 - 01:39 PM
DougR 25 Mar 09 - 02:22 PM
Don Firth 25 Mar 09 - 03:17 PM
DougR 25 Mar 09 - 03:41 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 25 Mar 09 - 04:58 PM
Thomas Stern 25 Mar 09 - 08:18 PM
Don Firth 25 Mar 09 - 09:07 PM
GUEST,Brian_Reese 25 Mar 09 - 10:54 PM
GUEST 26 Mar 09 - 04:44 AM
DougR 26 Mar 09 - 07:58 PM
JJ 27 Mar 09 - 07:56 AM
Skivee 20 Aug 09 - 01:26 AM
MGM·Lion 20 Aug 09 - 02:28 AM
MGM·Lion 20 Aug 09 - 02:41 AM
Howard Jones 20 Aug 09 - 04:20 AM
Stringsinger 20 Aug 09 - 09:34 AM
Skivee 20 Aug 09 - 11:52 AM
Arkie 20 Aug 09 - 01:59 PM
Stringsinger 21 Aug 09 - 10:47 AM
The Sandman 21 Aug 09 - 11:20 AM
dick greenhaus 21 Aug 09 - 11:23 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:








Subject: Life of Burl Ives
From: Gary D in Central MN
Date: 25 Apr 97 - 10:44 PM

I was much saddened by the death of this great folksinger last year. He was truly instrumental in molding my interest in music and I listened to his children's songs as a child, more than 50 years ago..and have loved his music all through the years. I know little of his life, and would like to get any background info on this ballad singer. Any help would be appreciated...Thanks, Gary.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Gene Graham
Date: 26 Apr 97 - 03:52 AM

Try these sites:

http://www.burlives.com/index.html

http://www.grandtimes.com/ives.html

http://www.burlives.com/personal.htm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Bobby O'Brien
Date: 26 Apr 97 - 06:58 AM

A few interesting tidbits on Burl Ives:

1. Though he recorded many a children's song, he HATED

children more than the plague!

2. He was a militant rebel against the US government in

his own way.

3. When asked what was his favourite song, of all he

recorded, he referenced a little known obscure ditty

found on an old Decca album from the early 60s, "I found

my best friend at the Dog Pound" !

Still, he's a legend. What a voice!

His final television appearance was in 1987 on Dolly

Parton's ABC-TV Variety Show, on her Christmas episode

in which Ives sang "Holly Jolly Christmas", and later,

in a sketch, played a mysterious ghost who appeared at

Dixie's Diner one Christmas Eve.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: GUEST,Alex Ives
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 10:41 AM

From what mine of expertise comes the fable that he hated children?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 11:17 AM

He also ' named ' people during the communist witch hunt, but I still liked his singing.

Dave H


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Big Mick
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 11:17 AM

Not sure where that came from either!

When I was in Washington DC once, I popped into the Library of Congress, Folklife section and ran into KarenK and Joe Hickerson. Joe asked me if I would sing a song. I said sure, but I didn't have a guitar. He said, "would you mind playing Burl Ives guitar?". I thought for a millisecond and said, "sure". Apparently Burl left one of his classical guitars to the library. It was tuned down a step, wide neck classical. I loved it.

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 11:25 AM

It is curious that this thread should manifest just now. I grew up in the 1940's and remember The Weavers and Burl Ives as early radio fare on our remote ranch. I can remember seeing him on early black and white television variety shows and later, of course, in a number of films; notably as "Big Daddy" in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." So who was he - the jolly fat man who sang children's songs or the dark and surly character he sometimes portrayed in film? I faintly recall reading some biographical information on him years ago, but cannot recall any accusations of his "hating children." Of course, he did have what many still refer to as his "dark side;" i.e., his stance during the McCarthy era. Anything's possible. I have met few show business folks over the years who were entirely what their public persona made them seem.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: NormanD
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 02:00 PM

Was it Lee Hays, in talking about Burl Ives's testimony against his former left-wing colleagues, say "he was the only person able to sing and crawl on his stomach at the same time"?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 02:05 PM

so, what exactly did Burl say.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Big Mick
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 02:18 PM

Captain, you need to google Burl Ives HUAC testimony. You will find many listings that detail this shameful time of our history.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 02:19 PM

Pete Seeger was one of the people he named. A few years before Ives passed, Pete joined Ives onstage and they sang "Blue Tail Fly" together.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: PoppaGator
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 02:29 PM

I only vaguely remember Burl as a singer; his recordings (and even video performances of his songs) don't get replayed on contemporary media hardly ever.

But as an actor? "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" is on TCM in heavy rotation; I haven't yet gotten tired of watching it, so I get to see Burl Ives as an actor on a regular basis, at least once every couple of months.

The film features great performances by Paul Newman and Liz Taylor, and Burl absolutely holds his own with those superstars in a large and important supporting role.

The real-life Burl Ives may or may not have "hated children" (a la W.C. Fields), but that nasty Big Daddy character he was able to portray so well was certainly capable of hating anyone and everyone!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Ebbie
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 02:44 PM

If Burl Ives hated children, I pity his children and grandchildren. :)


Photos


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 03:00 PM

He intruduced me to folk music mid 40's.
He was also in East of Eden with James Dean.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: DougR
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 03:09 PM

I am a fan of Burl Ives. My children were raised on his music. I only saw a live performance one time. He came on stage with his guitar, curtain at his back and entertained an audience of 800+ in grand style.

I, too, heard that he hated children but I'm not sure I didn't learn that on this thread back in 1997.

If Pete Seeger could forgive and forget, who am I to hold a grudge?

DougR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 03:18 PM

Burl Ives was the first folk singer I ever heard of back in the 1940s. I used to listen to his radio program, "The Wayfaring Stranger," when I was in my teens. I think I learned more about American history up close from him than I did in school. He would talk about something like, say, the building of the Erie Canal, and sing a bunch of songs related to it. When I first got actively interested in folk music, some of the first songs I learned were from his records.

Burl Ives' early autobiography, The Wayfaring Stranger (1948), is well worth a read. It's been awhile since I read it, but I particularly remember where he says that he was in New York studying music at a music conservatory and living with a number of other music students. He was studying to be a singer of lieder (art songs), but when he got homesick, he'd take out his guitar and sing some of the songs he had learned from his grandmother. The other students made fun of the songs and mocked him. So one afternoon, he took his guitar to a nearby park. He wasn't thinking of busking or anything like that, he just wanted to sing a bit with no one around but a few pigeons.

It wasn't long before a few children stopped to listen, then more and more people drifted in. Before long he was doing an impromptu concert for a sizable and very appreciative crowd.

He made a decision then. "Why am I killing myself trying to develop a repertoire of songs that are really foreign to me, language and all, when I already have a large repertoire of songs that I've been singing all my life?"

He dropped out of the conservatory and started singing folk songs, and the rest is history.

As I say, it's been awhile since I read the book and I may have got a detail or two wrong, but this is as I remember it.

Don Firth

P. S. Regarding the HUAC business:   well after the hearings, Woody Guthrie, who didn't seem to be into bearing grudges, dropped in on Burl Ives in California and they spent some time together, even swapping some songs. When Woody came back east, he was asked about Ives. Woody responded, "He's one angry man!" "What's he so angry about?" he was asked. Woody answered, "He's angry with himself!"

So, all things considered, I think that if those whom he harmed by his testimony can be forgiving, it wouldn't hurt us to be the same. Burl Ives was a major figure in American folk music and a real force in setting the stage early on for the revival of interest in folk music in the U. S.

P. P. S. The kids in the photos look happy to be with grandpa, and grandpa seems to be pretty tickled with them. Hated children? Unlikely.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 04:48 PM

but Burl was pressurised,was he not,the real villains were the US government and Senator McCarthy,Nixon?.
How much pressure was Burl put under?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 04:57 PM

A good deal, I would think.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: GUEST,DWR
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 06:29 PM

I think everyone should go back and look at the name of the person who resurrected this thread on 23 Mar 09 - 10:41 AM -- Alex Ives. I have no reason not to believe that this is Burl's son. I am sorry that he didn't stick around to refute the accusation. I hope he comes back; I am sure he would have just the right amount of expertise to fill in the answers to at least some of the questions that have been raised here.

From what mine of expertise comes the fable that he hated children? Sounds like that fills in one blank.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Big Mick
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 06:34 PM

I had the same impression, DWR. I felt like there were mountains of information behind that one statement, and that it was authentically Alex Ives.

Alex, if you read this, please jump back in. If you would prefer to share info privately, drop me a line. My email is Mick at Mudcat.org

All the best,

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 06:56 PM

TJ in San Diego asked:

So who was he - the jolly fat man who sang children's songs or the dark and surly character he sometimes portrayed in film?

The man was an actor, fergoonessake!

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 08:26 PM

Guest, Alex Ives also posted the same comment on another old Burl Ives thread.

I recently bought a sheet music booklet of Australian songs that Burl Ives sung.

sandra


Burl Ives' Folio of Australian Folk Songs' collected by Percy Jones & published in 1953.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: DougR
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 01:38 AM

I don't think anyone has mentioned the movie, "The Big Country" that featured Burl Ives, Gregory Peck, and a host of other good actors. He was excellent in that role, and if you haven't seen it, I certainly would recommend that you do so. I don't recall that he sang a single note in that movie, but he certainly played a pivotal role.

DougR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Fidjit
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 05:05 AM

He was "Big Daddy" in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Chas


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: DougR
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 05:03 PM

Other cast members of "The Big Country": Jean Simmons, Charles Bickford, and Charlton Heston. A very good Western movie.

DougR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Don Firth
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 06:31 PM

I'm most definitely with Doug on this! (How many times does that happen, Doug?)

The Big Country is what I consider the quintessential Western. It is big, it is sweeping, and it has everything, including all of the clichés one finds in a very satisfying Western:

A Stranger from back East, James McKay (Gregory Peck), formerly a seafaring man, comes out West to marry the rancher's (Charles Bickford) pretty daughter (Carroll Baker). Ranch foreman (Charlton Heston), is also in love with the rancher's daughter. There's a major fistfight out in the corral, but the outcome is not quite what one usually expects from this sort of dust-up. Pretty schoolmarm (Jean Simmons) whom all the males in the area are lusting after, not just because she's pretty, but because she owns some land that everybody wants. Major conflict between the wealthy rancher (Bickford) and the poor rancher Rufus Hannassey (Burl Ives) over—what else?—water rights! Hannassey has a batch of rowdy sons, but one of the sons, Buck (Chuck Connors) is a particularly nasty piece of work. The inevitable face to face shoot-out between McKay and Buck Hannassey (but not like any quick-draw shoot-out you've ever seen in any Western). The father-son love-hate interplay between Rufus Hannassey and his son Buck is particularly poignant and marvelously acted. And finally, the conflict over water rights escalates into an all-out range war, complete with face to face confrontation between the wealthy rancher and Rufus Hannassey. Here, too, the outcome is not quite what one usually expects, but the inevitability of it proves to be quite satisfying.

All of the characters are fine-drawn, essentially Western movie stereotypes, but each one has something that is uniquely un-stereotypical. And all of the clichés are there, but each one has an unusual twist that turns this movie into a genuine Classic.

And it is BIG. I bought the VHS version a few decades ago and it covers two cassettes. Two hours and forty-five minutes.

Thanks for the reminder, Doug! I've gotta watch it yet again. I'm going to replace the VHS with the DVD version. Definitely a keeper!

Most people are under the impression that Burl Ives got his Oscar for his bravura performance as "Big Daddy" in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. But no. It was for his portrayal of "Rufus Hannassey" in The Big Country. Bloody brilliant!!

Get it! Pig out!   Enjoy!!!

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: GUEST,too scared
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 12:08 AM

Burl Ives' singing was part of my introduction to folk music, which is still a major part of my life. Still, what he did was wrong. Turning people in to the anti-communist witch hunters meant destroying people's lives. You young people have no idea how scary it was. My father knew someone who lost his job because his picture was taken at a party with Julius and Ethel Rosenberg before they were accused of spying. This man had never met them before and never saw them again, but he was fired. People's lives were destroyed based on associations that would be considered innocuous in other circumstances.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 08:10 AM

Tony Kraber (cowboy songs) and Richard Dyer-Bennet (folk music troubadour) were two other singers who were named by Burl Ives as "Communists or fellow travelers."

Their musical careers were severely curtailed after the naming. Yes, Dyer-Bennet continued to perform concerts but in a much more narrow range of venues.

In contrast, the career of Burl Ives continued to flourish, a tribute to his outstanding talent but also to the marginalizing of other major folk music performers as the Weavers.

I still enjoy his singing but I have greater respect for those who didn't cave under pressure at the Committee hearings. It's one thing to confess to one's own involvement in "subversive" causes. It's quite another to name one's close friends and associates. I'm sure that Ives was haunted by his confessions.

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: JJ
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 08:49 AM

Ives' early professional work included a Broadway debut in Rodgers and Hart's The Boys From Syracuse in 1938. That early lieder training must have helped a young man not yet twenty land the role of the Tailor's Apprentice.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 01:39 PM

Burl Ives extensive acting credits are documented at the internet movie database (www.imdb.com) site.
I believe his role in OUR MAN IN HAVANA (1959) was in part a mea culpa for caving to HUAC. Would be greatly interested in others view on this.
If you do not know this film, it is well worth seeing (cast includes Alec Guinness, Ernie Kovacs, Noel Coward, and Burl Ives). A melancholy exploration of the insanity of cold war spying (later brilliantly lampooned in the 1972 French TALL BLONDE MAN WITH ONE BLACK SHOE).
Every discussion of the 'folk revival' among those who came to this
music in the 1940's-50's includes Burl Ives and Richard Dyer-Bennet.
Thier influence on the revival is imo likely the equal of the Harry Smith Anthology.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: DougR
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 02:22 PM

News Flash:DougR was transported to a nearby hospital early today by para-medics. They were summoned to his home by his wife who feared he had suffered a heart attack. When "R" recovered he admitted to hospital attendants that Don Firth's agreement with him on a subject triggered the attack. He is back home now resting up from his ordeal."
:>)
DougR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 03:17 PM

:-O   Jeez!

I'm really sorry about that, Doug!

I'll try not to let it happen again. . . .    ;-D

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: DougR
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 03:41 PM

I'm relatively sure it won't, Don
:>)
DougR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 04:58 PM

Though it's hinted in some of the posts above, I don't think most people recognize just how influential Burl was in the folk music revival. I've never been a strong defender of Ives, but it has to be recognized that he was the kingpin of folk at a crucial time around 1950.

The following is off the top of my head but generally accurate, I think.

He arrived in New York in the late 1930s and began recording on 78 rpm records, but the folk music breakout didn't happen until LPs and 45s came in c. 1950, and then Burl Ives records went over bigger than anyone's, even the Weavers with their early hit singles before they were blacklisted. He had numerous albums out on Decca and Columbia, and they had staying power, though though his first (and I think best) LP on Stinson never sold much. He must have had ten times the circulation of any other folk singer.

The blacklist is partly to blame for this (and yes, Ives must shoulder his share of the blame there). Not to take away in the least from the greatness of Pete Seeger, but due to the blacklist Pete and the Weavers, despite some great 1950-51 hits, did not have their greatest influence until after 1955. Singers who did keep working in those years, such as Susan Reed, Josh White, Dyer-Bennett, John Jacob Niles and Carl Sandburg, had their share of the market, but were left in the dust by Ives' mass sales and wider outreach.

So from 1950 to 1955 American folk music, to most people, meant Burl Ives, and folk singers then were expected to know "Burl Ives songs," for he had made them the standards. Here are just a few of the many songs he was the first to popularize and spread around widely:
Lavender Blue
Billy Boy
The Blue Tail Fly
Frog Went a-Courtin'
Cowboy's Lament (Streets of Laredo)
Little Mohee
Riddle Song
Paper of Pins
Sourwood Mountain
Barb'ry Allen (his spelling)
Lord Randall
Aunt Rhody
Old Blue
Down in the Valley
Lolly-Too-Dum
Careless Love
Erie Canal
Sweet Betsy From Pike
On Top of Old Smoky
Springfield Mountain
and of course his theme song Wayfaring Stranger.

Plus two genres that were great favorites of his: sea songs, and Irish songs. He published books of both, and they were featured strongly in his recordings and concerts. Sea songs included Blow the Man Down, Shenandoah, Drunken Sailor, Hullabaloo Belay, High Barbaree, Henry Martin, Golden Vanity and Haul Away Joe among many others.

Among his early Irish songs were Molly Malone, Foggy Foggy Dew,I Know My Love, I Know Where I'm Goin', The Praties They Grow Small, and Brennan on the Moor, but he later widened this part of his repertoire to include many more.

With his mellow voice and gentle manner he was perfect for the radio and TV programs of the time, one of the few who got wide circulation there.

A combination of circumstances led to his eclipse as a folk singer after 1955.

1. He put in much more time as an actor on stage and in Hollywood as that became his primary career.

2. He began recording non-folk songs -- light country, pop, novelty, etc.

3. He lost the allegiance of many in the folk community for his apostasy in naming names for HUAC.   

4. The folk boom he'd helped start brought along numerous new singers who became famous in their own right. (Including Pete Seeger, who heroically overcame the blacklist by creating a brushfire career not based in the entertainment industry but in college, public hall, and local performances.)

For those few years, though, as far as the wider public was concerned, Burl Ives WAS Mr. Folk Singer. That's a chapter in folk music history that isn't often recalled and should be. In fact he was so widely influential that a whole generation of kids growing up then had to consciously separate themselves from his influence -- just as happened with the "Little Seegers" and "Little Guthries" and "Little Baezes" later.

He's a towering figure who's been lost in the mill of later folksong history.

Bob


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 08:18 PM

The first BURL IVES folk album was the 1941 OKEH "Wayfaring Stranger" which has been in print continually since then, on Columbia 78s, then 10" LP, then 12" LP, then CD (Collectables).
The ASCH/Stinson album "The Wayfaring Stranger" from 1944 has similarly been readily available.
From the number of times I've seen it on eBay and other sources, I think the Stinson must have sold large numbers.
An excellent album of folk songs appeared c.1959, after many of pop material issued by United Artists "BALLADS with guitar" - worth seeking.
A few years ago, a 4-CD set "PHILCO's Friendly Troubadour" from his 1946-47 radio programme was issued by ECHO, readily available from the ususal sources - very interesting material.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 09:07 PM

Yeah, Doug, you're more than likely right about tha— !!

Oops! Sorry!   (Are you okay!??)

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: GUEST,Brian_Reese
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 10:54 PM

Woody Guthrie said: "Burl sings like he was born in lace drawers."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 04:44 AM

The Guthrie quote is interesting.

As a child I frequently heard (and then learned) Ives's version of "Big Rock Candy Mountain", as it was a popular play on UK radio in the 50s. It was only when I heard the original recorded version (the artist's name escapes me for the moment) that I realised how much had been lost in the Ives version - which I now look on as almost a parody.

But there's no denying his influence at the time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: DougR
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 07:58 PM

I barely recovered, Don.

DougR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: JJ
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 07:56 AM

Somewhere around here I still have the Burl Ives Columbia 45 (yellow label) with Little White Duck b/w Fooba Wooba John.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Skivee
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 01:26 AM

FYI I went down to the Library of Congress today and restrung Mr. Ives Hauser guitar. (strings donated by the House of Musical Traditions.)
I made sure to play some songs by folks hurt in the HUAC hearings in the process of bringing the strings up to pitch.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 02:28 AM

I interviwed Burl Ives for The Guardian [London & Manchester] of 7 Sep 1977 when he was over here for the Brighton Folk Festival, and found him one of the most charming, modest and co-operative of all my interviewees. One of the things he said in answer to one of my questions was, "I don't regard myself predominantly as a singer or an actor; I believe that actors regard me as a singer and singers as an actor." I also wrote his obit for the same paper some years later [15 April 1995], in which I quoted his story in Wayfaring Stranger of his dutiful visits to the Met Opera during his early days in NY: "One day while standing through a Wagnerian opera, the Almighty sent a ray of light through my skull, and I realised, 'This stinks'."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 02:41 AM

In fact, at the risk of appearing vain, I quote the end of my obit below, as it is not easy to access now, and it is a judgment which I would stand by and I believe has something to contribute to this thread: "A certain penchant for 'soupiness' [a word his own father had used of Ives's ventures into a more pop sort of music] persisted as an aspect of Burl Ives's work, especially later in his career, when the revival work of men like Ives, Josh White and Richard Dyer Bennett in the US and Elton Hayes in Britain, was superseded by the more energetic - and politicised - American singing of the likes of Pete Seeger, and the more authentic (and politicised) British singing of Ewan MacColl and A L Lloyd. Folk music eventually overtook Burl Ives and left him far behind. But his name remains one that folk people continue nevertheless peculiarly to honour." {The Guardian, 15 April 1995}


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Howard Jones
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 04:20 AM

Like many of my generation, grew up listening to Burl Ives on the radio with songs like "Big Rock Candy Mountain".

It was his book of Australian folk songs which led me into folk music. I had just learned a few chords on guitar, but pop music had gone all psychedelic and I couldn't play the latest hits. I found this book in my local music shop which had songs I could play.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Stringsinger
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 09:34 AM

Burl Ives could really sing. He also was faithful to the traditions of the songs he sang.
He did some damage with the HUAC.

There are so many fine performers who have questionable personal backgrounds
that range from ego aggrandizement to destruction of their lives and others.
It comes with the territory.

Burl Ives was an important model for young people who are picking up folk songs to re-interpret them for the public.

1. He could really sing in a powerful but sweet tenor voice.
2. He was a commanding entertainer who could elicit many encores.
3. He enlarged his talent as a fine actor. (Cat On A Hot Tin Roof)
4. He was versatile in his ability as a singer.

Woody's comment (if it is really true) belies his close association with Burl at the
beginning of both of their careers.

Burl's capitulation to the fascist HUAC is lamentable.

Frank Hamilton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Skivee
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 11:52 AM

It may easily seem that I was tarring Mr. Ives. He was an enormous talent, and was responsible for getting lots of folks interested in folk music.
We like to think that we all would make the right chioce in that situation, but that isn't what happens in the real world. The villans of the piece were HUAC members. Everybody else were victims, including Burl.
My tune choices were just an exersize in guitar karma balancing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Arkie
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 01:59 PM

I think my lifelong preference for folk music is due in large part to Burl Ives. Though my family could and did listen to all types of music shows on radio Burl Ives was always a favorite and my first exposure to folk songs. As a consequence one of the first lps I ever purchased was Burl Ives' Wayfaring Stranger. I took it off to college and it would draw the interest of other students whenever I played it. Many of the songs first heard on that record are still among my favorites. Ives was also one the main reasons I developed an interest in guitar. I still have that original lp now converted to CD and several other Burl Ives recordings as well. Folk music was a major focus of my life since childhood and I was fortunate to spend over 30 years before retirement in a field where folk, traditional, and historical music was a major focus. I am truly indebted to Burl Ives for opening a world before me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: Stringsinger
Date: 21 Aug 09 - 10:47 AM

Burl Ives was not a victim but a contributor to the goals of the HUAC. To say otherwise
is revisionist history.

. Still there was a choice
to enable it as we are now doing the the Insurance Mafia who bleeds the American people
through Private Taxation.

The idea that performers are not able to be responsible citizens and are just "victimized"
is risible.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Aug 09 - 11:20 AM

the American government of the time were to blame.
Burl does not come out of it well,but he should not have been put in that position.
why did the American government need to have a witch hunt?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Life of Burl Ives
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 21 Aug 09 - 11:23 AM

Putting his politics aside, it should be recognized that Burl Ives, for all practical purposes, invented the commercial music niche that's called Folk Music. Without Ives, there probably wouldn't have been a folk revival in the US.

If you haven't heard his singing, or haven't recently, I strongly urge you to give a listen to his first two albums, now available on CD: The Wayfaring Stranger and Return of the Wayfaring Stranger


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 23 October 4:52 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.