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Washington Square Memories

Related threads:
Review: Washington Square Memoirs- CD set (12)
Washington Square Memoirs (7)


michaelr 07 Jan 03 - 08:07 PM
Amos 07 Jan 03 - 08:31 PM
Joe Offer 07 Jan 03 - 08:42 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 07 Jan 03 - 09:04 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 07 Jan 03 - 10:20 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 08 Jan 03 - 12:18 AM
Art Thieme 08 Jan 03 - 11:52 AM
BH 08 Jan 03 - 06:49 PM
Amos 08 Jan 03 - 07:15 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 08 Jan 03 - 07:38 PM
michaelr 08 Jan 03 - 07:39 PM
Art Thieme 08 Jan 03 - 10:15 PM
Charley Noble 09 Jan 03 - 03:57 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 10 Jan 03 - 04:20 PM
dick greenhaus 10 Jan 03 - 06:15 PM
Amos 10 Jan 03 - 06:40 PM
BH 10 Jan 03 - 06:42 PM
Art Thieme 10 Jan 03 - 07:50 PM
BH 10 Jan 03 - 08:29 PM
John Hindsill 10 Jan 03 - 08:32 PM
BH 10 Jan 03 - 08:39 PM
Genie 10 Jan 03 - 11:21 PM
Art Thieme 11 Jan 03 - 12:03 AM
musicmick 11 Jan 03 - 02:39 AM
InOBU 11 Jan 03 - 07:10 AM
Big Mick 11 Jan 03 - 11:09 AM
Charley Noble 11 Jan 03 - 11:16 AM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 11 Jan 03 - 12:14 PM
Big Mick 11 Jan 03 - 12:19 PM
Tinker 11 Jan 03 - 12:35 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 11 Jan 03 - 05:56 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 11 Jan 03 - 06:34 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 11 Jan 03 - 06:44 PM
Art Thieme 11 Jan 03 - 10:17 PM
GUEST 12 Jan 03 - 01:47 AM
Francy 12 Jan 03 - 02:23 AM
musicmick 12 Jan 03 - 03:15 AM
JJ 12 Jan 03 - 09:44 AM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 12 Jan 03 - 11:55 AM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 12 Jan 03 - 11:57 AM
Peter T. 12 Jan 03 - 12:07 PM
Art Thieme 12 Jan 03 - 09:20 PM
musicmick 12 Jan 03 - 11:03 PM
Amos 12 Jan 03 - 11:39 PM
karen k 13 Jan 03 - 12:39 AM
Sandy Paton 13 Jan 03 - 02:04 AM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 13 Jan 03 - 03:13 PM
musicmick 14 Jan 03 - 01:39 AM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 14 Jan 03 - 02:54 PM
Steve-o 14 Jan 03 - 04:44 PM
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Subject: Washington Square Memories
From: michaelr
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 08:07 PM

Today I heard a radio ad for an upcoming concert featuring Loudon Wainwright III, John Hammond, Tom Paxton and Mike Seeger, called "Washington Square Memories".

While there must be a bazillion Washington Squares in the US, somehow I got the feeling this refers to the one in Greenwich Village, New York. Is this some sort of Great Folk Scare of the 1950s/60s nostalgia tour, do you think?

Ron Olesko, have you heard about this show?

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: Amos
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 08:31 PM

Well, WS in the Village was definitely one of the epicenters of the Great Folk Scare. It was a grand place to hang out on a sunny Sunday, because if you coudl strum a few chords you might end up playing along with just anyone, and there was a fine sense of free and easy affinity among strangers who showed up there.

I want to know who remembers the names of the leading instrument stores and playing sites in the neighborhood. I vaguely remember Folk City but there are many others I have forgotten.

A


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 08:42 PM

Click here for the press release from Rhino on the 3-CD set, Washington Square Memoirs. I have it, and really like it.
I'm guessing what Michael refers to is a concert tour connected to the CD set.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 09:04 PM

Michael,

I think it is just a tour put together by a promoter with good taste. It is a small tour featuring the gentleman you mentioned above. No connection with the Rhino CD that I am aware of, except I think each artist happens to be on it.   Yes, they are indeed referring to Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. Most of these artists have connections with the NYC folk scene of the early 60's, even Loudon. The tour is being billed as Washington Square Folk Festival. Sounds like fun.

Ron


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 10:20 PM

There was The Cafe Wha, The Cafe Bizarre, the Fat Black Pussycat, the Wha? and the best of the places, as far as I was concerened, The Gaslight Cafe. I have a few shots of McDougal Street, the Gaslight Folk Lore Center, and the Kettle of Fish that I came across recently. I'd e-mail them to someone to post here on Mudcat, if people would tell me who to send them to.

Tom Paxton's first record was on the Gaslight label, and Dave Van Ronk ran a Monday night Hootenanny (as much as possible, from the Kettle of Fish.) Certainly, there are books with the names of all the coffee houses somewhere..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 12:18 AM

Washington Square - one of the first and only pure BlueGrass tunes I learned on the banjo before tossing it back to my brother.

Yes, sweet memories.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: Art Thieme
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 11:52 AM

Good memories---

1964---Hit New York intending to be the next Van Ronk. Hung in Washington Square every Sunday I was there. Rode Statten Island Ferry for .05 --- left my guitar with Jose who sold hot dogs there on the boat. (We were trusting souls back then 'cause those were much cooler times.) Went to Central Park during the day & pretended to sunbathe but actually slept for 5 or 6 hours. Went back to the ferry, got my guitar, cleaned up in the john going over and back. Did a gig at Cafe Wha and passed the hat until closing time. Went to Horn and Hardardt automat with change I'd made that night for a meal. Walked the streets until sun-up. Got a standing-room-only ticket to see Richard Burton do Hamlet on Broadway---Lunt Fontayne Theater. The day of that show I traded that ticket for a just-returned third-row-center seat. Sat with the tuxedos and evening gowns after sleeping in the park for two weeks. Hung in Washington Square and soaked my feet in the fountain. Swapped music. Then back to sleep in Cen. Pk.-----back to the ferry----back to Cafe Wha. (Gaslight wouldn't even let me audition.) Repeat over and over for 3 weeks or so. Then a Grayhound Bus through the Blue Ridge to the Grand Ol' Opry and followed Hank Snow (my vocal hero then) from Nashville to his gig at the Illinois State Fair. Finally to Chicago and got a gig as assistant mgr. of the Old Town Folklore Center. That lasted from summer '64 through early '67---when Carol and I were married.

Just had our thirty-sixth anniversary on 1/3/2003. Carol gave me a DVD of Richard Burton doing a rehersal of that Hamlet. R.B. had ordered all the copies of that less than perfect film destroyed-----but one copy survived the purge. That is now available. I'd waited, patiently, for almost forty years for someone to find a copy, litigate it, and make it available.

This thread brought it all back. Thanks.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: BH
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 06:49 PM

And what a Hamlet it was!!! His Equus was no slouch either. Great memories of wonderful times---from the Village to the Theater---and let us not even talk of the pricing then.   

I could do a whole dissertation on the downhill slide of Bway. into just tourist attractions. Where, now, Off Bway offers the meat and potatoes (and the pricing).

Ah---the Horn and Hardart. Another fond memory. In fact there is now a book out about the enterprise by the grandaughter of Hardart. Fascinating---she and her co-author will a guest of mine on my TABLETALK program in Feb. (I will post a note later) to talk about the chain and its history. Oh to taste those baked beans and creamed spinach again---and then get coffee from those beautiful urns.

Before I wallow more in nostalgia I close thinking of which slot I should my nickel in for desert at the Automat.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: Amos
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 07:15 PM

Big round navel oranges under glass for a quarter, and shiny nickel plated machinery to make it come out, and the mystery of the men behind the little windows who woudl fill them up from behind, whose lives you could never know!

There were other strange gustatory adventures in the Village then, too -- Italian restaurants with redchecked table cloths and wax-coated Chianti bottles which really were Italian, the tablecloths hand-sewn by the mama who took the orders or stirred the pasta; and then, a legend in its own time, was the Chock Full O'Nuts cofeeshops with their unusual doughnuts, and little mom and pop lunchrooms where 85 cents would get you a Spanish omelette that could keep you walking for a week.

There were as many strange souls as there were strange foods, too. Strange disoriented musicians, blithe wrecks who would spout poetry or chalk art on the fly along some sidewalk, and the downtrodden survivors of the FOrties -- desperate shards of life wasted by tumults and contortions we could never really know. We were the rising youth, after all, and anything prior to 1944 or so was incomprehensible and suspect, while the future was irresistible -- a happy edge to be balanced on, as long as we could maintain the necessary innocence.

I went from there to North Beach, but that's another thread altogether!

A


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 07:38 PM

Washington Square Memoirs is actually a beautiful book, or hardcover booklet, with color photos throughout, and the three CDs are inserts. It retails for about fifty dollars. Worth it!


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: michaelr
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 07:39 PM

Wow -- them musta bin high times! Thanks for all the info and memories. Once again I feel I was born too late... but I'd be older now if I hadn't, so that's OK too.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: Art Thieme
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 10:15 PM

Jean,

How did you and George meet? That was New York, right? Washington Square must've been a big part of those times and memories for you both. So far from Viper, KY... But your real influence on N.Y. then made waves that still crash on those shores----and here at Mudcat as well. And Oscar Brand ! Two voices (yours and his) that I'd not've imagined would've worked so well together. But they did.

Art


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 03:57 PM

And the Jefferson Market with the beautiful displays of fruits and vegetables, and the ornate Court House itself now transformed into a library.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 04:20 PM

Art- thanks for your interest, and yes it is a fascinating story (for me), but I don't think it should take over this thread. Maybe I'll write to you personal-like? I did describe those days somewhat in the first chapter of DULCIMER PEOPLE,- but that's also pretty personal. We WERE often at the Washington Square sings of a Sunday; as a matter of fact, George did the "Young Mary Travers Singing," picture there, and the Jack Elliot shots that have been widely published. Somehow we never thought of photographing ourselves. And did you know that the police tried to shut down the Sunday sings?- made them illegal for awhile, but the music won out


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 06:15 PM

Gee-
Back in 1960 we were lamenting about how much better Washington Square had been ca. 1950. Remember Roger Sprung (or was it George) who held the precious permit.


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 06:40 PM

Jes' shows to go ya, Dick -- plus ca change, plus c'est la meme old chose.

A


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: BH
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 06:42 PM

As to the police shutting down the sings. Newbold Morris was the Parks commissioner then(and all in all a good one) who asked for this. Pete Seeger has a song about it on an old LP called---I believe--4 Sinners and 1 Saint (or something close). The song is about "Newbold the Bold". Very clever piece.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: Art Thieme
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 07:50 PM

I think it was on Pete's first BROADSIDE LP for Folkways. Or maybe the second one. As I think about it, it could've been on his first LP for Columbia---STORY SONGS.

So much for memory.

Art


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: BH
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 08:29 PM

I recall the title as something like---4 Saints and 1 Sinner---or 4 sinners and 1 saint. Newbold the Bold was always the one that struck me---having to do with the ban on folk singers in Wash. Sq. Fun song written in the style of a parody of an Elizabethian ballad as I recall. Or a spoof on the Robinhood legend.


Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: John Hindsill
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 08:32 PM

Like J.O., I too have this book/CD set; it's a terrific representation of the era. Just today received a brochure from UCLA fine arts programs. The Washington Square concert will be at Royce Hall on Jan. 25. Think I will try to catch it...I'll pass along a review if I do.
Happy new year to you all.


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: BH
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 08:39 PM

OK==Definitive answer now. The album is "3 Saints, 4 Sinners, and 6 Other People--Pete Seeger. It is on Columbia (folk Odyssey). The particular song about Newbold Morris ( my error) is Washington Square.

The original title of the album was "Story Songs". For whatever reasons Columbia's re issue changed the name to the above. More colorful certainly.

Pretty Boy Floyd is on there---I doubt he is the saint.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: Genie
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 11:21 PM

Amos, in 1962 and 1963, I spent summers in Greenwich Village.  I performed at Gerde's Folk City once at a "hootenanny" (i.e., an open mike), and once at a place on Bleeker St. (IIRC) called "The Dugout."  Jerry,  "The Fat Black Pussycat" coffeehouse was tucked away on a mid-block back street called "Minetta Lane" (where I lived in a 4th-floor walk-up walk-in closet  apartment in 1963); I don't think they had music then, but it was a great place to hang out and play chess and read and get away from the tourists (who couldn't find it).    The bigger names, of course, played at The Bitter End and The Village Gate, etc.  But those of us who didn't know a lot more than 3 chords (6 if you count relative minors) usually hung out at the fountain in Washington Square (or, in my case, at the Judson Student House at 4th and Thompson, where I lived in 1962) or tried to hit the hootenannies at Folk City.  There was also a place in the East Village where Theodore Bikel used to play, but I can't think of its name right now.  The cafe Wha? was about 3 blocks from the Judson Student House, and the Cafe Bizarre (featuring Brother Theodore) was 1 block away.  Ernie's Club (of "Catcher In The Rye" fame) was a stone's throw from my bedroom window in '62, and I would be 'lulled to sleep' by bump and gring music.

And, ah, yes!  the automat!  (I earned $55 a week that summer of 1962, but I could buy an egg salad sandwich for lunch for about 50 cents and coffee for about a dime.)  The real treat was to buy shaved Italian ices from the pushcart vendors around Washington Square.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: Art Thieme
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 12:03 AM

Genie,

I was sleeping in the park because I couldn't afford that "closet" you had been renting. I think I stayed there for 2 days and the cockroaches running across the floor made such a racket I just couldn't sleep there. I used to pretend they were racing. The one that won I'd kill first.

Art


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: musicmick
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 02:39 AM

Wow, somebody is old enough to remember Washington Square and the Sunday sessions. Roger Sprung (and his brother, George) were there but I think that Lionel Kilberg got the permit. It all started back in the mid 50's. Lionel lived in a crowded loft on Ave.B. Other regulars included Jerry Silverman (who wrote the Folksinger's Guitar Guide), Eric Weisberg, Steve Mandel (They played the banjo and guitar parts for the movie, DELIVERENCE), Mike Cohen (Guitarist for the Shanty Boys) and his brother John (The New Lost City Ramblers), Tom Paley, Roy Berkeley and, if memory serves, Cynthia Gooding, Dave VanRonk, Mark Silver, Artie Rose, Harry and Jeanie West, 4 String Arnie Feldman and a host of others who made my teenage a joy.
Later on, in the 60's, Tom Paxton, Marc Spolstra, Phil Ochs, Bobby Dylan and Buffy St. Marie immigrated and politicised the sessions, which was appropriate to their talents and the tenor of the times.


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: InOBU
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 07:10 AM

And in 64, there was I, playing in my brother's band, the Saint Marks Five, being alowed to reherce at the 5 Spot on the corner of St. Marks and 3rd, - under a whore house, still a whore house now owned by the famose Queen of Mean hotel chain... and going to ride bikes over to Washington Sq, with my pal, Ornette Dinardo Coleman, who had, as he put it, a serrious root beer jones, then over to the loft while Denny reherced with his dad for the Empty Fox Hole album, which won an award when releaced, while Sonja Sanchez the poet was my homeroom teacher at the Downtown Community School, and Martin Sobel was still in jail and his wife taught us math... and was looked up to because her husband was a real life Russian spy... and damn but those were great days... Larry


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: Big Mick
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 11:09 AM

This thread deserves special status as one of the best of The Mudcat.

Jean, I sure wish you would tell us that story, but I understand that it is personal. I am going to have to find a copy of DULCIMER PEOPLE.

Art, that is such a wonderful bit of your past.........I sure wish I could talk you into publishing that book....mebbe I need to come over and spend some time with a tape recorder.......hhhhmmmmmmmm.

Please go on, this is absolutely fascinating.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 11:16 AM

My mother grew up in Greenwich Village, across from the Jefferson County Courthouse, back in the 1920's and has some great memories of who was hanging out there then. Even one great dive where "real pirates" were the doormen!

My own first visit was with my big brother in the early 1960's, when we found our way up the stairs to some folk club or other where Leon Bibb and the Roof Top Singers were holding forth. We were shocked at how much the waiting staff charged for a coke but we were thrilled to hear the music live.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 12:14 PM

Usta' hang out there on Sunday afternoons. The Folklore Center on MacDougal Street run by Izzy Young was the place.

Mary Travers to be sure (The Amazon of WS), Roger Sprung, with his electric lightbulb in his banjo which lit up when he played fast, my buddy Erik Darling, Jack Elliott Adnopos, Fred Gerlach, the Leadbelly acolyte on 12-string, John Stewart, early on Woody would show up, Dave Sears, The Kossoy Sisters (from Astoria), Harry and Jeannie West (Virginia), Bob Gibson, who in those days played just guitar and sang "I Want To Go Back To Where I Come From" ......Theo Bikel never showed up there but had some great parties in Washington Square Village apartments, Micheal Saul...a great clawhammer banjo player, Woody Wachtel, ditto, of course John Cohen and Tom Paley (before the NLCR) were there, Guy Carawan, Lee Haring, Mike Vidor, Joe Jaffe (could sound just like Pete like Dave Sears), I think Mo Hirsch was there too...a great musician...and whoever you chose to hang out with. There were a lot of little cliques doing the music they liked the best.
Jerry Silverman, Ethel Raim (Pennywhistlers), and I think Freddie Hellerman might have shown up once in a while. Don't remember seeing Pete there much. Cafe Rienzis was a local hangout as well as Figaros on the corner of Bleeker and MacDougal. The Caracature had a back room for pickers. A lot of playing was done on the subways at that time.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: Big Mick
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 12:19 PM

I was waiting for you to chime in, Frank. I was sure you had hung out there.

Someone ought to drop Sandy a line and see if he has any recollections....think I will do that right now.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: Tinker
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 12:35 PM

Wow...


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 05:56 PM

I see that none of you remember that I was there- but the reason is that I was almost always too shy to sing then- George would urge me to, but I thought no one would hear my quiet voice so I was content with listening. You may remember that sort of pushy redhead with the big baby-carriage (our first son Peter Pickow, now ed-in chief at Music Sales), trying to get the babe in close to the music! It seemed to have worked, as he went on to become a fine guitar player, and did The Hammered Dulcimer, a book many players & teachers use, and has since written dozens of How-to-Play books for Oak, etc.

We lived in our first real apartment, corner of Bleeker and 7th Ave. South, on the top floor up two LONG flights of marble stairs (try that with a big baby-carriage). We got the apartment in 1951 through Frank Kleinholz the artist who had both pads on the top floor- one he kept for his studio; he let us have the one above the 7th Ave. Lafayette Bakery (YUM! The cookies baking used to kill me). Wonderful apartment with a huge skylight in the big livingroom, a large bedroom, a kitchen, bath and tiny foyer. The middle floor was the home of the Tamawa Club (only noisy on meeting nights), and the street walkthrough was a beautiful drugstore (The Village Drug?).

No children yet, (Pete was born in 1954), we went to little coffee houses near us,and to the Village Vanguard to hear Leadbelly, and Cynthia Gooding among others. Or sometimes, rent parties in Alan Block's loft. Alan and his wife gave me my first guitar, a small one they weren't using, because I had learned FOUR chords and they thought I ought to have a guitar as well as that strange instrument the dulcimer which no one had seen before (or very few). And other times, Sunday afternoon sings at Pete and Toshi's apartment (Toshi's Mom minded the baby upstairs), with fifteen or twenty of us would-be musicians crowded in.

In 1952 I had my Fulbright year abroad, collecting in England, Scotland and Ireland (another story). We rented out 88 7th Ave. So. to Jac Holzman, a young boy who was recording my singing as his first folk record for Elektra. He had a tiny music shop on 10th St., around the corner from us. I completed the recordings, George did the logo for Elektra, and photographed me for the cover (and did all of Elektra's covers for years afterward), and we left for England. The album came out while we were there, and Jac wrote to say he was thrilled with the sales- that he expected it to sell maybe 2000 copies!

Mid-1953, we came back home and soon after began with Lou Gordon to run the midnight folk concerts at Cherry Lane Theatre where two Irish actors were struggling to keep afloat, presenting Irish plays- they were Tom and Paddy Clancy, and after several concerts we pursuaded them to sing a song or two on one of the concerts (they kept insisting they didn't know any songs and weren't really singers). And that's another story...

And THEN the Washington Square sings began. So now you know a bit of the musical background (it IS personal, and only a very small part of what was going on in the Village then), and can see a corner of the stage that was set for the Washington Square revels!

With fond affection for those and these times and friends, Jean R.


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 06:34 PM

Hi Jean,

Great memories! No, I didn't know you were there at that time. I thought of the Ritchie family of the Cumberlands and that seemed so far away but I did hear tell of you when Guy, Jack and I were at a folk school in Kentucky. I remember Alan Block's Sandal Shop and Elaine Starkman had one too. Pete and Toshi in the Village would have been somewhere around late forties I think, before they moved to Beacon. I guess I remember Jac Holzman as a stockbroker who played flamenco guitar at some of the parties. You must remember Jean and Francesca Raskin, Those Were The Days, pun intended. I think your work with Oscar was later wasn't it? Oscar had the definitive radio show at the time, but there was also was it Les Claypool? Billy Faer had a radio show about that time too.



Dick Greenhaus was around WS when I was there. Dick, married to Kiki?
Still, Dick? Art Rosenbaum was there. The Traums were there, Happy and Artie.


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 06:44 PM

Anyway, the computer sent the message before I was finished.
Just wanted to say that you set the background for WS and you answered the thread the best, Jean.

Can't forget Glen Yarborough. Ed McCurdy lived nearby in a local hotel.   Had a chat with a young Bob Dylan in WS one afternoon.

Jean, were you around for the Alamanac hootenannies?

Great to hear from you on Mudcat.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: Art Thieme
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 10:17 PM

Frank, Jean has been at Mudcat for quite a while. Her name here is kytrad----. But, hell, you knew that, right? Yeah, I figured.

Ms. Jean, That first ten-inch LP pf yours has always been a favorite here. You signed it for me 25 years after it came out --- Might've been when I opened for you at Richard Harding's place upstairs at Belmont & Sheffield in Chicago---the Quiet Knight.

Art


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 01:47 AM

Well, as I told Mick in a short PM, I witnessed the scene in the Square a few times, but was always much too shy and much too intimidated by the instrumental skills displayed there to get any closer to the action than the outer edge of the listening crowd. This was in the mid 1950s. I was involved in a few off B'way (very far off) productions at a small theater called the 4th Street Theater. We did Shaw plays, just a few doors east of the great "Uncle Vanya" production that ran forever, seems like. Our "Man of Destiny" ran for eight months. Not bad for beginners.
    I did hang out a bit at Izzy Young's Folklore Center before it moved to the upstairs location on 6th Avenue, mostly gathering books. Stayed briefly in a really neat apartment on Minetta Lane, vacated temporarily by a playwrite who was away in California trying to become famous. Compared to the loft on the Bowery where I was actually living, it was pure luxury, and I saw no cockroaches there, Art.
    Didn't meet Jac Holzman until he was comfortably surrounded by walnut paneling on Bleecker Street (is that where Elektra was located in 1958?) . But Paul Clayton took me to meet Moe Ashe at Folkways in 1956. Not much of this relates to a Washington Square thread, but I did listen there a few times to the likes of Roger Sprung, Lionel Kilberg, and others. Wasn't it those two, along with Bob Carey, who made up the trio that first recorded "Tom Dooley" on a Stinson album, several years before the Kingston's recorded a remarkably similar take on the song?
    I've seen Roger many times since, of course, and Dave Sear was at one of Jerry Rasmussen's Stamford Museum festivals, possibly in the 80s, and was still sounding so much like Pete Seeger that people did double takes when they heard him. That may have been his curse, rather than a blessing.
    Oh, yes -- super photographer George Pickow took the cover shot for my Elektra album (1959), and Freddy Hellerman added some sophisticated guitar licks to some of the songs, far beyond anything I could play. I got to know Oscar Brand in 1960, but as Jean says, that's another story. My life took me to the west coast, then to England and Scotland, then to Colorado, then to Chicago, then to Vermont, so my memories are scattered elsewhere.
    Sandy


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: Francy
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 02:23 AM

I worked as a broiler cook at the old Brass Rail in Times Square in 1962 and 1963....played a little folk at a bar on 57th street off Times Square called Henry's and lived way uptown on W96th.....Spent many a day down on Bleeker and all around the village.....Looking back brings a bit o' mist to the old eyes.........Met Ed McCurdy in those days and got to know him a bit and so many others.....Frank of Toledo


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: musicmick
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 03:15 AM

I just remembered why I hung out at the Caricature. They used to have a late night bridge game in the front room. I couldn't afford to play in the after hours poker game at the Gaslight. The Village was a haven for young folksingers in the late 50's. Izzy Young's place was on 6th ave around the corner from Gerde's Folk City (that was the place to play in those days. Most of the other clubs were basket houses.) I stayed at Lionel's loft or at Roy Berkeley's apartment on Houston. I remember Jules, Paul Cadwell, Robin Roberts and Tex Koenig.
My God, were we really ever that young?


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: JJ
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 09:44 AM

For a map of the old folk clubs, try "Hoot!" by Robbie Woliver. I got a copy from my local library.

"Washington Square Memoirs" is a terrific set, but I have one question for Jean. Who is the other girl in the picture with Mary Travers?


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 11:55 AM

Hi Sandy,


"Roger Sprung, Lionel Kilberg, and others. Wasn't it those two, along with Bob Carey, who made up the trio that first recorded "Tom Dooley" on a Stinson album, several years before the Kingston's recorded a remarkably similar take on the song?"

No , Sandy, it was Erik Darling, Roger and Bob. Bob Carey was the one who put the "hiccup" in the song which the KT propelled to the "charts". They were the Folksay Trio for Asch-Stinson Records.

Hang down your head Tom (hiccup) Dooley.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 11:57 AM

Sorry to take up so much space here but.........Erik Darling is at work on his autobio of the times. Sure wish you would write yours, Jean. Your rich perspective would be a history lesson not to be missed!

Frank


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: Peter T.
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 12:07 PM

So that's who Peter Pickow is! I have about 5 of his great How To books. Never made the connection.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: Art Thieme
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 09:20 PM

TECH QUESTION____

I just scanned the cover of Sandy's first album and have those photos George did saved on a floppy. Can't figure out how to send it out as an attachment or as an e-mail though. Nowhere I go has that as an option----not tools or file or view anyhow. Sorry for my lack of compu-savvy

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: musicmick
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 11:03 PM

The trio that Roger and Lionel formed was called The Shanty Boys. The third member was Mike Cohen. Another trio from the Village was The Old Reliable String Band, which was composed of Tom Paley, Artie Rose and Roy Berkley. Tom and Roy had been charter members of The New Lost City Ramblers but Roy was replaced by Mike Seeger and,when Tom went to Europe, his place was taken by Tracey Schwartz. The best guitarists, at that time, were Jerry Silverman, Ray Bogislov, John Stauber, Millard Thomas, Dick Weissman and Carol Hunter. They worked as accompanyists for singers like Belafonte, Ives, Bibb. Their names are unknown today but they shouldn't be.


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: Amos
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 11:39 PM

Fred Hellerman was surely no slouch. I remember meeting him in a little beatnix abode in rural Connecticut rented by sculptor Sandy Jackson and his wife, and watching his magic fingers run that keyboard like it was a part of his body.

A


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: karen k
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 12:39 AM

Hope this thread just keeps going and going. Visited Washington Square a couple of times in the late 60's but I'm just a little young to have been there during the best of times mentioned above. Boy, this kind of thread is what Mudcat is all about for me. Thanks Jean, Art, Sandy and all the rest of you for great memories.

karen k


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 02:04 AM

Thanks, Frank, for the correction re: the Bob Carey Trio. It was the hiccup I was thinking about when I described their "Tom Dooley" as being remarkably similar to the later Kingston rendition.
    Paul Cadwell's gone now, but he was playing that fishing-line strung banjo well into his nineties. Used to see him at Indian Neck every year. Tex Koenig is gone, too. I met him when I did a concert at a small college in Colorado. I needed a set of silk-&-steel strings for my antique Washburn (the one now owned by Hedy West -- or was, the last time I saw it and her) and couldn't find one anywhere in town. Tex was a student at the college, majoring in gunsmithing, no less, and he offered me a set. Saw him once again in New York -- just ran into him on the street -- and then once again in Toronto before he died.
    Saw Robin Roberts at the 2002 NOMAD festival in Newtown, CT. She shared fond memories of Alan Lomax with us. I think we can thank Jack Langstaff for getting her there. And we can thank Jerry Epstein for getting Jack there. Jack played a great tape of Lomax addressing the crowd at the annual Cowboy Poetry gathering -- reminiscing and singing examples from the Lomax collection. Robin talked about her adventures collecting in Ireland with Alan. But all this is off-topic. Sorry.
    Sandy


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 03:13 PM

Yes, I neglected to say that one of the best hangouts for us folkies was Izzy Young's Folklore Center, a few doors down from Alan Block's sandal shop. We'd gather there spontaneously of an evening to sing and play, gossip, and occasionally buy a book or record- Izzy was a wonderful host. That all started on the very night of the opening of Izzy's place...I have color shots! Let's see, there was Happy Traum, Cynthia Gooding, Carolyn Hester, Molly Scott, Jerry Silverman,us (Jean & George), and one or two others I'll think of after awhile. Wasn't that a time!

If you're ever in Sweden, that's where Izzy's place is now. The address I have is Folklore Centrum, Wollmar YXKullsgat, AN 2 11850, Stockholm,Sweden. He may have moved from there by now...

Art, I do wish there was an online picture gallery. Anyway, one of those shots is in the background just before Disc Two, in Washington Memoires.


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: musicmick
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 01:39 AM

You bet Fred Hellerman was a fine guitarist. I should have included his name on that list. Speaking of Paul Cadwell, did any of you get to those great parties at his place in Queens? I have never forgotten the host of great musicians who played there.


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 02:54 PM

MusicMic, there were a few others. :) How about Erik Darling and Dick Rosmini? Billy Faer? Tom Paley? And plenty more. True, a lot were part-timers in the music biz but just as good as those who were in the spotlight.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Washington Square Memories
From: Steve-o
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 04:44 PM

What a wonderful thread!!! Thanks to all (and don't stop now...) for your great memories and stories. Being a west-coastie, I missed all of this amazing stuff. In the mid/late sixties I went to college with a few people who had been a part of the Washington Square scene, one of them being Bill Vanaver. Learned a lot of songs from him, heard some great stories, wished I had been a part of it all. My Southern California scene centered around The Ash Grove in Hollywood, the best place to hear all the great folk singers traveling around on the circuits in those days. I got to see and hear loads of them, and even picked with a few in the front room jam sessions. It was heavenly.....just on a much smaller scale. And at this point in time...heh heh heh...I've got tickets for the UCLA show!!!!!


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