At some time in my teen years my father's youngest brother, my Uncle Wink, asked Dad is he could take me to the Newport Folk Festival. I think my father's reply went something like, "If you think I am going to let you take my son to sleep on the beach with you and your beer drinking, pot smoking beatnik friends you are crazy."
After allowing things to settle Uncle Wink hatched Plan B. Could I spend the weekend with him and his wife? We'd go fishing, haul some lobsters, and go to the Farnsworth Marine Museum.
This was much more pleasing to father so on the appointed day he picked me up and ... we were off to the Newport folk festival to sleep on the beach while he and his beatnik friends drank beer and smoked pot. We also heard some of the best music ever produced by some of folks biggest performers.
Most of you have probably never heard of The Weavers. The Weavers were a folk group from New York City and were comprised of Ronnie Gilbert, Lee Hays, Fred Hellerman, and Pete Seeger. Most of you will only have heard of Pete.
In the first video below they perform their signiture song, Good Night, Irene.
The second video is from their Carnegie Hall Reunion and while you may not remember them, clearly thousands did. In the second song they sing Wimoweh. Please allow yourself a few moments to get past the beginning of this video to get to that performance. It will send a chill down your spine.
Lee Hayes died shortly after that performance and, in accorance with his wishes, his ashes were mixed in his compost pile.
If The Weaver's Reunion Concert ever airs on a PBS station in your area you owe it to yourself to watch it.
Good Night Irene