Carole King is an American singer-songwriter, active since 1958 as one of the staff songwriters at the Brill Building and as a solo artist. She is the most successful female songwriter of the latter half of the 20th century in the US, having written or co-written 118 pop hits on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1955 and 1999. King wrote 61 hits that charted in the UK, making her the most successful female songwriter on the UK singles charts between 1952 and 2005. King's major success began in the 1960s when she and her first husband, Gerry Goffin, wrote more than two dozen chart hits, many of which have become standards, for numerous artists, she has continued writing for other artists since then. King's success as a performer in her own right did not come until the 1970s, when she sang her own songs, accompanying herself on the piano, in a series of albums and concerts. After experiencing commercial disappointment with her debut album Writer, King scored her breakthrough with the album Tapestry, which topped the U.
S. album remained on the charts for more than six years. King has made 25 solo albums, the most successful being Tapestry, which held the record for most weeks at No. 1 by a female artist for more than 20 years. Her record sales were estimated at more than 75 million copies worldwide, she has won four Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her songwriting. She is the recipient of the 2013 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, the first woman to be so honored, she is a 2015 Kennedy Center Honoree. King was born Carol Joan Klein in February 1942 in Manhattan to a Jewish family, her mother, was a teacher, her father, Sidney N. Klein, was a firefighter for the New York City Fire Department. Sidney, a chemistry major, Eugenia, an English and drama major, met in an elevator when they were students at Brooklyn College in 1936, they married in 1937 during the last years of the Great Depression. Eugenia dropped out of college to run the household.
With the economy struggling, he took a more secure job as a firefighter in New York. After King was born, they remained in Brooklyn and were able to buy a small two-story duplex where they could rent out the upstairs for income. Eugenia had learned how to play piano as a child and, after buying a piano, would sometimes practice. Carol had an insatiable curiosity about music in general from the time she was about three years old, so her mother began teaching her some basic piano skills, but did not give Carol actual lessons; when Carol was four years old, her parents discovered she had developed a sense of absolute pitch, which enabled her to name a note by just hearing it. Sidney enjoyed showing off his daughter's skill to visiting friends: "My dad's smile was so broad that it encompassed the lower half of his face. I enjoyed making my father happy and getting the notes right."Carol's mother began giving her real music lessons when Carol was four years old. Carol would climb up on the stool and be raised higher by sitting on a phone book.
With her mother sitting alongside her, Carol was taught music theory and elementary piano technique, including how to read notation and execute proper note timing. King wanted to learn as much as possible: "My mother never forced me to practice, she didn't have to. I wanted so much to master the popular songs that poured out of the radio."Carol began kindergarten when she was four, but after her first year she was promoted directly to second grade because she had an exceptional facility with words and numbers. In the 1950s, she went to James Madison High School, she formed a band called the Co-Sines, changed her name to Carole King, made demo records with her friend Paul Simon for $25 a session. Her first official recording was the promotional single "The Right Girl", released by ABC-Paramount in 1958, which she wrote and sang to an arrangement by Don Costa, she attended Queens College, where she met Gerry Goffin, to become her songwriting partner. When she was 17, they married in a Jewish ceremony on Long Island in August 1959 after King had become pregnant with her first daughter, Louise.
They quit college and took daytime jobs, Goffin working as an assistant chemist and King as a secretary. They wrote songs together in the evening. Neil Sedaka, who had dated King when he was still in high school, had a hit in 1959 with "Oh! Carol". Goffin took the tune and wrote the playful response, "Oh! Neil", which King released as a single the same year; the B-side contained the Goffin-King song "A Very Special Boy". The single was not a success. After writing The Shirelles' Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit "Will You Love Me Tomorrow", the first No.1 hit by a black girl group and King gave up their daytime jobs to concentrate on writing. "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" became a standard. During the sixties, with King writing the music and Goffin the lyrics, the two wrote a string of classic songs for a variety of artists. King and Goffin were the songwriting team behind Don Kirshner's Dimension Records, which produced songs including "Chains", "The Loco-Motion" for their babysitter Little Eva, "It Might as Well Rain Until September" which King recorded herself in 1962—her first hit.
King would record a few follow-up singles in the wake of "September", but none of them sold much, her sporadic recording career was abandoned by 1966. Other songs of King's early period include "Half Way To Paradise" [Tony Orland
Richard Clare Danko was a Canadian musician, bassist and singer, best known as a member of The Band. Danko was born on December 29, 1943 in Blayney, Ontario, a farming community outside the town of Simcoe, the third of four sons in a musical family of Ukrainian descent, he grew up listening to live music at family gatherings and to country music, blues and R&B on the radio. He liked country music, his mother would let him stay up late to listen to the Grand Ole Opry on the radio, his musical influences included Hank Williams, the Carter Family and Sam Cooke. He drew inspiration from the music of his eldest brother, Junior. Danko's second-eldest brother, was an accomplished songwriter, his younger brother, Terry became a musician, he made his musical debut playing a four-string tenor banjo for his first-grade classmates. Danko formed the Rick Danko Band at the age of 12 or 13. By age 14, Danko had left the Simcoe Composite School and started playing local dance halls with his band the Starlights.
At 17 a five-year music veteran, he booked himself as the opening act for Ronnie Hawkins, an American rockabilly singer whose group, the Hawks, was considered one of the best in Canada. For years, it was erroneously reported that Danko was born on December 29, 1942. "It was a mistake and it just kept being reprinted," Danko said. "Nobody corrected it." Although he was born on December 29, the year of his birth was 1943. According to Rick's eldest brother, Rick was born at home, his parents did not file for a birth certificate right away; when they did get the certificate, it had the wrong year, 1942. The family never got around to changing it, young Rick used this earlier date to his benefit: It meant that he could get a driver's licence earlier, get into bars at a younger age, etc. Since the birth certificate was never changed, Rick's driver's licence contained the same date, and since those two official IDs contained the erroneous year, his headstone was marked with the same date, since there was no other official confirmation of the real date.
Another brother, Terry confirmed that Rick was born in 1943. Hawkins invited Danko to join the Hawks as rhythm guitarist. Around this time, Hawks bassist Rebel Paine was fired by Hawkins, wasting no time, ordered Danko to learn to play the bass, with help from other members of the band. By September 1960, he was Hawkins's bassist, using a Fender VI six-string bass switching to a Fender Jazz Bass. In 1961, Danko with drummer Levon Helm backed guitarist Lenny Breau on several tracks recorded at Hallmark Studios in Toronto; these tracks are included on the 2003 release The Hallmark Sessions. Soon joined by pianist Richard Manuel and organist and reedsman Garth Hudson, the Hawks played with Hawkins through mid-1963. An altercation that year between Danko and Hawkins led Danko, Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson and Hudson to give two-weeks' notice in early 1964, they parted ways with Hawkins on reasonably amicable terms; the group had been planning to leave Hawkins and strike out together as a band without a frontman, as a team of equal members.
Danko and the former Hawks performed as the Levon Helm Sextet, with saxophonist Jerry Penfound became the Canadian Squires, after Penfound left, were billed as Levon and the Hawks. Playing a circuit that stretched in an arc from Ontario to Arkansas, they became known as "the best damn bar band in the land."By 1965, with two singles under their belt, recorded as the Canadian Squires, they met the legendary blues harmonicist and vocalist Sonny Boy Williamson and planned a collaboration with him as soon as he returned to Chicago. The group went on to play a four-month stand of gigs in New Jersey afterward, but Williamson died two months after their meeting, the collaboration never happened. In August 1965, Mary Martin, an assistant to Bob Dylan's manager Albert Grossman, heard the music of the group known as Levon and the Hawks. Grossman introduced the band's music to Dylan, impressed; the group was performing at Tony Mart's, a popular club in Somers Point, New Jersey, Grossman's office called the club to speak with Levon and the group about touring with Dylan.
Helm was not happy to be backing a "strummer" but reluctantly agreed, the band became Dylan's backup group for a tour beginning in September. The tour, became too much for Helm, who departed in November. Through May 1966, Dylan and the remaining foursome traveled across America and Europe. After the final shows in England, Dylan retreated to his new home in Woodstock, New York, the Hawks joined him there shortly thereafter, it was Danko who found the pink house on Parnassus Lane in Saugerties, New York, which became known as Big Pink. Danko and Manuel moved in, Robertson lived nearby; the Band's musical sessions with Dylan took place in the basement of Big Pink, between June and October 1967, generating recordings that were released in 1975 as The Basement Tapes. In October, the Hawks began demo recordings for their first album, with Helm rejoining the group in that month, their manager, Albert Grossman, secured them a recording deal with Capitol Records in late 1967. From January to March 1968, the Band recorded their debut album, Music from Big Pink, in recording studios in New York and Los Angeles.
On this album, Danko sang lead vocal on three songs: "Caledonia Mission", "Long Black Veil" and "This Wheel's on Fire." Before the Band could promote the album by touring, Danko was injured in a car accident, breaking his neck and back in six places, which put him in traction for months. While he was in traction
A record producer or music producer oversees and manages the sound recording and production of a band or performer's music, which may range from recording one song to recording a lengthy concept album. A producer has varying roles during the recording process, they may gather musical ideas for the project, collaborate with the artists to select cover tunes or original songs by the artist/group, work with artists and help them to improve their songs, lyrics or arrangements. A producer may also: Select session musicians to play rhythm section accompaniment parts or solos Co-write Propose changes to the song arrangements Coach the singers and musicians in the studioThe producer supervises the entire process from preproduction, through to the sound recording and mixing stages, and, in some cases, all the way to the audio mastering stage; the producer may perform these roles themselves, or help select the engineer, provide suggestions to the engineer. The producer may pay session musicians and engineers and ensure that the entire project is completed within the record label's budget.
A record producer or music producer has a broad role in overseeing and managing the recording and production of a band or performer's music. A producer has many roles that may include, but are not limited to, gathering ideas for the project, composing the music for the project, selecting songs or session musicians, proposing changes to the song arrangements, coaching the artist and musicians in the studio, controlling the recording sessions, supervising the entire process through audio mixing and, in some cases, to the audio mastering stage. Producers often take on a wider entrepreneurial role, with responsibility for the budget, schedules and negotiations. Writer Chris Deville explains it, "Sometimes a producer functions like a creative consultant — someone who helps a band achieve a certain aesthetic, or who comes up with the perfect violin part to complement the vocal melody, or who insists that a chorus should be a bridge. Other times a producer will build a complete piece of music from the ground up and present the finished product to a vocalist, like Metro Boomin supplying Future with readymade beats or Jack Antonoff letting Taylor Swift add lyrics and melody to an otherwise-finished “Out Of The Woods.”The artist of an album may not be a record producer or music producer for his/her album.
While both contribute creatively, the official credit of "record producer" may depend on the record contract. Christina Aguilera, for example, did not receive record producer credits until many albums into her career. In the 2010s, the producer role is sometimes divided among up to three different individuals: executive producer, vocal producer and music producer. An executive producer oversees project finances, a vocal producers oversees the vocal production, a music producer oversees the creative process of recording and mixings; the music producer is often a competent arranger, musician or songwriter who can bring fresh ideas to a project. As well as making any songwriting and arrangement adjustments, the producer selects and/or collaborates with the mixing engineer, who takes the raw recorded tracks and edits and modifies them with hardware and software tools to create a stereo or surround sound "mix" of all the individual voices sounds and instruments, in turn given further adjustment by a mastering engineer for the various distribution media.
The producer oversees the recording engineer who concentrates on the technical aspects of recording. Noted producer Phil Ek described his role as "the person who creatively guides or directs the process of making a record", like a director would a movie. Indeed, in Bollywood music, the designation is music director; the music producer's job is to create and mold a piece of music. The scope of responsibility may be one or two songs or an artist's entire album – in which case the producer will develop an overall vision for the album and how the various songs may interrelate. At the beginning of record industry, the producer role was technically limited to record, in one shot, artists performing live; the immediate predecessors to record producers were the artists and repertoire executives of the late 1920s and 1930s who oversaw the "pop" product and led session orchestras. That was the case of Ben Selvin at Columbia Records, Nathaniel Shilkret at Victor Records and Bob Haring at Brunswick Records.
By the end of the 1930s, the first professional recording studios not owned by the major companies were established separating the roles of A&R man and producer, although it wouldn't be until the late 1940s when the term "producer" became used in the industry. The role of producers changed progressively over the 1960s due to technology; the development of multitrack recording caused a major change in the recording process. Before multitracking, all the elements of a song had to be performed simultaneously. All of these singers and musicians had to be assembled in a large studio where the performance was recorded. With multitrack recording, the "bed tracks" (rhythm section accompaniment parts such as the bassline and rhythm guitar could be recorded first, the vocals and solos could be added using as many "takes" as necessary, it was no longer necessary to get all the players in the studio at the same time. A pop band could record their backing tracks one week, a horn section could be brought in a week to add horn shots and punches, a string section could be brought in a week after that.
Multitrack recording had another pro
Mr. Tambourine Man
"Mr. Tambourine Man" is a song written by Bob Dylan, released as the first track of the acoustic side of his March 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home; the song's popularity led to Dylan recording it live many times, it has been included in multiple compilation albums. It has been translated into other languages, has been used or referenced in television shows and books; the song has been performed and recorded by many artists, including the Byrds, Judy Collins, Melanie and Stevie Wonder among others. The Byrds version was released in April of 1965 as their first single on Columbia Records, reaching number 1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the UK Singles Chart, as well as being the title track of their debut album, Mr. Tambourine Man; the Byrds' recording of the song was influential in popularizing the musical subgenres of folk rock and jangle pop, leading many contemporary bands to mimic its fusion of jangly guitars and intellectual lyrics in the wake of the single's success. Dylan's song has four verses.
Dylan's and the Byrds' versions have appeared on various lists ranking the greatest songs of all time, including an appearance by both on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 best songs ever. Both versions received Grammy Hall of Fame Awards; the song has a bright, expansive melody and has become famous for its surrealistic imagery, influenced by artists as diverse as French poet Arthur Rimbaud and Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini. The lyrics call on the title character to play a song and the narrator will follow. Interpretations of the lyrics have included a paean to drugs such as LSD, a call to the singer's muse, a reflection of the audience's demands on the singer, religious interpretations. "Mr. Tambourine Man" was written and composed in early 1964, at the same approximate time as "Chimes of Freedom," which Dylan recorded that spring for his album Another Side of Bob Dylan. Dylan began writing and composing "Mr. Tambourine Man" in February 1964, after attending Mardi Gras in New Orleans during a cross-country road trip with several friends, completed it sometime between the middle of March and late April of that year after he had returned to New York.
Nigel Williamson has suggested in The Rough Guide to Bob Dylan that the influence of Mardi Gras can be heard in the swirling and fanciful imagery of the song's lyrics. Journalist Al Aronowitz has claimed that Dylan completed the song at his home, but folk singer Judy Collins, who recorded the song, has stated that Dylan completed the song at her home. Dylan premiered the song the following month at a May 17 concert at London's Royal Festival Hall. During the sessions for Another Side of Bob Dylan, in June 1964, with Tom Wilson producing, Dylan recorded "Mr. Tambourine Man" with Ramblin' Jack Elliott singing harmony; as Elliott was off key, that recording wasn't used. That month he recorded a publisher demo of the song at Witmark Music. More than six months passed before Dylan re-recorded the song, again with Wilson in the producer's chair, during the final Bringing It All Back Home session on January 15, 1965, the same day that "Gates of Eden," "It's Alright, Ma," and "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" were recorded.
It was long thought. However, in the biography Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades, Clinton Heylin relates that the song required six attempts because of difficulties in working out the playoffs between Dylan's acoustic guitar and Bruce Langhorne's electric lead; the final take was selected for the album, released on March 22, 1965. In his book Keys to the Rain: The Definitive Bob Dylan Encyclopedia, Oliver Trager describes "Mr. Tambourine Man" as having a bright, expansive melody, with Langhorne's electric guitar accompaniment, which provides a countermelody to the vocals, being the only instrumentation besides Dylan's acoustic guitar and harmonica. Author Wilfred Mellers has written that although the song is in the key of D major, it is harmonized as if it were in a Lydian G major, giving the song a tonal ambiguity that enhances the dreamy quality of the melody. Unusually, rather than beginning with the first verse, the song begins with an iteration of the chorus: Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me, I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song. William Ruhlmann, writing for the AllMusic web site, has suggested the following outline of the song's lyrics: "The time seems to be early morning following a night when the narrator has not slept. Still unable to sleep, though amazed by his weariness, he is available and open to Mr. Tambourine Man's song, says he will follow him. In the course of four verses studded with internal rhymes, he expounds on this situation, his meaning heavily embroidered with imagery, though the desire to be freed by the tambourine man's song remains clear."While there has been speculation that the song is about drugs with lines such as "take me on a trip upon your magic swirling ship" and "the smoke rings of my mind", Dylan has denied the song is about drugs. Though he was smoking marijuana at the time the song was written, Dylan was not introduced to LSD until a few months later. Outside of drug speculation, the song has been interpreted as a call to the singer's spirit or muse, or as a search for transcendence.
In particular, biographer John Hinchey has suggested in his book Like a Complete Unknown that the singer is praying to his muse for inspiration. The figure of Mr. Tambourine Man has sometimes been interpreted as a symbol for Jesus
The Byrds were an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964. The band underwent multiple lineup changes throughout its existence, with frontman Roger McGuinn remaining the sole consistent member. Although they only managed to attain the huge commercial success of contemporaries like the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones for a short period in the mid-1960s, the Byrds are today considered by critics to be nearly as influential as those bands, their signature blend of clear harmony singing and McGuinn's jangly twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar was "absorbed into the vocabulary of rock" and has continued to be influential. The band pioneered the musical genre of folk rock as a popular format in 1965, by melding the influence of the Beatles and other British Invasion bands with contemporary and traditional folk music on their debut album and the hit singles "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Turn! Turn! Turn!". As the 1960s progressed, the band was influential in originating psychedelic rock and raga rock, with their song "Eight Miles High" and the albums Fifth Dimension, Younger Than Yesterday and The Notorious Byrd Brothers.
They played a pioneering role in the development of country rock, with the 1968 album Sweetheart of the Rodeo representing their fullest immersion into the genre. The original five-piece lineup of the Byrds consisted of Jim McGuinn, Gene Clark, David Crosby, Chris Hillman, Michael Clarke; this version of the band was short-lived. The Byrds continued as a quartet until late 1967, when Crosby and Clarke departed. McGuinn and Hillman decided to recruit new members, including country rock pioneer Gram Parsons, but by late 1968, Hillman and Parsons had exited the band. McGuinn elected to rebuild the band's membership. McGuinn disbanded the then-current lineup in early 1973 to make way for a reunion of the original quintet; the Byrds' final album was released in March 1973, with the reunited group disbanding that year. Several former members of the band went on to successful careers of their own, either as solo artists or as members of such groups as Crosby, Nash & Young, the Flying Burrito Brothers and the Desert Rose Band.
In 1991, the Byrds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an occasion that saw the five original members performing together for the last time. Gene Clark died of a heart attack that year, while Michael Clarke died of liver failure in 1993. McGuinn and Hillman remain active; the nucleus of the Byrds formed in early 1964, when Jim McGuinn, Gene Clark, David Crosby came together as a trio. All three musicians had a background rooted in folk music, with each one having worked as a folk singer on the acoustic coffeehouse circuit during the early 1960s. In addition, they had all served time, independently of each other, as sidemen in various "collegiate folk" groups: McGuinn with the Limeliters and the Chad Mitchell Trio, Clark with the New Christy Minstrels, Crosby with Les Baxter's Balladeers. McGuinn had spent time as a professional songwriter at the Brill Building in New York City, under the tutelage of Bobby Darin. By early 1964, McGuinn had become enamored with the music of the Beatles, had begun to intersperse his solo folk repertoire with acoustic versions of Beatles' songs.
While performing at The Troubadour folk club in Los Angeles, McGuinn was approached by fellow Beatles fan Gene Clark, the pair soon formed a Peter and Gordon-style duo, playing Beatles' covers, Beatlesque renditions of traditional folk songs, some self-penned material. Soon after, David Crosby introduced himself to the duo at The Troubadour and began harmonizing with them on some of their songs. Impressed by the blend of their voices, the three musicians formed a trio and named themselves the Jet Set, a moniker inspired by McGuinn's love of aeronautics. Crosby introduced McGuinn and Clark to his associate Jim Dickson, who had access to World Pacific Studios, where he had been recording demos of Crosby. Sensing the trio's potential, Dickson took on management duties for the group, while his business partner, Eddie Tickner, became the group's accountant and financial manager. Dickson began utilizing World Pacific Studios to record the trio as they honed their craft and perfected their blend of Beatles pop and Bob Dylan-style folk.
It was during the rehearsals at World Pacific that the band's folk rock sound—an amalgam of their own Beatles-influenced material, their folk music roots and their Beatlesque covers of contemporary folk songs—began to coalesce. This blend arose organically, but as rehearsals continued, the band began to attempt to bridge the gap between folk music and rock. Demo recordings made by the Jet Set at World Pacific Studios would be collected on the compilation albums Preflyte, In the Beginning, The Preflyte Sessions and Preflyte Plus. Drummer Michael Clarke was added to the Jet Set in mid-1964. Clarke was recruited due to his good looks and Brian Jones-esque hairstyle, rather than for his musical experience, limited to having played congas in a semi-professional capacity in and around San Francisco and L. A. Clarke did not own his own drum kit and had to play on a makeshift setup consisting of cardboard boxes and a tambourine; as the band continued to rehearse, Dickson arranged a one-off single deal for the group with Elektra Records' founder Jac Holzman.
Folk rock is a hybrid music genre combining elements of folk music and rock music, which arose in the United States and the United Kingdom in the mid-1960s. In the U. S. folk rock emerged from the folk music revival and the influence that the Beatles and other British Invasion bands had on members of that movement. Performers such as Bob Dylan and the Byrds—several of whose members had earlier played in folk ensembles—attempted to blend the sounds of rock with their preexisting folk repertoire, adopting the use of electric instrumentation and drums in a way discouraged in the U. S. folk community. The term "folk rock" was used in the U. S. music press in June 1965 to describe the Byrds' music. The commercial success of the Byrds' cover version of Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man" and their debut album of the same name, along with Dylan's own recordings with rock instrumentation—on the albums Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde on Blonde —encouraged other folk acts, such as Simon & Garfunkel, to use electric backing on their records and new groups, such as Buffalo Springfield, to form.
Dylan's controversial appearance at the Newport Folk Festival on 25 July 1965, where he was backed by an electric band, was a pivotal moment in the development of the genre. During the late 1960s in Britain and Europe, a distinct, eclectic British folk rock style was created by Pentangle, Fairport Convention and Alan Stivell. Inspired by British psychedelic folk and the North American style of folk rock, British folk rock bands began to incorporate elements of traditional British folk music into their repertoire, leading to other variants, including the overtly English folk rock of the Albion Band and Celtic rock. In its earliest and narrowest sense, the term "folk rock" refers to the blending of elements of folk music and rock music, which arose in the U. S. and UK in the mid-1960s. The genre was pioneered by the Byrds, who began playing traditional folk music and songs by Bob Dylan with rock instrumentation, in a style influenced by the Beatles and other British Invasion bands; the term "folk rock" was coined by the U.
S. music press to describe the Byrds' music in June 1965, the month in which the band's debut album was issued. Dylan contributed to the creation of the genre, with his recordings utilizing rock instrumentation on the albums Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde on Blonde. In a broader sense, folk rock encompasses inspired musical genres and movements in different regions of the world. Folk rock may lean more towards either folk or rock in instrumentation and vocal style, choice of material. While the original genre draws on music of Europe and North America, there is no clear delineation of which other culture's music might be included as influences; the term is not associated with blues-based rock music, African American music, Cajun-based rock music, nor music with non-European folk roots. There are some exceptions; the American folk-music revival began during the 1940s. In 1948, Seeger formed the Weavers, whose mainstream popularity set the stage for the folk revival of the 1950s and early 1960s and served to bridge the gap between folk, popular music, topical song.
The Weavers' sound and repertoire of traditional folk material and topical songs directly inspired the Kingston Trio, a three-piece folk group who came to prominence in 1958 with their hit recording of "Tom Dooley". The Kingston Trio provided the template for a flood of "collegiate folk" groups between 1958 and 1962. At the same time as these "collegiate folk" vocal groups came to national prominence, a second group of urban folk revivalists, influenced by the music and guitar picking styles of folk and blues artist such as Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Brownie McGhee, Josh White came to the fore. Many of these urban revivalists were influenced by recordings of traditional American music from the 1920s and 1930s, reissued by Folkways Records. While this urban folk revival flourished in many cities, New York City, with its burgeoning Greenwich Village coffeehouse scene and population of topical folk singers, was regarded as the centre of the movement. Out of this fertile environment came such folk-protest luminaries as Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs, Peter and Mary, many of whom would transition into folk rock performers as the 1960s progressed.
The vast majority of the urban folk revivalists shared a disdain for the values of mainstream American mass culture and led many folk singers to begin composing their own "protest" material. The influence of this folk-protest movement would manifest itself in the sociopolitical lyrics and mildly anti-establishment sentiments of many folk rock songs, including hit singles such as "Eve of Destruction", "Like a Rolling Stone", "For What It's Worth", "Let's Live for Today". During the 1950s and early 1960s in the UK, a parallel folk revival referred to as the second British folk revival, was led by folk singers Ewan MacColl and Bert Lloyd. Both viewed British folk music as a vehicle for leftist political concepts and an antidote to the American-dominated popular music of the time. However, it wasn't until 1956 and the advent of the skiffle craze that the British folk revival crossed over into the mainstream and connected with British youth culture. Skiffle renewed popularity of folk music forms in Britain and led directly to the progressive folk movement and the attendant B
Old John Robertson
"Old John Robertson" is a song by the American rock band the Byrds, written by band members Chris Hillman and Roger McGuinn, first released in July 1967, as the B-side to the non-album single "Lady Friend". It was later included on the band's 1968 album, The Notorious Byrd Brothers; the version of "Old John Robertson" featured on the single is a different mix from the version that appeared on The Notorious Byrd Brothers. The song was inspired by the retired film director John S. Robertson who lived in the small town near San Diego where the Byrds' bassist Chris Hillman grew up. Robertson was an aberrant figure around the rural area being seen wearing a Stetson hat, sporting a white handlebar mustache, which gave him the appearance of an American frontiersman out of the Wild West. In the song's lyrics, Hillman recalls how the town's children cruelly laughed at Robertson's appearance, the combination of shock and awe that he provoked in the townspeople. Hillman attempted to capture the visual eccentricity of Robertson by having the band record the song as a country-western two-step.
On the album version of the song, an unnamed session musician underscores the visual representation by playing a fiddle, mixed deep within the track. Writer Ric Menck has speculated that the fiddle player is Byron Berline, who had moved to Los Angeles and mingled with the Byrds' crowd, as well as appearing on various other country rock albums of the period; the country-tinged nature of "Old John Robertson", like a handful of other Byrds' songs from the period, foresaw the Byrds' experimentation with country rock. During the recording of the song, Hillman switched instruments with band member David Crosby to play rhythm guitar, instead of his usual bass. In press conferences, Hillman explained that he was beginning to improve upon his guitar playing, since he wrote "Old John Robertson" with the instrument, he wanted to carry it over to the recording though Crosby had not played bass since the early days of the group; the album version of the song makes broad use of the audio effects known as phasing and flanging during the orchestral middle section and third verse.
The single version of "Old John Robertson", without the fiddle playing and phasing effects, was issued on the B-side of the Byrds' "Lady Friend" single in the United States on July 13, 1967. It was released in this way in mainland Europe, but in the United Kingdom the B-side of "Lady Friend" was switched to "Don't Make Waves", another Hillman and McGuinn penned song; the album version of the song appeared in January 1968, on the band's The Notorious Byrd Brothers album. The single mix was first issued on an album in 1982, with the release of the compilation The Original Singles: 1967–1969, Volume 2; this version of the song was added as a bonus track to the 1996 Columbia/Legacy reissue of the album Younger Than Yesterday. Additionally, "Old John Robertson" appears on several other Byrds compilations, including History of The Byrds, Nashville West, The Essential Byrds, There Is a Season