Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Season 1, Episode 7

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor #2
Airdate: May 18, 1963
Repeat: August 17, 1963

The Limeliters: "Hold On," "Where Shall I Be," "Joy Across the Land," "Molly Malone" 
Josh White: "Cindy," "Nobody Wants You When You‘re Down and Out"
Elan Stuart: "Melora," "Angus McFergus McTavish Dundee" (with the Limeliters

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Season 1, Episode 6

University of Virginia, Charlottesville VA #1

Airdate: May 11, 1963
Repeat: August 10, 1963
The Chad Mitchell Trio: "Hello Susan Brown" (Jack Linkletter intro)

The Travelers 3: "Light From the Lighthouse."
Miriam Makeba: "Mqukoza."
Molly Scott: "On the Banks of the Brazos."
The Chad Mitchell Trio: "Whup Jamboree."

The Travelers 3:

Finale of the May 11 show: The Chad Mitchell Trio, Miriam Makeba, Molly Scott and The Travelers 3.

And here's video of Miss Makeba's rendition of "Love Tastes Like Strawberries":

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Season 1, Episode 5

George Washington University, Washington DC #1

Airdate: May 4, 1963
Repeat: August 3, 1963

The Limeliters: "Lonesome Traveler," "Hard, Ain't it Hard," "I‘m Goin' Back," "Whistling Gypsy."
The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem: "Port Lairge," "Bold O'Donahue."
Bob Gibson: "Come and Go With Me," "This Train" (with The Limeliters).

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Season 1, Episode 4

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ #1

Airdate: April 27, 1963
Repeat: July 27, 1963
The Chad Mitchell Trio: "Leave Me if You Want To" (Jack Linkletter intro)

The Chad Mitchell Trio: "Ain't No More Cane on This Brazos"
Judy Henske: "Wade in the Water"
The Smothers Brothers: "Pretoria"

The Chad Mitchell Trio: "DuBarry Done Gone Again"
The Simon

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Season 1, Episode 3

Pennsylvania State University, State College PA #1


Airdate: April 20, 1963
Repeat: July 20, 1963
The Limeliters: "The Bear Chase" (Jack Linkletter intro)

Will Holt, the Limeliters' Lou Gottlieb, Maybelle & June Carter.
The Limeliters:"Western Wind"
The Carter Family: "Sun's Gonna Shine"
The Limeliters: "When I First Came to This Land"
The Phoenix Singers: "The Music Train"

The Limeliters: "Yerakina."
Will Holt: "Lemon Tree"

The Penn State shows were taped during the first week of April, and were probably the final TV work of the original Limeliters in their prime.  The group, only four years old, had been working unceasingly with concerts, recordings and television (including dozens of commercials), and now Glenn Yarbrough bought a schooner and planned to sail around the world.  Lou Gottlieb and Alex Hassilev would pursue their own interests, even though they continued recording (with Ernie Sheldon) as the Limeliters for another two years.

For all his professionalism, host Jack Linkletter was not immune to mistakes, and he made two in this show, both involving first names.  He referred to Maybelle Carter as "Marybelle" (or maybe "Mirabelle"), and when introducing the Phoenix Singers, he called Ned Wright "Nick."  Apart from that, it's a sprightly show with the added treat of hearing Will Holt sing his composition "Lemon Tree," which was already on its way to becoming a folk standard.

The Phoenix Singers.

No kinescopes are known to exist, but we have audio for nearly the entire program.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Season 1, Episode 2

Brown University, Providence RI #1

Airdate: April 13, 1963
Repeat: July 13, 1963
Theodore Bikel: "Two Brothers," "Dodi Lee," “Daddy Roll ‘Em” (with The Journeymen), “Mighty Day” (with The Journeymen).
The Journeymen: "500 Miles," "I May Be Right."
Ian & Sylvia: "Mary Ann," "Rocks and Gravel."
The Rooftop Singers: "Walk Right In," "Good Time."
FINALE: "Railroad Bill" (Everyone).

The Brown University episodes were taped the week of March 4, 1963, and a reporter from Newsweek was there:

The Folknik Show

On a small platform set up in Brown University's Sayles Hall, a trio of folk singers called the Journeymen lastg week were picking their hushed, melodic way through a plaintive song called "Five Hundred Miles" [as] some 600 Brown and Pembroke students watched in reverent silence.  Almost nobody watched a pretty blond student in their midst who, enraptured, sat nodding her head faintly and then, quietly and absent-mindedly, joined in.  Almost nobody, that is, except a few people near a TV monitor in a corner and an ABC-TV cameraman who was relaying her face onto tape from which, one Saturday night this spring, it will be watched by millions of Americans as part of an exciting new series called "Hootenanny"...
When Brown authorities passed out 600 free tickets to the taping of two half-hour shows, the line formed two and a half hours early.  "This is the greatest thing that ever happened to Pembroke," one young student said with conviction.  

Most important, the show's makers have had the sense to let folk music enter the mass medium on its own terms, which are strictly informal and spontaneous...  The result is a sprightly show in which TV's usually sluggish cameras come alive, move around, and actually use their eyes.

Dick Weissman, John Phillips and Scott McKenzie of The Journeymen.
This result has not been achieved without a lot of skepticism on all sides...  "The basis of folk music is honesty," said the Journeymen's John Phillips.  A harassed "Hootenanny" executive put it differently.  "It's a smear of music," he said...  "Some of these groups are so undisciplined musically that they never do the same number in the same amount of time twice."

These difficulties have been drowned by "Hootenanny's" twin assets- clean, compelling music and its contagiously enthusiastic reception...  The big question remaining is whether there will be enough enthusiastic home viewers to keep "Hootenanny" on the air.  "Even the people doing the show are afraid in their heart of hearts that there may not be enough [viewers]," [Theo] Bikel said, "so they try to do it fast and snappy to attract everybody."  (Newsweek, issue of March 18, 1963)

Bikel and the producers needn't have worried.  According to Variety, the premiere drew a 26% audience share in the Nielsen 30-market survey, increasing to 32% with this stanza, a ratings jump made "wholly at the expense of [CBS-TV's] The Defenders."  By the time these numbers came in, talk had begun about renewing HOOTENANNY for the fall and expanding it to an hour.  But behind the scenes a controversy was growing and about to explode.

No recordings or kinescopes are known to exist for this program.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Season 1, Episode 1

HOOTENANNY and its competition.
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor #1

Airdate: April 6, 1963 
Repeat: July 6, 1963

The Limeliters: "I Had a Mule," "Wake Up, Dunia," "The Riddle Song."

Bud & Travis: "Raspberries, Strawberries," "Delia's Gone."

Bob Gibson: "Good News," "Yes I See" (with the Limeliters).

Bonnie Dobson: "She's Like a Swallow," "Fare Thee Well" (with Bob Gibson).

FINALE: "Mary Don't You Weep" (Everyone).

The first HOOTENANNY to air was actually the sixth one taped. The pilot, which became episode 13, took place in November 1962, while the performances at George Washington University (episodes 5 & 11) and Brown University (episodes 2 & 8) preceded this show.

In his review for the New York Times, Jack Gould called it "a thoroughly pleasant and enterprising departure from the staid programming norm.  Mark it down as the hit of the spring....  When the student body joined in, the ensemble effect had a delightful charm and warmth.  The Michigan undergraduates certainly put it all over Mitch Miller's creaky chorale."

UPI's Rick DuBrow, on the other hand, couldn't resist inserting a few snide comments about folk music in general and HOOTENANNY'S host in particular: "A folk-singing show hosted by Jack Linkletter is something akin to a symposium on Henry Miller presided over by Donna Reed.  Yet the weekend brought such a folk music program, a new weekly half-hour series called 'Hootenanny' on ABC-TV....  The University of Michigan was the setting for the premiere, with a packed audience providing good reaction shots as well as a singalong device....
"Happily, Linkletter kept almost entirely out of things, which was almost enough; and the result was that 'Hootenanny' had a number of pleasant things to recommend it....  (It) is good to see a show that is virtually 'live,' and pays attention to an intelligent group of college students.  I don't know how pure the folk singing was.  But it was nice again to hear the Limeliters singing something other than a commercial; and [Bob] Gibson picks a pretty mean, rollicking banjo.  I continue to maintain, however, that the lyrics of most folk songs are as purely idiotic as opera plots, and as childishly dramatic as college seniors passing on the gospel to awed freshmen by candlelight....  What's more, 'Hootenanny' has another unique attraction: The various college students should be inspired by Linkletter's example of how a young fellow of no particular talent can get ahead at such an early age."

No kinescope or complete recording of this show is known to exist.  A YouTube user named John Meyer has uploaded a brief excerpt consisting of two songs featuring the Limeliters: "Wake Up Dunia" and "Yes I See," the latter including Bob Gibson, who also wrote it.