No, that's not 'old fogey' books, although it could be argued that these books are something only old fogeys like me would appreciated! In honor of Music Monday, I'm sharing my somewhat pathetic collection of books about old folk singers. (My friend Jean is probably laughing her head off at my little tiny collection. But I say, if she wants to start a collector blog to share her enormous collection of everything folk music related, I'll be the first to sign on as a follower!)
I've loved folk music since I was a pre-teen in the late '50s, early '60s. When the wave of 'nouveau' folk music, popularized by the likes of the Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul and Mary, Judy Collins, the Weavers, and Joan Baez hit the pop charts, I was on board. In those days, every kid with a guitar could play "Where Have All the Flowers Gone", "Puff the Magic Dragon", and "500 Miles". (I mentioned 'nouveau' folk music.. this is to separate it from the earlier wave of folk music which was popular from the 1920s through the 1940s, epitomized by the likes of Woody Guthrie, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, the Carter Family, and others).
|From Woody Gurthrie: A Life|
So, I have a few books about folk musicians, including a couple of song books. This isn't the extent of my song book collection, but since these are specifically about folk singers, I've included them in this collection.
My absolute favorite female folk singer is Judy Collins. She has morphed through the years of her career, from a straight-up folksinger, singing traditional and modern folk songs, (but rarely her own), to a polished singer of show tunes, pop songs, and ballads, but with her roots firmly in the folk music traditions of her youth. She has written a few lovely songs, and performed them admirably, but in my opinion, she does best with the songs of others. Her voice is rich and pure, with an incredible range and color. I can't hear "I Pity the Poor Immigrant" or "Suzanne" without a lump coming to my throat.
|Suzanne, folk classic written by Leonard Cohen|
|From Nashville Skyline|
|From the Bob Dylan Scrapbook|
Last but not least, here's a layout I did about myself, featuring a photo taken during those 'folk music loving days'.