Singing Out: An Oral History of America's Folk Music Revivals

ISBN : 9780199896561

David King Dunaway; Molly Beer
272 Pages
155 x 235 mm
Pub date
Jan 2012
Oxford Oral History Series
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Intimate, anecdotal, and spell-binding, Singing Out offers a fascinating oral history of the North American folk music revivals and folk music. Culled from more than 150 interviews recorded from 1976 to 2006, this captivating story spans seven decades and cuts across a wide swath of generations and perspectives, shedding light on the musical, political, and social aspects of this movement. The narrators highlight many of the major folk revival figures, including Pete Seeger, Bernice Reagon, Phil Ochs, Mary Travers, Don McLean, Judy Collins, Arlo Guthrie, Ry Cooder, and Holly Near. Together they tell the stories of such musical groups as the Composers' Collective, the Almanac Singers, People's Songs, the Weavers, the New Lost City Ramblers, and the Freedom Singers. Folklorists, musicians, musicologists, writers, activists, and aficionados reveal not only what happened during the folk revivals, but what it meant to those personally and passionately involved. For everyone who ever picked up a guitar, fiddle, or banjo, this will be a book to give and cherish. Extensive notes, bibliography, and discography, plus a photo section.


Foreword by Pete Seeger
Introduction by David King Dunaway
1. I Never Heard A Horse Sing It!: Defining Folk Music
2. Early Collectors
3. Music for the Masses
4. Greenwich Village: 1940s
5. Am I In America?: The Red Scare
6. Folk Boom
7. Movement Music: Civil Rights
8. Folk-Rock
9. Nu Folk
10. The Power of Music
Biographies of Interviewees
Notes on the Interviews
Interview Index

About the author: 

David King Dunaway is the author and editor of eight volumes of history including How Can I Keep From Singing: The Ballad of Pete Seeger, The Pete Seeger Discography, and Oral History: An Interdisciplinary Anthology. His numerous honors include the 2010 Stetson Kennedy Vox Populi award from the Oral History Association. He serves as professor of English at the University of New Mexico and distinguished professor of broadcasting at San Francisco State University. Molly Beer is the author of numerous essays and articles on culture and culture clash. She has taught writing at the University of New Mexico and at Colgate University as an Olive B. O'Connor creative writing fellow.

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