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Encyclopedia > The Weavers

The Weavers were an immensely popular and influential folk music quartet from Greenwich Village, New York, United States. Folk music, in the original sense of the term, is music by and of the people. ... Greenwich Village (also known as the West Village or simply the Village) is a largely residential area on the west side of downtown (southern) Manhattan in New York City. ... State nickname: Empire State Other U.S. States Capital Albany Largest city New York Governor George Pataki (R) Official languages None (English is de facto) Area 141,205 km² (27th)  - Land 122,409 km²  - Water 18,795 km² (13. ...

The Weavers group was formed in 1947 by Ronnie Gilbert, Lee Hays, Fred Hellerman and Pete Seeger. A fifth member, Eric Darling, sometimes sat in with the group when Seeger was unavailable. The name came from a play of the same name by Gerhart Johann Robert Hauptmann. After a period of finding themselves unable to find much, if any paid work, they finally achieved a performance slot at the jazz club the Village Vanguard. This led to their discovery by arranger Gordon Jenkins and their signing with Decca Records. The group had a big hit in 1949 with Leadbelly's Goodnight Irene, backed with the Jewish traditional folk song Tzena, Tzena. Ronnie Gilbert was also the name of the bass player for the rock band Blues Magoos Ronnie Gilbert is a well-known folk-singer, one of the members of The Weavers. ... Pete Seeger, 1944 Peter Seeger (born May 3, 1919 in New York City), almost always known as Ali Seeker, is a folk singer and political activist. ... Eric Darling was a folk artist in 1960s San Francisco Sound, best known for versions of his song Babe Im Gonna Leave You by Quicksilver Messenger Service. ... Jazz is a musical art form originally characterized by blue notes, syncopation, swing, call and response, polyrhythms, and improvisation. ... Gordon Hill Jenkins (12 May 1910-1 May 1984) was an American arranger who was an influential figure in popular music in the 1940s and 1950s, renowned for his lush string arrangements. ... Decca Records is a British record label established in 1929. ... Leadbelly, circa 1942; shown with an accordion, though he typically played guitar Leadbelly (born Huddie William Ledbetter; January 29, 1885 – December 6, 1949) was an American folk musician, notable for his high, clear voice, for his forceful singing, and for his virtuosity as a twelve string guitar player. ... Goodnight Irene, or Irene, is an American folk standard. ... The word Jew (Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity; and often a combination of these attributes. ...

The Weavers sang traditional folk songs from around the world, as well as blues, folk, gospel music, children's songs, labor songs and ballads from the US, selling millions of records at the height of their popularity. They were the direct precursors of two even more popular folk groups that followed them in the 1950s and 1960s, The Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul and Mary. For other uses, see blues (disambiguation) Blues is a vocal and instrumental music form which emerged in the African-American community of the United States. ... Gospel music may refer either to the religious music that first came out of African-American churches in the 1930s or, more loosely, to both black gospel music and to the religious music composed and sung by white southern Christian artists. ... A ballad is a story in song, usually a narrative song or poem. ... The Kingston Trio is an American folk group. ... The trio Peter, Paul and Mary (often PP&M) is one of the most successful folk-singing groups of the 1960s. ...

The Weavers avoided the more controversial songs in their repetoire, as well as avoiding performing at controversial venues and events, and the leftwing press derided them as having sold out their beliefs in exchange for popular success. However, despite their caution, they were nonetheless placed under FBI surveillance and blacklisted by the US government during the McCarthy era. The Weavers were targeted because of their history of singing protest songs and folk songs favoring labor unions as well as for the leftist political beliefs of the individuals in the group. Anti-communists protested at their performances and harassed promoters. The Weavers were an easy target because of their fame and popularity on the radio and with the record-buying public. Their popularity diminished rapidly, and the group's record contract was terminated. Official FBI Seal The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a Federal police force which is the principal investigative arm of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). ... A blacklist is a list or register of people who, for one reason or another, are being denied a particular privilege, service, or mobility. ... McCarthyism, named for Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, was a period of intense anti-communism in the United States primarily from 1950 to 1954, when the U.S. government was actively engaged in countering American Communist Party subversion, its leadership, and others suspected of being Communists or Communist sympathizers. ... A protest song is a song intended to protest perceived problems in society which can include injustice, racial discrimination, war, globalization, inflation, social inequalities and so on. ... A union (labor union in American English; trade union, sometimes trades union, in British English; either labour union or trade union in Canadian English) is a legal entity consisting of employees or workers having a common interest, such as all the assembly workers for one employer, or all the workers...

Pete Seeger continued his solo career after the group disbanded in 1952. In 1955, the group reunited to play a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall, a venue whose management was unaware of the controversy surrounding the group. The concert was a huge success, a recording of which was issued by Vanguard Records and led to their signing to that record label (by the late 1950s, folk music was becoming popular and anti-communism was fading). Seeger left the group to return to his solo career, and the Weavers continued without him. After Eric Darling left the group, he was replaced by Frank Hamilton and then Bernie Krause. Carnegie Hall Carnegie Hall is a concert venue in Manhattan, New York City. ... Vanguard Records was a record label set up in 1950 by brothers Maynard and Seymour Solomon in New York. ...

Ronnie Gilbert has had a solo career as well. Additional reunion concerts were staged in 1964 and 1980.

The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001. The Vocal Group Hall of Fame was organized to honor what they term the Greatest Vocal Groups in the World. The Hall of Fame is headquartered in Sharon, Pennsylvania, United States. ...


  • The Weavers' Greatest Hits
  • The Weavers at Carnegie Hall (Live)
  • The Weavers at Carnegie Hall (Live) Vol. 2
  • Wasn't That a Time! box set
  • Best of the Vanguard Years
  • The Weavers Reunion at Carnegie Hall: 1963 (Live)
  • The Reunion at Carnegie Hall, 1963, Pt. 2 (Live)
  • Reunion at Carnegie Hall No. 2 (Live)
  • Rarities From the Vanguard Vault
  • Kisses Sweeter Than Wine (Live)
  • The Almanac
  • The Best of the Decca Years
  • Ultimate Collection
  • The Weavers Classics
  • Best of the Weavers
  • Gospel
  • Goodnight Irene: Weavers 1949-53 box set
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  • The Weavers on Tour (Live)
  • Wasn't That a Time! video

External links

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