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Forever Young

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FOREVER YOUNG

Cambridge Forum celebrates the legacy and future of folk music as it marks its 50th anniversary.

Recorded NOVEMBER 16, 2016  -Watch video-

Joan Baez and Bob Dylan on stage at Club Passim, when it was known as Club 47. Courtesy of Passim.

Music and memories from the early days of the Harvard Square folk scene to the current state of the Americana genre.

Betsy Siggins, raconteur extraordinaire, recalls her early days at the legendary Club 47 in Cambridge, with Joan Baez and Bob Dylan. Folklorist Millie Rahn joins the conversation, which will be interspersed with live music from  multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Jake Armerding.

Back in the late ’60s, Club 47 was the place to play for folk musicians in the Boston area and all the greats performed there, including Maybelle Carter, Doc Watson, and Muddy Waters.  The space eventually morphed into today’s Club Passim, which has given rise to some of the top musicians in the folk world, like Shawn Colvin and Suzanne Vega.

The music scene has changed greatly over the past 50 years, when Cambridge Forum first captured the spirit of the times. But Harvard Square and Club Passim continue to turn out fresh and exciting talent, that reflect many influential trends in today’s music industry. In the tradition of the Club 47 legends, musician Jake Armerding embodies the consummate, hard-working troubadour. He hails from a Massachusetts family of musicians, in which he honed his songwriting skills, while also becoming an accomplished fiddle, mandolin, and guitar player.

This event was made possible by funding from the Lowell Institute and the Harvard Square Business Association, which organizes November as Folk Music month in Harvard Square.
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For those interested in brushing up on the what’s been happening on the folk scene over the last few decades, here’s a *short* bibliography courtesy of  folklorist Millie Rahn.

Baby, Let Me Follow You Down: The Illustrated Story of the Cambridge Folk Years, by Eric von Schmidt and Jim Rooney. Originally published 1979; updated and republished by the University of Massachusetts Press, 1994.

Between Midnight and Day: The Last Unpublished Blues Archive by Dick Waterman; preface by Bonnie Raitt; introduction by Peter Guralnick. Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2003. Bluegrass: A History by Neil Rosenberg. University of Illinois Press,1985.

Cambridge, Club 47, and the 1960s Folk Revival,” chapter by Millie Rahn in A City’s Life and Times: Cambridge in the Twentieth Century. Published by the Cambridge Historical Society, 2007.

Country Music, U.S.A. by Bill C. Malone and Jocelyn R. Neal. Originally published 1968; University of Texas Press, 1985.

In It for the Long Run: A Musial Odyssey by Jim Rooney. University of Illinois Press, 2014.

The Face of Folk Music: Essential Portraits from America’s Folk Music Revival. Photographs by David Gahr; text by Robert Shelton. The Citadel Press, 1968.

The Folk Revival: Beyond Child’s Canon and Sharp’s Song Catching,” chapter by Millie Rahn in American Popular Music: New Approaches to the Twentieth Century. University of Massachusetts Press, 2001.

Films

Festival!, by Murray Lerner. The Newport Folk Festivals 1963-1966. Produced by the Newport Festival Foundation, 1967.

For the Love of the Music: The Club 47 Folk Revival by Ezzie Films & Blue Star Media, 2012.

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Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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