First broadcast June 18, 2004

Folk Festivals, Part 2: The Fox Hollow-Old Songs Connection

10 p.m. to Midnight Host: Steve Winters

This show — the second of two this month on folk festivals — traces the connection between the legendary Fox Hollow Festival in Petersburg, N.Y. and the current Old Songs Festival, which this year celebrates its 24th anniversary.

Fox Hollow, hosted by the Beers Family on their family homestead, ran from 1966 to 1980. It was a festival of the times, steeped in romance as a world of musical magic and enchantment was created. It was a festival of intimacy and limited attendance that brought together “big names” with lesser known traditional artists. It was purely acoustic — no electricity. It was a festival that, in its early days, helped spur the revival of the hammered dulcimer, the psaltery, and shape note singing and at which dozens of performers “got their start” and were introduced to Northeastern folk audiences.

One of the main connections to Old Songs, in addition to a carryover of traditions and many performers, is Andy Spence, the director of Old Songs. Bob “Fiddler” Beers had chosen Andy to supervise some of Fox Hollow (and to eventually take over its operation). Even before Fox Hollow ended its run, Andy had taken up the cause and, with many other like-minded Fox Hollow adherents, she established Old Songs, in the suburbs of Albany, N.Y., a well functioning folk society that, like the Philadelphia Folk Song Society, should be emulated across the nation.

Old Songs (www.oldsongs.org) is conducted at the fairgrounds at Altamont, N.Y. in late June. The first festival was in 1981.

  • Artist, "Title", Album, Label

  • Bob Zentz, “Sweet Songs From Yesterday”, Old Songs 1990, Old Songs

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  • Bob Beers, “Festival Opening In Rain”, Pitter Poon The Rain Come Doon, Fox Hollow

  • Howie & Ann Mitchell, “Ruffles”, Pitter Poon The Rain Come Doon, Fox Hollow

  • Irene & Tony Saletan & Robin & Ellen Christiansen, “Sun’s Gonna Shine”, Pitter Poon The Rain Come Doon, Fox Hollow

  • Theo Bikel, “Polso”, Pitter Poon The Rain Come Doon, Fox Hollow

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  • Johnny Shine & David Bromberg, “Worried Blues”, You Got Magic, Biograph

  • Bob Coltman, “Rocky Island”, You Got Magic, Biograph

  • Jim Ringer with Jay & Lynn Ungar, “Baby Rocked Her Dolly”, You Got Magic, Biograph

  • U. Utah Phillips, “Children’s Liberation Song”, You Got Magic, Biograph

  • John Herald/Alan Stowell/Jay Ungar & Saul Brody, “Ruby”, You Got Magic, Biograph

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  • David Bromberg & John Hartford, “The Hold Up”, A Place To Be, Biograph

  • Douglas Neidt, “Argentine Folk Dance”, A Place To Be, Biograph

  • David Bromberg, “Spanish Johnny”, Fox Hollow 1972, Fox Hollow

  • Harry Tuft & Ed Trickett, “She Sang Hymns Out Of Tune”, Fox Hollow 1972, Fox Hollow

  • John Hartford/David Bromberg/Norman Blake/Vassar Clements & Alan Stowell, “Babe You’ve Been On My Mind”, A Place To Be, Biograph

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  • Guy Carawan, “That’s All Right”, Pitter Poon The Rain Come Doon, Fox Hollow

  • Guy & Candie Carawan, “High On A Mountain”, Old Songs 1990, Old Songs

  • Sandy Paton & The Golden Ring, “Wild Mountain Thyme & The Hunt”, A Place To Be, Biograph

  • Sandy Paton, “Rowdy Soul”, Live From the Dutch Barn, Old Songs

  • John Robert/Tony Barrand/Cliff Haslam, “Three Jolly Lads”, You Got Magic, Biograph

  • Roberts & Barrand, “Newry Town”, Old Songs 1990, Old Songs

  • Michael Cooney & Joseph Hickerson, “The Leaf”, Old Songs 1990, Old Songs

  • Michael Cooney, “Pooh Songs”, Pitter Poon The Rain Come Doon, Fox Hollow

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  • Liza Constable & Groove Mama, “Where Shall I Fly”, 2002 Old Songs, Old Songs

  • Pete Hastings, “Harp Farm”, 2002 Old Songs, Old Songs

  • Whirligig, “The Tolka Polka”, 2002 Old Songs, Old Songs