Celebrations for Pete Seeger’s Birthday

Article written by on Tuesday, Mar 22, 2005 in People

There seems to be a movement afoot to arrainge celebrations of Pete Seeger’s 86th birthday across the US. The following note from Jean King was being passed around various email lists today.

FROM: Jean King in Hawai’i RE: Pete Seeger Celebration Aloha! The first Tuesday of May – May 3rd, 2005 – is Pete Seeger’s 86th birthday. Wouldn’t it be great if all across this land there could be concerts of Pete Seeger–associated songs, an outpouring of appreciation and affection, from New York Island past the redwood forests all the way to Hawai’iisland?! At some point in the concert everyone present would join in to sing: “Happy Birthday, dear Pete Seeger, Happy Birthday to you!” We hope here in Hawai’I to have at least one concert on each island. Public Radio here has already agreed to do a Pete Seeger segment on May 3rd. I hope when you reach out to musicians across the country there will be a resounding “Yes!” Anyone who knows or cares about folk music has at some point been touched by and enjoyed Pete Seeger. The time is short but we can do it. The concerts would, of course, be free and could be on a campus, in a town square, a park, an auditorium, whatever works for that area. They could be a half-hour, an hour, whatever. Perhaps there might be folks who would like to gather at home with friends to dine together and sing or play some Seeger songs – and wish him a Happy Birthday (complete with cake and candle?).

There is an email list and a web site at .

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Letters For Mary Travers

Article written by on Monday, Mar 21, 2005 in People

Update: For more recent (good) news see this post.

Christine Lavin has been encoraging people to send wishes to Mary Travers who is in the hospital awaiting a bone marrow transplant.

As you might know, Mary Travers of Peter Paul & Mary is in the hospital gearing up for a bone marrow transplant (six matches were found!) — she will be hospitalized for at least the next six weeks. I have set up an address where you and your listeners can send Mary ‘get well’ wishes — I will print them out once a week and send them over (she cannot have visitors, so this is a way to help keep her entertained). In case you don’t know, Mary is very funny, sarcastic, loves a good joke — so if you know any good jokes, I’m sure she’d get a kick out of them. Over the years PP&M have proven to be one of the most enduring folk groups that talks the talk AND walks the walk, supporting good causes and doing countless benefits, so here’s a chance for us to help support her during a difficult time. The address is Thanks so much — Christine Lavin

Thanks to Lary Hoyt for pointing this out.

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Cristine Lavin Article on Dave Van Ronk

Article written by on Monday, Mar 21, 2005 in Opinion

I missed this when it came out or rather I bookmarked it to read later and later turned out to be much later. It’s still definitely worth a read however.

In this Washington Post article, published on the eve of the Grammy’s, Christine Lavin writes about Van Ronk, his life and death and his contributions to folk music.

On Grammy Night, an Elegy for A Folk Hero

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Garret Coffee House Web Site

Article written by on Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 in Venues

Jerry Holombe has started a web site dedicated to The Garret Coffee House which existed in West Hollywood California from 1958 to 1971 . He’s collected stories and photos from the Garret which was a popular hang out for west coast musicans in it’s day.

During the folk music revival of the 1960s The Garret was a popular place for musicians to relax and hang out. Terrea was always the main performer on stage, but just about every major folk music act in the business could have been found around the fireplace at some time or other. One night it was remarked that a bomb in the place would have instantly wiped out most of the folk music movement. Reported present at the time were Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Theodore Bikel, Joni Mitchell, Bud and Travis, Hoyt Axton and assorted other greater and lesser lights of the day.

Jerry’s looking for more stories and photos from that era.

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Vassar Clements Ill

Article written by on Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 in People

Vassar Clements web site is reporting that he has been diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. He has canceled all appearances for March and is receiving immediate treatment for this aggressive cancer.

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Plowshares Singer-songwriter Contest Results

Article written by on Tuesday, Mar 15, 2005 in Awards

Grand Prize: Joe Jencks (Cincinnati, OH) Runner Up: Jay Mankita (Amherst, MA)

The finals showcase was as amazing as always. Each finalist did a top notch performance, and the space is just perfect for listening to great songwriting. An intimate setting in a small venue packed with people ready to be wowed. Every performer rose to the occasion, and the fact that only two get mention is truly a disservice. Each of the finalists should be congratulated for excellence in songwriting craft and performace: Marc Douglas Berardo, Patrick Fitzsimmons, Nadine Goellner, Bill Kahler, Steve Key and Tim Robinson. These finalists made their way through three rounds of judging of 150 entries.

Host Erik Balkey reports.

We were also proud to present feature sets from last year’s winner Kate McDonnell, and invited guest Cliff Eberhardt who simply took over the room and finished the night with some great showmanship on guitar and with fantastic songs. Cliff is the whole package… a passionate performer, a world class songwriter, amazing lyricist, extremely musical, captivating and very funny.

We thank the finals judges: Otto Bost of WDIY (, Brian Gundersdorf of the trio We’re About Nine (, and Kate McDonnell ( The host venue was Plowshares (, and we thank Lucy Bonnington for allowing us to make this happen every year in such a wonderful room. The priliminary round were screened and judged by eight local Philadelphia area songwriters.

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Mindy Jostyn Dies

Article written by on Friday, Mar 11, 2005 in Passings

Multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Mindy Joystyn died Thursday March 10th. She passed peacefully with her husband Jacob Brackman, her mom, Chris Jostyn, and her siblings, Kelly Neale, Jay Jostyn, and Jennifer Jostyn by her side. They and her young sons, Isaiah and Misha, are being supported by a wide circle of family and friends.

Two scholarship funds have been established to honor Mindy’s life and music.

The Mindy Jostyn Music Scholarship Fund Principia College (Mindy’s alma mater) Elsah, IL 62028

The Mindy Jostyn Music Scholarship Fund Hawthorne Valley School (the Waldorf School that Mindy’s boys attend) 330 Route 21C Ghent, NY 12075

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