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Pete Seeger and Sonny Terry at Carnegie Hall

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Performer Notes
  • Blues harmonica player and singer Sonny Terry was the special guest at Pete Seeger's holiday concert at Carnegie Hall on December 27, 1957, and if he doesn't quite earn the co-billing he receives on this resulting live album, he does add some enthusiasm in his appearances on the closing tracks of each side of the LP, notably his harmonica showcase, "Fox Chase," and his vocal contribution to "Pick a Bale of Cotton." Elsewhere, Seeger turns in a typical performance, mixing up material that includes banjo instrumentals such as his own composition "Goofing-Off Suite"; spirituals like "Twelve Gates to the City (Oh, What a Beautiful City)"; a comedy routine during "Arkansas Traveler"; traditional folk songs like "In Tarrytown"; contributions from Woody Guthrie; and children's songs. For once, he doesn't exhort his listeners to sing along. That doesn't seem to be necessary; anyone attending a Pete Seeger concert at Carnegie Hall apparently knows what's expected, and the venue's acoustics enhance the crowd's efforts as they accompany the singer on the familiar tunes. Seeger himself adds a literary quality to the evening by reciting sections of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass in between songs. ~ William Ruhlmann
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