These records recreate the memorable moments of Fox Hollow, 1967, when the rains came down. The titles are derived from remarks by Louis Killen, who's unforgettable humor, under trying circumstances set the mood for the unusual week-end. It opens in Volume I, as the great Howie Mitchell plays his hammered dulcimer to the almost deafening accompaniment of the downpour. At the close of the number Bob Beers, master of ceremonies, mounted the stage with Tony and Irene Saletan, Robin Christensen, his wife Ellen, and Theo Bikel. There was some conversation as to whether the festival should be ended, when 2000 rain-soaked, but happy people, rose to their feet in unison, and shouted, "NO!" … and, well, it is all here. No festival in memory has more eloquently demonstrated the indomitable spirit of "Loving People", nor has any record so vividly captured the almost magical mood of a musical "happening". One after the other, musicians and singers outdid themselves in a continual deluge of raindrops. And, the audience, realizing that it was witnessing a charmed event, refused to leave. The festival ended in a spiritual hush, as though one were peering through the unearthly mists of some strange "Briga-doon". Then, Fox Hollow, 1967 disapeared forever.
Note: We sincerely regret that not all of the performers who took part in this event are heard on this record. However, the warm rains that brought such beauty to Fox Hollow, also permeated the electrical connections of recording devices and caused some distortion. For this reason, it was necessary to edit out some of the performances. Following, is a list of all the great people who were on the 1967 festival. If you miss some of them on the recording, this the reason.
Howie Mitchell & Ann Mitchell — From Washington D.C., Howie and Ann met at Pine Woods a few years ago, and decided that duets were decidedly better. Their latest joint effort is a son, John Lysle, born almost on the eve of Fox Hollow, 1968.
The tune on this recording, "Ruffles", demonstrated Howie's great versatility and ingenuity. At Fox Hollow '66, he heard Russell Fluharty play the hammered dulcimer, and was fascinated. In the space of a year, he had made ten dulcimers, and learned to play beautifully. Here on this recording, the keynote of "Pitter Poon", he and Ann play to the deafening accompaniment of rain (with Eddie Trickett and Herb Nudelman trying to be heard in the background). Howie is recorded on three records pressed by Folk Legacy: Howie Mitchell FSI 5, The Mountain Dulcimer and How to Make It FSI 29, and The Golden Ring FSI 16.
Irene & Tony Saletan, Robin & Ellen Christensen — Irene and Ellen are twin sisters, and once recorded on Riverside Records as the Kossoy Sisters. Here they are accompanied by their respective husbands, each of whom has distinguished himself in folk music. Tony Saletan is a world traveler who's research has brought us many beautiful foreign songs. He has been widely seen on the educational television networks. Robin Christensen is not a professional musician, but has recorded a children's album for Folkways.
Theo Bikel — Actor, singer, television personality, it would be difficult to list all of the great accomplishments of Theodore Bikel. He was a member of the original Broadway cast of "The Bound of Music", and more recently seen in the motion picture production, "The Russians are Coming", as well as many other films and television appearances. Added to this, Bikel is one of the best known interpreters of international songs, as is demonstrated well by this outstanding recording of "Polso", a Russian Gypsy song. He is recorded here thru the permission of Elektra Records, and may be heard on the following recent releases: "Songs of Russia, Old and New" EKS 7185, "Songs of the Earth" EKS 7326, and "Yiddish Theater and Folk Songs" EKS 7281.
Jean Ritchie — No one has been accorded such high respect in the field of traditional singing as has this great lady, and never has she performed more beautifully, than at Fox Hollow, where her clear, magnificent voice has brought enjoyment to so many. Jean has many recordings to her credit: Elektra Records EKL-125, (Jean Ritchie), "Courtin's a Pleasure" EKS-122, and Folkways "British Traditional Ballads in the Southern Appalachians." FA 2301 and FA 2302.
Guy Carawan — The song, "That's All Right" is typical of the gentleness and the extent to which Guy Carawan has given his life to others. A crusader for peace, equality, and human rights, Guy spent considerable time in the Georgia Sea Islands, where he has worked tirelessly for others. A photographic documentary may be seen in his recent book, "Ain't You Got a Right to the Tree of Life", published by Simon and Schuster. His most recent book recording, "A Guy called Carawan" is on Columbia Records of England, and may be obtained in America by writing to Carawan, Furnace Dock Rd., Peekskill, N.Y.
The Golden Ring — A unigue group, these singers and instrumentalists meet only on occasion, and sing far fun. It might be said, however, that their efforts are inspired by a keen desire to produce fine folk music in a natural, and spontaneous manner. In concept, their membership is made up of anyone who gathers with them to sing. But, for practical reasons, their original recording for Folk Legacy, "The Golden Ring" FSI -16, was made up of the following people: Howie Mitchell, George and Gerry Armstrong, Eddy Trickett, Ruth Meyer, Win Strache, Shannon Smith, Steve White, and Herb Nudelman. Since that recording, some wives have joined the group, and include Ann Mitchell, Betty Nudelman, and Penny Trickett.
Louis Killen — A British singer with a distinctive, Northumberland burr, Lou often accompanies himself on the English concertina, which he plays with almost unbelievable subtlety. A native of Gateshead-on-Tyne, he is widely known in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States. His remarks, "Pitter Poon..." and "Clitter, Clatter..." inspired the titles for these albums of Fox Hollow music, and his performances were among the best we have ever heard.
Des & Juliet Rainey — Nearing the close of their second trip to America, these two singers, perhaps more than any others, have brought festival audiences the charm and beauty of their world "down under" New Zealand. The rhythmic sounds heard accompanying this song are accomplished by Juliet, as she twirls small, colorful Poi balls at the end of the strings.
Sara And Charlie Grey — I first met these delightful people in Missoula, Montana about 1959. Their current home is in Philadelphia. Sara has rapidly become one of the finest traditional singers, as is well shown by this simple, but perfect sample of her art. She is accompanied by her husband, again in a tantalizing, yet modest (and convincing) banjo style.
Joe Hickerson — An archivist in the folk music section of the Library of Congress, Joe is himself a walking encyclopedia of songs. His guitar playing, while highly accomplished, is tasteful and as gentle as his personality. Joe Hickerson is a prominent member of Washington folklore gatherings, and also sings and plays with members of "The Golden Ring".
George Fisher — While George Fisher is better known as a cartoonist, and owner of an advertising company in Little Rock, Arkansas, he is one of the best informed authorities on Ozark mountain lore. He was brought up in the Ozarks, and sings his songs thru tradition. As he says, Turnip Greens is his song.
Grant Rogers — is one of the great traditional singers of the eastern New York area. He writes many of his songs, and plays the old time fiddle as well as he sings. Grant has recorded for Folk Legacy, FSA 27 "Grant Rogers"
The Young-Uns (Bill Schwarz, Mike Donk, & Bob Lucas) — The Young-Uns are from Holland, Michigan, and few groups have had such an impact on Fox Hollow audiences. Their music is fresh and inspired, and they are capable of great depth and versatility. They have been greatly influenced by people they have met at the festival, particularly Howie Mitchell, whose songs they use on this recording, "Kitty Alone".
Susan & Becky Boyer — I am proud to say that these bright young ladies are my nieces. They have appeared twice on the children's day portion of the program, and by the response of their listeners, they were among the best received artists of last year's festival. They are the daughters of my sister, Janet, and reside in Kirkwood, Missouri.
Michael Cooney — This sensitive performance of the "Poo Songs", demonstrates not only the creative genius of a great, young folk artist, but taken with the two numbers on the succeeding disc, show his incredible versatility. One could almost say that Mike is an enchanted person, and that his audiences are enchanted, too.