The big Folk City show at the Museum of the City of New York has had a handful of concerts to go along with the fabulous exhibit (of lyrics, instruments, maps, recordings, albums, clothing, memorabilia and of course photos by Fred W. McDarrah).
We ran into one of the above photographed musicians the other night at one of the MCNY concerts. Not Bob Dylan, but Happy Traum.
Happy is most famously known as one half of Happy and Artie, a duo he began with his brother. They released three albums, Happy and Artie Traum (1970, Capitol), Double Back (1971, Capitol) and Hard Times In The Country (1975, Rounder). He is a folk legend, having first appeared on record at a historic session in 1962 when a group including Phil Ochs, Pete Seeger and Dylan gathered in the Folkways Records studio to record an album called Broadside Ballads, Vol. 1. With his group, The New World Singers, Traum cut the first recoded version of Blowin' in the Wind and sang a duet with Dylan, who performed under the pseudonym Blind Boy Grunt, on his anti-war Let Me Die in My Footsteps.
On this night at MCNY the performers were The Chapin Sisters and Eric Andersen. The sisters are at best marginally talented and coast along on the memories fans have of the short but brilliant career of their uncle Harry, who died in an accident on the Long Island Expressway in 1981.
Anderson is a genuine talent who performed chestnuts such as Violets of Dawn and Come to My Bedside and the civil rights song Thirsty Boots. He has over the years played with most of the above photographed group and has released about 30 albums. He now lives in Europe where there is a more vibrant folk scene.
He spoke between songs about his experiences singing on MacDougal Street and at the Gaslight, one of the stops on the Save the Village: The Beats and Bob (Dylan) tour.