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Coffee House

Never A Cover - Never A Minimum!


Folk Music Archives 
Welcomes your Questions!

Question/Answers Below  

This Bitter End Cafe proverb and menu. Peter, Paul & Mary  premiered at the Cafe in 1961. [Click on Proverb at right to view menu and The Bitter End.] It is part of the Folk Music Archives Collection, courtesy: The Cambridge Singers performance in 1965.  
  FolkMusicArchives 2001

Peter, Paul & Mary were interviewed in New York, December 14, 2000. Individual interviews with Peter, Noel (Paul) & Mary in January and February 2001 in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York City.

  Send Your Question To: frankshane@folkmusicarchives.org

Questions and Answers

From: Paul Kehoe via email
Q: What a great project you have going here . . . I work with Peter, Paul & Mary on their website. I handle the email inquiries off the site in addition to serving as the moderator and host of the site's discussion forum. I am looking forward to hearing the interviews done with the trio, both collectively and separately . . . When do you think that this will be available? Again, this is a wonderful initiative you have going here . . . I wish you the best.

A: The interview production on Peter Yarrow is complete. The interview with the Trio and individual interviews with Mary and Noel are in production - - also, a special one-on-one interview with Noel about the "Wedding Song."  FMA needs to do three more interviews to complete the PP&M project: Fred Weintraub [Bitter End]; Milton Glaser [cover design] and folk artist, Len Chandler. Streaming Audio  "Voice Clips" will be available on the PP&M page - - FMA is in need of funding to produce and provide voice interview clips on the website. From start to finish the archive research, interviews and production will have taken two years - - Management, Peter, Noel and Mary . . . and Warner Bros. were very helpful.  frankshane@folkmusicarchives.org

From: J. Folley via. email
Q: In an interview from Australia, Dave Guard [Kingston Trio] spoke of some financial finagling in the KT organization that initiated/hastened his departure from KT. Any info as to what he was referring?

A: In 1961 Life Magazine published an article on The Kingston Trio. That article mentioned a shortage of over one hundred thousand dollars in a publishing company they jointly owned. According to an article in a 1977 interview with Peninsula Magazine, Dave Guard elaborated and cited those conditions of careless management. For archival disclosure, Folk Music Archives never had the opportunity to interview DG before his untimely death.

Folk Music Archives interviewed Nick Reynolds, Bob Shane, John Stewart and Frank Werber, their manager, in 1999 and 2000. Also some follow-up Q/A by telephone and email. In total approximately 8 hours of interviews. Frank Shane, who has known the KT since 1963 asked the question about the 1961 break-up several times in San Antonio, TX, New York City and the Frank Werber New Mexcio interview. According to FS "tension was growing within the group - - personalities, music and dominance - - plus, the 60's were not the 50's. Nick and Bob wanted to continue in a style of fun and informality." According to Frank Werber, Dave wanted to control the group and it became Dave Guard vs. Bob and Nick. It came to a head in a meeting in Werber's office. According to Bob " In Frank's office, Dave said do it my way or I quit!" In New York City, Nick said: "Dave wanted to do it his way or no way."   Dave was out and John Stewart was in! According to both Bob and Nick, "It was a seamless transition." Note: FMA will be providing "Voice Clips" pending funding support.

From: Kerry, via. email
Q: What were some of the Coffee Houses where Bob Dylan played in the Village during the early 60's ? ? ?

A: The early days of the Village folk scene were special because they were the breeding ground for expression. "Open Mike" nights at the Cafe Wha were hootenanny nights. On
January 24, 1961, Bob played a few songs and Manny Roth, The Wha's owner, asked the audience if there was a place for him to stay - - - - Other places: Folklore Center . . . The Fat Cat-cat Pussy-cat  . . .  Lion's Head . . . Village Gate . . . the Limelight and Mike Porco's, Gerdes Folk City.

Q: I read your answer about Bob Dylan and the many places he played in the Village during the 1960's. Do you know if he played at the Bitter End on Bleeker Street? Also, can you provide a larger picture of the menu shown at the top of the Coffee House page?

A: Folk Music Archives had the same question, so we went right to the source: Fred Weintraub if you have other questions about The Bitter End - - please let FMA know!  The menu: FMA features a larger picture of both the menu and proverb on the "Bitter End" page. 

From: Richard Quincy, via. email
Q: When will you have "Voice Clips" on your web-site?

A: FMA is seeking funding and hopes to have this on the site soon. If you know of funding sources, please contact:

From: Susan Demarest, Palm Beach, Florida
Q: I was in the Village during the late 50's . . . there was a folk singer who had a small hamburger joint near Washington Square. Who was he, and why the burgers?

A: FMA asked Oscar Brand your question during a three hour interview recorded at WNYC on Tuesday, January 9th. Harry Belefonte was an unknown folkie in the Village - - he opened a small hamburger shop with the notion that if people liked his food they would come hear him sing. The hamburgers were good, but the calypso music was better.  

From: Roland Dey, Saratoga, New York
Q: Who wrote Where Have All The Flowers Gone -  Kingston Trio or Peter, Paul & Mary?

A: In 1955,  Pete Seeger wrote the first three verses from the melody of a Russian Poem while on a plane from Oberlin College. Years later, Joe Hickerson, a former student at Oberin and head of the folk music club when Pete performed there in '55, wrote the last two verses - - Joe was  a camp counselor in upstate New York. FMA has interviewed Pete, Joe, KT and PP&M - - your question is a good one, but which group sang it first - - and where?  Click Where Have All The Flowers Gone to find the answer and read interview excerpts. 

From: John Gottlieb, San Antonio, Texas
Q: I've seen the Bitter End menu every time I come to this page - - what's on the menu side???

A: A typical "coffee house" in Greenwich Village could not get a liquor license, so the menu featured coffee, hot and cold drinks and ice cream. The Bitter End launched the careers of many, including PP&M, Bill Cosby and Woody Allen - - despite the critics - - you were on your way if the menu featured your name: PP&M had "Ice Cider Jublee" for $1.30.

From: Sandy Marsh, Chicago, Illinois
Q: Originally the  Weavers were Pete Seeger, Ronnie Gilbert, Lee Hays and Freddie Hellerman. Pete left the group - why? Also, who took his place?

A: According to Pete in his 1999 interview with FMA, the success of the Weavers after their 1955 Carnegie Hall reunion allowed them to make "our own choices about where we would sing and what we wanted to sing." Eventually, Pete wanted to "sing more on my own and spend more time with Tochie [his wife] and the children."  Pete asked Erik Darling to take his place. Several years later in 1963, Erik helped in the revival of the Newport Folk Festival, with other committee performers of Theo Bikel, Jean Ritchie, Clarence Cooper, Bill Clifton, Peter Yarrow and Pete Seeger.

From: Jay Snyder, San Diego
Q: I love Bob Dylan and have never been able to find out what really happed at the Newport Folk Festival when he played "Who Killed Davey Moore" on electric guitar. Have you interviewed Bob and do you know the true story?

A: The song he performed at Newport was "Maggie's Farm." ["Who Killed Davey Moore" was performed when he first played with Pete Seeger at Carnegie Hall.] Like Bob, there is no single or correct answer. One thing is certain - - it changed the music scene forever! There are differences from what really happened and current recollections. I first asked Pete Seeger this question at his cabin in 1972 - - - I asked him again in 1999.  Four important recent interviews tell different versions of that historic afternoon: Pete Seeger, Oscar Brand, Peter Yarrow and Noel [Paul] Stookey.  This is such an important question, FMA has provided interview excerpts  - - just click on Bob Dylan. The entire interviews are available through the Library of Congress American Folklife Center. Through the efforts of many - - - I hope to talk with Bob this year. 


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