Brucester, you were going to leave Folk U.S.A.? Why in the world would you do that? Was it something I said, or didn't say? I'd hate to see you and Leonard, and the Lone Ranger and Tonto all leave! Don't do that! Shalom!
Max, you made my day!
Over the years, I must have read thousands of posts you made, and Julie was always quick to tell me I should take writing lessons from you.
She loves your comments + observations + style. I do too, but TODAY was my favourite post of all time.
=> THANK YOU, MAX !!!
First and foremost, Julie & I want to wish you good luck regarding your colonoscopy test set for tomorrow (Tuesday).
Our thoughts and our prayers will be with you.
Secondly, regarding HARRY BELAFONTE, I saw all his concerts here in Montreal, performed at our glorious PLACE DES ARTS.
Belafonte's Canadian audience were made up of mostly white "well healed" middle-aged folks.
Harry reached out to his large number of Jewish followers by not only singing songs, such as:
"Hava Nageela" + "He Ne Ma Tov" + "Heyoshevit Baganim" + "Erev Shel Shoshanim", etc...
Belafonte also substituted Hebrew words in songs like "Mama Look A-Boo-Boo", for example...
"I leave my whole house and home, my children don't want me no more..."
"I leave my whole house and home, my MISHPUCHA don't want me no more..."
("mishpucha" is Hebrew for "family")
So here at Montreal's PLACE DES ARTS, there were no racial slurs or racial tensions, or anything like that.
Everybody had a great time and we all enjoyed ourselves immensely.....including Harry himself !!!
HARRY BELAFONTE loved performing in CANADA, and he would also include songs written by....
GORDON LIGHTFOOT ("The Hands I Love" + "The Last Time I Saw Her")....
and....LEONARD COHEN ("Suzanne")....and.... JONI MITCHELL ("Both Sides Now")
Anyhow Max, besides sharing your stories and and your observations and wisdom,
I love the part where you say how CONNECTED we are.
To tell you the truth, Max, I was planning on leaving "Folk U.S.A." for personal reasons.
I had decided that the thread "Poems, Prayers & Promises" would be my last one.
But the feedback was pretty good, and when I heard the song "Abraham, Martin & John" on the radio,
I felt this need to share it with everybody here. It also gave me a chance to revisit my favourite concert album: BELAFONTE AT CARNEGIE HALL.
Oh, and since your fave happens to be THE KINGSTON TRIO...from the Hungry "i" ---
this is for YOU:
ps: Again, good luck tomorrow, Max.
Best Regards + Be Well + Be Safe, My Friend,
First, let me call you attention to these two things. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_degrees_of_separation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_degrees_of_influence
These kinds of things, and other things like them played a role in what you mentioned in your post.
This board, your post, you, me, everyone else here are connected. On the internet. The reason why we have connected is because we have a common interest. This common interest is fairly strong. So, there are a lot of us who connect in this way, and we do it frequently.
For about 20 years, every morning, and several times a day I’ve looked to see what’s been posted on X-roads. I do the same with this board. Why? It stimulates me. Mostly, in a good way. This isn’t always the case, but I’m mostly stimulated in a good way by visiting these places, and for this reason, I do it a lot. Further reasons for why I do this, I’ll not go into now.
What got my attention more than anything in your post was your posting the Harry Belafonte Carnegie Hall concert.
I have personal connections to both of these things. My personal connections greatly strengthens my connection to your post.
Let me say, first off, the point that I want to make is that I believe that this album is a big part of why we are all here.
This album “legitimized” the kind of music we like. By saying that this album “legitimized” this kind of music, I am saying that because rich, powerful, and smart people bought this album, and listened to it, got some very great legs.
The first time I heard this album was at my English teacher’s house. Her family had it. To understand how this came about, you have to know that my best friend in high school was the son of my English teacher, when I was in the 11th, and 12th grade.
The fact that this family had this album, still, in my mind, because of who they were to me then, still gives this album great power over me. The album and I have a very strong personal connection. Some things last very long. Why is this? If you know why, you have something very valuable that has utility. Having something that lasts very long is extremely valuable.
Harry Belafonte has something that has lasted very long. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Belafonte https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Belafonte_discography
The Carnegie Hall album came out in 1959. I haven’t looked, but this was probably the Trio’s best year. I believe that Harry’s album may have had a lot to do with this. I’m pretty certain that Harry had a lot to do with the Trio’s success. In many ways.
I have to say that I have mixed feelings about Harry. In the early 1990s, Jackee and I went to one of his concerts in Louisville. I was never one of his fans, because his music never did very much for me, but I’d always wanted to see him, and this was why we went. Upon our getting our seats, I immediately had a reminder of a similar experience that had taken place a few years before this. I had to go to Detroit for a deposition. I drove there, and arrived in the afternoon. That night, I went to a movie. When I got to the movie, if I wasn’t the only white person there, I’d be surprised. All I could see there were black people. This concert was very much like the Detroit movie theater. Jackee and I were very much among the minority.
Everyone needs to experience something like this. It’s a real eye opener. I have a few friends who are from Hawaii. One is a pretty close friend now. His father was in the Army, and he grew up there. He went to the same school as Obama and as Shane and Guard. His older brother and Obama were in the same class. Everyone called him ”Barry.” He was not a great basketball player. I always ask people who have lived in Hawaii why they are here. I’d sure be there, if I could. They always say the same thing. They don’t like being in a place where they are the minority. Also, Hawaii is cut off from the U.S.
Harry began his concert exactly like the album. During about the second song, a guy yelled something. I could not tell exactly what it was that he said. Harry thought it was a racial slur. I didn’t think it was… judging from the tone of his voice. I certainly could have been wrong. But, I don’t think I was. Upon hearing him, Harry yelled something back at him. I don’t remember what it was. But, it was very ….disturbing. Much more so than what whatever the guy had said. That’s how I felt. I’d call it a “counter-slur.”
During the rest of the show, Harry kept going back to the person that had yelled at him, and continued to say bad things about what this person represented. I didn’t like this. We went there to see a show. Not to be part of a black rally. This was very much what the show turned out to be. We almost left. I’ve often wondered if Harry would have put on the same show if the blacks in the audience had not out numbered the whites. Harry was a real bully. This is what I remember most. You never know what to believe about famous people. If you don’t believe this… think about Bill Cosby.
What I will say is that Harry’s 1st Carnagie Hall album (there was a 2nd one) is the most impactful live concert album that I’ve ever heard.
I believe that the Trio’s Hungry I album is the BEST live concert album I’ve ever heard. I like it much better than Harry’s, and overall, I think it’s better.
But, what makes Harry’s stand out are those bongos at the beginning…..
When I first heard them …. They were riveting.
I’ve (we’ve) been to a lot of great concerts…….
Sinatra 2 times.
Tony Bennett 4 times…
Neil Diamond …. One of the all-time best.
Pete and Arlo….really good.
The list goes on…..
Sergio Mendes really sticks out in my memory…
But, the show that impressed me the most, that still sticks out in my memory ….
Was Joan Baez….mainly because she only did 3 “folk songs.”
Jackee was out of town…. On business.
I never liked her.
But, I decided that I owed it to myself to go.
It was a ton of fun…very light…
The only thing heavy about it was … those 3 folk songs.
She did one very provocative song….
About being out in a boat…..
She said she was going to put it on an album….
I watched for it….she never did.
It was great, mainly because of one thing.
She had a fantastic percussionist.
The guy was incredible.
This was right after Tom left the Trio.
How long ago was that?
I told Shane about him…he wasn’t interested.
What does this say? A great percussionist can work wonders.
Nick’s bongos did it for the Trio.