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Re: "Which Side Are You On?"
Further - it is a great read and an essential book for the folk revival, up there with Ronald Cohen's comprehensive Rainbow Connection
. Weissman is literally the only person in the world who could have written the authoritative account of what those of us who followed the KT at the time and read all the crap that they were getting about "authenticity." He was a bone fide master of traditional music going back to the early days in Washington Square in the early 1950s, and as a Journeyman was a legitimate pop folk musicdian as well. The title is more than a hook; it is the perfect evocation of the bitter divide between traditionalists and pop folksters that existed, with the touchstone song being an artifact of the great battles between organized labor and management in the first half of the last century.
FWIW - it sold quite well for a hardcover book, likely Dick's second best selling - and that's saying something. He has sold a ton of books over the years. I have a genial and occasional internet conversation going with him over the years - he gently corrects some of the misstatements that I've made from time to time. When Mikey Burns, Gaylan Taylor and I performed his "Oh Sail Away" at FC a few years back, he sent me a lovely little note. One of the greatest banjo players ever in America said that I did a creditable job with his banjo part. He was being kind, but I'll take that any day of the week. He also answered my question - did he and JP ever intend to record OSA as they did for "Oh Miss Mary"? Answer: "Not at all. We wrote it with the Trio in mind and were delighted when they did it."
Is the name of the book that Dick Weissman, The Journeymen’s banjo player, wrote about FOLK MUSIC.
The title's only purpose was to sell books.
Which, I don't think happened in any great numbers.