The Golden Age of American Popular Music: The Folk Hits

The Golden Age of American Popular Music: The Folk Hits


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Though Ace's Golden Age series of discs was initially devoted entirely to rock & roll, after numerous such volumes it branched out with thematic installments covering other forms of music that experienced success on the U.S. pop charts between the mid-'50s and mid-'60s. The Golden Age of Popular Music: The Folk Hits is another such imaginative anthology, compiling 28 folk singles that reached the Billboard charts during the era. There are, as you'd expect, some of the biggest such smashes, including the Kingston Trio's "Tom Dooley," the Rooftop Singers' "Walk Right In," Peter, Paul & Mary's "If I Had a Hammer," Gale Garnett's "We'll Sing in the Sunshine," the Highwaymen's "Michael," the New Christy Minstrels' "Green, Green," the Springfields' "Silver Threads and Golden Needles," and the Brothers Four's "Greenfields." What makes this several cuts above the usual Time Life sort of collection of this material, however, is the inclusion of quite a few low-charting (or even barely charting) 45s that never get played on oldies radio, and give listeners a more rounded picture of the style than is commonly funneled through mainstream historical media. From well-known stars, for instance, there's Johnny Cash's cover of Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me, Babe," Joan Baez's "We Shall Overcome," Pete Seeger's "Little Boxes" (his only chart single as a solo artist), and the Simon Sisters' "Winkin', Blinkin' and Nod" (featuring a young Carly Simon). There are also oddball items from less celebrated figures, like Bud & Travis' orchestrated, dramatic "Ballad of the Alamo"; Joe & Eddie's ridiculously exuberant "There's a Meetin' Here Tonite"; the Greenwoods' "Please Don't Sell My Daddy No More Wine," featuring C. Carson Parks, older brother of Van Dyke Parks; and the Shacklefords' "A Stranger in Your Town," co-written by group member Lee Hazlewood. If there are any grounds on which listeners might be mildly disappointed with this set, those would be that numerous major hits by the Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul & Mary are missing (though to be fair, each of those acts could easily fill an entire disc of hits on their own), and that there's a dated, cutesy pop-folk feel to much of the material. You certainly don't get earthy roots folk from the likes of Dave Van Ronk, Odetta, or a young Bob Dylan here, so it shouldn't be taken as a representative overview of the folk revival as a whole. But as far as providing a thorough single-disc compilation of the folk revival at its most commercially successful, it would be hard to beat, especially considering it's packaged with 32 pages of informative liner notes.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/26/2008
Label: Ace Records Uk
UPC: 0029667030328
catalogNumber: 1175
Rank: 15284


  1. Walk Right In
  2. If I Had a Hammer
  3. Where Have All the Flowers Gone
  4. Green, Green
  5. It Ain't Me, Babe
  6. Michael
  7. We Shall Overcome
  8. Greenback Dollar
  9. A Stranger in Your Town
  10. Winkin', Blinkin' and Nod
  11. Ballad of the Alamo
  12. Tom Dooley
  13. A Dollar Down
  14. Greenfields
  15. Silver Threads and Golden Needles
  16. We'll Sing in the Sunshine
  17. Hootenanny
  18. Don't Let the Rain Come Down
  19. Reverend Mr. Black
  20. Please Don't Sell My Daddy No More Wine
  21. Lizzie Borden
  22. Ode to the Little Brown Shack out Back
  23. Cotton Fields
  24. There's a Meetin' Here Tonite
  25. Tom Cat
  26. Summer's Come and Gone
  27. Little Boxes
  28. The Unicorn

Album Credits

Technical Credits

Lead Belly   Composer
Dimitri Tiomkin   Composer
Hoyt Axton   Composer
Guy Carawan   Arranger
Erik Darling   Composer
Bob Gibson   Composer
Cisco Houston   Composer
Malvina Reynolds   Composer
Pete Seeger   Composer
Shel Silverstein   Composer
Bob Dylan   Composer
Lee Hazlewood   Composer
Jerry Leiber   Composer
Barry McGuire   Composer
Frank Hamilton   Arranger
Gus Cannon   Composer
Gale Garnett   Composer
Terry Gilkyson   Composer
Alan Lomax   Arranger
Marty Cooper   Composer
Carlos Alomar   Composer
Lee Hays   Composer
Zilphia Horton   Arranger
Chuck Kentis   Composer
John A. Lomax   Arranger
Mike Stoller   Composer
Paul Webster   Composer
Hosea Woods   Composer
Randy Sparks   Composer
Lynne Taylor   Composer
Ersel Hickey   Composer
Rob Finnis   Liner Notes,Annotation
Tom Lane   Composer
Jack Rhodes   Composer
Willard Hooker Svanoe   Composer
Richard Dehr   Composer
Frank Warner   Arranger
Frank Miller   Composer
Eddie V. Deane   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Seeger, Petersen + Marsalis   Arranger
Kennard Ramsey   Composer
George Goehring   Composer
Dick Reynolds   Composer

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