American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 2 [2003]

American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 2 [2003]

by Pete Seeger


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In 1957, Folkways Records released Pete Seeger's American Favorite Ballads, his renditions of some of the better-known songs in the traditional folk repertoire. Of course, the selection was far from exhaustive, so in 1958 Folkways followed with this second volume. Seeger draws from many different sources, beginning with Stephen Foster's "Oh, Susanna!," which is old enough to be considered a folk song. Tunes like "Sally Ann," "Shenandoah," and "Careless Love" have country & western origins. Naturally, Seeger looks to his two major mentors, Woody Guthrie for "Hard Traveling," and particularly Lead Belly. Taking up the 12-string guitar, Lead Belly's instrument, Seeger presents his own versions of "Midnight Special," "Black Girl," and "Alabama Bound," played as Lead Belly would. ("Midnight Special" even gets an extra verse referring to him.) While some of the performances are loud and boisterous, Seeger gives "Shenandoah" a nearly a cappella treatment, only occasionally using a banjo chord, and he sings "Black Is the Color" unaccompanied. Thus, the album has considerable variety in terms of the type of material and the approach Seeger takes. Of course, there's still plenty more where these came from.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/24/2003
Label: Smithsonian Folkways
UPC: 0093074015124
catalogNumber: 40151
Rank: 159989

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Pete Seeger   Primary Artist,Banjo,Guitar,Vocals,12-string Guitar

Technical Credits

Mississippi John Hurt   Composer
Lead Belly   Composer
Stephen Foster   Composer
Woody Guthrie   Composer
John Jacob Niles   Arranger
Pete Seeger   Composer,Liner Notes
W.C. Handy   Composer
Alan Lomax   Composer
Moses Asch   Engineer
Ronnie Gilbert   Composer
Lee Hays   Composer
Fred Hellerman   Composer
Martha E. Koenig   Composer
Huddie Ledbetter   Arranger,Composer
John A. Lomax   Arranger,Composer
Jeff Place   Liner Notes,Annotation
Ralph Rinzler   Liner Notes
Spencer Williams   Composer
Jean-Jacques Rousseau   Arranger
Guy Logsdon   Liner Notes,Annotation
Bess Lomax   Arranger
David Gahr   Cover Photo
Solomon Linda   Composer
Marion Hicks   Arranger
Public Domain   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Margot Nassau   Licensing
John Hurt   Composer

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American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 2 [2003] 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Total playing time - 73:22 Folksinger, banjoplayer, songwriter Pete Seeger was born in New York in 1919, the son of musicologist Charles Louis Seeger and violin teacher Constance de Clyver. A political activist, he fought injustice. Seeger was a member of the Almanac Singers and The Weavers in the 40s. During the 50s and 60s, he recorded for Folkways Records. In fact, he was so prolific, there were 38 albums released for Folkways between 1950 and 1964. From 1957-62, Seeger's 5-record "American Favorite Ballads" series were a cornerstone of the collection. "American Favorite Ballads" has apparently been reissued in two volumes. The songs were, and still are, essential items for the folk music enthusiast. As Seeger always believed, we should be singing and enjoying these old songs. And he had a knack for involving his audiences, interacting with them in ways that stimulated their active participation. While not all of the songs on this Volume 2 CD are true ballads in the strict definition of the term, each tells a strong story. With extensive liner notes, and 27 songs totaling 73 minutes, there are many songs that we'll immediately recognize while others are a little more obscure. All are sung by Seeger, most accompanied only with banjo or 12-string guitar. This is an excellent resource for all Americans to rediscover their musical heritage and favorite story songs. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)