THE BALLAD MONGERS by Oscar Brand

THE BALLAD MONGERS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

There was a time when hootenannies, Tom Dooley, and songs of the Anthracite miners occupied the interest of only a small segment of folk-minded avant-gardists. But now that the Kingston Trio and Pete Seeger have successfully infiltrated the masses of American listeners, cries for ""ethnicness"" and real down-to-earth folksy ballads resound in the staid halls of Tin Pan Alley. In this book an established denizen of the folk world tries to account for this rise in popularity by relating the ""inevitable"" evolution of folk songs from the old frontier to the New. Amid anecdotes about the great Leadbelly, Burl Ives and Allan Lomax, are scattered entertaining fragments of lyrics, crusades against the political blacklisting of left-wing songsters, and diatribes against the commercial realities of the trade. Unless you're really concerned as to how Charley got lost on the Boston MTA, this will seem overly tailored to in-group enthusiasts. But the number of people clamoring for entry into folk circles may provide this book with an eager, ""ethnic"" audience.

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1962
Publisher: Funk & Wagnalls