Friday, July 9, 2010


In the new issue of Mojo, the great Joe Henry interviews the great Harry Belafonte. Joe Henry is an artist who I admire: he has made some really great records, but produced albums from some of my favorite artists, including Solomon Burke and Aimee Mann. Belafonte is often remembered for "Day-O," but his music was much deeper than that, plus he is an actor and a civil rights activist (having marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the '60s). It's a great interview, but the part that struck me was where he was talking about not being accepted by the folk scene, even though he not only sang folk songs, but brought them to a wider audience (which is what folk music is supposed to be about, right?).  He says that he wasn't accepted because "there wasn't a lot of generosity... if you didn't come down a dusty road with a banjo over your shoulder, a piece of hay stuck between your teeth and a plaid work shirt." He even mentioned that Joan Baez referred to him as "Harry Bela-phony" in Time magazine! I guess one thing that never changes is the way people behave within a scene. Anyway, it's a great interview, and it inspired me to order the record pictured here, Belafonte At Carnegie Hall, recorded in 1959.

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