Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Folk Interrogation

I was at a show the other night, and was talking to an old friend, Bailey Cleveland. She has some great stories…

“I’ll bet you never heard of The Folk Interrogation.”

No, I don’t think that I have.

“That’s because you were a Seventies child. I was a Sixties child.”

Yes, you do tend to remind me of that whenever we have a conversation about music.

“You think that music started with Emerson Lake and Palmer or The Ramones.”

You know that’s not true – tell me about this Folk Interrogation.

“It was in the late Sixties, I think I went in 1968 or so. My boyfriend’s older sister took us with her and her friends.”

What and where was it?

“It was a music festival, at a small college somewhere downstate. I don’t remember exactly where. I just remember a bunch of hippies with guitars.”

And the name ‘Folk Interrogation?’

“The idea was that these hippie folksingers would show up at this festival with songs they had written about the issues that were important back then. And they would interrogate The Establishment with their songs.”

Lots of Vietnam songs, I would guess.

“And Womens Lib. And Civil Rights.”

I don’t suppose you remember the names of any of these singers, or any of their songs.

“All I remember is some guy with a really bad voice, singing about the environment – I think we called it ‘ecology’ back then – he had a song with a chorus that went something like ‘in nineteen fifty-nine they told us DDT’s ok.’”

I don’t suppose there are any recordings from that festival, maybe from the college radio station?

“I’ve never seen or heard one.”

And you didn’t save any kind of posters, or anything?

“I was a teenager at my first music festival, learning about sex and drugs, so no, I didn’t spend my time looking for recordings or posters. If you’re looking for information, try the internet.”

I’m just curious. As you point out, I was too young for the sixties, so this is like the stuff of legend to me.

“I’m glad I could help pass the ancient stories down, to another generation.”

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