Newport Folk Festival 1963 United States

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Fri Jul 26, 1963 - Sun Jul 28, 1963
Freebody Park
Freebody St
Newport Rhode Island 02840
United States
Years active
Founded by
T. Bikel, O. Brand, P. Seeger, G. Wein, A. Grossman

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During the late '50s and early '60s, the Newport Folk Festival was THE place to see folk, blues and country legends strut their stuff in front of a newly appreciative public, and this specially priced 3-CD set collects the best bluegrass performances by a host of big names, with 16 unreleased tracks! Includes Molly and Tenbrooks Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys; Man of Constant Sorrow Stanley Brothers & the Clinch Mountain Boys; Ballad of Jed Clampett Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs & the Foggy Mountain Boys; Border Ride Jim & Jesse & the Virginia Boys, and more.
Much more than a nostalgia excursion, this CD stands as a critical document of late 20th century American culture. Don't expect a stodgy history lesson, however. The music from the 1963 festival is rousing and bell-clear. Jack Elliott gives a gutsy performance of "Diamond Joe" and Mississippi John Hurt's set is a triumph, especially the signature "Coffee Blues" and "See See Rider." The intimacy and excitement is palpable, even though much of the audience had never heard these songs, let alone seen this country-blues master. But it's the finale that's most remarkable, even if today it sounds surreal: Dylan and the folk elite--including Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and Peter, Paul & Mary--singing "Blowin' in the Wind." An honestly moving moment, though not one that would last. --Roy Kasten
Few performances in history are as legendary - or as controversial - as Bob Dylan's 1965 appearance at the Newport Folk Festival. In a single, galvanizing instant, Dylan plugged an entire generation in, forever changing not only the way the music was made, but the way it was heard. By putting you in the audience for Dylan's Newport performances from 1963 through that pivotal set in 1965, Academy Award®-winning director Murray Lerner's The Other Side Of The Mirror captures Dylan's metamorphosis from the folk family's best-kept secret to rock's fiercely confrontational poet who would electrify an entire nation and become the voice of his generation.
Before Woodstock and Monterey Pop, there was the Newport Folk Festival. From 1963 to 1966, director Murray Lerner visited the annual Newport Folk Festival to document a thriving, idealistic musical movement as it reached its peak as a popular phenomenon. Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Howlin'Wolf, Johnny Cash, the Staples Singers, Pete Seeger, Son House, and Peter, Paul and Mary were just a few of the legends who shared the stage at Newport, treating audiences to a range of folk music that encompassed the genre s roots in blues, country, and gospel as well as its newer flirtations with rock 'n' roll. Shooting in gorgeous black and white, Lerner juxtaposes performances with snapshot interviews with artists and their fans, weaving footage from four years of the festival into an intimate record of a pivotal time in music and in American culture at large.