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For ''Hootenanny'' Fans

By RD Heldenfels Published: October 12, 2006

In case you needed another reminder of how old I am, I remember watching ''Hootenanny'' during its 1963-64 run on ABC. But there are enough of you in my demographic to find this interesting news:

In April 1963 – right between Elvis Presley and Beatlemania – the weekly music concert show Hootenanny debuted on American television as a celebration of the popular folk music of the day. Broadcast on ABC stations from college campuses around the country, the show boasted early performances by such luminaries as John Phillips (later of The Mamas & The Papas) with The Journeymen, Carly Simon (with The Simon Sisters), June Carter (as part of The Carter Family), and solo-artist Barry McGuire (as a member of The New Christy Minstrels), along with stand-up comedy from the likes of Bill Cosby, Woody Allen and Vaughn Meader.

Now available for the first time since its original airing, The Best Of Hootenanny arrives on DVD as a three-disc box set packed with more than 80 live songs and five comedic performances on January 16th for the SLP of $44.98.

Immensely popular while it lasted, the folk music craze ended abruptly after the Beatles arrived in America in 1964, and Hootenanny was yanked off the air. All of the videotapes from the show were lost, most likely discarded during a time when no one imagined folk music would matter again. Fortunately, the shows were preserved on kinescopes made from a television monitor and now, more than four decades later, Shout! Factory has uncovered these musical time capsules so fans can relive a brief but important era in American popular music.

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