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The Manheim Fox Scrapbook of the New York Folk Festival: From the Carnegie Hall Archives

Manheim Fox was a 30-year-old producer in 1965 when he and John Stein, in association with Sid Bernstein, presented the New York Folk Festival at Carnegie Hall. Fox had a background in music publishing and theatrical management, and was inspired to organize a festival after hearing singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie perform in Kentucky. Fox created this scrapbook to document the festival and it became part of the Archives collections in 1995.

From June 17 to 20, 1965, Mose Allison, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, June Carter, Son House, Doc Watson, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Muddy Waters, and nearly 60 other singers, instrumentalists, and dancers gathered at Carnegie Hall for the festival. More than 17,000 people attended the eight concerts, two workshops, and one children’s concert that made up the festival—the first of its kind in New York.

A program titled The Evolution of Funk, arranged by blues singer Dave Van Ronk, kicked off nearly 40 hours of performances, each with a specific focus. Other programs included Grassroots Blues to Nashville, The Contemporary Singer-Composer, and workshops on the blues and the growth of songs from conditions of poverty. The festival culminated with the first concert performance of The American Songbag, poet Carl Sandburg’s 1927 collection of traditional American folksongs.

For more information and to see the online finding aid for the Manheim Fox Scrapbook: http://www.carnegiehall.org/History/Manheim-Fox-Collection-Finding-Aid/ 

A Getty Images selection of photographs of the New York Folk Festival is available to view at http://www.gettyimages.com/Search/Search.aspx?contractUrl=2&language=en-US&family=editorial&assetType=image&p=%22new+york+folk+festival%22#.

Learn more about folk music throughout Carnegie Hall's 120-year history in Carnegie Hall Treasures.