ZENITH SALUTES . . . THE FOLK SINGERS and they, in turn, give back the compliment by performing some of the heartiest and happiest songs ever to warm a listener's heart. The folk music you hear in this album differs from other kinds of songs in that its down-to-earth subject matter reflects man's relationship to his fellow man and his attitudes toward the complex world he inhabits. In this rich and varied collection, you hear a wide spectrum of performing groups that ranges all the way from a solo performer, a duo and quartet straight through to a many-voiced chorus. But no matter what the number of people involved, it's the artistry that counts, the ability to communicate the "message" of the song at hand and to it every bit as vital and persuasive as its creator, well-known or anonymous, intended it to be.
The album begins with THE NEW CHRISTY MINSTRELS, a bright-faced and bright-voiced group of guys and gals who named themselves after a nineteenth-century company of traveling entertainers. Listen to them give Cotton Fields, one of their most oft-requested numbers, a walloping-good treatment. The group holds pride of place on the album's reverse side, too, as they sing the jubilant Homeward Bound.
Next, you hear SIMON AND GARFUNKEL, a dynamic twosome who are as gifted in performing as they are in creating some of their own material. Here, they sing the subtle Leaves That Are Green and, on Side 2, I Am a Rock. Both songs are by team member Paul Simon.
THE CLANCY BROTHERS AND TOMMY MAKEM scour the Irish countryside—taverns, pubs and farms—for out-of-the-way songs and ballads to add to their huge repertoire. First, they sing their adaptation of the provocative Nancy Whiskey; later on in the record, they add the lusty Westering Ho to the program.
Women and their fascinating ways provide the subject for the two ballads sung by THE NORMAN LUBOFF CHOIR. The first, Annie Laurie, is a well-loved Scottish classic sung all over the world; and the second, The Girl I Left Behind Me, is an eighteenth-century colonial fife song supposed to be either of Irish origin or based on an English song called "Brighton camp."
A midwestern upbringing, cross-country wanderings and finally performing triumphs in New York City—this in a few words traces the climb to fame of BOB DYLAN, folk singer and folk-songwriter extraordinary. Dylan's singing style is intensely personal, a compelling expression of songs he writes—such as the two he performs here: Just Like a Woman and I Want You—to stir the emotions and stimulate the mind.
THE BROTHERS FOUR are famous for their versatility. They sing folk ballads of yesterday and they interpret popular songs of today. Whatever they do, they have a great time doing it. For proof, just listen to the boys sing When Everything Was Green and Wild Colonial Boy.
ZENITH SALUTES . . . THE FOLK SINGERS—and you will, too!