1950s EASY-POP Songs and Singers...on the verge of Rock 'n Roll
The Weavers Fred Hellerman, (b.1927), Lee Hays, (b.1914), Ronnie Gilbert, (b.1926), Pete Seeger, (b.1919)
Famous Folk-POP hit during the 50s: Goodnight, Irene 1950
The Weavers also had hits with Tzena, Tzena, Tzena in 1950 and So Long (It’s Been Good To Know Ya) and On Top of Old Smoky in 1951.
Recording career with hits on the charts: 1950-1954 Record Label: Decca Records
In many ways, The Weavers resemble an earlier group—the Almanac Singers. In 1940, Pete Seeger and Lee Hays who were part of the Almanac Singers with Woody Guthrie, formed a similar ensemble including Brooklyn-born Fred Hellerman and New York-born songstress Ronnie Gilbert. The Weavers performed at New York’s Village Vanguard and audiences loved their simple, unaffected enthusiasm. Bandleader/arranger, Gordon Jenkins, brought them to Decca Records where they recorded Tzena, Tzena, Tzena and Goodnight, Irene, selling two million copies as a double-sided hit. Gordon Jenkins added string arrangements and brass but kept their sound intact. Decca teamed The Weavers with Terry Gilkyson, a baritone folk singer, on On Top of Old Smoky. Anti-Communist political blacklisting denounced Pete Seeger as subversive and the group was placed under FBI surveillance, cutting short their recording career, but a 1955 reunion concert at Carnegie Hall was a sellout.