The Weavers: Wasn't That A Time!
Airs Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 5 p.m. on KPBS TV
Much of what became the folk-music revival of the late 1950s and early 1960s -- from which came Peter, Paul, and Mary, the Kingston Trio, and Bob Dylan, among others -- began in the late 1940s with a group called The Weavers. Made up of Lee Hays, Ronnie Gilbert, Fred Hellerman, and Pete Seeger, The Weavers were part of a movement of socially conscious singers that began with Woody Guthrie (who, with Hays and Seeger, formed the Almanac Singers in the 1940s).
This 1982 documentary captures a reunion performance at Carnegie Hall in the early 1980s of the now-aged Weavers, blending contemporary footage of the concert with background about the intemperate, intolerant times in which The Weavers first emerged. The film provides solid history of the McCarthy era, when The Weavers--riding high with a No. 1 hit in "Goodnight, Irene" -- found themselves blacklisted as suspected Communists.
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