Monday, 30 March 2009

Bob Gibson: I Come for to Sing - The Stops Along the Way of a Folk Music Legend

By Bob Gibson and Carole Bender

Preface by Allan Shaw - Epilogue by Peter Yarrow

with help from his friends:
Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Shel Silverstein, Tom Paxton, Peter Yarrow, Noel Paul Stookey, Glenn Yarbrough, Hamilton Camp, Gordon Lightfoot, Roger McGuinn, Studs Terkel, George Carlin, Ed McCurdy, Josh White Jr., Michael Smith, Bryan Bowers, Susan Gibson Hartnett, Meridian Green, Jim Gibson, Rose Garden And Many More!

In 1953 a young man named Bob Gibson, inspired by a meeting with Pete Seeger, left behind a successful job to hit the road collecting folk songs. When he emerged two years later, banjo in hand, ready to share what he'd found, he created an electricity the world of folk music had never seen. His arrangements, songwriting and musical innovations took his audiences by storm, lighting the fire that led to the full-blown folk revival of the late '50s to mid-'60s. He introduced Joan Baez in 1959, Judy Collins in 1960, and the album Gibson & Camp at the Gate of Horn in 1961, created musical history.

Bob co-wrote Abilene, Well, Well, Well and You Can Tell the World. His songs have been recorded by Peter, Paul & Mary, Simon & Garfunkel, the Byrds, the Smothers Brothers, the Kingston Trio and countless others. He is credited as being an influence on most of the performers that came out of the folk revival era, and that impact is still felt in most of today's popular music. He should have been folk music's biggest star, yet his name and story are sadly unknown by most. Out of personal frustration at the lack of information about him. I approached Bob Gibson in the last year of his life with an offer to help him tell his story.
-Carole Bender

In 1974 when doing publicity for my father's album Funky in the Country, I was fortunate to have mentors at the Old Town School explaining how to do it. Hamilton Camp helped too, giving me an earful one day at the cafe under the El tracks, when I showed him my first draft of the bio. He jumped up out of the booth, so frustrated that he was hopping up and down and hollering, "You just don't get it! Your father was not an influence! He invented folk music!"

I'm so glad to hear my dad's voice again, and I do hear it. Carole has done such a fabulous job of capturing his speech. He sounds like he's well again. Carole's offer was what he wanted and needed. Carole has not only gotten his story, she got his cadence. And I think he knew she would.
-Meridian Green

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