ok so listening to “Mr. Schwinn” yesterday reminded me about one of the things I love about folk music and that’s that a lot of the music is about folks! Story songs about the men and women who make up this great country and touch the lives of the people that write the songs. They may be real or sometimes fictional or sometimes a combination of the two but real or not I love their stories.
One of my favorite teller of stories of the common folk was Harry Chapin. His song “Mr Tanner” is a great example of the kind of songs I like a story about a real man based on an article Harry read in the paper about the bad reviews the artist received. I know this song was very personal to Harry and he sings it with such feeling because of his bad reviews!
Many years ago my wife and I saw Harry at the Valley Forge Music Fair we were sitting in about the second to the last row along an isle. As the show was getting ready to start the band members cam done the isle and soon we heard someone sit down behind us. Soon a familiar voice says “Anyone heard this guy Rolling Stone says he’s not very good!” and we looked around and of course there was Harry!!
Anyway here’s my favorite Harry song about a real person “Mr. Tanner”
Another of my favorite folk’s songs is Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Charlie Dunn” a song about a boot maker who worked at Capital Saddlery. When I read the comments at youtube it was neat because Charlie Dunn loved the songs and all his friends sang it at his funeral!
Here’s Alastair Moock with “Cloudsplitter ” a song about John Brown and the raid on Harpers Ferrry!
So those are three of my favorite folk’s songs. Anyone have any others?