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The following interviews recorded at Gerde's Folk City night club were broadcast July 13 & 16, 1963 from New York City on worldwide short-wave radio. These historic radio interviews were transmitted from the studios of Radio New York Worldwide on the show Folk Music Worldwide hosted by newsman Alan Wasser. This is show #2 of 2 at Gerde's night club. (The first show can be found here.)

Featuring comic folk singer Benny Berman and folk singers Roger Sprung and Artie Rose, as well as the New Wine Singers. Also including a chat with Mike Porco, owner of Gerde's Folk City! Transcript includes full song lyrics.


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MEL BERNAM (ANNOUNCER): Here is radio New York, Folk Music Worldwide. A program devoted to the best in folk music throughout the world, showcasing the top performers and authorities in the field. Now your host for Folk Music Worldwide, Alan Wasser.

ALAN WASSER (HOST): Hello again and welcome to Folk Music Worldwide. Today, as we promised, we are going to bring you the rest of the tapes we made at a hootenanny in a Greenwich Village nightclub called Gerde's Folk City.

The first performer we are going to hear is a very amusing young man named Benny Berman. Here is Benny Berman to tell you about the first song he is going to sing.

BENNY BERMAN (GUEST 1): It's about two sailors. One was tall, his friend was a little bit shorter.

[Song performance: Benny Berman, "Two Sailors"]


What do we see sailing on the water?
Two sailors, bobbing, one tall one shorter.
Their good ship sank so long ago.
Only two sailors were left to row.
Yo ho ho on a barrel of gin.
Ho ho on a barrel of gin.

One sailor said, "Oh Dear God I'm famished.
Two weeks it's been since our food was finished.
If I could catch only one small fish I could celebrate the dish.
Answered his friend, "Oh too long we've been roaming.
It's more than 3 months since I've seen a woman.
If I could get now an eye shapely dish.
I could do without the fish."
Yo ho ho on a barrel of gin.
Yo ho ho on a barrel of...

All of a sudden yelled out the shorter,
"Look it's a woman out there in the water."
Then the tall one spoke up to,
"It's a woman real and true."
Both of the sailors, the tall and the shorter,
try hard to draw her up out of the water.
Then they discovered the tall one's wish.
Half of her, and it was a fish.
Yo ho ho on a barrel of gin.
Yo ho ho on a barrel of...

Up spoke the tall one, "A gift from heaven.
Let's go to work. We will dine at seven.
First off we'll eat her tail.
Then your tale of love will tell."
Up spoke the shorter, "Don't rush to bite them.
Why don't we work from the top to the bottom.
[laughs] Love comes first. You must admit.
First we love and then we'll eat."
Yo ho ho on a barrel of gin.
Yo ho ho on a barrel of...

Really, I don't know who actually got her.
One the mermaid, the tall or the shorter.
But if you were on a barrel of gin,
how and where would you begin?
Yo ho ho you would drink the gin.
Yo ho ho you would drink that gin.


(end of music)

BENNY BERMAN: Thank you very much. The second song that I'll sing is a political satire and because it's about politics this song is kind of boring but it has one good point in it, it's long, so.

[Song performance: Benny Berman, "The Barefoot King"]


Once there lived a modest king and he ruled without a care.
'Til his people saw one day that the royal feet were bare.
So his parliament convened when they heard the shocking news,
and they brought the barefoot king, straight away, two golden shoes.
Said the King, "Dear parliament such a gift. I can't refuse, huh?"
And his people saw next day he was wearing golden shoes.
But when winter came around and the days were wet and cold,
came the black and sticky mud and covered up his shoes of gold.

Parliament convened again when they heard the latest news
and discussed the proper way to protect his golden shoes.
After days of long debate said the chairman wise and old,
"We'll buy a pair of leather boots to cover up his shoes of gold, huh?"
So next day the King went out on his shoes on which he wore,
but the people realized that the shoes were seen no more.

So the Parliament convened and debated what to do.
In the boots they made some holes so the golden shoes shown through.
Soon the holes were filled with mud.
No one knows unless he's told that the pure and patient king
underneath has shoes of gold.
So the parliament convened and amended their old law.
They announced that all the holes should be filled at once with straw.
So they went and told the king and the king at once obeyed,
but the people realized that no progress had been made.

So the parliament convened, made a law both wise and bold.
Now the king barefoot again, round his neck two shoes of gold.
Round his neck he wore his shoes and barefooted off he went.
That's what happens when a king listens to his parliament.
All the same, is best this way for the monarchs all recall.
The kings who didn't take advice, were left without a neck at all.
Once their lived a modest king and he ruled without a care.


(end of music)

ALAN: That was Benny Berman as we recorded him down at Hootenanny night in Gerde's Folk City in Greenwich Village.

Next let's hear Roger Sprung and Artie Rose during an instrumental version of "Old Joe Clark."

[Instrumental Song performance: Roger Sprung and Artie Rose, "Old Joe Clark"]

That was Roger Sprung and Artie Rose doing an instrumental version of Old Joe Clark as we recorded it at a Hootenanny in Greenwich Village.

This is Alan Wasser, by the way in and we'll have some more folk music from Gerde's Folk City in just a moment.

[pause for commercial break]

ALAN: Well, back to Folk Music Worldwide. Back to the tapes we made at Hootenanny Night at Gerde's Folk City. The owner of Gerde's Folk City, a guy named Mike Porco, came over to our table and we had an enjoyable chat. I think we'll play just a little bit of that chat now so that you can hear it. We asked Mike how long he'd been in the folk music business.

MIKE PORCO (GUEST 2): A little over three years. In the three years we've been through a lot of success to the field.

Then I looked television one day round the Hootenanny and all those people they on television now. I had them here 'bout three years ago they were playing at my Hootenanny.

ALAN: Well you have to listen to an awfully lot of folk music. Do you really enjoy it all? Are there any kinds that are really your favorites?

MIKE PORCO: Yeah, a lot of them I enjoy very much. A lot them I had them just because I know other people like them, so I cannot always choose my show according to my taste, I also choose according to their people that they are going to like and they can bring me some money.

ALAN: Well now what's your favorite personally? Which groups, what type of music do you like best?

MIKE PORCO: Well, a guy like Pete Yarrow. I used to like him as a singer much more than I do like him as a group [Peter, Paul & Mary], but even in a group they sound very well. The Clancy Brothers, Joan Baez, quite a few others but they are really my favorite John Lee Hooker.

People that they come here, a lot of them I took them and people told them I was making a mistake and then did a great job. Like Anita Sheer and Jacques Menahem. They told me I was crazy when I put here, they broke their record here.

ALAN: Well now, you're originally from Italy, right?


ALAN: Did you know any folk music when you were in Italy? Or is there any Italian folk music?

MIKE PORCO: Oh, yeah, there is Italian folk music but as far as my nationality, I don't have to say, people will know when they listen... I think they know by my accent that I'm an import Italian.

ALAN: Now we have a lot of listeners in Italy. What part of Italy are you from originally?

MIKE PORCO: Calabria.

ALAN: Any relatives still there?

MIKE PORCO: Oh, yeah.

ALAN: Is there actually much Italian folk music? Or is the American folk music popular in Italy?

MIKE PORCO: They call it in Italy different. Like a sternaly [sp?] is more on the verge of folk music and many, many songs, like we have Apol Shapel [sp?]. She sings as a practical nothing else Italian folk songs. Also Cynthia Gooding, she sings, and Jacques Menahem who sings a lot of Italian folk songs.

ALAN: Tell me something, do you ever sing yourself?

MIKE PORCO: No, if I was a good singer a lot of people would lose their jobs over here.

ALAN: Well, thank you Mike Porco, I don't know how bad a singer you are but one of the groups that you are breaking in, a group from Chicago called the New Wine Singers, are really great. And here are the New Wine Singers singing "Miners Lifeguard" and "Going Home".

Member, NEW WINE SINGERS (GUEST 3): One time the miners ... before the New Deal, before John L. Lewis and before trade unionism was a working reality ... miners were treated pretty badly in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

They were even paid according to the weight of the ore which they dig out of the ground and bring it in to a central agency. It didn't take long for the miners to realize that the scales had been tampered with in favor of management. They got together and sang this song of protest. If you'd like to sing along in the chorus, please do.

[Song performance: New Wine Singers, "Miners Lifeguard"]


A miner's life is like a sailors, on a ship to cross the waves.
Why every day his life's in danger, yet he ventures being brave.
See the rocks, they’re falling daily, and careless miners always fail.
Keep your hand upon the dollar and your eye upon the scale.
Union miners stand together, heed no operator's tale.
Keep your hand upon the dollar and your eye upon the scale.

Now you've been docked and docked my comrades.
You've been loading five to one
and what have you to show
for working since this mining has begun.
worn out boots and worn out shannies.
See your children, goddamn they are going pale.
Keep your hand upon the dollar and your eye upon the scale.
Union miners stand together, heed no operator's tale.
Keep your hand upon the dollar and your eye upon the scale.

Now in conclusion, bear in memory, keep that password in your mind.
God provides for every worker when in union we combine.
Stand like men, arms linked together, and victory you shall prevail.
Keep your hand upon the dollar and your eye upon the scale.
Union miners stand together, heed no operator's tale.
Keep your hand upon the dollar and your eye upon the scale.
Union miners stand together, heed no operator's tale.
Keep your hand upon the dollar and your eye upon the scale.


(end of music)

NEW WINE SINGERS: Thank you very much. We are going to sing a song that was written by a great friend of ours. His name was Fred Geis. And Fred was a migrant fruit picker and a fine person and he was very generous with the material that he wrote. And this is a song we are very proud to do. It's called "Going Home." And it's expresses his love for the kind of life that he had and the kind of people that he met.

[Song performance: New Wine Singers, "Going Home"]


Well no matter where I wander I know I'll always find a welcome.
At the end of every journey they'll be friendly people waiting.
California could not hold me.
Oh I loved her timber mountains.
Worked her fields and worked her orchards
up and down her central valley.
I had ridden golden boxcars through her golden Utah Valley.
Watched her rivers gently gliding,
wave my hand to friendly people.

Those who know me call me a drifter,
They don't know I've stopped my ramblin,
They don't know that someday, somewhere,
somebody's gonna make me settle down.
I'm going home. I'm going home. I'm going home. I'm going home.

No matter where I wander.
They know I'll always find a welcome.
At the end of every journey there'll be friendly people waiting.
Well no matter where I wander I know I'll always find a welcome.
At the end of every journey there'll be friendly people waiting.


(end of music)

ALAN: The New Wine Singers from Chicago as we recorded them at Gerde's Folk City in Greenwich Village.

Well, I'm afraid we have just about run out of time but that rendition of "Going Home" by the New Wine Singers certainly is a fine foot tapping song to end the show with.

Why don't you drop me a line and let me know how you like the New Wine Singers, and the others we had on today, Benny Berman, Roger Sprung, and Artie Rose.

If you remember the two guys we had on the last show from Gerde's, humorous singer Dick Glass and topical singer Phil Ochs. Maybe you can compare them all and let us know which ones you like best.

We'll try to get your favorites to come in and do a complete show from our studios. Even if you don't have any opinions, write us a letter anyway. We are always very anxious to get mail so we can tell if there is anyone out there listening to Folk Music Worldwide.

You can send your letters either to me, Alan Wasser, or to the show, Folk Music Worldwide at Radio New York Worldwide, New York 19, USA.

If you missed that address Mel will give it to you again in a moment. For those of you who haven't got the time to write us a full letter why not include a little note for Folk Music Worldwide at the bottom of a letter to any other show, especially Postmark New York. I'll be speaking to you again next week.

MEL BERNAM (ANNOUNCER): This has been Folk Music Worldwide. Devoted to the best in folk music throughout the world and spotlighting top performers and authorities in the field. If you have any suggestions, requests, or comments, why not write in to Folk Music Worldwide Radio New York WRUL New York City 19 USA. This has been a music worldwide presentation of Radio New York Worldwide.

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