Pete Seeger American Favorite Ballads, Volume 1 
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- Released: June 25, 2002
- Originally Released: 2002
- Label: Smithsonian Folkways
- $0.99 on iTunes1.John Henry
- $0.99 on iTunes2.Shenandoah
- $0.99 on iTunes3.Blue Tail Fly
- $0.99 on iTunes4.Black Girl
- $0.99 on iTunes5.Skip to My Lou
- $0.99 on iTunes6.The Big Rock Candy Mountain
- $0.99 on iTunes7.Clementine
- $0.99 on iTunes8.Yankee Doodle
- $0.99 on iTunes9.Home on the Range
- $0.99 on iTunes10.John Brown's Body
- $0.99 on iTunes11.Goodnight Irene
- $0.99 on iTunes12.Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
- $0.99 on iTunes13.Oh, Susannah
- $0.99 on iTunes14.Wayfaring Stranger
- $0.99 on iTunes15.Oh, Mary, Don't You Weep
- $0.99 on iTunes16.Down in the Valley
- $0.99 on iTunes17.The Wabash Cannonball
- $0.99 on iTunes18.On Top of Old Smoky
- $0.99 on iTunes19.Frankie and Johnny
- $0.99 on iTunes20.I Ride an Old Paint
- $0.99 on iTunes21.The Wreck of the Old
- $0.99 on iTunes22.Wagoner's Lad
- $0.99 on iTunes23.Old Dan Tucker
- $0.99 on iTunes24.I've Been Working on the Railroad
- $0.99 on iTunes25.Cielito Lindo
- $0.99 on iTunes26.So Long (It's Been Good to Know Yuh)
- $0.99 on iTunes27.America the Beautiful
- $0.99 on iTunes28.This Land Is Your Land
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Solo performer: Pete Seeger (vocals, 12-string guitar, banjo).
Producer: Moses Asch.
Compilation producers: Jeff Place, Guy Logsdon.
Recorded between 1950 & 1962. Includes liner notes by Guy Logsdon, Jeff Place.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Personnel: Pete Seeger (vocals, guitar, 12-string guitar, banjo).
Recording information: 1950-1962.
Editor: Jacob Love.
Arranger: Herb Ledbetter.
In 1956, Folkways released Pete Seeger's LP American Industrial Ballads, on which he sang songs that grew out of the union movement. Earlier in 1957, there was American Ballads, his collection of vintage story songs. Undaunted by the similarity in album titles, Folkways here presents Seeger's American Favorite Ballads, which turns out to be his solo versions of a batch of popular folk songs, some of which he sang previously with the Weavers ("On Top of Old Smoky," Woody Guthrie's "So Long, It's Been Good to Know You," this time with the original lyrics). There is some conceptual overlap with the earlier discs, as "The Wreck of the Old 97," for instance, could have fit the themes of either American Industrial Ballads or American Ballads, and "Frankie and Johnny," a classic story song, would have been perfect for American Ballads. For the most part, however, this is a distinct collection containing much-loved folk songs like "The Blue Tailed Fly (Jimmie Crack Corn)" and "The Big Rock Candy Mountain," as if Seeger wished to make for his own the repertoire of Burl Ives. And there's plenty of country & western material, including the likes of "The Wabash Cannonball" and "Home on the Range." Sometimes the lyrics seem interchangeable from one song to another, and, in fact, that old warning about a false-hearted lover being worse than a thief turns up in both "The Wagoner's Lad" and "On Top of Old Smoky." Accompanying himself on banjo, six-string acoustic guitar, and 12-string acoustic guitar, by turns, Seeger presents the songs in his vibrant, clear-voiced manner, as if trying to preserve them as well as he performs them. ~ William Ruhlmann
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