THE ALMANAC SINGERS
TALKING UNION

(Keynote Album 106),
recorded May 1941,
at an unidentified Central Park West studio.
Producer: Eric Bernay.
Released: July 1941.

"DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF JOE HILL"

LINE-UP | BACKGROUND | SONG LIST

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In Memoriam Millard Lampell

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PETE SEEGER, vocal/banjo; LEE HAYS, vocal; MILLARD LAMPELL, vocal; JOSH WHITE, guitar/vocal; SAM GARY, CAROL WHITE, BESS LOMAX HAWES, vocal


Even though "Songs for John Doe" was primarily distributed through Communist bookstores, it sold enough copies to merit a followup release. After talking with Eric Bernay, the Almanacs decided to record an album of union songs. Returning to that same studio that May, the Almanacs again invited Josh White and Sam Gary to accompany them. To give songs like "Union Train" more of a choral sound, they also brought in White's wife, Carol, and Bess Lomax....

"Talking Union" went on sale in June 1941; it became the Almanac Singers' most enduring album, remaining in the Keynote catalog until Mercury absorbed the label in 1948. Six years later Moe Asch borrowed Seeger's copy of the album for a Folkways reissue. That version -- drenched in echo and using an expurgated "Talking Union" -- is the one best known to listeners.

Ronald D. Cohen & Dave Samuelson, liner notes for "Songs for Political Action," Bear Family Records BCD 15720 JL, 1996, pp. 78-79.

 

 

  


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