My bud and producer/musician extraordinaire Don Fleming (profiled in The Encyclopedia below) is now the Director of Licensing and in charge of artist-estate relations for the Alan Lomax Archive, a very cool position for a very cool guy. He had a big hand in selecting two critical pieces of music for the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack: "Po Lazarus" by James Carter is in the opening credit sequence and is the opening track on the soundtrack album. Mrs. Sidney Carter's "Didn't Leave Nobody But The Baby" was re-recorded by Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch and Alison Krauss for the film and also appears on the soundtrack album. Seven songs in Gangs of New York are from the Lomax collection.
- Now as a war with Iraq looms, Ms. Dane, at 75, is being called into action again. On Saturday evening at Joe's Pub at the Joseph Papp Public Theater in Manhattan, she and other musicians are scheduled to play songs from "The Vietnam Songbook," a collection of protest music she compiled in 1969 with her husband, Irwin Silber, who edited the influential folk magazine Sing Out! The songbook collected compositions from all over the world, making the case that the protest movement was universal.
....The tribute at Joe's Pub is Ms. Dane's first performance in Manhattan since the 70's. The event was organized by two New York musicians and producers, Kim Rancourt and Don Fleming, both in their late 40's. Though both were obsessive music fans, neither was very familiar with Ms. Dane or her work. This is partly because Ms. Dane rejected the path to stardom. Long before she made records with titles like "I Hate Capitalism" she was courted by the rock manager Albert Grossman. In 1960, before he represented Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin or Peter, Paul and Mary, he came to Ms. Dane.
....So now, four decades later, Mr. Fleming was working at the archives of the folklorist Alan Lomax in Manhattan when Mr. Rancourt came by. On the shelf, he pulled out "The Vietnam Songbook."
"It was terrific, but I had never seen it before," Mr. Rancourt recalled. "I thought that reviving it would make a wonderful project because not only did it collect traditional, classic American protest songs, but it was also from the North Vietnamese point of view. And that led me to my study of Barbara Dane. Though I was from Detroit and thought I knew a lot about music in general, I knew little about her. I wanted to bring her to New York and show everybody what a marvelous career she has had."