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date: 21 November 2019

Carawan, Guylocked

  • David K. Dunaway

Extract

(b Los Angeles, CA, July 28, 1927; d New Market, TN, May 2, 2015). American folksinger. He attended Occidental College (BA 1952) and UCLA (MA 1953), learned to sing folksongs in the style of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, and was associated briefly with the folksingers’ organization People’s Songs. At UCLA he studied with the folklorist Wayland Hand, and by the mid-1950s he had begun making field recordings of traditional musicians. During the mid-1950s he was one of only a few folksingers to perform at American schools and colleges; he also toured in Europe, China, and the USSR. Later he became active in the Civil Rights movement in the South, where he helped to reintroduce the song “We shall overcome” to African Americans, who had traditionally sung it as “I’ll overcome some day.” He became a resident musician and folklorist at the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee. Carawan organized a number of folk festivals and helped revive the singing traditions of the Georgia Sea Islands; in ...

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