Unified Patriots by Vassar Bushmills
The lines of a ditty from the early 1960s suddenly popped into my head, recently.
It was late lest September, as well as I can remember
While strolling though the park in tipsy pride
Not a word did I utter, as I lay down in the gutter
And this pig came up and lay down by my side
Not a soul was I disturbing as I lay there by the curbing
When this high-tone lady came, and I heard her say…
“You may tell someone who boozes…by he company he chooses”
And the pig got up and slowly walked away
I was 17 at the time, 56 years ago and I still remembered those words. See the video below, only because of the song.
It was sung by the New Christy Minstrels, a very popular folk group from the early 60s. and I saw them sing this live in concert in 1963. It was part of a medley of humorous ditties called Bits and Pieces and this grainy piece of film shows the group and the audience, mostly college kids.
Pay attention to the way the students responded to what would today be considered childish humor.
(Sorry, no video link, so you gotta cut and paste)
This is a conversation I can only begin as I won’t live to see it finished, but we need to back and rethink some things.
In scrolling through YouTube videos of live performances filmed and recorded on college campuses by the top vocal groups of that period, the Kingston Trio, Peter Paul and Mary, and these New Christy Minstrels, I saw live in concert my senior year in high school in a sold out university basketball arena.
It never dawned on me then that this concert format would die before the end of the decade, as would the folk music craze in general. Pop bands and vocalists (both black and white) were popular since the mid-50s, Bill Haley, Buddy Holly and Elvis (I saw Elvis’ first appearance on Ed Sullivan in 1956, when the cameras only showed Elvis from the waist up.) the best examples, and I was a regular at a local youth center since 1957[…]