Musical variety show, originating from a different college campus each week, featuring various pop-folk groups of the period. Unfortunately, a combination of blacklisting certain ... See full summary »

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Series cast summary:
Jack Linkletter ...
 Himself - Host / ... (18 episodes, 1963-1964)


Musical variety show, originating from a different college campus each week, featuring various pop-folk groups of the period. Unfortunately, a combination of blacklisting certain controversial performers (most notably Pete Seeger), several major performers boycotting the show as a result (most notably Peter, Paul, and Mary and the Kingston Trio), and the rise of the British Invasion in early 1964 condemned this show, well-remembered by its many fans, to a two-season run. Written by Bob Sorrentino

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Plot Keywords:

folk music | See All (1) »







Release Date:

6 April 1963 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This musical variety show, first aired at the height of the pop-folk boom, had one very big strike against it from the start. Due to network or sponsor pressure (or possibly both), it blacklisted several performers outright, most notably Pete Seeger and The Weavers, because of their political views. This led to a boycott of the program by several top names (Peter Paul & Mary, The Kingston Trio, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, among others). However, there were enough big names featured during the program's first season (The Limeliters, Bud and Travis, The Chad Mitchell Trio, Dick Smothers, Tom Smothers) to make the show a huge success during its first season. During the 1963 summer hiatus, the producers approached Seeger again, saying he could appear on the show if he would sign a loyalty oath. Seeger angrily refused, and when word got out regarding this, many of the other big names who had appeared on the show in the past quickly joined the boycott. Judy Collins appeared on the program in 1964, but only after she agreed to alter the lyrics to one of her songs. She did, but she didn't like it, and afterwards joined the boycott. All the controversy, plus the unprecedented success of the "British Invasion" in early 1964, ended in "Hootenanny" being canceled after a two-season run. See more »


Referenced in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Groundbreaking intro to folk music
1 October 2010 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

I, along with many other people, was introduced to folk music via this network TV show, an exposure that was welcome and unfortunately apparently forgotten, given the zero comments and lack of IMDb votes (not a reliable barometer, but certainly an indicator of lack of sustained interest).

As a young jazz fan back then, more likely to be attending performances in my home town of Cleveland by Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Roland Kirk, Les McCann or Jimmy Smith rather than by vocalists, I was deeply impressed by the musical performances on this show, and the sincerity of the performers. I recall the Bill Cosby episode, and also one not listed in IMDb, that spotlighted the duo Joe and Eddie, whose hit song "There's a Meeting Here Tonight" still resonates with me so many decades later.

This was a quality presentation, live on campus, and without the hokum that ruins more modern showcases on TV of what I guess we could call "alternative" musical forms (just watch those hokey Public Television specials let alone pledge week crap to see what I mean). Nostalgia had not set in yet, and in fact many of these performers, such as Cosby and Mama Cass, were brand new faces to the general public.

Growing up with jazz I was always thrilled to see it spotlighted by Steve Allen and others, but both jazz & folk music have gotten short shrift on network TV in recent decades with the rise of inferior talk shows (take your pick) addicted to rock. The diversity of music available in the '60s when I was growing up was pretty amazing, given the fact that commercialism was king back then just as it is today. I guess the mechanisms to weed out any hint of quality or life in "mass" programming have become more sophisticated over the years.

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