Saturday, November 22, 2014

THE ANSWER MY FRIENDS

No offense to the other Bob, but he's been known to tell tall tales. 

Was he a carnie in New Mexico? A hobo? Does his driver's license say Jack Frost, Elston Gunn or Robert Zimmerman? Only the shadow knows.


I finally had the opportunity to talk to the sweetest woman living in Riverdale, New York, Delores Dixon. We had promised ourselves a visit with each other back when we met in May of this year. Somehow, that engagement stretched out all the way until today, a sunny and blustery Bronx day in November.

It's not everyday you get to have pizza and chat with a Greenwich Village Folk pioneer. Her name may not be known in every household, but she played an important role in the propagation of American Folk songs in the early 1960s with her trio, and sometime quartet, the New World Singers.

Gil Turner, Bob Cohen, Happy Traum and a young lady named Dee Dixon joined forces to create a band that would go on to be the very first to record the most replicated and re-recorded song of all time, Bob Dylan's 'Blowin' in the Wind.'

It was on a record called Broadsides and legend has it that a young Bobby Dylan showed up at Gerde's one day with the song when he was finally satisfied with the final product. He 'wowed' Gil Turner with the historic song in the basement, and Dylan let Gil be the first to perform it for an audience upstairs at Folk City

But the song had to come from somewhere. Of course, the melody had been 'borrowed,' in the folk process form of the word, from a song called 'No more auction block for me.' Delores Dixon became an accomplished singer and pianist playing such Gospels for her church amongst other numerous engagements and concerts. She was pals with 'Robert' and one day in East Harlem, they were tooling around with melodies and arrangements…Jamming, as it were, verbally.

"I watched him as he wrote the lyrics at my mother's house. He had a journal full of lyrics. He could put lyrics together in minutes. He liked the melody I had come up with.''

The other Bob is a little too busy confirm, clarify or to wax poetic about the past. But Dee Dixon just spilled some beans on film for me. Mr. Dylan also said in ''Chronicles'' that Delores was a dancer, journalist and from Alabama, neither of which are true. Make of it what you will.

~~~~~~~~~

I will be continuing to make the definitive documentary on the legendary Folk cabaret, Gerde's Folk City. It's called POSITIVELY PORCO. It's a story made by braiding together all the first person accounts from all the originals on the 'scene.' Delores was there. Robert was there. Gil Turner. Mike Porco. Arlo Guthrie. Odetta. Oscar Brand. John Lee Hooker. Suze Rotolo. Ratso. Stoner. Hammond. Feliciano. The club was truly home to American music history. 


I'm happy to become witness to the most interesting collection of memories and tales I could think of. And I'm more than happy to call Delores a friend, too. She doesn't want me to set the record straight or make a fuss. She speaks matter-of-fact about her past. And you can't change the past. She was part of the first group to record 'Blowin.' Case closed. Robert was at the recording session and was happy to share it with his friends. I think Dylan said it best in that Super Bowl commercial: You can't fake original.
~Porco

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

JOSÉ FELICIANO adds insight to POSITIVELY PORCO




Words can hardly explain how familiar my time with José was this week.
Finally, after 5 years since meeting him and getting to know him and his lovely wife, we were able to sit for his moment on film to speak about Mike Porco for the Gerde's Folk City documentary, Positively Porco.
I will give you a quote from my friend. Thank you for the lesson, José. See you soon.
~bob
Talkin' Bob Porco blues
''I would like to say something TO Mike Porco, because as far as I'm concerned, in my memory and in my soul, he still lives and I would like to say 'thank you Mike! A poor kid from the hills of Puerto rico become somebody. Your help and advice was an inspiration to me. His advice was 'keep going.'

He encouraged me and by playing Gerde's, I became somebody.''

~ José Feliciano, 11.3.14
The warmest place on Earth


José digs POSITIVELY PORCO



Two Puerto Ricans from the Bronx




Monday, October 27, 2014

Mike Porco 100th- MORE photos

here's a few more shots from the great concert held last Thursday.
Mark Cohen

Lydia Adams Davis

Vincent T. Vok

Roland Mousaa, David Amram

David Amram, Tom Chapin

Tom Chapin

Willie Nininger

Randy Burns

Bev Grant

Rob Stoner

David Amram

David Amram, Rob Stoner

David Massengill

Finale

Saturday, October 25, 2014

MIKE PORCO's Legacy Lives

The Mike Porco Centennial Concert came and went. Last night, the Towne Crier in Beacon, NY hosted a celebration of the music and community cultivated at Gerde's Folk City and Greenwich Village during its Golden Era. Eleven of Mike's past hired hands performed once again in his honor. It truly is my honor, as his grandson, to be able to call them my friends, as well. Thanks to today's version of Mike Porco- Phil Ciganer- for keeping his club alive and thriving with the same spirit once felt in the Village. And THANKS to the musicians for sharing their time and unmatched skill with us.
~Bob Porco

PS- Several minutes of Positively Porco was well received but only because it's awesome.

Mark Cohen

Lydia Adams Davis

Vincent T. Vok

Roland Mousaa

Bob Porco

David Amram

Roland Mousaa, David Amram


David Amram, Tom Chapin

Tom Chapin

Tom Chapin

Yours truly, Willie Nininger

Willie Nininger

Randy Burns

Bev Grant

Rob Stoner

Rob Stoner

David Amram, Rob Stoner


David Massengill

David Massengill