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October 12, 1960 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1960-10-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

k

)ffee Houses Give Start to Folk Trio

By BEATRICE TEODORO
"We started out playing in someb
local coffee houses," said the
three young men from California,
"and then we played some not-so-L
local ones."t
The Cumberland Three, Johnc
Stewart, John Montgomery and
Gil Robbins, first got togetherr
early this year when Robbinsa
found the other two working as as
folk singing duo in coffee housest
near Mt. San Antonio College inI
Pomona, Calif.'
In the past six months, theys
have put out an album and willw
soon release two more, and ares
now part of the touring Shelley
Berman program that will be pre-
sented tonight at Ann Arbor High
School.
Own Arrangementst
Stewart and Montgomery met,
through their mutual interest in
the Kingston Trio, and Stewart
has even written and arranged
several of his compositions, among
them, "Molly Dee" and "GreenI
Grasses," for the Trio.
However, now that the Cum-
berlands have established them-I
selves as a nationally known folkI
singing group, they hope toI
throw off any identity with the
Kingston Trio.I
"We even through out songsa
that we think they might sing,"
the Cumberlands added. "But
there will never be a dearth of
material. A man in New York did{
research for three months and
came up with 5,000 folk songs."
Not Temporary
Folk singing is not riding on
a temporary surge of popularity,
the three said. According to Stew-
art, there has never been a per-
UCF Announces
Annual Gathering
The University Christian Fed-
eration, together with the Prot-
estant Foundation for Internation-
al Students, is having an annual
dinner at 5:30'p.m. Thursday at
the First Presbyterian Church.
The United Church Women of
Ann Arbor will bring individual
dishes, many with an interna-
tional element. Some 300 students:
are expected to attend.
The program will include an
address by V. M. Chacko of the
Philosophy department at Christ
Church College. Oxford. Chacko
is from Kanpus, India, and is
studying Economics here.'

iod in which folk music hasn't
been in the top ten.
"Folk music is very meaty,"
Robbins said. "There's a lot to be
understood, a lot of lyrics to listen
to. We're trying to teach Ameri-
can history through folk music."
The modern folk singing groups
have generally fallen into three
areas, the trio explained. Certain
singers have kept more rigidly to
the original versions while others
have become very commercial.
The Cumberland Three try to stay
somewhere between, modifying the
source rather than a modern ver-
sion.
Continual Modification
"Folk music is offensive when
it is artificial," Stewart maintain-
ed. "Therefore, it must be con-
tinually modified because a song
written 200 years ago sounds ar-
tificial now."
"Folk music must grow or re-
main just an historical collec-
tion," Robbins said, "The melo-
dies are all right but the lan-
guage is impossible to understand,
except for the elite esthetes."
The three have played in some
of the most sophisticated night-
clubs in the country, but definitely
prefer college audiences.
"We have to simplify our for-
mats for the so-called sophisti-
cated clubs," they said.
More Aware
Student audiences are more
alert and aware, the young trio
continued. "They understand our
language and fit easily into our
frame of reference."
After the tour with Berman, the
three may go to the "Hungry I" in
San Francisco. "It's the best club
we've ever played," they said. "The
atmosphere generates excitement
before the show goes on, and the
audience is always enthusiastic."
The extracurricular musical
tastes of the Cumberland Three
are not confined to folk music.
Stewart prefers Broadway shows
and Odetta; Robbins, who taught
music in a high school, likes
classical and progressive jazz, and
Montgomery listens to modern
jazz in addition to folk songs.
Stowe Continues.
Talks on Africa
Prof. Leland Stowe, of the de-
partment of journalism, will talk
on "Regional Problems in the
Middle East and North Africa" at
4:10 this afternoon in the Rack-
ham Amphitheatre.

Cinema j
presents
"CAM ILLE"
Thursday and Friday
"AMERICAN IN PARIS"
Saturday and Sunday

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Camille, one of the greatest
love stories of all time, had its
genesis in the career of Marie
Duplessis, a Normandy peasant
girl who became the toast ofa
Paris, a courtesan in the grand'
mold, abandoned her career for
love, and died of tuberculosis at
the age of 23. Thousands at-
tended her funeral in 1847; she
had the contemporary appeal of
a movie star. Alexander Dumas,
fils wrote a barely disguised
novel about her, which he sub-
sequently dramatized. They
were both succes de scandale.
However, the most enduring
form of the story was the oper-
atic version of Verdi, La Travi-
ata, which still causes copious
floods of tears today. Lest the
Ann Arbor audiences of 1960
condemn this as mere senti-
mental indulgence, it is worth-
while to quote the words of
Francis Toye, Verdi's biogra-
pher: "The opera was consid-
ered even more objectionable,
because more insidious than the
play . . . A deliberate attack on
the institution of marriage, a
defense of free love, a plea for
easier divorce . . . . Lovers, es-
pecially lovers whose love was
illicit, attended it in very much
the same spirit as they after-
wards attended performances of
Tristan and Isolde. In short, La
Traviata became the symbol of
revolt against current sexual
conventions."
The grand-scale film that
MGM made of Camille in the
mid 1930's was intended as a
vehicle for their most popular
star, Greta Garbo. It has quite
triumphantly survived the pit-
falls of temporary commercial
success. George Cukor, often
dismissed as a nonentity with
more technical abilities, direct-
ed with a firm and able hand.

Camille, while her lover beats
unavailingly on the door; Laura
Hope Crews is equally unforget-
table as the greedy, aging demi-
mondaine, a "friend" in the gay
world of the Paris 1840's. But it
is Garbo's radiant performance
that dominates the film and de-
serves the tribute of Otis Fer-
guson's statement that it is the
most beautiful thing we will see
in our generation.
The short subject on the pro-
gram, Myra Hess, gives audi-
ences the opportunity of hear-
ing the celebrated pianist's per-
formance of the first movement
of Beethoven's Appassionata
Sonata.
If there is one genre in which
Hollywood excells, it is the mu-
sical. Europeans just do not
have the knack, that certain
something which gets the action
off the ground and up into that
world of semi-realistic fantasy
where musicals come alive, and
where they must remain to stay
alive. For that matter, there are
very few Hollywood musicals
that have successfully accom-
plished this difficult feat. Only
American in Paris, 7 Brides for
7 Brothers, and The King and I
come immediately to mind.
Brigadoon and Damn Yankees
have their moments, but too
frequently find themselves
grounded.
Little need be said about our
feature for Saturday and Sun-
day-Academy Award winning
American in Paris. Whenever it
has been presented by Cinema
Guild, it has been greeted with
enthusiasm. The story, for those
who have not seen it, or may
have forgotten, concerns an
artist and recently discharged
G.I. (Gene Kelly) who falls in
love with Paris and a lovely
Parisian Miss (Leslie Caron).

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