Ronnie Gilbert of The Weavers

VIDEO: The Weavers in 1951

Ronnie Gilbert is best known as a member of The Weavers, the influential folk group of the early 1950s, whose popularity soared only to plummet as a result of the anti-communist mania that swept the country. The group’s concert bookings dried up and stores pulled their records from the shelves.

In addition to Gilbert (September 7, 1926-June 6, 2015), The Weavers were Pete Seeger, Lee Hayes and Fred Hellerman. They paved the way for other popular folk groups such as The Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul & Mary.

Mary Travers credited Gilbert’s contralto with giving her confidence in her own voice. In a companion booklet for a boxed set of The Weavers recordings, Travers noted the popular female folk singers of the day had “Kentucky mountain sopranos. I was anything but a soprano! So when I heard The Weavers I found another voice, one that was definitely the voice of a strong woman, someone able to stand on her own two feet and face adversity.”

VIDEO: The Weavers Carnegie Hall Re-Union Concert “Goodnight Irene”

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