If you are a boomer you no doubt know Harry Belafonte’s Fifties folk song hits “Jamaican Farewell” and “The Banana Boat Song (DAY-O)” as well as I do. But while researching for this month’s posts about Grammys for folk music, I found it interesting that the relatively unknown “Swing Dat Hammer” LP won the 1960 Grammy Award for Best Performance or Recording Folk.
I must confess I had never heard the LP or this song. I tried to locate the LP to give it a listen to – but turns out to be out of print! So why in the world would a Grammy Award winning LP be out of print! Unbelievable! Makes no sense what-so-ever!
Swing Dat Hammer
Please enjoy “Grizzly Bear” and “Swing Dat Hammer” presented here at OSML for your listening pleasure — both from the award winning “Swing Dat Hammer” LP of chain gang folk tunes.
If these two tracks are indicative of the rest of the LP, then Mr Belafonte and the Singers did a fine job on these folk tunes and I would love to hear the rest of the set. Drop me a note if you can help me locate it.
To add insult to injury – the following year the 1961 Grammy for Best Folk Performance or Recording went to “The Belafonte Folk Singers at Home and Abroad” and this too is out of print. This was the third and final album of the 12 member Belafonte Folk Singers.
What is wrong with RCA? Again, if anyone know how to secure this gem ( or the entire trilogy!) I would love to purchase it for a listen. Surely I will the music.
Stay tuned to OSML this month for more on Harold George Baleafonte (AKA Harry Belafonte) the activist, song writer and singer.