Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas With The Beers Family

It's Yuletide again, and this year I've been quite busy with all kinds of time-consuming personal stuff (which I won't bore you with)...I did have a little time to digitize a nice holiday-related album for all of yez...

Here's a pleasant (and unfairly forgotten) LP from 1965 or so:

There is hardly any info out there on the Beers Family, other than the standard online biography:
The Beers Family was a traditional folk group active between 1958 and 1972, led by Bob Beers (b. 1920 -- d. May 26, 1972) and featuring his wife Evelyne and their daughter Martha (who joined in 1964). They played traditional Scots-Irish music on traditional instruments like the psaltery. In 1966, they began hosting the Fox Hollow Festival on their farm in the Adirondacks. Bob Beers was killed in an automobile accident in 1972, but his wife and daughter continued to perform and to stage the festival.

Also, Martha (usually known as Marty) was married to folk musician Eric Nagler from 1968-77, and the Fox Hollow Festival ran from 1966-1980. Evelyne Beers died in October 2009.

The liner notes offer a little more info, mostly about the songs:

Christmas With The Beers Family Columbia MS 6335
1965: Robert, Evelyne & Martha Beers, vocals; Robert Beers, psaltery; others unidentified.
1. Three Little Drummers
2. O Holy Night - Cantique de Noel
3. Christmas Hornpipe
4. La Virgen Lava Panales
5. The Holly Bears a Berry
6. What Child Is This?
7. Cherry Tree Carol
8. Away by the Manger So Mild
9. The Seven Joys of Mary
10. Mary's Little Boy Child
11. The Peace Carol
12. Silent Night, Holy Night
The Beers Family's Away by the Manger So Mild is a reworked Pharaoh's Daughter...also known as Little Moses on a 1928 Carter Family record. I rather like its almost limerick-like meter...

I had hoped to show a YouTube clip of the Beers Family in action, but apparently any film of them has been yanked by the Powers That Be. I hope the Powers don't yank this album too...only a couple of songs from the LP show up on a Beers compilation CD.

I think this album should be reissued...until that time comes, enjoy it as mp3s.

And Happy Holiday Season to one and all...


Buster said...

Happy holidays to you, too! Best regards,


Ernie said...

Looks good. I almost missed this one. Thanks a mint for sharing!

Wamsies said...

I've been looking for this since the 70's ... I can not thank you enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Merry Christmas!