McGuire and Strachwitz to Receive FAR-West Best of the West Honors.
For Immediate Release
Arlene Kole, FAR-West Best of the West Committee chair: 805 520 9336
Steve Brogden, President, FAR-West: 805 358 4970
Folk singer Barry McGuire and Arhoolie Records founder Chris Strachwitz have been selected by the Folk Alliance Region West (FAR-West) board to receive the Best of the West award for 2012. The awards will be presented in person at the annual FAR-West conference which will be held in Irvine, California October 18-21.
McGuire, who will receive the Performer award, is best known for his 1965 recording of “Eve of Destruction” and for being an original member of The New Christy Minstrels. Barry was cast as the male lead in the original Broadway production of "Hair." Once again his voice was heard proclaiming the ideals of a radical generation. Dick Clark says, "When world events collide with 'Rock & Roll,' you get Barry McGuire."
Over the last 57 years Barry has averaged around a 100 shows a year sharing the stage with everyone from Sammy Davis Jr, Andy Williams, Al Hirt, Jonathon Winters, Andy Griffith, Pete Fountain to Roger McGuinn, John and Michelle Phillips, Cass Elliott, Denny Doherty, Bob Gibson, The Rolling Stones, David Crosby, Gene Clark, Kenny Rogers….the list goes on and on. During these years Barry recorded more than 40 albums.
Barry’s current show is titled “Trippin’ The Sixties.” He says, “this is not a ‘cover’ show.” It starts where Barry started; writing and recording his ﬁrst Gold record “Green Green” with The New Christy Minstrels. Then come all the stories about the people and songs of the ‘60s, people he hung out with, people he recorded, partied and performed with. It’s a hand-clapping, foot-stomping, high-energy, sing-along show that never fails to take the audience on an emotional rollercoaster ride, leaving them spinning, weeping, laughing, dancing, and coming back night after night for more.
Strachwitz, founder and president of Arhoolie Records, will be presented with the FAR-West Ambassador award. Arhoolie Records was founded after Strachwitz made the ﬁrst ever recordings of legendary Texas bluesman Mance Lipsomb.
During the 1970s, Strachwitz continued to record blues musicians, including Big Joe Duskin, Charlie Musselwhite, Big Mama Thornton, Elizabeth Cotton, and Robben Ford, as well as Cajun and zydeco performers such as Clifton Chenier, Lawrence Ardoin and John Delafose. He also continued to secure the rights to release archive blues material such as that by Snooks Eaglin and Robert Pete Williams. In the 1980s and 1990s, he continued to develop Arhoolie as a distributor of smaller independent blues labels, and an importer of jazz and blues releases on European labels.
A displaced person from Germany after WWII, Strachwitz helped to bring Cajun music out of Louisiana, Norteno music out of Texas and country blues out of the country and into the living rooms of middle America. By making this music available to those outside the original cultural communities, he deeply inﬂuenced and broadened the way Americans think of their culture and music.
Fifty years and 300 releases since founding Arhoolie Records, he is still going strong at the age of 80, pursuing his own heartfelt, quirky vision of authentic American music. Strachwitz is a member of the Blues Hall of Fame and has been presented a lifetime achievement award from the Blues Symposium.
Previous Best of the West winners include performers Lowen & Navarro, Utah Phillips, Rosalie Sorrels, The Kingston Trio, Joe Craven, John McEuen, and Laurie Lewis. Previous Ambassador honorees include Howard and Roz Larman, Steve Baker, Clark and Elaine Weissman, Mike McCormick, Bob Stane, Cloud Moss, and Phil and Vivian Williams.
The criteria for receivng the awards are as follows:
*Excellence in one's craft.
*Enduring presence in the geographical FAR-Western folk community for a decade or more.
*Embodies or builds upon Folk values and traditions.
*Promotes, nurtures, fosters, expands the audience and opportunities for folk music and
musicians in the geographical FAR-West.
FAR-West conference which will be held in Irvine, California October 18-21.