THE FABULOUS GATEWAY SINGERS
Gateway Recollections 5
SALLY MISSAGGIA in Oregon loves the “Puttin' on the Style” album best.
”We listened to this music when I was young, and the songs are still my favorite. It was so much enjoyment to listen to all the songs and I just couldn't believe all the tunes that just come back after all these years. I still remember the lyrics! Thank you so much for putting The Gateway Singers albums on CD so we can enjoy those tunes again. It brings back great memories.
BILL IMMERMAN in Los Angeles had the opportunity to see The Gateway Singers and other great folk groups live.
”I saw the Gateway Singers perform in Madison, Wisconsin the first time and subsequently in New York and San Francisco. I also heard Bud & Travis perform live in New York and San Francisco.
I was sorry to learn that Travis Edmonson is the only surviving member of the original Gateway Singers. I knew Lou Gottlieb passed away because I am also a fan of the Limeliters and the Kingston trio. Unfortunately, with the retirement of Alex Hassilev and the illness of Bob Shane none of the original members of those groups (except Glenn Yarborough who has a new group) are still performing. I should have guessed when they weren't featured on the This Land Is my Land special PBS taped a few years ago.”
WARREN CEREGHINO, now living in southern California, reminisces about a summer in the San Francisco area, and the part Gateway Singers played in it.
” I'm a San Mateo county native. In 1957 (age 20) my college summer (from Arizona State) was spent watching the SF Seals chase the 1957 PCL pennant and going to the Hungry i to see the Gateway Singers. I even gave the "Puttin' on the Style" album to my girfriend as a farewell gift which had a lot of meaning for both of us. That was a truly great summer for me, and the Gateway Singers were a huge part of it. We saw them several times that summer -- each time it was better than the previous. I wish I still had my own copy of that album. They were terrific! Thanks for the website and the joyous memories.”
Having seen them live many times, DAVID HORWITZ in New York speaks with authority on the qualities of The Gateway Singers.
” No doubt that The Gateway Singers sounded best while Lou Gottleib was still with them, but it was Elmerlee Thomas who provided the soul. What a sound they had.
The Hungry i was never the same after the days of the Gateway's. They may have booked better known groups like the Limeliters and Peter, Paul and Mary but none of them ever filled the room in quite the same way as the Gateway Singers.
Too bad we can't undo the damage that Decca executive did by insisting on including the strings in the Puttin on the Style album. Despite that, my kids nearly wore the grooves all the way through the vinyl in playing that album over and over and over and over when they were growing up in the late 1970's and early 80's.
The scratches made the LPs almost impossible to play. We were delighted that our two boys embraced the music of the Gateway Singers but bled a little with each new scratch they added. By the late 80's, we judged the LPs to be unplayable but still couldn't bear to part with them.
The new CDs will be a chance for my wife and I to relive a bit of our youth through the music of the Gateways and to play their music for our three year old grandson. We've already got him hooked on The Weavers. Can't wait till he gets a chance to hear the Gateway Singers. They'll knock his socks off.
GRAEME BALCOM in British Columbia shares memories of a special trip in which The Gateway Singers featured prominently.
”In May of 1957 a friend and I had just graduated from the University of British Columbia and we decided to pack a few things into the trunk of his little TR-2 sports car and go for a road trip. Sleeping in fields and roadside parks, we stopped also in the occasional fraternity house. In this manner we made our way down the coast from Vancouver to San Francisco. In San Francisco we were attracted to the "hungry i" because it was a pretty well known place so we slipped into a gas station to wash up and change our clothes and went to the show.
I am afraid that we had never heard of the Gateway Singers but when the four of them lined up with their backs to the brick wall and started in singing we were astounded! The energy, humour and absolute precision in their music and lyrics bored right down inside us. We were exhausted after the show.
I bought the "hungry i" record right then and I still enjoy it in the extreme (although I have long since ripped it to CD) I discovered your website yesterday and have placed m order for Puutin' on the Style.
One curious measure of a generation gap … when I persuaded my son-in-law to listen to the record he came away saying he didn't think he liked it much. I asked him why and he said, "Well, they are just too earnest". Oh, well. I don't know how you could think that "Dr. Freud", or Oleanna are earnest - maybe he was thinking of Reuben James?
Best of luck to you and all of the "Gateway Singers Missionaries" who
are keeping this alive.”
GARY SCALES , whose favorite Gateway song is “Puttin' on the Style,” has fond memories of seeing the group live.
“When we were dating, my wife and I went to the Hungry i every weekend to hear The Gateway Singers.
And you won't want to miss
Experience your own hungry i reunion with the wonderful DVD featuring commentary by Enrico Banducci and performances by The Kingston Trio, Limeliters, Mort Sahl, jonathan Winters, Stan Wilson + rare Lenny Bruce footage. Just click the icon to order direct from Amazon!