Hootenanny was used in the early twentieth century America to refer to things whose names were forgotten or unknown. In this usage it was synonymous with "thingamajig" or "whatchamacallit", as in "hand me that "hootenanny"." Hootenanny was also an old country word for "party". Now, most commonly, it refers to a folk-music party.
Pete Seeger, in various interviews, he first heard the word hootenanny in Seattle, Washington in the late 1930s. It was used by Hugh Delacey’s New Dealpolitical club to describe their monthly music fund raisers. After some debate the club voted in the word hootenanny, which narrowly beat out the word wingding. Seeger, Woody Guthrieand other members of the Almanac Singerslater used the word in New York City to describe their weekly rent parties, which featured many notable folksingers of the time. Joan Baezmade the analogy that a hootenanny is to folk singing what a jam session is to jazz.
Several different television shows are named and styled after it, including:
* Hootenanny, an early
1960smusical variety show broadcast on ABC in the United States.
* Hootenanny, a show by
Jools Hollandbroadcast every New Year's Eveon BBC Twoin the United Kingdom, airing from 11 o'clock till 1 o'clock.
In 1963 and 1964 there was a BBC1 show called "The Hoot'nanny Show", recorded in Edinburgh. (Ref: [http://tonyreespopdiaries4.mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/page1.html] ). Two albums with the same title were released, with contributions from
Archie Fisher, Barney McKenna (before he joined The Dubliners), and The Corries.
In 2007 a set of 3 DVDs called "The Best of Hootenanny" was issued, culled from the 1963-64 ABC-TV series. It contained clips of performances by
The Chad Mitchell Trio, The Limelitersand The New Christy Minstrels, and even Woody Allenas a stand-up comedian.
Most recently, in the UK, The Big Chill has adopted the name for a mixed-media Sunday review - encompassing comedy and folk music - at their London venue The Big Chill House.
* [http://www.pseudobook.com/thepseudobookreview/?p=115 Remembering Hootenanny]
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