Clinch Mountain Echo

Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest: The Stanley Bros. & Cousin Emmy

(Central Sun A-108) 1987, reissued on DVD (Shanachie 605) 2005.

Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest: The Stanley Bros. & Cousin Emmy
Rear Cover DVD reissue
Carter Stanley Pete Seeger and The Clinch Mountain Boys
Don Miller The Clinch Mountain Boys
Ralph Stanley Chick Stripling doing the 'buck & wing'
The Clinch Mountain Boys Cousin Emmy with Pete Seeger and the CMB's
The Clinch Mountain Boys The Clinch Mountain Boys
Pete Seeger with Cousin Emmy and the CMB's

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In preparation for the 1966 'American Folk & Country Music' Europen package tour, all the bands congregated in New Jersey in late Feb. to perform two warm up shows at New York's Fashion Institute & the Boston Winter Festival;[1] and to appear on an episode each of Pete Seeger's 'Rainbow Quest' TV show.

The programs were recorded at WNJU-TV, a New York based UHF station with studios in Newark, New Jersey and originally broadcast on Channel 47, primarily a Spanish-language outlet with a small audience, and then repeated a couple of years later on public TV station WNDT.[2]

Pete Seeger once said "Any damn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple" and his 'Rainbow Quest' series is a good example of that. Unscripted and filmed on a shoestring budget, the shows were recorded with minimal stage props and relied on Pete's gregarious nature and musical talent to create some spell-binding TV. Each program lasted around 52 mins and featured a variety of acoustic acts of different genres. In all, 39 shows were broadcast, 38 of which had some form of release on VHS, Betamax and 3/4" U-matic tapes. Twelve shows including the one with The Stanley Brothers were later released on six DVD's with excellent picture quality and sound, although there is some pin-point drop-outs on the video on all of the releases, due to unavoidable deterioration in the original master tapes.

The Show with the Stanley Brothers also includes Cousin Emmy, and the DVD includes an additional episode featuring Doc Watson & his band as the guest artist.

After the theme tune, Pete Seeger plays a couple of songs on his 12-string guitar, before the Stanley Brothers make their first appearance, which consists of A.P. Carter's Worried Man Blues, Ralph's Clinch Mountain Backstep, Chick Stripling's 'buck & wing' tap dance routine to Chicken Reel, and Jacob's Vision. Cousin Emmy then gets the spotlight with Chick Stripling and Pete Seeger providing backing on Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad (with Cousin Emmy on banjo), Turkey In The Straw (with Cousin Emmy playing the melody by hitting her cheeks), Give The Fiddler A Dram (square Dance with Cousin Emmy on fiddle), You Are My Sunshine (with Cousin Emmy playing an inflated rubber glove!), and Ten Brook which is I guess from the Carver Boys 1929 song Tim Brook (a precursor to Bill Monroe's Molly And Tenbrooks).

The Stanley Brothers then return for the show finale, will all the musicians taking turns to sing and pick, with Cousin Emmy leading on Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes; Pete Seeger singing I Never Will Marry; Carter Stanley - Single Girl; Cousin Emmy - Knick Knack Song; and finally Pete Seeger closes proceedings with Down In The Valley.

Although this show was recorded just a few days before the German Volksmusik der Welt special, Carter is in much better shape and this is probably the best surviving example of the Stanley Brothers on video. It certainly seems to the one that crops up in part on other Bluegrass/Ralph Stanley films.

The DVD's which feature the other bands on the European tour include: 'Shanachie 606' - Roscoe Holcomb; 'Shanachie 608' - The New Lost City Ramblers; and 'Shanachie 609' - the Mamou Cajun Band. All are worth checking out, if you can find copies at reasonable prices.

The full show with the Stanley Brothers can also be found on youtube.

Pete Seeger Opening Medley

It Takes A Worried Man - Stanley Brothers

A.P. Carter
Clinch Mountain Backstep - Stanley Brothers

Ruby Rakes
Chicken Reel - Stanley Brothers

Jacob's Vision - Stanley Brothers

Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad - Cousin Emmy

Nathaniel Shilkret / Gene Austin
Turkey In The Straw - Cousin Emmy

Ten Brook - Cousin Emmy

Carver ?
I'm Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes - All

A.P. Carter
I Never Will Marry - Pete Seeger

A.P. Carter
Single Girl - Stanley Brothers

A.P. Carter
Knick Knack Song - Cousin Emmy

Down In The Valley - All

Jimmie Tarlton / Tom Darby ?


Go To Top Of Page [1] Ray Allen's book- 'Gone To The Country - The New Lost City Ramblers & The Folk Music Revival' (p.175-177)