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Happy Traum (b. Harry Peter Traum, May 9, 1938, The Bronx, New York City) is an American folk musician who started playing music in the 1950s. Happy is most famously known as one half of Happy and Artie Traum, a duo he began with his brother. They released three albums, Happy and Artie Traum (1970, Capitol), Double Back (1971, Capitol) and Hard Times In The Country (1975, Rounder). He has continued as a solo artist and as founder of Homespun Tapes.
Collaborations with Bob Dylan
Traum first appeared on record at a historic session in late 1962 when a group of young folk musicians, including Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Pete Seeger, Peter LaFarge and The Freedom Singers, gathered in the studio at Folkways Records to record an album called Broadside Ballads, Vol. 1. With his group, The New World Singers, Traum cut the first version of "Blowin' in the Wind" to be released (early 1963). Traum also sang a duet with Dylan, who performed under the pseudonym Blind Boy Grunt, on his anti-war song "Let Me Die in My Footsteps". These tracks were re-released in August 2000 by Smithsonian Folkways as part of a boxed set, The Best of Broadside 1962 - 1988: Anthems from the American Underground. Later that year, The New World Singers, which featured Traum, Bob Cohen and Gil Turner, recorded an album for Atlantic Records, with liner notes by Dylan. The album featured the first recording of Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right"
In 1971 Happy once again joined Dylan in the studio, playing guitar, banjo, bass, and singing harmony on three songs, which appeared on Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II. Dylan also invited Happy to participate in a famous session with poet Allen Ginsberg, which resulted in the box set Holy Soul Jelly Roll.
- 1975, Relax Your Mind, Kicking Mule Records KM110 (LP)
- 1977, American Stranger, Kicking Mule Records KM301 (LP)
- 1987, Buckets of Songs, Shanachie (CD)
- 2005, I Walk The Road Again, Roaring Stream Records (CD)
Happy is the founder and president of Homespun Tapes, a company that makes and sells music lessons. Originally these lessons were on analog audio tapes, copied from a master tape to a daisy chain of tape recorders, set up on the family dinner table — hence the name "Homespun Tapes". Nowadays, most lessons are DVD video lessons, either sold by post-order as DVD, or sold as a computer download.
Most lessons available are for acoustic guitar, many oriented at blues and folk music, but there are also lessons for several other instruments, e.g. fiddle, banjo, bass, etc.
- Ruhlmann, William. "Broadside Ballads, Vol. 1". AMG. Retrieved 2011-02-03.
- Ruhlmann, William. "Biography: Happy Traum". AMG. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
- "Happy Traum Biography". happytraum.com. Retrieved 2011-02-03.
- "LP's issued by Kicking Mule Recordings".
- "I Walk The Road Again". Amazon.com. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
- "About Homespun Tapes". Retrieved 13 May 2010.
- http://www.happytraum.com/ Official Website
- http://www.myspace.com/happytraummusic Happy Traum on MySpace
- http://www.homespun.com/ Homespun Tapes
- http://www.bobdylan.com/#/node/6308 Album Info from "Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, Volume II" on Bob Dylan's website