May 13, 1927 |
Brooklyn, New York U.S.
|Genres||American folk music|
|Associated acts||Pete Seeger, The Weavers, Arlo Guthrie|
Fred Hellerman (born May 13, 1927) is an American folk singer, guitarist, producer and song writer, primarily known as one of the original members of The Weavers, together with Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, and Ronnie Gilbert. He is also known for producing the record album Alice's Restaurant (1967) for Arlo Guthrie. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and educated at Brooklyn College.
The Weavers and the McCarthy era
In 1948, Hellerman formed the Weavers with Seeger, Ronnie Gilbert, and Lee Hays. Hellerman wrote and co-wrote some of their hits. He also wrote under the aliases Fred Brooks and Bob Hill. Because of his involvement with left-wing groups during the 1930s and 1940s, Hellerman came under suspicion of Communist sympathies during the McCarthy era.
In 1950, Hellerman was named, along with the rest of the Weavers, in the anti-communist tract Red Channels and was placed on the industry blacklist. The Weavers, unable to perform on television, radio, or in most music halls, broke up in 1952, but resumed singing in 1955. They continued together until 1963 (with changes in personnel). He also played on Joan Baez's eponymous, smash hit first album in 1960. The Weavers held several reunion concerts in 1980, shortly before Hays' death, which were documented in the film The Weavers: Wasn't That a Time! (1982).
- Extensive online biography with hyperlinks by William Ruhlmann in Allmusic
- Fred Hellerman at the Internet Movie Database
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