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Hootenanny is an Appalachian colloquialism that was used in the early twentieth century U.S. as a placeholder name 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". More recently[when?], the word most commonly refers to a folk music party with an open mic, at which different performers are welcome to get up and play in front of an audience.
Hootenanny was also used by the leadership of early firefighting battalions to describe a "meeting of the minds" of higher ups or various department heads. The term has trickled down to working companies and is now used, with some frequency, at working incidents and other circumstances that require a focused discussion between key individuals. Most recently it was adopted for use during the annual Fire Department Instructors Conference. Logistics professionals for the conference employ the word to call together the required personnel needed to accomplish the prodigious assignments placed on them.
Origin of modern folk music usage
According to Pete Seeger he first heard the word hootenanny in Seattle, Washington in the late 1930s. It was used by Hugh DeLacy’s New Deal political club to describe their monthly music fund raisers. After some debate the club voted in hootenanny, which narrowly beat out wingding. Seeger, Woody Guthrie and other members of the Almanac Singers later used the word in New York City to describe their weekly rent parties, which featured many notable folksingers of the time. In a 1962 interview in Time, Joan Baez made the analogy that a hootenanny is to folk singing what a jam session is to jazz.
During the early 1960s at the height of the American folk music revival, the club Gerdes Folk City at 11 West 4th Street in Greenwich Village started the folk music hootenanny tradition every Monday night, that featured an open mic and welcomed performers known and unknown, young and old. The Bitter End at 147 Bleecker Street continued the folk music hootenanny tradition every Tuesday night.
- Hootenanny with the Highwaymen is a 1963 album by folk band The Highwaymen
- "Surfin' Hootenanny" is a surf pop/rock song written by Lee Hazlewood (tune) and Al Casey, and performed by Al Casey with The K-C-Ettes (aka The Blossoms). It opens Casey's 1963 album Surfin' Hootenanny (issued as LP record by Sundazed Music Inc.). The song re-appeared in 1996 (in remastered version) on the Cowabunga! Set 2: Big Waves (1963) compilation. Cowabunga! Set 2: Big Waves (1963) is a second disc from Rhino Records' Cowabunga! The Surf Box 4-CD set compilation that contains most famous songs from the four-decade long history of surf music.
- The Glencoves had a hit single with their release "Hootenanny", which peaked at No. 38 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963.
- Eels released an album titled Shootenanny!
- The rock and roll band The Replacements released their second album in 1983, titled Hootenanny on Twin/Tone Records.
- The band Weezer had a "Hootenanny" tour in 2008 which allowed fans to play songs with the band.
- The New Zealand rock band HLAH released a single entitled "Hootenanny" (which also appears on their 1996 album Double Your Strength, Improve Your Health, & Lengthen Your Life on the Wildside Records label) in 1997.
- A song called "We Are Having a Hootenanny" appears on The Magnetic Fields's 2010 album Realism.
- The album The Repercussions of Angelic Behavior by Rieflin, Gunn and Fripp contains a track titled "Hootenanny At The Pink Pussycat Cafe".
- Reggae legends The Wailers recorded a song called "Hoot Nanny Hoot", sung by Peter Tosh, available on Tosh's CD The Toughest.
- Swedish 1960s folk band Hootenanny Singers included Björn Ulvaeus, who later was a member of ABBA.
- Belgian band Too Much and the White Nots released an album called Hootenanny in 2011.
- In 1964 George Jones and Melba Montgomery released a country/bluegrass album titled Bluegrass Hootenanny.
- Sheb Woolley had a hit in Australia with "Hootenanny Hoot" in 1963.
- Paul and Paula, who had a big hit with "Hey Paula" in 1963, also released a single later in that year called "Holiday Hootenanny".
Several different television shows are named hootenanny and styled after it, including:
- Hootenanny, an early 1960s musical variety show broadcast on ABC in the United States. In 2007 a set of three DVDs called The Best of Hootenanny was issued, culled from the series. It contains clips of performances by The Chad Mitchell Trio, The Limeliters and The New Christy Minstrels, and even Woody Allen as a stand-up comedian.
- In 1963 and 1964, a BBC 1 show The Hoot'nanny Show, recorded in Edinburgh, was broadcast. Two albums with the same title were released, with contributions from Archie Fisher, Barney McKenna (before he joined The Dubliners), and The Corries.
- In the United Kingdom, Jools' Annual Hootenanny, a special New Year's Eve edition of Later... with Jools Holland featuring a wide selection of musicians, has been broadcast every year since 1993.
- Seeger, Pete (1992). Schwartz, Jo Metcalf (ed.). The Incompleat Folksinger. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. p. 327. ISBN 0803292163.
- "Hugh DeLacy papers". Washington.edu. Special Collections, Libraries of University of Washington. Retrieved January 1, 2010.
- Hendrickson, Stewart. "Hootenannies in Seattle". PNWFolklore.org. Retrieved December 31, 2009.
- "Joan Baez: Biography". IMDB.com. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved December 31, 2009.
- Woliver, Robbie (1986), Bringing It All Back Home, Pantheon/Random House, ISBN 9780394740683
- "Gene Santoro, NY Times review, Beginning at the Bitter End.: SERIOUSLY FUNNY The Rebel Comedians of the 1950s and 1960s. By Gerald Nachman". NY Times. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
- Nachman, Gerald (2003). Seriously Funny: The Rebel Comedians of the 1950s and 1960s. New York: Pantheon Books. p. 659. ISBN 9780375410307. OCLC 50339527.
- Everts, Deb (May 22, 2021). "Senecas to host Sally Marsh's 50th year of Hootenannies". Salamanca Press. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
- Petersen, Nils Holger, Music Practices around Bob Dylan, Medieval Rituals, and Modernity. Københavns. 2005. ISBN 978-87-635-0423-2. Retrieved 2011-03-24.
- "HLAH". WildsideRecords.com. Wildside Records.
- "Nonesuch Records Realism". Nonesuch Records Official Website.
- "June 1964". Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
|Look up hootenanny in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- The Best of Hootenanny review, The Pseudobook Review.