The Weavers: Wasn’t That a Time
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Watch Friday, March 7, 2014 at 9pm on WMHT TV.

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Before Peter, Paul and Mary, the Kingston Trio or Bob Dylan, there were The Weavers: Lee Hays, Ronnie Gilbert, Fred Hellerman and Pete Seeger. The simple power and beauty of their songs — about love and work, hope and freedom — inspired artists such as Arlo Guthrie, Don McLean, Holly Near and Peter, Paul and Mary, all of whom appear to help The Weavers tell their story. With rare footage of the early days before their blacklisting, this 1980 film centers around a triumphant reunion performance of the older Weavers at Carnegie Hall.

In addition to the music, the film features interviews with many of the performers and others, such as Harry Reasoner and Studs Terkel, who credits The Weavers with bringing the authentic folk songs of America into American popular music. Roger Ebert summed up the feelings of many when he wrote: “It is impossible not to feel a lump in your throat as the Weavers gather once again on stage, and it’s hard not to tap your feet when they start to sing. Seeing this film is a wonderful experience.” He gave the film Four Stars and called it “one of the year’s 10 Best.” 

Featured songs and performers:

  • “On Top of Old Smokey” – The Weavers
  • “Guantanamera” – Pete Seeger
  • “Tomorrow Lies in the Cradle” – Fred Hellerman
  • “When the Saints Go Marching In” – The Weavers
  • “Tzena, Tzena, Tzena” – The Weavers
  • “Miner’s Life” – The Weavers
  • “Venga Jaleo” – The Weavers
  • “Einstein Theme Music” – The Weavers
  • “Wasn’t That A Time” – The Weavers
  • “If I Had A Hammer” – Peter, Paul & Mary 
  • “Victor Jara” – Arlo Guthrie
  • “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” – The Weavers
  • “Hay Una Mujer” – Ronnie Gilbert and Holly Near
  • “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine” – The Weavers
  • “Wimoweh” – The Weavers
  • “Get Up and Go” – The Weavers
  • “Hay Una Mujer” – The Weavers
  • “Goodnight, Irene” – The Weavers
  • “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” – The Weavers