2nd San Diego Folk Festival

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The 2nd San Diego Folk Festival was held at San Diego State College during the Spring of 1968.

Lou Curtiss recalls, “In 1968 I took full ownership of Folk Arts Rare Records. That spring brought the second festival and some problems too. Merle Travis showed up for a series of workshops on Saturday and then disappeared. We found out 10 years later from Smokey Rogers that he had met Merle and they had gone down to Mexico to do some clubbing. We also booked bluesman Skip James who, as it turned out, didn’t like airplanes and got off halfway to San Diego at a stopover in Kansas City and took a bus home. However, Hank Bradley made it down for his first appearance and even then showed promise toward being the finest Arthur Smith-style country fiddler alive, along with all the other things he plays as a member of the Balkan Kafe Orchestra today. Also appearing for the first time were folk-country songsters Larry Hanks and Mayne Smith, who dueted with Ray Bierl. Scottish singer Jean Redpath made it down, as did folk-blues singer guitarist Mitch Greenhill. Stu Jamieson brought down Bill Cunningham and Tom Luke for some fine old-timey string band stuff. Returning from year one were Kathy and Carol, the Possum Hunters, Sam Hinton, and Ray Bierl. Also appearing for the first time was long-time San Francisco Bay area folk-country songster Merritt Herring. We moved out of the gym and into the campus little theater and lab school auditorium. The second festival had a flavor all its own.”

Here are some samples from that festival.