Massachusetts Historical Society

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I Believe I'll Go Back Home: Roots and Revival in New England Folk Music

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Thomas Curren

Between 1959 and 1968, New England saw a folk revival emerge in more than fifty clubs and coffeehouses; a revolution led by college dropouts, young bohemians, and lovers of traditional music. From Club 47 in Harvard Square to candlelit venues in Amherst, musicians and audiences alike embraced folk music and progressive ideals. While the Folk Revival was short-lived, the youthful attention that it spurred played a crucial role in the emerging civil rights, world peace, and back-to-the-land movements. Thomas Curren traces a direct line from Yankee revolutionaries and nineteenth-century pacifists to the emergence of blues and rock 'n' roll, ultimately landing at the period of the folk revival.

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