Veteran folkies ‘singing the good old songs’ to benefit Brooks library

BRATTLEBORO — The Friends of Brooks Memorial Library is holding a concert event on Friday, Sept. 7, at 7:30 p.m., in the American Legion Post 5 Hall on 32 Linden St. The suggested donation is $12, and proceeds benefit the library.

Former New Christy Minstrel singer Jackie Davidson and Michigan folksinger Gary Brandt will continue the rich tradition of folk music with their program, which they call “singing the good old songs again.” They combine classic and original folk songs into an energetic show with audience interaction, participation, and humor.

Davidson started playing music at age 15, working as a church organist. She moved to southern California and joined the trio The Randy Sparks 3. They eventually became the Grammy-Award-winning The New Christy Minstrels, and soon became regulars on The Andy Williams Show. Davidson sang with many well known entertainers such as Sammy Davis Jr., Tennessee Ernie Ford, Kate Smith, and Carol Channing.

With the Minstrels, Davidson performed at the White House for President Johnson, at Carnegie Hall with Alan Sherman, and at the Hollywood Bowl. She also accompanied Al Hirt on her banjo at the Greek Theatre in Hollywood.

Brandt is a popular folklorist, singer, and songwriter from Michigan. A retired educator and coach, he has shifted to full-time performing. He has composed songs and performances for such venues as the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Chrysler Omni Arts. His multimedia program Land To The West, has been performed more than 300 times across the country.

His song, Somewhere In Montana, has been featured in western poetry publications. His new songs for 2012 include Singing The Good Old Songs Again, the theme song for the show. Other new songs include Going To Tennessee and I Sang My Songs In California, which he wrote with his friend and former New Christy Minstrel member Art Podell.

Tickets are available at the library's main circulation desk, Vermont Artisans, Everyone's Books, In the Moment, and at the door the night of the concert.

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