1963 March 20

Joan Baez Boycotts “Hootenanny” Over Blacklist


The entertainment industry newspaper Variety broke the story on this day that the popular folk singer Joan Baez, then at the peak of her popularity, boycotted the ABC TV musical-variety show Hootenanny, because the show was blacklisting singers due to their political views. Famous folk singer Pete Seeger was invited to appear on Hootenanny later in the year but refused to sign a required loyalty oath (September 14, 1963). Joining the boycott were folk singers Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Tom Paxton, and Barbara Dane.

Watch Trini Lopez sing the song, If I Had a Hammer, on Hootenanny: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3AjR-tXp8s

Learn more about Cold War blacklisting: David Everitt, A Shadow of Red: Communism and the Blacklist in Radio and Television (2007)

Watch Joan Baez sing We Shall Overcomehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnFwR8G6u2g

Read: Ronald Cohen, Rainbow Quest: The Folk Music Revival and American Society, 1940–1970 (2002)

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