Introduction – Table of Contents
Several years ago, I received a letter from Marilyn Berner, living in Colorado. She reminded me that she, along with her husband Bill, ran a folk music coffee house, The Iopan, in Santa Barbara California in the early 1960s. She explained that she was contacting all the old folk musicians of that era and asking them to contribute chapters on their reminiscences of those days for a book she intended to publish. Marilyn asked me to contribute my thoughts, and I was glad to do so.
More than a dozen years have gone by since that request. I hadn’t heard back from her since I contributed my piece, and I presumed that the book deal had fallen through.
I’ve recently been contacted by Marilyn’s son David, who explained that shortly after she had contacted me, her writing partner John Thomas had passed away and that she had become unable to continue the project. Her health is not good these days, but David has decided to make these writings available in digital format. I think it’s a great idea, and have agreed to make space here on my sporadic blog, Pete’s Place togive these chapters a (hopefully) permanent and accessible home.
Click on the titles below to find the chapters:
1 Tony Townsend (Part 1) — Planting the Seeds 1
2 Marilyn Berner (the Iopan) — A House Filled with Music
3 Bill Berner — Notes by Marilyn Berner
4 Dan Barrows — Musings of the Iopan and Other Things
5 Phil Earl — Math Major Plays in Folk Group, Parents Not Amused
6 John Thomas — Music—A Lifelong Love Affair
7 Howard Pelky — Times Were Good
8 Ernie Brooks — My Brush with a Career in Folk Music
9 Peter Feldmann — Folk Music in Santa Barbara
10 Kajsa Ohman — A Life in Music
11 Gene McGeorge — Fiddler
12 Maria Cordero — On That Note . . .
13 Todd Grant — Remembering Folk Music in SB in the ‘60s
14 Phil Pritchard — Bass Man
15 René Leyva — Playing Around
16 Don Robertson — Folk Scene: The 1960s in Santa Barbara
17 Jim Greenwell — The Nexus
18 Sheri Geiger-Odenwald — From Blue Onion Carhop to Folksinger
19 Russ Johnson — The Big Debut
20 Tony Townsend (2) — The Harvest
These chapters are published here essentially as their authors supplied them about 15 years ago. We have chapters from many people, mostly musicians, who were a part of Santa Barbara’s folk music scene. Some of them – and the venues they played in, sadly, are now gone. Let’s make this a collective effort to describe what it was like, back in those wild and wooly folkie days. If you were there, if you have something to contribute, a comment, a photograph, a memory, or even a bit of cash to keep this website going, please contact us!
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