Mudcat Café message #2397513 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #113016   Message #2397513
Posted By: GUEST,Bob Coltman
25-Jul-08 - 08:56 AM
Thread Name: Paul Clayton biography coming in Sept 2008
Subject: Paul Clayton biography coming in Sept
Hi all -- there's been considerable interest here and elsewhere in a Paul Clayton biography. One will appear in just over a month. I checked with Joe Offer and he says this is allowable promotion, so --

This is to announce to the Mudcat/Digital Tradition community the September publication of my biography of Paul Clayton by Scarecrow Press. I've received help from some of you and your threads on this subject, for which many thanks, and Digital Tradition is credited in the book.

It is listed on Amazon and can be pre-ordered. Here's the Scarecrow announcement:

Paul Clayton and the Folksong Revival
Series: American Folk Music and Musicians Series #10
Bob Coltman
List Price: $55.00
Discounted Price: $46.75 (15% off)
ISBN: 0-8108-6132-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-8108-6132-9
Pub Date: Sep 28, 2008
320 pages
Binding: Paper
Availability: Not Yet Published

"Coltman, writing with obvious love for the time, the music, and the people who made the folk music revival of the mid-1900s a resource for all of us, provides a glimpse into the story of a man often walking the thin line between genius and insanity. As one who lived that era, I relived many times, places, and feelings reading this book. A must-read for old folkies, scholars of the folk revival, and indeed anyone who wants to read a vivid portrait of a man possessed with immeasurable talent and demons who left an indelible footprint on the folk music of his time."" —Ed Trickett, folk recording artist

A scholar and a balladeer, Paul Clayton (1931-1967) composed the #1 hit "Gotta Travel On" and was a key figure in the mid-1950s rise of folksong to media popularity. Clayton single-handedly brought hundreds of obscure folksongs to the mainstream radio and recording market, and he influenced listeners and friends from Dave Van Ronk to Bob Dylan, who considered Clayton a mentor, "mindguard," and well of folksong. Paul Clayton and the Folksong Revival is the first biography of the folk singer and song collector.

Using accounts from friends, family, and fellow musicians, author Bob Coltman relates the breadth and depth of Clayton's extraordinary life, from his birth into a singing family and his teenage years as a radio singer and folksong collector, to his establishment in New York as a folk performer and recording artist, to his tragic early suicide. Clayton's recordings are also examined, interspersed with his insights and adventures as a performer and songwriter in the folk world. Gradually, Clayton's achievements become overwhelmed by his disintegration as a drug user, failing musician, and bipolar gay man, culminating in eyewitness accounts relating to his tragic end.

Presenting an in-depth look at folk music in the 1950s, Coltman illuminates what it meant to be a working, but not starring, folksinger in this period. With quotes from a number of folksongs, a discographic summary, and a bibliography, this volume brings to life this intelligent, perceptive, and largely unknown scholar-folksinger.

Bob Coltman is a traditional folksinger, writer, and composer of several folk standards, and has published articles in Old Time Music and JEMFQ. He is a contributor to Exploring Roots Music: Twenty Years of the JEMF Quarterly (Porterfield, ed., Scarecrow Press, 2004).