The Weavers paved
the way for many groups in the
late 50's and 60's. As Joe Klein, biographer of "Woody Guthrie: A
Life" said during a recent Folk Music Archives interview at the New Yorker: "I
don't know if people would be playing banjo's today if it weren't for Pete
Seeger." Frank Shane was a product of that folk music period, and like Dave
Guard and John Stewart of The Kingston Trio and Eric Weissberg of the Tarriers, he learned to play
the banjo from Pete Seeger's
"How to play
Photo Right: The Bitter End Cafe, 147 Bleeker Street, Greenwich Village, New
York, February 23, 1965.
"The Cambridge Singers" L/R: John
Castronovo, Fred Holmgren,
Suzanne Stofflet and Frank
According to Shane,
a founding member of The Cambridge Singers:
"I wore out the 7-inch vinyl record,
but the Basic Strum, Double Thumbing,
Hammering On, Three Finger Picking, and Frailing finally got us to the Village
- - first playing in Washington Square by the fountain and than on "open mike" nights
in places like the Cafe Wah and The Bitter End Cafe - - at the end of a gig you'd
pass the hat around for tips - - if you got the hat back it was a good night!"
He plays a Vega long neck 5-string banjo.
"I bought it at Manny's on
West 48th Street right here in New York - - $283 bucks! - - - -
I still play it!"
Photo Above: Original 1960 second edition reprinting of "How to play
the 5-string Banjo." Pete Seeger said in 1960: "At
the rate things are going, it will probably have to be reprinted again in 1962."
Seeger [Folk Music Archives Collection ]
Archive Note: Smithsonian Folkways has issued a Compact Disk #FM 8303 with
both the CD and complete written instructions. For More Information Click
The Bitter End Cafe Shane said,
"Nobody wanted to become famous in the Village - - we just wanted to play, sing and have a
good time - - and we did!"
Shane has known
Kingston Trio since 1962 and was first with them in New Jersey at South Mountain Arena, February 17, 1962 for
a benefit performance. He first interviewed Pete Seeger
while broadcasting for the
ABC Radio Entertainment Network in the early 70's.
started his broadcasting career on Philadelphia's
WRTI Radio. He was news editor and producer-host of the syndicated radio interview show
"Dialog." In New York he produced and hosted a radio telephone
program and the live radio interview show, "SpeakOut." on the ABC
American Entertainment Network.
Photo Above: Frank Shane at WRTI Radio
Interview: "Dialog" Studio C
Photo: Marc Frantz © 1968, Philadelphia Inquirer
He has written and produced radio
and public affairs documentaries. It was in 1972 when doing a news documentary on the Sloop
Clearwater in Beacon, New York that he met Pete Seeger. Pete invited him
to do an interview at his cabin. According to Shane, "Everything
was going great until I mentioned that I played the 5-string banjo - - he jumped
up and next thing I knew he put his 1945 handmade 5-string long neck in my
lap - - - I forgot every song I knew, but somehow my fingers were playing
the "basic strum" to "Skip To My Lou"
from page 16 of his book! "
Photo Above: Shane on Shane
Frank Shane [R} interviews Bob Shane of The Kingston Trio
Interview in San Antonio Texas.
Photo: Doug Sehers, San Antonio Express
Click on Photo for The Kingston Trio
Contact Frank Shane: firstname.lastname@example.org