Burl Ives Interview

The Magic Balladeer. A Master Craftsman. That's what cri tics consider Burl Ives.

Burl Ives has been singing and playing guitar now for some 50 years. Songs like "The Blue Tail Fly" and "Big Rock Can­dy Mountain" have helped establish the Burl Ives sound throughout the world.

His influence is such that he really did affect the course of popular music as we know it today. In 1952, Burl Ives played at the Royal Festival Coronation Concert in England. The au­dience included two kids who were so impressed with his per­formance that they went out and bought guitars. Those kids were John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

Q. How did you come to learn that two of the Beatles saw you in 1952?
A. I think they wrote it in a book or an interview. I heard it oh, some years ago, but I never paid much attention to it.

Q. One rock group has stated you can't move a large number of people with acoustic material, it has to be electric. What do you think?
A. Well, then we have to define one thing more. They were probably referring to a state of near hysteria when they get the audience really rolling. You really create a tribal near hysteria, which is a wild and wonderful thing to see and marvel at. I don't think any single artist with an acoustic guitar can do that, but I don't think he's trying to do it. What I try to do with an audience is not that. I try to touch their hearts.

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