As an all-volunteer non-profit organization, the Folk Music Society of Huntington owes its success and endurance to its valued members. We wish to honor those individuals who have made significant contributions. We do so here, and will periodically add some others of the many who share in our continued efforts to bring superior music to our community.
JOAN FISHMAN at THE VILLAGE GATE
In the late 1960's some people would get together to play and sing the music they enjoyed. Usually this was in someone’s living room, or if the weather was nice outside, on the patio. By 1968 Joan Fishman of Huntington started organizing these folks into a “society” as these were social gatherings. This was the origin of the Folk Music Society of Huntington. In early 1970 the “society” decided to formalize and incorporated as a 501(c)3 charity. The new Folk Music Society of Huntington, Inc. began organizing concerts, [More detail on first concerts & Joan's role] with the founders often reaching into their own pockets to pay artists, buy equipment, etc. Without the late Joan Fishman, there would be no FMSH.
Barbara Hellering, an original member, remembers:
"Who could have dreamed all those years ago that her idea and planning would lead to a lifetime of experiences and happiness friendships, social events, playing and sharing music and folk get-togethers. So many years, so many good times. How grateful we all should be to her. A few people took positive steps and forty years later we are still enjoying the benefits."
The Hard Luck Café owes its existence to the work of Scott MacDonald.
Scott moved from NYC to Huntington shortly after attending his first FMSH concert in 1990. In fact, that concert (and the house party after) had a lot to do with his move. A film maker and commercial television producer/director/animator, he began falling out of love with his career, leaving it on a leap of faith to build and repair guitars. His decision was aided by his visit to Huntington for that concert. "I felt home here; good people, a great town ... an inner-voice told me this is where I needed to be. I was searching hard to make the right change."
Within 6 months, he bought a home in Huntington, and started his guitar business. "FMSH was an enormous part of my life back then ... most of my dearest friends are people I've come to know through FMSH. There is something deeply touching about people who are willing to get up in front of an audience and open their hearts. It is a vulnerable, brave, and even healing/life-changing choice for a person to do this. You have to do it to truly understand ... I always felt it was something that needed nurturing and support, especially in those who were new at it, learning, or trying to get up the nerve to do it for the first time! That's why I did that radio show featuring live LI artists each week for 4 years, hosted a bunch of open-mic venues, and had the idea for the Hard Luck Cafe." Scott's work has been featured in the NY Times, Newsday, Guitar Player and Acoustic Guitar magazines, as well as several books on guitar making. Scott feels that FMSH is partly responsible for this, as it helped him find a new home and fresh start back in 1991.
Scott's website: www.customguitars.com
PHOTO BY ROBERT BERKOWITZ
Guitarist Bob Westcott is no stranger to Long Island audiences. His career began as a teenager playing guitar in the streets and basket-houses of Greenwich Village, and, auspiciously, as one of the very first members of the Wes Houston Band. Onetime owner of Folk City and famed Greenwich Village scene author Robbie Woliver has called Bob "the real deal", and for good reason: Bob has been perfecting his elegant finger-style guitar work for well over 40 years. During the 60's, Bob played the basket-houses of Greenwich Village, moved to Manchester, England to explore the British folk scene, then traveled throughout Canada and the US in the 70's, living in the Midwest, California and upstate New York before settling on eastern Long Island.
Bob's Annual Holiday Revue was a perennial favorite event of Long Island audiences, beginning in 1992 at a small cafe in Stony Brook Village. Each Holiday Revue celebrated the talents of several of Bob's friends on the Long Island music scene, and by 1995, people lined up around the block in freezing weather waiting for a chance to hear these performers. In 1996, Bob brought the Holiday Revue to the Inter-Media Arts Center (IMAC Theater) in Huntington in a concert co-produced by Bob, the Folk Music Society of Huntington and the newly formed Long Island Blues Society. This watershed event showcased the brightest rising stars of Long Island, and the 600-seat theater was standing-room only. The net proceeds of that event went entirely to the two organizations, and established an important bond between the two non-profits. For the next 10 years, Bob brought his Holiday Revue to the Folk Society as an important fundraiser for the organization each December. In 2008, the Holiday Revue was moved to mid-May, and continues the tradition as Bob Westcott's Spring Fling.
Bob has opened for several nationally known performers, including John Hammond, Merle Haggard, Richie Havens, Tom Paxton, The Nields, and Richard Shindell. Both timely and timeless, his astonishing guitar playing and universally resonant songwriting have made him a perennial favorite on the Long Island scene and he impresses audiences wherever he goes.
Bob's webpage: www.myspace.com/BobWestcott