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Folk Festival: Gala Special Film On CBC   Print


Winnipeg Free Press
September 27, 1969

For the first time on television, a comprehensive coverage of the Mariposa Folk Festival, the major annual event of its kind in the country, is being presented, to be seen on CBC television, Sunday, Sept. 29 at 9 p.m. in color.

The 60-minute film - Mariposa: A Folk Festival - is an attempt to capture the feeling and atmosphere of the Festival, rather than a structured "concert" - though there are substantial concert performances, particularly by "the queen of folk" Joan Baez, making her first appearance at Mariposa, with accompanists Jeffrey and Fondle; Saskatchewan-born Joni Mitchell, whose Both Sides Now, Chelsea Morning and other songs have made her an international star.

Producer-director David Acomba filmed throughout the three-day event, held in July on the Toronto Islands, and painstakingly edited the resulting mass of footage into a kaleidoscope of musical and visual impressions.

Among the other artists prominently featured in the show are Michael Cooney, who has been hailed as "a young Pete Seeger", Ian and Sylvia with their new band, The Great Speckled Bird, country singer and guitarist Doc Watson and his son Merle, Ottawa singer - composer Bruce Cockburn, Bessie Jones and the Georgia Sea Island Singers (who are exponents of the oldest known style of southern Negro gospel music), the South Happiness Street. Society Skiffle Band, a traditional folk-jazz group, fiddler-singer Doug Kershaw, guitarist David Rea, Gilles Vigneault, Raoul Roy and Mac Wiseman.

All the performers, including the big names worked for union scale, expenses and a fee from the CBC. The Mariposa special is full of the good feeling that permeated the Festival July 25 to 27, when 30,000 people streamed over to the pleasant Olympic Island in Toronto Harbor. The CBC's five cameramen went about their work unobtrusively, on tracks by the outdoor stage.

Described as "a young Pete Seeger," Michael Cooney is one of the most versatile performers ever to have appeared at the Mariposa Folk Festival, held this year on the Toronto Islands. A master of many instruments, and musical styles ranging from blues to country to music hall ballads, Cooney pops up frequently during CBC television's stunning 60-minute documentary on the Festival, to be seen Sunday, Sept. 28, in color. Other principal performers on the show include Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell and Ian and Sylvia.

 

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