white folk wednesday

History has a way of coming back to you. In the case of Janis Joplin appearing at the festival in 1968, her performance affected the life of a Bostonian who is now a member of the Newport Festivals Foundation Board of Directors.  Ward Mooney was so affected and emotionally involved in Janis’ performance at Newport, that when he heard the festival was going nonprofit, he knew wanted to become a part.  Janis was beautiful, gracious and respectful, and the power of her Newport performance continues to live on.” – George Wein

Photo by David Gahr

“In 1958, Odetta appeared at Storyville, which was my jazz club, but where I occasionally presented important folk performers, including Josh White and Pete Seeger. If I had to pick one person responsible for the establishment of the Newport Folk Festival in 1959, it would be Odetta. We had Sunday afternoon sets at Storyville in those days and I saw that hundreds of young people were filling the club, buying $1 ginger ales, just to hear this magnificent artist whose beauty and power of self-presentation reached deeply into their musical minds. I scheduled her for an afternoon set at the Newport Jazz Festival - which also included The Weavers and The Kingston Trio - and the response was huge. I thought, why just do a folk afternoon when we could do an entire festival? Henceforth, the Newport Folk Festival."– George Wein