Ramblin' Jack Elliott
   HOME

TheInfoList




Ramblin' Jack Elliott (born Elliot Charles Adnopoz; August 1, 1931) is an American
folk Folk or Folks may refer to: Sociology *Nation *People * Folklore ** Folk art ** Folk dance ** Folk hero ** Folk music *** Folk metal *** Folk punk *** Folk rock ** Folk religion * Folk taxonomy Arts, entertainment, and media * Folk Plus or Folk ...

folk
singer.


Life and career

Elliott was born in 1931 in
Brooklyn Brooklyn () is a borough A borough is an administrative division in various English language, English-speaking countries. In principle, the term ''borough'' designates a self-governing walled town, although in practice, official use of the te ...

Brooklyn
,
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...
, United States, the son of Florence (Rieger) and Abraham Adnopoz, an eminent doctor. His family was
Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is ...

Jewish
. He attended
Midwood High School , motto_translation = The True, the Good, and the Beautiful , address = 2839 Bedford Avenue Bedford Avenue is the longest street in Brooklyn, New York City, stretching and 132 blocks, from Manhattan Avenue (Brooklyn), Manhattan Avenue in ...
in Brooklyn and graduated in 1949. Elliott grew up inspired by the
rodeo Rodeo () is a competitive equestrian sport The word equestrian is a reference to Equestrianism, horseback riding, derived from Latin ' and ', "horse". Horseback riding (or Riding in British English) Notable examples of this are: *List of eques ...
s at
Madison Square Garden Madison Square Garden, colloquially known as The Garden or by its initials MSG, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state Stat ...

Madison Square Garden
, and wanted to be a cowboy. Encouraged instead to follow his father's example and become a surgeon, Elliott rebelled, running away from home at the age of 15 to join Col. Jim Eskew's Rodeo, the only rodeo east of the Mississippi. They traveled throughout the Mid-Atlantic states and New England. He was with them for only three months before his parents tracked him down and had him sent home, but Elliott was exposed to his first singing cowboy, Brahmer Rogers, a rodeo clown who played guitar and five-string banjo, sang songs, and recited poetry. Back home, Elliott taught himself guitar and started
busking Street performance or busking is the act of performing in public places for gratuity, gratuities. In many countries, the rewards are generally in the form of money but other gratuities such as food, drink or gifts may be given. Street performa ...

busking
for a living. Eventually he got together with
Woody Guthrie Woodrow Wilson Guthrie (; July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) was an American singer-songwriter and one of the most significant figures in American folk music The term American folk music encompasses numerous music genres, variously know ...

Woody Guthrie
and stayed with him as an admirer and student. With banjo player
Derroll Adams Derroll Adams (November 27, 1925 – February 6, 2000) was an American folk musician. Biography Adams was born Derroll Lewis Thompson in Portland, Oregon. At 16, he served in the Army and later in the Coast Guard. He was a tall, lanky banj ...
, he toured the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
and Europe. By 1960, he had recorded three folk albums for the UK
record label A record label, or record company, is a brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Brands are used in business, marketing, and ad ...
Topic Records Topic Records is a British folk music label, which played a major role in the second British folk revival The British folk revival incorporates a number of movements for the collection, preservation and performance of folk music Folk music i ...
. In London, he played small clubs and pubs by day and
West End West End most commonly refers to: * West End of London, an area of central London, England * West End theatre, a popular term for mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres of London, England West End may also refer to: Place ...
cabaret Cabaret is a form of theatrical entertainment featuring music, song, dance, recitation, or drama. It is mainly distinguished by the performance venue, which might be a pub, a casino, a hotel, a restaurant, or a nightclub with a stage for performa ...

cabaret
nightclub A nightclub (music club, discothèque, disco club, or simply ''club'') is an entertainment venue during night Night (also described as night time, night-time, or nighttime, unconventionally spelled as ''nite'') is the period of ambie ...
s at night. When he returned to the States, Elliott found he had become renowned in American folk music circles. Woody Guthrie had the greatest influence on Elliott. Guthrie's son,
Arlo Arlo (pronounced AR-loh) is a given name for males. From Old English, it is believed to be derived from the Anglo-Saxon ''here'' 'army, fortified, troops; war-' and ''hlaw'' 'mound, cairn, hill,' thereby meaning 'fortified hill.' Arlo can also be ...
, said that because of Woody's
illness A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interactin ...
and early death, Arlo never really got to know him, but learned his father's songs and performing style from Elliott and, according to Arlo, Woody Guthrie once said that Jack Elliot "Sounds more like me than I do

Elliott's guitar and his mastery of Guthrie's material had a big impact on
Bob Dylan Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author and visual artist. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has been a major figure in for more than 50 years. Much of ...

Bob Dylan
when he lived in Minneapolis. When he reached New York, Dylan was sometimes referred to as the 'son' of Jack Elliott, because Elliott had a way of introducing Dylan's songs with the words: "Here's a song from my son, Bob Dylan." Dylan rose to prominence as a songwriter; Elliott continued as an interpretative troubadour, bringing old songs to new audiences in his idiosyncratic manner. Elliott also influenced
Phil Ochs Philip David Ochs (; December 19, 1940 – April 9, 1976) was an American songwriter and protest song, protest singer (or, as he preferred, a topical singer). Ochs was known for his sharp wit, sardonic humor, political activism, often alliterati ...
, and played guitar and sang harmony on Ochs' cover of the song "Joe Hill" from the ''
Tape from California ''Tape from California'' is Phil Ochs Philip David Ochs (; December 19, 1940 – April 9, 1976) was an American songwriter and protest song, protest singer (or, as he preferred, a topical singer). Ochs was known for his sharp wit, sardonic humo ...
'' album. Elliott also discovered singer-songwriter
Guthrie ThomasGuthrie may refer to: People * Guthrie (surname) Places ;Canada * Guthrie, Ontario ;Scotland * Guthrie, Angus ;United States * Guthrie, Illinois * Guthrie, Indiana * Guthrie County, Iowa * Guthrie, Kentucky * Guthrie, Missouri * Guthrie, Oklaho ...
in a bar in Northern California in 1973, bringing Thomas to Hollywood where Thomas' music career began. Elliott appeared in Dylan's 1975-1976
Rolling Thunder Revue The Rolling Thunder Revue was a 1975–1976 concert tour by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan with numerous musicians and collaborators. The purpose of the tour was to allow Dylan, who had now become a major recording artist and concert perfor ...
concert tour, and played "Longheno de Castro" in Dylan's movie ''
Renaldo and Clara ''Renaldo and Clara'' is a 1978 American film directed by Bob Dylan Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author and visual artist. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all ti ...
'' accompanied by guitarist
Arlen Roth Arlen Roth (born October 30, 1952) is an American guitarist, teacher, and author. From 1982 to 1992, he was a columnist for ''Guitar Player ''Guitar Player'' is an American popular magazine for guitarists, founded in 1967 in San Jose, Califor ...
. In the movie, he sings the song "South Coast" by Lillian Bos Ross and Sam Eskin, from whose lyric the character's name is derived. Elliott also appears briefly in the 1983 film ''Breathless,'' starring Richard Gere and directed by Jim McBride. Elliott plays guitar in a traditional flatpicking style, which he matches with his laconic, humorous storytelling, often accompanying himself on
harmonica The harmonica, also known as a French harp or mouth organ A mouth organ is any free reed aerophone A free reed aerophone is a musical instrument that produces sound as air flows past a vibrating reed (instrument), reed in a frame. Air press ...

harmonica
. His singing has a strained, nasal quality which the young Bob Dylan emulated. His repertoire includes American traditional music from various genres, including
country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social ...

country
,
blues Blues is a music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions. It is to be distinguished from ''musical form'' and musical style, although in ...

blues
, bluegrass and folk. Elliott's nickname comes not from his traveling habits, but rather the countless stories he relates before answering the simplest of questions. Folk singer
Odetta Odetta Holmes (December 31, 1930 – December 2, 2008), known as Odetta, was an American singer, actress, guitarist, lyricist, and a civil and human rights activist, often referred to as "The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement". Her musical rep ...

Odetta
claimed that her mother gave him the name, remarking, "Oh, Jack Elliott, yeah, he can sure ramble on!" His authenticity as a folksy, down-to-earth country boy, despite being a Jewish doctor's son from Brooklyn, and his disdain for other folk singers, were parodied by the Folksmen (
Christopher Guest Christopher Haden-Guest, 5th Baron Haden-Guest (born February 5, 1948), is an American-British screenwriter, composer, musician, director, actor, and comedian. Guest is most widely known in Cinema of the United States, Hollywood for having writt ...
,
Michael McKean Michael John McKean (born October 17, 1947) is an American actor, comedian, screenwriter, and musician known for various roles in film and television such as Lenny Kosnowski in ''Laverne & Shirley'', David St. Hubbins in ''This Is Spinal Tap'', ...
, and
Harry Shearer Harry Julius Shearer (born December 23, 1943) is an American actor, voice actor, comedian, writer, musician, radio host, director and producer. Born in Los Angeles Los Angeles ( ; xgf, Tovaangar; es, Los Ángeles, , ), commonly refer ...
) in the satirical documentary ''
A Mighty Wind ''A Mighty Wind'' is a 2003 American mockumentary comedy film about a folk music reunion concert in which three folk bands reunite for a television performance for the first time in decades. The film was co-written (with Eugene Levy), directed, ...
'' in the name of their "hit" album ''Ramblin'.'' ''A Mighty Wind'' also referred to a former member of the New Main Street Singers, Ramblin' Sandy Pitnick, a somewhat geeky-looking white man in a cowboy hat, apparently in parody of Elliott. Elliott's first recording in many years, ''South Coast'', earned him his first
Grammy Award The Grammy Award (stylized as GRAMMY, originally called Gramophone Award), or just Grammy, is an award presented by the Recording Academy, the US Recording Academy to recognize "Outstanding Achievement in the music industry" of the United State ...
in 1995. He was awarded the
National Medal of Arts The National Medal of Arts is an award and title created by the United States Congress The United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is Bicameralism, bicameral, comprising a lower body, ...
in 1998. His long career and strained relationship with his daughter Aiyana were chronicled in her 2000
film documentary A documentary film or documentary is a non-fictional motion-picture intended to "document reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction, education, or maintaining a historical record". Bill Nichols has characterised the documentary in te ...
, ''The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack''. At the age of 75, he changed labels and released '' I Stand Alone'' on the
ANTI- Anti- is an American record label founded in 1999 as a sister label to Epitaph Records, Epitaph. While Epitaph's focus has mostly been on punk rock, Anti-'s roster includes Country music, country (Merle Haggard), Hip hop music, hip hop (Sage Fra ...

ANTI-
label, with an assortment of guest backup players including members of
Wilco Wilco is an American alternative rock Alternative rock (also called alternative music, alt-rock, or simply alternative) is a category of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1970s and became widely popul ...

Wilco
, X, and the
Red Hot Chili Peppers The Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its C ...

Red Hot Chili Peppers
. The album was produced by Ian Brennan. Jack said his intention was to title the album ''Not for the Tourists'', because it was recorded partially in response to his daughter's request for songs he loved but never played in concert. When asked why he did not, he told her, "These songs are not for the tourists." In 2012 he was featured on the song "Double Lifetime" on the album '' Older Than My Old Man Now'' by
Loudon Wainwright III Loudon Snowden Wainwright III (born September 5, 1946) is an American singer-songwriter and occasional actor. In addition to the 1970s novelty song "Dead Skunk, Dead Skunk (in the Middle of the Road)", he has released 24 studio albums, 4 live ...
. Elliott appeared with the Ramblin' Jackernacle Choir, adding vocals, yodels, hollers, to 2016
solo album An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc The compact disc (CD) is a digital Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits. Technology and computing Hardware * ...
'' Blue Mountain'', on the track "Ki-Yi Bossie".


Discography


Studio

*1956: ''
Woody Guthrie's Blues ''Woody Guthrie's Blues'' is an album by United States, American folk musician Ramblin' Jack Elliott, released in 1956 in Great Britain.Jack Elliot Sings'' *1958: '' Jack Takes the Floor'' *1959: '' Ramblin' Jack Elliott in London''
EMI Records EMI Records Ltd. is a British record label A record label, or record company, is a brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other selle ...

EMI Records
*1960: '' Ramblin' Jack Elliott Sings Songs by Woody Guthrie and Jimmie Rodgers'' *1960: '' Jack Elliott Sings the Songs of Woody Guthrie'' *1961: '' Songs to Grow On by Woody Guthrie, Sung by Jack Elliott'' (
Folkways Records Folkways Records was a record label A record label, or record company, is a brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Brands ...
) *1961: ''
Ramblin' Jack Elliott Ramblin' Jack Elliott (born Elliot Charles Adnopoz; August 1, 1931) is an American folk Folk or Folks may refer to: Sociology *Nation *People * Folklore ** Folk art ** Folk dance ** Folk hero ** Folk music *** Folk metal *** Folk punk *** Folk ...
'' (
Prestige Prestige refers to a good reputation or high esteem; in earlier usage, ''prestige'' meant "showiness". (19th c.) Prestige may also refer to: Arts, entertainment and media Films *Prestige (film), ''Prestige'' (film), a 1932 American film directe ...
/Folklore) *1962: ''
Country Style Country Style Food Services, Inc., formerly Country Style Donuts, is a fast/casual chain of coffee shops operating primarily in the Canadian province of Ontario (where it ranks second among coffee chains), which serves oatmeal, soup, sandwiches, ...
'' (
Prestige Prestige refers to a good reputation or high esteem; in earlier usage, ''prestige'' meant "showiness". (19th c.) Prestige may also refer to: Arts, entertainment and media Films *Prestige (film), ''Prestige'' (film), a 1932 American film directe ...
/Folklore) *1964: '' Jack Elliott'' (Vanguard Records, Vanguard) *1968: ''Young Brigham'' (Reprise Records, Reprise) *1970: ''Bull Durham Sacks & Railroad Tracks'' (Reprise Records, Reprise) *1981: ''Kerouac's Last Dream'' (Folk Freak/re-release by Conträr Musik, Germany) *1995: ''South Coast (album), South Coast'' (Red House Records, Red House) *1998: ''Friends of Mine (Ramblin' Jack Elliott album), Friends of Mine'' (HighTone Records, HighTone) *1999: ''The Long Ride'' (HighTone Records, HighTone) *2006: '' I Stand Alone'' (
ANTI- Anti- is an American record label founded in 1999 as a sister label to Epitaph Records, Epitaph. While Epitaph's focus has mostly been on punk rock, Anti-'s roster includes Country music, country (Merle Haggard), Hip hop music, hip hop (Sage Fra ...

ANTI-
) *2009: ''A Stranger Here'' (
ANTI- Anti- is an American record label founded in 1999 as a sister label to Epitaph Records, Epitaph. While Epitaph's focus has mostly been on punk rock, Anti-'s roster includes Country music, country (Merle Haggard), Hip hop music, hip hop (Sage Fra ...

ANTI-
)


Live

*1957: ''The Lost Topic Tapes: Isle of Wight 1957'' *1962: ''Jack Elliott at the Second Fret''


With Derroll Adams

*1958: ''The Rambling Boys'' *1963: ''Roll On Buddy'' *1969: ''Folkland Songs'' *1969: ''Riding in Folkland'' *1975: ''America''


Compilations

*1963: ''Woody Guthrie's Blues, Talking Woody Guthrie'' (Topic) *1964: ''Muleskinner'' (Topic) *1976: ''The Essential Ramblin' Jack Elliott'' (Vanguard) *1989: ''Hard Travelin''' (reissue of ''Jack Elliott Sings the Songs of Woody Guthrie'' and ''Ramblin' Jack Elliott'') *1989: ''Talking Dust Bowl: The Best of Ramblin' Jack Elliott'' *1990: ''Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Spider John Koerner, U. Utah Phillips: Legends of Folk'' (Red House) *1990: ''Jack Elliott Plus / Jack Elliott'' *1995: ''Me and Bobby McGee'' (reissue of ''Young Brigham'' and ''Bull Durham Sacks & Railroad Tracks'') *1995: ''Jack Elliott: Ramblin' Jack, The Legendary Topic Masters'' *1999: ''Ramblin' Jack Elliott: Early Sessions'' *2000: ''Best of the Vanguard Years (Ramblin' Jack Elliott album), Best of the Vanguard Years'' *2004: ''The Lost Topic Tapes: Cowes Harbour 1957'' *2004: ''The Lost Topic Tapes: Isle of Wight 1957'' *2007: ''Vanguard Visionaries (Ramblin' Jack Elliott album), Vanguard Visionaries'' Additionally, ''Three Score and Ten'', Topic Records' 70th-anniversary boxed set released in 2009, included "Talking Dustbowl Blues" from ''Woody Guthrie's Blues'' as track twelve on the seventh CD.


References


External links

*
Illustrated Ramblin' Jack Elliott discography
*
Anti- Records page featuring Jack's 2006 "I Stand Alone" CD.

Ramblin' Jack Elliott Discography
at Smithsonian Folkways {{DEFAULTSORT:Elliott, Ramblin Jack American street performers American country singer-songwriters American folk singers American harmonica players American male singer-songwriters Singer-songwriters from New York (state) Grammy Award winners Jewish American musicians United States National Medal of Arts recipients 1931 births Living people Jewish folk singers American folk guitarists American country guitarists American acoustic guitarists American male guitarists Guitarists from New York (state) 20th-century American guitarists Country musicians from New York (state) 20th-century American male musicians Red House Records artists 21st-century American Jews