Fred Hellerman

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Fred Hellerman, born in Brooklyn, New York on May 13, 1927, and educated at Brooklyn College, is an American folk singer, guitarist, producer and song writer, primarily known as one of the members of The Weavers, together with Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, and Ronnie Gilbert. Fred Hellerman is also known for producing the record album Alice's Restaurant (1967) for Arlo Guthrie.

The Weavers and the McCarthy era[edit]

In 1948, Fred Hellerman formed the Weavers with Seeger, Ronnie Gilbert and Lee Hays. Hellerman wrote and co-wrote some of their hits. Because of his involvement with left-wing groups during the 1930s and 1940s, Fred Hellerman came under suspicion of Communist sympathies during the McCarthy era.

In 1950, Fred Hellerman was named, along with the rest of the Weavers, in the anti-communist tract Red Channels and was placed on the industry blacklist. The Weavers, unable to perform on television, radio, or in most music halls, broke up in 1952, although they performed on Oscar Brand's Canadian television folk music program Let's Sing Out in the 1960s. They periodically held reunion concerts, the last in 1980, shortly before Lee Hays' death.

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