Hootenanny

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Hootenanny is an Appalachian colloquialism that was used in early twentieth century America to refer to things whose names were forgotten or unknown. In this usage it was synonymous with thingamajig or whatchamacallit, as in "hand me that hootenanny." Hootenanny was also an old country word for "party". Nowadays the word most commonly refers to a folk-music party with an open mic, at which different performers are welcome to get up and play in front of an audience.

"Hootenanny" was also used by the leadership of early firefighting battalions to describe a "meeting of the minds" of higher ups or various department heads. The term has trickled down to working companies and is now used, with some frequency, at working incidents and other circumstances that require a focused discussion between key individuals. Most recently it was adopted for use during the annual Fire Department Instructors Conference. Logistics professionals for the conference employ the word to call together the required personnel needed to accomplish the prodigious assignments placed on them.

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Origin

According to Pete Seeger, in various interviews, he first heard the word hootenanny in Seattle, Washington in the late 1930s. It was used by Hugh DeLacy’s New Deal political club [1] to describe their monthly music fund raisers. [2] After some debate the club voted in the word hootenanny, which narrowly beat out the word wingding. Seeger, Woody Guthrie and other members of the Almanac Singers later used the word in New York City to describe their weekly rent parties, which featured many notable folksingers of the time. [2] In a 1962 interview in Time, Joan Baez made the analogy that a hootenanny is to folk singing what a jam session is to jazz. [3]

Events

During the early 1960s at the height of the Folk Music era, the club The Bitter End at 147 Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village had hootenannies every Tuesday night, that featured an open mic and welcomed performers known and unknown, young and old.[4]

The Hootenanny is an annual one-day rockabilly music festival held at the Oak Canyon Ranch in Irvine, California, which also incorporates a vintage car show.

For years there have been online Hootenannys. The most long-standing example is Small Talk At The Wall,[5] which has been going since 1999.

Recordings

Television

Several different television shows are named and styled after it, including:

See also

References

External links