50 Years Ago in the VFSS: Barry Hall

Barry Hall grew up in what was then called the [Vancouver] Folk Song Circle during the 1960s, first attending at an early age and wowing everyone with his prodigious talent on banjo. In 1964, he was asked to record an album for highly respected Folkways Records (now Smithsonian Folkways). As you can see from the album photo, he was still incredibly young at the time. According to the Folkways website, this was Hall’s only commercial recording.

The VFSS audio archives include a number of live recordings of Barry Hall, including these two blistering instrumentals recorded on October 21, 1970. The first one seems to be identified as “Mason’s Apron.” The title of the second one is not provided.

This blog is intended to initiate dialogue on this topic. I know that there are others in the Folk who know much more about Barry Hall than I do and I would welcome shared reminiscences and information in the comments.

9 thoughts on “50 Years Ago in the VFSS: Barry Hall”

  1. I took some guitar lessons from Barry back around 1966 or 67. He was an excellent guitar teacher. He showed me the breakdown for Doc’s Guitar that I still play. He was known at the time for a composition called Banjo Rondo.

  2. Now that we know the 2nd piece is Cripple Creek it wouldn’t it be nice to split up the audio and label each part?

      1. But of course. In truth, I’m not that attached to it, but I hadda know more (and I know people up in Powell River or who work in proximity to logging who may care). I have no proof it is the same Barry Hall, but how could it not be?

  3. I think Barry was a music prodigy so with all those instruments listed (starting with banjo) it seems extremely likely that it is him. Especially intriguing is the fact that it is “Volume 1.” Was there ever a Volume 2? I don’t know–maybe someone else does.
    If you’re ever inspired to digitize that LP, I’d be very interested in getting a copy of the files.

    1. Don’t have the tech to digitize but are you in Vancouver? Tell you what, if YOU can digitize it you can give the files to me and keep the record. I’m heading to Main Street later today, then the Vancity Theatre for Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, so…

      1. That’s a great offer, but unfortunately, I’m not in Vancouver. 😦 Maybe someone else in the VFSS would be interested in doing that?

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