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The Great High Wind

It deals with Bob Beers, one of the leading figures of the American folk music renaissance of the 1960s.  He performed with his wife Evelyn and daughter Martha as the Beers Family Trio in thousands of concerts throughout the United States, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, major television and radio networks, the Newport Festival, and 26 countries. 

 

His efforts helped bring the vibrant traditions of Scotch/Irish folk music to ever widening audiences — before a fatal automobile accident cut his career tragically short in 1972.

 

Much of the music that Bob played came from one man, his maternal grandfather, Wisconsin native, George Sullivan.  Bob learned hundreds of songs and tunes as well as the art of playing the fiddle from George, whom folklorists consider a seminal influence in American music. 

 

The folk musical I've written, The Great High Wind, captures the compelling relationship between Bob and his grandfather through the music they shared and some of the moments they lived together.  It focuses on the memorable day in 1943 when George suddenly called Bob out of the university to share with him a clarifying precept that defines the foundations of Scotch/Irish music and would come to define Bob's life.  What passed between George and Bob on that day can live in our hearts as freshly now as it has lived in the hearts of generations of Celtic peoples.

 

The radio version of The Great High Wind has been produced by Glenn Carlson's Audio Theater in San Francisco. The audio version is in two acts.  The play runs one-hour and forty minutes. Link is available.