Eric Von Schmidt and Jim Rooney.
Baby, Let Me Follow You Down: The Illustrated Story of the Cambridge Folk Years.
Garden City, NY: Anchor Press, 1979. 318 pages.

A second edition with new preface was published by University of Massachusetts Press. 1994.

Reviewed in:
Library Journal, May 1, 1979, vol. 104 no. 9, p. 1061.
By Tim LaBorie.

Though not solely devoted to the Fariņas, this was for many years the only book that discussed them at length. It was co-written by blues guitarist and artist Eric von Schmidt, who was a friend of Richard and recorded an album with him in 1963, and Jim Rooney, who was in a bluegrass duet with Bill Keith, played for Bill Monroe and various other bands, and was also the manager of Club 47 during its last couple of years. The book includes many personal recollections of Richard by von Schmidt, Mimi, Maria Muldaur, and others, and includes some beautiful photos of both Richard and Mimi that you won't find in any other book. The narrative is a folkish patchwork of stories told by various people, so the parts on Richard and Mimi are interspersed among several chapters from beginning to end (since the book has no index, I've written an index of all the mentions and photos of Richard and Mimi; see below).

One review of this book complained that reading it was like looking at someone else's high school year book. There is some truth to this. The book discusses many folk artists who are not very well known today, so if you don't know a great deal about the urban folk revival, you may feel lost in some parts. For this reason, the book may not work well as an introduction to the period. If your curiosity in folk music is more casual, start with Hoot! A 25-Year History of the Greenwich Village Music Scene, which is a similar book, but concentrates on more of the well-known musicians. But Cambridge, moreso than Greenwich Village, represented the real essence of the movement, especially in its earliest, folkiest phase, before these people became famous. Baby, Let Me Follow You Down is therefore a richer oral history. The relative obscurity of the some of the musicians may confuse the casual passerby, but it makes the book all the more valuable to people who are really interested in the movement whose ethic was founded on the discovery of the unusual, the unique, the regional, the marginal and the forgotten in an age of conformity, homogenization, mass communication, and manufactured stardom.

--Douglas Cooke

INDEX A: References to Richard and/or Mimi
30Mimi--inspired by Charles River Valley Boys
83Mimi--experimental film by Peter Robinson
89-91Richard & Carolyn--meet EVS at Martha's Vineyard
105Richard--letter to EVS
111Richard sends 1st chapter of novel to EVS
112Richard--letter to EVS from Spain
113Richard & Mimi--picnic in French countryside
114-117Richard--with EVS & Dylan in London
115Richard, EVS, Ethan Signer, and Peggy Seeger record soundtrack
116Richard, EVS, Signer & Dylan record album at Dobell's record shop
118Richard & Mimi--marriage in Paris
124Humbead's Map of the World (Mimi mentioned)
222Richard (brief reference)
224Richard--conversation on Joan with Dylan & EVS (brief)
225Richard meets Mimi's family
227Richard & Mimi--wedding in Carmel
231Richard--with EVS & Alfredo Dopico; writes notes for Eric Sings von Schmidt
232Richard & Mimi--Big Sur Fest; back to Cambridge
239-40Richard and Mimi have dinner with Joan, Bob, and Alfredo Dopico.
249-265Newport Folk Festival 1965
253Richard & Mimi--watching Butterfield Blues Band (brief)
258Richard & Mimi (brief)
260Richard & Mimi--Sunday afternoon "New Folks" concert
265Richard--party at end of festival
278Richard--novel
279Richard--monkey demon; juggling; Al Grossman
280Richard & Mimi--relationship with Joan; School for Non-Violence
281Richard & Mimi--in Carmel with John Cooke
284Richard--death of; EVS's reaction
285Richard--Maria Muldaur's memories of
290Mimi & Joan--approached by Mel Lyman (brief)

INDEX B: Photos of Richard and/or Mimi
page:description:photographer:
19Mimi at beach with Joan, Debbie Greenunknown; courtesy of Mimi Fariņa
19another angle of the same sceneunknown; courtesy of Mimi Fariņa
90Richard & Carolyn at Club 47Stephen Fenerjian
104Richard with hatDan Kramer
107Richard--letter to EVSunknown; courtesy of EVS
111Richard & Carolyn in SpainJohn Cooke
113Richard with Alex Campbell and others in Paris restaurantunknown; courtesy of Mimi Fariņa
113Mimi by the Seine in Parisunknown; courtesy of Mimi Fariņa
115Richard & EVS playing blues at a communist weddingBrian Sheul
117Richard & EVS (drawing)EVS
118Mimi--portraitDavid Gahr
225Mimi & Joan Sr.John Cooke
227Mimi & Richard--wedding in Carmelunknown; courtesy of Mimi Fariņa
233Richard & Byron Linardos at Club 47unknown; courtesy of EVS
239Mimi & Bob Dylan (probably at Newport 64)John Cooke
256Mimi & Richard at Newport 65, watching Butterfield Blues Band (the "Folk Mafia" pic). Also seen: EVS, Spider John Koerner, Mitch & Louise Greenhill, Owen De Long, Maria & Geoff) MuldaurRick Sullo
260Richard & Mimi playing at NewportRick Sullo
278Richard with sunglasses at NewportJohn Cooke
279Mimi, Joan & Richard playing at NewportDick Waterman
281Mimi & Richard on the beach at Carmel, 1966John Cooke
282Mimi, Richard & Lush (silhouette)Charles Frizzell
284Mimi & Richard at autograph party, April 30, 1966unknown, courtesy of Mimi Fariņa
285Mimi on the beach, 1966John Cooke

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