Thursday, May 2, 2024

Anu on Unicorn



22553 - Just Say So (Anu, Vestal Music BMI)

22554 - Prayer

Produced by Elliot Ryan

Unicorn Records

Just Say So

A new label added to my Rite list. A third Unicorn label. Not the same as The Plantation Singers one, or as The Hazards (from Ohio, related to Bryte/Brite Star).

This Unicorn label was from Washington, DC. Operated by Elliot Ryan, also owner of Vestal Music, BMI publisher affiliated.

Ryan was originally from New York, had graduated from Michigan State University, and after a two-year stint in the army settled down in Washington, DC in May 1960. He took over the Unicorn, a major beatnik establishment, which offered folk music and a bohemian atmosphere for those who shied away from the hustle and bustle of Connecticut Avenue, with the idea of making it a live music coffee house and installed a Wednesday night “hootenanny” where a bevy of folk singers gathered and sung for the masses. Jazz musicians were featured on Monday nights and on weekends he booked such folk artists as Tim Cameron, Allen Damron, Mario Illo, John Everhart, Robbie Basho, Pete LaFarge, and Eric Darling (of the Weavers). Local guitarists like John Fahey and Max Ochs regularly showed up for impromptu performances and the popular Joan Baez even stopped in one night to sing onstage with the resident folkies.

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