Louis Gottlieb, bass player and comic lead of the Limeliters, a folk trio that included Alex Hassilev on banjo and Glen Yarbrough on guitar, was born on this date in 1923. Gottlieb was a Ph.D. musicologist (he studied with Arnold Schoenberg) working as an arranger for the Kingston Trio when he met his bandmates in 1959. They were strong on harmonies and on funny, high-brow banter, and produced sixteen records during their six years together. He then bought the 32-acre Morning Star Ranch near San Francisco, which became known as the Digger Farm (“LATWIDNO” is how Gottlieb classified it: Land Access To Which Is Denied No One). With Gottlieb as resident piano player, Morningstar became headquarters for some time of the commune that helped provide free food and health services to hippies in Haight-Ashbury and at the Woodstock Festival. In 1969, Gottlieb tried to donate his ranch to God, but the court ruled that God would have to appear in person to accept the gift. Gottlieb died in 1996, age 72.
“All age groups could tolerate the haunting melodies, close harmonies and mostly unthreatening image of the folkies, white and black. It was very inclusive music . . .” —The Boulder Lout