Final Notes, Eric von Schmidt

Eric von Schmidt, 75, performer and composer of folk music, passed away on February 2 in Fairfield, Connecticut. An energetic, bearded figure best known as a blues performer, he was instantly attracted as a child to the blues on hearing Lead Belly on the radio. He went on to be a mentor to and to inspire singers such as Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. He combined a successful career as a painter with an exuberant musical style he applied to American folk classics. Von Schmidt’s most famous songs were “Baby Let Me Follow You Down,” and “Joshua Gone Barbados.” In 1979 he was co-author, with Jim Rooney, of a book about the Cambridge, Massachusetts folk music scene, Baby, Let Me Follow You Down.

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