Final Notes, Helen Bonchek Schneyer

Performer, collector and folk activist Helen Bonchek Schneyer, 84, passed away on July 16, in Plainfield, Vermont. Singing alone, or accompanying herself on piano, Helen moved audiences with her strong and vibrant voice, and delighted them with her outrageous sense of humor. Her large, wide-ranging repertoire included everything from mining songs to sentimental Victorian numbers, and the occasional song by a contemporary songwriter. Over her 60-year career Helen performed with many well-known folk artists including Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and the Almanac Singers. Until 10 years ago, she made regular appearances on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion. She had a number of albums on Folk-Legacy and other labels and her album Ballads, Broadsides and Hymns remains one of Folk-Legacy’s top sellers.


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