Learn a piece of South Coast history during Pride Month at the Mattapoisett Museum

Jun 3, 2024

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MATTAPOISETT — Celebrate Pride Month by learning a piece of local history at the Mattapoisett Museum.

The museum invites the public to a program Thursday, June 13 at 7 p.m. on the life and legacy of Paul Clayton of New Bedford and his influence on the folk music scene of the 1950s and early 1960s in Greenwich Village.

“Remembering the Songman of New Bedford” will explore Clayton’s life through musical performances and historical narrative.

“Almost 60 years after his death, Paul Clayton’s ghost continues to hover over American folk music,” a Mattapoisett Museum press release said.

Clayton was born in New Bedford in 1931 and was once described by Bob Dylan as a “‘medium’ that channeled the very essence of traditional songs from the sea and the mountains” and called by Dave Van Ronk an important influence on himself and Dylan, according to the Mattapoisett Museum.

Clayton was a performer, collector and field recorder of traditional folks songs and openly gay. He was the most recorded young folk singer in America from 1956 to 1961 and “brought hundreds of obscure folk ballads and songs into the American music scene,” the press release said.

“Praised by many superstars to come out of the entire folk musical era now gone, Clayton is a national treasure,” the press release said. “This presentation will help to shed light on how the history of the whaling culture in our area influenced a young man to pursue his interest and passion for folk music.”

The musical performances and historical narratives will be conducted by Tom Goux, Dan Lanier, Butch McCarthy, Neal McCarthy, Seth Asser, Gary Brown and MaryBeth Soares.

Registration is required at mattapoisettmuseum.org/events.

The program is supported in part by a grant from the Mattapoisett Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

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Event Date: 

Thursday, June 13, 2024 - 7:00pm