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Makin' a Joyful Noise

by Richard S. Ginell

Suggested Retail Price $25.99

Softcover, 6 x 9 inches, 436 pages,

59 photographs, including many never
before published

ISBN: 979-8-218-28668-2

Published in January 2024 by
Pine Canyon Publications
Frazier Park, California

Distributed Worldwide by Ingram

(Retailers: book is returnable)


The Limeliters were the most vibrant urban folk group of the early 1960s, second only to the Kingston Trio in popularity at their peak. They were a diverse, volatile mix of highly intelligent personalities: Lou Gottlieb, a bass-playing comic with a Ph.D. in musicology; Alex Hassilev, a debonair virtuoso banjo player fluent in six languages; and Glenn Yarbrough, an independent-minded, hugely gifted natural tenor.

They recorded a string of best-selling albums for RCA Victor, made TV appearances and commercials, and toured North America and Europe 300 days out of the year at the height of the folk revival era.

In 1963, the three went their separate, erratic ways for the next ten years. Alex became a record producer and actor; Glenn went solo, had a big hit record, “Baby, the Rain Must Fall,” but yearned to become a full-time sailor; and Lou had a mid-life crisis, grew his hair long, took LSD, and founded the notorious hippie commune, Morningstar Ranch, in Northern California. Eventually the trio reunited in 1973 and became a successful touring act, surviving with various changes in personnel to this day.

The saga of Lou, Alex and Glenn is also the story of many of the cultural ideas and trends of the second half of the 20th century in America—how they influenced their times, and how the times affected them.

Author Richard S. Ginell, who has known and interviewed the trio over a span of more than four decades, brings the whole slightly fabulous story of The Limeliters to life for the first time.

Richard Ginell and Alex Hassilev

Music critic, lecturer, and program annotator Richard S. Ginell is a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Classical Voice, Musical America, and Classical Voice North America, the latter for which he is currently West Coast regional editor.

Ginell was chief music critic of the Los Angeles Daily News for 12 years, where his beat included classical music, jazz, folk, and home audio. He wrote over 1,600 reviews, essays and bios for the All-Music Guide, and his work has appeared in many publications, including The Gramophone, Variety, Chicago Tribune, Montreal Gazette, Emmy Magazine, and The Strad. He has written program notes for the Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center, and Los Angeles Opera; liner notes for Verve, Telarc, Naxos and Fantasy; and contributed a dozen discographical essays to The Essential Listening Companion: Classical Music (Backbeat Books). He also plays keyboards and drums, and curates an extensive collection of recordings in all genres. He currently lives in Frazier Park, California.
(Photo: a recent snapshot of Richard Ginell standing behind Alex Hassilev, the last surviving member of the original LImeliters trio.)