Jerry Garcia's First Ever Studio Recording
Long Lost Tape Discovered


THE HART VALLEY DRIFTERS

In 1962, Jerry Garcia, Ken Frankel, Bob Hunter, David Nelson, and Norm van Maastricht recorded a tape of bluegrass and old-time music at Stanford. Recorded on a high end Ampex Recorder by Stanford student Ted Claire, this tape lay in storage for almost 50 years, until it was rediscovered and came into the possession of Grateful Dead historian Brian Miksis. It was in remarkable condition, and has now been released as a CD on the Jerry Garcia Estate's Round Records label.

Click Below to Buy the CD, or Individual Songs
from the Garcia Family from Amazon.com from iTunes

Ken Frankel, Jerry Garcia, Bob Hunter, David Nelson
Montery Folk Festival band contest winners, 1963


Song List and Samples, with Ken's Explanation

  • On all songs except #17, David plays guitar. If there's a bass on the song, Bob is playing it. If there's a dobro on a song, that's Norm..
  • Jerry and I sometimes changed instruments, so I have listed what we played on which songs. (On the bluegrass songs, I play banjo and Jerry plays guitar, and on the old-timey songs, Jerry plays banjo and I play fiddle. Track 17 is a duet between me and Jerry, with Jerry singing and me playing guitar.)
  • As best as I can tell, Jerry sings lead on all songs, David sings high harmony, and sometimes Bob sings bass. When I describe my singing on the introduction, I think that's a joke, because I'm probably not singing on any of these songs.

SONG NAME JERRY KEN STYLE START SAMPLE STOP SAMPLE
1 Band Introduction
2 Roving Gambler guitar banjo bluegrass play sample stop play
3 Ground Speed guitar banjo bluegrass instrumental play sample stop play
4 Pig in a Pen guitar banjo bluegrass play sample stop play
5 Standing in the Need of Prayer guitar? guitar? bluegrass hymn play sample stop play
6 Flint Hill Special guitar banjo bluegrass instrumental play sample stop play
7 Nine Pound Hammer guitar banjo bluegrass play sample stop play
8 Handsome Molly guitar banjo bluegrass play sample stop play
9 Clinch Mountain Backstep guitar banjo bluegrass instrumental play sample stop play
10 Think of What You've Done guitar banjo bluegrass play sample stop play
11 Cripple Creek guitar banjo bluegrass instrumental play sample stop play
12 All the Good Times guitar banjo bluegrass play sample stop play
13 Billy Grimes the Rover banjo fiddle old-timey play sample stop play
14 Paddy on the Turnpike banjo fiddle old-timey instrumental play sample stop play
15 Run Mountain banjo fiddle old-timey play sample stop play
16 Sugar Baby banjo fiddle old-timey play sample stop play
17 Sitting on Top or the World ---- guitar old-timey play sample stop play

Band Member Links

Jerry Garcia     Robert Hunter     David Nelson     Ken Frankel     Norm van Maastricht

To read Norm's lovely story of his time hanging out with Jerry, click here


Pictures from the Recording Session

Bob

Ken, David, & Jerry

Norm


Ken Frankel Remembers Three Events

In 1962-1963 I played a fair amount of old-time and bluegrass music with Jerry Garcia and Bob Hunter. Although we changed our name several times, and had a changing lineup, for at least three events we had a very simlar basic lineup: Jerry, Bob, David Nelson, and me, With this lineup, we were either The Wildwood Boys or The Hart Valley Drifters. With the help of Grateful Dead historian Brian Miksis, the three events with these four of us in the band that we know of are:
  • May 12, 1962 - The Thunder Mountain Tub Thumpers performed the opening set for two shows with headliner Guy Carawan at Stanford's Dinkelspiel Auditorium, as the main Saturday night show of the Stanford Folk Festival. The Tub Thumpers had opened the festival on the previous night in a smaller hall. The headliner for Saturday, Hedy West, had to cancel, so they put us on the show at the last minute. I know I played banjo, but I don't remember what instruments the other guys played, and I don't remember why I didn't play on the Friday night show.
  • Fall, 1962 - Recorded this tape with the four of us plus Norm van Maastricht, at Stanford.
  • May 18, 1963 - Monterey Folk Festival. We played in the band contest, but left before the winner was announced. Later we were all sitting together watching a show, when the MC announced that we were the winners of the band contest, and would now come on stage and play a song, and we were "What, us? quick, where are our instruments? Does anybody have a bass Bob can borrow?" amd we somehow got on stage and played a song, which I think was Nine Pound Hammer (of all the weird things to remember).

What's the Difference Between Old-Timey and Bluegrass Music?

Old-Timey (now more commonly called old-time) is southern music that was recorded in the 1920's and featured banjos and fiddles. Before there was the technology to record these songs, they were passed down by people learning them from other people, not from any media, and were called "traditional songs" or "folk songs." We often learned these songs from tapes of records from this period, that got passed around and re-recorded over and over, or from people who learned the songs from these tapes. Sometimes we even learned the songs from people who had learned them from other people who had learned them from other people, etc., without any recordings in the process.

Bluegrass is a faster and more flashy music that developed from old-timey music, started in the 1940's, and features more complex harmonies and insturmental solos by instruments taking turns. In my introduction on this tape, I called bluegrass "new-timey," which was intended to be a joke.

For more information, email Ken Frankel