There are only sparse annotations to identify the songs on this 20-track British budget compilation, but this is an album containing some of Pete Seeger's earliest recordings. Nine tracks are credited as being performed with the Almanac Singers, the politically oriented group of which Seeger was a member in 1941-1942; in fact, thirteen of the recordings are drawn from the Almanacs' rare 78 rpm albums, among them such standards of topical folk as "Talking Union," "The Union Maid," and "Which Side Are You On?." The Almanacs had to make a quick about-face from the anti-war sentiments of "Washington Breakdown," recorded during the isolationist days before Pearl Harbor, to pro-war songs like "Round and Round Hitler's Grave" and "Reuben James," but they also found time for more traditional folk fare (also included here). The remaining seven tracks on the album are drawn from Seeger's earliest solo recordings of 1943-1944, cut for Asch Records when he was still in the Army, songs that range from "Erie Canal" to the Jimmie Rodgers standard "T for Texas." Though inadvertently collected on a budget disc, this is valuable historical material from one of contemporary folk's progenitors.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann