Is it possible that the same man could have made the world safe for Hootenanny and Richard Pryor?
Indeed it is -- Enrico Banducci, the gregarious club-owner of San Francisco's the hungry i, played the very gracious host to dozens of up-and-coming folk and comedy artists in the late '50s and early '60s, making the hungry i (no caps, please) one of the seminal clubs in music history.
As a tribute to Banducci, who died earlier this week, below you'll find the best of the hungry i on wax, including many albums that were recorded at the club itself. Also, check out this link for an exhibition on the hungry i recently held at the San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum.
The list of artists who made the hungry i a second home includes virtually all of the important figures in comedy or folk during that time: Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, Bob Newhart, Woody Allen, and Tom Lehrer from the comedy world, and the Kingston Trio, Glenn Yarbrough, and the Limeliters from folk music.
Actually recorded at the hungry i:
Tom Lehrer - That Was the Year That Was
Bob Newhart - The Button-Down Mind Strikes Back
Glenn Yarbrough - Live at the hungry i
Richard Pryor - portions of Evolution/Revolution: The Early Years (1966-1974)
The Limeliters - Our Men in San Francisco
Music from other artists affiliated with the hungry i:
Lenny Bruce - Live: San Francisco 1966
Vince Guaraldi - A Boy Named Charlie Brown
Maya Angelou - Miss Calypso