Darling, Erik

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1933-09-25
Death 2008-08-03
Americans

Biographical notes:

Erik Darling was an American songwriter and folk music artist. He was born 25 September 1933 in Baltimore, Md., and grew up in Canandaigua, N.Y. During his teenage and early adult years, Darling became a talented guitar and banjo player. In the 1950s, he formed the Tunetellers with Bob Carey, but soon changed the group's name to the Tarriers. Darling and Carey were seeking a stable third member when a young actor, Alan Arkin, left Los Angeles, Calif., to join their group. In 1956, the Tarriers Banana Boat Song sparked a craze for calypso music. The popularily of this song led to the Tarriers being featured in the film Calypso Heat Wave . In 1958, Pete Seeger left the Weavers singing group, and Darling was asked to take his place; he stayed with the group from 1958 to 1962. Darling then formed the Rooftop Singers in 1962 specifically to update Walk Right In, originally recorded by Cannon's Jug Stompers in the 1920s. Darling arranged the song for twin 12-string guitars. Walk Right In became a number one hit, and Darling was credited with sparking the popularity of 12-string guitars. Darling subsequently released several solo albums and wrote many instrument instruction books. Before his death on 3 August 2008, he completed his autobiography, I'd Give My Life: A Journey by Folk Music.

From the guide to the Erik Darling Papers, 1950s-2008, (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.)

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