Folk Heritage with Dick Pleasants
Folk Heritage premiered Sunday, October 1, 1978 with Dick Pleasants and Marie Rhines as co-hosts. In September 1979 Rhines left and Pleasants became the solo host of the series, a position he would hold until his retirement in 2004.
Folk Heritage was a broadminded series that explored the traditional and the contemporary, bluegrass and American folk to ethnic instruments. Pleasants was involved in the local and regional folk music community. This personal commitment led to the program featuring live, in-studio performances by musicians from all around the New England area and beyond. By stressing quality and diversity in the music, Pleasants was broadening the audience: "..there is a whole new class of folk instruments popular today ..so listeners who may only think of themselves as 'classical' lovers, for instance, are learning that folk music can really be very complex and intricate. And accessible," Pleasants noted.
Although the series switched from Sunday evenings to Saturday afternoons, it consistently featured a wide range of songwriters and musicians in live performances and interviews, including Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, Odetta, Patty Larkin and BeauSoleil. For his farewell program on March 13, 2004, Pleasants welcomed Sparky and Rhonda Rucker into the studio for conversation and music.
This collection features four Folk Heritage episodes that are available online. The original tapes were digitized by Stephen Snyder, World Senior Radio Producer. The collection also includes records for items that have not yet been digitized or have been digitized and are currently available for research on location at WGBH. Over time, more items will be added to the online collection.