Always a Song

Ellen Harper


Always a Song is a collection of stories from singer and songwriter Ellen Harper—folk matriarch and mother to the Grammy-winning musician Ben Harper.

Harper shares vivid memories of growing up in Los Angeles through the 1960s among famous and small-town musicians, raising Ben, and the historic Folk Music Center.

This beautifully written memoir includes stories of Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez, The New Lost City Ramblers, Doc Watson, and many more.

• Harper takes readers on an intimate journey through the folk music revival.
• The book spans a transformational time in music, history, and American culture.
• Covers historical events from the love-ins, women’s rights protests, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy to the popularization of the sitar and the ukulele.

“Growing up, an endless stream of musicians and artists came from across the country to my family’s music store. Bess Lomax Hawes, Joan Baez, Sonny Terry, and Brownie McGee—all the singers, organizers, guitar and banjo pickers and players, songwriters, painters, dancers, their husbands, wives, and children—we were all in it together. And we believed singing could change the world.”Ellen Harper

Music lovers and history buffs will enjoy this rare invitation into a world of stories and song that inspired folk music today.

• A must-read for lovers of music, history, and those nostalgic for the acoustic echo of the original folk music that influenced a generation
• Harper’s parents opened the legendary Folk Music Center in Claremont, California, as well as the revered folk music venue The Golden Ring.
• A perfect gift for people who are obsessed with folk music, all things 1960s, learning about musical movements, or California history
• Great for those who loved Small Town Talk: Bob Dylan, The Band, Van Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Friends in the Wild Years of Woodstock by Barney Hoskyns; and Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon—and the Journey of a Generation by Sheila Weller.

Creator Bio

Ellen Harper is a singer, songwriter, musician, and owner of the Folk Music Center. She released her first solo album in 2018, Light Has a Life of Its Own, at the age of 71. Ellen and Ben Harper collaborated on the album Childhood Home and went on tour together in 2014. Ellen lives in Claremont, California.

Price £18.99
Format Hardback
Publication Date 26 January 2021
Pages 240
Height 210mm
Width 140mm
Illustrations jacketed hardcover, 256 pp, 16 page colour photo insert
ISBN-13 9781452184241