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The Limeliters

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Biography

The Limeliters are a folk music group formed in July 1959 by Lou Gottlieb (bass), Alex Hassilev (baritone), and Glenn Yarbrough (tenor). The group was active from 1959 until 1965, when they disbanded. After a hiatus of sixteen years Yarbrough, Hassilev, and Gottlieb reunited and began performing as The Limeliters again. The Limeliters are still active and performing, but Hassilev, the last founding member active in the group, has retired, leaving the group to carry on without any of the original members.

Gottlieb, fresh from obtaining his Ph.D in musicology, was in the audience when Alex Hassilev and Glenn Yarbrough appeared on stage to sing a duet together. Gottlieb, who was then working as an arranger for The Kingston Trio, originally thought that “these two guys” could help him make some demos for the Trio.

Soon, they packed up and headed to Aspen, Colorado, to work at a club called “The Limelite,” which Yarbrough and Hassilev had purchased after singing there during the previous ski season. After a short period of perfecting their act, they set off for the “hungry i” in San Francisco, which at the time was the California nerve center for the mushrooming contemporary folk movement. The owner had just had a group with three long names strung together and wasn’t about to put “Yarbrough, Hassilev, and Gottlieb” up on the marquee. But the group had not yet decided on a name. They chose “The Limeliters”.

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