Text Box: FOLK autographs


Phone: 212-860-5541


Price: $300.00



Extraordinarily rare vintage publicity autographed photograph of the folk group in the 1959 configuration.  Autographed by all three members, Bob Carey, Clarence Cooper and Eric Weissberg, 1959.


This configuration performed together from early 1959 to later that year when they became a quartet with the addition of Marshall Brickman.


The Tarriers were formed in 1956 in the Village in New York City by actor Alan Arkin, Bob Carey and Karl Karlton.  Their covered version of the Calypso “Banana Boat Song” hit #6 on the February 20th, 1957 Billboard top 40 chart right behind Harry Belafonte for the same song.  (The dropped to #11 in the March 9th listing.) The same year they appeared in a low budget film called “Tropical Heat Wave” where they performed the same song.


Like all bands, they went through an evolution, Karl Karlton did not remain for long and an old friend of the group, Erik Darling took his place. Arkin was the first to leave in 1958 to pursue acting and they hired Clarence Cooper to take his place.  Cooper had had some solo hits in the early and mid 1950’s and was the strongest guitarist in the band to date and oft lead singer as he had a strong baritone voice.  When Darling left for the Weavers in 1959, Weissberg took his place.  Cooper and Weissberg then added  Weissberg’s friend Marshall Brickman and they performed as a quartet until 1964 when Carey who had taken Pete Seegers place in the Folk Group “The Weavers” missed Tarriers shows and was fired.


Bob Carey (1935-1977) was one of the three founders and hailed from Brooklyn where he was an acolyte of Josh White.  Before joining the Tarriers, he had won a talent contest on Arthur Godfrey’s Show in 1953 which launched his career and he and his friends Erik Darling and Roger Spring cut 4 sides for Stinson Records.  He was then drafted into the Army, returning to New York in 1955.  After trying to create folks groups with Erik Darling the pair joined Arkin, and Karlton to form the precursor of The Tarriers.  After Carey was fired by the Tarriers in 1964, he continued to perform with the Weavers for the year and then performed as a sideman for a few years, eventually joining the music publishing business.  But it was a slippery slope and he lost his job.  In 1977, he was found deceased on a park bench along Central Park West in Manhattan.


Clarence Cooper (193? - ????) from Virginia became the longest serving member of the Tarriers.  From 1958 until 1964 when he was forced to resign due to heart surgery, he was the mainstay baritone.  Much in the mold of Josh White and Leadbelly, he began making solo records in the early 1950’s and also made numerous solo records, particularly of Gospel, Spirituals, Folk and Blues.  He had a smooth baritone voice, even finer than Leadbelly and White and used it to great effect.  He also was known to add black equality and empowerment lyrics to older songs much as Leadbelly and White did on their records.


Eric Weissberg (1939-2020) is the most iconic of the Tarrier Trio. A friend of Erik Dahlberg, he played the banjo, guitar, mandolin, double bass, steel guitar and dobro.  A consummate musician, he was hired to perform “Dueling Banjos” for the 1972 film “Deliverance” and for the rest of his life, the piece was his calling card.  Weissberg was a Juilliard graduate and was known to the member of the Tarriers as he played in Washington Square Park in the Village on Sundays between noon and six when folk song performance busking was allowed. He initially played for a year with the Greenbriar Boys and was stolen away by the Tarriers to play the double bass.  However, when Carey and Cooper heard him play the banjo, the double bass was dropped.  After 1965 when the Tarriers folded, he became a regular side man in concert and on over 50 albums including,  David Byrne, Judy Collins, Jim Croce, John Denver, Art Garfunkel, Billy Joel, Bette Midler, Tom Paxton and others.


A scarce folk autograph as a band and in particular this configuration.