Wednesday, July 8, 2009

January 16, 1965 Hootenanny, Peninsula YMCA, San Mateo, CA: Mother McRee’s Uptown Jug Band Champions

Dennis McNally alludes to the last performance of Mother McRee’s Uptown Jug Band Champions, saying it was “yet another CSM [College of San Mateo] Folk Festival” (p.79). It’s not clear if he was referring to this gig. Note that it appears that McRee’s played the Off Stage (a coffee house) in San Jose, so the Jug Band played another venue besides The Tangent. Based on the wording, it appears that Mother McRee’s were sort of the headliners—a nice way to go out.

Other acts listed in the notice in the San Mateo Times of January 16, 1965 (left) were the Skip Henderson Quartet, Cathy Poole, Chuck McCabe, Peter Albin, Orpheus’ Children, Jim Docker and Karen Wendling. Peter Albin, of course, helped found Big Brother and The Holding Company. Orpheus’ Children featured guitarist Stephen Ehret, who was in the fine psychedelic group the Wildflower, based at CCAC in Oakland. The Wildflower have reformed and rerecorded some of their old songs. Los Gatos based Chuck McCabe recorded an album called Phoenix in 1969 for ABC Records.

The Peninsula YMCA has moved. 240 El Camino Real appears to be a parking lot, based on the Google Satellite picture.


  1. Hi Corry,

    I noticed you mapped this on El Camino Real in Redwood City but the newspaper article says San Mateo (where there's a N and S El Camino Real), much farther up the road. Did you have other info that places it in Redwood City?


  2. Fixed. Thanks. There's probably a 240 El Camino Real in every town in the South Bay, and I just slipped.

  3. I'm guessing the address referred to 240 N El Camino Real. The only thing between 230 and 300 S El Camino Real is 3rd Ave but there is a relatively recent affordable housing project at 240 N.

  4. Orpheus’ Children was effectively the duo of Stephen Ehret plus Eilleen Gammill who would go on to marry Stephen. They were often joined by stand up bass player Mike Riggs.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. I noticed you call them Uptown Jug Band Champions, but the clipping has no "band". What is correct? Thanks, great blog!