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The folk bang came and went. But the Claremont Folk Music Centermost is still humming, not to acknowledgment strumming.

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It’s been 60 years aback Charles and Dorothy Chase opened the boutique in the Claremont Village to address to acoustic musicians and admirers of the style. That was 1958, the year the Kingston Trio awash 3 actor copies of their distinct “Tom Dooley.” The Chases had confused to Claremont from Massachusetts the above-mentioned year and brought their adulation of folk music with them.

“They got absorbed because it was allotment of the accelerating movement in the ’40s,” said Ellen Harper, a daughter, who manages the store. “The accelerating movement, advanced backroom and folk music went duke in hand.”

The Claremont Folk Music Centermost storefront is apparent in the adequate 1970s. The mural was advised by a bounded artist, Judy Gorman. (Courtesy photo)

Walls at the Claremont Folk Music Centermost are awash with instruments, photos and more. (Photo by David Allen)

Sound

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Dorothy and Charles Chase were the founders of the Claremont Folk Music Center. (Courtesy photo)

Ben Harper, center, at the Folk Music Centermost with his grandparents, Dorothy and Charles Chase, in this undated photo. (Courtesy)

Charles Chase demonstrates a hurdy-gurdy to acceptance on a acreage cruise to the Folk Music Centermost in this undated photo. (Courtesy photo)

Accordions are amid the instruments displayed at the Folk Music Center. (Photo by David Allen)

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Folk artist Jim Kweskin performs Nov. 3 at the Claremont Folk Music Center, which is appearance 60 years in business. (Photo by David Allen)

The abundance started in the aback of a absolute acreage appointment on Harvard Avenue with records, books, a few instruments and backup strings. It anon confused about the bend to its own amplitude on Aboriginal Street, afterwards migrated about addition bend to Yale Avenue, again beyond the artery to 220 Yale Ave., area it’s backward put aback 1970.

I’m a little afraid the Folk Music Centermost never hopped aboard a bales train, harmonica in hand, abundance banal in a bindle over its shoulder, to see America. But Claremont is the bigger for its accepting ashore around.

The Chases put their accent on classes, lessons, accessible mic nights, performances and tours by academy accouchement to see, blow and apprehend instruments, all elements that abide important to the abundance today.

“They were community-minded people. They believed music belonged to the people,” Harper said. She added with a chuckle: “Somehow I affiliated that gene instead of the gene to accomplish money.”

Her adolescence memories are of the abundance and the Chase domiciliary actuality about one and the same, with apparatus adjustment activity on in their basement and out-of-town musicians blockage in a additional room.

Charles became the ancestor of a ample family. In afterwards years, with his coiled smile and bristling white beard, he was a beheld apotheosis of the insubordinate spirit abaft the store. A “poet post” alfresco displayed his and others’ writings.

He handled the store’s instruments and repair. Though his hearing was poor, he could tune instruments by vibration. Surprisingly, he was not a artist himself.

While he could authenticate apple music instruments to children, “he didn’t comedy anything,” Harper said, abandoning years of bootless attempts by her and her mother to advise him guitar and violin. “We spent a lot of time with him.”

Dorothy, who shied from the spotlight, was the artist of the couple, learning to comedy from Bess Lomax Hawes, sister of folklorist Alan Lomax. She gave acquaint on guitar, banjo and dulcimer in the aback room.

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“They fabricated a acceptable team,” Harper said of her parents. “He seemed like the attendance of the store, but she was the affection and body of the place.”

Huell Howser in 2007 visited for a appearance on the store, which draws barter from a ample swath of Southern California, including acclaimed musicians such as Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits and Paul Simon.

Overseas tourists appointment too, some of them admirers of artist Ben Harper, Ellen’s son. When the Chases’ bloom was failing, Ben Harper bought the abundance from his grandparents. That provided them money for home bloom affliction and additionally kept the abundance in ancestors hands. Charles died in 2004 and Dorothy in 2005.

Ellen was abiding by her son to accord up her teaching job in 2001 to booty over as manager.

Would the abundance still be about if not for Ben’s action and support?

“No,” Ellen said flatly. “Or it would be a accessory of the Guitar Center. It would accept been awash in pieces. Or become a behemothic beard salon,” she said, a advertence to the fate of a above accouterments abundance a block away.

A baby affair to mark the Folk Music Center’s 60 years takes abode Saturday night at the store.

Its walls authority guitars, mandolins, banjos, autoharps, ukuleles and more, as able-bodied as a amusing assurance account “Pluck dulcimers not chickens.” Shelves, tables and affectation stands accept guitar straps, accelerate whistles, ambit books, incense, accordions and more.

The folk store’s banal includes apple music instruments and, conceivably inevitably, bongo drums.

Live performances are addition element, activity aback about to the beginning.

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The Chases had operated the Golden Ring, a bistro on Claremont’s Harvard Avenue, from 1961-65. Allotment of the Southern California folk circuit, the bistro drew Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, the Rev. Gary Davis, Doc Watson and John Fahey.

The about anniversary Claremont Folk Festival, organized by the store, started in 1970. And the Folk Music Centermost hosts casual concerts, area an admirers of a few dozen sits on folding chairs to watch a aerialist on a baby stage.

I’ve apparent Dave Alvin, Amy Rigby and Peter Case in the affectionate confines. The singers accomplish while seated, badinage and cogent belief amid songs and affairs their own CDs during intermission.

I was there on Saturday as Jim Kweskin, the jug bandage adept from the 1960s, played a abandoned appearance to a abounding house.

Kweskin, 78, was a acclimatized pro, spinning belief and alternating amid guitar and banjo. His career has paralleled the store’s.

He told us about seeing Jesse Fuller accomplish in 1962 afore accoutrement Fuller’s “San Francisco Bay Blues,” batten about his contempo collaborations with Geoff Muldaur and accepted Harry Smith’s “Anthology of American Folk Music,” Lead Belly and added folk touchstones.

Afterward, the L.A. citizen told me the Southern California folk ambit these canicule consists of Culver City’s Boulevard Music, Santa Monica’s McCabe’s Guitar Boutique and Claremont’s Folk Music Center.

He’s played at the abundance several times aback aboriginal accomplishing so in the backward 1970s. The store’s adaptation afterwards the folk heyday is surprising, he said, abnormally because Claremont is a baby town.

Learning the abundance opened has been about 60 years, he exclaimed: “That’s ridiculous.” He angry to Harper and said, “Sixty years? That’s exceptional. It’s got a abundant vibration. A abundant audience. Very receptive.”

And the hits aloof accumulate on strummin’.

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David Allen writes Friday, Sunday and Wednesday, man. Email dallen@scng.com, buzz 909-483-9339, appointment insidesocal.com/davidallen, like davidallencolumnist on Facebook and chase @davidallen909 on Twitter.

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