In Honor of Guy Carawan, one of the most unforgettable men I've ever met. To say he stood for something is to take understatement to a whole new level. --May 3, 2015
On June 15, 2009 I visited Guy and Candie Carawan at their cabin near Highlander. What an incredible place, with its 180 degree view of the mountains from the Unakas all the way down to the bottom of the Smokies.
The cabin itself is a memorial to the Civil Rights Movement and to folk music. There were albums and framed images of Pete Seeger and other folk singers of the 50s and 60s, of the very early Highlander days, of Guy doing some sort of workshop at the old Highlander down at Monteagle, with 8 or 9 people at the fold-out table listening to him. One of the "students" happens to be Martin Luther King, Jr.
It was Guy, of course, who introduced "We Shall Overcome" to the Civil Rights movement. At some point you had to pull newcomers aside and tell them this; the Carawans, the definition of humility, certainly never would. The Moving Star Hall, John's Island SC version "Eyes on the Prize" song came to life in any encounter with Guy and Candie. I measure dedication in all others by what I have encountered in the Carawans.
It wasn't long after my June of 09 visit that Guy began to have medical events that altered his appearance. I remember kidding him that day that I'd feel lucky to be half as good looking as he was if and when I ever reached my 80s. I am really grateful things worked out so I could be there that day. He was in a terrific mood, teasing Candie throughout the session.
Guy passed away on May 2, 2015. Our very best to Candie and the Carawan family.
I have added a few images of Evan Carawan playing at ETHS events. All photos from number 16 through number 20 were taken in 2008 at the ETHS Voices Grand Opening.
Please, please use the slideshow (red button upper right corner of this page) for the very best view of these images.
© Dan MacDonald Photography