Jack Elliott is a self-made man. Some people inherit their riches, others earn them in a slow, painful way, and Jack, in the face of years of discouragement, has slowly made himself into one of the finest pickers and singers and all-around entertainers I've ever seen on a stage.

When some people find that Jack Elliott was born in Brooklyn — he with his cowboy hat and boots, rough lingo and expert guitar playing — their first reaction is, "Oh, he's a fake." They're dead wrong. Jack reborned himself in Oklahoma. He didn't just learn some new songs. He changed his whole way of living.

We are used to this happening in the opposite direction; a country youth goes off to college and then gets into business in the city. When he goes back to visit the farm, the people back home hardly recognize him with his fancy talk and fancy clothes. But this kind of change happens to so many, nobody calls him abnormal, nobody calls him a phony, at least not usually.

My guess is that there will always be young people who for one reason or another will feel that they have to violently, radically, reform themselves. A personal revolution. They abandon the old like a hated mask and rebuild on new foundations.

Pete Seeger, The Incompleat Folksinger, Simon and Schuster, New York, NY, 1972, pp. 252-254

Jack's toured with Pete solo, and in the 50's he toured with Pete's frighteningly popular and oft censored group "The Weavers." They also sang together in studio on a 1963 lp darkly titled, "The Badmen," tracks of which have been rereleased on Columbia's "Folk Classics" reissue [CD CBS CK-45026] and the Sony collection "Link in the Chain" [CD Sony 64772].