Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives was born on this date in 1909. In the 1930s he joined several other musicians laboring in the vinyards of folk and blues music, including Lead Belly, Alan Lomax, and Pete Seeger. A decade later, Ives and many of his fellow lefty musicians were summoned to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activites in 1950. Ives renounced his earlier connection with Communism, as was his prerogative, but unlike many of his colleagues – most notably this fellow – he also named names.
As a result he was able to have a pretty active career in the 1950s and early 1960s, unlike his more principled brethren who were as a result nearly invisible for over a decade. He had a successful stage and film career, and he recorded album after album of religious music, folk songs, and children's songs. Here's one of the best-known of the latter group:
And here's a work by his somewhat lesser-known half-brother, Stinky Weaselteats: