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Ronnie Gilbert Obituary

9/7/1926 - 6/6/2015| Visit Guest Book
Ronnie Gilbert (Rick Diamond / WireImage / Getty Images)
Ronnie Gilbert (Rick Diamond / WireImage / Getty Images)
MILL VALLEY, Calif. (AP) - Singer Ronnie Gilbert, a member of the influential 1950s folk quartet the Weavers, has died. She was 88.

Gilbert died of natural causes Saturday at a retirement community in the San Francisco Bay Area suburb of Mill Valley, said her longtime partner, Donna Korones.

With the Weavers, whose other members were Pete Seeger, Lee Hays and Fred Hellerman, Gilbert helped spark a national folk revival by churning out hit recordings of "Goodnight Irene," ''Tzena Tzena Tzena," ''On Top of Old Smokey," ''If I Had A Hammer," ''Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" and "Wimoweh."

The group was hugely popular before its left-wing activities were targeted by anti-Communists during the McCarthy era. They were blacklisted, unable to record, appear on television or radio and perform in many concert venues, and eventually disbanded.

Gilbert went on to pursue a solo career as a singer, as a stage actor and psychologist.

Gilbert's memoir, "Ronnie Gilbert: A Radical Life in Song," which is the same title of a one-woman show she performed for years, will be published in the fall.

She is survived by her daughter, Lisa, and Korones, her partner of 30 years.


Copyright © 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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Published in The New York Times on June 9, 2015
GILBERT--Ronnie. Ronnie lived a big, passionate life for 88 years which came to a peaceful end on June 6, 2015. She will be loved and missed always by Lisa Weg, Zoe Weg, and Donna Korones. Read Obituary
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