10-16-14 Update on Pitt :
We're disappointed to hear from Pitt that he is undergoing chemotherapy- the cancer is back. Doctors believe that they have stopped the spread of the cancer and they are optimistic that a surgery in the near future will overcome it. Meanwhile, Pitt continues to work, recording seminars and other events, and he is eager to record somebody in the studio. We wish Pitt well with these developments. You can contact us at folkmusic@caltech.edu and we'll get you in touch.

12-20-13 Update on Pitt :
We got a call from Pitt and things are going pretty well. He makes it to our concerts now and then. He could still use some work, so if you've got a recording project that could use an engineer, he has access to a studio and would do a fine job for you. Contact the Folk Music Society at folkmusic@caltech.edu and we'll put you in touch with him. He is also trying to find a way to lower his rent, which takes up most of his Social Security income. He currently lives in Los Angeles, near Culver City. Again, if you have any leads, contact the Folk Music Society.

2-4-13 Update on Pitt :
Pitt continues to hang in there healthwise. He's also planning to attend the Folk Music Society's 30 year birthday party. To supplement his Social Security income, he works when he can find it, particularly in the sound and recording field. If you need a sound man, get in touch! Email him at pittkinsolving@dslextreme.com. Pitt is also trying to organize an effort to offer financial aid to other "old folkies" like himself, who struggle to make ends meet with limited income as they encounter increasing health problems. Get in touch with him if you want to help.

9/13/12 Update on Pitt :
Pitt is doing pretty well and came to the Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands concert at Caltech last Friday. He's been able to work a bit and is trying to line up health and financial assistance.

8/17/12 Update on Pitt :
Pitt is back home, following 2 surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. He has ongoing medical needs, but he's able to drive and has been doing a few sound recording jobs. He needs financial assistance, beyond the Social Security money that he receives. If you would like to help, a check made out to Pitt can be sent to his friend, Shelly, whose address is below.

Pitt Kinsolving, our longtime friend, man with a very distinctive name, and lover of folk music, is facing serious health issues. Pitt is the seasoned sound pro who began doing the Folk Music Society's sound engineering way back in 1985, when our founder, Brian Toby graduated and had to pass a whole bunch of batons on to others. Pitt not only did our sound for many years, but he passed on his knowledge and skills to some of the heroes that followed him, John Lonczak, Walter Hamilton, and Roger Sherman. He was also largely responsible for another wonderful live folk series in Pasadena at AEA (Audio Engineering and Associates.) In more recent years, he's had a big hand in making the Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest & Folk Festival happen, as well as being very involved with Songmakers and the Santa Monica Traditional Folk Music Club, among other groups. Below is a letter from Pitt's friend, Shelly Herman, that will tell you more about Pitt's situation and how you can help. If you'd like to help, you can make out a check to Pitt and give it to Nick or Rex at a show, and we'll see that he gets it. The folk music world is not a huge one, but at our best, we can be a tight family, and one of our brothers needs help.

Shelley's letter:

This looks like it is from Pitt’s email because we had to break into his list to find all his contacts, but it’s coming from his friends and fellow performers who want to help this one small icon. Some of you, both east and west, will remember Pitt Kinsolving. Active on both coasts and, to some extent in between, he has been a life long exponent of traditional music, but now he needs our help. In January of this year, following an increasingly disabling illness he was diagnosed with cancer. Fortunately a combination of chemotherapy and intense radiation seems to be shrinking the cancer to the point where it can be surgically removed, The doctors say that the rehabilitative surgery can be performed around the first week in April if all goes well.

Even though he is still capable of doing excellent recording work with acoustic music and has access to one of the very top recording studios in Los Angeles, it will take at least until mid summer for him to get back on his feet. Until then, at 79 years of age, his ability to generate income isn’t too great, and with increasing medical expenses and savings exhausted, his financial position is critical.

Pitt’s earliest experiences with folk music began with hoots on the Yale campus, local performances in New York and New England. He was involved with the Pinewoods Folk Music Club and the Picking & Singing Gathering in the east. He was involved with folk music shows at “Fool’s Mate” coffeehouse in Westport, Connecticut in the 1960s. He also promoted house concerts with Lisa Null in New Canaan, Connecticut and at Audio Engineering Associates and the Caltech Folk Music Society, both in Pasadena, California. Later on the west coast, he was involved with Santa Monica Traditional Folk Music Club, Songmakers, and The Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest & Folk Festival where he has been a contestant, judge, performer, sound mixer, board member and, for several years, president. In the process he became a respected performer who made appearances from Maine to Florida, relocating to the Southern California in 1979, where he has been pursuing recording and live sound reinforcement as his primary career, while never abandoning his commitment to preserving and performing traditional folk music.

When I told Pitt that I was going to send this letter, he said that he was sure that he was not the only old folkie out there that was in a similar situation. He thinks that while he is in trouble now, with your help, he will eventually work his way through it. But he would like to have an ongoing fund to help other old folkies who outlive their royalties or never got any, after all folk singing has never been the way to great riches. We hope to have some fund raising events in the near future, but anyone anywhere, who feels the urge, can contribute to the P-K Old Folkie Relief fund at anytime. Your help is needed.

To Contribute to Pitt’s emergency relief fund right now please send a check to:

Shelley Herman
637 E. Fairmount Rd.
Burbank, CA 91501