Influential Greenwich Folk Musician/Composer Artie Traum Dies at 65

Artie Traum
Artie Traum
Guitarist, composer, arranger and producer Artie Traum died on Sunday, July 20, 2008 after a battle with cancer. Mr. Traum passed away at his home in upstate Bearsville, NY. He was 65.

Perhaps best known as one of the contributors of the Greenwich Village folk music scene of the late 1960s, Artie Traum, a native New Yorker, scored big at the beginning of his career by co-writing songs with Eric Kaz for Brian de Palma’s debut film Greetings. Later, he teamed up his brother Happy Traum to record their first album Happy & Artie Traum on Capitol Records. The duo would go on to play at the Newport Folk Festival, play back-up for Allen Ginsberg’s foray into song and chant and perform together with Pat Alger, Eric Anderson, Paul Butterfield, Rory Block, Maria Muldaur, John Sebastian and Paul Siebel as The Woodstock Mountains Revue.

Over the years, Artie Traum recorded such albums as From the Heart with singer and songwriter Pat Alger, Letters From Joubee and Meetings with Remarkable Friends that included guest appearances by Bela Fleck, Jay Ungar and The Band, that won him a New Age Voice Award. His later recordings included the 2003 release of South of Lafayette and Thief of Time released in 2007. Mr. Traum would lend his considerable talent to over 35 albums throughout his career.

In addition to his music career, Mr. Traum was an enthusiastic documentary filmmaker. Deep Water: Building the Catskill Water System earned Artie a slot in the Woodstock Film Festival and Hudson River Journeys: A Celebration of America’s First River, co-produced by Mr. Traum for Public Television’s WMHT included the talents of musician, writer and friend Ed Renehan, artist Len Tantillo and folksinger Pete Seeger.

Generous and gracious, Mr. Traum shared his talent with students and fans by writing guitar instructions books, working on Happy’s Homespun Tapes with his brother and by writing and producing numerous other video projects.

Mr. Traum is survived by his wife Beverly.

Author: TJ Nelson

TJ Nelson is a regular CD reviewer and editor at World Music Central. She is also a fiction writer. Check out her latest book, Chasing Athena’s Shadow.

Set in Pineboro, North Carolina, Chasing Athena’s Shadow follows the adventures of Grace, an adult literacy teacher, as she seeks to solve a long forgotten family mystery. Her charmingly dysfunctional family is of little help in her quest. Along with her best friends, an attractive Mexican teacher and an amiable gay chef, Grace must find the one fading memory that holds the key to why Grace’s great-grandmother, Athena, shot her husband on the courthouse steps in 1931.

Traversing the line between the Old South and New South, Grace will have to dig into the past to uncover Athena’s true crime.