Well, watch the Weavers singing, Goodnight Irene at their last concert:
And Good Night Irene in their prime just about 60 years ago, where they gave credit to Huddie Leadbetter (who had just passed away, known as Leadbelly) for inspiring them with his 30's Irene Goodnight. The song itself has amorphous roots leading back into the 1800's.
The Weavers lived a turbulent and checkered existence from their formation in 1948, having to deal with Communism, black listing and cigarette commercials. However:
In February 2006 The Weavers received the Lifetime Achievement Award given out annually at the Grammy awards show. Represented by members Ronnie Gilbert and Fred Hellerman, they struck a chord with the crowd as their struggles with political witch hunts during the 1950s were recounted. "If you can exist, and stay the course – not a course of blind obstinacy and faulty conception – but one of decency and good sense, you can outlast your enemies with your honor and integrity intact," Hellerman said.
This quote from shewire says a lot about Ronnie's life:
blogged on the Shirelles:
The Shirelles, favorites of mine, was the first girl group to have a #1 hit on the Billboard 100. Like the Ronettes named after Ronnie Spector, the Shirelles were influenced by Shirley Owens, now known as Shirley Alston Reeves. We are the same age. The group is 53 years old. Shirley was great with Will You Love Me Tomorrow (WYLMT), which reached #1 on Billboard in 1960.
Tonight's the Night in its list of the greatest songs of all time. In 1962 Soldier Boy hit #1. While this was during a particularly punishing period when I was trying to survive Army basic training, I better remember the Chiffons' He's So Fine and One Fine Day, hits by a similar black female group of those times. Anyway, WYLMT, HSF and OFD are in my personal all time Top 100