Remembering Doc Watson and A Circle of Lights

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You may not have seen this eloquent photo by Lee Tanner of Doc Watson, who passed on this week.

The program was “A Circle of Lights.” I produced, David Atwood directed, and Pete Seeger—among other notables—performed. Many memories. . .

Doc Watson

A Circle of Lights

Here is a gallery of photos by Lee Tanner of the production of ”A Circle of Lights”, recorded July, 5, 1969.


  1. Jay Collier on February 18, 2015 at 7:43 am

    I’ve pulled together all of the comments about Circle of Lights here.

    Ralph Shirak
    Posted January 10, 2014 at 4:05 pm
    Cheers and Hurrah – BUT – where does one get a tape of the original 1969 program, produced at WGBH, and which was re-run every year for about 6 or 7 years???
    That is a BIG QUESTION, that even the WGBH President, who answered my 1975 inquiry about it could not come up with! He seemed stunned that the station could not locate the tape (or wire!)
    He even suggested I write to Pete Seeger, and gave me his address. (got no answer)

    Someone must have it; and should be able to sell it, even as a stimulus to subscribe to WGBH; what do you know; can you help??

    Ralph Shirak
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 11:54 am
    I still am mourning the WGBH loss (by whatever means) of the tape of the CIRCLE OF LIGHTS program which was produced by WGBH when David Ives was President. David wrote an answer to my letter at the time, also mourning; he said he thought Pete Seeger had it, and gave me Pete’s Hudson Valley NY address; wrote; never got an answer; might be something Pete’s family could now help with?

    Jay Collier
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 1:05 pm
    Good news, Ralph. Circle of Lights is not lost, but is alive and well in the WGBH Archives. They don’t have the permissions to make a copy, but you (or anyone) can make an appointment to screen the program at WGBH. To set up a time, contact .

    Ralph Shirak
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 11:02 am
    Most viewers of the original CIRCLE OF LIGHTS program wont be able to make a trip to see the show again; we could not do it. Someone PLEASE GET PERMISSION; could be used as a contribution-maker!!

    Jay Collier
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 1:41 pm
    Ralph, if you would like to know more details about the limitations on the distribution rights for that program, please contact the WGBH Archives directly. We’re just volunteers sharing stories. What you’re asking involves legal permissions, etc. Here is their site:

    Jay Collier
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 1:13 pm
    Ralph: The program can be viewed in their screening room. They do not have the rights to distribute in any way.

    David Atwood
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 12:55 pm
    Circle of Lights was recorded and the recording is the the archives

    Ralph Shirak
    Posted August 23, 2014 at 5:56 pm
    I still wish someone will find the tape or wire of the CIRCLE OF LIGHTS program with Pete Seeger, the Watsons, Etc. It could make money for WGBH and make a lot of folks HAPPPY
    What is the status lately?

    Ralph Shirak
    Posted September 8, 2014 at 10:00 am
    Can you give me a name and address of someone important enough at the station to whom I can write? (re: CIRCLE OF LIGHTS Thanks much

    Ralph, I’m moving all of your requests into this one thread. You can contact or more information about Circle of Lights.

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