The term itself refers to “a folk music party” for what it's worth. And from April 1963 to September 1964, it was worth 43 episodes on ABC. Two events in the early 1960s inspired me to learn the guitar. One is a story for another day. This is the other one. Looking at this clip today, nearly half a century later, it is hard to imagine Ian & Sylvia Tyson belting out "See See Rider." After hearing Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels do it, it's just not the same. On the other hand, Johnny Cash was already "cool" on his own terms. You can't teach that kind of swagger; it's bred in the bone.
The show was not without some controversy, especially after ABC refused to invite Pete Seeger or The Weavers, resulting in a boycott by Joan Baez, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, and others (over Seeger's objections). A third season was cancelled in light of some kind of "British invastion." You know the rest.
The series was made available as a boxed DVD collection about four years ago, and can you imagine, I'm just now hearing about it. I can always make room on my shelf for a few good memories "every Saturday night!"