||My last name is pronounced ‘Katz’. It makes sense if you know Polish.
Early days …
Like all kids from middle-class families in those days, I took piano lessons, though I can’t say that I pursued my studies with any great dedication. But then, in 1961, as a college freshman in the Philadelphia area, I got my first serious exposure to folk music. I’d heard a little bit here and there, but now I found myself in the situation of being the only person I knew who couldn’t at least play a few guitar chords and sing ‘I Am A Lonely and A Lonesome Traveler’. In pure self-defense I picked up a guitar and began learning the basics. Then, just before Christmas, I went to a concert by the Weavers and underwent as did many others under their influence a life-altering transformation.
From that moment on folk music stopped being merely a recreational diversion and became a full-blown obsession. I spent every available moment seriously learning to play the guitar and banjo, and by the time I’d graduated I was performing professionally with the prospect of a real career before me.