BEST OF FRIENDS (Gibson, Hills, Paxton)


In 1984, two generations of master folksinger-songwriters – Tom Paxton and Bob Gibson – teamed up with relative newcomer Anne Hills, who would soon gain recognition as their peer, to perform for 18 months as Best of Friends. Although both men already had lengthy and successful solo careers in progress, “by the early ’80s, Bob and I wanted to work together more often,” Paxton explains in the CD’s liner notes, “and when our manager suggested adding a woman’s voice, we agreed and never thought of anyone but Anne.”

The trio toured throughout the US, UK, and Canada and performed several radio concerts, but there was never any thought given to formal recording, which made the Best of Friends a missing and much sought after link in the chain of recorded folk history – until now! A live February 1985 concert taped at Holsteins, then one of Chicago’s finest folk clubs, and broadcast on the city’s WFMT-FM station, recently resurfaced and is now presented by Appleseed as the only available recording of this three-fold supergroup. Best of Friends presents 14 songs (plus some humorous and insightful spoken introductions) from that historic 1985 broadcast produced, recorded and edited by WFMT’s Rich Warren, current host of the station’s 50-year-old, syndicated “The Midnight Special” folk program.
Appleseed 2004

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…an available record of the marvelous singing that Tom, Bob and Anne did together as Best of Friends.



In 1984, well-established Chicago folksingers Bob Gibson and Tom Paxton united with newcomer Anne Hills to form a trio called Best of Friends. For the next year and a half, they performed together, then went their separate ways.

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William Ruhlmann