Tony Unger, Ed Labowitz and
Mike Sirota grew up in the 1960's, when they
fell in love with the story songs and 3-part harmonies of that acoustic era. Ed
and Tony have been a duo on and off since their days at Hollywood High School.
Mike joined the group in 2003.
Much of their repertoire is familiar to audiences of all ages. With songs like “This Land is Your Land,” “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Where Have all the Flowers Gone?,” and John Denver tunes, as well as Tony's and Ed's original compositions, The Folk Collection is reminiscent of such groups as The Kingston Trio, The Limeliters, The New Christy Minstrels, and The Brothers Four, but they have their own unique blend and sound.
The boys of The Folk Collection grew up loving this sort of music, and the turnouts at their shows confirms that there are many baby boomers, as well as older and younger folks, who really like listening to words and harmonies – and joining in when the mood and song fit. They put on a show centered around folk music and good clean jokes. Their shows are family friendly and are for a multi-generational audience -- from children, to parents, to grandparents, and even great-grandparents. They get a real kick out of watching teenagers, who reluctantly come to their show as a favor to a parent or grandparent, leave smiling and humming the tunes they sing.
When not performing, Ed is an entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles who represents some of the same folk acts that influenced him as a teenager. After the Air Force, Tony toured with his own band for years, opening for Billy Preston and other well-known acts, but he wanted to raise his daughters (now both married and parents) in a home, not on a tour bus, so he quit the road in the ‘80’s. When not with The Folk Collection, Tony is a Pastor in Bishop, California. Mike spent his formative years in music as a camp, synagogue and youth group song leader and now lives and works in Los Angeles, and leads services at Temple Ami Shalom in West Covina.