Mr. Hangan built his solo career by becoming a regular performer at local venues such as the Redlands Bowl and at the coffee house known as the Penny University in San Bernardino. He also performed at colleges and universities such as La Sierra College; the University of California, San Diego, with Sam Hinton; the Ice House in Pasadena; the Heritage in San Diego; the Bitter End in Greenwich Village, New York; the King's Rook in Boston, Massachusetts; and the Lion's Share in Sausalito. He recorded 2 children's records on the Empire Label and was always willing to lend a voice for a just cause.
Also in the 1960s, Mr. Hangan became very active in human and civil rights causes such as equal access to housing and education. He served as a counselor for young people through programs such as Brotherhood-Anytown of America and Upward Bound and, for a brief time, he was principal of a short-lived Freedom School in San Bernardino.
In 1968, the Hangan Family moved to Montclair where Mr. Hangan taught sociology and black history while working towards a master's degree in sociology at The Claremont Colleges. Time spent around Claremont meant further entrenchment in the folk music scene and, specifically, the deepening of connections with the Folk Music Center. Always, music was a means of rich friendship with fellow artists for Mr. Hangan.
"In the folk music crowd, everybody knew everybody. Everyone was interrelated," Mr. Hangan's daughter said. "There was this great community of musicians, with everyone playing everywhere."
In the 70s, Mr. Hangan and Joe Rael, his music and business partner for over 30 years, formed Music Americana, an education program for schools that combined Mr. Hangan's love of music, education and inspiring young people to learn. He continued to perform solo as well as with blues bands like the Hangan Brothers and Mescal Sheik, which also included his eldest daughter Elizabeth Hangan. In recent years, Mr. Hangan and his youngest son, Ali, established the Clabe Hangan Institute for Young Scholars to raise funds for a scholarship to support young African American students.
"He was probably one of the most charismatic people you've ever known. He had a warmth that just emanated," his daughter said. "He walked into a room and lit it up. People gravitated toward him because of that ability to reach out and touch people and really care about them. Just about everybody who knew him thought he was their best friend. He had that effect on people."
Mr. Hangan is survived by his 4 daughters, 3 sons and 13 grandchildren.
Memorial Services will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 14, 2008 at the Monte Vista Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 9185 Monte Vista Ave., Montclair, CA 91763.