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A Birth of Country 2

A YouTube History of Music

Folk Music

Group & Last Name Index to Full History:


Tracks are listed in chronological order by year, then alphabetically.

Listings do not reflect proper order by month or day: later oft precedes earlier.

Not on this page? See history tree below.



Roy Acuff    Derroll Adams    Almanac Singers    Clarence Ashley    Chet Atkins    Hoyt Axton

Joan Baez    The Band    Harry Belafonte    Jackson Browne    Buffalo Springfield    The Byrds
Callahan Brothers    Carter Family    Carter Sisters    Johnny Cash    Chad Mitchell Trio    Paul Clayton    Leonard Cohen    Judy Collins    Ry Cooder    David Crosby    Crosby, Stills & Nash    Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Jimmy Dean    John Denver    Dorsey Dixon    Donovan    Bob Dylan
Ramblin' Jack Elliott
Marianne Faithfull    Flamenco    Tennessee Ernie Ford
Jerry Garcia    Art Garfunkel    Bobbie Gentry    Davey Graham    The Grateful Dead    Arlo Guthrie    Woody Guthrie                              
Tim Hardin    Roy Harper    Richie Havens    Mike Heron    Carolyn Hester    Jake Holmes    Odetta Holmes    Mary Hopkin    Johnny Horton
The Incredible String Band    Burl Ives
Bert Jansch
Kingston Trio    Leo Kottke    Kris Kristofferson
Gordon Lightfoot
Tommy Makem    Mamas and Papas    Country Joe McDonald    Barry McGuire    Don McLean    Scott McKenzie    Ralph McTell    Melanie    Joni Mitchell    Geoff Muldaur    Maria Muldaur
Graham Nash    Fred Neil    New Christy Minstrels    The New Seekers
Phil Ochs
Tom Paxton    Peter, Paul and Mary     Poco    Pozo Seco Singers    Chet Powers
John Renbourn    Paul Robeson    Jimmie Rodgers    Linda Ronstadt    Rooftop Singers    Tim Rose    Tom Rush
Buffy Sainte-Marie    John Sebastian    Pete Seeger   The Seekers     Paul Simon    Simon & Garfunkel    Staple Singers    Cat Stevens    Stephen Stills    Al Stewart
James Taylor
Dino Valenti
The Weavers    We Five    Robin Williamson
Jesse Colin Young    Neil Young    The Youngbloods
Zager & Evans



Featured on this page loosely in order of first recording if not record release (as possible).

Names are alphabetical, not chronological, per year:


1921 Kiefer Vaughan
1925 Paul Robeson

Carter Family    Jimmie Rodgers

1928 Clarence Ashley
1934 Callahan Brothers
1938 Roy Acuff    Dorsey Dixon
1940 Woody Guthrie    Pete Seeger
1941 Almanac Singers    Burl Ives
1946 Chet Atkins
1949 Harry Belafonte    Carter Sisters   Tennessee Ernie Ford    The Weavers
1952 Johnny Horton
1953 Jimmy Dean    Staple Singers
1954 Paul Clayton    Ramblin' Jack Elliott    Odetta Holmes
1955 Johnny Cash
1957 Derroll Adams    Art Garfunkel    Carolyn Hester    Paul Simon
1958 Kingston Trio
1959 Davey Graham
1960 Joan Baez    Scott McKenzie
1961 Chad Mitchell Trio    Judy Collins    Tommy Makem    Barry McGuire
1962 Hoyt Axton    Bob Dylan    Jerry Garcia    Gordon Lightfoot    New Christy Minstrels    Tom Paxton    Peter, Paul and Mary    Rooftop Singers    Tom Rush    John Sebastian
1963 Jake Holmes    Graham Nash    Fred Neil    Phil Ochs    Tim Rose   The Seekers    Neil Young
1964 The Band    David Crosby    Bobbie Gentry    Country Joe McDonald    Geoff Muldaur    Maria Muldaur    Buffy Sainte-Marie    Simon & Garfunkel    Stephen Stills    Dino Valenti (Chet Powers)    Jesse Colin Young
1965 The Byrds    Ry Cooder    John Denver    Marianne Faithfull    Bert Jansch    Donovan Leitch    Mamas and Papas   John Renbourn    We Five
1966 Buffalo Springfield    The Grateful Dead    Tim Hardin    Roy Harper    Mike Heron    The Incredible String Band    Pozo Seco Singers    Cat Stevens    Al Stewart    James Taylor    Robin Williamson
1967 Jackson Browne    Leonard Cohen    Arlo Guthrie    Richie Havens    Kris Kristofferson    Linda Ronstadt    Melanie Safka    The Youngbloods
1968 Mary Hopkin    Ralph McTell    Joni Mitchell    Zager & Evans
1969 Crosby, Stills & Nash    Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young    Leo Kottke    The New Seekers    Poco    Don McLean


  Folk music is one of the three major veins out of which country western developed, bluegrass and swing (originating via early jazz) the other two. As it isn't always possible to distinguish between genres except artificially, if what you're seeking isn't on this page you might find it in one of the other Country categories at the bottom of this page. All the blending aside, bluegrass in general has emphasized instruments while folk has emphasized song. This page is intended to list bands and musicians releasing their first recordings before 1970.



Birth of Folk Music: Paul Robeson

Paul Robeson

Source: Ciniwiki

Born in 1898 in Princeton, New Jersey, actor and baritone Paul Robeson began acting and singing at Columbia University while studying law, also playing football on the NFL teams, the Akron Pros and Milwaukee Badgers. His theatrical debut was as Simon in the YWCA production of 'Simon of Cyrene' in 1920. Upon graduating from Columbia, Robeson renounced a career in law due to racism, instead becoming involved in the Harlem Renaissance, known at the time as the New Negro Movement. His first role in silent films was 'Body and Soul' in 1925. He also made his first recordings in July that year for the Victor label, in catalogue order: 'Li'l Gal', 'I'll Hear the Trumpet Soun', 'Water Boy', 'Bye and Bye', 'Were You There?', 'Steal Away', 'Joshua Fit de Battle of Jericho' and 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot'. In the latter twenties he toured Europe with pianist Lawrence Brown. Important roles during this period were in 'Showboat' and 'Othello'. The first talkie in which Robeson starred is thought to be 'The Emperor Jones' in 1933, also thought to be the first film in which a black person was cast in a starring role. Robeson visited the Soviet Union in 1934 upon invitation by Russian film director, Sergei Eisenstein. He came to worldwide attention in 1935 in the movie, 'Sanders of the River'. It was the Spanish Civil War that moved Robeson's political activism beyond black Civil Rights, he traveling to Spain in 1938 to support the Republican International Brigade. Notable in 1939 was his radio broadcast of the song, 'Ballad for Americans'. By World War II Robeson was a major star. But the only hotel that would accommodate him on tour was the Beverly Wilshire. It may have been his narration of 'Native Land', a 1942 documentary concerning trade unions, that brought him to the attention of the FBI, the film labeled communist propaganda. Throughout his career Robeson had been involved in some or other manner with civil, human and political rights. In 1946 he founded the ACAL (American Crusade Against Lynching). Due to his support of union activist, Revels Cayton, about that time, he was called before the Tenney Committee and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary to respond as to his affiliation with the Communist Party (none), risking jail by not answering. He campaigned for Henry Wallace in 1948. The next year he toured Europe, as the FBI wished his dates in the States cancelled. In 1949 he revisited the Soviet Union. It was 1950 that Robeson began experiencing defamation and blacklisting en force as an alleged subversive. NBC cancelled a scheduled appearance on television with Eleanor Roosevelt, and the FBI denied him passport to foreign countries. In 1951 he declared before the United Nations that the federal government's refusal to act against the lynching of black Americans was genocidal. (His earlier meeting with President Truman in 1946 concerning such had gone nowhere.) In 1952 Robeson accepted the International Stalin Prize, awarded by the Soviet Union, in New York. His first concert at the Peace Arch (monument spanning the border between British Columbia and Washington) was also held in 1952, on a flatbed truck. In 1956 Robeson was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee for refusing to sign an affidavit stating he wasn't a Communist. Which result was another revoking of his passport, one exception made in March that year for concerts in Canada. About that time his films and recordings were getting removed from public distribution as the press in the United States vilified him. His response was the book, 'Here I Stand', written with Lloyd L. Brown, published in 1958. His passport was reinstated in June that year, Robeson then commencing a world tour. In 1960 Robeson involved himself with the rights of Australian aborigines while on tour there, demanding their citizenship. In March of 1961 Robeson attempted suicide in the bathroom of a Moscow hotel room during a party, apparently a paranoiac breakdown likely assisted by harassment, government and not, over the years. Admitted to the Barvikha Sanatorium, upon release he was later admitted to the Priory in London, where he is said to have undergone fifty-four electroshock treatments, well reinforced with barbiturates. Friends concerned about his treatment there had him transferred to the Buch Clinic in East Berlin in August 1963, Robeson returning to the States later that year. In 1965 his wife for forty-four years, Essie, died. During the latter years of his life Robeson, a Marxist socialist, remained concerned as to Civil Rights, but the flame had subsided. Complications from a stroke killed Robeson in 1976 in Philadelphia. His films began appearing on television again in 1978.

Paul Robeson   1925

   Bye and Bye

   Joshua Fit de Battle of Jericho

     Composition: Traditional

   Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

     Composition: See Wikipedia

     First recorded by Fisk Jubilee Singers 1909

Paul Robeson   1933

   Mah Cindy Lou

     Composition: Traditional

Paul Robeson   1936

   Ol' Man River

     Composition: Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II

      Film: 'Showboat'

Paul Robeson   1937

   Deep Desert

     Composition: Michael Carr/Jimmy Kennedy

      Film: 'Jericho'

Paul Robeson   1940

   Deep River

     Composition: Traditional

     First published by J.B.T. Marsh 1876

       Film: 'The Proud Valley'

Paul Robeson   1944

   National Anthem of the Soviet Union

     Music: Alexander Alexandrov   1944

       Text: Sergey Mikhalkov/Gabriel El-Registan

Paul Robeson   1949

   Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

     Composition: See Wikipedia

       Live in Moscow

Paul Robeson   1958

   Going Home

      Live at Carnegie Hall

     Composition: Antonin Dvorák

Paul Robeson   1959

   The Song of Freedom

      Piano: Alan Booth

     Composition: Smetana 1848



The enormously popular Carter Family are much as to the folk genre as Bill Monroe was to bluegrass: being central to the emergence of the category and setting its tone for years to come. Maybelle's career in particular would make her something of the matriarch of the folk genre. The original Carter Family (first configuration) consisted of Alvin (b 1891), Maybelle (b 1909 guitar) and Sara (b 1898 lead vocal married to Alvin) Carter, all three born in Virginia. By the time of their first recordings in 1927 such as Eck Robertson, John Carson, Uncle Dave Macon and the Skillet Lickers had already been recording eastern mountain music toward the eventual emergence of the bluegrass genre (Country 1). Vernon Dalhart and Carl Sprague had already recorded songs at the vanguard of country western (Country 3), that to emerge as a genre due largely to country swing (as compared to big band swing in jazz) in Hollywood. In classical, Béla Bartók had premiered 'Concerto #1' in Frankfurt in July of '27. In jazz, Duke Ellington made his first appearances at the Cotton Club in Harlem in December of '27. Rock, of course, didn't yet exist, but early R&B artist, Julia Lee, had issued 'Down Home Syncopated Blues' in 1927. Elsewise in the world 1927 saw Charles Lindbergh fly across the Atlantic and the publication of Herman Hesse's 'Steppenwolf'. Praguefrank's, using Tony Russell's 'Country Music Records 1921-1942' (CMR), shows the Carters putting down their first tracks in Bristol, Tennessee, on August 1 of '27: 'Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow'/'Little Log Cabin by the Sea' (Victor 21074), 'The Poor Orphan Child' (Victor 20877) and 'The Storms Are on the Ocean' (Victor 20937). A session the next day witnessed 'Single Girl, Married Girl' (Victor 20937) and 'The Wandering Boy' (Victor 20877). [See also 1, 2.] At that time the Carters were paid $50 per song plus a half cent royalty per copy sold. It was also 1927 when 'Barn Dance' at WSM radio (founded October 1925) in Nashville was renamed 'The Grand Ole Opry'. The original Carters that were the trio of Sara, Alvin and Maybelle, however, weren't associated with the Ole Opry, leaving that to Maybelle and the Carter Sisters in the latter forties: the second generation of the Carter family arose in the latter thirties as five stepsisters, eventually emerging in 1944 as Mother Maybelle & the Carter Sisters (Helen, June and Anita). Though the Carter Family was a folk affair, later association with the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville would find Maybelle and the Carter Sisters amidst bluegrass and country western compatriots as well. Recording extensively (@ 300 songs) at locations in the eastern portion of the States while working in radio as far west as Texas, the original Carter trio nigh singlehandedly created the folk genre with millions of records released via Victor, Montgomery Ward, Bluebird, ARC, Banner, Decca, Conqueror and Okeh. Another major name in the bloom of recorded country folk music was Jimmie Rodgers. Alvin Carter composed 'Why There's a Tear in My Eye'' for a duet by Rodgers and Sara Carter on June 10 of 1931 (Bluebird 6698). Other titles recorded with Rodgers were three unissued tracks on the 11th of 'Jimmie Rodgers Visits the Carter Family' and 'The Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers in Texas'. Those were recorded again on the 12th to get issued per Victor 23574 and Bluebird 6762. The Carter Family trio dissolved above a decade later in 1943-44. Maybelle, to become known as Mother Maybelle, had already formed the Carter Sisters consisting of her daughters Helen, June and Anita. With young guitarist, Chet Atkins, as accompaniment, they joined the Opry in 1950. A reunion of the original Carter Family trio back in Bristol, TN, on April 20, 1956, came to 'Their Last Recording' ('56). Maybelle and Sara reunited as late as June 15 and 16 of 1966 in Nashville to record 'An Historic Reunion: Sara and Maybelle - The Original Carters'. The next year in July of 1967 they performed at the Newport Folk Festival together. As Alvin (A.P.) had died on November 7 of 1960 in Kingsport, TN, after which the Carter Sisters performed as the Carter Family, Maybelle and Sara accepted the election of the original Carter trio into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1970. Maybelle died on October 23, 1978, in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Sara died on January 18, 1979, in Lodi, CA, buried in Hilsons, Virginia. The composer in the Carter Family trio was Alvin, writing a large number of original compositions for the group when not arranging traditionals. Among them were 'I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes' ('29), 'No Telephone in Heaven' ('29) and 'Hello Stranger' ('37). Other titles composed by Alvin. Other songwriting credits at allmusic and 45worlds.

Carter Family   1927

   Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow Tree

     Composition: A.P. Carter

    Poor Orphan Child

     Composition: A.P. Carter

Carter Family   1929

   The Cannonball

     Composition: Traditional

   Engine 143

     Composition: A.P. Carter

   Wabash Cannonball

     Composition: A.P. Carter

Carter Family   1930

   When the World's On Fire

     Composition: A.P. Carter

Carter Family   1931

   My Old Cottage Home

     Composition: A.P. Carter

Carter Family   1932

   The Church in the Wildwood

     Composition: A.P. Carter

Carter Family   1933

   I Never Will Marry

     Composition: A.P. Carter

Carter Family   1935

   Keep On the Sunny Side

     Composition: A.P. Carter

   Wildwood Flower

     Composition: Traditional  

     Arrangement: A.P. Carter

      See Wikipedia

Carter Family   1936

   Are You Lonesome Tonight


     A.P. Carter/Maybelle Carter/Sara Carter

   Lonesome Valley


     A.P. Carter/Carlene Carter/Al Anderson

Carter Family   1937

   My Home's Across the Blue Ridge Mountains

     Composition: A.P. Carter


Birth of Folk Music: Carter Family

Carter Family

Source: Radioactive

Birth of Folk Music: Jimmie Rodgers

Jimmie Rodgers

Source: Julia Petit


Born in 1897 in Meridian, Mississippi, yodeling Jimmie Rodgers assumes the avant-garde of country folk recording as a contemporary of the Carter Family with whom he would collaborate as well. He's not to be confused with Jimmie Rodgers of later 'Honeycomb' fame in '57. This Jimmie Rodgers is distinguished at the lead in country folk as a yodeler. Wikipedia has Rodgers organizing traveling shows by age 13. He nevertheless worked the railroad as young man, both in Mississippi and New Orleans, until organizing another tent show in 1924 to tour the southeastern States. A storm wrecked his tent, putting him back with the railroad, now in Florida, until 1927 when he headed back to Meridian. Come April that year he began performing at WWNC radio in Ashville, NC. He then formed a band for the weekly 'The Jimmie Rodgers Entertainers' show. Rodgers was paid $100 for his first recording, 'Soldier's Sweetheart' ('Sleep, Baby, Sleep' flip side on Victor 20864) on August 4, 1927, in Bristol, Tennessee. Going by Tony Russell's 'Country Music Records' (CMR), his next session on November 30 that year yielded 'Ben Dewberry's Final Run' (Victor 21245), 'Mother Was a Lady' (Victor 21433) and 'Blue Yodel'/'Away Out on the Mountain' (Victor 21142). 'Blue Yodel' (also called 'T For Texas') sold nigh half a million copies, verily launching Rodgers' career. His first titles in 1928 went down on February 14 and 15 as the Three Southerners with Julian R. Ninde (guitar) and Ellswort C. Cozzens (banjo): 'Dear Old Sunny South by the Sea', 'Blue Yodel No. 3', et al. June and July of 1930 found Rodgers out west in Hollywood in another country atmosphere where country swing was about to become the force to launch the country western genre. While there to put down titles like 'My Blue Eyed Jane' (Victor 23549) and 'The Pullman Porters' (unissued). Alvin Carter composed 'Why There's a Tear in My Eye'' for a duet by Rodgers and Sara Carter on June 10 of 1931 in Louisville, KY (Bluebird 6698). Rodgers joined Mother Maybelle & the Carter Family for three unissued tracks on the 11th for 'Jimmie Rodgers Visits the Carter Family' and 'The Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers in Texas'. Those were recorded again on the 12th to get issued per Victor 23574 and Bluebird 6762. Unfortunately Rodgers had long since struggled with tuberculosis. He made his final recordings May 17 through May 24 of 1933 in New York City. Sessions began with such as 'Blue Yodel No. 12'/'The Cow Hand's Last Ride' (Victor 24456) and finished on the 24th with 'Years Ago' (Bluebird 5281). Rodgers died two days later on May 26, 1933. He had composed extensively, from such as 'A Drunkard's Child' and 'Any Old Time' in 1930 to 'Somewhere Down Below the Mason Dixon Line' and 'Sweet Mama Hurry Home Or I'll Be Gone' in '1933. See Rodgers' numerous compositions listed at allmusic and secondhandsongs. See also 45worlds.

Jimmie Rodgers   1927  

   Soldier's Sweetheart

     Composition: Jimmie Rodgers

   Blue Yodel (T for Texas)

     Composition: Jimmie Rodgers

     See Wikipedia

Jimmie Rodgers   1929  

   Waiting for a Train

     Composition: Jimmie Rodgers

Jimmie Rodgers   1930  

   Jimmie's Mean Mama Blues

     Composition: Jimmie Rodgers

   Mule Skinner Blues

     'Blue Yodel No. 8'

     Composition: Jimmie Rodgers

immie Rodgers   1931

   Why There's A Tear In My Eye

     Composition: Jimmie Rodgers/Sara Carter

   The Wonderful City

     Composition: Jimmie Rodgers/Sara Carter

immie Rodgers   1933  

   Years Ago

     Final recording   Composition:

     Lou Herscher/Barry Richards/Jimmie Rodgers



Born in 1895 in Bristol, Tennessee, guitarist Clarence Ashley got moved to Shouns, TN, at age five. His grandfather bought him a banjo at age eight on which he learned traditional Appalachian folk songs. Growing up in an environment of lumberjacks and miners as his grandfather ran a boarding house, he joined his first medicine show in 1911. Otherwise performing at places like factories, he was with banjo player, Dwight Bell, to record his first tracks as Thomas Ashley in Richmond, TN, on February 2, 1928. Two titles went unissued: 'Ohio Lovers' and 'Drunkard's Dream'. 'You're a Little Too Small'/'Four Night's Experience' saw release on Gennett 6404. He next joined the Carolina Tar Heels with Dock Walsh on banjo and Gwen Foster as Garley Foster on guitar and harmonica. Tracks from October 11 of '28 to April 4 of '29 witnessed such as 'There's a Man Goin' Around Takin' Names'/'I Don't Like the Blues No How' (Victor 40053) and 'Hand in Hand We Have Walked Along Together'/'The Old Grey Goose' (Victor 40177), et al. Ashley recorded banjo solos in his real name, Clarence, on October 23, 1929, in Johnson City, TN: 'Dark Holler Blues'/'The Coo-Coo Bird' (Columbia 15489-D) and 'little Sadie'/'Naomi Wise' (Columbia 15522-D). More solos followed on April 14 of 1930 in Atlanta, two of six tracks issued: 'The House Carpenter'/'Old John Handy' (Columbia 15654-D). Tony Russell's 'Country Music Records' (CMR) has him next recording as Tom Ashley in a string of configurations lumped together for convenience as the Blue Ridge Mountain Entertainers, from November 30, 1931, to December 2, 1931. Ashley's accompaniment is unknown for the first session of that grouping on November 30, 1931, resulting in 'There will Come a Time' unissued. Among titles released from that date were 'Penitentiary Bound' (Conqueror 8249) and 'Baby All Night Long' (Vocalion 02780). Those were with Clarence Greene at fiddle and Gwen Foster at harmonica. December 1 and 2 saw such as 'Cincinnati Breakdown'/'Honeysuckle Rag' (Banner 32432) and 'Corrina Corrina' (Banner 32427). Come titles with Gwen Foster at harmonica on September 6-8 of 1933 for such as 'Sideline Blues' (Vocalion 02611) and 'Frankie Silvers' (Vocalion 02647). Among those was the first known recording of 'The House Of the Rising Sun' as 'Rising Sun Blues' on September 6 (Vocalion 02576). (In 1928 blues musician, Texas Alexander, recorded a song, 'The Rising Sun', which some mistakenly associate with 'The House of the Rising Sun' even though it is an entirely different song. The confusion may arise of Roy Acuff's version of the song in 1938 being titled 'Rising Sun'. The title was changed altogether to 'Rounder's Luck' by the Callahan Brothers. Ashley himself claimed he learned the song from his maternal grandfather.) Ashley's final track of that period went down with Foster on the 8th unissued: 'My Mother Scolds Me for Flirting'. Ashley wouldn't record again for another 27 years as the Great Depression cast its pall. During those years Ashley worked various jobs including his own trucking business in Mountain City begun in 1937. He also worked as a comedian with the Stanley Brothers and ran a band called the Tennessee Merrymakers. Praguefrank's has him recording again circa September of 1960 for four tracks to be found on 'Old Time Music at Clarence Ashley's' (Folkways FA 2355) in 1961. Those included his first titles with Doc Watson: 'Honey Babe Blues' and 'God's Gonna Ease My Troubling Mind'. Ashley and Watson would hold several sessions together with various collaborators to latter July of 1963 at the Newport Folk Festival. Praguefrank's gives him up at Newport, listing his final recording as 'Amazing Grace' with Jean Ritchie at vocals. Those last tracks were issued in '64 as 'Old Time Music at Newport' by Vanguard 9147 mono and 79147 stereo. Recordings by Ashley with Watson have otherwise been documented per 'Original Folkways Recordings: 1960-1962' issued in '94. Ashley spent the remaining years of his life touring during the folk revival in the sixties from Carnegie Hall in New York City to California to England ('66 and '67). Ashley died on June 2 of 1967 in Winston-Salem, NC, taking his place beside the Carter Family and yodeling Jimmie Rodgers at the avant-garde of country folk recording. Per 1994 below, those tracks with Watson in the early sixties were issued on 'The Original Folkways Recordings of Doc Watson and Clarence Ashley 1960 Through 1962'.

Clarence Ashley   1928

   The House Carpenter

     Composition: Traditional

Clarence Ashley   1929

   Dark Holler

Clarence Ashley   1933

   Rising Sun Blues

     Harmonica: Gwen Foster

     Original 'House of the Rising Sun'

     Composition: Traditional

Clarence Ashley   1961

   God's Gonna Ease My Troublin' Mind

     With Doc Watson

     Composition: Traditional

     Album: 'Old Time Music at Clarence Ashley's Vol 1'

Clarence Ashley   1962

   Shady Grove

     Banjo: Jack Burchett

      Composition: Traditional

     Album: 'Old Time Music at Clarence Ashley's Vol 2'

Clarence Ashley   1994

   The Banks of the Ohio

      Recorded w Doc Watson April 1962

     Composition: See Wikipedia

   Skillet Good and Greasy

      Recorded w Doc Watson circa 1961

     Composition: Dave Macon   1924


Birth of Folk Music: Clarence Ashley

Clarence Ashley

Source: Herb Museum

  The Callahan Brothers consisted of Walter and Homer Callahan, later changing their names to Joe and Bill. Their first recordings occurred in 1934, the same year they began appearing on radio. In 1945 they went to Hollywood to make the film, 'Springtime In Texas', with Jimmy Wakely. Though the yodeling brothers were very popular in the thirties their music alone would not later be enough to sustain them, Joe eventually becoming a grocer in Ashville, his brother Bill a photographer in Dallas.

Callahan Brothers   1934

   Corn Licker Rag

   Gonna Quit My Rowdy Ways

   Rattlesnake Baby

   She's Killing Me

Callahan Brothers   1935

   Rounder's Luck (House of the Rising Sun)

Callahan Brothers   1936

   Gonna Quit Drinkin' When I Die

Callahan Brothers   1946

   John Henry

   Turkey In the Straw

Callahan Brothers   1951

   Blue Letters


Birth of Folk Music: Callahan Brothers

Callahan Brothers

Source: Last FM

Birth of Folk Music: Roy Acuff

Roy Acuff

Source: CMT

Born in 1903 in Tennessee, fiddler Roy Acuff ("King of Country Music") first recorded in 1938 with 'Great Speckle Bird' A side and 'Wabash Cannonball' B side, the stereo versions below. Acuff began his music career in 1932 by joining a traveling medicine show. In 1934 he settled in Knoxville, formed a band called the Tennessee Crackerjacks and began performing on radio, later to become the Crazy Tennesseans, with whom he moved to Nashville, changed his group's name to the Smoky Mountain Boys and successfully auditioned at the Grand Ole Opry in 1938 (after a slightly earlier audition failed). In 1940 Acuff took his band to Hollywood. During this period Acuff was so popular that when he gave tent shows traffic would congest, it is said, for miles. Acuff was a freemason, ran for Governor of Tennessee in 1948 as a Republican, and lost with 33% of the vote. Acuff died in 1992, 89 years of age.

Roy Acuff   1938

   Great Speckle Bird

      Later stereo version

   Rising Sun (House of the Rising Sun)

   Wabash Cannonball

      Later stereo version

     Composition: A.P. Carter

Roy Acuff   1942

   Wreck on the Highway

Roy Acuff   1943

   Smoke On the Water

Roy Acuff   1947

   Freight Train Blues



Born in South Carolina in 1897, Dorsey Dixon first recorded in 1936 with his brother, Howard. The first four of those initial tracks were 'Sales Tax On The Women' b/w 'Intoxicated Rat' and 'Weave Room Blues' b/w 'Two Little Rosebuds'. Dixon left school at age twelve to work in a textile mill, which is largely the sort of employment he took to support his career as a musician. Dixon began composing in 1929. He began performing various gigs with his brother Charlie (fiddle) soon after. In 1946 he settled with Roy Acuff out of court concerning 'Wreck on the Highway' as a version of 'I Didn't Hear Nobody Pray'. He was granted ownership, one third of current sales (which had come to five thousand dollars) and a percentage of future royalties. He also changed the title of the song from his own to Acuff's. By this time, however, his music career had been grinding to a halt. He returned to textile plants to pay the rent until the folk revival of the fifties and sixties. In August of 1962 he spent a few days recording 'Babies In the Mill', then began performing again. His return to music, however, was brief. Several heart attacks in 1964 ended his career. He died of heart failure in 1968, seventy years of age.

Dorsey Dixon   1936

   Intoxicated Rat

   Sales Tax On the Women

   Weave Room Blues

Dorsey Dixon   1938

   I Didn't Hear Nobody Pray

Dorsey Dixon   1962

   Babies In the Mill



Birth of Folk Music: Woody Guthrie

Woody Guthrie

Source: Wikipedia

Born in 1912 in Oklahoma, Woody Guthrie, best known for his songs concerning the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Per Wikipedia Guthrie was 14 years old when his mother was permanently hospitalized with Huntington's disease. Sometime afterward his father was called to Pampa, TX, on real estate business, Guthrie joining him in 1929. Guthrie busked as a teenager and married at age 19 without graduating from high school. Leaving his family behind, he joined the migration to California during the Dust Bowl years in 1937. He there found employment at radio station KFVD in Los Angeles. It was about this time that, though Guthrie wasn't a member of the Communist Party, he began writing for the Communist paper, 'People's World'. (Guthrie was less a communist than simply anti-fascist.) Guthrie left KFVD in 1939, after which he made his way to New York City where his first recordings were taped by Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress (Department of Interior/Radio Broadcasting Division). Titles went down on March 21 of 1940 like 'The Train' ('Lost Train Blues') and 'Railroad Blues', et al [see Wikipedia]. Guthrie held several future sessions with Lomax to as late as July of 1941. His first commercial recordings went down on April 26 and May 3 of 1940 in Camden, New Jersey, toward his album, 'Dust Bowl Ballads' (Smithsonian Folkways '40). Guthrie is said to have composed 'Tom Joad' on that album the night he saw the film, 'The Grapes of Wrath' [*], that from John Steinbeck's novel published the prior year. 'Do Re Mi' is also associated with Steinbeck's 'Grapes of Wrath'. Guthrie and Steinbeck, who knew each other [*], have been linked ever since as the two great story tellers of the Dust Bowl. Guthrie formed the Almanac Singers with Pete Seeger, Lee Hays and Millard Lampell in 1940. Produced by Eric Bernay, the Almanac Singers spread their first tracks in NYC circa March/April of '41 for the May issue of 'Songs for John Doe' (Almanac 102). A May session witnessed 'Talking Union' (Keynote 106). June of '41 saw 'Song for Bridges'/'Babe o' Mine' (Keynote 304), 'Song for Bridges' a tribute to Harry Bridges, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). July 7 saw several titles go down for Alan Lomax per 'Deep Sea Chanteys and Whailing Ballads' and 'Sod-Buster Ballads'. Also gone down in '41 were 'Greenland Fishing' and 'The Weaver's Song', not released until 1996. Circa February of '42 saw the recording of 'Dear Mr. President' (Keynote 111) and 'Boomtown Bill'/'Keep That Oil A-Rollin'' (Keynote 5000). 'Anti-fascist Songs of the Almanac Singers' didn't see release until 1996. [See * per above.] To avoid the draft Guthrie joined the Merchant Marine in 1943, the same year he published his autobiography, 'Bound for Glory'. Howsoever, his association with Communism found him rejected from the Marine in 1945, to the result of getting drafted into the Army anyway (during which he saw less action than in the Merchant Marine). He was apparently on leave when in May of 1944 he contributed to 'The Martins and the Coys' alongside such as Sonny Terry, Burl Ives and Pete Seeger. In 1947 Guthrie wrote 'House of Earth', a novel not published until 2013. He had also recorded 'Songs to Grow on for Mother and Child' issued in 1956. About 1953 Guthrie lost the ability to play guitar during an explosion between a campfire and a gasoline container in Florida. Beginning in 1956 Guthrie was hospitalized for five years with Huntington's disease, of which he died ion October 3, 1967, in New York City. Perhaps Guthrie's best-known composition was 'This Land Is Your Land' in 1940. In May of 1941 he wrote a string of songs about the Columbia River such as 'Roll On, Columbia, Roll On', 'Pastures of Plenty' and 'Grand Coulee Dam'. He also wrote such as '1913 Massacre' ('45) and 'Brown Eyes' ('62). Other of his compositions at secondhandsongs. Per below, see Pete Seeger for recordings with the Almanacs.

Woody Guthrie   1940

   Jesus Christ

      Composition: Woody Guthrie   1940

   Talking Dust Bowl Blues

      Composition: Woody Guthrie   1940

   Do Re Mi

      Composition: Woody Guthrie   1940

   Hard Travelin'

      Composition: Woody Guthrie   1940

Woody Guthrie   1944

   This Land is Your Land

      Composition: Guthrie   1940   See Wikipedia

   Train Blues

      Composition: Woody Guthrie   1940

   Worried Man Blues

      Composition: Woody Guthrie   1940



As seen on this page, early folk music was a ballad oven, which Pete Seeger combined with political activism. Born in 1919 in New York City, Seeger was an original member of the Almanac Singers founded in latter 1940 in New York City. 1940 was one of the ugliest years yet produced by humankind. World War II was raging in Europe. Paris had been occupied by German forces on June 14, the same day Auschwitz received its first prisoners. The Manhattan Project had been initiated and the British would be retreating from Dunkirk. With the worst yet to come the next year via Pearl Harbor's bombing, 1940 was also the year Walt Disney released 'Pinocchio', the first US turnpike was built in Pennsylvania and Mountain Dew country soda went on market. In the musical realm Arnold Schoenberg premiered 'Violin Concerto' (op 36) in 1940. Glenn Miller's sweet jazz band issued 'Tuxedo Junction' and the Ink Spots, progenitors of doo wop, had issued 'We Three'. Pete had grown up amidst a musical and well-educated family all around. His father, Charles, had formed the music department at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1912 and would teach at Juilliard. His mother, Constance de Clyver, was a concert violinist and later taught at the Juilliard. Seeger himself had matriculated into Harvard to become a journalist but dropped out in 1938. The next year he was working with a traveling puppet show. Later that year Seeger found employment as an assistant to Alan Lomax, selecting material representative of American music for the Archive of American Folk Song per the Library of Congress. On an unknown date in 1940 Seeger recorded 'Six Songs for Democracy' with Ernst Busch, et al, in address of the Spanish Civil War. Issued by Keynote in July, a few years later Seeger addressed the Spanish Civil War again per the 1944 recording of 'Songs of the Lincoln Brigade'. He was variously accompanied on those by Baldwin Butch Hawes, Bess Lomax Hawes and Tom Glazer [1, 2]. Seeger formed the Almanac Singers with Woody Guthrie, Lee Hays and Millard Lampell in 1940. Produced by Eric Bernay, the Almanac Singers spread their first tracks in NYC circa March/April of '41 for the May issue of 'Songs for John Doe' (Almanac 102). A May session witnessed 'Talking Union' (Keynote 106). June of '41 saw 'Song for Bridges'/'Babe o' Mine' (Keynote 304), 'Song for Bridges' a tribute to Harry Bridges, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). July 7 saw several titles go down for Alan Lomax per 'Deep Sea Chanteys and Whailing Ballads' and 'Sod-Buster Ballads'. Also gone down in '41 were 'Greenland Fishing' and 'The Weaver's Song', not released until 1996. Circa February of '42 saw the recording of 'Dear Mr. President' (Keynote 111) and 'Boomtown Bill'/'Keep That Oil A-Rollin'' (Keynote 5000). 'Anti-fascist Songs of the Almanac Singers' didn't see release until 1996. [See * per above.] In 1942 Seeger became a member of the Communist Party (which he left in 1949). Anti-war as Seeger was, he was nevertheless drafted and served in the Army in the Pacific, first as an aircraft mechanic, then as an entertainer. While in the Army Seeger drafted a letter to the American Legion in California denouncing a plan to deport Japanese living in America. That got forwarded to the FBI, launching an investigation of Seeger in 1943 that would last above thirty years toward a dossier of nigh 1800 pages with 90 yet classified [see 1, 2]. Upon discharge from service Seeger collaborated with Burl Ives and Alan Lomax on March 11 of '44 in NYC for titles like 'Little Man on a Fence' (Stinson 622) and 'Jim Crow' (Asch 346). He was with Guthrie, Ives, et all, on May 11 of '44 for titles that would see issue in 2000 on 'The Martins and the Coys' by Rounder Records. In 1945 Hays, Lomax and Seeger formed People's Songs, an organization dedicated to the promotion of music about labor and the American people. 1948 saw the publication of Seeger's instructional, 'How to Play the Five-String Banjo'. In 1948 Seeger helped form the Weavers. Their first tracks went down in January of 49 with Paul Robeson (narration), Ronnie Gilbert (vocals), Lee Hays (vocals) and Fred Hellerman (vocals/guitar) toward such as 'The Trenton Six' and 'Dig My Grave'. Most of the titles the Weavers put away in '49 didn't see issue until 'Songs for Political Action: Folk Music, Topical Songs and the American Left' per Bear Family BCD 15790 in 1996 and 'Goodnight Irene: The Weavers 1949-1953' per Bear Family BCD 15930 in 2000. Exceptions were Parts 1 and 2 of 'The Peekskill Story' issued in '49 per Charter 502 (People's Songs label). 'Dig My Grave'/'Wasn't That a Time' also saw issue in '49 per Charter 503. In December of '49 the Weavers strung along 'The Hammer Song'/'Banks of Marble' for issue the next year per Hootenanny 101. The Weavers established a six-month residency at the Village Vanguard in latter '49. The next February they began recording titles toward the album, 'Train to the Zoo', issued that year per Children's Record Guild CRG 1001. A string of titles followed in March/April like 'When the Saints Go Marching In' and 'Around the World' that would see issue in 2000 per BCD 15930 above. 'Around the World' was recorded again on May 4 of '50 with 'Tzena Tzena Tzena', issued that year on Decca 27053. 'Tzena Tzena Tzena' was recorded again on May 26 with 'Goodnight Irene' for release on Decca 28272. Come June 30 for 'Old Man Atom'/'Pity the Downtrodden Landlord' (Jubilee 4005). Among the Weavers' various releases were 'The Roving Kind', 'Sixteen Tons' and 'Kumbaya'. Popular as they became, the group dissolved in 1953 due to blacklisting during which radio stations wouldn't play their material. There would be reunions, however, from '55 to as late as latter 1980 at Carnegie Hall. While Seeger was with the Weavers he issued the album, 'Darling Corey'. He would lead or co-lead about eighty more during his career to his latest, 'The Storm King', Volume I in 2013, Volume II posthumously in 2016. Seeger released 'American Folk Songs for Children' in 1953. Another of his notable albums for children was recorded in 2008 with a group of fourth graders called the Riverton Kids: 'Tomorrow's Children' ('10). In 1955 Seeger appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee. His refusal to testify earned him conviction for contempt of Congress in 1961, overturned the next year upon appeal. Seeger released 'We Shall Overcome' (Carnegie Hall) and 'Live in Australia' in 1963. He was a member of the board at the 1965 Newport Jazz Festival on the day that Bob Dylan disappointed a few folk purists by going electric for the first time with backing by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, attendance estimated at about 20,000. In 1966 Seeger helped found Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, an organization dedicated to clearing the Hudson River of pollution. Much later his 90th birthday (May 3, 2009) was celebrated at Madison Square Garden to raise funds for Clearwater. More than 60 guest musicians attended including Arlo Guthrie, Keller Williams and Warren Haynes. 2012 saw the issue of 'A More Perfect Union' with guitarist, Lorre Wyatt. The next year Seeger performed at Farm Aid alongside such as Willie Nelson. Others with whom Seeger collaborated over the years include Sonny Terry Memphis Slim, Willie Dixon, Malvina Reynolds, Mike Seeger, Justin Earle and Steve Earle. Seeger died on January 27 of 2014 in New York City. One really can't label spirituality, but Seeger seems to have journeyed from atheism in his younger years toward more pantheistic views. He was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church. Seeger had composed such as 'Lonesome Traveler' ('51), 'Black and White' ('58) and 'My Rainbow Race' ('71). Other of his compositions at secondhandsongs. Composers he covered at secondhandsongs. Other songwriting credits for Seeger or the Weavers. Per 1940 below, all tracks are Seeger backing Ernst Busch per the album, 'Six Songs for Democracy'.

Pete Seeger  1940

   Los Cuatros Generales

     Composition: Traditional

   Hans Beimler

     Composition: Ernst Busch

   Die Thälmann-Kolonne

     Composition: Paul Dessau

Pete Seeger   Almanac Singers   1941

   Song for John Doe

     Composition: Millard Lampell

   The Strange Death of John Doe

     Composition: Millard Lampell

   Get Thee Behind Me Satan


     Lee Hays/Millard Lampell/Pete Seeger

   I Don't Want Your Millions, Mister

      Composition: Jim Garland

   Roll the Union On

      Composition: John Hancock

Pete Seeger   1944

   El Quinto Regimiento

     Composition: Traditional

Pete Seeger   1964

   What Did You Learn in School?

      Live on 'Tonight In Person'

     Composition: Tom Paxton

Pete Seeger   1968

   Live in Sweden

      Live on Filmed concert

Pete Seeger   2013

   This Land is Your Land

      Live on Filmed live at Farm Aid

      Composition: Woody Guthrie   1940


Birth of Folk Music: Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger

Source: Music y Vino


Born in 1909 in Illinois, Burl Ives, an occasional member of the Almanac Singers (Pete Seeger), first recorded in 1929: 'Behind the Clouds' for Gennett Records, a demo destroyed a few weeks later. Per Wikipedia it was 1927 when Ives both matriculated into Eastern Illinois State Teachers College and became a Freemason. Freemasonry he kept throughout his life. But college he quit in a couple years, to travel as a musician. He was arrested for vagrancy in Utah, said to be jailed for performing a bawdy version of 'Foggy Foggy Dew'. In 1931 he landed a gig at WBOW radio in Terre Haute, Indiana. Ives attempted college a couple more times before he recorded with Will Geer in 1938 at the Coolidge Auditorium of the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., which songs were 'Ballad of Wives and Widows of the Presidents and Dictators', 'The Parson's Daughter', 'Cod Liver Ile' and 'Three Crows'. Praguefrank's begins Ive's commercial sessions circa 1939 possibly in NYC for such as 'The Fox' (Stinson 701 '47) and 'The Foggy Foggy Dew' ('The Wayfaring Stranger' Asch 345/Stinson 345 '44). Other titles from that session like 'Poor Wayfaring Stranger' saw issue on 345 and later in 1962 per 'Spotlight on Burl Ives and the Folk Singers Three' (Stereo Spectrum Records SDLP 156). In 1940 Ives started his own radio program, 'The Wayfaring Stranger'. His recording debut en force occurred with tracks gone down from January to March of 1941 resulting in the album, 'Okeh Presents the Wayfaring Stranger'. It was about that time that Ives became associated with the Almanac Singers. In 1942 he was drafted into the Army, which is how he came to be cast in 1943 film, 'This Is the Army'. Discharged from the service for medical reasons, it is thought that Ives first recorded with Pete Seeger, ten years his younger, in 1943 for an LP titled 'Lonesome Train: A Musical Legend' ('44). The next year he recorded with Seeger and Alan Lomax as one of the Union Boys ('Martins and the Coys' etc.). His civilian acting debut was in 1946, landing a role in 'Smoky'. He published an autobiography, 'The Wayfaring Stranger', in 1948, the same year he recorded 'Blue Tail Fly', then issued his more successful 'Lavender Blue' in 1949 (used in the film, 'So Dear to My Heart'). 'Riders in the Sky' reached #8 on Billboard's Country chart in April. In 1950 Ives got blacklisted as an entertainer due to association with the Almanac Singers. That pressure ceased in 1952 when he cooperated with the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) and agreed to testify (as to Communism), at some cost to his popularity among other actors and musicians, especially those faced with jail for not testifying (such as Pete Seeger). The latter fifties nevertheless found him starring in several films from 'East of Eden' in '55 to 'Our Man in Havana' in '58. Continuing his movie career into the sixties, Ives placed 'A Little Bitty Tear' at Billboard's #1 spot in Adult Contemporary in December of 1961. 'Funny Way of Laughing' reached #3 in April of 1962. 'Call Me Mr. In-Between' came to #6 in July. His album, 'Burl Ives Chim Chim Cher-ee and Other Children's Choices', won a Grammy in 1964. Among others unmentioned with whom Ives recorded were Woody Guthrie, Josh White, Percy Faith and Grady Martin. He had also appeared in several Broadway productions from the thirties into the forties. Among his greater interests beyond music was the Boy Scouts of America, retaining a lifelong association ever since becoming a Lone Scout (founded 1915) which became the Boy Scouts in 1924. Ives died of oral cancer complications on April 14, 1995 in Anacortes, Washington. Many of Ives' recordings were arrangements of traditionals like 'The Riddle Song' and 'Tam Pierce'. Titles composed by himself include 'Foggy Foggy Dew' and 'Silver and Gold'. Other songs written by Ives at secondhand songs. Composers covered by Ives also at secondhandsongs. Other songwriting credits at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Burl Ives   1941

   The Cowboy's Lament

     Composition: Traditional

      Album: 'Okeh Presents the Wayfaring Stranger'

   Sweet Betsy From Pike

     Composition: Traditional   See Wikipedia

      Album: 'Okeh Presents the Wayfaring Stranger'

Burl Ives   1944

   The New Martins and the Coys

      With the Union Boys

     Composition: Millard Lampell

   Tam Pierce

     Composition: Traditional

   Wayfaring Stranger

     Composition: Traditional

Burl Ives   1949

   Lavender Blue

     Composition: English traditional

   Ghost Riders In the Sky

     Composition: Stan Jones   1948

Burl Ives   1951

   On Top Of Old Smoky

      With Bing Crosby   Composition: Traditional

   On Top Of Old Smoky

      With Percy Faith   Composition: Traditional

Burl Ives   1957

   The Bird Courting Song

     Composition: D.S. Moore

   The Monkey and the Elephant

     Composition: Shel Silverstein/Baxter Taylor

   True Love Goes On and On

     Composition: Richard Adler/Jerry Ross

Burl Ives   1964

   Blue Tail Fly (Jimmy Crack Corn)

      Live performance

     Composition: Traditional   See Wikipedia


Birth of Folk Music: Burl Ives

Burl Ives

Photo: Redferns Music Picture Library

Source: Bing

Birth of Country Western: Chet Atkins

Chet Atkins

Source: NoNaMe

Guitar player Chet Atkins should have recorded 'I've Been Everywhere', as he defies category, playing everything from classical to folk to jazz to pop to what is that? Though largely associated with the Nashville hillbilly sound per the Grand Ole Opry, Atkins was as virtuosic a producer as he was with guitar, having promoted a long stream of country western stars from Hank Snow and Porter Wagoner to Skeeter Davis and Waylon Jennings. He also produced Elvis Presley and the Everly Brothers. Atkins was born in 1924 in Luttrell, Tennessee. It's said that Atkins had asthma which required him as a child to sleep sitting upright. Playing a bent guitar would put him to sleep, to become a lifetime habit. Atkins first professional work arrived upon quitting high school, playing fiddle and guitar at WNOX radio in Knoxville. While there he joined a band called the Dixieland Swingsters. Praguefrank's has Atkins making his first demos at WNOX sometime in 1945: 'Why Don't You Leave Me Alone' and 'Empty Slippers'. In 1946 Red Foley joined the Grand Ole Opry, hiring Atkins for support. Praguefrank's shows Atkins backing Foley in New York City on July 31, 1946: 'Till the End of Time' (Decca 46058), 'Atomic Power'/'Have I Told You Lately That I Love You (Decca 46014), 'Foggy River'/'Lay Down Your Soul' (Decca 46024) and 'Old Shep' (Decca‎ 46052). September of 1946 saw 'Guitar Blues' and 'Brown Eyes Cryin' in the Rain' recorded as Chester Atkins per Bullet 617. Atkins left WNOX in 1949 to join Mother Maybelle & the Carter Sisters at KWTO in Springfield, Missouri. Atkins accompanied them on their first tracks on February 2 of 1949. Per Discogs and 45Worlds: 'The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea' (Victor 21-0029), 'Why Do You Weep Dear Willow?'/'(This Is) Someone's Last Day' (Victor 48-0050) and 'Walk Closer to Me' (Victor 21-0102), all issued in '49. Another session that day saw 'My Darling's Home at Last' (Victor 21-0029) and 'A Picture, a Ring and a Cul' (Victor 21-0102). Come October 12 of '49 in Chicago for titles with Anita Carter, Helen Carter, Kenneth Burns and Henry Haynes (Burns and Haynes = Homer & Jethro): 'Under the Hickory Nut Tree' (RCA Victor 48-0329), 'I Was Bitten by the Same Bug Twice' (RCA Victor 48-0367) and 'The Old Buck Dance'/'One More Chance (RCA Victor 21-0165). On the same day Maybelle & the Carter Sisters strung along 'The Day of Wrath' ('RCA Victor 21-0149), 'Down on My Knees' (RCA Victor 48-0319) and 'Little Orphan Girl'/'God Sent My Little Girl' (RCA Victor 48-0372). The next day (Oct 13 '49) the same crew with Helen out put down 'Boogie Man Boogie' (RCA Victor 48-0367) and 'Main Street Breakdown' (RCA Victor 48-0329). Anita played bass on those as she had the day before. Most sources including NPR have Atkins joining the Grand Ole Opry as part of Mother Maybelle & the Carter Sisters' crew in 1950. Atkins issued his first album in 1953: 'Gallopin; Guitar'. He struck gold with his release of 'Mr. Sandman' reaching #13 on Billboard's Country chart in January 1955. Among examples of Atkins venturing beyond hillbilly music was his appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1960 ('Riot at Newport'). Atkins performed at the White House twice, first for the Kennedys, later for George Bush. Musicvf has Atkins placing 'Yakety Axe' at #4 in July of '65. (The Coasters had issued 'Yakety Yak' in 1958 prior to Boots Randolph's 'Yakety Sax' the same year.) Wikipedia has Atkins leading or collaborating on nigh eighty albums. Examples of his solo work were issued posthumously in 2003 on 'Solo Sessions', a collection of 28 tracks Atkins had put together himself through his latter years. Atkins died on June 30, 2001, in Nashville, a major name across multiple genres, particularly hillbilly folk and country western recording. Regarded as one of the finest guitarists of the twentieth century, he was elected into the Rock and Roll Hall Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. Atkins composed titles like 'Country Gentleman' ('53), 'Centipede Boogie' ('61) and 'Bandera' ('67). Other songwriting credits at 1, 2, 3, 4. Composers he covered at seondhandsongs.

Chet Atkins   1946

   Guitar Blues

     Composition: Chet Atkins

Chet Atkins   1955

   Mr. Sandman

      Live performance 1954

     Composition: Pat Ballard

Chet Atkins   1965

   Yakety Axe

      Filmed live at the Grand Ole Opry

     Composition: Boots Randolph/James Rich:

     'Yakety Sax'   1958

     Inspiration: 'Yakety Yak' by the Coasters   1958

Chet Atkins   1968

   Mrs. Robinson

     Composition: Paul Simon

Chet Atkins   1971


      Live performance 1978

     Composition: Gene MacLellan

Chet Atkins   1978

   Orange Blossom Special

     Live performance    Composition: Ervin Rouse   

   Stars and Stripes Forever

      Live performance

     Composition: John Philip Sousa

     Arrangement: Guy Van Duser



Birth of Folk Music: Harry Belafonte

Harry Belafonte

Source: Aiyingyin

Born inn 1927 in Harlem, Harry Belafonte (so-called Calypso King, calypso a style of music originating in the Caribbean) began singing in nightclubs in New York City to support thespian studies alongside fellow students Marlon Brando, Sydney Poitier, Tony Curtis and Walter Matthau. His first professional performance was with saxophonist Charlie Parker whose band included drummer Max Roach and trumpeter Miles Davis. All to to say that he began his career in a rather stellar environment. Belafonte began recording in 1949 (age of 22) with the Roost label, releasing 'Lean On Me' and 'Recognition' (neither found) before signing on with Capitol Records, then Jubilee ('Smoke Get's in Your Eyes'), the same year. (Belafonte released a total of twelve recordings in 1949.) On the recordings below for 1950 Belafonte is backed by the Belafonte Singers, included on a later album with the Islanders released in 1959. (As for 'Venezuela', Belafonte seems to have recorded several versions, the first in 1950. For sake of ease in verification, we've listed the 1954 version.) Belafonte's early turn to folk from jazz didn't prove all that popular, until the 1956 release of his album, 'Calypso', which was the first to have sold a million copies within one year (and the first to ever sell a million copies in England). Belafonte's last studio album, 'Paradise in Gazankulu', was issued in 1988. His last concert was for charity at the Atlanta Opera in October 2003. Of all the tracks below the last several are live performances.

Harry Belafonte   1949

   Lean On Me

   The Night Has a Thousand Eyes

      With the Zoot Sims Quintet


Harry Belafonte   1950

   Annabelle Lee

   Only One Like Me

   Simple, Simple, Simple

Harry Belafonte   1953


Harry Belafonte   1954

   Kalenda Rock

   The Next Big River


Harry Belafonte   1956

   Banana Boat Song

   The Jack-Ass Song


Harry Belafonte   1959

   Cu Cu Ru Cu Cu Paloma

   Oh, I Got Plenty Of Nothin'

   Turn Around

Harry Belafonte   1961

   Jump In the Line

   Sweetheart From Venezuela

Harry Belafonte   1962

   Crawdads Song

Harry Belafonte   1966

   Cocoanut Woman

Harry Belafonte   1968

   Don't Stop the Carnival

   There's a Hole in the Bucket

      With Odetta Holmes

Harry Belafonte   1988

   The Wave

Harry Belafonte   1997

   Banana Boat Song

   Jamaica Farewell

Harry Belafonte   1999

   We Make Love



Birth of Country Western: Carter Sisters & Maybelle Carter

Carter Sisters with Maybelle Carter

Photo: Getty Images

Source: Getty Images

The Carter Sisters, Anita (born 1927), June (born 1929) and Helen (born 1933) were the daughters of Maybelle Carter of Carter Family fame (trio consisting of A.P. Carter, wife Sara and sister Maybelle). They would become the second configuration of the Carter Family in 1960. When the original Carter Family dissolved in 1943-44 Maybelle formed the group, originally consisting of five Carter stepsisters, as Maybelle Carter and the Carter Sisters. Upon the death of Alvin Carter in November 1960 they would call themselves the Carter Family (second configuration). The Carter Sisters' debut radio performance had been on June 1, 1943, for WRNL in Richmond, Virginia. They are thought to have taped their first tracks on February 2 of 1949 backed by Chet Atkins at guitar. Per Discogs and 45Worlds: 'The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea' (Victor 21-0029), 'Why Do You Weep Dear Willow?'/'(This Is) Someone's Last Day' (Victor 48-0050) and 'Walk Closer to Me' (Victor 21-0102), all issued in '49. Praguefrank's has June's initial featuring set on the same date for 'The Baldheaded End of the Broom'/'Root, Hog Or Die' (RCA Victor 58-0158) issued in 1950. On May 17 of '49 June recorded 'She Loves to Cry' (RCA Victor 48-0484 '51) with Henry Haynes (guitar), Kenneth Burns (mandolin) and Charles Greane (bass). Haynes and Burns were Homer & Jethro. That same date saw 'Baby, It's Cold Outside'/'Country Girl' with the same crew. Future tracks with Homer & Jethro followed in October and January of 1950. Both Anita and Helen held an important session on October 12 of 1949 in Chicago with Atkins, Haynes and Burns. Tracks came to 'Under the Hickory Nut Tree' (RCA Victor 48-0329), 'I Was Bitten by the Same Bug Twice' (RCA Victor 48-0367) and 'The Old Buck Dance'/'One More Chance (RCA Victor 21-0165). On the same day Maybelle & the Carter Sisters strung along 'The Day of Wrath' ('RCA Victor 21-0149), 'Down on My Knees' (RCA Victor 48-0319) and 'Little Orphan Girl'/'God Sent My Little Girl' (RCA Victor 48-0372). The next day (Oct 13 '49) the same crew with Helen out put down 'Boogie Man Boogie' (RCA Victor 48-0367) and 'Main Street Breakdown' (RCA Victor 48-0329). Anita played bass on those as she had the day before. Wikipedia has Maybelle and the Carter Sisters getting hired at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville in June of 1950 with Atkins. Praguefrank's has Anita's first featuring plate going down on August 21 of 1950 for release that year: 'Somebody's Crying'/'Johnnie's Got a Sweetheart' (RCA Victor 48-0387). Come Helen's debut featuring tracks in February of 1951 for 'Counterfeit Kisses'/'Sparrow in the Treetop' (Tennessee 761) that year. August 23 of 1950 witnessed June's first name solo titles go down with her Bashful Rascals: 'Bashful Rascal'/'For Crying Out Loud' (RCA Victor 21-0401). Helen shared a name session with Bob Eaton and his band circa March of 1951 toward 'As Long as You Believe in Me Darling' (Tennessee 779). Praguefrank shows Helen's initial name solo tracks arriving circa April of 1951 for 'I'm All Broke Out with Love'/'There's a Right Way, a Wrong Way' (Tennessee 774). Anita's debut sessions as a name solo artist were on October 25 of 1953 with a crew of Atkins, Harold Bradley (guitar), W. Robinson (steel), Ernie Newton (bass) and John Gordy (piano) for 'Someone Else, Not Me'/'Freight Train Blues' (RCA Victor 48-0426 '50) and 'Just You and I' (RCA Victor 48-0493 '51). 'Careless Love' went unissued until an extensive compilation of Anita issued in 2004 by Bear Family Records called 'Appalachian Angel - Her Recordings 1950-1972 & 1996'. The combination was Maybelle, Atkins and the Grand Ole Opry insured stardom for the Sisters, getting punctuated in the fifties by performances with such as Elvis Presley, Carl Smith (to whom she was married in the fifties) and Ernest Tubb. Bright were their careers through the fifties when another dimension was added by Johnny Cash who had begun performing on Grand Ole Opry radio in 1956. He met June that year, she backing Presley at the time on vocals. Per above, the Carter Sisters had become the Carter Family in 1960. The first to record with Cash were either Anita in Nashville on March 19, 1962, or June on an unknown date in '62 for 'Louisiana Hayride' in Shreveport, Louisiana. Anita is thought to have appeared with Cash on 'A Little at a Time' (Columbia 4-42425). June's title with Cash was 'It Ain't Me Babe' which Praguefrank's has issued per Scena 27078 on an unidentified date. Cash appears to have strung first tracks with Maybelle & the Sisters (Carter Family) on June 7 of 1962. His next titles for June were in support of 'I Pitched My Tent on the Old Camp Ground'/'Sweeter Than the Flowers' (Columbia 4-42864) on June 27, 1963. Cash and June wedded on March 1, 1968, he having proposed to her during a performance at the London Ice House in London, Ontario. Theirs was one of the more blessed marriages in show business. Live performances by them (such as a 1968 compilation below) make their love for one another beamingly apparent. To go by Praguefrank's, their last titles together before getting married were on January 13 of '68 at Folsom Prison, taping 'Jackson'/'I Got a Woman'. Highwaymusic has that issued that year, otherwise on the 2008 compilation, 'At Folsom Prison'. Praguefrank's has Johnny and June's first session after getting married five days later on March 6 in Nashville for 'The Folk Singer' (Columbia 4-44513). Johnny and June remained lifelong partners until she died on May 15 of 2003, Cash following in September. As for Maybelle & the Carter Sisters, christened by Maybelle as the second configuration of the Carter Family per 1960 above, they recorded variously into the latter seventies, during which period they often appeared on 'The Johnny Cash Show'. Discogs has the Carter Family recording to as late as the 1976 issue of 'Country's First Family'. Maybelle died not long afterward on October 23, 1978, in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Helen Carter's death on June 2, 1998, preceded Anita's on July 29, 1999. A third generation of the Carter Family was formed in 2010 by Dale Jett (grandson of Alvin and Sara), John Carter Cash (son of Johnny and June) and his wife, Laura. They issued 'Past and Present' that year. All of the Carter Sisters are guilty of compositions. Anita wrote such as 'Blue Doll' ('57) and '(Love's) Ring of Fire' ('63). Helen wrote 'Poor Old Heartsick Me' ('59). June composed 'Go Away Stranger' ('64). The matriarch of the folk genre, Mother Maybelle, had written such as 'Walk a Little Closer' ('49). A compilation of Mother Maybelle with the Carter Sisters was issued in 1981 by Bear Family Records called 'Maybelle - Anita -June - Helen'.

Carter Sisters   1949

   Baby It's Cold Outside

      June Carter with With Homer & Jethro

     Composition: Frank Loesser   1944

   I Was Bitten By The Same Bug Twice

      Anita & Helen Carter with Chet Atkins

     Composition: Helen Carter

   Under the Hickory Tree

      Anita & Helen Carter with Chet Atkins

     Composition: Alvin Carter/Helen Carter

   Walk a Little Closer

      Mother Maybelle & the Carter Sisters

     Composition: Mother Maybelle

Carter Sisters   1951

   Bluebird Island

      Anita Carter with Hank Snow

     Composition: Hank Snow

   Down The Trail Of Aching Hearts

      Anita Carter with Hank Snow

     Composition: Jimmy Kennedy/Nat Simon

Carter Sisters   1952

   Amazing Grace

      Maybelle Carter & the Carter Sisters with Carl Smith

     Composition: John Newton   1779

   Foggy Mountain Top

      Maybelle Carter & the Carter Sisters

     Composition: Alvin Carter   1929

Carter Sisters   1953

   I Like My Lovin' Overtime

      Helen Carter

Carter Sisters   1955

   I Dreamed of a Hillbilly Heaven

      Anita Carter

     Composition: Eddie Dean/Hal Southern

   Making Believe

      Anita Carter   Composition: Jimmy Work

   The Mask On Your Heart

      Anita Carter

Carter Sisters   1957

   Blue Doll

      Anita Carter   Composition: Anita Carter

Carter Sisters   1963

   A Few Short Years Ago

      Anita Carter   Composition: Harlan Howard

Carter Sisters   1964

   Beautiful Isle O'er the Sea

      Anita & Helen Carter

     Composition: Alvin Carter

   I Never Will Marry

      Anita & Helen Carter

     Composition: Alvin Carter/Sara Carter

   (Stop) Being Mean to Your Baby

      Anita Carter

Carter Sisters   1965

   Carmel By the Sea

      Anita Carter

     Composition: Mel Tillis/Marijohn Wilkin

Carter Sisters   1967

   It's My Life (And I'll Live It)

      Anita Carter   Composition: Cy Coben

   Love Me Now (While I Am Living)

      Anita Carter   Composition: Harlan Howard

Carter Sisters   1968

   June & Johnny Live

      Compilation of filmed stage performances

Carter Sisters   1971

   Dear Mama

      Carter Sisters   Live

Carter Sisters   1979

   Hello Stranger

      Helen Carter   Composition: Alvin Carter


      Carter Sisters   Live

   Wildwood Flower

      Helen Carter   Composition: Traditional  

     Arrangement: A.P. Carter

      See Wikipedia

Carter Sisters   1985

   I Never Will Marry

      June Carter   Live

     Composition: Alvin Carter/Sara Carter

Carter Sisters   1991

   Wabash Cannonball

      Carter Sisters   Live

     Composition: Alvin Carter

Carter Sisters   1999

   I Used to Be Somebody

      June Carter   Composition: June Carter



Birth of Folk Music: Tennessee Ernie Ford

Tennessee Ernie Ford


Born Ernest Jennings Ford in 1919 in Bristol, Tennessee, Tennessee Ernie Ford released his first recording: 'Mule Train', in 1949. He'd began his career some ten years earlier as an announcer for WOPI radio in Bristol. He didn't stay there long, leaving to study voice at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Upon World War II Ford served as a First Lieutenant bombardier against the Japanese. Upon discharge from service Ford returned to radio, working for a number of stations. In 1949 he signed on with Capitol Records, the same year he made his first television appearance on the 'Hometown Jamboree' show. Starting in 1956 Ford hosted his own television variety program. Called the 'Ford Show' (named after the auto manufacturer, not Ernie), it broadcast for a run of five years. In 1962 Ford began hosting the 'Tennessee Ernie Ford Show', which ran until 1965. In 1990 he was inducted into the Country Western Hall of Fame and died one year later.

Tennessee Ernie Ford   1949

   Mule Train

Tennessee Ernie Ford   1955

   Sixteen Tons

Tennessee Ernie Ford   1956

   Ballad of Davy Crockett/Farewell

Tennessee Ernie Ford   1964

   Great Gospel Songs




Pete Seeger formed the Weavers in 1948 with Ronnie Gilbert, Lee Hays and Fred Hellerman. Hays and Seeger had been original members of the Almanac Singers formed seven years before in 1941. The Weavers took their name from 'Die Weber' ('The Weavers'), an 1892 play by Gerhart Hauptmann. Their first tracks went down in January of 49 with Paul Robeson (narration), Ronnie Gilbert (vocals), Lee Hays (vocals) and Fred Hellerman (vocals/guitar) toward such as 'The Trenton Six' and 'Dig My Grave'. Most of the titles the Weavers put away in '49 didn't see issue until 'Songs for Political Action: Folk Music, Topical Songs and the American Left' per Bear Family BCD 15790 in 1996 and 'Goodnight Irene: The Weavers 1949-1953' per Bear Family BCD 15930 in 2000. Exceptions were Parts 1 and 2 of 'The Peekskill Story' issued in '49 per Charter 502 (People's Songs label). 'Dig My Grave'/'Wasn't That a Time' also saw issue in '49 per Charter 503. In December of '49 the Weavers strung along 'The Hammer Song'/'Banks of Marble' for issue the next year per Hootenanny 101. The Weavers established a six-month residency at the Village Vanguard in latter '49. The next February they began recording titles toward the album, 'Train to the Zoo', issued that year per Children's Record Guild CRG 1001. A string of titles followed in March/April like 'When the Saints Go Marching In' and 'Around the World' that would see issue in 2000 per BCD 15930 above. 'Around the World' was recorded again on May 4 of '50 with 'Tzena Tzena Tzena', issued that year on Decca 27053. 'Tzena Tzena Tzena' was recorded again on May 26 with 'Goodnight Irene' for release on Decca 28272. Come June 30 for 'Old Man Atom'/'Pity the Downtrodden Landlord' (Jubilee 4005). Among the Weavers' various releases were 'The Roving Kind', 'Sixteen Tons' and 'Kumbaya'. Popular as they became, the group dissolved in 1953 due to blacklisting during which radio stations wouldn't play their material. There would be reunions, however, from '55 at Carnegie Hall to as late as latter 1980 at Carnegie Hall. Pete Seeger quit the resurrected Weavers in 1958, replaced by Erik Darling. Darling was replaced by Frank Hamilton in 1962, and Hamilton was replaced by Bernie Krause in 1963 until the group dissolved in 1964. A last version of the Weavers reunited for a performance at Carnegie Hall in 1980. Songwriting credits for the Weavers at allmusic, 45cat and discogs.

The Weavers   1949

   If I Had a Hammer

     Composition: Pete Seeger/Lee Hays

   The Peekskill Story

     Composition: Mario Casetta

The Weavers   1950

   Lonesome Traveler

     Composition: Lee Hays

The Weavers   1951

   Across the Wide Missouri

     Composition: Ervin Drake/Jimmy Shirl

   Kisses Sweeter Than Wine


     Pete Seeger/Lee Hays/Fred Hellerman/Ronnie Gilbert

   On Top of Old Smoky

     Composition: Traditional arranged by Pete Seeger

The Weavers   1952

   Wimoweh (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)

     Composition: Paul Campbell/Solomon Linda

The Weavers   1955

   The Weavers Live at New York's Carnegie Hall


The Weavers   1957

   Wimoweh (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)

      Live at Carnegie Hall

     Composition: Paul Campbell/Solomon Linda

The Weavers   1963

   Sinner Man

      Live at Carnegie Hall   Composition:



Birth of Folk Music: The Weavers

The Weavers

Photo: David Gahr

Source: Moristotle & Co


Balladeer, Johnny Horton, began his musical career in 1952 doing guest performances for KXLA TV in Pasadena, California. His first record releases the same year ('Done Rovin'' and 'Plaid In Calico') resulted from that. Horton's career was cut short in 1960 upon a frontal collision with a truck gone out of control on a Texas highway. His last charting single, 'I'm All Grown Up', was released posthumously in 1962.

Johnny Horton   1952

   Done Rovin'

   Plaid and Calico

   Coal Smoke, Valve Oil and Steam

Johnny Horton   1959

   The Battle Of New Orleans

Johnny Horton   1960

   North To Alaska

Johnny Horton   1962

   I'm All Grown Up


Birth of Folk Music: Johnny Horton

Johnny Horton

Source: Rockabilly Hall

Birth of Folk Music: Jimmy Dean

Jimmy Dean

Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Source: The Guardian


Born in Plainview, Texas, in 1928, singer Jimmy Dean made his first recording, 'Bummin Around' in 1953, but didn't rise to national fame until 1962 upon recording 'Big Bad John'. Like Burl Ives and Tennessee Ernie Ford, Dean greatly popularized folk music. From 1963 to '66 he hosted the television program, 'The Jimmy Dean Show'. In 1969 he founded the Jimmy Dean Sausage Company. He published his autobiography, '30 Years of Sausage, 50 Years of Ham', in 2004. Dean died in June of 2010, about four months prior to posthumous induction into the Country Western Hall of Fame.

Jimmy Dean   1953

   Bummin Around

Jimmy Dean   1962

   Big Bad John

   Cajun Queen

   Little Black Book

   P.T. 109

   Steel Men

Jimmy Dean   1965

   Once a Day

Jimmy Dean   1976




Birth of Folk Music: Staple Singers

Staple Singers

Source: NFF

The Staple Singers were initially a gospel group important not only to folk music, but the development of soul music as well. The five Staples consisted of Cleotha, Mavis, Pervis, Roebuck and Yvonne. They began their professional career in 1948 singing at churches. They gained their first recording contract in 1952 and cut their first vinyl in 1953: 'These Are They'/'Faith and Grace'. But no recordings at You Tube are yet found before 1955. Their first album, 'Uncloudy Day', was released in 1959, though the song first made the airwaves in 1956. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.

Staple Singers   1955

   Stand By Me

Staple Singers   1956

   Uncloudy Day

Staple Singers   1965

   Freedom Highway

   If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again

Staple Singers   1967

   Why Am I Treated So Bad

Staple Singers   1969

   Will the Circle Be Unbroken

Staple Singers   1971

   When Will We Be Paid

Staple Singers   1973

   A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall

   If You're Ready

Staple Singers   1975

   Let's Do It Again

Staple Singers   1981

   Reach Out, Touch a Hand, Make a Friend



Born in Massachusetts in1931, it is believed to be 1954 that folk singer Paul Clayton released his first album, 'Sailing And Whaling Songs Of The 19th Century'. Playing guitar and dulcimer, Clayton would later enjoy a friendship with Bob Dylan, whom he met in 1961 in New York City, regardless that each their publishing companies sued each other concerning Dylan's alleged plagiarism of one of Clayton's songs, which Clayton had derived from an earlier song that was public domain. (The songs concerned were Clayton's 'Who's Gonna Buy You Ribbons' and Dylan's 'Don't Think Twice'. The earlier song was 'Who's Gonna Buy You Chickens'.) That was corporate business with which their friendship had little to do, apparently staying clear. Be as may, in 1967 Clayton committed suicide in his bathtub with an electric heater. (He had made his last recording in 1965.) All tracks below for 1954 are from Clayton's first album.

Paul Clayton   1954

   The Girls Around Cape Horn

   Go Down You Blood Red Roses

   Lady Franklin's Lament

   Johnny's Gone to Hilo

   The Maid of Amsterdam

   Old Stormalong

   'Round the Corner

   Sally Brown

   Spanish Ladies

   The Turkish Revelee

Paul Clayton   1960

   Who's Gonna to Buy You Ribbons

Paul Clayton   1965

   Wild Mountain Thyme


Birth of Folk Music: Paul Clayton

Paul Clayton

Photo: David Gahr

Source: bdla


Birth of Folk Music: Ramblin' Jack Elliott

Ramblin' Jack Elliott

Source: I Dynamo

Born in Brooklyn in 1931, Rambling Jack Elliott released his first recordings, including the original 'Pretty Boy Floyd', in 1954. Those four recordings (unfound), released together as 'Bad Men and Heroes', had been made with Oscar Brand and Ed McCurdy. Upon meeting Derroll Adams in Los Angeles, Elliott toured Europe with him, resulting in three albums produced in London, perhaps 'Rambling Boys' the most famous. 'Cocaine Blues', below, was originally released in 1956 as simply 'Cocaine' (unfound). Elliott picked up the name "Ramblin'" due not to his travels but his manner of speaking.

Ramblin' Jack Elliott   1957

   Danville Girl

      Banjo: Derroll Adams    Album: 'Rambling Boys'

   Talking Blues

      Banjo: Derroll Adams    Album: 'Jack Elliott Sings'

Ramblin' Jack Elliott   1960

   1913 Massacre

      Album: 'Jack Elliott Sings The Songs Of Woody Guthrie'

   Pretty Boy Floyd

Ramblin' Jack Elliott   1969

   If I Were a Carpenter

      Live performance

Ramblin' Jack Elliott   1987

   Pretty Boy Floyd

      Live performance

Ramblin' Jack Elliott   1995

   Cocaine Blues


  Born in 1930 in Alabama, Odetta Holmes began training in opera at age thirteen. Later reasoning she'd not have a ghost of chance in opera as a black woman, she entered theatre, toured with 'Finian's Rainbow' in 1949, then played nightclubs upon turning to folk music. She was 24 years of age when she first recorded with Larry Mohr whom she'd met in San Francisco. She acted in a number of films and television dramas, 'Cinerama Holiday', in 1955 her first. Holmes released her first album, 'Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues' in 1956, followed by 'At the Gate of Horn' in 1957. Tracks below for year 1965 are from her album, 'Odetta Sings Dylan'. The bottom several cuts are live. Holmes gave her last performance at Hugh's Room in Toronto in October of 2008. She died that December.

Odetta Holmes   1954

   Old Cotton Fields At Home

      With Larry Mohr

Odetta Holmes   1956

   Glory Glory

   God's Gonna Cut You Down

Odetta Holmes   1957


Odetta Holmes   1960

   Hold On (Gospel Plow)

      Live at Carnegie Hall

Odetta Holmes   1963

   She Moved Through the Fair

Odetta Holmes   1965

   Baby, I'm in the Mood for You

   Masters Of War

   Tomorrow Is A Long Time

   With God On Our Side

Odetta Holmes   1970

   Take Me to the Pilot

Odetta Holmes   1971

   Hit Or Miss

Odetta Holmes   2003

   Jim Crow Blues

Odetta Holmes   2005

   Bourgeois Blues

   House of the Rising Sun

Odetta Holmes   2008

   House of the Rising Sun


Birth of Folk Music: Odetta Holmes

Odetta Holmes

Source: Esprits Nomades


Born in Kingsland, Arkansas, in 1932, Johnny Cash was the elder brother of country musician, Tommy Cash, by eight years. He would make his first folk recordings, 'Hey Porter' and 'Cry, Cry, Cry' in 1955. Cash began playing guitar and writing music as age twelve. He sang on the radio in high school, but oined the Air Force in 1950, during which he was stationed in Germany as a Morse Code intercept and radio operator. It was there that Cash put together his first band, the Landsberg Barbarians. He returned to Texas upon discharge in 1954, but soon found himself in Memphis selling appliances. Be as may, he auditioned for Sam Phillips of Sun Records the next year and won his first recording contract. Praguefrank's shows Cash putting down his first titles in September of 1954 [see also *]. Most of those along with later unissued tracks eventually saw later release, some on 'The Man in Black' by Bear Family per BCD 15517 in 1990 (those five CDs to become 9 in 2003 per Bear Family's release of 'Cash Unearthed'), others in 2011 on 'Bootleg Volume II: From Memphis to Hollywood'. Both feature common tracks like 'Wide Open Road' and 'You're My Baby'. It was March 22 of '55 when Cash laid down multiple takes of 'Hey Porter' and 'Folsom River Blues'. 'Hey Porter becme Cash's first record release with a later session in May for multiple takes of 'Cry, Cry, Cry' (Sun 221). Those three versions of 'Folsom Prison Blues' eventually saw release per Bear Family's 'The Man in Black' and 'The Outtakes' (BCD 16325 '07). A couple months later in July Cash recorded his debut Country Top Ten title, 'So Doggone Lonesome' (Sun 232), that reaching Billboard's #4 spot. Cash placed no less than 47 songs on Billboard's Top Ten to as late as '(Ghost) Riders in the Sky' reaching #2 (#1 in Canada). Cash carried folk music to super stardom, issuing 12 #1 titles (US):

   I Walk the Line   1956
   There You Go   1956
   Ballad of a Teenage Queen   1958
   Guess Things Happen That Way   1958
   Don't Take Your Guns to Town   1959
   Ring of Fire   1963
   Folsom Prison Blues   1968
   Daddy Sang Bass   1968
   A Boy Named Sue   1969
   Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down   1970
   Flesh and Blood   1970
   One Piece at a Time   1976

Cash had begun performing on radio at the Grand Ole Opry in 1956. He first met June Carter there, both married to others at the time. Carter was working as a backup vocalist for Elvis Presley. Cash otherwise made his first prison performance on January 1, 1958, at San Quentin. He issued his first album on Sun Records in 1957: 'With His Hot and Blue Guitar'. Wikipedia has Cash leading no less than 77 albums, 11 of those gospel from the latter fifties into the new millennium. Thirteen more were collaborations with such as June Carter or the Highwaymen. His first issue to attain Gold status was 'Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash' in 1963. 'I Walk the Line' went Gold in '64. Following that was 'Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian' in '64 (Billboard #2 but not gold). Folk music ever associated with political activism of one sort or another, with examples abounding from such as Pete Seeger's interest in the welfare of the laboring man to Jackson Browne's antinuke and environmentalist concerns, the plights of the American Indian were what Cash was drawn to addressing. Other of Cash's Gold releases were 'Hello, I'm Johnny Cash' ('70) and 'The World of Johnny Cash' ('70). Counting collections and posthumous releases the Cash estate would see five more albums go Gold to 'The Legend' in 2005 (posthumous). His initial of ten Platinum albums was 'Johnny Cash's Greatest Hits' in '67 followed by 'Folsom Prison Blues' the next year and 'At San Quentin' in '69. The latest was 'The Legend of Johnny Cash' in 2005 (posthumous). Returning to the sixties, not only did Cash's records smoke off the press but he was a pretty hot potato himself. In 1965 the truck Cash was driving caught fire, burning down 508 acres of the Los Padres National Forest, resulting in a fine of $82,000 plus 1 dollar. Though Cash had been releasing gospel records since the fifties he didn't formally became a Christian, taking an altar call, until 1968, the same year he married June Carter. June would become the principal element of Cash's career and life thereafter. June, of course, was a member of the Carter Sisters, become the second edition in 1960 of Mother Maybelle's original Carter Family. The first of Maybelle's brood of three daughters to record with Cash were either Anita in Nashville on March 19, 1962, or June on an unknown date in '62 for 'Louisiana Hayride' in Shreveport, Louisiana. Anita is thought to have appeared with Cash on 'A Little at a Time' (Columbia 4-42425). June's title with Cash was 'It Ain't Me Babe' which Praguefrank's has issued per Scena 27078 on an unidentified date. Cash appears to have strung first tracks with Maybelle & all three Sisters (Carter Family) on June 7 of 1962. His next titles for June were in support of 'I Pitched My Tent on the Old Camp Ground'/'Sweeter Than the Flowers' (Columbia 4-42864) on June 27, 1963. Cash and June wedded on March 1, 1968, he having proposed to her during a performance at the London Ice House in London, Ontario. Theirs was one of the more blessed marriages in show business. Live performances by them (such as a 1968 compilation below) make their love for one another beamingly apparent. To go by Praguefrank's, their last titles together before getting married were on January 13 of '68 at Folsom Prison, taping 'Jackson'/'I Got a Woman'. Highwaymusic has that issued that year, otherwise on the 2008 compilation, 'At Folsom Prison'. Praguefrank's has Johnny and June's first session after getting married five days later on March 6 in Nashville for 'The Folk Singer' (Columbia 4-44513). Johnny and June remained lifelong partners until she died on May 15 of 2003 (Cash following in September). Their most popular titles per Billboard had been 'Jackson' in '67 and 'If I Were a Carpenter' in 1969. Speaking of '69, from that to 1971 Cash had his own television program, 'The Johnny Cash Show', featuring such as the Statler Brothers, the Carter Family ( Maybelle & the Sisters), Carl Perkins, Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson. His first performance at the White House was for Nixon in 1970. In 1971 Cash released 'Man In Black', explaining why he always wore black, essentially a grievance against the unfair in general. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1980. His first album with the Highwaymen (consisting of Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson) was released in 1985, titled 'Highwaymen'. The next year he issued the LP, 'Class of '55', with Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. In 1988 he campaigned for Al Gore. Cash recorded 'American Recordings' in 1994 out of his living room. During his career he found time to write a Christian novel, in addition to two autobiographies, and produce an audio version of the King James New Testament. Cash gave his last public performance in Bristol, Virginia, on July 5, 2003. He later died of diabetes complications on September 12, having written more than a thousand songs. Among his earlier were 'There You Go' ('56), 'Train of Love' ('56), 'Get Rhythm' ('56) and 'Old Apache Squaw' ('57). A nice list of others Cash composed at secondhandsongs. Composers Cash covered also at secondhandsongs. Songwriting credits for a few of his recordings with June Carter. See also 45cat.

Johnny Cash   1955

   Cry, Cry, Cry

     Composition: Johnny Cash

   Hey Porter

     Composition: Johnny Cash

   Folsom Prison Blues

     Composition: Johnny Cash   1953

Johnny Cash   1956

   I Walk the Line

     Composition: Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash   1965

   Orange Blossom Special

      Composition:  Ervin Rouse

Johnny Cash   1968

   Cocaine Blues

      Composition:  T.J. Red Arnall

      First recorded 1947   See Wikipedia

   June & Johnny Live

      Compilation of filmed stage performances

Johnny Cash   1970

   Sunday Morning Coming Down

      Composition:  Kris Kristofferson

   To Beat the Devil

      Composition:  Kris Kristofferson

Johnny Cash   1971

   Give Me That Old Time Religion

      Live with June Carter


      Traditional published 1873 by the Jubilee Singers

   Man In Black

      Live version

     Composition: Johnny Cash

    Man In Black

      Studio version

     Composition: Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash   1979

   Ghost Riders In the Sky

     Composition: Stan Jones

Johnny Cash   1987

   Sixteen Tons

     Composition: Merle Travis


Birth of Folk Music: Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash

Source: Wire to the Ear


Born in 1925 in Portland, Oregon, banjo player Derroll Adams first recorded with partner Rambling Jack Elliott in London in 1957, the result of a European tour they took together upon earlier meeting in Los Angeles. Among those three London albums was their most famous, 'Rambling Boys', one track from that LP below. Unfortunately not a lot of Adams is to be found at YouTube. He died in Antwerp, Belgium, in 2000.

Derroll Adams   1957

   Roll On Buddy

      Album: 'Rambling Boys'   Guitar: Ramblin' Jack Elliott

Derroll Adams   1974

   Roll On Babe

Derroll Adams   1976

   24 Hours a Day

Derroll Adams   1977

   The Rock

Derroll Adams   1978


Derroll Adams   1984

   The Sky


Birth of Folk Music: Derroll Adams

Derroll Adams

Source: Discogs


Born in 1941 in New York City, Art Garfunkel first recorded with Paul Simon in 1957 when they were pursuing doo wop as Tom and Jerry (see A Birth of Rock and Roll 3). Upon one of the most powerful partnerships in the history of American music Garfunkel's popularity waned as he shifted to popular music. Garfunkel released his first solo apart from Tom and Jerry in 1959, 'Beat Love', below. Garfunkel had earned a bachelor's degree in math in 1962. He won his MA in 1967 from Columbia University. Garfunkel appeared in a number of films, his first in 1970 with 'Catch-22', followed in 1971 with 'Carnal Knowledge'. In 1989 he published 'Still Water', a collection of prose poetry. More Garfunkel as part of the duo Simon and Garfunkel lower on this page.

Art Garfunkel   1959

   Beat Love

      As Artie Garr

Art Garfunkel   1973

   Traveling Boy

Art Garfunkel   1975

   I Only Have Eyes For You

Art Garfunkel   1977

   Crying In My Sleep

      Live performance


Birth of Folk Music: Art Garfunkel

Art Garfunkel

Photo: George Napolitano

Film Magic/Getty Images

Source: AnthroScape

Birth of Folk Music: Carolyn Hester

Carolyn Hester

Source: My Space/Carolyn Hester
Born in 1937 in Waco, Texas, guitarist/singer, Carolyn Hester, left directly for New York City upon graduating from high school in 1955. Intent upon a career in acting and music, it was upon visiting her parents back in Lubbock, TX, in 1957 that she recorded her first album in Clovis, New Mexico, Buddy Holly joining her on tracks A1 and A6 of 'Scarlet Ribbons'. (Hester and Holly recorded several other tracks together but the tapes have since been lost: 'Christmas in Killarney', 'Hurry Santa, Hurry'', 'Take Your Time' and 'A Little While Ago'.) Hester ran her operation in Greenwich Village in the sixties. She began that decade by resisting an opportunity to form a trio with Paul Stookey and Peter Yarrow in 1961. Thus Peter, Paul and Mary was formed with Mary Travers instead. Hester otherwise issued her first eponymously titled album that year, 'Carolyn Hester', recorded for Tradition Records in Greenwich because Joan Baez was asking too much for a fairly unknown singer at the time. A second followed the next year, to which Bob Dylan contributed harmonica before issuing his debut LP, 'Bob Dylan', that year. Hester exchanged Greenwich Village for Los Angeles in 1966 upon marrying producer, David Blume. They founded Outpost Records together and opened the Cafe Danssa dance club. She then released a couple albums with the Carolyn Hester Coalition ('The Carolyn Hester Coalition' in '68 and 'Magazine' in '70). Hester released another eponymously titled LP in 1973, then didn't show up on vinyl again until the early eighties on 'Music Medicine' ('82) and 'Warriors of the Rainbow' ('86). Those were compiled in 1996 on 'Texas Songbird'. Hester then took another recording hiatus until 'From These Hills' in 1996. Hester has since toured internationally. In the new millennium she has toured with her daughters, Amy and Karla Blume, they issuing 'We Dream Forever' in 2010. Per 1961 below, tracks are from Hester's second album, 'Carolyn Hester', the first of three so titled, the last in '73.

Carolyn Hester   1957

   Wreck of the Old '97

      With Buddy Holly

      LP: 'Scarlet Ribbons'

Carolyn Hester   1961

   Blackjack Oak


   Virgin Mary

   The Water Is Wide

Carolyn Hester   1962

   Dink's Song

      LP: 'Carolyn Hester'

    I'll Fly Away

      LP: 'Carolyn Hester'

Carolyn Hester   1963

   I Want Jesus

      LP: 'This Live I'm Living'

   Once I Had a Sweetheart

      Filmed live   Date unconfirmed

   The Praties They Grow Small

      Filmed live   Date unconfirmed

Carolyn Hester   1964

   That's My Song

      LP: 'That's My Song'

Carolyn Hester   1965

   Captain, My Captain

      LP: 'Carolyn Hester at Town Hall'

Carolyn Hester   1968

   Be Your Baby

      LP: 'The Carolyn Hester Coalition'

   The Journey

      LP: 'The Carolyn Hester Coalition'

   Magic Man

      LP: 'The Carolyn Hester Coalition'

Carolyn Hester   1970

   Rise Like a Phoenix

      LP: 'Magazine'

      The Carolyn Hester Coalition

Carolyn Hester   1982

   Music Medicine

      LP: 'Music Medicine'

Carolyn Hester   1986

   Warriors of the Rainbow

      LP: 'Warriors of the Rainbow'



Birth of Folk Music: Paul Simon

Paul Simon

Source: Lacoccinelle

Born in 1941 in Newark New Jersey, Paul Simon, per Garfunkel above, first recorded in 1957 as Jerry Landis, the other member of the doo wop team Tom and Jerry (which can found in A Birth of Rock n Roll 3). Of the enormously popular pair, Simon and Garfunkel, Simon was more the rocker, whose career fairly, if intermittently, soared for decades upon the termination of his partnership with Garfunkel in 1970. Simon released his first single apart from Tom and Jerry in 1958, 'True Or False' (below) with 'Teenage Love' flip side (unfound). Simon's 1970 duo release with Art Garfunkel 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', won the 1971 Album of the Year Grammy Award. Simon's 1975 issue of 'Still Crazy After All These Years' won another Album of the Year Grammy Award in 1976. His last song to chart in the top ten was 'Late in the Evening', on his album, 'One-Trick Pony', released in 1980. But he would win yet a third Album of the Year Grammy Award in 1987 for his '86 platter, 'Graceland'. More Simon as part of the duo Simon and Garfunkel lower on this page.

Paul Simon   1958

   True Or False

      As Jerry Landis

Paul Simon   1959

   Ana Belle

      As Jerry Landis

   I Wish I Weren't In Love

      As Jerry Landis with the Crew-Cuts

Paul Simon   1964

   The Sun Is Burning

      Live performance

Paul Simon   1973


Paul Simon   1975

   American Tune

      Live performance

Paul Simon   1980

   Late in the Evening

Paul Simon   1992

   Late in the Evening

      Live performance

Paul Simon   2007

   Diamonds On the Soles of Her Shoes

      Live performance with Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Paul Simon   2011

   The Afterlife

      Live performance



Birth of Folk Music: Kingston Trio

Kingston Trio

Source: OK Music

'Tom Dooley' was the first release by the Kingston Trio in 1958. The original members were Dave Guard, Nick Reynolds and Bob Shane. Their first album released in 1958 was titled simply 'The Kingston Trio', followed in 1959 by 'The Kingston Trio At Large'. Tracks below include two live performances with Mary Travers (of Peter, Paul and Mary).

Kingston Trio   1958

   Tom Dooley

Kingston Trio   1959

   Greenback Dollar

Kingston Trio   1963

   Reverend Mr. Black

Kingston Trio   1982

   Leaving On a Jet Plane

      Original composition: John Denver  Live with Mary Travers

   Where Have All the Flowers Gone

      Live with Mary Travers


  British guitarist Davey Graham was first recorded in 1959 by the BBC for a television series titled 'Monitior'. His first released recording was an EP (extended play) titled '3/4 AD' in 1962. Graham helped popularize what is often called Celtic tuning or, DAGGAD (standard guitar tuning being EADGBE), which he devised to better play the oud with Moroccan musicians. A good example of such tuning is 'She Moved Through the Bizarre' ('She Moved Through the Fair') below. Rock guitarist Jimmy Page was also fond of DAGGAD tuning. Graham died in 2008 of lung cancer.

Davey Graham   1959

   Cry Me a River


Davey Graham   1962

   3/4 AD


Davey Graham   1963

   Guitar Blues

      Live performance

Davey Graham   1964

   Folk, Blues and Beyond


Davey Graham   1965

   My Babe

Davey Graham   1967

   She Moved Thru' the Bizarre/Blue Raga

Davey Graham   1969

   Buhaina Chant

      Album: 'Hat'

   Bulgarian Dance

      Album: 'Hat'

Davey Graham   1981

   All of Me

      Live performance

   City and Suburban Blues

      Live performance

Davey Graham   1999


      Album: 'Fire In the Soul'

Davey Graham   2000


      Live performance


Birth of Folk Music: Davey Graham

Davey Graham

Source: Rate Your Music

Birth of Folk Music: Joan Baez

Joan Baez

Photo: Baron Wolman

Source: Madame Pickwick

Born in 1941 in Staten Island, Joan Baez began her career singing folk songs in coffeehouses in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts. She produced her first album, 'Joan Baez', in 1960, which popular success she would repeat time and again. Baez used her music to address a variety of political issues including civil rights, pacifism, human rights, gay rights and poverty. She performed at the White House for the Obamas in 2010 and gave a brief concert for Occupy Wall Street protestors in 2011.

Joan Baez   1960

   Joan Baez


Joan Baez   1965

   There But For Fortune

      Live version

   There But For Fortune

      Studio version

Joan Baez   1969

   The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

Joan Baez   1994

   Where Have All the Flowers Gone


  Born Philip Wallach Blondheim in 1939, Scott McKenzie had known John Phillips (Mamas and Papas) as a child. In high school he and Tim Rose (lower on this page) sang in a group called the Singing Strings. McKenzie connected with John Phillips again in a doo wop band called the Abstracts, which changed its name to the Smoothies, at which time Phillip Blondheim became Scott McKenzie at a party where his name had become an issue needing correction. (We don't know what makes Scott McKenzie better than Phillip Bondheim. Nor would we tell you if we did.) In 1961 McKenzie and Phillips formed the Journeymen, which disbanded in 1964, prompting McKenzie to launch a solo career (rather than join the Mamas and Papas as was his invitation). His release of 'San Francisco' in 1967 sold more than seven million copies around the world. His debut album, 'The Voice of Scott McKenzie', was issued the same year. McKenzie died in 2012 in Los Angeles.

Scott McKenzie   1960


      With the Smoothies

Scott McKenzie   1961

   500 Miles

      With the Journeymen


      With the Journeymen

Scott McKenzie   1963


      With the Journeymen

Scott McKenzie   1964

   Run Maggie Run

      With the Journeymen

Scott McKenzie   1965

   Look In Your Eyes

   San Francisco

Scott McKenzie   2001

   We've Been Asking Questions

      Live performance


Birth of Folk Music: Scott McKenzie

Scott McKenzie

Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Source: Arquivo Do Morto-Vivo


Birth of Folk Music: Chad Mitchell Trio

Chad Mitchell Trio

Source: Rusty Cans


The original Chad Mitchell Trio was formed at the Roman Catholic Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. The group moved to New York City to join the folk scene there, before releasing its first album, 'Mighty Day On Campus' in 1961, followed the next year with 'At the Bitter End'. After releasing eight albums Chad Mitchell was replaced by John Denver in 1965, though the group retained the Chad Mitchell Trio name.

Chad Mitchell Trio   1961

   Lizzie Borden

Chad Mitchell Trio   1962

   Blues Around My Head

   The John Birch Society

Chad Mitchell Trio   1987

   Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream

      Live reunion with John Denver



Birth of Folk Music: Judy Collins

Judy Collins

Source: Entertainment Spokane!


Judy Collins, born in Seattle, grew up in Denver (Colorado often mentioned in her songs). Collins was a piano prodigy, playing classical music as a child, until she turned to guitar and folk music at about age sixteen. She released her first album, 'A Maid of Constant Sorrow', in 1961 at age twenty-two. She debuted at Carnegie Hall the following year. Collins has written two memoirs as well as a novel, 'Shameless'. She performed at the inauguration President Clinton in 1993.

Judy Collins   1961

   I Know Where I'm Going/John Riley

   A Maid of Constant Sorrow

   O' Daddy Be Gay

   The Rising of the Moon

Judy Collins   1969

   Someday Soon

   Chelsea Morning

Judy Collins   1970

   Amazing Grace

Judy Collins   1976


      With Boston Pops Orchestra

Judy Collins   2002

   Thirsty Boots

      With Arlo Guthrie, Eric Anderson, Tom Rush



At age twenty-three Tommy Makem immigrated from Ireland to the United States with a set of bagpipes. The pipes, however, got erased before he and the Clancy Brothers (Paddy, Tom and Llam) released their first album together in 1961 ('A Spontaneous Performance Recording'), also joined by Bruce Langhorne on guitar and Pete Seeger on banjo. Makem left the Clancy Brothers in 1969 to pursue a solo career. In 1975 he began partnering with Llam Clancy again, touring and releasing several albums. In 1997 Makem published the book, 'Tommy Makem's Secret Ireland'. He died in 2007 of lung cancer.

Tommy Makem   Clancy Brothers   1961

   The Old Orange Flute

   The Whistling Gypsy Rover

   The Work of the Weavers

Tommy Makem   Clancy Brothers   1962

   The Cobbler

Tommy Makem   Clancy Brothers   1965

   The Wild Rover

      Live performance


Birth of Folk Music: Tommy Makem

Tommy Makem

Source: Bio

Birth of Folk Music: Barry McGuire

Barry McGuire

Source: Ultramundo


Born in Oklahoma City in 1935, then raised in California, Barry McGuire joined the Navy at age sixteen. Discovered he wasn't old enough for military service, he was discharged, at which point he became a commercial fisherman, then a journeyman pipe fitter. He began singing in bars and released his first single, 'The Tree', in 1961 (unfound). He soon thereafter formed a duo with Barry Kane, which team then joined the New Christy Minstrels in 1962. McGuire left the Minstrels in 1965. In 1971 he became a Born Again Christian, resulting in the 1973 album, 'Seeds'. McGuire thus became a central figure in a subgenre of gospel called Jesus music (basically gospel folk rock). In 1990 he coauthored the novel, 'In the Midst of Wolves', with Logan White. (More of the Minstrels under New Christy Minstrels below.)

Barry McGuire   1963

   Greenback Dollar

      With the New Christy Minstrels

   Green Green

      Live with the New Christy Minstrels on Hootenanny

   This Train

      Live with the New Christy Minstrels on Hootenanny

Barry McGuire   1965

   Eve of Destruction

      Live on Hullabaloo

Barry McGuire   1977

   Communion Song

Barry McGuire   1979

   Inside Out

      Live album

Barry McGuire   2008

   If I Were a Carpenter

      Live performance

Barry McGuire   2011

   Eve of Destruction

      Live performance



Born in Duncan, Oklahoma, in 1938, upon discharge from the navy Hoyt Axton began singing folk tunes in San Francisco nightclubs. As his career progressed he took a strong lean toward country western (making it something difficult to decide in which genre to place him). Axton was a prolific songwriter as well, not a few of which were recorded by rock bands, including Elvis Presley, Steppenwolf and Three Dog Night. Axton released his first album, 'The Balladeer', in 1962, followed in 1963 by 'Greenback Dollar' and 'Thunder n Lightnin''. Axton also made the first of many television appearances in 1963, beginning with 'The Story of a Folksinger'. Axton died of heart attack in Victor, Montana, in 1999.

Hoyt Axton   1962


Hoyt Axton   1963


   Greenback Dollar

   Thunder n Lightnin'

Hoyt Axton   1971

   Lightning Bar Blues

Hoyt Axton   1974

   Boney Fingers

      With Renee Armand

   Geronimo's Cadillac

Hoyt Axton   1975

   Roll Your Own

      From the album 'Southbound'   With Arlo Guthrie

Hoyt Axton   1980

   Della and the Dealer

      Live performance

   Mountain Right

Hoyt Axton   1990

   We Could Have Been Sweethearts

      Album: 'Spin the Wheel'


Birth of Folk Music: Hoyt Axton

Hoyt Axton

Photo: Jeremiah Records

Source: Texas Escapes


Born in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1931, it was 1961 when it occurred to folk singer Bob Dylan (Robert Allen Zimmerman) to go visit Woody Guthrie in New York City. So he dropped out of college (freshman year) and did. Then he started playing clubs in Greenwich Village and released his first record album in 1962 (the same year he changed his name from Zimmerman to Dylan, honoring the poet, Dylan Thomas). Titled simply 'Bob Dylan', that now famous record sold only 5,000 copies at the time, barely breaking even. (A couple rare cuts not appearing on that album are mixed in the list below.) Dylan first toured the United Kingdom in '62 as well, where he made his first television appearance in 1963 for the BBC. Dylan was involved in the civil rights movement of the sixties. In 1963 he refused an appearance on the 'Ed Sullivan Show' because they censored his wish to play 'Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues'. He first performed with protestor Joan Baez in '63 as well. In 1965 Dylan went electric with the LP, 'Bringing It All Back Home', to not a little protest from folk purists displeased by Dylan's step away from traditional acoustic folk. Bob Dylan's announced conversion to Christianity in 1979 created something of a stir. Yet, unlike Cat Stevens' announced devotion to Islam two years earlier, what little negative consequence Dylan suffered was short-lived, even upon releasing three albums concerning such: 'Slow Train Coming' in 1979, 'Saved' in 1980 and 'Shot of Love' in 1981. In 1998 Dylan garnered the Album of the Year Grammy Award for 'Time Out of Mind' ('97). Dylan's first record release in the new millennium was in 2001: 'Love and Theft'. Dylan remains an Eveready rabbit, performing an average of 100 tour dates a year for the last two decades. This condensed history of music must be especially abbreviated relative to Dylan's packed career, on top of which he's planted the publishing of six books of drawings and paintings like a maraschino cherry.

Bob Dylan   1962

   Blowing In the Wind

   Baby Please Don't Go

   Corrina, Corrina

   Only a Hobo

   Roll On, John

   You're Beautiful

Bob Dylan   1963

   Don't Think Twice

      Written 1962

   Man Of Constant Sorrow

      Television performance

   Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues

Bob Dylan   1965

   Like a Rolling Stone

Bob Dylan   1967

   All Along the Watchtower


Birth of Folk Music: Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

Source: Cifra Club

Birth of Folk Music: Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia

Source: Awaken

Born in San Francisco in 1942, banjo and guitar player Jerry Garcia had been inspired by bluegrass music since a youth. Associated with acid rock, Garcia switched from art to pursue music professionally upon meeting future Grateful Dead member, John Hunter, in 1961. He produced his first recordings with Phil Lesh, another future member of the Grateful Dead, in 1962, among such, 'Matty Groves' and 'Long Black Veil' (neither found). It was 1965 when Garcia formed the Grateful Dead with Phil Lesh (bass), Bill Kreutzmann (drums), Bob Weir (rhythm guitar) and Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (keyboards and harmonica). That year they recorded the album, 'Birth of the Dead', to be released in 1966 when they also released their first singles, among them 'Stealin'' on A side with 'Don't Ease Me In' B side. Their next album, 'Rare Cuts and Oddities' was released the same year. In 1967 they released the album, 'Grateful Dead', but not until 'Workingman's Dead', released in 1970, did the Dead arrive to solid national recognition, reinforced that same year with 'American Beauty'. The name, 'Grateful Dead', was perhaps a random occurrence. It is said that Garcia opened a dictionary to a page on which "grateful dead" was defined as "a dead person, or his angel, showing gratitude to someone who, as an act of charity, arranged their burial". Be as may, the Grateful Dead toured for thirty years, from 1965 to Garcia's death in 1995, notable in that many Dead Heads (fans) made a lifestyle of traveling about the country like gypsies, following the Dead from one engagement to the next, Grateful Dead concerts their itinerary. Garcia is thought to have made his last recordings with guitarist Sanjay Mishra in 1995, prior to his death of heart attack in August that year.

Jerry Garcia   1962

   Man of Constant Sorrow

Jerry Garcia   1966


      Grateful Dead first release A side

      Album: 'Birth of the Dead'

   Don't Ease Me In

      Grateful Dead first release B side

      Album: 'Birth of the Dead'

   Betty and Dupree

      With the Grateful Dead

      Album: 'Rare Cuts and Oddities'

   Cream Puff War

      Album: 'The Grateful Dead'

   Hey Little One

      With the Grateful Dead

      Album: 'Rare Cuts and Oddities'

   You See a Broken Heart

      With the Grateful Dead

      Album: 'Rare Cuts and Oddities'

Jerry Garcia   1967

   New Potato Caboose

      With the Grateful Dead

      Album: 'Grateful Dead'

   Morning Dew

      Live with the Grateful Dead

   Smokestack Lightning

      Original composition: Howling Wolf

      Live with the Grateful Dead

Jerry Garcia   1969

   Silver Threads and Golden Needles

      With the Grateful Dead

Jerry Garcia   1970

   Workingman's Dead

      With the Grateful Dead   Album

   Box of Rain

      With the Grateful Dead   Album: 'American Beauty'

   Friend of the Devil

      With the Grateful Dead   Album: 'American Beauty'


      With the Grateful Dead   Album: 'American Beauty'


      With the Grateful Dead   Album: 'American Beauty'

Jerry Garcia   1971

   Southside Strut

      With Howard Wales

Jerry Garcia   1973

   Angel Band

      With Old and In the Way

Jerry Garcia   1981


      Live with the Grateful Dead

Jerry Garcia   1983

   Just Like Tom Thumb Blues

      Live with the Grateful Dead

Jerry Garcia   1986

   Dear Prudence

      Live with the Jerry Garcia Band

   Tangled Up In Blue

      Live with the Jerry Garcia Band

Jerry Garcia   1987

   Dark Hollow

      Live with Joan Baez and Bob Weir

   Fire On the Mountain

      Live with Carlos Santana

Jerry Garcia   1988

   I Need a Miracle

      Live with the Grateful Dead

Jerry Garcia   1989

   All Along the Watchtower

      Live with the Grateful Dead

   Not Fade Away

      Live with the Grateful Dead

Jerry Garcia   1990

   We Bid You Goodnight

      Live with the Grateful Dead

Jerry Garcia   1992

   Long Black Veil

      With Dave Grisman

Jerry Garcia   1993

   Amazing Grace

      With David Grisman & Tony Rice

   A Shenandoah Lullaby

      With David Grisman

Jerry Garcia   1994

   Peggy O

      Live with the Grateful Dead

Jerry Garcia   1995


      Live with Sanjay Mishra


Birth of Folk Music: The Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead

Source: 21 Hours a Day

Birth of Folk Music: Gordon Lightfoot

Gordon Lightfoot

Photo: Carl Chalupa

Source: Way to Famous

Canadian Gordon Lightfoot left Ontario at age twenty to study jazz at the Westlake College of Music in Hollywood in 1958. He first recorded as a demo singer for other musicians during his brief two-year visit to California. (Lightfoot made many visits to America during his career but he made Toronto his home upon return from his first stay in Hollywood.) Among his first recordings was 'Daisy Doo' with 'Remember Me (I'm the One)' flip side in 1962. His first album, 'Lightfoot!', was released in 1963, the same year he hosted 'The Country and Western Show' for the BBC. With a career spanning five decades and more than 200 recordings behind him, Lightfoot, as of this writing (2012), yet performs on tour.

Gordon Lightfoot   1962

   Daisy Doo/Remember Me (I'm the One)

Gordon Lightfoot   1966


   Long River

Gordon Lightfoot   1968

   Did She Mention My Name

Gordon Lightfoot   1970

   Me and Bobby McGee

      Original composition: Kris Kristofferson

Gordon Lightfoot   1972

   Affair On 8th Avenue

      Live performance

Gordon Lightfoot   1974


      Live performance

Gordon Lightfoot   1976

   The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Gordon Lightfoot   1979

   Early Morning Rain

      Live performance


  In 1961 guitarist and vocalist Randy Sparks put together a fourteen-voice ensemble called the New Christy Minstrels, which name was derived from the blackface group, Christy's Minstrels (which had first performed in 1846, nigh six score years earlier). The group was reduced to ten members before its debut recording in 1962, an album titled, 'Presenting The New Christy Minstrels'. The group's next album, 'The New Christy Minstrels In Person', followed the next year. Sparks left the group in 1963 to form the folk group, the Back Porch Majority, passing leadership of the ensemble to Barry McGuire. McGuire took the group to Europe in 1965, then left to pursue a solo career. The Minstrels, under the direction of Greif and Garris Management, then turned from activist material to lighter feel-good folk music. The New Christy Minstrels are yet active as of this writing. Albeit more than 300 members over the decades leave it with no original personnel, Sparks began the process of reacquiring the group from Grief and Garris in 1995, and has since then once again became the director (and owner) of the Minstrels. More of the New Christy Minstrels under Barry McGuire above.

New Christy Minstrels   1962

   Michael Row The Boat Ashore

      Live with Bette Davis & Tony Bennett

   This Land Is Your Land

   Tip Toe Thru The Tulips With Me


New Christy Minstrels   1963

   The Banjo

   Hi Jolly

   This Road

New Christy Minstrels   1964

   Blacksmith Of Brandywine



Birth of Folk Music: New Christy Minstrels

New Christy Minstrels

Source: Ed Cyphers


Born in Chicago in 1937, Tom Paxton was a graduate of the University of Oklahoma in '59, after which he joined the Army. Upon honorable discharge, drama was Paxton's pursuit until he began performing folk songs at the Gaslight Cafe in Greenwich Village. He released his first album, 'I'm the Man Who Built the Bridges', in 1962, followed by 'Ramblin' Boy' in 1964. He first toured the United Kingdom in 1965. Though Paxton charted a few times his wish to stick to acoustic folk was no rival to rock & roll. He was thus not so successful as, say, Bob Dylan, who early recognized, with full consent, that rock was the new folk. Nor, unfortunately, is there a lot of Tom Paxton to heard at YouTube. As of this writing (2012) Paxton yet tours both the United States and United Kingdom.

Tom Paxton   1962

   I'm the Man Who Built the Bridges

Tom Paxton   1965

   Buy a Gun For Your Son

      Television performance

Tom Paxton   1966

   Ramblin' Boy

      Television performance

   The Last Thing On My Mind

      Television performance

Tom Paxton   2008

   Ramblin' Boy

      Live performance


Birth of Folk Music: Tom Paxton

Tom Paxton

Source: Frank Beaham's Journal

Birth of Folk Music: Peter, Paul and Mary

Peter, Paul & Mary

Source: Favorite Things


In 1962 the folk trio called Peter, Paul and Mary released 'Lemon Tree'. As for their name, they weren't starting a new religion (albeit no doubt recognizing the association); they only meant Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey and Mary Travers. The trio broke up in 1970. Reunions over the years were put to a stop when Travers died in 2009.

Peter, Paul and Mary   1962

   Lemon Tree

Peter, Paul and Mary   1963

   Puff the Magic Dragon

Peter, Paul and Mary   1966

   Early Morning Rain

      Live performance


  The Rooftop Singers, formed by Erick Darling, released their first recordings in 1962. Darling was first joined by Bill Svanoe and Lynne Taylor. The Rooftop Singers disbanded in 1967.

Rooftop Singers   1962

   Walk Right In/Cool Water

Rooftop Singers   1963

   Mama Don't Allow

   Tom Cat


Birth of Folk Music: Rooftop Singers

Rooftop Singers

Source: Rate Your Music


Birth of Folk Music: Tom Rush

Tom Rush

Photo: Robert Corwin

Source: Robert Corwin

Born in 1941 in New Hampshire, Tom Rush was a student of English literature at Harvard where he also began to perform folk music. Shortly later he released his first album, 'Tom Rush at the Unicorn', in 1962. He released his second album, 'Got a Mind to Ramble', the next year. As of this writing (2012), Rush yet performs on tours.

Tom Rush   1962

   Every Night When the Sun Goes Down

      Album: 'Tom Rush at the Unicorn'

Tom Rush   1963


   Sister Kate

Tom Rush   1968

   The Circle Game

      Original composition: Joni Mitchell

      Album: 'The Circle Game'

   No Regrets

      Album: 'The Circle Game'



Birth of Folk Music: Lovin Spoonful

Lovin Spoonful

Source: The 60s Official Site

Born in Greenwich Village in 1944, John Sebastian began recording at age eighteen as a session player, though it isn't known with whom all he played until he joined the Even Dozen Jug Band in 1964, appearing on the album, 'The Even Dozen Jug Band' (see Maria Muldaur below). He also recorded an album with banjo player Billy Faier in 1964: 'The Beast of Billy Faier' (unfound). Sebastian next recorded with Fred Neil in 1965, an album titled, 'Bleecker & MacDougal' (see Fred Neil below). He also appears with Tom Rush in 1965 on the album, 'Tom Rush'. He was with the Mugwumps (with Cass Elliot of the Mamas and Papas) when he decided to form the Lovin' Spoonful in 1965 with Joe Butler, Steve Boone and Zal Yanovsky. That group's first single was 'Do You Believe in Magic'. Leaving the Spoonful in 1968, he pursued a solo career on the folk festival circuit and performed at Woodstock in 1969. The Lovin' Spooful disbanded in 1969 after the release of their album, 'Revelation: Revolution '69'. All cuts below through year 1966 are the Lovin' Spoonful.

John Sebastian   1965

   Do You Believe In Magic

   You Didn't Have to Be So Nice

      Live performance

   Younger Girl

John Sebastian   1966


   Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind

   Jug Band Music

   Nashville Cats

   Rain On the Roof

      Live performance

   Summer In the City

      Live performance

John Sebastian   1969

   Darling Be Home Soon

      Live at Woodstock

   Younger Generation

      Live at Woodstock

   Darlin' Companion

      Live with Cass Elliot

John Sebastian   1970


      Live performance

   How Have You Been

John Sebastian   1974

   She's Funny

John Sebastian   1976

   Welcome Back

John Sebastian   2013

   Shady Grove

      Live performance   Banjo: David Grisman


Birth of Folk Music: John Sebastian

John Sebastian

Source: Go Retro

Birth of Folk Music: Jake Holmes

Jake Holmes

Source: In Deep

Born in San Francisco in 1939, Jake Holmes first recorded in 1963 with his wife, Katherine, as part of a duo called Allen and Grier, although that album, 'Better To Be Rich Than Ethnic' (Vee Jay Records) is unfound for this history. Following a period in the military, Holmes released his debut album, 'The Above Ground Sound of Jake Holmes', in 1967. All tracks for year 1967 below are from that album. Holmes was also a jingles writer for all variety of commercial interests from Chevrolet to soft drinks to Sears to Charmin bathroom tissue.

Jake Holmes   1967

   Dazed and Confused

   Did You Know

   Genuine Imitation Life

   I Wish I Was Anywhere Else



   She Belongs to Me

Jake Holmes   1968

   Late Sleeping Day

   Leaves Never Break

   Moving Day

   Saturday Night

   Sleeping Woman



Zager & Evans was a brief-lived duo consisting of Denny Zager and Rick Evans. 'In the Year 2525' was originally released by Truth Records in 1968, then acquired by RCA for national distribution the next year. Zager & Evans had been founding members of a Nebraska band called the Eccentrics since 1960, which released two 45s in 1964 and 1965, respectively: 'Share Me/Stars' and 'Nighttime Noontime/I Still Love You'. That group disbanded in 1967, when Zager and Evans decided to headline as a duo, using backup musicians. Zager & Evans released their last album, 'Food For the Mind', in 1971. As of this writing Evans yet works in the music industry, while Zager has been owner of Zager Guitars for twenty years, building custom guitars.

Zager & Evans   1964

   Share Me

      With the Eccentrics


      With the Eccentrics

Zager & Evans   1968

   In The Year 2525

Zager & Evans   1969

   The Candy Machine

   In The Year 2525

      Live performance

Zager & Evans   1971

   I Am

      Album: 'Food For the Mind'


Birth of Folk Music: Zager & Evans

Zager & Evans

Source: 2 or 3 Lines


Born in 1942 in Lancashire, England, Graham Nash first recorded as a member of the pop-rock band, the Hollies, in 1963. It was on a Hollies tour of the United States that he met David Crosby and Graham Nash, with whom he would record as one of the trio, Crosby, Stills and Nash in 1969. Nash produced his first solo album, 'Songs For Beginners', in 1971 after the dissolution of the  group, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. To further the cause of alternative rather than nuclear energy Nash helped found Musicians United for Safe Energy in 1979. In 1997 Nash was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his participation in Crosby, Stills and Nash. He was inducted again in 2010 for his earlier work with the Hollies. Nash was also a photographer. His memoir, 'Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life', was published in September of 2013.

Graham Nash   1963

   (Ain't That) Just Like Me

      With the Hollies   Lead Singer: Allan Clarke

Graham Nash   1964

   Just One Look

      With the Hollies as featured singer

   To You My Love

      With the Hollies as lead singer

Graham Nash   1969

   Helplessly Hoping

      With Crosby, Stills and Nash

   Marrakesh Express

      With Crosby, Stills and Nash

   Southern Cross

      With Crosby, Stills and Nash

   Teach Your Children

      With Crosby, Stills and Nash

Graham Nash   1971

   Better Days


Graham Nash   1973

   Wild Tales

      Album: 'Wild Tales'

Graham Nash   1990

   These Days

      Live with Greg Allman


Birth of Folk Music: Graham Nash

Graham Nash

Source: Times Square Gossip

  Born in Cleveland in 1936, Fred Neil first recorded in 1963, appearing on a compilation of folk songs called, 'Hootenanny Live at the Bitter End'. In 1964 he appeared on two more similar albums titled, 'A Rootin" Tootin' Hootenanny' and 'World of Folk Music'. None of which are found at YouTube. Neil released his first LP in 1965 with Vince Martin: 'All Tear Down the Walls'. After the release of the album, 'Everybody's Talkin', Neil founded the Dolphin Research Project, dedicated to dolphin welfare worldwide. Though he continued to perform and record the Dolphin Project became his main concern, gradually drawing him into obscurity as a musician until his death of natural cause in 2001. His last public performance was in 1981.

Fred Neil   1965

   I'm a Drifter

   I Know You Rider/Weary Blues

   Linin' Track

   Red Flowers

       Album: 'Tear Down the Walls'

   Tear Down the Walls

      Album: 'Tear Down the Walls'

   Bleecker & MacDougal


   Wild Child In A World of Trouble

Fred Neil   1966

   The Dolphins

      Album: 'Everybody's Talkin''

Fred Neil   1998

   You Don't Miss Water

      Album: 'Byrd Parts'


Birth of Folk Music: Fred Neil

Fred Neil

Source: Emoções de Roberto Carlos


Phil Ochs released his first album with Cameo Records in 1963, 'Camp Favorites', as part of a group called the Campers. Also in 1963 Ochs produced a score or so of demos which can now be heard on the CD releases 'The Broadside Tapes' and 'On My Way'. His next three albums, for Elektra Records, were 'All the News That's Fit to Sing' in 1964, 'I Ain't Marching Anymore' in 1965 and 'Phil Ochs in Concert' in 1966. In 1975 Ochs assumed another identity by the name John Butler, began to carry weapons (such as a hammer or a pipe), became involved in fights with patrons at bars where he performed, and eventually became homeless. In 1976 he finally took his sister's counsel to see a doctor, upon which he was diagnosed bipolar. But that was too little too late, as he hung himself later that year.

Phil Ochs   1963

   Cannibal King

      Album: 'Camp Favorites'


      Album: 'Camp Favorites'

   On My Way

   Polly Wolly Doodle

      Album: 'Camp Favorites'

   The Welcome Song

      Album: 'Camp Favorites'

Phil Ochs   1964

   Ballad of William Worthy

Phil Ochs   1965


   I Ain't Marching Any More

Phil Ochs   1967

   Cross My Heart

   Flower Lady

Phil Ochs   1969

   The Scorpion Departs

Phil Ochs   1974


      Live with Jim Glover

   No More Songs

      Live with Jim Glover

   That's the Way It's Going to Be

       Live with Bob Gibson

   When I'm Gone

       Live with Arlo Guthrie


Birth of Folk Music: Phil Ochs

Phil Ochs

Source: New York Geschichte

Birth of Folk Music: Tim Rose

Tim Rose

Source: Songkick

Born in Greenwich Village in 1940, Tim Rose had early been in a group with Scott McKenzie, put together in high school, called the Singing Strings. However, the first big event in his career didn't occur until he met Cass Elliott (Mamas & Papas) in 1962 (age 22) to form the Triumvirate with Dave Brown. Upon Brown being replaced by James Hendricks the group became the Big Three and released its first album, 'The Big Three', in 1963. Rose released his first solo album, 'Tim Rose' in 1967. In the later seventies Rose's career began to dry up. He recorded 'The Gambler' in 1977 but his record label wouldn't issue it. So worked in construction for a couple years, then began singing commercial jingles in 1980. Graduating from Fordham University in 1984 with a degree in history, he then became a stockbroker until 1987. In 1991 he revived his career with the long-delayed release of  'The Gambler' and was soon touring Europe. Rose died of heart attack in 2002 during an operation for bowel troubles, 62 years of age.

Tim Rose   1963

   Wild Women

      With The Big Three

Tim Rose   1967

   Come Away Melinda

   Hey Joe

      Live performance

   Long Time Man

   Morning Dew

Tim Rose   1968

   Long Haired Boy

      Live performance

Tim Rose   1972

   Darling You Were All That I Had

   If I Were a Carpenter

   It Takes a Little Longer

   You've Got To Hide Your Love Away

Tim Rose   1995

   Hey Joe

      Live performance



Birth of Folk Music: The Seekers

The Seekers

Source: The Judith Story

The Seekers were formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1963, the year they made their first recording ('Waltzing Matilda') and released their first album, 'Introducing The Seekers'. Consisting of Judith Durham, Athol Guy, Keith Potger and Bruce Woodley, one could say they got their big break when they were offered employment on a cruise ship, as that is how they found themselves in London in 1964, there greater opportunities for musicians in the motherland than down under. The first three singles the Seekers released in England were 'I'll Never Find Another You', 'A World of Our Own' and 'The Carnival Is Over', the last selling 93,000 copies in a single day. Tracks below are list chronologically by year only, then alphabetically. The Seekers gave their last performance in July of 1968, for the BBC, then dissolved upon Durham leaving the group for a solo career. There would be reunions and the group yet performs as of this writing (2013), though personnel much altered.

The Seekers   1963

   Waltzing Matilda

The Seekers   1964

   The Carnival Is Over

   Cotton Fields

   Gotta Travel On

   I'll Never Find Another You

      Live performance

The Seekers   1965

   Don't Think Twice It's Alright

   A World Of Our Own

The Seekers   1966

   Morningtown Ride

The Seekers   1967

   Angeline Is Always Friday

The Seekers   1968

   Colours Of My Life

      Live performance

   Georgy Girl

      Live performance

The Seekers   1997

   Calling Me Home

      Live performance

The Seekers   2000

   I Am Australian

      Live performance

The Seekers   2001

   Children Go Where I Send Thee



Birth of Folk Music: Neil Young

Neil Young

Source: Temple Ordered Opulant

All the members of the band, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were strongly rock oriented, but Neil Young emphatically so. Alike his friend, Joni Mitchell, Young was Canadian, first recording with a band called the Squires in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1963. After leaving the Squires, Young toured Canada, upon which he met Rick James in Toronto, Ontario and joined his group, the Mynah Birds. Bassist Bruce Palmer was also a member of the Mynah Birds, upon which disbandment he and Young traveled to Los Angeles. There they met Dewey Martin, Richie Furay and Stephen Stills, with whom they formed the Buffalo Springfield group. It was 1968 when Palmer helped Young make his first solo recording, titled simply 'Neil Young'. That same year they got together with Ralph Molina, Billy Talbot and Danny Whitten to form the group, Crazy Horse, the various formations of which have been Neil Young's band ever since. It was 1969 when Young joined Crosby, Stills & Nash to release their album, 'Deja Vu', as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young in 1970. Side note: Neil Young did not record 'Horse With No Name' as many mistakenly believe. 'Horse With No Name' was released by the folk rock band, America, bumping Young's 'Heart of Gold' from its Number One slot on the charts in 1971. (As America didn't release its first recording until 1970 it is not yet included in this history of folk music.)

Neil Young   1963

   The Sultan

      With the Squires

Neil Young   1966

   Go On and Cry

      With the Mynah Birds   Lead Singer: Rick James

   It's My Time

      With the Mynah Birds   Lead Singer: Rick James

Neil Young   1968

   Here We Are In the Years

      Album: 'Neil Young'

   If I Could Have Her Tonight

      Album: 'Neil Young'

   I've Loved Her So Long

      Album: 'Neil Young'

   The Last Trip to Tulsa

       Album: 'Neil Young'

   The Old Laughing Lady

      Album: 'Neil Young'

   String Quartet Whiskey Boot Hill

      Album: 'Neil Young'

Neil Young   1969

   Down By the River

      With Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young   Live performance

Neil Young   1970

   Deja Vu

      With Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

   Down By the River

      With Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young   Television performance

   Southern Man

      With Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young   Live at Fillmore East


      With Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

   Our House

      With Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young


      Original composition: Joni Mitchell

      With Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Neil Young   1971

   Heart of Gold

      Live solo performance   Released on 'Harvest' 1972

   Needle and the Damage Done

      Live solo performance   Released on 'Harvest' 1972

   Old Man

      Live solo performance   Released on 'Harvest' 1972

Neil Young   1979

   Like a Hurricane

      With Crazy Horse   Live performance 1978

   Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)

      With Crazy Horse   Live performance 1991

Neil Young   1988

   This Note's For You

      With Crazy Horse   Live performance

Neil Young   2001

   Don't Cry No Tears

      With Crazy Horse   Live performance

Neil Young   2012

   God Save the Queen

      With Crazy Horse

   Oh Susannah

      With Crazy Horse



Birth of Folk Music: The Band

The Band

Photo: Elliott Landy

Source: Drummerworld


Though perhaps more famous in association with Bob Dylan, each member of The Band had earlier belonged to Ronnie Hawkins' band, the Hawks (see A Birth of Rock and Roll). It was 1964 when the members of The Band left Hawkins, performing under various names until the label, "The Band," stuck in 1967. Their first single as The Band, 'Jabberwocky' with 'Never Too Much Love' B side, is unfound. The original members consisted of Levon Helm (drums, guitar, mandolin), Rick Danko (bass, fiddle, trombone), Robbie Robertson (guitar), Garth Hudson (keyboards, saxophone, trumpet) and Richard Manuel (piano, baritone sax). The Band may be best known for its issue of 'The Last Waltz' in 1978, a collection of live concert recordings begun in 1976. 'The Last Waltz' was supposed to be a farewell tour but the band regrouped in 1983 (without Robertson). The group's last recording occurred in 1999 with Bob Dylan: 'One Too Many Mornings' which can be found on Dylan's album, 'Tangled Up In Blues'. Rick Danko died in his sleep December of 1999, putting The Band to rest as well.

The Band   1964

   Leave Me Alone

      As the Canadian Squires

The Band   1965

   The Stones I Throw

      As Levon and the Hawks

   He Don't Love You

      As Levon and the Hawks

The Band   1968

   The Weight

      Live version

   The Weight

      Studio version

The Band   1970


The Band   1975

   Arcadian Driftwood

The Band   1978

   The Last Waltz



      Film: 'The Last Waltz' (concert)



Born in 1941 in Los Angeles, David Crosby was a drama student when he dropped out of college to pursue a musical career. He first recorded with the Balladeers in 1963 on such tunes as 'Midnight Special' and Ride Up' (neither found). In 1964 he helped form the group, the Jet Set, with whom he recorded such as 'You Movin' and 'The Only Girl' (neither found). The Jet Set became the Beefeaters in 1964, the same year Crosby produced his first solo recordings (included on a couple of compilation albums: 'Byrd Parts' and 'Early L.A.'). In 1965 the Beefeaters became the Byrds, their first release, 'Mr. Tambourine Man' the same year. Crosby was dismissed from the Byrds in 1967 due largely to disagreements as to the kind of material the band ought play. But he would rejoin the band in 1973 as a producer. Crosby released his first solo album, 'If Only I Could Remember My Name' in 1971 (upon the dissolution of the group, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young). Beyond music, Crosby's major interest throughout the decades has been sailing his 74-foot schooner called the Mayan, purchased in 1967.

David Crosby   1964

   Please Let Me Love You

      With the Beefeaters   Side A

   Come Back Baby

   Don't Be Long

      With the Beefeaters   Side B

   Get Together

      Original composition: Chet Powers (Dino Valenti)

   Willie Jean

David Crosby   1965

   Mr. Tambourine Man

      Original composition: Bob Dylan   With the Byrds

David Crosby   1966

   Eight Miles High

      With the Byrds

   Turn Turn Turn

      With the Byrds   Television performance

David Crosby   1968

   You Ain't Goin' Nowhere

      Later Byrds minus Crosby

David Crosby   1971

   If Only I Could Remember My Name



Birth of Folk Music: David Crosby

David Crosby

Source: Jazz Wax


Bobbie Gentry, hailing from Mississippi, was a philosophy major before she turned to the considerably more practical study of music at the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music. She first recorded in 1964 with singer Jody Reynolds, then worked nightclubs for a few years before her first single exploded ('Mississippi Delta' with 'Ode to Billie Joe' B side). The next year she partnered with country western musician Glen Campbell to release her first album 'Bobbie Gentry & Glen Campbell'. Her last public performance was on May 10, 1981, on the television show, 'All-Star Salute to Mother's Day'.

Bobbie Gentry   1964

   Stranger In the Mirror

      With Jody Reynolds

Bobbie Gentry   1967

   Ode to Billie Joe


Bobbie Gentry   1968

   Gentle On My Mind

      With Glen Campbell

   Little Green Apples

      With Glen Campbell

Bobbie Gentry   1969

   Son Of a Preacher Man


Birth of Folk Music: Bobby Gentry

Bobbie Gentry

Source: Armchair Actorvist


Born Joseph McDonald in 1942 in Washington D.C., Country Joe McDonald pressed his first record, 'The Goodbye Blues', in 1964 with Blair Hardman. He released his first single with the Fish ('Talking Issue #1' with 'Peter Krug' flip side) in 1965. His first album, 'Electric Music for the Mind and Body', was released in 1967. Unfortunately none of the aforementioned are found. Later in 1967 McDonald released another album, 'Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die', from which two tracks follow below.

Country Joe McDonald   1967

   The Acid Commercial

   Feel Like I'm Fixing to Die

Country Joe McDonald   1969

   Flying High

      Live at Woodstock

Country Joe McDonald   1970

   She's a Bird

Country Joe McDonald   1971

   Mr. Big Pig

   Tricky Dicky


Birth of Folk Music: Country Joe McDonald

Country Joe McDonald

Source: Born Late

  Born in New York in 1943, guitarist Geoff Muldaur first recorded in 1964, appearing on a compendium of urban blues titled 'The Blues Project'. He had been a founding member of Jim Kweskin's Jug Band, where he met Maria D'Amato, who would become Maria Muldaur. Muldaur joined Paul Butterfield's band, Better Days, in 1972 (the year he and Maria divorced) and remained with Butterfield for four years before continuing a solo career that would include producing other artists.

Geoff Muldaur   1964

   Devil Got My Woman

      Album: 'The Blues Project'

Geoff Muldaur   1965


      Album: 'See Reverse Side for Title'   With Jum Kweskin

   Somebody Stole My Gal

      With Jum Kweskin

Geoff Muldaur   1972


Geoff Muldaur   1975

   Higher and Higher

Geoff Muldaur   1985


Geoff Muldaur   2013

   I Can't See Your Face Anymore

      With Jum Kweskin

Geoff Muldaur   2014

   Boll Weevil

      With Jum Kweskin


Birth of Folk Music: Geoff Muldaur

Geoff Muldaur

Source: Passim

Birth of Folk Music: Maria Muldaur

Maria Muldaur

Source: Time Goes By

Born in Greenwich Village in 1943, Maria D'Amato began her career with the Even Dozen Jug Band, which group released its only recordings on an album titled, 'The Even Dozen Jug Band', in 1964. D'Amato then briefly joined Jim Kweskin's Jug Band where she met Geoff Muldaur, to become Maria Muldaur. Their marriage produced a couple albums before their divorce in 1972: 'Pottery Pie', released in 1968, and 'Sweet Potatoes', released in 1972. Her first solo album, 'Maria Muldaur', was released in 1973, her second album, 'Waitress In a Donut Shop', following the same year.

Maria Muldaur   1964

   The Even Dozen Jug Band

      As Maria D'Amato   Album   Recorded 1963

Maria Muldaur   1965

   Pottery Pie

      As Maria D'Amato   Album   With Geoff Muldaur

Maria Muldaur   1973

   Maria Muldaur


Maria Muldaur   1974

   Midnight at the Oasis

      Live performance


      Album: 'Waitress In a Donut Shop'

Maria Muldaur   1984

   The Work Song

      Live performance

Maria Muldaur   1993

   My Tennessee Mountain Home

Maria Muldaur   1999

   It Ain't the Meat, It's the Motion

      Album: 'Meet Me Where They Play the Blues'

Maria Muldaur   2001

   Richland Woman Blues

      Guitar: John Sebastian


  Born a Cree in 1941 in Saskatchewan, Buffy (Beverly) Saint-Marie earned her BA in teaching in 1963 and would later acquire a PhD in Oriental philosophy in 1983. Her debut album, 'It's My Way' was issued in 1964. Her last released album was in 2008: 'Running For the Drum'.

Buffy Sainte-Marie   1964


   The Incest Song

   It's My Way

   You're Gonna Need Somebody On Your Bond

Buffy Sainte-Marie   1968

   I'm Gonna Be A Country Girl Again

Buffy Sainte-Marie   1969


Buffy Sainte-Marie   1975

   The Moon

Buffy Sainte-Marie   1996

   Universal Soldier

Buffy Sainte-Marie   2011



Birth of Folk Music: Buffy Sainte-Marie

Buffy Sainte-Marie

Photo John Reeves

Source: SCAA


Tom and Jerry (see A Birth of Rock n Roll 3) became Simon & Garfunkel in 1964. Trading in doo wop for folk, their first album, 'Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.' was but a modest success. That same year, however, they released the song, 'The Sound of Silence', followed by a continuous stream of stellar compositions up to the termination of their partnership in 1970. Their last album, 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', was released in January 1970, that to win the Album of the Year Grammy Award in 1971. More of Simon or Garfunkel as individual musicians higher on this page.

Simon and Garfunkel   1964

   The Sound of Silence

   Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.

Simon and Garfunkel   1966

   I Am a Rock

      Live performance

   I Am a Rock

Simon and Garfunkel   1968



   Mrs. Robinson

      Live performance

   Scarborough Affair

Simon and Garfunkel   1970

   Bridge Over Troubled Water


Birth of Folk Music: Simon and Garfunkel

Paul Simon   Art Garfunkel

Source: The Guardian


Born in 1945 in Dallas, Stephen Stills dropped out of college to pursue a career in music. He worked with a number of bands before first recording with the Au Go Go Singers in 1964. Richie Furay (of Poco fame, below) was also a member of that group, with whom Stills formed the Buffalo Springfield in 1966, together with Jim Messina, Dewey Martin, Bruce Palmer and Neil Young. Upon the dissolution of Buffalo Springfield Stills joined Al Kooper on the album, 'Super Session', before meeting David Crosby (recently expelled from the Byrds) and Graham Nash with whom he formed the trio, Crosby, Stills and Nash (later to become Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young). Stills recorded his first solo album in 1970 (titled simply 'Stephen Stills') before forming the band, Manassus, with ex-Byrds member, Chris Hillman, in 1971. Stills was the main instrumentalist of Crosby, Stills and Nash, the trio's central figure without whom it couldn't have happened.

Stephen Stills   1964

   Gotta Travel On

      With the Au Go Go Singers

   High Flyin' Bird

      With the Au Go Go Singers

Stephen Stills   1969

   Black Queen

      Live performance


      The Dick Cavett Show


      Live at Big Sur

   Every Day We Live


Stephen Stills   1970

   Stephen Stills


Stephen Stills   1972

   It Doesn't Matter

      With Manassas

Stephen Stills   1996

   Love the One You're With

      Live reunion with David Crosby & Graham Nash

Stephen Stills   2011

   Judy Blue Eyes

      Live performance

   Make Love to You

      Live performance


Birth of Folk Music: Stephen Stills

Stephen Stills

Photo: Henry Diltz

Source: Hi-Fi Phono Room

Birth of Folk Music: Dino Valenti

Dino Valenti (Chet Powers)

Photo: Herb Greene

Source: Dirt City Chronicles

Born in 1945 in Danbury, Connecticut, Chet Powers assumed the stage name, Dino Valenti, before creating his first recordings in 1964. When the Kingston Trio issued a version of his song, 'Get Together', in 1964 he sold the publishing rights to their manager in order to raise money for a defense attorney due to a drug conviction. Ouch. He released his first and only solo album in 1968, two years before joining the rock band, Quicksilver Messenger Service, in 1970. Powers died in 1994.

Chet Powers (Dino Valenti)   1964

   Let's Get Together

Chet Powers (Dino Valenti)   1968

   Children of the Sun

   Everything Is Going to Be OK

   Listen to Me

   Me and My Uncle

   New Wind Blowing

   Shame On You Babe




Birth of Folk Music: The Youngbloods

The Youngbloods

Source: All Music

Born in 1941 in Queens, Jesse Colin Young released two albums before forming the Youngbloods in 1965. The first was 'The Soul of a City Boy' released in 1964. The second was 'Young Blood' released in 1965. 'Grizzly Bear' was the first single released by the Youngbloods in 1967, though a couple of 1965 demo tracks can heard on a compilation album called 'Two Trips'. The Youngbloods were composed of Jerry Corbitt, Lowell Levinger and drummer Joe Bauer. Tracks below are from their first three albums, 'The Youngbloods', 'Earth Music' and 'Elephant Mountain'. Young's first solo album after leaving the Youngbloods in 1972 was 'Together'.

Jesse Colin Young   1964

   Four In the Morning

   Rye Whisky

   You Gotta Fix It

Jesse Colin Young   1965

   Green Hill Mountain Home

   Little Suzie

Jesse Colin Young   1967

   Grizzly Bear

      With the Youngbloods

   C.C. Rider

      With the Youngbloods

   Foolin' Around

      With the Youngbloods

   Get Together

      Original composition: Chet Powers (Dino Valenti)

      With the Youngbloods

Jesse Colin Young   1968

   Reason to Believe

      With the Youngbloods

Jesse Colin Young   1969

   Darkness Darkness

      With the Youngbloods

   Ride the Wind

      With the Youngbloods

Jesse Colin Young   1974

   Let Your Light Shine

Jesse Colin Young   2009

   Darkness Darkness


Birth of Folk Music: Jesse Colin Young

Jesse Colin Young

Source: My Space/Jesse Colin Young


Guitarist Ry Cooder first recorded in 1965 as lead guitarist with the Rising Sons, a band he formed with blues musician Taj Mahal (Blues 3), the group's main vocalist. He would quickly go on to play with eccentric Captain Beefheart and the British rock band, Rolling Stones. A highly regarded guitarist, Cooder oft defied category while exploring a variety of genres, especially rock and, certainly, the blues. Among his most notable contributions to music were his collaborations with blues guitarist, John Lee Hooker, in the nineties. The majority of samples below are live performances.

Ry Cooder   1965

   Candy Man

   The Devil's Got My Woman

Ry Cooder   1966

   Take a Giant Step

Ry Cooder   1970

   Available Space

   Get Away

      Soundtrack from the film 'Performance'

   Goin' to Brownsville

   Vigilante Man

Ry Cooder   1977

   Do Re Mi

      Original composition: Woody Guthrie

   Jesus On the Mainline

      With the Chicken Skin Band

Ry Cooder   1982

   Gypsy Woman

Ry Cooder   1987

   Down In Mississippi

      With the Moula Banda Rhythm Aces

   Jesus On the Mainline

      With the Moula Banda Rhythm Aces

   The Very Thing That Makes Her Rich

      With the Moula Banda Rhythm Aces

Ry Cooder   1990

   Crazy 'Bout an Automobile

   Hobo Blues

      With John Lee Hooker

Ry Cooder   1992

   All Our Colors Benefit

      With John Lee Hooker

   The Healer

      With Carlos Santana

Ry Cooder   2011

   John Lee Hooker For President

   No Banker Left Behind

   Vigilante Man


Birth of Folk Music: Ry Cooder

Ry Cooder

Photo: Fin Costello

Source: Guitar Gallows


Birth of Folk Music: John Denver

John Denver

Source: Find a Grave


Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. in 1943, John Denver performed his first recordings in 1965 as a member of the Chad Mitchell Trio, two from among them below. He had changed his name from Deutschendorf to Denver while playing clubs in college because Colorado was his favorite state. While folk was going electric Denver continued to play largely acoustic guitar, and has still sold more than 33 million dollars worth of music. In 1976 Denver campaigned for Jimmy Carter and founded the Windstar Foundation, an environmental organization. In 1977 he cofounded the Hunger Project. He toured the Soviet Union in 1985 and the People's Republic of China in 1992. His autobiography, 'Take Me Home', was published in 1994. Denver's last known composition, 'Yellowstone, Coming Home', was featured on the 1997 television broadcast of 'Nature'. Denver was a collector of vintage airplanes and an experienced pilot. But he died on October 12, 1997, in a plane crash due to fuel problems, he the pilot and only occupant. In 2007 Colorado made 'Rocky Mountain High' one of its two state songs ('Where the Columbines Grow' the other). In 2014 West Virginia adopted 'Take Me Home, Country Roads' its state song.

John Denver   1965

   That's the Way It's Gonna Be

   Violets Of Dawn

John Denver   1971

   Take Me Home Country Roads

John Denver   1972

   Rocky Mountain High



Birth of Folk Music: Marianne Faithfull

Marianne Faithfull

Source: Steven Rosen Writer

Born in London in 1946, Marianne Faithfull began performing folk music in coffeehouses in 1964, the same year she met Mick Jagger with whom she would begin a relationship the next year until 1970. During those younger days Faithfull's life was plagued with cocaine and heroin addiction, leading to a suicide attempt in 1970. Jagger and successful recordings aside, Faithfull struggled against homelessness, living on the streets of Soho for two years. It was about that time that a case of laryngitis changed her voice. Following the release of the album, 'Broken English', in 1979 Faithfull left England for New York City, but continued to struggle with addiction into the eighties. Upon finally rehabilitating, she recorded the jazz album, 'Strange Weather', in 1987.

Marianne Faithfull   1965

   As Tears Go By

      Composition: Mick Jagger/Andrew Oldham/Keith Richards

      Live performance

   Come and Stay With Me

   In My Time Of Sorrow

   Morning Sun

   Oh Look Around You

   Portland Town

   The Sha La La Song

   Summer Nights

   This Little Bird

   Time Takes Time

   What Have I Done

   What Have They Done To the Rain

Marianne Faithfull   1966

   Si Demain

Marianne Faithfull   1969

   Sister Morphine

Marianne Faithfull   1971

   It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

Marianne Faithfull   1979

   Ballad of Lucy Jordan

   Broken English


   Working Class Hero

Marianne Faithfull   1996

   Don't Forget Me

      Album: '20th Century Blues'

   Mack the Knife

      Album: '20th Century Blues'

Marianne Faithfull   2004

   Crazy Love


  Born in Glasgow in 1943, Scottish guitarist Bert Jansch released his first album, 'Bert Jansch' in 1965, followed by 'It Don't Bother Me' the same year. Released by Transatlantic Records, Jansch's first album was recorded in his apartment with a borrowed guitar. In 1967 he helped form the group, Pentangle. When the group disbanded in 1973 Jansch bought a farm, but was back at music a couple years later, releasing the album, 'A Rare Conundrum', in 1977, after which he formed the brief-existent group, Conundrum. Jansch reunited with Pentangle in 1980. Jansch delivered his final concert at the Royal Festival Hall in London in 2011. He died of lung cancer in England the same year.

Bert Jansch   1965

   Bert Jansch


   It Don't Bother Me

      Album: 'It Don't Bother Me'

Bert Jansch   1967



Bert Jansch   1969


      Album: 'Birthday Blues'

Bert Jansch   1974

   Lady Nothing

Bert Jansch   1978

   Pretty Saro

      Live performance

Bert Jansch   1985

   In the Bleak Midwinter/Come Back Baby

      Live performance

   Lady Nothing/Moonshine

      Live performance

Bert Jansch   2003

   It Don't Bother Me

      Live with Johnny Marr

Bert Jansch   2006

   It Don't Bother Me

      Live performance


Birth of Folk Music: Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch

Source: MP3 XL

  Born in 1946 in Glasgow, Scotland, Donovan Leitch brought a little psychedelia to folk music. The demos he recorded in 1964 resulted in his first record contract in 1965 (Pye Records), his first release 'Catch the Wind' followed by 'Colours'. (The list below is alphabetical by year.) Donovan married Linda Lawrence in 1970, with whom he remains, having two children. His last Top 40 album was released in 1973: 'Cosmic Wheels', featuring arrangements by Chris Spedding. Donovan was enlisted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. He yet performs as of this writing (2013), his last album, 'Ritual Groove', released in 2010.

Donovan   1965

   Ballad of a Crystal Man

   The Ballad Of Geraldine

   Belated Forgiveness Plea

   Catch the Wind

      Live version

   Catch the Wind

      Studio version   First release


      Second release


   Little Tin Soldier

   Talking Pop Star Blues

      Ready Steady Go! recording


   Universal Soldier

Donovan   1966

   Season of the Witch

   Sunshine Superman

Donovan   1967

   A Gift From A Flower To A Garden


Donovan   1968


      Live performance

   Hurdy Gurdy Man

Donovan   1972

   Cosmic Wheels/Maria Magenta

      Live performance

   The Pee Song/Mellow Yellow

      Live performance


Birth of Folk Music: Donovan

Donovan Leitch

Source: Paper Blog

Birth of Folk Music: Mamas and Papas

Mamas & Papas

Source: Not in Hall of Fame

The Mamas and Papas exploded to the top of the folk and rock charts with the release of their first single, 'Go Where You Wanna Go' A side and 'California Dreamin'' B side. Consisting of Denny Doherty, Cass Elliot, John Phillips and Michelle Phillips, they released a continuous string of great music rivaling the best in the folk-rock genre. Elliott, however, would die in her sleep of heart attack in 1974, only 32 years of age. (Her last recordings were on the 1974 solo album, 'Waiting For A Song', issued by Doherty.) Michelle Phillips is the only member of the group yet living as of this writing (2011).

Mamas and Papas   1965

   Go Where You Wanna Go

      First release A side

   California Dreamin'

      First release B side

Mamas and Papas   1966

   Dancing In the Street

      Live at Monterey Pop Festival

   The Mamas and The Papas


   Monday Monday

   Straight Shooter

Mamas and Papas   1967

   Dedicated to the One I Love

       Television performance

   Dedicated to the One I Love

Mamas and Papas   1968

   Dream a Little Dream Of Me



Birth of Folk Music: John Renbourn

John Renbourn

Source: Issoudun Guitare Festival


Born in London in 1944, guitarist John Renbourn is best known in association with Celtic music. (The Celts, known as Gauls in France, were victims of the ancient Roman notion that no rivalries to Rome ought exist at all, which ideology held firm for several centuries, until declared void in the 5th by the Visigoths, Huns and Vandals, all finding Rome a rich resource, unto total devastation and the Dark Ages. There are currently what are called the seven Celtic "nations": Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man [between Ireland and Scotland], Wales, Cornwall, and Brittany with Galicia in France.) Renbourn released his first recordings in 1965 on an album of duets with singer Dorris Henderson called 'There You Go' (without parentheses). His debut solo album, titled simply 'John Renbourn', was released the same year. Renbourn was a classically educated guitarist, among the most talented with that instrument on this page. As of this writing (2013) he yet performs, his last album, 'Palermo Snow', issued in 2011. Recordings below are alphabetical by year.

John Renbourn   1965

   John Renbourn


   Lucky Thirteen

      With Bert Jansch

   Titles Undetermined

      Album: 'There You Go'

John Renbourn   1968

   Sir John Alot and Merrie England


John Renbourn   1970

   The Lady and the Unicorn


John Renbourn   1977

   A Maid in Bedlam


John Renbourn   1979

   The Mist Covered Mountains of Home

   The Orphan/Tarboulton

John Renbourn   1981

   Brenton Dances

      Album: ''The John Renbourn Group Live In America'

   English Dance

      Album: ''The John Renbourn Group Live In America'

John Renbourn   1990

   Little Niles

      Live performance

John Renbourn   2005

   Sweet Potato

      Live performance



We Five was a quintet of bass and guitar players consisting of Jerry Burgan, Beverly Bivens, Peter Fullerton, Bob Jones and Michael Stewart. They released their first album, 'You Were On My Mind' in 1965, followed by 'Make Someone Happy' in 1966. The group is now called the We Five Folk Rock Revival, with Bob Jones its single original member.

We Five   1965

   Let's Get Together

      Original composition: Chet Powers (Dino Valenti)

   My Favorite Things

   Make Someone Happy


   What's Goin' On

   You Were on My Mind

      Television Performance


Birth of Folk Music: We Five

We Five

Source: Pasadena Weekly


Birth of Folk Music: Buffalo Springfield

Buffalo Springfield

Source: Jeff Meshel

The original members of Buffalo Springfield were Richie Furay, Dewey Martin, Bruce Palmer, Stephen Stills, and Neil Young. Their first single, 'Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing' A side, with 'Burned' B side, was released in 1966. The group broke up in 1968 after making three albums: 'Buffalo Springfield' in 1966, 'Buffalo Springfield Again' in 1967 and 'Last Time Around' in 1968.

Buffalo Springfield   1966

   Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing


Buffalo Springfield   1967

   Buffalo Springfield Again


   For What It's Worth

   Sit Down I Think I Love You

Buffalo Springfield   1968

   On the Way Home


  Born in 1941 in Eugene, Oregon, Tim Hardin joined the US Marines after high school, then went to New York City upon discharge to study drama in 1961. He became more absorbed, however, in performing blues music in Greenwich Village. Moving northward to Boston in 1963, he eventually recorded unissued tracks for Columbia in 1964. Heading to Los Angeles in 1965, he signed up with Verve Forecast to release the album, 'Tim Hardin 1' in 1966, followed by 'Tim Hardin 2' the next year. Hardin was one of the performers at the Woodstock Festival in 1969. The notable thing with Hardin is that he functioned at all, having been introduced to heroin as a Marine. He did manage, however, to issue some twelve albums at heroin's pace. 'Unforgiven' was incomplete at the time of his death in December 1980 of a heroin overdose.

Tim Hardin   1966

   Don't Make Promises

      LP: 'Tim Hardin 1'

  How Can We Hang on to a Dream

      LP: 'Tim Hardin 1'

Tim Hardin   1967

   Cocaine Bill

      LP: 'This Is Tim Hardin'

    If I Were a Carpenter

      LP: 'Tim Hardin 2'

    Red Balloon

      LP: 'Tim Hardin 2'

Tim Hardin   1968

   Lenny's Tune

      LP: 'Tim Hardin 3'

Tim Hardin   1969

   Last Sweet Moments

      LP: 'Suite for Susan Moore and Damion'

   Simple Song of Freedom

   Woodstock Festival

Tim Hardin   1971

   Bird On a Wire

      LP: 'Bird On a Wire'

Tim Hardin   1976

   The Lady Came From Baltimore


Tim Hardin   1979

   How Can We Hang on to a Dream


Tim Hardin   1981

   The Homecoming Concert

      Posthumous LP


Birth of Folk Music: Tim Hardin

Tim Hardin

Source: All Music

Birth of Folk Music: Roy Harper

Roy Harper

Source: The Wire

At age fifteen (1956) Roy Harper became possessed with notion of becoming a pilot, so he dropped out of school and joined the Royal Air Force. But he didn't like the way the military did things so he feigned mental disability (such must be pretended?), was hospitalized and underwent a session of electroconvulsive therapy, after which he was institutionalized. Electroshock treatments weren't precisely a happy lifestyle choice either, thus Harper wasted no time deliberating his escape the next day. Nor was busking the street corners of a single city to his liking, so Harper performed his way about North Africa and Europe before gaining a residency at Les Cousins in London in 1965. His first album, 'Sophisticated Beggar', followed the next year (1966), and his second, 'Come Out Fighting Ghengis Smith' in 1968. All tracks below for that year are from that album. More Roy Harper under Jimmy Page in Rock 6.

Roy Harper   1966


   Sophisticated Beggar

Roy Harper   1968


   In a Beautiful Rambling Mess

   Freak Street

   Highgate Cemetery

   It's Tomorrow and Today is Yesterday

   Midspring Dithering


Roy Harper   1970

   Another Day

   The Garden Of Gethsemane

   One For All

      Live performance

Roy Harper   1971

   Hors d'Oeuvres

      Album: 'Stormcock'

   Me and My Woman

      Album: 'Stormcock'

   One Man Rock and Roll Band

      Album: 'Stormcock'

Roy Harper   1975

   When An Old Cricketer Leaves The Crease

Roy Harper   1980



      Album with Kate Bush: 'The Unknown Soldier'

Roy Harper   1990

   Live in London


Roy Harper   1994

   I Still Care

      Live in London

Roy Harper   2000

   The Monster

       Album: 'Green Man'

Roy Harper   2011

   Another Day

      Live performance

   Highway Blues

      Live performance

   The Same Old Rock

      Live with Jimmy Page


  Scottish guitarist Mike Heron is likely best known for his collaborations with Robin Williamson in the Incredible String Band, originally a trio with banjoist Clive Palmer. Palmer left the trio after the release of its first album in 1966: 'The Incredible String Band'. The group would release 12 more albums until 1974, expanded by various musicians, such as vocalists Licorice McKechnie and Rose Simpson, centered about the Heron-Williamson duo. (All recordings through year 1971 below are Heron with Robin Williamson and the Incredible String Band.) Heron's first solo release, in 1971, was the album, 'Smiling Men with Bad Reputations'. All recordings after 1975 below, listed alphabetically by year, are live performances. Heron left the music business after issuing the album, 'Mike Heron', in 1979, reemerging in 1988 with the album, 'The Glenrow Tapes'. More of Heron under Robin Williamson lower on this page.

Mike Heron   1966

   The Incredible String Band


Mike Heron   1968

   Wee Tam and the Big Huge


Mike Heron   1969

   This Moment

      Live at Woodstock

Mike Heron   1970

   Lady Wonder

Mike Heron   1971

   Call Me Diamond/Flowers of the Forest

      Album: 'Smiling Men With Bad Reputations'

   Liquid Acrobat as Regards the Air


Mike Heron   1974

   The Desert Song

      With Melanie Safka & Robin Williamson

Mike Heron   1975

   Angels In Disguise

      Album: 'Reputation'

   Born to Be Gone

      Album: 'Reputation'

Mike Heron   2010

   Painting Box

Mike Heron   2011

   Feast of Stephen

Mike Heron   2013

   Black Jack Davy

      With the Trembling Bells

   Log Cabin Home in the Sky

   A Very Cellular Song


Birth of Folk Music: Mike Heron

Mike Heron

Source: ENTS 24

Birth of Folk Music: Pozo Seco Singers

Pozo Seco Singers

Source: Discogs

The Pozo Seco Singers were a trio arising out of a duo, the Strangers Two, formed by Don Gibson and Lofton Kline in 1963. With the addition of Susan Taylor, the group first recorded in 1965 and released its first record in 1966: 'Time' b/w 'Down the Road I Go'. The Pozo Seco Singers issued four albums before disbanding in 1971. The list below is chronological by year only, then alphabetical. More Don Gibson to be found in A Birth of Country Western.

Pozo Seco Singers   1966


   Come a Little Bit Closer


   House of the Rising Sun

   I Can Make It With You

   If I Fell

   I'll Be Gone


   Look What You've Done

   Ribbon Of Darkness

   She Understands Me

   Silver Threads and Golden Needles


   Tomorrow Is a Long Time

   You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling

Pozo Seco Singers   1967

   I Believed It All

Pozo Seco Singers   1968

   You Ain't Going Nowhere

Pozo Seco Singers   1969

   Spend Some Time With Me



Cat Stevens, also a painter, initially pursued the popular strain, his first release, 'I Love My Dog', in 1966. He released his first album, 'Matthew and Son', the following year. Stevens' last Top 40 tune was in 1977: '(Remember the Days of the) Old Schoolyard'. That same year Stevens changed his name to Yusuf Islam, creating rather a controversy in the musical world as his popularity plummeted (unlike Bob Dylan's announcement of Christian faith two years later, what negative consequence to his career really negligible upon all said and done). In 1989 Stevens (Islam) announced his support of the Muslim call for Salman Rushdie's execution (for writing 'The Satanic Verses'), which largely wiped him off the map as a musician. (There have been a number of Muslim jazz musicians throughout the years whose beliefs did their careers small damage if any. But Stevens' venue wasn't jazz, and no jazz musicians of which I know have ever agreed that Rushdie ought to have been executed for defamation of Muhammad.) After his album, 'Back to Earth', released in 1979 Stevens left the music business. In the early nineties, however, he built a recording studio (Mountain of Light Studios) and began grooving records again, as simply Yusuf, his first release, 'The Life of the Last Prophet', in 1995. In 2013 he was nominated by Art Garfunkel and enlisted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I most remember Stevens from a girl attending the University of Washington who found my lost puppy and invited me in for tea. How lost was I at age eighteen, shortly before pursuing a lifelong career as a fool.

Cat Stevens   1966

   I Love My Dog

Cat Stevens   1970

   Hard Headed Woman

      Music video

   Where Do the Children Play

      LP: 'Tea for the Tillerman'

Cat Stevens   1976

   Morning Has Broken

      Live performance

   Tuesday's Dead

      Live performance

Cat Stevens   1977

   (Remember the Days of the) Old Schoolyard

Cat Stevens   2007

   Father and Son

      Live performance


Birth of Folk Music: Cat Stevens

Cat Stevens

Source: Tonight at the Pit

  Born in Scotland in 1945, Al Stewart began his recording career in 1966 with the release of 'The Elf' backed with a cover of the Yardbirds' 'Turn Into Earth'. As of this writing (2013) Stewart yet performs, his most recent LP released in 2009: 'Uncorked'. Several of the recordings below are live performances.

Al Stewart   1966

   The Elf

   Turn Into Earth

Al Stewart   1967

   Bedsitter Images

Al Stewart   1970

   A Small Fruit Song

Al Stewart   1972

   I'm Falling

Al Stewart   1974

   Past, Present and Future


Al Stewart   1976

   Year of the Cat

Al Stewart   1977

   On the Border

      Live version

   On the Border

      Studio version

Al Stewart   1978

   Roads to Moscow

   Time Passages

Al Stewart   1980

   Running Man

      Album: '21 Carrots'

Al Stewart   2008

   Year of the Cat

      Live With Dave Nachmanoff

Al Stewart   2009

   Bedsitter Images

      Live With Dave Nachmanoff


   The Coldest Winter in Memory

   Katherine of Oregon

   Night Train to Munich

Al Stewart   2012

   Time Passages


Birth of Folk Music: Al Stewart

Al Stewart

Photo: Jorgen Angel

Source: Famous Fix

Birth of Folk Music: James Taylor

James Taylor

Source: CBS News

Born in Boston in 1948, James Taylor had initially pursued a career as a pop singer. It was a painful stagger at first, then a swift carpet ride to the top of the folk realm. Taylor endured depression as a youth, such that he exchanged college prep school for the McLean Medical Center in Massachusetts at age seventeen. Nevertheless, he released his first record the next year as a member of a group called the Flying Machine ('Brighten Your Night With My Day b/w Night Owl'. These are on the album listed below, not released until 1971.) Unfortunately in the process Taylor became addicted to heroin. He had to seek not only rehabilitation but a throat operation, as singing with the Machine had damaged his vocal cords. With that to encourage a budding singer, in 1967 Taylor left America for London where he made demos to give to Peter Asher of newly formed Apple Records. Asher relayed them to Paul McCartney, and Taylor was soon grooving his first album, 'James Taylor', at the same time the Beatles were recording the White album. Indeed, not only was Taylor the first non-British musician to record with Apple Records, but McCartney and George Harrison both made contributions on 'Carolina In My Mind', not something that happens to a relatively inexperienced musician every day. Taylor was then saved by McCartney from a lawsuit for breach of contract, for leaving Apple Records when Asher quit to keep him as his manager. Howsoever, Taylor fell to heroin addiction again and sought rehabilitation again. He recorded his second album, 'Sweet Baby James', in California the next year, meeting young pop singer Carole King who participated. If he wasn't in like flint before, the release of that LP was an enormous success, and he did it without heroin this time. That album was followed by, 'Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon' in 1971 and 'One Man Dog' in 1972. At which point he married singer Carly Simon, just starting her career (divorced in '83). His fifth album, 'Walking Man', issued in 1974, featured appearances by Paul and Linda McCartney. This was followed by 'Gorilla' in '75 and 'In the Pocket' in '76. By this time Taylor was performing and recording with some of the biggest names in the business, from Bonnie Raitt to Stevie Wonder. But an encyclopedia of Taylor's career can be found anywhere. It's his music that's the reason he's in this history:

James Taylor   1966

   James Taylor and the Flying Machine

      Album   Released 1971

James Taylor   1970

   Fire and Rain

      Live performance

   Highway Song

   Steamroller Blues

      Album: 'Sweet Baby James'

   Sweet Baby James

      Live performance

James Taylor   1979

   How Sweet It Is

      Live performance

   Steamroller Blues

      Live performance

   Summertime Blues

      Live performance

James Taylor   1988

   Shower the People

      Live performance



Birth of Folk Music: Robin Williamson

Robin Williamson

Photo: Alan Mawdsley

Source: ENTS 24

Multi-instrumentalist Robin Williamson was born in Scotland in 1943. Just so, he is also an important figure in early modern Celtic music. Williamson began his recording career with Mike Heron and Clive Palmer in a trio called the Incredible String Band, releasing its first of thirteen albums, 'The Incredible String Band', in 1966. Upon Palmer leaving the group for Afghanistan the band expanded, employing a variety of musicians to back the Heron-Williamson duo. (All recordings through year 1970 below are the Incredible String Band.) Williamson released his first solo album, 'Myrrh', in 1972. All tracks below for year 1981 are from the album, 'Songs of Love and Parting'. All tracks for 1997 are from 'Celtic Harp Airs & Dance Tunes'. Recordings from year 2009 onward are live performances. Much more Williamson and the Incredible String Band under Mike Heron higher on this page.

Robin Williamson   1966

   The Incredible String Band

Robin Williamson   1968

   The Half-Remarkable Question

      Sitar: Mike Heron

Robin Williamson   1970

   Empty Pocket Blues

      Vocals: Licorice McKechnie & Rose Simpson

Robin Williamson   1972

   Cold Harbor

      Album: 'Myrrh'

   Dark Eyed Lady

      Album: 'Myrrh'

   Strings in the Earth and Air

      Album: 'Myrrh'

Robin Williamson   1978


Robin Williamson   1981

   Flower of the Briar

   For Three Of Us


   Gwydion's Dream

   The Parting Glass

Robin Williamson   1992

   Green Groweth the Holly

Robin Williamson   1997

   The Blackbird/The Downfall Of Paris

   Lude's Supper/The Lark In The Morning

   Mwynen Mon

   Port Atholl/The Braes Of Tulliemet

   The Rocks Of Pleasure

   The Scholar

Robin Williamson   2008

   Will Ye No Come Back Again?

      Guitar & vocal: David Nigel Lloyd

Robin Williamson   2009

   It's All Over Now (Baby Blue)

   October Song

Robin Williamson   2012

   Ace of Spades

   Dark Woman of the Glen/Political Lies

   Like a Rolling Stone

   Passing by the Signs for Which Our Fathers Died

   Since Words Can Fly Invisible/Bold Riley O

   Where Are You Now Man?


  Born in Heidelberg, West Germany in 1948, pianist Jackson Browne's father was in the US military working for the 'Stars and Stripes' newspaper. Browne was a highly gifted composer whose first employment after high school in Fullerton, CA, was with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1966. A few months later he joined Nina Music, owned by Elektra Records in NYC, as a staff songwriter, he yet seventeen years of age. He doubled up as a studio musician, which is how he met Nico to first emerge on vinyl in 1967 on her first LP, 'Chelsea Girl'. He then returned to California to form a group in Los Angeles. If not for Nico, Browne wouldn't be in these histories ending at 1970, as his first LP, 'Jackson Browne' (aka 'Saturate Before Using'), didn't surface until 1972. Browne was now not only a success, but a success of unique high quality which four more LPs during the seventies revealed: 'For Everyman' ('73), 'Late for the Sky' ('74), 'The Pretender' ('76) and 'Running on Empty' ('77). In the latter part of that decade he became involved in antinuke activism, later environmental issues to follow, such as the excessive use of plastic (as in water bottles) which doesn't degrade upon disposal well. Such concerns have found Browne living wholly self-sufficiently and off the grid with wind and solar power for some years on his ranch in California. Like all his earlier albums, Browne's first two in the eighties would also go platinum: 'Hold Out' ('80) and 'Lawyers In Love' ('83). 'Lives in the Balance' per '86 would go gold, 'World In Motion' fared not so well ('89), but 'I'm Alive' in '93 would go gold. 'Looking East' in 1996 and several LPs in the 21st century have not done so well, though finding Top Forty and Top Twenty positions on Billboard's 200. His latest release was 'Standing In the Breach' in 2014. Browne has performed nigh as many benefit concerts as those for profit, philanthropy a major chunk of his career. Numerous awards include the John Steinbeck Award in 2002 and an honorary doctorate from Occidental College in Los Angeles in 2004. Bruce Springsteen nominated him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. He joined the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007 without choice as well. Per 1967 below, Browned performs guitar on tracks A1-2, B1-2 and B5. 'These Days' and 'Somewhere There's a Feather' are his compositions.

Jackson Browne   1967

   Chelsea Girl

      Album by Nico

Jackson Browne   1972

   Saturate Before Using


Jackson Browne   1973

   For Everyman


Jackson Browne   1974

   Late For the Sky


Jackson Browne   1976

   The Pretender


Jackson Browne   1977

   Running On Empty


Jackson Browne   1992

   Live at the Shoreline Amphitheatre

      Filmed concert

Jackson Browne   2006

   For a Dancer

      Philadelphia Folk Festival

      Filmed with David Lindley

   The Pretender

       Philadelphia Folk Festival

       Filmed with David Lindley

Jackson Browne   2010

   I'm Alive

      Filmed at the Glastonbury Festival

Jackson Browne   2013

   Barricades of Heaven

      Filmed live

Jackson Browne   2014

   The Birds of St. Marks

      Filmed live

Jackson Browne   2016

   Take It Easy

      Filmed live


Birth of Folk Music: Leonard Cohen

Jackson Browne

Source: Inside Songwriting

Born in Quebec in 1934, Leonard Cohen was a writer of fiction and poetry before turning to music, frustrated by inability to make an acceptable living scratching paper. (He published his first book of poetry, 'Let Us Compare Mythologies', in 1956.) He released his first album, 'Songs of Leonard Cohen', in 1967. That was followed by 'Songs From a Room' in 1969. Cohen made his first appearances in Europe in 1970, then issued 'Songs of Love and Hate' in 1971. Cohen published his first novel, 'The Favorite Game', in 1984; his second, 'Beautiful Losers', in 1991. In 2004 Cohen discovered that his longtime manager, Kelly Lynch, had been helping herself to his fortune since 1996, to the tune of most of it, some five million dollars. He was awarded nine million in court but remains unlikely to see it. Cohen was both Jewish and a Zen Buddhist. With the exception of a few albums most cuts below are live performances.

Leonard Cohen   1967

   Songs of Leonard Cohen


   The Stranger Song


      With Judy Collins

Leonard Cohen   1974

   I Tried to Leave You

Leonard Cohen   1979

   The Guests

   Sisters of Mercy

   There Is War

Leonard Cohen   1988

   First We Take Manhattan

Leonard Cohen   1992

   Closing Time

   Dance Me to the End of Love

   The Future

Leonard Cohen   2001

   Ten New Songs

      Album with Sharon Robinson

Leonard Cohen   2008

   The Future

   Tower Song

Leonard Cohen   2009

   Ain't No Cure For Love


Leonard Cohen   2012

   First We Take Manhattan

   Gypsy Wife

   Old Ideas


Leonard Cohen   2013



Birth of Folk Music: Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen

Photo: Michael Ochs Archives

Source: The Leopard


Birth of Folk Music: Arlo Guthrie

Arlo Guthrie

Source: Penn Live

Woody Guthrie's son, Arlo Guthrie, was born in 1947 in Coney Island, New York. He released his first record, 'Alice's Restaurant', in 1967, requiring an LP because the song, 'Alice's Restaurant', was eighteen minutes long. In 1975 Guthrie formed the band, Shenandoah (not to be confused with the country band formed in 1984 by Marty Raybon). In 1976 he released the LP, 'Amigo'. Much alike Country Joe McDonald, Guthrie was politically outspoken: anti-Nixon, anti-nuke and anti-war. Since then he's become a registered Republican with a strong Libertarian lean.

Arlo Guthrie   1967

   Alice's Restaurant

Arlo Guthrie   1969

   Coming Into Los Angeles

Arlo Guthrie   1972

   City of New Orleans

Arlo Guthrie   2008

   City of New Orleans

      Live performance


      Live performance



Birth of Folk Music: Ritchie Havens

Richie Havens

Source: Spin

At age 20 Richie Havens left Brooklyn for Greenwich Village, the latter a more happening part of New York City so far as arts and humanities were concerned. He hadn't yet the notion at that time of playing guitar. But after several years of drawing pictures and reciting poetry Havens emerged with his first released single in 1967, 'No Opportunity Necessary'. He also released his first album that year: 'Mixed Bag'. It was also 1967 when producer Alan Douglas decided to redub a host of Havens' solo demos recorded between 1963 and 1965, adding background music. That resulted in the release of 'Electric Havens' in 1968 (the same year he released the album, 'Somethin' Else Again') and 'Ritchie Havens' in 1969. He was the first scheduled performer at Woodstock in '69, giving a three-hour performance, having to improvise toward the end, having run out of songs while performers scheduled after him were delayed by traffic. It was that performance which sent his career sky high. The next year he started his own record label, Stormy Forest, and released the album, 'Stonehenge'. Havens played at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton in 1993. His last album, 'Nobody Left to Crown', was released in 2008. He died April 22, 2013, of heart attack, his ashes spread over the site of the Woodstock Festival. Tracks below are chronological by year only.

Richie Havens   1967

   Eleanor Rigby

      Album: 'Mixed Bag'


      Album: 'Mixed Bag'

   No Opportunity Necessary

      First release


      Album: 'Mixed Bag'

Richie Havens   1968

   900 Miles From Home

      Album: 'Electric Havens'

   I'm A Stranger Here

      Album: 'Electric Havens'

   From the Prison

      Album: 'Somethin' Else Again'

   Open Our Eyes

      Album: 'Somethin' Else Again'   Music video

   Somethin' Else Again

      Album: 'Somethin' Else Again'

Richie Havens   1969


      Live at Woodstock

   Handsome Johnny

      Live at Woodstock

   High Flying Bird

      Live on 'How Late It Is'

   I Can't Make It Any More

      Live at Woodstock

   I'm On My Way

      Album: 'Ritchie Havens' Record'

Richie Havens   1971

   Here Comes the Sun

      Live performance

Richie Havens   1975

   Wonder Child

      Live performance

Richie Havens   1983

   Leave Well Enough Alone

Richie Havens   1994

   Darkness, Darkness

     Album: 'Cuts to the Chase'

Richie Havens   1999


      Live on 'State of the Arts'

Richie Havens   2009

   All Along the Watch Tower

      Live performance



Born in 1936 way down in Brownsville, Texas, actor Kris Kristofferson, was a boxer at Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship when he began writing music. He was a captain, helicopter pilot and Ranger in the U.S. Army when he formed his first band in 1965. After the Army he had difficulty keeping things together and ended up a custodian for Columbia Studios in Nashville while attempting to sell songs. He also worked as a helicopter pilot in Louisiana. While there he was too cautious of being fired to approach Bob Dylan. But he later delivered some tapes to Johnny Cash's residence by helicopter. Cash didn't need to be at home for that to gain his attention. Kristofferson first recorded in 1967 for Epic Records: 'Golden Idol' and 'Killing Time'. His debut album, 'Kristofferson', was released in 1970. He was dating Janis Joplin at the time of her death in 1971. In 1973 he began his film career, appearing in such as 'Blume In Love' and 'Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid'. He also married Rita Coolidge in 1973 (divorced 1980), they releasing 'Full Moon' together the same year. Kristofferson's career was losing thrust when he joined Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash to release 'The Highwayman' in 1985. In 2004 Kristofferson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. His last original album, 'Feeling Mortal', was released in 2013. Kristofferson has eight children via three marriages.

Kris Kristofferson   1967

   Golden Idol/Killing Time

Kris Kristofferson   1970

   Casey's Last Ride

Kris Kristofferson   1972

   Whiskey, Whisky

      Live with Rita Coolidge

Kris Kristofferson   1973

   Why Me Lord


Birth of Folk Music: Kris Kristopherson

Kris Kristofferson

Source: Country Hound

Birth of Folk Music: Linda Ronstadt

Linda Ronstadt

Source: Seattle PI

Born in 1946 in Tucson, popular singer Linda Ronstadt released her first album, 'The Stoney Poneys', in 1967. Ronstadt began performing in public at age fourteen, in a trio with her brother and sister that they called the Union City Ramblers. They even recorded at a Tuscon studio, though nothing came of it. She left college for Los Angeles in 1964 to join the Stoney Poneys. Her first solo LP, 'Hand Sown... Home Grown' was issued in 1969, followed by 'Silk Purse' in 1970, 'Linda Ronstadt' in 1972, 'Don't Cry Now' in 1973 and 'Heart Like a Wheel' in 1974. In 1986 she released 'Trio' with Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton. Ronstadt was both country western and rock inclined, and might have become a locomotive with either or both but that such were more parts of her overall repertoire over the years than singularly focused pursuits. Silk purse indeed: Ronstadts first eight albums have become platinum sellers. 'Living In the USA', released in 1978, was a double platinum (two million copies). Ronstadt's last album as of this writing was released in 2006 in collaboration with Ann Savoy: 'Adieu False Heart'. In 2014 Ronstadt was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Linda Ronstadt   1967

   Different Drum

Linda Ronstadt   1970

   Are My Thoughts With You?

      Album: 'Silk Purse'

    I'm Leaving It All Up to You

      Album: 'Silk Purse'

   Long Long Time

      Live   From the album 'Silk Purse'

   Will You Love Me Tomorrow

      Johnny Cash Show   From the album 'Silk Purse'

Linda Ronstadt   1973

   Long, Long Time

      Live performance

   Rock Me On the Water

      Live performance

Linda Ronstadt   1975

   You're No Good

      Live performance

Linda Ronstadt   1976


      Original composition: Little Feet   Live performance

Linda Ronstadt   1977

   Blue Bayou

      Live performance


      Live performance

Linda Ronstadt   1984

   You Tell Me That I'm Falling Down

      Live performance

Linda Ronstadt   2006

   I Can't Get Over You

      Album: 'Adieu False Heart'   With Ann Savoy

   Marie Mouri

     Album: 'Adieu False Heart'   With Ann Savoy


  It was 1967 when Melanie Safka, popularly known as simply Melanie, made her debut record release, 'Beautiful People'. Born in Queens, Melanie was an acting student in college when she began singing in folk clubs in Greenwich Village and quickly signed her first recording contract with Columbia Records at age twenty. Melanie performed at Woodstock in 1969.

Melanie Safka   1967

   Beautiful People

Melanie Safka   1968

   In the Hour

Melanie Safka   1969

   Birthday Of The Sun

      Live at Woodstock

Melanie Safka   1970

   Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)

      Live performance

   Leftover Wine

   What Have They Done to My Song

Melanie Safka   1971

   Brand New Key (Rollerskate Song)

Melanie Safka   1972

   Do You Believe

      Live on 'The Tonight Show'

Melanie Safka   1973

   Bitter Bad

      Live at Carnegie Hall

Melanie Safka   1974

   Will You Love Me Tomorrow

Melanie Safka   1975

   Ruby Tuesday

      Original Composition: Rolling Stones


Birth of Folk Music: Melanie Safka

Melanie Safka

Source: On the Beat

Birth of Folk Music: Mary Hopkin

Mary Hopkin


Born in Wales in 1950, Mary Hopkin made her first recordings in 1968 for the Cambrian label in Wales, an EP of Welsh folk songs including 'Llais Swynol' and 'Mary Ac Edward' (unfound). That same year she was recommended to Paul McCartney by fashion model, Twiggy, thus released her first single for Apple Records, 'Those Were the Days', in 1968 as well. Her debut album, 'Postcard', was issued the next year. In 1971 she married record producer Tony Visconti (divorced 1981), thus Hopkin also recorded as Mary Visconti. Hopkin released her last album in 2013: 'Painting By Numbers'.

Mary Hopkin   1968

   Turn Turn Turn

      Live performance

Mary Hopkin   1969


   Post Card


   Those Were the Days

      Live performance

Mary Hopkin   1970

   Donna Donna

      Live performance

   Knock Knock Who's There

   Temma Harbour

Mary Hopkin   1971

   Streets Of London

Mary Hopkin   1981


      Live performance

Mary Hopkin   1984


      Live performance

Mary Hopkin   2013

   Gold and Silver

      Album: 'Painting By Numbers'


  English guitarist Ralph McTell busked his way throughout Europe in 1965, until he found himself married in 1966. With an additional stomach to fill by 1967, McTell acquired a contract with Transatlantic records the same year. 'Eight Frames a Second', his debut album released in 1968, remains unfound for this history. His second album, 'Spiral Staircase', was released the next year, followed by 'My Side of Your Window' in 1969 as well. McTell yet tours, his latest LP release in 2014, titled 'Celtic Cousins'. Tracks below are alphabetical by year.

Ralph McTell   1969

   Girl On a Bicycle

      Album: 'My Side of Your Window'

   I've Thought About It

      Album: 'My Side of Your Window'

   Kew Gardens

      Album: 'My Side of Your Window'

   Michael In the Garden

      Album: 'My Side of Your Window'

   Silver Birch and Weeping Willow

      Album: 'My Side of Your Window'

   Streets of London

      Album: 'Spiral Staircase'

Ralph McTell   1976

   Dry Bone Rag

      Live performance

Ralph McTell   1986

   Rag Medley

      Live performance

   Streets of London

      Live performance

Ralph McTell   1990

   From Clare to Here

      Live performance

Ralph McTell   2006


      CD: 'The Journey'

   The Birdman

      CD: 'The Journey'


Birth of Folk Music: Ralph McTell

Ralph McTell

Source: Betty Lou

Painting by Joni Mitchell

Painting by Joni Mitchell

Source: Pagan Sphinx

Canadian Joni Mitchell (born Roberta Joan Anderson in Alberta in 1943) began her career as a folk singer, to come up with blends of pop, jazz and rock as well. She began singing professional as an art student at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary. She quit art school to sing at a coffeehouse for $15 a week. She wrote her first song at age 20, on a train to Toronto with intentions of becoming a folk singer. She left Canada for Detroit with folk singer Chuck Mitchell in 1965, whom she married in June of that year. They stayed together only a couple years, after which Mitchell moved to New York City and began touring the East Coast. She was playing a gig at the Gaslight South in Coconut Grove, Florida, when David Crosby discovered her and took her to Los Angeles. Her first album, 'Song to a Seagull', was released in 1968, due largely to Crosby's assistance. That was followed by 'Clouds' in 1969, 'Ladies of the Canyon' in 1970, 'Blue' in 1971, 'Court and Spark' in 1974, 'The Hissing Of Summer Lawns' in '75, 'Hejira' in '76, 'Don Juan's Reckless Daughter' in '77 and 'Mingus' in '79. Mitchell was (is) a painter as well. 'Furry Sings the Blues', below, is about Furry Lewis, who reportedly disliked the song so much as to ask for royalties. As of this writing, Mitchell's last album, 'Shine', was released in 2007, the same year jazz keyboardist, Herbie Hancock, issued his tribute to Mitchell with a string of her compositions on 'River: The Joni Letters', that to win the Album of the Year Grammy Award in 2008.

Joni Mitchell   1968

   Night In the City

Joni Mitchell   1969

   Both Sides Now

   Chelsea Morning

      Live performance

Joni Mitchell   1971



Joni Mitchell   1974

   Help Me

   Raised On Robbery

   Trouble Child/Twisted

      'Twisted': original composition: Wardell Gray

      Lyrics: Annie Ross

Joni Mitchell   1976

   Furry Sings the Blues

      Album: 'Hejira'

Joni Mitchell   1979

   Shadows and Light

      Filmed concert

Joni Mitchell   2000

   Both Sides Now

Joni Mitchell   2007


      Album: 'Shine'


Birth of Folk Music: Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell

Source: Wand'rin' Star

  Leo Kottke was born in Athens, Georgia, in 1945, but grew up in twelve different states, ever the new boy on the block, then disappearing. That may have figured when he quit St. Cloud College (now University) in Minnesota to hitchhike the country busking. A self-taught guitarist who also sang folk songs more than a singer who also played guitar, he settled in Twin Cities (Minneapolis–Saint Paul) in 1966 to become a resident performer at the Ten O'Clock Scholar Coffeehouse in Minneapolis. He must have thought it was ten o'clock the whole time since, oddly enough, he was yet there three years later when he issued his first two albums in 1969: '12-String Blues' (1000 copies) and '6- and 12-String Guitar', in 1969. Kottke then issued an average of one album per year for the next twenty or so. Notable in the nineties was 'Peculiaroso' per 1994. Among his latest issues in the new millennium was 'Sixty Six Steps' in 2005, his second with Phish bassist, Mike Gordon. In 2008 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Kottke yet resides and performs in the Twin Cities.

Leo Kottke   1969

  12-String Blues


  The Brain of the Purple Mountain

      LP: '6- and 12-String Guitar'

  The Driving of the Year Nail

      LP: '6- and 12-String Guitar'

  The Last of the Arkansas Greyhounds

      LP: '6- and 12-String Guitar'

Leo Kottke   1977

  Live at Rockpalast

      Filmed concert

Leo Kottke   1989

  Live in Kettering

      Filmed concert

Leo Kottke   1991

  Dan Emmett Festival

      Concert filmed at Mt. Vernon OH

Leo Kottke   2005

  Live at Mississippi Nights

      Filmed in St. Louis MO

     With Mike Gordon of Phish

Leo Kottke   2013

  Live in NYC Part 1

      Filmed at the City Winery

  Live in NYC Part 2

      Filmed at the City Winery


Birth of Folk Music: Leo Kottke

Leo Kottke

Source: Eclectic Ear

Birth of Folk Music: The New Seekers

The New Seekers

Source: Last FM

When the Seekers (higher on this page) disbanded in 1969 Keith Potger formed the New Seekers, which group released it's single in 1969: 'Meet My Lord' (unfound). The New Seekers were part folk group, part pop group, which has undergone not a few personnel changes over the years, retaining only Paul Layton who joined the group in 1970.

The New Seekers   1970

   Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma

      Original composition: Melanie Safka

The New Seekers   1972

   Beg, Steal or Borrow

      Live performance


      Live performance

   Down By The River

   For You We Sing

   I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing

   Nickel Song

The New Seekers   1973

   Pinball Wizard

      Live performance

The New Seekers   1974

   I Get a Little Sentimental

   Somebody Warm Like Me



The band, Poco, was formed by Richie Furay and Jim Messina upon their leaving Buffalo Springfield in 1968. It's other original members were George Grantham, Randy Meisner and Rusty Young. Poco's first album was 'Pickin' Up the Pieces' in 1969, followed by 'Poco' in 1970. The band's most recent album, 'All Fired Up', was released in 2013, with Rusty Young yet in the group.

Poco   1969

   Pickin' Up the Pieces

Poco   1974

   One Horse Blue

      Album: 'Cantamos'

   Sagebrush Serenade

      Album: 'Cantamos'

Poco   1976


      Live performance

   Rose Of Cimarron

      Live performance

Poco   1978

   Heart of the Night

Poco   1979

   Crazy Love

Poco   2004


      Live performance


Birth of Folk Music: Poco


Source: Classic Rock Forums



Born in new Rochelle, New York, in 1945, Don McLean recorded his first album, 'Tapestry', in 1969. It's said that the LP was rejected 34 times before Mediarts Records agreed to cut it in 1970. 'American Pie' followed the next year. Currently residing in Camden, Maine, McLean's last released LP was in 2009: 'Addicted to Black'.

Don McLean   1970

   Castles In the Air

      Album: 'Tapestry'


      Album: 'Tapestry'

Don McLean   1971

   American Pie

Don McLean   1972

   Vincent (Starry Night)

      Live performance


Birth of Folk Music: Don McLean

Don McLean

Source: 1001 in 1000 Days


We pause this Birth of Folk Music at the latter cusp of the sixties with Don McLean. The seventies would soon see the initial recordings of fresh talent such as Jim Croce, Dan Fogelberg, Steve Goodman, Guthrie Thomas, John Prine, and Commander Cody & his Lost Planet Airmen. The Eagles would also form in 1971.




Early Blues 1: Guitar

Early Blues 2: Vocal - Other Instruments

Modern Blues 1: Guitar

Modern Blues 2: Vocal - Other Instruments

Modern Blues 3: Black Gospel Appendix


Medieval - Renaissance


Galant - Classical

Romantic: Composers born 1770 to 1840

Romantic - Impressionist

Expressionist - Modern

Modern: Composers born 1900 to 1950




Country Western


Early Jazz 1: Ragtime - Bands - Horn

Early Jazz 2: Ragtime - Other Instrumentation

Early Jazz 3: Ragtime - Song - Hollywood

Swing Era 1: Big Bands

Swing Era 2: Song

Modern 1: Saxophone

Modern 2: Trumpet - Other Horn

Modern 3: Piano

Modern 4: Guitar - Other String

Modern 5: Percussion - Other Orchestration

Modern 6: Song

Modern 7: Latin Jazz - Latin Recording

Modern 8: United States 1960 - 1970

Modern 9: International 1960 - 1970

Rock & Roll

Early - Boogie Woogie - R&B - Soul - Disco

Doo Wop

The Big Bang - Fifties American Rock

UK Beat

British Invasion

Total War - Sixties American Rock

Other Musical Genres - Popular Music Appendix

Musician Indexes

Classical - Medieval to Renaissance

Classical - Baroque to Classical

Classical - Romantic to Modern

The Blues

Bluegrass - Folk

Country Western

Jazz Early - Ragtime - Swing Jazz

Jazz Modern - Horn

Jazz Modern - Piano - String

Jazz Modern - Percussion - Song - Other

Jazz Modern - 1960 to 1970

Boogie Woogie - Doo Wop - R&B - Rock & Roll - Soul

UK Beat - British Invasion

Sixties American Rock - Popular

Latin Recording - Europe

Latin Recording - The Caribbean - South America


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