Folk Music in History

Famous Birthdays

  • 1859-12-22 Cecil [James] Sharp, collector of English folk music and dance, born in London, England
  • 1900-08-23 Malvina Reynolds, American folk singer/songwriter (d. 1978)
  • 1909-06-14 Burl Ives, Hunt Ill, folk singer/actor (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof)
  • 1911-08-01 Kenneth Norman Joseph Loveless, priest folk musician
  • 1912-07-14 Woodrow Wilson "Woodie" Guthrie, folk singer (This Land Is Your Land)
  • 1914-09-02 Tom Glazer, American folk singer and songwriter (d. 2003)
  • 1919-05-03 Pete Seeger, folk singer (Weaver, Goodnight Irene), born in NYC, New York
  • 1922-12-08 Jean Ritchie, American folk singer, born in Viper, Kentucky
  • 1924-05-02 Theodore Bikel, Austrian/US folk singer/actor (Russians Are Coming), born in Vienna (d.2015)
  • 1926-09-07 Ronnie Gilbert, American folk singer (The Weavers), born in New York, New York (d. 2015)
  • 1927-07-27 Guy Carawan, folk singer and folklorist (popularized "We shall Overcome"), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2015)
  • 1928-04-09 Tom Lehrer, parody/folk singer (That Was The Week That Was)
  • 1930-12-31 Odetta [Odetta Holmes], American folk singer (Sanctuary), actress and civil rights activist, born in Birmingham, Alabama (d. 2008)
  • 1931-08-01 Ramblin' Jack Elliott, folk singer, born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1931-11-16 Bob Gibson, folk musician, born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1996)
  • 1932-09-28 VĂ­ctor Jara, Chilean folk singer and activist (d. 1973)
  • 1933-03-06 Dorothy "Dolly" Ann Collins, folk musician/composer
  • 1933-07-27 Nick Reynolds, folk musician (The Kingston Trio), born in San Diego, California
  • 1933-09-25 Erik Darling, folk singer (Rooftop Singers), born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 2008)
  • 1935-03-04 Nancy Whiskey, Scottish folk singer (d. 2003)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1936-11-09 Mary Travers, Louisville Ky, folk singer (Peter Paul & Mary)

Folk Singer Mary Travers
Folk Singer
Mary Travers
  • 1937-03-08 Richard Farina, American writer and folk rocker (Reflections in a Crystal Wind)
  • 1937-10-31 Tom Paxton, folk singer/songwriter (Forest Lawn), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1940-02-10 Hamish Imlach, folk singer/comic
  • 1940-06-30 Mark Spoelstra, American folk singer (d. 2007)
  • 1940-11-17 Luke Kelly, Irish folk music singer and banjo player
  • 1940-12-19 Phil Ochs, anti-war folk singer (Joe Hill, War is Over), born in El Paso, Texas
  • 1941-01-09 Joan Baez, folk singer/human rights advocate, born in Staten Island, New York
  • 1941-01-21 Richie Havens, Bkln, folk singer (Here Comes the Sun), (d. 2013)
  • 1942-11-20 Norman Greenbaum, Mass, folk singer (Spirit in the Sky)
  • 1944-04-12 Karel Kryl, folk singer
  • 1944-08-08 John Renbourn, English folk musician (Pentangle), born in London
  • 1944-12-04 Anna McGarrigle, Canadian folk music singer-songwriter, born in Montreal, Quebec
  • 1947-08-14 Maddy Prior, English folk singer (Steeleye Span, Silly Sisters, Carnival Band)
  • 1948-05-11 Shigeru Izumiya, Japanese folk musician
  • 1949-11-29 Stan Rogers, Canadian folk musician and songwriter (d. 1983)
  • 1950-02-16 Kazuki Tomokawa, Japanese acid-folk singer
  • 1951-04-07 Janis Ian [Janis Eddy Fink], American singer-songwriter and folk musician (At Seventeen, Society's Child), born in NYC, New York
  • 1953-09-26 Dolores Keane, Irish folk singer
  • 1956-09-15 Maggie Reilly, Scottish folk singer
  • 1961-07-21 Amar Singh Chamkila, Punjabi folk singer
  • 1968-01-28 Sarah McLachlan, folk singer (Fumbling Towards Ecstasy)
  • 1971-11-19 Alice Peacock, American folk singer
  • 1973-12-04 Kate Rusby, English folk singer
  • 1985-05-28 Colbie Caillat, American folk singer-songwriter

Famous Weddings


HeartWedding of Interest

1963-10-15 Folk singer Mary Travers (26) weds photographer Barry Feinstein

Folk Singer Mary Travers
Folk Singer
Mary Travers
  • 1991-07-06 Folk singer Mary Travers (54) weds restaurateur Ethan Robbins
  • 2009-09-18 Grammy-winning rock-folk singer Lucinda Williams (56) weds manager Tom Overby at First Avenue in Minneapolis

Famous Deaths

  • 1924-06-23 Cecil [James] Sharp, English folk musician, dies at 64
  • 1961-04-29 Cisco Houston, American folk singer (b. 1918)
  • 1966-04-30 Richard Farina, American writer and folk rocker, dies on his birthday in a motorcycle accident
  • 1967-10-03 Woodrow Wilson "Woodie" Guthrie, US folk singer/guitarist, dies at 55
  • 1974-08-03 Erik Darling, American folk musician (Rooftop Singers), dies at 74
  • 1976-04-09 Phil Ochs, American anti-war folk singer (Draft Dodger Rag), commits suicide at 35
  • 1976-10-10 Silvana Armenulic, Yugoslavian folk singer (b. 1939)
  • 1984-09-20 Steve Goodman, folk singer/guitarist, dies at 36
  • 1989-01-08 Johnny Jordaan, [Jan van Musscher], Dutch folk singer, dies at 64
  • 1991-03-22 Dave Guard, American folk singer (The Kingston Trio), dies of cancer at 56
  • 1991-09-24 Peter Bellamy, folk singer (b. 1944)
  • 1994-03-03 Karel Kryl, folk singer, dies at 49
  • 1995-03-19 Kenneth Norman Joseph Loveless, priest folk musician, dies at 83
  • 1995-04-14 Burl Ives, folk singer/actor (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), dies at 85
  • 1995-05-15 Perry Lederman, folk singer, dies at 52
  • 1995-09-22 Dorothy "Dolly" Ann Collins, folk musician/composer, dies at 62
  • 1996-01-01 Hamish Imlach, folk singer/comic, dies at 55
  • 1996-09-28 Bob Gibson, American folk musician, dies at 64
  • 2002-02-10 Dave Van Ronk, American folk singer/songwriter (b. 1936)
  • 2007-08-01 Tommy Makem, Irish folk singer (b. 1932)
  • 2008-10-01 Nick Reynolds, American folk musician (The Kingston Trio), dies at 75
  • 2008-12-02 Odetta [Odetta Holmes], American folk singer (Sanctuary), actress and civil rights activist, dies of heart disease at 77
  • 2009-08-07 Mike Seeger, American folk musician (b. 1933)
  • 2010-01-18 Kate McGarrigle, Canadian folk music singer-songwriter, dies at 63
  • 2010-03-04 Fred Wedlock, British folk musician (b. 1942)
  • 2011-10-05 Bert Jansch, Scottish folk musician (Pentangle), dies at 67
  • 2014-01-27 Pete Seeger, American folk singer (Weaver, Goodnight Irene) and activist, helped create the modern American folk music movement, dies at 94
  • 2015-05-02 Guy Carawan, American folk singer and folklorist (We Shall Overcome") dies at 87
  • 2015-06-01 Jean Ritchie, American folk singer, dies at 92
  • 2015-06-06 Ronnie Gilbert, American folk singer (The Weavers), dies at 88
  • 2015-07-21 Theodore Bikel, Austrian/US folk singer/actor (Russians Are Coming), dies at 91