Folk Music in History

Birthdays in Music

  • 1859-11-22 Cecil Sharp, British collector of English folk music and dance, born in London, England (d. 1924)
  • 1899-05-14 Stelios Perpiniadis, Greek folk singer, songwriter and guitarist, born in Tinos
  • 1900-08-23 Malvina Reynolds, American folk singer and songwriter (Morningtown Ride), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1978)
  • 1908-01-31 Atahualpa Yupanqui, Argentine folk musician, born in Pergamino, Argentina (d. 1992)
  • 1909-06-14 Burl Ives, American folk singer and actor (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), born in Hunt City, Illinois (d. 1995)
  • 1911-08-01 Kenneth Loveless, priest folk musician (d. 1995)
  • 1912-07-14 [Woodrow Wilson] Woody Guthrie, American folk singer (This Land Is Your Land), born in Okemah, Oklahoma (d. 1967)
  • 1914-09-02 Tom Glazer, American folk singer and songwriter (d. 2003)
  • 1915-01-25 Ewan MacColl, Scottish folk singer-songwriter (The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face), born in Broughton, United Kingdom (d. 1989)
  • 1919-05-03 Pete Seeger, American folk singer (The Weavers - "Goodnight Irene") and activist, helped create the modern American folk music movement, born in NYC, New York (d. 2014)
  • 1919-10-23 Katie Lee, American folk singer, environmentalist and author (Colorado River Songs), born in Aledo, Illinois (d. 2017)
  • 1922-01-07 Robert De Cormier, American conductor and musical director (The Belafonte Folk Singers), born in Long Island, New York (d. 2017)
  • 1922-12-08 Jean Ritchie, American folk singer, born in Viper, Kentucky (d. 2015)
  • 1924-05-02 Theodore Bikel, Austrian-American stage and screen singer and actor (The Sound of Music; Fiddler On The Roof; The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming; 200 Motels), folk singer (co-founder Newport Folk Festival), and political activist, born in Vienna, Austria (d. 2015)
  • 1925-01-09 Ofelya Hambardzumyan, Armenian folk singer, born in Yerevan, Armenia SSR (d. 2016)
  • 1926-09-07 Ronnie Gilbert, American folk singer (The Weavers), born in NYC, New York (d. 2015)
  • 1927-07-27 Guy Carawan, American folk singer and folklorist (popularized "We Shall Overcome"), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2015)
  • 1928-03-19 (Allan Thomas) "Tom" Paley, American folk musician (New Lost City Ramblers), born in NYC, New York (d. 2017)
  • 1928-04-09 Tom Lehrer, American musician ("The Elements"), satirist (That Was The Week That Was), and mathematician, born in NYC, New York
  • 1930-01-12 Glenn Yarborough, American folk singer & guitarist (Limeliters-Honey & Wine, Jubilee), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (d. 2016)
  • 1930-12-31 Odetta [Holmes], American folk singer (Sanctuary), actress and civil rights activist, born in Birmingham, Alabama (d. 2008)
  • 1931-08-01 Ramblin' Jack Elliott, American folk singer, born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1931-11-16 Bob Gibson, American folk musician, born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1996)
  • 1932-07-11 Alex Hassilev, American actor and folk musician (The Limeliters), born in Paris, France
  • 1932-09-28 Víctor Jara, Chilean folk singer and activist (d. 1973)
  • 1933-03-06 Dorothy "Dolly" Ann Collins, English folk musician and composer
  • 1933-07-27 Nick Reynolds, American folk musician (The Kingston Trio), born in San Diego, California (d. 2008)
  • 1933-09-25 Erik Darling, American folk musician (Rooftop Singers), born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 2008)
  • 1934-10-19 Dave Guard, American folk singer, songwriter and arranger (Kingston Trio - "Tom Dooley"), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1991)
  • 1935-03-04 Nancy Whiskey, Scottish folk singer (d. 2003)
  • 1936-02-09 "Stompin' Tom" Connors, Canadian country and folk singer-songwriter ("The Hockey Song"), born in St. John, New Brunswick, (d. 2013)
  • 1936-02-26 Cyrus Faryar, American folk musician, songwriter, and record producer (Modern Folk Quartet), born in Tehran, Persia
  • 1936-03-16 Frederick "Fred" Neil, American folk singer-songwriter and dolphin conservationist (Everybody's Talkin'), born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 2001)
  • 1936-06-30 Dave Van Ronk, American folk singer and songwriter, born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2002)

Person of interestMary Travers

1936-11-09 Mary Travers, American folk singer (Peter Paul & Mary), born in Louisville, Kentucky (d. 2009)

Folk Singer Mary Travers
Folk Singer
Mary Travers
  • 1937-02-02 Tommy Smothers, American comedian and folk singer (The Smothers Brothers Show; Serial), born in NYC, New York
  • 1937-03-08 Richard Fariña, American folk singer-songwriter ("Birmingham Sunday"), and novelist ("Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me"), born in New York City (d. 1966)
  • 1937-10-30 Tony Cucchiara, Italian folk singer and songwriter (Cain and Abel), born in Agrigento, Sicily, Italy (d. 2018)
  • 1937-10-31 Tom Paxton, American folk singer and songwriter (Forest Lawn), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1939-01-31 Claude Gauthier, Canadian folk singer-songwriter, and actor, born in Lac-Saguay, Quebec
  • 1939-02-28 John Fahey, American folk singer and guitarist (Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death), born in Washington, D.C. (d, 2001)
  • 1939-11-20 Dick Smothers, American comedian and folk singer (The Smothers Brothers Show), born in NYC, New York
  • 1940-02-10 Hamish Imlach, Scottish folk-comic singer-songwriter ("Cod Liver Oil and the Orange Juice"), born in Calcutta, British India (d. 1996)
  • 1940-06-30 Mark Spoelstra, American folk singer and songwriter, born in Kansas City, Missouri (d. 2007)
  • 1940-10-02 Patrick Sky [Lynch], American musician, folk singer, songwriter, record producer, and uilleann bagpiper (Songs That Made America Famous), born in College Park, Georgia (d. 2021)
  • 1940-11-17 Luke Kelly, Irish folk music singer and banjo player
  • 1940-12-19 Phil Ochs, American anti-war folk singer (Joe Hill, War is Over), born in El Paso, Texas (d. 1976)
  • 1941-01-09 Joan Baez, American folk singer ("Diamonds & Rust"), and human rights advocate, born in Staten Island, New York
  • 1941-01-21 Richie Havens, American singer-songwriter, and guitarist who opened the Woodstock Festival ("Freedom"; "Here Comes the Sun"), born in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York (d. 2013)
  • 1941-02-18 David Blue [Cohen], American folk musician (Cupid's Arrow), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1982)
  • 1941-05-21 Martin Carthy, English folk musician, born in Hatfield, Hertfordshire
  • 1941-12-10 Peter Sarstedt, British pop-folk singer-songwriter and guitarist ("Where Do You Go To (My Lovely?"), born in New Delhi, British India (d. 2017)
  • 1942-11-20 Norman Greenbaum, American folk singer (Spirit in the Sky), born in Malden, Massachusetts
  • 1943-01-20 Farhad [Mehrad], Iranian pop, rock and folk singer-songwriter ("Jomeh"), born in Tehran, Iran (d. 2002)
  • 1943-11-03 Bert Jansch, Scottish folk musician (Pentangle), born in Glasgow (d. 2011)
  • 1943-12-25 Trevor Lucas, Australian folk singer-songwriter, and guitarist (Fairport Convention), born in Bungaree, Victoria (d. 1989)
  • 1944-04-12 Karel Kryl, Czechoslovak folk singer, born in Kroměříž, Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (d. 1994)
  • 1944-05-20 Boudewijn de Groot, Dutch folk singer ("Sleep Well, Mr. President"), born in a Japanese concentration camp, near Batavia, occupied Dutch East Indies (now Jakarta, Indonesia)
  • 1944-08-08 John Renbourn, English folk musician (Pentangle), born in London
  • 1944-09-08 Peter Bellamy, English folk singer, born in Bournemouth, England (d. 1991)
  • 1944-12-04 Anna McGarrigle, Canadian folk music singer-songwriter, born in Montreal, Quebec
  • 1945-02-20 Alan Hull, British folk singer-songwriter, and guitarist (Lindisfarne - "Lady Eleanor"), born in Benwell, Newcastle upon Tyne, England (d. 1995)
  • 1945-04-19 Michael Stewart, American folk music producer, arranger, banjo player and guitarist (We Five - "You Were On My Mind"), born in Riverside County, California (d. 2002)
  • 1945-05-07 Christy Moore, Irish folk singer and songwriter, born in Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland
  • 1946-02-06 Kate McGarrigle, Canadian folk music singer-songwriter, born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 2010)
  • 1946-04-10 Armand [Herman van Loenhout], Dutch folk singer ("Ben ik te min" -"Am I Not Good Enough?"; "Blommenkinders" - "Flower Children"), born in Eindhoven, Netherlands (d. 2015)
  • 1946-10-10 John Prine, American country folk singer-songwriter (Hello in There, Angel From Montgomery), born in Maywood, Illinois (d. 2020)
  • 1947-08-14 Maddy Prior, English folk singer (Steeleye Span, Silly Sisters, Carnival Band), born in Blackpool, United Kingdom
  • 1947-12-31 June Tabor, British folk singer, born in Warwick, England
  • 1948-03-23 David Olney, American folk singer-songwriter, born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 2020)
  • 1948-05-11 Shigeru Izumiya, Japanese folk musician
  • 1948-07-25 Steve Goodman, American folk singer and songwriter (City of New Orleans), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1984)
  • 1949-02-10 Maxime Le Forestier, French pop and folk singer-songwriter, born in Paris, France
  • 1949-02-13 Judy Dyble, British folk singer-songwriter (Fairport Convention), born in London (d. 2020)
  • 1949-11-29 Stan Rogers, Canadian folk musician and songwriter, born in Hamilton, Ontario (d. 1983)
  • 1950-02-16 Kazuki Tomokawa, Japanese acid-folk singer
  • 1950-05-03 Mary Hopkin, Welsh folk singer ("Those Were the Days"), born in Pontardawe, Wales
  • 1951-04-07 Janis Ian [Janis Eddy Fink], American singer-songwriter and folk musician ("At Seventeen"; "Society's Child"), born in NYC, New York
  • 1951-11-25 Bill Morrissey, American folk singer-songwriter (Inside) born in Hartford, Connecticut (d. 2011)
  • 1952-01-29 Kenn Kweder, American rock and folk singer-songwriter ("Diablo"; "Suzy Said So"; "Mommy And Daddy"), born in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania [1]
  • 1953-09-26 Dolores Keane, Irish folk singer, born in Sylane, County Galway, Ireland
  • 1953-11-12 Vasilis Karras [Kesoglidis], Greek folk singer (Tilefonise Mou), born in Kokkinohori, Greece
  • 1955-05-23 Luka Bloom [Kevin Moore], Irish contemporary folk singer-songwriter and guitarist ("I Need Love"), born in Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland
  • 1956-01-10 Shawn Colvin, American country folk singer-songwriter ("Sunny Came Home"), born in Vermillion, South Dakota
  • 1956-09-15 Maggie Reilly, Scottish folk singer
  • 1957-05-26 Kristina Olsen, American folk singer-songwriter ("I'm Keeping This Life of Mine"), and session musician, born in San Francisco, California
  • 1961-07-21 Amar Singh Chamkila [Dhanni Ram], Punjabi folk singer "The Elvis of Punjab", born in Dugri, Punjab, India (d. 1988)
  • 1968-01-28 Sarah McLachlan, Canadian folk singer-songwriter (Fumbling Towards Ecstasy), born in Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • 1969-08-12 Tanita Tikaram, British pop-folk singer-songwriter ("Twist in My Sobriety"), born in Münster, West Germany
  • 1970-06-11 Chris Rice, American contemporary Christian and folk music singer-songwriter ("When Did You Fall (In Love With Me)"), poet, and visual artist, born in Clinton, Maryland
  • 1971-11-19 Alice Peacock, American folk singer, born in White Bear Lake, Minnesota
  • 1973-12-04 Kate Rusby, English folk singer and songwriter, born in Barnsley, England
  • 1974-01-26 Rokia Traoré, Bambara Afro-beat and folk singer-songwriter, and guitarist (Tchamantché), born in Kolokani, Mali
  • 1979-11-25 Thea Gilmore, British rock and folk singer-songwriter, born in Oxford, England
  • 1981-05-28 Adam Green, American anti-folk singer-songwriter, born in Mount Kisco, New York
  • 1984-06-09 Kaleth Morales, Colombian vallenato folk music singer and songwriter ("Vivo en el Limbo" - I Live in the Limbo), born in Valledupar, Cesar, Colombia (d. 2005)
  • 1985-05-28 Colbie Caillat, American folk-pop singer-songwriter ("Breakthrough"; " Bubbly"; "Brighter Than the Sun"), born in Malibu, California
  • 1986-02-19 Maria Mena, Norwegian pop-folk singer-songwriter ("Hold Me"; "You're The Only One"), born in Oslo, Norway
  • 1990-10-31 Johanna Söderberg, Swedish pop-country-folk singer-songwriter (First Aid Kit - "Emmylou"), born in Enskede, Sweden
  • 1991-06-21 Tyler Childers, American country, bluegrass and folk singer- songwriter (Purgatory; Long Violent History), born in Lawrence County, Kentucky

Weddings in Music


LoveWedding 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

Deaths in Music

  • 1924-06-23 Cecil Sharp, British collector of English folk music and dance, dies at 64
  • 1961-04-29 Cisco Houston, American folk singer (b. 1918)
  • 1966-04-30 Richard Fariña, American folk singer-songwriter ("Birmingham Sunday"), and novelist ("Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me"), dies in a motorcycle crash on his 29th birthday
  • 1967-10-03 [Woodrow Wilson] Woody Guthrie, American folk singer (This Land Is Your Land), dies of Huntington's disease at 55
  • 1976-04-09 Phil Ochs, American anti-war folk singer ("I Ain't Marching Anymore"; "Draft Dodger Rag"), commits suicide at 35
  • 1976-10-10 Silvana Armenulic, Yugoslavian folk singer (b. 1939)
  • 1977-09-04 Stelios Perpiniadis, Greek folk singer, songwriter and guitarist, dies at 78
  • 1982-12-02 David Blue [Cohen], American folk musician, dies of a heart attack while jogging in Greenwich Village at 41
  • 1984-09-20 Steve Goodman, American folk singer and songwriter (Somebody Elses Trouble), dies at 36
  • 1988-03-08 Amar Singh Chamkila [Dhanni Ram], Punjabi folk singer "The Elvis of Punjab" killed by unknown gunmen as he arrived for concert at age 26 [1]
  • 1989-01-08 Johnny Jordaan [Johannes van Musscher], Dutch pop and levenslied singer, dies at 64
  • 1989-02-04 Trevor Lucas, Australian folk singer-songwriter, and guitarist (Fairport Convention), dies of a heart attack at 45
  • 1989-10-22 Ewan MacColl [James Miller], Scottish folk singer-songwriter (The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face), dies at 74
  • 1991-03-22 Dave Guard, American singer, songwriter and arranger (Kingston Trio - "Tom Dooley"), dies of cancer at 56
  • 1991-09-24 Peter Bellamy, English folk singer, commits suicide at 47
  • 1994-03-03 Karel Kryl, Czechoslovak folk singer, dies at 49
  • 1995-02-03 Turner Fodrell, American blues and folk singer, and guitarist, dies at 66
  • 1995-03-19 Kenneth Loveless, priest folk musician, dies at 83
  • 1995-04-14 Burl Ives, American folk singer (A Holly Jolly Christmas), and actor (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), dies from complications of mouth cancer 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, Scottish folk-comic singer-songwriter ("Cod Liver Oil and the Orange Juice"), dies at 55
  • 1996-04-14 Manuel A "Manny" Greenhill, American folk music record producer and manager (Joan Baez; Rev. Gary Davis), dies of leukemia at 80
  • 1996-06-09 Walter Pardon, British folk singer and carpenter, dies at 81
  • 1996-09-28 Bob Gibson, American folk musician, dies at 64
  • 2001-02-22 John Farley, American folk singer and guitarist (Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death), dies at 61
  • 2001-07-07 Frederick "Fred" Neil, American folk singer-songwriter and dolphin conservationist (Everybody's Talkin'), dies from skin cancer at 65
  • 2002-02-10 Dave Van Ronk, American folk singer and songwriter, dies at 65
  • 2005-08-24 Kaleth Morales, Colombian vallenato folk music singer and songwriter ("Vivo en el Limbo" - I Live in the Limbo), dies in a vehicle crash at 22
  • 2007-02-25 Mark Spoelstra, American folk singer and songwriter, dies at 66
  • 2007-08-01 Tommy Makem, Irish folk singer (b. 1932)
  • 2008-08-03 Erik Darling, American folk musician (Rooftop Singers), dies at 74
  • 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)

Person of interestMary Travers

2009-09-16 Mary Travers, American folk singer (Peter Paul & Mary), dies of leukemia at 72

Folk Singer Mary Travers
Folk Singer
Mary Travers
  • 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 (The Weavers - 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 - "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine"), dies at 88
  • 2015-07-21 Theodore Bikel, Austrian-American stage and screen singer and actor (The Sound of Music; Fiddler On The Roof; The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming; 200 Motels), folk singer (co-founder Newport Folk Festival), and political activist, dies at 91
  • 2016-06-13 Ofelya Hambardzumyan, Armenian folk singer, dies at 91
  • 2017-01-08 Peter Sarstedt, British pop-folk singer-songwriter and guitarist ("Where Do You Go To (My Lovely?"), dies at 75
  • 2017-09-30 Alam Thomas "Tom" Paley, American folk musician (New Lost City Ramblers), dies at 89
  • 2017-11-01 Katie Lee, American folk singer, environmentalist and author (Colorado River Songs), dies at 98
  • 2017-11-07 Robert De Cormier, American conductor and musical director (The Belafonte Folk Singers), dies at 95
  • 2018-05-02 Tony Cucchiara, Italian folk singer and songwriter ("Cain and Abel"), dies at 80
  • 2020-04-07 John Prine, American country folk singer-songwriter ("Hello In There"; "Angel From Montgomery"; "Paradise"), dies of Covid-19 complications at 73
  • 2020-07-12 Judy Dyble, British folk singer-songwriter (Fairport Convention), dies of lung cancer at 71
  • 2021-05-26 Patrick Sky [Lynch], American musician, folk singer, songwriter, record producer, and uilleann bagpiper (Songs That Made America Famous), dies of cancer at 80