The Best 60s Folk Music Artists

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Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The Best 60s Folk Music Artists – A List of the Top 60s Folk Musicians and Their Best Songs.

Joan Baez

As the daughter of a well-known physicist, Joan Baez had an unconventional upbringing that didn’t include much music. It wasn’t until she was 17 years old and ran away from home to join the folk scene in Greenwich Village that Joan began to develop her musical talent. She quickly rose to prominence as a leading voice of the 1960s folk music revival thanks to her clear, powerful voice and knack for choosing protest songs that resonated with the anti-war sentiment of the time. Her debut album, Joan Baez, was released in 1960 and helped to launch her career.

While Joan’s use of protest songs earned her some criticism from more conservative quarters, she continued to be a hugely popular figure throughout the decade. In 1967, she released one of her most famous albums, Joan Baez in Concert, which featured live recordings of some of her best-known songs like “We Shall Overcome” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” She also became involved in civil rights and anti-war activism, using her platform as a successful musician to speak out against social injustice.

Despite her success in the 1960s, Joan’s career began to wane in the 1970s as tastes changed and she struggled to adapt to the new musical landscape. However, she has continued to release music throughout her career and remains an influential figure in folk music today.

Judy Collins

Judy Collins is one of the most renowned 60s folk music artists. She began her career in the 1960s and released her first album, A Maid of Constant Sorrow, in 1961. Throughout her career, Judy has released more than 30 albums, including several Gold and Platinum-selling albums. She is also a Grammy Award-winning artist, having won Best Folk Performance in 1967 for her album Wildflowers. Judy is considered to be one of the most influential folk singers of her generation and has inspired many other artists, including Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan.

Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young

The folk music scene of the 1960s produced some of the most iconic musicians of all time. Among them, none were more successful or revolutionary than Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.

Formed in 1968, the group was a supergroup composed of four already-established folk artists: David Crosby of The Byrds, Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield, Graham Nash of The Hollies, and Neil Young of both Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills & Nash.

Their first album, “Déjà Vu,” was released in 1970 and featured hits like “Carry On” and “Teach Your Children.” The album went on to be certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA.

The group was highly successful throughout the early 1970s, releasing a string of hit albums and singles. However, tensions began to mount within the group as individual members pursued solo careers. The group officially disbanded in 1974 but has reunited several times over the years for tours and one-off projects.

The Mamas and the Papas

The Mamas and the Papas were a vocal group that became one of the biggest-selling acts of the 1960s. The group was made up of John Phillips, Denny Doherty, Cass Elliot, and Michelle Phillips. The Mamas and the Papas recorded some of the best-known folk songs of the decade, including “California Dreamin’” and “Monday, Monday.”

Simon and Garfunkel

Simon and Garfunkel were an American folk rock duo consisting of singer-songwriter Paul Simon and singer Art Garfunkel. They were one of the most popular groups of the 1960s and are best known for their hits “The Sound of Silence”, “Mrs. Robinson”, and “The Boxer”. They are also well-known for their roles in the film The Graduate, which featured “The Sound of Silence” on its soundtrack.

The Byrds

The Byrds were an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964. The band underwent multiple lineup changes throughout its existence, with frontman Roger McGuinn remaining the sole consistent member. The Byrds are credited with helping to pioneer the genre of folk rock, and their signature sound combines elements of folk, country, jazz, and rock.

The Byrds achieved commercial success with their cover of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man”, which reached number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart in 1965. Their debut album Mr. Tambourine Man (1965) was also a critical and commercial success, reaching number six on the Billboard 200 album chart and number 37 on the UK Albums Chart.

The Byrds’ popularity waned in the late 1960sodynamic homes built with natural materials by innovative designers such as Charles Eames and George Nelson recaptured public attention after nearly three decades of colorless functionalism. The newly wealthy_

Buffalo Springfield

Buffalo Springfield was a folk rock group active from 1966 to 1968 which released three albums, Buffalo Springfield (1966), Buffalo Springfield Again (1967), and Last Time Around (1968). They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

The group was formed in Los Angeles in 1966 by Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Dewey Martin, Bruce Palmer, and Richie Furay. The group’s first album, Buffalo Springfield, was recorded in 1966 and released in early 1967. It featured the hit singles “For What It’s Worth” and “Mr. Soul”.

The group’s second album, Buffalo Springfield Again, was released in late 1967 and featured the hit single “Bluebird”. The group disbanded after recording their third album, Last Time Around, in 1968.

Neil Young went on to have a successful solo career as a singer-songwriter and guitarist. Stephen Stills had success as a member of the supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash, as well as with his own solo career.

The Hollies

The Hollies are a British pop/rock group best known for their distinctive three-part vocal harmony style. The Hollies became one of the leading British groups of the 1960s and early 1970s. They enjoyed considerable popularity in many countries, although they did not achieve major US chart success until 1966 with “Bus Stop”. The Hollies were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

Peter, Paul, and Mary

Peter, Paul, and Mary were an American folk group formed in New York City in 1961, during the American folk music revival phenomenon. The trio was composed of tenor Peter Yarrow, baritone Noel “Paul” Stookey, and contralto Mary Travers. The group’s hits included “Lemon Tree”, “500 Miles”, “If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song)”, and their signature tune, “Blowin’ in the Wind”. They performed together until shortly after Mary Travers’ death in 2009.

The group was one of the most successful folk-singing groups of the 1960s and helped to popularize protest songs such as Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are A-Changin”‘. They also recorded some of Dylan’s lesser-known songs, such as “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”. In 1963 they gave him one of his first major public exposure by inviting him onstage to sing with them at their own Carnegie Hall concert. They became political activists during the Civil Rights Movement and were lifelong friends of Martin Luther King Jr.

After Travers’ death, Yarrow and Stookey continued to perform as a duo under the name Peter Yarrow & Noel Paul Stookey. In 2010 they released an album entitled Peter, Paul & Mary: Live in Concert – The Farewell Tour.

The Weavers

The Weavers were an American folk music quartet based in the Greenwich Village area of New York City. They were founded in October 1947 by Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, Fred Hellerman, and Ronnie Gilbert, with Seeger and Hays serving as the group’s lead singers. Their biggest hit was the 1950 recording of Lead Belly’s “Goodnight, Irene”, which topped the charts for 13 weeks in 1950. The group’s career effectively ended when they were blacklisted during the McCarthy era.

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