The answer to The Queen of American Folk Music Crossword Clue is Joan Baez.
The Queen of American Folk Music
The Queen of American Folk Music is a title given to several different women including Bessie Smith, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, and Odetta. The title is also sometimes given to men, such as Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan.
Bessie Smith was an American singer born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She was often called the Empress of the Blues and is considered one of the most influential vocalists of the 1920s. She started her career singing on the streets for tips before being discovered by talent scout and producer, Clarence Williams. She went on to make over 160 recordings and became one of the highest-paid African American performers of her time. Her music spanned a wide range of styles, including blues, jazz, and gospel.
The Queen of American Folk Music, Woody Guthrie was an icon of the 20th century. A singer, songwriter and musician, he is best known for his songs like “This Land Is Your Land” and “Pretty Boy Floyd.” He was also a prominent figure in the American folk music revival of the 1940s and 1950s.
The folk music scene in America in the early 1960s owed a great debt to the singer and songwriter Woody Guthrie, who had died in 1967. Guthrie’s songs, many of which were about his own hardscrabble life as a migrant worker during the Great Depression, had been popularized by other artists, including Pete Seeger, Lead Belly, and Odetta. These artists, in turn, had inspired a new generation of folk singers, including Joan Baez and Bob Dylan. But by the time Dylan wrote his song “Blowin’ in the Wind” in 1962, Guthrie was already being hailed as the “King of American Folk Music.”
In his memoirs, Dylan recalled how he first heard Guthrie’s music: “I was up in Wisconsin working on a farm…[a] guy I was working with turned me on to Woody’s records…[H]e had this thing about Woody being the king of American folk music. I thought that was pretty funny. Like there could be only one king. I mean this guy really believed it.”
Dylan may have thought it was funny, but by the time he recorded his 1964 album The Times They Are A-Changin’, he was clearly influenced by Guthrie’s songs and style. And when Dylan performed at the Newport Folk Festival that summer, he cemented his position as the most important figure in the American folk music revival.
In the years that followed, Dylan would move away from folk music towards rock and roll and other genres. But his early songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are A-Changin'” remain among the most iconic and influential ever written.