Nothing sounds sweeter to the ears than songs native to one's roots and home — songs that are free from the frills and fancies of modern day music, songs that throb with the spirit of one's country. Over the years, we have seen and heard folk whiz like Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Jimmie Rodgers, Woody Guthrie and countless others belt out some pretty iconic, chest-thumping, no-nonsense music on things that matters most to the Americans — war, work, civil rights, hardship, satire and love. Folk singers, both old and new, have been source of great pride for America. Over the years, folk music has undergone a sea of changes in terms of music and lyrics. Unlike the folk singers in the past who rendered oral histories musically, today's Gen-X folk singers are way more relaxed and stirring in their tunes and lyrics. Melding folk tunes with contemporary music and lacing it with some hard-hitting, nostalgic, or dreamy lyrics, American folk music has found a new identity with the current crop of folk singers. Join us as we trail down the timeline, trivia, and interesting facts on the lives of some famous American folk singers to have ever walked on the American soil. These biographies will leave you with a newfound love for folk songs.
Tracy ChapmanTracy Chapman
30 March 1964
Singer
Kris KristoffersonKris Kristofferson
22 June 1936
Singer

Wilmer ValderramaWilmer Valderrama
30 January 1980
Actor

Linda RonstadtLinda Ronstadt
15 July 1946
Singer, Songwriter, Musician

Cass ElliotCass Elliot
19 September 1941
Singer

Joanna NewsomJoanna Newsom
18 January 1982
Multi-instrumentalist
Townes Van ZandtTownes Van Zandt
07 March 1944
Singer & Songwriter

Woody GuthrieWoody Guthrie
14 July 1912
American singer-songwriter

Deborah FalconerDeborah Falconer
13 August 1965
Actress
Pernell RobertsPernell Roberts
18 May 1928
Actor

Pete SeegerPete Seeger
03 May 1919
American singer
Garrett MorrisGarrett Morris
01 February 1937
Comedian

Aimee MannAimee Mann
08 September 1960
Alternative Artist

Harry ChapinHarry Chapin
07 December 1942
Singer

Arlo GuthrieArlo Guthrie
10 July 1947
Singer

PinkPink
08 September 1979
Singer-songwriter
Avi KaplanAvi Kaplan
17 April 1989
Singer-Songwriter

Christina Perri Christina Perri
19 August 1986
Singer-songwriter

Exene CervenkaExene Cervenka
01 February 1956
Singer

Mary TraversMary Travers
09 November 1936
Singer-songwriter
Janis IanJanis Ian
07 April 1951
Singer, Songwriter, Musician & Author

John SebastianJohn Sebastian
17 March 1944
Singer-songwriter
Maddie PoppeMaddie Poppe
05 December 1997
Singer

Alan LomaxAlan Lomax
31 January 1915
Folklorist

Sierra DeatonSierra Deaton
11 February 1991
Pop Singer
Chris BurkeChris Burke
26 August 1965
Actor

Deborah RyanDeborah Ryan
13 May 1993
Actress, Singer
John PrineJohn Prine
10 October 1946
Singer-songwriter

Harry BelafonteHarry Belafonte
01 March 1927
Singer, Actor, Stage actor

Sasha SpielbergSasha Spielberg
14 May 1990
Actress
Ray LaMontagneRay LaMontagne
18 June 1973
Singer

Continue Reading Below
Kim CarnesKim Carnes
20 July 1945
Singer
Judy CollinsJudy Collins
01 May 1939
Singer, Street artist, Singer-songwriter,

Lead BellyLead Belly
20 January 1888
Singer

Phil ElverumPhil Elverum
26 May 1978
Songwriter

Colbie CaillatColbie Caillat
28 May 1985
Singer-songwriter
Phil OchsPhil Ochs
19 December 1940
Singer
Sharon Van EttenSharon Van Etten
26 February 1981
Singer

Roger McGuinnRoger McGuinn
13 July 1942
Musician

Justin VernonJustin Vernon
30 April 1981
Singer-songwriter

Guy ClarkGuy Clark
06 November 1941
Musician
Paul StookeyPaul Stookey
30 December 1937
Musician, Singer, Singer-songwriter, Guitarist

Bob GibsonBob Gibson
16 November 1931
Singer

Nanci GriffithNanci Griffith
06 July 1953
Singer-songwriter

Tyler HiltonTyler Hilton
22 November 1983
Singer-songwriter

Tom T. HallTom T. Hall
25 May 1936
Singer
Devendra BanhartDevendra Banhart
30 May 1981
Singer

Bobby BareBobby Bare
07 April 1935
Singer
M. WardM. Ward
04 October 1973
Singer-songwriter

Theodore BikelTheodore Bikel
02 May 1924
Actor

Alex EbertAlex Ebert
12 May 1978
Singer
Rebecca PidgeonRebecca Pidgeon
10 October 1965
Actress

Maria MuldaurMaria Muldaur
12 September 1943
Singer
Jackson C. FrankJackson C. Frank
02 March 1943
Singer, Singer-songwriter, Guitarist

Amos LeeAmos Lee
20 June 1977
Singer

Kathleen Alice MatteaKathy Mattea
21 June 1959
Singer-songwriter

Mississippi John HurtMississippi John Hurt
08 March 1892
Singer

Dar WilliamsDar Williams
19 April 1967
Singer-songwriter, Musician, Writer, Singer,
Slim WhitmanSlim Whitman
20 January 1923
Singer-songwriter

Judee SillJudee Sill
07 October 1944
Singer-songwriter, Singer, Composer, Pianist

Laura VeirsLaura Veirs
24 October 1973
Singer, Singer-songwriter, Composer

Tim HardinTim Hardin
23 December 1941
Singer-songwriter, Singer, Composer
Jill GibsonJill Gibson
18 June 1942
Painter, Photographer, Singer, Songwriter

Jesse WinchesterJesse Winchester
17 May 1944
Songwriter
Suzy BoggussSuzy Bogguss
30 December 1956
Musician

Will OldhamWill Oldham
24 December 1970
Singer

Mimi FariñaMimi Fariña
30 April 1945
Singer
Tom PaxtonTom Paxton
31 October 1937
Singer-songwriter, Singer, Musician, Guitarist,

Mason WilliamsMason Williams
24 August 1938
Musician, Songwriter, Guitarist, Classical
Lori McKennaLori McKenna
22 December 1968
Singer-songwriter, Singer, Guitarist

Peggy SeegerPeggy Seeger
17 June 1935
Singer

Bob ShaneBob Shane
01 February 1934
Singer, Guitarist
Kate WolfKate Wolf
27 January 1942
Composer, Singer-songwriter

Dave GuardDave Guard
19 October 1934
Singer, Banjoist, Singer-songwriter, Composer,
Utah PhillipsUtah Phillips
15 May 1935
Musician, Poet, Street artist, Singer-songwriter,

Kenny RankinKenny Rankin
10 February 1940
Singer

Tommy MakemTommy Makem
04 November 1932
Singer, Banjoist

John Jacob NilesJohn Jacob Niles
28 April 1892
Musician
Dean FriedmanDean Friedman
23 May 1955
Singer, Singer-songwriter, Jazz musician,
Mike SeegerMike Seeger
15 August 1933
Musician

Uncle Dave MaconUncle Dave Macon
07 October 1870
Musician

Jean RitchieJean Ritchie
08 December 1922
Historian, Singer, Musicologist, Musician,

Lydia MendozaLydia Mendoza
31 May 1916
Guitarist
Ronnie GilbertRonnie Gilbert
07 September 1926
Musician

Sam AmidonSam Amidon
03 June 1981
Singer-songwriter

John StewartJohn Stewart
05 September 1939
singer, banjoist, songwriter, singer-songwriter

Jeffrey FoucaultJeffrey Foucault
 

Erik DarlingErik Darling
25 September 1933
Songwriter
Fred HellermanFred Hellerman
13 May 1927
Singer

Richard Dyer-BennetRichard Dyer-Bennet
06 October 1913
Singer
John FaheyJohn Fahey
28 February 1939
composer, guitarist

Bill CallahanBill Callahan
03 June 1966
Musician
Greg BrownGreg Brown
02 July 1949
singer-songwriter
Roseanne CashRoseanne Cash
24 May 1955
Singer-songwriter