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.
Linda RonstadtLinda Ronstadt
15 July 1946
Singer, Songwriter, Musician
Wilmer ValderramaWilmer Valderrama
30 January 1980
Actor

Kris KritoffersonKris Kristofferson
22 June 1936
Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Actor

Tracy ChapmanTracy Chapman
30 March 1964
Singer

Cass ElliotCass Elliot
19 September 1941
Singer

Joanna NewsomJoanna Newsom
18 January 1982
Multi-instrumentalist
Avi KaplanAvi Kaplan
17 April 1989
Singer-Songwriter

Townes Van ZandtTownes Van Zandt
07 March 1944
Singer & Songwriter

Deborah FalconerDeborah Falconer
13 August 1965
Actress
Woody GuthrieWoody Guthrie
14 July 1912
American singer-songwriter

Pete SeegerPete Seeger
03 May 1919
American singer
Aimee MannAimee Mann
08 September 1960
Alternative Artist

Pernell RobertsPernell Roberts
18 May 1928
Actor

Arlo GuthrieArlo Guthrie
10 July 1947
Singer

Harry ChapinHarry Chapin
07 December 1942
Singer

Garrett MorrisGarrett Morris
01 February 1937
Comedian
Christina Perri Christina Perri
19 August 1986
Singer-songwriter

PinkPink
08 September 1979
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
Harry BelafonteHarry Belafonte
01 March 1927
Singer, Actor, Stage actor

Sasha SpielbergSasha Spielberg
14 May 1990
Actress
Phil ElverumPhil Elverum
26 May 1978
Songwriter

Marcus MumfordMarcus Mumford
31 January 1987
American-British singer

Ray LaMontagneRay LaMontagne
18 June 1973
Singer
Judy CollinsJudy Collins
01 May 1939
Singer, Street artist, Singer-songwriter,

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Sharon Van EttenSharon Van Etten
26 February 1981
Singer
Lead BellyLead Belly
20 January 1888
Singer

Justin VernonJustin Vernon
30 April 1981
Singer-songwriter

Exene CervenkaExene Cervenka
01 February 1956
singer

Kim CarnesKim Carnes
20 July 1945
Singer
Roger McGuinnRoger McGuinn
13 July 1942
Musician
Devendra BanhartDevendra Banhart
30 May 1981
Singer

Phil OchsPhil Ochs
19 December 1940
Singer

Paul StookeyPaul Stookey
30 December 1937
Musician, Singer, Singer-songwriter, Guitarist

Tyler HiltonTyler Hilton
22 November 1983
Singer-songwriter
Guy ClarkGuy Clark
06 November 1941
Musician

Tom T. HallTom T. Hall
25 May 1936
Singer

Bob ShaneBob Shane
01 February 1934
Singer, Guitarist

Jackson C. FrankJackson C. Frank
02 March 1943
Singer, Singer-songwriter, Guitarist

Judee SillJudee Sill
07 October 1944
Singer-songwriter, Singer, Composer, Pianist
Alex EbertAlex Ebert
12 May 1978
Singer

Bob GibsonBob Gibson
16 November 1931
Singer
Nanci GriffithNanci Griffith
06 July 1953
Singer-songwriter

Bobby BareBobby Bare
07 April 1935
Singer

Rebecca PidgeonRebecca Pidgeon
10 October 1965
Actress
Theodore BikelTheodore Bikel
02 May 1924
Actor

Maria MuldaurMaria Muldaur
12 September 1943
Singer
Dar WilliamsDar Williams
19 April 1967
Singer-songwriter, Musician, Writer, Singer,

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

Tim HardinTim Hardin
23 December 1941
Singer-songwriter, Singer, Composer

Slim WhitmanSlim Whitman
20 January 1923
Singer-songwriter

Jill GibsonJill Gibson
18 June 1942
Painter, Photographer, Singer, Songwriter
Amos LeeAmos Lee
20 June 1977
Singer

Mississippi John HurtMississippi John Hurt
08 March 1892
Singer

Suzy BoggussSuzy Bogguss
30 December 1956
Musician

M. WardM. Ward
04 October 1973
Singer-songwriter
Tom PaxtonTom Paxton
31 October 1937
Singer-songwriter, Singer, Musician, Guitarist,

Peggy SeegerPeggy Seeger
17 June 1935
Singer
Jesse WinchesterJesse Winchester
17 May 1944
Songwriter

Dave GuardDave Guard
19 October 1934
Singer, Banjoist, Singer-songwriter, Composer,

Mason WilliamsMason Williams
24 August 1938
Musician, Songwriter, Guitarist, Classical
Kate WolfKate Wolf
27 January 1942
Composer, Singer-songwriter

Lori McKennaLori McKenna
22 December 1968
Singer-songwriter, Singer, Guitarist
Mimi FariñaMimi Fariña
30 April 1945
Singer

Will OldhamWill Oldham
24 December 1970
Singer

Utah PhillipsUtah Phillips
15 May 1935
Musician, Poet, Street artist, Singer-songwriter,
Dean FriedmanDean Friedman
23 May 1955
Singer, Singer-songwriter, Jazz musician,

Kenny RankinKenny Rankin
10 February 1940
Singer
Uncle Dave MaconUncle Dave Macon
07 October 1870
Musician

Tommy MakemTommy Makem
04 November 1932
Singer, Banjoist

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

Lydia MendozaLydia Mendoza
31 May 1916
Guitarist
John Jacob NilesJohn Jacob Niles
28 April 1892
Musician
Mike SeegerMike Seeger
15 August 1933
Musician

Sam AmidonSam Amidon
03 June 1981
Singer-songwriter

Ronnie GilbertRonnie Gilbert
07 September 1926
Musician

John StewartJohn Stewart
05 September 1939
singer, banjoist, songwriter, singer-songwriter
Jeffrey FoucaultJeffrey Foucault
 

Fred HellermanFred Hellerman
13 May 1927
Singer

Bill CallahanBill Callahan
03 June 1966
Musician

John FaheyJohn Fahey
28 February 1939
composer, guitarist

Greg BrownGreg Brown
02 July 1949
singer-songwriter
Anais MitchellAnais Mitchell
26 March 1981
 

Kathleen Alice MatteaKathy Mattea
21 June 1959
Singer-songwriter