Hal Leonard Folk Music USA: The Changing Voice Of Protest


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This definitive story of American folk music focuses on how a minority music genre suddenly became the emergent voice of a generation at the end of the Eisenhower years. Go back to a more innocent time of Washington Square jam sessions, Pete Seeger sing-alongs, and Greenwich Village coffee houses. The book shows how the social issues of early rural folk music were adapted by young people in the late fifties as college students bought guitars and banjos, attended hootenannies, and marched on the Capital for Civil Rights. They neglected their textbooks for copies of Sing Out! and Broadside, and spent their hard-earned cash on the latest Joan Baez album and Limeliters’ concert. From Kingston Trio’s "Tom Dooley" in 1958 to Bob Dylan’s electric performance at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, folk influenced American culture and eventually became absorbed into popular music. The author also explores how authentic folk is now experiencing a second revival, taking its place in our contemporary fascination with roots music.

Ronnie Lankford writes about roots music for a number of print and internet magazines, including Sing Out!, Dirty Linen, and The Old-Time Herald. He has written over 100 album reviews for the All Music Guide and writes a bi-monthly column on folk music for Pop Matters. He lives in Appomattox, Virginia, with his wife and five cats.

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