folk music

13 Stories

Woody Guthrie Hated 'Old Man Trump'

When Donald was a toddler, Fred was folk singer's landlord

(Newser) - Trump was a name that Woody Guthrie knew and despised when Donald Trump was a 4-year-old, professor Will Kaufman discovered to his surprise on a trip to the Guthrie archives in Tulsa, Okla. Trump's father, real estate developer Fred Trump, became the folk singer's landlord in 1950 when... More »

Folk Icon Pete Seeger Dies at 94

Lifelong activist spearheaded folk revival

(Newser) - Pete Seeger, a towering presence in American folk music and activism for many decades, has died after 94 years—and more than 100 albums. The bearded, banjo-playing protest singer gained fame with the Weavers in the '40s and is best known for popularizing songs like This Land Is Your ... More »

Inside Llewyn Davis Among Coens' Best

Critics rave about musical tale

(Newser) - The Coen brothers' latest film tells the dark tale of a folk musician in Greenwich Village in 1961. Though you might not want to befriend Llewyn, his story is well worth a watch—in fact, some critics are calling Inside Llewyn Davis a candidate for the Coens' best. A sampling... More »

Woodstock Legend Richie Havens Dead at 72

Opened 1969 Woodstock with three-hour set

(Newser) - Richie Havens, the folk singer who opened the 1969 Woodstock festival, died today from a sudden heart attack at home in New Jersey, Rolling Stone reports. He was 72. The Brooklyn-born musician is best known for the three-hour, partially improvised Woodstock set that brought him to prominence (and helped pad... More »

Folk Music Legend Doc Watson Dead at 89

Master flatpicker changed folk music forever

(Newser) - No history of American folk and country music would be complete without a mention of blind guitar wizard Doc Watson, who has died at the age of 89. His rapid-fire flatpicking style influenced generations of musicians, and helped elevate the guitar to lead instrument status in the country music of... More »

Judges Really Like to Quote Bob Dylan

Even Chief Justice Roberts has cited his lyrics

(Newser) - When judges want to give their opinions a lyrical flourish, many turn first to Bob Dylan. He’s the most-cited musician in court opinions and briefs, experts tell the Los Angeles Times . That’s because his early songs give voice to political and legal concerns—and they emerged when today’... More »

Bob Dylan Gets First Gig in Vietnam

Legend expected to sell out 8,000-seat venue

(Newser) - Decades after making his name with Vietnam-era antiwar songs, Bob Dylan is set to perform in Vietnam for the first time, the AP reports. He’ll play in an 8,000-seat university stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, and planners expect the show to sell out. “Bob Dylan is... More »

Bob Dylan's Muse Dead at 67

Suze Rotolo inspired classic songs

(Newser) - Suze Rotolo, the inspiration behind many of Bob Dylan’s early songs and his girlfriend in New York during the early 1960s, died last week at 67 following a long illness. Rotolo appeared on the cover of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan; their relationship led Dylan to pen classics like “... More »

Cancer Takes Singer Kate McGarrigle, 63

Canadian folkie was mother to Rufus, Martha Wainwright

(Newser) - Singer Kate McGarrigle, best known for her folky collaborations with sister Anna, and mother of singers Rufus and Martha Wainwright, died today of cancer in her native Montreal at age 63. The sisters sang in both English and French, and, “in terms of folk music internationally, she was an... More »

Singer Wouldn't Have Wanted Coyotes Killed: Mom

Taylor Mitchell was huge nature lover

(Newser) - Taylor Mitchell, the 19-year-old Canadian singer killed by coyotes on a hike Tuesday, was such a nature lover that she would have wanted to spare the coyotes, her mom says. “When the decision had been made to kill the pack of coyotes, I clearly heard Taylor's voice say, 'Please... More »

Coyotes Kill Canadian Singer

Teen folk musician attacked in national park

(Newser) - A rising star of the Canadian folk music scene was killed in a savage coyote attack while hiking alone in Nova Scotia. Singer-songwriter Taylor Mitchell, 19, suffered multiple bite wounds and massive blood loss after a pair of coyotes pounced on her. She died a day later in a local... More »

'Voice of Latin America' Mercedes Sosa Dead at 74

Argentine folk singer gave voice to disenfranchised under repressive regimes

(Newser) - Mercedes Sosa, the Argentine folk singer who became a powerful voice of resistance to authoritarian Latin American regimes, died today in Buenos Aires. A leading light of the "nueva canción" (new song) movement that pushed for social justice in the 1960s and '70s, Sosa was 74. "... More »

Mary Travers, of Peter, Paul and Mary, Dead at 72

Member of folk trio had been battling leukemia

(Newser) - Mary Travers, one-third of the hugely popular 1960s folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, died today after a battle with leukemia, the band's publicist says. She was 72. Travers joined forces with Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey in the early 1960s. The trio mingled their music with liberal politics,... More »

13 Stories