A look at some of the best folk music of the 1960s. From Bob Dylan to Simon and Garfunkel, these are the artists that defined the genre.
The Best of 1960s Folk Music: The Beatles
The 1960s was an important decade for music, with a wide variety of genres and sub-genres becoming popular. One of the most iconic and influential genres of the 1960s was folk music, which saw a surge in popularity thanks to artists like The Beatles.
The Beatles were one of the most successful and popular bands of the 1960s, and their influence on folk music was profound. The band helped to popularize the genre and bring it into the mainstream, paving the way for other folk artists to find success.
The Beatles’ folk music is some of the best of the 1960s, and it remains popular to this day. If you’re looking for a great introduction to the genre, or simply want to enjoy some classic tunes, be sure to check out The Beatles’ best folk songs from the 1960s.
The Best of 1960s Folk Music: Simon and Garfunkel
Simon and Garfunkel were an American folk rock duo consisting of singer-songwriter Paul Simon and singer Art Garfunkel. They were one of the most popular groups of the 1960s and their biggest hits—including “The Sound of Silence”, “Bridge over Troubled Water”, “Mrs. Robinson”, and “The Boxer”—reached number one on singles charts worldwide.
The duo met as children in Forest Hills, Queens, in 1953, where they first learned to harmonize together. They began writing original material for their debut albumantz”, which was released in 1964 to critical acclaim but only moderate commercial success. Their follow-up album, Sounds of Silence, was released a year later and topped the Billboard 200 chart. It contained three hit singles: “The Sound of Silence”, “I Am a Rock”, and “Blessed”.
During this time, Simon wrote and produced four studio albums with Garfunkel as his backup singer: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (1966), Bookends (1968), Bridge over Troubled Water (1970), and Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits (1972). In 1970, they released the live album Live from New York City, July 1974. The duo’s final studio album together before their acrimonious split was 1977’s An American Tale O’ Two Cities: Simon & Garfunkel Live in Central Park.
The Best of 1960s Folk Music: The Byrds
From their inception in 1964, The Byrds became one of the most successful and influential American bands of the 1960s. The band fused folk and rock music to create a sound that was both commercial and critically acclaimed. The Byrds had a string of hits in the mid-1960s, including “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season),” and “Eight Miles High.” The band’s 1968 album, Sweetheart of the Rodeo, is considered one of the most important albums in the history of country rock music.
The Best of 1960s Folk Music: Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is often considered the voice of a generation, and his influence on music is still felt today. He was an important figure in the 1960s folk music scene, and his songs reflected the social and political climate of the time. “The Times They Are A-Changin’” is a perfect example of Dylan’s ability to capture the zeitgeist and give voice to a generation. This song is about social change, and its lyrics are still relevant today. Dylan’s other major hits from this era include “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Like a Rolling Stone”.
The Best of 1960s Folk Music: Joan Baez
Joan Baez is widely regarded as one of the most influential female artists of the 1960s folk music scene. With a career spanning over five decades, she has released thirty-one studio albums and earned numerous awards, including Grammy Awards and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammy Awards. In Joan Baez’s early years, she was an active member of the Civil Rights Movement and opposed the Vietnam War. Her music often contained social and political messages, which earned her praise from activists such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Bob Dylan. In recent years, Joan Baez has continued to be an outspoken activist, using her platform to support various causes such as human rights and environmentalism.
The Best of 1960s Folk Music: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
The 1960s was decade of great change and turmoil in the United States. The country was going through a lot of transition, and the music of the time reflected that. Folk music was one genre that saw a resurgence in popularity during this time. Many new artists came on the scene, and some established artists found new success. One of the most successful and influential folk groups of the 1960s was Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young were all established solo artists when they decided to form a group in 1968. They quickly became one of the most popular bands of the decade. Their sound was a unique blend of folk, rock, and country that appealed to a wide range of listeners. They were also known for their political activism, which was reflected in their music.
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young released four studio albums during their time together: “Déjà Vu” (1970), “4 Way Street” (1971), “So Far” (1974), and “American Dream” (1988). They also released a live album, “Four Way Street”, in 1971. All of these albums were very successful and are still considered to be among the best of 1960s folk music.
If you’re a fan of 1960s folk music or are just looking to check out some of the best music from that decade, you should definitely give Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young a listen.
The Best of 1960s Folk Music: The Mamas & the Papas
The Mamas & the Papas were one of the most influential groups of the 1960s, and their music has stood the test of time. Formed in 1965, the group was comprised of John Phillips, Denny Doherty, Cass Elliot, and Michelle Phillips. They are best known for their hits “California Dreamin’” and “Monday, Monday,” but their repertoire also includes such classics as “I Saw Her Again,” “Dedicated to the One I Love,” and “Go Where You Wanna Go.” The group’s harmonies and close vocal arrangements were unlike anything that had been heard before, and their organic blend of folk, pop, and rock revolutionized the sound of popular music. The Mamas & the Papas were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
The Best of 1960s Folk Music: The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys are an American rock band formed in Hawthorne, California in 1961. The group’s original lineup consisted of brothers Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and their friend Al Jardine. The Beach Boys began as a garage band managed by the Wilsons’ father Murry.
The Beach Boys achieved commercial success with a string of hit songs dominated by Brian Wilson’s compositions about teenage love and surfing culture. The group gained critical acclaim for their vocal harmonies and album Pet Sounds (1966). With the release of the classic “Good Vibrations” in 1966, the Beach Boys became inconsistent album sellers and were overshadowed by contemporary groups such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
The Beach Boys have often been called “America’s Band”, and Allmusic has stated that the group helped define the musical genre of pop rock. They have sold in excess of 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and are also members of the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
The Best of 1960s Folk Music: The Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in San Francisco. The band is known for its eclectic style, which fused elements of country, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, rock, and psychedelic music. The Grateful Dead’s music attracts fans from many genres including: jam band enthusiasts, live music fans, and those who prefer more traditional rock and roll. The Grateful Dead have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Grammy Hall of Fame.
The Best of 1960s Folk Music: Janis Joplin
Janis Joplin was one of the most iconic and influential figures in 1960s folk music. With her unique style and powerful voice, she captivated audiences and helped to shape the sound of an entire generation. Joplin’s work is still revered today, and she is considered one of the greatest folk musicians of all time.
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