Bob Gibson

While Bob Gibson's recordings may sound like run-of-the-mill folk to modern listeners, he played an important role in popularizing folk music to American audiences in the 1950s at the very beginning of the folk boom. His 12-string guitar style influenced performers like Gordon Lightfoot and Harry Chapin; he was a mainstay at one of the first established folk clubs in the U.S., the Gate of Horn in Chicago; and he wrote songs with Shel Silverstein and Phil Ochs, as well as performing in a duo with Hamilton Camp. Most of all, he was one of the first folkies on the scene -- when he began performing and recording in the mid-'50s, there was hardly anyone else playing guitar-based folk music for an educated, relatively affluent audience.