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Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?

McMusic 05 Jan 99 - 09:54 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 05 Jan 99 - 10:11 PM
Roger in Baltimore 05 Jan 99 - 10:24 PM
Sheye 05 Jan 99 - 10:28 PM
Bill D 05 Jan 99 - 10:35 PM
Big Mick 05 Jan 99 - 10:40 PM
Don Meixner 05 Jan 99 - 11:13 PM
Bill Cameron 05 Jan 99 - 11:39 PM
Musicman 06 Jan 99 - 01:29 AM
Aldus 06 Jan 99 - 08:58 AM
Kris 06 Jan 99 - 10:57 AM
The Shambles 06 Jan 99 - 12:08 PM
SteveF 06 Jan 99 - 01:13 PM
catspaw49 06 Jan 99 - 01:39 PM
schmuze 06 Jan 99 - 01:51 PM
Ralph Butts 06 Jan 99 - 06:04 PM
Reta 06 Jan 99 - 06:18 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 06 Jan 99 - 06:26 PM
Dan Keding 06 Jan 99 - 07:08 PM
Dave T 06 Jan 99 - 07:51 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 06 Jan 99 - 07:55 PM
Joe(the other one) 06 Jan 99 - 07:57 PM
rich r 06 Jan 99 - 11:53 PM
CarterNut 07 Jan 99 - 12:17 AM
Rasta 07 Jan 99 - 01:01 AM
Mountain Tyme 07 Jan 99 - 02:22 AM
Joe Offer 07 Jan 99 - 03:40 AM
Wolfgang Hell 07 Jan 99 - 09:20 AM
Earl 07 Jan 99 - 09:50 AM
ALDUS 07 Jan 99 - 10:33 AM
Mad Dog 07 Jan 99 - 10:51 AM
Observer 07 Jan 99 - 11:58 AM
Bruce O. 07 Jan 99 - 12:11 PM
Sheye 07 Jan 99 - 01:05 PM
Steve Latimer 07 Jan 99 - 03:22 PM
Barbara 07 Jan 99 - 03:57 PM
folk1234 07 Jan 99 - 05:18 PM
Stubs 07 Jan 99 - 07:16 PM
Songbob 07 Jan 99 - 11:21 PM
Jack mostly folk 08 Jan 99 - 12:09 AM
Dan Keding 08 Jan 99 - 11:32 AM
McMusic 08 Jan 99 - 10:06 PM
catspaw49 08 Jan 99 - 10:45 PM
dick greenhaus 08 Jan 99 - 10:50 PM
harpgirl 08 Jan 99 - 11:12 PM
Wally Macnow 09 Jan 99 - 01:05 AM
tonyweathers@worldnet.att.net 09 Jan 99 - 01:21 AM
Earl 09 Jan 99 - 03:01 PM
Rue 09 Jan 99 - 08:34 PM
Uncle Fred 10 Jan 99 - 12:07 AM
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Subject: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: McMusic
Date: 05 Jan 99 - 09:54 PM

Has there ever been a thread giving 'Catters a chance to voice their opinion(s) as to their favorite songwriters, or who they think the greatest were? I can start the ball rolling with, in my humble opinion, the two Titans from the USA: Stephen Foster and Woody Guthrie.


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 05 Jan 99 - 10:11 PM

Always a matter of taste and opinion. I like the two above, too.

I like Stan Rogers, early Gordon Lightfoot, Archie Fisher, Leon Rosselson (although I don't always agree with his politics), Lennon/MacCartney, Irving Berlin, early Willie Nelson, John Prine, Jimmie Rodgers (the singing brakeman, can't recall if he is the one with the "d" or not), Hank Williams, Sr., Hoagie Carmichael, James Taylor, Dougie MacLean, Gordon Bok, and whoever wrote the songs on the Simpsons CD my niece has.


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 05 Jan 99 - 10:24 PM

It is easier to chime in on songwriter's than individual songs. If I like a writer, I will usually learn a ton of their songs. By that criteria, in order of discovery, there is Loudon Wainwright III (first five albums or so), John Prine (before his drinking got bad and after he got sober), and Joel Mabus. I do so like a sense of humor.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Sheye
Date: 05 Jan 99 - 10:28 PM

add:

Leonard Cohen, Kris Kristopherson (what can I say), Paul Simon, Sting, Jim Steinman...

Sheye


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Jan 99 - 10:35 PM

Anon McTrad....followed by Bruce Phillips, Craig Johnson, the early Eric Bogle, Jean Ritchie, a few others...


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Jan 99 - 10:40 PM

Bogle, Woody, Brendan Nolan, Ralph McTell....and I could keep going for quite a while.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Don Meixner
Date: 05 Jan 99 - 11:13 PM

My favorites? Tom Paxton, Gordon Bok, Patrick Sky, Bruce Murdock(anyone remember him?) some Gordon Lightfoot, Percy French, Tommy Makem, Ewan Macoll, Stan Rogers, U. Utah Phillips, Jim Ringer, and P. Domain.

I realise there are no women on this list. No good answer for that other than I find it interesting to note. Maybe Kate Wolf, but for every bit of brilliance from her I usually had to wade through a hundred bits of introspective treacle. And even the treacle weren't that bad.

Don


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Bill Cameron
Date: 05 Jan 99 - 11:39 PM

Along with other luminaries already mentioned, Guy Clark would be near the top of my list. Also Ian Tyson. James Keelaghan and Lennie Gallant are fine current Canadian writers, and Murray McLauchlan has turned out an impressive body of work over the years.

I think fewer women come immediately to my mind because, to generalize horribly, not as many of them write in the traditional folk idiom that interests me. Marychapin Carpenter is quite wonderful, so I think is Cheryl Wheeler, and Laura Smith.

Bill


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Musicman
Date: 06 Jan 99 - 01:29 AM

I could repeat alot of the names of the above mentioned. But no-one has mentioned the name of Bill Staines!! (All God's Critters, River, Roseville Fair, Sweet Wyoming Home.) There's a fellow who has a way with a melody!


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Aldus
Date: 06 Jan 99 - 08:58 AM

I'd have to go with Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Richard Farina and Stan Rogers. I suppose the "Classic" pop writers should be included..Lennon and Macartney, Lerner and Lowe and Irving Berlin...so on. I agree about Stephen Foster.. Wonderful songs, many of which have now been declared politically incorrect. However, we still are free to enjoy the tunes.. Great thread, thanks all.


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Kris
Date: 06 Jan 99 - 10:57 AM

I was going to post to the 'I wish I had written..' thread, but everytime I thought of such a song I thought of all the others by the same artists. So ... Fave songwriters are:

Elvis Costello Joe Jackson Paul Weller Annie Lennox/Dave thingy Ian Dury Jacky Wilson Rolling Stones

& various more, but phones ringing

Kris


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Jan 99 - 12:08 PM

Richard Thompson.


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: SteveF
Date: 06 Jan 99 - 01:13 PM

Every so often I discover that one of my favorite old tunes was written by Johnny Mercer. What!? Him again?! That guy must have turned out well over a thousand familiar tunes! Rack up one for Johnny Mercer, at least for sheer quantity.

-- SteveF.


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: catspaw49
Date: 06 Jan 99 - 01:39 PM

GREAT THREAD!!! I join lots of others in Woody, Dylan,Patrick Sky, A.P.Carter, early Lightfoot, John Prine, Harlan Howard, Paul Simon {says he writes around rhythms, but what a "wordsmith"}, Stephen Foster, Jean Ritchie, Tom Petty, Leonard Cohen, Richard Farina, Arlo, James Taylor.....

Also, Jim Croce wrote a tremendous number of good songs prior to getting famous {and killed}. And if the only song Emmylou Harris ever wrote was "Prayer in Open D" that's enough to be included. Also ran across a listing for "Turn, Turn, Turn" crediting it to Pete Seeger and God. Interesting pairing...did HUAC and the McCarthy committee also blacklist God? catspaw49


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: schmuze
Date: 06 Jan 99 - 01:51 PM

Me, well I have to go with Dylan/Prine/Dougie Maclean/Christie Moore/ Jim Herd/ the McTrad guy (!) and many many more, it's like when someone says, play a song and your mind goes blank, Lennon/McCartney always, Ray DAvies, ooooooo loads!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Ralph Butts
Date: 06 Jan 99 - 06:04 PM

I guess most of my favorites have been mentioned,

except Jerry Jeff Walker and Jimmy Buffett.

....Tiger


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Reta
Date: 06 Jan 99 - 06:18 PM

Nice thread McMusic!

I agree with all the afore mentioned but at the very top I would have to place LOREENA MCKENNITT.

What can I ad to that?

Reta


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 06 Jan 99 - 06:26 PM

I forgot Steve Goodman and Tom Waits.


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Dan Keding
Date: 06 Jan 99 - 07:08 PM

Great thread! My votes go to Steve Goodman (I know he's already been mentioned but I like him enough to say it again), Stan Rogers, Jez Lowe, and Bill Caddick. Also just about eberyone mentioned so far. Dan


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Dave T
Date: 06 Jan 99 - 07:51 PM

Most of my favourites have been mentioned: Steve Goodman, John Prine, Guy Clark, Stan Rogers, Bob Dylan, etc. All those aside, Townes Van Zandt has to be there and I think Nanci Griffith too.
Funny, I haven't noticed any blues artists mentioned, so... Robert Johnson, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters.
Dave T


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 06 Jan 99 - 07:55 PM

Muddy Waters deserves to be here just for writing that song about his girl running away with the garbageman.


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Joe(the other one)
Date: 06 Jan 99 - 07:57 PM

What about John D Loudermilk, Pee Wee King, Mickey Newberry.


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: rich r
Date: 06 Jan 99 - 11:53 PM

I love about half of the people listed already,and would like to sneak John Denver into the list, but I would guess my true favorite for the past 35 years has been Tom Paxton. Almost all of his songs fit nicely in my voice range.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: CarterNut
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 12:17 AM

Great thread. My favorites are A.P. Carter, Johnny Cash, Maybelle Carter(she did write many songs), Grandpa Jones, Jim and Jesse McReynolds, Lester Flatt, Bill Anderson, Roy Acuff, and the early song writers of that line. I like writings that speak to me, and these always have been a source of inspiration, particularly A.P.

John J.


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Rasta
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 01:01 AM

Well Dylan goes without saying but back in the real world John Stewart of Kingston trio fame was always a big influence on me for song awarness and more and more I like to hear Ian Tyson. Has anyone heard the (Gift) I think Ian wrote that one it sure equils John Stewarts (mother Country) --both great Americana songs---The Gift is about Chaarles Russel the cowboy artist from the turn of the century or so------Its on Ian Tysons album Cowboy Ography.------ Rasta-----


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Mountain Tyme
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 02:22 AM

John Prine has the power, Hank Snow for chioce of words and presentation, Hank Williams covered many others good lyrics/melodys and sang them with passion, but for penning original tunes and lyrics sang from the heart, Carter Stanley and Brother Ralph for the best and the most, hands down.


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 03:40 AM

My, don't we have good taste?
All of my favorites have been mentioned, I think, except for Tom Russell and Rodgers & Hart.
But my absolute favorite is Johnny Mercer.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Wolfgang Hell
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 09:20 AM

definitively missing: Brian McNeill

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Earl
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 09:50 AM

Most of the good ones have already been mentioned. I'll add a few blues guys I never get tired of: Blind Willie McTell, Bo Carter, Gus Cannon. Of contemorary songwriters I like Michael Hurley. Since we are not limiting it to folk I will add Randy Newman, Leiber&Stoller, and Lowell George. And the best songwriter on television, Red Green.


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favourite Songwriters?
From: ALDUS
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 10:33 AM

I was interested to see someone choosing Loreena MacKennit. She makes absolutely gorgeous albums. I was not aware that she actually wrote very muvh from scratch. It appears to be a lot of excellent arrangements of tradition things. I realize she does some writing but I didn't think it was all THAT much. As to the shortage of ladies on the list...how about Tracy Chapman, Mary MacCaslin ,Suzanne Vega, Laura Smith,Dolly Parton, sylvia tyson,Jann Arden, ..so on. Also, while I'm here.. How about Bruce Cockburn...


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Mad Dog
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 10:51 AM

Don Lange (also my favorite winemaker)


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Observer
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 11:58 AM

Loreena MacKennit sure polarizes the populace! Some praise her to the skies, others snarl phrases like "breathing heavily to music" to refer to that sort of pseudo-celtic navel-gazing.


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 12:11 PM

Laurence Price wrote 3 of the Child ballads, and a few other songs that became traditional, all in the 1650's. See the file on him on my website for these.


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Sheye
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 01:05 PM

more girls:

Ani Defranco, Michelle Shocked


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 03:22 PM

Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters.

Diverse perhaps, but I never tire of listening to them. Oh, and how could I forget Susan Latimer?


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Barbara
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 03:57 PM

Women: What about the McGarrigle sisters? Anne Lister (fairly new on the scene, but she has some amazing lyrics). Peggy Seeger. Malvina Reynolds.
Elizabeth Cotton only has one song I know of, but we all know it.(grin) does that count?
I'm sure there's a ton more, I'm just brain dead from too much singing and too little sleep. (but what a way to go) Give me a week or so.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: folk1234
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 05:18 PM

I kinda' like "Traditional", "Anonymous", and "Public Domain".


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Stubs
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 07:16 PM

Most have been mentioned. One of my all time favourites is Roy Forbes AKA "Bim" from North Vancouver via Dawson Creek. Let's not forget Stompin' Tom Connors, Bob Snider, Sarah McLaughlin, Fred J. Eaglesmith,David Wilcox, Bob Ruzika, David Wiffin........Why not list the bad ones..it's shorter 'cause we never pat attention to them(although we hear their songs on the pop stations every day).


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Songbob
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 11:21 PM

Favorite songsters (present company excluded)?

Jez Lowe
Tom Paxton
Mary Chapin Carpenter
Eric Bogle
Bob Zentz
Bob Franke ('cept his latest ablum, which has fewer good 'uns than it orter)
Gordon Bok
Lennon/McCartney
Tom Petty
Bob Coltman
Andy Razaf
Fats Waller
Louis Jordan
and others too fierce to mention.


There's probably lots more, but these are the ones which come to mind, except that my mind has just reminded me of:

Berrigan & Berrigan
Tom Lehrer
Shel Silverstein
Steve Allen
Hoagy Carmichael
Johnny Mercer
Buddy Holly
Don, Phil, and Ike Everly
Jimmie Rodgers

That's all for now.


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Jack mostly folk
Date: 08 Jan 99 - 12:09 AM

John Stewart at the top, Guy Clarke, Robert Earle Keen, Ian Tyson and Tom Russell. I can't leave out the late Kate Wolfe or Townes Van Zant or Jim Ringer. As I read the thread I was elated to find so many of my heros noted. So many great music makers and mudcatters have the intelegence and good taste to know who they are.


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Dan Keding
Date: 08 Jan 99 - 11:32 AM

Almost forgot Steve Gillette, Si Kahn, John Tams, and Michael Smith. Dan


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: McMusic
Date: 08 Jan 99 - 10:06 PM

catspaw49, Actually, the HUAC and the remnants of the McCarthy people renamed themselves the Christian Coalition, bided their time, and, 40 years later, now believe that they invented God!


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: catspaw49
Date: 08 Jan 99 - 10:45 PM

McMusic...Verily I say unto you, tho the truth be spoken through your lips, thy breath brings shivers to the depths of my soul. Or...yep, what a bummer!catspaw49


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 08 Jan 99 - 10:50 PM

Interesting that nobody's mentioned two of my favorites: Henry Clay Work and Shel Silverstein.


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: harpgirl
Date: 08 Jan 99 - 11:12 PM

Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, and Townes Van Zandt...


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Wally Macnow
Date: 09 Jan 99 - 01:05 AM

There's no doubt that the songs that Bob Coltman wrote moved into the tradition with fewer people being aware that they were not traditional than anyone else that I know of. My other favorites are Craig Johnson, Billy Edd Wheeler and Hazel Dickens.


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: tonyweathers@worldnet.att.net
Date: 09 Jan 99 - 01:21 AM

Dylan is king of modern songwriters. end of discussion


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Earl
Date: 09 Jan 99 - 03:01 PM

I forgot to mention Lou & Peter Berryman.


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Rue
Date: 09 Jan 99 - 08:34 PM

And let me add Phil Ochs, Arlo Guthrie, Donovan, Eric Anderson, Greg Brown, and Joel Rafael!


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Subject: RE: Greatest/Favorite Songwriters?
From: Uncle Fred
Date: 10 Jan 99 - 12:07 AM

I'm impressed that so many mentioned Trad.Anon. It's intriguing to the mind that somebody wrote/rewrote those songs. Also note that some songs have been published under Anon and the author got shafted.(Carl T Sprague/ When the Work's All Done this Fall.)Or, published under some name that didn't belong there such as what happened to most of Louis Jordan's stuff. I would also include Robert Hunter both with Jerry Garcia and otherwise. Dylan recorded two of Hunter's on one of his latest albums. Also Doc Pomus, Felice and Boudeleaux Bryant, Roy Orbison, Jimmy Driftwood, J.J.Cale, and Huddie Ledbetter.


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