Roger McGuinn on folk preservation on NPR

Here's a fine NPR interview with Byrds guitarist, copyfighter, and folkie legend Roger McGuinn. The interview covers a lot of ground, but is centered on his folk-preservation site the Folk Den, a repository of folk recordings, music, lyrics, history and conversation. It's a phone-in and the callers are great ("I perform folk music about science and skepticism" -- hoo-ah!).

Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame singer and guitarist Roger McGuinn, best known as the front man for The Byrds, is considered a pioneer of folk rock. The band blended traditional folk songs with a rock beat and scored major hits in the 1960's including "Turn, Turn, Turn" and "Mr. Tambourine Man."

The Byrds disbanded in 1973, and McGuinn pursued a solo career, performing acoustically and returning to his folk roots.

In 1995, he created the Folk Den Project, an online series to store traditional folk songs that he records once a month. NPR's Neal Conan talks with McGuinn about The Byrds and his solo career, and about his work preserving folk music.

The Byrds' Roger McGuinn Works To Preserve Folk (via MeFi)


  1. “‘I perform folk music about science and skepticism’ — hoo-ah!”

    You mean, Filk?

    Phoenix fandom has “enjoyed” an active and strong Filk scene for a long time. I even got an invite to Leslie Fish’s wedding. Of course it was an emailed invite three days before and had no mention of a reception so likely it was either for photogenic reasons or was a grab for gifts, but what the Hey.

    I also have Joe Bethancourt’s “Live at Funny Fellows, Volume 1”, when he used to play sets at the now-long-gone Funny Fellows Restaurant in Phoenix. Mom apparently was one of those noisy women who he would yell at about piping down. Ran into him 20 years later when he was doing freelance web design and the company I worked for was a client… His Cthulhu-fish decal on his Chevy Cavalier was interesting.

  2. Wow this is awesome. I’m kind of obsessed with folk music to the point where I collect old books with or of it and learn to play/sing any that I can (though a lot of times they’re just lyrics from the broadsheet with at best a reference to a tune)…. This is super nice because if you can’t find anything with the music you’re lost.

    1. OMG I made the same mistake I think when I first looked. I thought it was some kind of hipster joke band name. Seriously. I also thought: That’s kind of a great band name.

  3. I like Roger McGuinn, but I loved Jim McGuinn. The single reason I have a Rickenbacker 12-string.

  4. If you’d like to hear an earlier interview with McGuinn, check this discussion from early 2008. He gave an interview to Davis, Calif., low-power community station KDRT shortly before performing at the University of California, Davis: 

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