John Hartford

John Hartford (December 30, 1937–June 4, 2001) was a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist known for his contributions to the musical style of Newgrass. Born in New York City and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Hartford's career and music were heavily influenced by his experiences on the Mississippi River. He began working on the river at age 16 and continued to be inspired by it throughout his life.

In addition to playing the banjo, fiddle, and guitar, Hartford was a talented singer-songwriter. He changed his last name to 'Hartford' later in life at the suggestion of Chet Atkins. Throughout his career, he released numerous albums and collaborated with other notable artists in the bluegrass genre.

Despite facing health challenges from Non-Hodgkin lymphoma starting in the 1980s, John Hartford continued to create music until his passing on June 4, 2001 at age 63. His legacy lives on through his innovative musical style and influential contributions to the genre.


John Hartford
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