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For 60+ years, Joe Hickerson has performed and lectured over a thousand times throughout the U.S.A. and in Canada, Finland, Ukraine, and United Kingdom. His repertoire includes a vast array of folksongs and allied forms in the English language, many with choruses. Pete Seeger has called him "a great song leader." Joe calls himself a "vintage pre-plugged paleo-acoustic folksinger." 


In 1960 he wrote the 4th and 5th verses of "Where Have All the Flowers Gone." He has recordings on the Folk-Legacy and Folkways labels, ranging from 1957 (the first published recording of “Kum Ba Yah”) to the present. His concerts are guaranteed to "Drive Dull Care Away." 


Joe also has a career as a folklorist, ethnomusicologist, archivist, and librarian; for 35 years (1963-98) he was Librarian and Director of the Archive of Folk Song/Culture at the Library of Congress ( He lectures and writes on a variety of folk music topics. From 2003-11 he edited “The Songfinder” column for Sing Out! (

From 2014 to 2016, Joe wrote an engaging series of articles for Local Lore, the newsletter of the Portland Folkmusic Society. You can find all of them here: Joe's Jottings. Or you can see them one by one below:


For hiring information and annotated list of recordings, please contact:


Joe (The Songfinder) Hickerson 

1627 SE 76th Avenue 

Portland, OR 97215


cell: 301/980-0493 




JOE HICKERSON CDS (and cassettes*) 


Smithsonian Folkways F-2407, We’ve Got Some Singing to Do: The Folksmiths Travelling Folk Workshop*. I lead onseveral songs and otherwise perform on this recording of eight Oberlin College students, originally recorded in August 1957 and issued as a Folkways LP in 1958. This was the first published recording containing “Kum Ba Yah.” Includes a 6-page booklet with texts.


Smithsonian Folkways F-RF-51, Uncle Dave Macon*. Conceived by Pete Seeger, selected and edited by Norman Tinsley, Bob Highland, and Joe Hickerson. This was the first LP reissue of 78 rpm recordings by this pioneer of banjo and country music. Originally issued in 1963. Includes a 6-page booklet with discography.


Folk-Legacy CD-39, Joe Hickerson with a Gathering of Friends. My first solo recording, originally issued as an LP in 1970. CD reissue has two bonus tracks not on the original. Includes a 24-page booklet with texts.  


Folk-Legacy CD-41, Five Days Singing (New Golden Ring) Vol. I. I lead several songs and perform on others. Originally issued as inLP in 1971. Includes an 8-page booklet with texts.


Folk-Legacy CD-42, Five Days Singing (New Golden Ring) Vol. II. More from the 1971 session, with an 8-page booklet with texts.


Folk-Legacy CD-58, Drive Dull Care Away, Vol. I. With the next item, my second and third solo recordings, originally issued as LPs in 1976. (The title track was Garrison Keillor’s theme on his “Morning Show” on Minnesota Public Radio in the late 1970s). Includes a 22-page booklet with texts. 


Folk-Legacy CD-59, Drive Dull Care Away, Vol. II*. See above. Includes a 22-page booklet with texts.


Folk-Legacy CD-75, The Continuing Tradition, Vol. I: Ballads. A sampler of previously unissued recordings by various Folk-Legacy artists. My offering is “Reynardine,” accompanied by members of the “The New Golden Ring.” Originally issued on LP in 1981. Includes a 12-page booklet with texts. 


Cob’s Cobble Music 1005, Folk Songs of the Catskills: A Celebration of Camp Woodland. A memorial to Herbert Haufrecht, this CD features songs collected ca. 1940-60 by campers and staff at Camp Woodland of Phoenicia, New York. Performed by Joanna Cazden, Bob & Louise DeCormier, Ronnie Gilbert, Joe Hickerson, Geoff Kaufman, Abby Newton, Pete Seeger, Artie & Happy Traum, Jay Ungar & Molly Mason, Mickey Vandow, and EricWeissberg. Issued in 2001. Includes a 12-page booklet.


All CDs are available for $15.00 each. Those titles marked with an asterisk* are also available in cassette form, for only $5.00 each (while supply lasts).


Mail orders: please add $2.00 per recording. Make checks payable to: 


Joe Hickerson, 1627 SE 76th Avenue, Portland, OR 97215 

cell: 301/980-0493;

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