From the British Invasion to the 1967 Monterey Pops Festival
In 1963 it was cool to call yourself a folk singer. By the time I turned seventeen in March of 1964 The Beatles had appeared and folk music quickly lost its cool and commercial appeal. Roger McGuinn known as Jim McGuinn during his folk days as the accompanist for The Chad Mitchell Trio formed The Byrds that same year.
By the summer of 1965 Dylan plugged in at the Newport Folk Festival and one-time folkies were soon experimenting with other sounds and genres. Producer Tom Wilson added electric guitar, bass, and drums to the folk version of The Sounds of Silence and Simon and Garfunkel soared. One time New Christie Minstrel Barry McGuire had a smash pop hit called Eve of Destruction.
By 1967 another New Christie Minstrel alum Kenny Rogers was finding success as the bearded face of The First Edition before going on to super stardom in country music. That same year long time folkie and Journeyman John Phillips found his greatest fame as Papa John in the Mamas and Papas. That summer Phillips helped organize the Monterey Pops Festival, the first heavily attended rock festival. Besides the Mamas and Papas other performers included The Jefferson Airplane, The Who, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Otis Redding, Laura Nyro, Steve Miller, and Ravi Shankar.
Before the year was out The Kingston Trio had made their farewell tour. As rock music began building toward Woodstock in the summer of 1969 folk music had for all practical purposes left the building.