Bob Gibson

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Bob Gibson

Bob Gibson (born November 16, 1931 in Brooklyn , New York , † September 28, 1996 in Portland , Oregon ) was a particularly influential folk musician in the USA alongside Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie in the late 1950s and early 1960s . He sang and played his own and other people's songs with the banjo or 12-string guitar .


After meeting Pete Seeger, 22-year-old Bob Gibson bought a banjo in 1953, quit his job and learned how to play the banjo on his own using Seeger's textbook. Gibson recorded his first half-dozen folk albums in the late 1950s and is the first artist of manager legend Albert Grossman . Gibson's appearances at the Chicago folk club Gate of Horn , where he initially reinterpreted and set new folk standards with the banjo and 12-string guitar, later with Bob Hamilton Camp , promoted the folk music boom significantly. At the first Newport Folk Festival in 1959, for example, Gibson presented the then almost completely unknown Joan Baez as an unannounced surprise guest and sang two duets with her , which made Baez a popular folk star literally overnight (and animated her in the same way years later Powering Bob Dylan's career).

Gibson's songs and concerts, especially the live album At the Gate of Horn recorded with Bob Camp in early 1961 , shaped and influenced Joan Baez as well as Judy Collins , Gordon Lightfoot , Roger McGuinn , Phil Ochs , Peter, Paul & Mary , Shel Silverstein , Simon & Garfunkel and the Kingston Trio . Their royalty payments helped Gibson, who struggled with alcohol and drug problems in the 1960s and 1970s, survive financially. His career stalled between 1964 and 1978 due to drug addiction. His music and his virtuoso playing of the twelve-string guitar spurred Roger McGuinn, the guitarist of the Byrds , but also Gordon Lightfoot to choose this instrument and folk music.

Gibson is the author of the song Abilene , which was adapted to a country hit by John D. Loudermilk , the song You Can Tell The World sung by Simon & Garfunkel on their debut album Wednesday Morning, 3am and the title John Riley of the Byrds.

In the late 1970s, Gibson was finally able to overcome his drug addiction and continue his singer-songwriting career. He returned to the stage and the studios and had some success with the albums The Perfect High , Stops Along the Way and Makin 'a Mess (Of Commercial Success) . The last album only contained songs by Gibson's friend Shel Silverstein. Around this time, the American Carole Bender began to write a book with Bob Gibson about his life, work and work. Her detailed biography and at the same time comprehensive monograph contains not only autobiographical statements by Gibson but also numerous memories of those folk music greats whom Gibson influenced to a greater or lesser extent. The book was instrumental in the rediscovery of Bob Gibson. Gibson died in Portland on September 28, 1996.


  • Offbeat Folksongs (Riverside, 1956) LP
  • I Come for to Sing (Riverside, 1957) LP
  • Carnegie Concert (Riverside, 1957) LP
  • Folksongs of Ohio (Stinson Records, 1957) 10 "LP
  • There's a Meetin 'Here Tonight (Riverside, 1958) LP
  • Ski Songs (Elektra, 1959) LP
  • Yes I See (Elektra, 1961) LP
  • Bob Gibson and Bob Camp at The Gate of Horn (Elektra, 1961) LP
  • Folksongs of Ohio (Stinson Records, 1963) LP
  • Hootenanny at Carnegie (Riverside, 1963) LP
  • Where I'm Bound (Elektra, 1964) LP
  • Bob Gibson (Capitol, 1970) LP
  • Funky in the Country (Legend Enterprises, 1974) LP, (2008) CD
  • Gibson & Camp, Homemade Music (Mountain Railroad Records, 1978) LP, (2008) CD
  • The Perfect High (Mountain Railroad Records, 1980) LP, (2008) CD
  • Uptown Saturday Night (Hogeye Records, 1984) LP, (2008) CD
  • Best of Friends (1984, CD: Appleseed Records, 2004), with Tom Paxton and Anne Hills
  • Gibson & Camp, The Gate of Horn - Revisited! (B * G Records, 1986) cassette
  • A Child's Happy Birthday Album (B * G Records, 1989) cassette
  • Bob Gibson 5/91 - I Hear America Singing (Snapshot Music, 1991) cassette
  • Stops Along the Way (B * G Records, 1991) cassette
  • Gibson & Camp, The Gate of Horn - Revisited! (Folk Era Productions, 1994) CD
  • Makin 'a Mess, Bob Gibson Sings Shel Silverstein (Asylum Records, 1995) CD
  • Joy, Joy! The Young and Wonderful Bob Gibson (Riverside, 1996) CD
  • Perfect High (1998, 2008) CD
  • Bob Gibson and Bob Camp at The Gate of Horn (Collector's Choice, 2002) CD
  • Where I'm Bound (Collector's Choice, 2002 Elektra LP) CD
  • The Living Legend Years (2008) CD
  • Live at Cornell 1957 (2011) triple CD.


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