Most Influential Country & Folk Artists

Folk is a genre of music of stories and ballads passed down by mouth through generations and generations. Country music was, arguably, started from a branch off of folk music during the turn of the century. To me, the two genres are, along with gospel and blues, the most heartfelt and human of any music types.

The Top Ten

1 Bob Dylan Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, author, and artist who has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades.

He also made at least one country album of his own songs, worked with Johnny Cash, and influenced many in the genre including the expansion of songwriting themes and subjects - Billyv

He brought folk to the masses' attention and pushed genre boundaries. - PetSounds

2 Jimmie Rodgers

Jimmie Rodgers was probably the first big country singer, and definitely the first big American yodeler. Although only living to 35, his short time on the planet helped inspire youngsters such as Hank Williams Sr. to build on the foundations of what we know as country music. - higgsboson2142

3 Johnny Cash John R. "Johnny" Cash (1932-2003) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author, who was widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century and one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide. He died of more.
4 Hank Williams Sr. Hiram King "Hank" Williams, was an American singer-songwriter and musician. His band was called "The Driftin' Cowboys"
5 The Carter Family
6 Woody Guthrie Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie was an American singer-songwriter and musician whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional, and children's songs, along with ballads and improvised works.
7 Joan Baez Joan Chandos Baez is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and activist whose contemporary folk music often includes songs of protest or social justice.
8 Willie Nelson Willie Hugh Nelson is an American musician, singer, songwriter, author, poet, actor, and activist. The critical success of the album Shotgun Willie, combined with the critical and commercial success of Red Headed Stranger and Stardust, made Nelson one of the most recognized artists in country music.
9 Pete Seeger Peter "Pete" Seeger was an American folk singer and social activist. A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, he also had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of the Weavers, most notably their recording of Lead Belly's "Goodnight, Irene", which topped the charts for 13 weeks more.
10 Nick Drake Nicholas Rodney "Nick" Drake (19 June 1948 – 25 November 1974) was an English singer-songwriter and musician, known for his acoustic guitar-based songs. A singular talent who passed almost unnoticed during his brief lifetime, his work has posthumously achieved wider notice and recognition.

The Contenders

11 Waylon Jennings
12 The Animals The Animals were an English band of the 1960s, formed in Newcastle upon Tyne, during the early part of the decade.
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