Frank Hamilton (musician)

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Frank Hamilton
Frank Hamilton1.jpg
Frank Hamilton teaching at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, IL. November 2007
Background information
Born (1934-08-03) August 3, 1934 (age 81)
Origin United States
Genres Folk
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, music teacher
Instruments Guitar, banjo
Labels Folkways Records, Vanguard Records
Associated acts Win Stracke, Pete Seeger, The Weavers, Big Bill Broonzy
Notable instruments

Frank Hamilton (Born August 3, 1934)[1] is an American folk musician and co-founder of the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, Illinois. As a performer, he has recorded for Folkways Records and, as a member of the folk group The Weavers, for Vanguard Records, as well as for Philips and several other labels and appeared at the first Newport Folk Festival in 1959. He was the house musician for The Gate of Horn in Chicago, the nation's first folk music nightclub. He was also a member of The Weavers in the early 1960s.

Early days[edit]

As a young man, Hamilton met and played with Woody Guthrie at Will Geer's artist colony in Topanga, California in the mid-1950s.[2] In 1956 Frank Hamilton met Win Stracke and Dawn Greening (who started the Old Town School of Folk Music in her kitchen in Oak Park) at the Gate of Horn. Using teaching methods he observed with Bess Lomax in Topanga Canyon, together, Win, Dawn and Frank founded the Old Town School Of Folk Music in Chicago. There they developed a teaching method with an emphasis on group learning. On the opening night, Frank taught the class a song demonstrated by Big Bill Broonzy. Frank served as dean of the school also teaching guitar and banjo. Among his students was Jim McGuinn, later known as Roger McGuinn, a founder of the BYRDS. He taught Jim to play the 12-string guitar and the banjo. Frank left teaching when he joined The Weavers, with whom he played from 1962-1963.[3]


  • Nonesuch and Other Folk Tunes for Harmonica, Flute, Recorder, Mandolin, Guitar, Banjo, 12-String Guitar, and Voices, Frank Hamilton and Pete Seeger, Folkways Records, 1959.[4]
  • Frank Hamilton Sings Folk Songs, Folkways Records 1962. FW02437.[5]
  • The Folk Singer's Folk Singer, Sound in the Room Records
  • The World of Frank & Valucha, Frank Hamilton and Valucha deCastro, Philips Records, 1962[6]


  1. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  2. ^ Cray, Ed (2004). Ramblin Man: The Life and Times of Woody Guthrie. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-32736-1. 
  3. ^ "Frank Hamilton | Old Town School History – Old Town School". Retrieved 2014-03-21. 
  4. ^ "Smithsonian Folkways, Nonesuch". Retrieved 2014-03-21. 
  5. ^ "Smithsonian Folkways - Frank Hamilton Sings Folk Songs". Retrieved 2014-03-21. 
  6. ^ "Phillips Records - Frank and Valucha". Retrieved 2014-03-21. 

External links[edit]