Leon Bibb (musician)

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Leon Bibb
Leon Bibb 1976.JPG
Bibb in 1976.
Background information
Born (1922-02-07)February 7, 1922
Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Died October 23, 2015(2015-10-23) (aged 93)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Genres Folk music
Occupation(s) Musician, actor
Instruments Vocals

Leon Bibb (February 7, 1922 – October 23, 2015) was an American folk singer and actor who grew up in Kentucky, studied voice in New York, and worked on Broadway. His career began when he became a featured soloist of the Louisville Municipal College glee club as a student.[1] He lived in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, after 1969.[2]

Bibb was born in Louisville, Kentucky and was one of the performers at the first Newport Folk Festival in 1959. He also had his own NBC television talk show.[2][3][4] During the late-1950s and early-1960s, Bibb was one of a number of American entertainers, such as his good friend Paul Robeson, who were blacklisted for alleged ties to left-wing groups and causes.[5] In 1963, Bibb traveled to Mississippi to join Dick Gregory and others in the fight against racial segregation in the United States.[6]

Despite that setback, Bibb continued to perform, and around 1963–64 he was featured singing on the national TV show, Hootenanny, on The Ed Sullivan Show and performed with Bill Cosby on tours.[7][8] He also provided the soundtrack to Luis Bunuel's 1960 film The Young One.[9] His a cappella vocals blend his classical, spiritual and blues influences.

In 2009, he was made a Member of the Order of British Columbia. At the time of receiving this honor, Bibb was still an active performer.[7]

He died on October 23, 2015.[10] He was the father of the Helsinki, Finland-based acoustic blues singer/songwriter Eric Bibb,[3] and grandfather of Swedish dancer and performer Rennie Mirro (in Swedish).


Studio albums[edit]

  • Leon Bibb Sings Folk Songs (Vanguard, 1959)
  • Tol' My Captain (Vanguard, 1960)
  • Leon Bibb Sings Love Songs (Vanguard, 1960)
  • Leon Bibb Sings (Columbia, 1961)
  • Oh Freedom and Other Spirituals (Washington, 1962)
  • Cherries & Plums (Liberty, 1964)
  • The Now Composers (Phillips, 1967)
  • Foment, Ferment, Free... Free (RCA, 1969)
  • This Is Leon Bibb (RCA, 1970)
  • Shenandoah (Leon Bibb Productions, 1997)
  • Lift Every Voice And Sing (2003)

Live album[edit]

  • Encore! (Libery, 1963)

Collaborative albums[edit]

  • The Skifflers: Goin' Down To Town (Epic, 1957)
  • Leon & Eric Bibb: A Family Affair (Manhaton, 2002)
  • Leon & Eric Bibb: Praising Peace: A Tribute To Paul Robeson (Stony Plain, 2006)


  1. ^ "Compass Turns to Leon Bibb". Ottawa Citizen. 14 August 1965. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Leon Bibb". The Canadian Encyclopedia of Music. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Leon Bibb Rolls On". Edmonton Journal. 29 September 2007. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  4. ^ Wilson, Earl (11 September 1967). "Buying Favorite Barber Own Shop Is a Mistake". St. Joseph Gazette. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "Eric Bibb Lives His Legacy". The Vancouver Province. 13 April 2007. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  6. ^ "Leon Bibb Joins Stars on 'Mississippi Front'". Washington Afro-American. 23 April 1963. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Order of British Columbia Members". Order of British Columbia. 2009. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "Ad for Bill Cosby and Leon Bibb appearance". The Sun. 1 August 1968. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  9. ^ "The Young One". Internet Movie Database. 
  10. ^ "Vancouver legend Leon Bibb dies at age 93", Vancouver Sun, October 23, 2015

External links[edit]