Michael Johnathon

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Michael Johnathon
Born (1963-01-22) January 22, 1963 (age 54)
Genres Folk music
Occupation(s) Musician, producer, author, playwright

Michael Johnathon (born January 22, 1963)[1] is an American folksinger, singer-songwriter, producer, author, and playwright.[2] He has written several books, released nine albums, and tours nationwide. While the great majority of his recordings[3] are his own compositions; he has recorded many traditional and cover songs.

Originally from New York State, Johnathon moved to rural Mousie, Kentucky (in Knott County) during the early 1980s in order to learn about the folk tradition. He began his career performing at schools and fairs and touring with established artists including Judy Collins.[4]

In the summer of 1993 Johnathon began producing the Troubadour Concert Series[5] at the Kentucky Theater in Lexington, Kentucky and the Paramount Arts Center in Ashland, Kentucky.

He also is the founder, producer and host of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, a folk/roots/Americana multi-media program. The weekly show is a live webcast from the Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center.[6] in Lexington, Kentucky which is also recorded for broadcast internationally on 493 radio stations. The broadcast is heard by over one million radio listeners and is carried by the rado service of the American Forces Network (AFN) which broadcasts it to 175 countries and all US naval ships at sea.[7] It is also on XM Satellite Radio on XM-15 The Village. The live webcast which has both audio and video streaming, can be accessed weekly at the Woodsongs website.[8] There is also a related archive page which allows downloading.[9] The TV broadcast reaches at least 51 million TV homes nationwide on PBS and the Bluehighways cable TV channel.[10]

Johnathan wrote the script for the play Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau, performed in over 8,700+ colleges, community theaters, high schools and home schools in nine countries for Earth Day since its release in 2007.[11] The play is set during the final two days Henry David Thoreau spent at his cabin in Walden Pond. The production explores the roles we play in the protection of the earth, challenging the audience to live more simply, thus preserving the natural environment of their home communities.[12] A film of the play that aired nationwide on PBS stations [13] was one of ten winners of the 2009 John Muir Award for Feature Film.[14]

He also wrote the script [15] for the motion picture project, "Caney Creek: The Legend of Alice Lloyd".[16] It is the true story of the educator, Alice Spencer Geddes Lloyd. Woodsongs Inc., a 501(c)(3) private foundation of which Johnathon is president[17] is currently seeking tax-deductible donations to fund the project. All the proceeds from the release of the motion picture will be administrated by a selected overseer, and will contribute to or pay the costs of eligible Appalachian students to attend the college of their choice.[18]


  • Dreams of Fire (1990, PoetMan)
  • Assassins in the Kingdom (out of print, 1995, PoetMan)
  • WoodSongs (1995, PoetMan)
  • WoodSongs I Book & CD Gift Set (1998, 176 pages plus WoodSongs CD, PoetMan)
  • Road (2000, PoetMan)
  • Homestead (2003, PoetMan)
  • WoodSongs II Book & CD Gift Set (2004, 176 pages plus Homestead CD, PoetMan)
  • Michael Johnathon and the Folkboy Orchestra-Live! (2004, Poetman) 64 min
  • Evening Song (2006, PoetMan)
  • Walden: The Earth Song Collection (2007, PoetMan)
  • Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau DVD & CD Gift Set (2009, PoetMan)
  • Ravenwood (2010, PoetMan)[19]
  • Front Porch (2012, PoetMan)
  • "Woody: For The People" arias from the Woody Guthrie Opera (2012 PoetMan)
  • Looking Glass: The Live Concert Album (2014 PoetMan)


  1. ^ Billboard Feb. 3, 2001 Article by Frank Saxe
  2. ^ Americana Agency bio
  3. ^ Allmusic.com List of his recordings
  4. ^ allmusic.com Bio by Jason Ankeny
  5. ^ History of the Troubador Concert Series
  6. ^ Schedule page at woodsongs.com
  7. ^ woodsongs.com affiliates page
  8. ^ Woodsongs.com webcast page
  9. ^ Woodsongs.com Archived 2008-03-20 at the Wayback Machine. archive page
  10. ^ Chattanooga Times Free Press website June 27, 2008; music reporter Casey Phillips spoke with Michael Johnathon, singer/songwriter and founder/host of the Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour show, about what grassroots music is and why he loves it.
  11. ^ Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau Free materials for teachers
  12. ^ broadwayworld.com. 11-12-2009 article
  13. ^ waldenplay.com Credits listed
  14. ^ 2009 yosemitefilmfestival.com 2009 John Muir Award Winners
  15. ^ Caney Creek -screenwriter page
  16. ^ "Caney Creek: The Legend of Alice Lloyd" home page
  17. ^ National Center for Charitable Statistics Organization details of Woodsongs Inc.
  18. ^ Financial details of the Caney Creek project
  19. ^ ravenwoodcd.com

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