Richard Dyer-Bennet (October 6, 1913, Leicester, England - December 14, 1991, Monterey, Massachusetts) was an English-born American folk singer (or his own preferred term, "minstrel"), recording artist, and voice teacher.
He had a stroke in 1972 paralyzing his left side and he stopped giving concerts.
During his peak performance years, he gave 50 concerts a year. He recorded extensively for many labels, and eventually founded his own, Dyer-Bennet Records, and recorded in his own living room. The albums he recorded on his own label have been re-released on CD by Smithsonian Folkways. The CD Richard Dyer-Bennet 1 includes a biographical essay written by Dyer-Bennet's daughter, Bonnie, which highlights his progressive politics and his battle with a debilitating stroke in later life (he taught himself to play harp one-handed so that he could continue to perform and teach). A biography - Richard Dyer-Bennet: The Last Minstrel - by Paul O Jenkins was published in December 2009 by the University Press of Mississippi. The book chronicles Dyer-Bennet's eventful life and includes a foreword by his daughter.
- Dyer-Bennet Records releases
- 1949: Richard Dyer-Bennet: Twentieth Century Minstrel (Decca DLP 5046)
- 1952: Folk Songs (Remington REP-1)"
- 1955: Richard Dyer-Bennet 1
- 1956: Richard Dyer-Bennet 2
- 1956: Richard Dyer-Bennet 3
- 1957: Richard Dyer-Bennet 4
- 1958: Richard Dyer-Bennet 5: Requests
- 1958: Richard Dyer-Bennet 6: Songs With Young People in Mind
- 1958: Richard Dyer-Bennet 7: Beethoven Scottish and Irish Songs
- 1959: Richard Dyer-Bennet 8: Gems of Minstrelsy
- 1960: Richard Dyer-Bennet 9
- 1962: Mark Twain's 1601
- 1962: Richard Dyer-Bennet 10
- 1962: Richard Dyer-Bennet 11: Stephen Foster Songs
- 1964: Richard Dyer-Bennet 12: Songs of Ships, Seafaring Men, Watery Graves...and One Edible Rat
- 1964: Richard Dyer-Bennet 13: Stories and Songs for Children and Their Parents
- Folkways Records releases
- 1967: The Asch Recordings, 1939 to 1945 - Vol. 2 (Folkways Records)
- All the Dyer-Bennet Records releases have been re-released by Smithsonian Folkways.
- 1970: The Richard Dyer-Bennet Folk Song Book. New York: Simon and Schuster.
- 1980: on YouTube
- Bruce Lambert (December 16, 1991). "Richard Dyer-Bennet Dies at 78; Minstrel Who Led a Folk Revival". New York Times.