Roger Manning

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Roger Manning
BornSpringville, New York[1]
OriginNew York City
Instrument(s)Acoustic guitar
Years active1989 – present
LabelsSST, Shimmy-Disc, Shanachie

Roger Manning is a New York City based singer-songwriter who plays an aggressive acoustic style of music. Manning, along with a small handful of other artists, composed the original New York City anti-folk scene.[2]

On February 6, 1985, Manning was cited by New York City's MTA police for "entertain[ing] passengers by singing, dancing or playing any musical instrument" on a subway platform. Manning mounted a legal challenge to the long-standing ban on busking and in September 1985, Judge Diane Lebedeff ruled in People v. Manning that busking was constitutionally protected.[3] The ruling led to the establishment of the Music Under New York program.[4]

In December 1988, SST Records released Manning's first self-titled album, which he supported with a tour of North America, crossing the United States two and a half times.[5][6] In 1990, he hosted the first season of the short-lived syndicated radio program "Soho Natural Sessions."[7][8]

Since 2001, Manning has made a living as a web designer in New York.[9] In the mid-2000s, Manning was involved with Pacifica station WBAI in New York City, eventually joining the Pacifica National Board in 2004.[10]


  • Roger Manning (1988), SST Records
  • Missile Foundation (1989), 109 Records — as Joe Folk and the Soho Valley Boys
  • Roger Manning (1992), Shimmy Disc
  • Short, Sharp, Shook (1992) — "Lefty Bootlegs and Demos: Music, Words and Sounds"
  • Roger Manning (1995), Moll-Selekta (Germany); (1997), Shanachie Records (U.S.)
  • Chyeah (1998) — as Joe Folk and the Soho Valley Boys
  • Roger Manning (2014), Roger Records
  • Roger Manning (2015), Roger Records — "make-under" version of Roger Manning (1998)


  1. ^ Morse, Eric J. (September 28, 1990). "Impact Lyrics 'Anti-Folk' Songs Are All About Politics". The Buffalo News. Buffalo, New York. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  2. ^ Krieger, Ben (February 10, 2009). "NYC Anti-Folk Scene". The Deli. Retrieved October 24, 2013.
  3. ^ Christian, Matthew (March 31, 2015). "1985-95: Forgotten History of Activism". BuskNY. Retrieved 2021-09-15.
  4. ^ Tanenbaum, Susie (2012). "A Guide for Street Performers". Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  5. ^ Manning, Roger (May 5, 1989). "Guest Dialogue" (PDF). CMJ New Music Report. p. 42. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  6. ^ "'FolkGrass' Guitarist To Perform at Jacob's Run". The Seahawk. Wilmington, North Carolina. December 6, 1990. p. 6. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  7. ^ Ploetz, Elmer (September 23, 1990). "Roger Manning Back in Town to Play 'Folk With an Attitude'". The Buffalo News. Buffalo, New York. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  8. ^ Rosen, Craig (March 3, 1990). "Gavin Marked By Absence Of Big Syndies". Billboard. Vol. 102, no. 9. p. 17.
  9. ^ Manning, Roger. "Roger Manning Bio". Retrieved October 24, 2013.
  10. ^ "First meeting of the ELECTED Pacifica National Board" (PDF). March 14, 2004. Retrieved September 15, 2021.

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