"My dad, the old professor, used to say. 'Never get into an argument about what’s folk music and what isn’t'.”— Pete Seeger

"Traditional folk music is about survival of the fittest song, just like evolution is about survival of the fittest organism. Generally, the more times a song has been passed down the generations, the more brilliant and concise it becomes as every link in that chain can add something good or remove something unnecessary." — John Spiers

"It’s a folk singer’s job to comfort disturbed people and to disturb comfortable people." — Woody Guthrie

"In folk music I’ve always been fond of the fragment, the song that has one verse. And you don’t know anything about the characters, you don’t know what they’re going to do, but they’re doing something important. I love that. I’m really a sucker for that kind of song." — Jerry Garcia

"Folk music has pretty powerful medicine for changing your heart." — Paul Stookey

"The genuine roost of culture is folk music." — John Lydon

"Logically, when you talkin’ about folk music and blues, you find out it’s music of just plain people." — Brownie McGhee

"Jazz is the folk music of the machine age." — Paul Whiteman

"The chief contribution made by what men of the Americas to the folk songs of the world—the cowboy songs of Texas and the West—are rhythmed to the walk, the trot, and the gallop of horses." — J. Frank Dobie

"Folk music isn’t owned by anybody. It is owned by everybody, like the national parks, the postal system, and the school system. It’s our common property. There’s nobody’s name on it. Nobody can make money on it. It’s not copy-written." — Utah Phillips

"Folk music is not so much a body of art as it is a process, an attitude, and a way of life; its distinguishing features lie not within the songs themselves, but in the relations of those songs to folk culture." — Sam Hinton

"I think the music that’s part of your heritage is what you spend a lot of your early life rejecting. The very idea of folk music would break me out in hives until I was about 28. But I think it’s nice when eventually do come back to it. It’s like coming home, and you realize it wasn’t so bad after all." — A. MacLean

"Folk music has a sort of bubbling-under quality. The stream runs through the cultural consciousness, and whether or not it’s on the radio is not the issue. Folk music is always there." — Mary Travers

"I was addicted to rhythm and blues pretty much directly into folk music. I had my little 45s or mostly black artists. That was as close as I got. I’ve never listened to heavy rock or stuff that jangles my nerves, because I’m already jangled." — Joan Baez

"All music is folk music. I ain’t never heard a horse sing a song." — Louis Armstrong

The 18th annual Flagstaff Folk Festival continues today, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., on the grounds of the Pioneer Museum and Coconino Center for the Arts, at 2300 N. Fort Valley Road. Parking is free. Admission is $5/person, or $15/family. More information is available at flagfolkfest.org.

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