Tom Paxton has become a voice of his generation, addressing issues of injustice and inhumanity, laying bare the absurdities of modern culture and celebrating the tenderest bonds of family, friends, and community. In describing Tom’s influence on his fellow musicians, Pete Seeger said: “Tom’s songs have a way of sneaking up on you. You find yourself humming them, whistling them, and singing a verse to a friend. Like the songs of Woody Guthrie, they’re becoming part of America.”

Tom has been an integral part of the songwriting and folk music community since the early 1960s Greenwich Village scene and continues to be a primary influence on today’s performers. A Chicago native, he came to New York via Oklahoma, which he considers to be his home state. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma where he majored in drama while his interest in folk music grew and eventually predominated. Brought to New York courtesy of the US Army, Tom remained there following his discharge. His early success in Village coffeehouses, such as the Gaslight and the Bitter End, led to an ever-increasing circle of work. Then in 1965 he made his first tour of the United Kingdom — the beginning of a still-thriving professional relationship that has included at least one tour in each of the succeeding years.

He and his late wife, Midge, have two daughters, Jennifer and Kate. All three women have served as inspiration for many songs, as have his grandsons. He has performed thousands of concerts around the world and retains a loyal international following, attesting both to the quality of his recent work and to the enduring power of modern standards such as “The Last Thing on My Mind,” “Ramblin’ Boy,” “Bottle of Wine,” and “Whose Garden Was This?” which have been recorded by artists as diverse as Willie Nelson and Placido Domingo. His award-winning children’s songs include “Goin’ To The Zoo,” “Jennifer’s Rabbit,” and “The Marvelous Toy,” which have evolved into books.

His many honours include Lifetime Achievement awards from ASCAP, Britain’s BBC, and the Recording Academy, and there have been numerous GRAMMY nominations. An internationally recognized and beloved cultural figure, he has always chosen goodwill over commercial success. Said Judy Collins: “Tom Paxton’s songs are so powerful and lyrical, written from the heart and the conscience, and they reach their mark, our most inner being. He writes stirring songs of social protest and gentle songs of love, each woven together with his personal gift for language. His melodies haunt, his lyrics reverberate. I have sung Tom’s songs for three decades and will go on doing so in the new century, for they are beautiful and timeless, and meant for every age.”

September 12 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Terri Thal and Friends: Greenwich Village and Me