1953 to 2001
December 30, 1937 in New York
June 4, 2001
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
John Cowan Hartford (December 30, 1937- June 4, 2001) was an American country and bluegrass composer and musician known for his mastery of the fiddle and banjo, as well as for his witty lyrics, unique vocal style, and extensive knowledge of Mississippi River lore. Hartford performed with a variety of ensembles throughout his career, and is perhaps best known for his solo performances where he would interchange the guitar, banjo, and fiddle from song to song. He also invented his own shuffle tap dance move, and clogged on an amplified piece of plywood while he played and sang.