An integral part of the songwriting and folk music community since the early 60’s Greenwich Village scene, Tom Paxton has become a celebrated voice of his generation — addressing the issues of injustice and inhumanity, laying bare the absurdities of modern culture and celebrating the tender bonds of family, friends, and community, and continues to be a primary influence on today’s “New Folk” performers. The Chicago native came to New York via Oklahoma, which he considers to be his home state. Brought to New York courtesy of the US Army, Tom remained there following his discharge. His early success in Greenwich 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.
In describing Tom Paxton’s influence on his fellow musicians, Pete Seeger has 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.” Pete goes on: “In a small village near Calcutta, in 1998, a villager who could not speak English sang me What Did You Learn In School Today? in Bengali! Tom Paxton’s songs are reaching around the world more than he is, or any of us could have realized. Keep on, Tom!”
Paxton is a GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award Winner and an ASCAP Lifetime Achievement Award Winner. Regarded as one of the great songwriters of our time, he is the man who wrote and lives by those words, “Sweet peace, peace will come, and let it begin with me.”