Folk music editor Irwin Silber dead at 84

Sept. 12, 2010 at 11:07 AM
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OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Irwin Silber, who helped spur the folk music movement of the 1950s and 1960s as editor of Sing Out!, has died at the age of 84, his son announced.

Frederic Silber said his father died in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday of complications of Alzheimer's disease.

Silber founded Sing Out! in 1949 in collaboration with folk singers Pete Seeger and Lee Hays. The publication soon became a focal point of the folk scene that launched the careers of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and others.

The New York Times said Silber led the criticism of Dylan's shift away from politically tinged songs. A 1964 column publicly accused the young phenom of selling his audience out in his quest for stardom.

Silber stepped down as editor in 1967 and left the magazine altogether in the 1970s. A committed leftist, he wrote a column for the radical weekly Guardian until 1978.

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