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Many of these urban revivalists were influenced by recordings of traditional American music from the 1920s and 1930s, which had been reissued by Folkways Records; Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music was particularly influential.While this urban folk revival flourished in many cities across the U.The influence of this folk-protest movement would later manifest itself in the sociopolitical lyrics and mildly anti-establishment sentiments of many folk rock songs, including hit singles such as "Eve of Destruction", "Like a Rolling Stone", "For What It's Worth", and "Let's Live for Today".Across the Atlantic, a parallel folk revival was occurring in the UK during the 1950s and early 1960s.The American folk-music revival began during the 1940s; building on the interest in protest folk singers such as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, it reached a peak in popularity in the mid-1960s with artists such as Bob Dylan and Joan Baez.
During the mid-1960s in the UK, which previously experienced the folk-inspired skiffle movement in the 1950s and was currently in the midst of a blues revival, some beat groups such as the Beatles began to incorporate folk influences into their styles.
Folk rock may lean more toward folk or more toward rock in instrumentation, playing and vocal style, and choice of material; while the original genre draws on music of Europe and North America, there is no clear delineation of which folk cultures music might be included as influences.
Still, the term is not usually applied to rock music rooted in the blues-based or other African American music (except as mediated through folk revivalists), nor to rock music with Cajun roots, nor to music (especially after about 1980) with non-European folk roots, which is more typically classified as world music.
Fairport bassist Ashley Hutchings formed Steeleye Span with traditionalist folk musicians who wished to incorporate overt rock elements into their music, and this led to other variants, including the overtly English folk rock of the Albion Band (also featuring Hutchings) and Celtic rock.
The influence of music in the UK and elsewhere was also a key factor in the development of mid-1960s folk rock, and the success of the Beatles and other British groups prompted American folk musicians such as Bob Dylan and others to embrace rock.