John Hartford

John Hartford Biography

(December 30, 1937 - June 4, 2001) John Hartford was born in New York City to parents Dr. Carl and Mary Harford. He grew up in St. Louis, Missouri where he was exposed to the influence that would shape much of his career and music, the Mississippi River. From the time he got his first job on the river, at age 16, Hartford was on, around, or singing about the river. John changed his last name to Hartford later in life at the behest of Chet Atkins. He is the father of Jamie Hartford.

From the 1980's onwards, Hartford had Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. On June 4, 2001, at Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, at age 63, he died of the disease.

John is largely credited for inventing the musical style known as Newgrass. He played the Banjo, Fiddle, Guitar and was a Singer Songwriter.

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