The late STAN WILSON can truly be considered to be the father of the whole folk boom which swept across the United States and beyond in the mid-fifties. One of the first headliners at the legendary (original!) hungry I, he remembers the days before the establishment even had a microphone. His performances were unforgettable, and his art was the unique way he would give center stage to each song he sang, making his show a series of events, not just a simple listening experience.
Before he passed away in June 2005, Stan Wilson paid his own tribute to the young artist he had so greatly influenced.
Stan Wilson was plowing the first furrows of the great folk music movement in San Francisco when Travis Edmonson, on the road making the sing-for-your-supper circuit, first met him in the early fifties.
Though the young singer was only just out of college, and still not exactly sure where to make his career, Stan Wilson was already impressed with the qualities he observed in this burgeoning talent from Arizona.
“He was very sincere in his singing, could play the guitar well and had a beautiful singing voice. It really surprised me to learn that he wasn't already an established professional.”
Perhaps not quite, but after seeing Stan Wilson perform on stage, a decision was quickly made, and Travis Edmonson had no doubt that he wanted to follow in the steps of the dazzling maestro.
“It was wonderful when he came and told me what an inspiration I was,” states Stan Wilson with particular pleasure. “Travis was kind enough to say that he studied my presentation on stage, and learned from me. Few have made a point of saying that like Travis.”
“Coming from Travis, that means a lot, because I admire his work so completely. If he got some of that great style from me, it's a real turn on.”
He adds that in show business, such compliments may flow like water, but few are rendered with the earnestness with which Travis Edmonson expresses his sentiments. “Being genuine like that is something rare indeed,” he adds.
Commenting on the much-witnessed humanitarian characteristics of Travis Edmonson, Stan Wilson declares, “even when I would meet him off stage, I could still see how much he exuded a love of people, an admiration for his fellow man.”
“There are not too many people in show business who have that kind of communication and feeling through their music for each other as human beings. I've felt it, and I know a lot of other people pick that up from Travis.”
Stan Wilson concludes, I'd sum up my feelings like this. I'm a heavy admirer of Travis and what he has done in our genre of music. There simply isn't a higher compliment I can pay another entertainer!”
visit the Stan Wilson web pages at
Before his death in June 2005, after being out of contact for many years, Stan Wilson reconnected with Travis Edmonson in 2004, something very much the spirit behind the new folk memories website they both participated in at
where artists and other individuals who experienced the great folk era may get in touch with one another and share their recollections of the times. Read Travis Edmonson's own appreciation of Stan Wilson in the FEATURES section of travisedmonson.com.
by Travis Edmonson
Photographer BOB ROSENBAUM recalls a cherished memory, and offers us a new picture of Travis Edmonson
GREAT GIFT IDEAS
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