link to University of Utah Home link to Marriott Library Home
Off Campus Access - Log In
Web Banner

Utah Urban Pioneers

The urban folk music revival of the 1960s in Utah, a significant period culturally and historically, was almost completely ephemeral, fated to disappear with the artists who had participated in it unless somebody created a documentary record through oral history interviews and the recovery and preservation of historic photographs and memorabilia. Folklorist Polly Stewart (1943-2013) therefore initiated in 2004 an open ended documentation project to collect and preserve oral histories and materials. Her first interviews were with Rosalie Sorrels and Bruce “Utah” Phillips, and these were reported in an article in the Summer 2006 issue of Utah Historical Quarterly, “Urban Pioneers: The Folk-Music Revival in Utah, 1959-1966.”


Urban Pioneers Project. Interviewer, Doug Fabrizio.  KUER FM 90, Radio West (January 23, 2007). pt. 2 of 5.  pdf


Polly Stewart Introducing Urban Pioneers (excerpt from 2007 reunion concert DVD)

Thumbnail of News Article
A Concert of the 1960s Folk Music Revival in Utah. Intermountain Acoustic Musician (January, 2007)

by Polly Stewart

"Don t miss this extraordinary event where the featured artists are performers who were singing and playing locally in Salt Lake City and eleswhere in Utah during the great urban folk music revival of the late 1950 s and 1960s.As a sopho more at East High School in fall 1963, Heather Stewart joined forces with Hal Cannon and sev eral others to form what became the huge ly popular East High Folk Music Club, which attracted hundreds of members and inspired the formation of similar clubs at other high schools in Salt Lake City. Here she prepares for a concert at the Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City, August 1972."

Read full article at Marriott Digital Library.

Thumbnail of news article
Urban Pioneers  —  A concert of Utah's 1960s folk music or the best family reunion you'll ever go to. Catalyst (January 2007)

by Amy Brunvand

 "One thing that made Utah different was the rich local folk music tradition. Mormon converts from across Europe and America had melded their musical styles, and folklorists from BYU, the University of Utah and Utah State University had made extensive collections of Utah folk music that were similar to the WPA folklife projects, but not part of them. That meant that in Utah, folk-revival musicians had access to completely unique material..."

Read full article at Marriott Digital Library.

 Last Modified 5/6/14