Faier, Billy

Variant names

Hide Profile

Billy Faier of Woodstock, N.Y., taught himself to play the five-string banjo and was later involved in the folk music revival as a performer, songwriter, observer, writer, and radio disc jockey. Faier was a prominent member of New York City's Washington Square folk scene in the late 1940s and of the folk music scene on both coasts during the 1950s and 1960s.

From the description of Billy Faier collection, 1955-2003 [manuscript]. WorldCat record id: 55033843

Billy Faier was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on 21 December 1930. He moved to Woodstock, N.Y., with his family in 1944 at age thirteen. Faier had his first contact with folk music in Woodstock and taught himself to play the five-string banjo. Dropping out of high school to pursue his music, Faier traveled with Ramblin' Jack Elliott across the country and was a prominent member of New York City's Washington Square folk scene in the late 1940s. In 1957 and 1958, Faier recorded Art of the Five String Banjo and Travelin' Man for Riverside. Involved with the folk music revival scene on both coasts during the 1950s and 1960s, Billy Faier worked in night clubs, wrote songs, transcribed music for Pete Seeger, performed and taught banjo, performed as an on-stage musician in theater productions in New York City, hosted radio shows on Berkeley's KPFA and New York City's WBAI, and wrote for and eventually edited Caravan: Folk Music Magazine .

Despite time spent in New York and Berkeley, Faier's home base for a large part of his life has been the town of Woodstock and the surrounding area where he built his home in Lake Hill, N.Y., and became an active community member and renowned as a local street musician. From this home base, his music career experienced a revival in the 1980s with performances at folk music festivals; a self-produced recording, Banjos, Birdsongs, and Mother Earth ; and a self-produced re-release of his earlier albums on cassette.

Throughout his life, Faier has opted for a non-mainstream, alternative lifestyle. Besides song writing and playing banjo and guitar, Faier's eclectic interests include juggling, traveling, hitchhiking, Rubik's Cube, the game of Go, sailing, folklore, and writing.

From the guide to the Billy Faier Collection, 1955-2003, (Southern Folklife Collection)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Faier, Billy. Billy Faier collection, 1955-2003 [manuscript]. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Darling, Erik. Erik Darling papers, 1950s-2008. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Southern Folklife Collection Artist Name File, 1940-2005 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.
creatorOf Billy Faier Collection, 1955-2003 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Folklore Society corporateBody
associatedWith Ann Warner person
associatedWith Archie Green person
associatedWith Aunt Molly Jackson person
associatedWith Barbara Dane person
associatedWith Barbara Wand person
associatedWith BMI corporateBody
associatedWith Bob Peterson person
associatedWith Casey Jones person
associatedWith Christopher Nicklaus Wand person
associatedWith Darling, Erik. person
associatedWith Frank Proffitt person
associatedWith Frank Warner person
associatedWith Gerry Faier person
associatedWith Gloria Cosmo Charles person
associatedWith Grant Alden person
associatedWith Herschel Silverman person
associatedWith H. J. Nicholes person
associatedWith Jackson, Aunt Molly. person
associatedWith Jeff Friedman person
associatedWith John G. Ernst person
associatedWith Kenneth Matt Hewes person
associatedWith Kerrville Folk Festival corporateBody
associatedWith KPFA corporateBody
associatedWith Lee Haring person
associatedWith Lee Shaw person
associatedWith Malkine Dattorre person
associatedWith Martin B. Duberman person
associatedWith May Picqueray person
associatedWith Michael Dattorre person
associatedWith Michael Grieg person
associatedWith Mitchell Blank person
associatedWith Monica Beebe person
associatedWith Pete Seeger person
associatedWith Roger D. Abrahams person
associatedWith Ronald D. Cohen person
associatedWith Russell Baker person
associatedWith Seeger, Pete, 1919- person
associatedWith Townes Van Zant person
associatedWith Tuli Kupferberg person
associatedWith Vancouver Folk Music Festival corporateBody
associatedWith Warner, Anne. person
associatedWith Warner, Frank. person
associatedWith WBAI corporateBody
associatedWith Winnipeg Folk Festival corporateBody
associatedWith Woodstock Folk Festival corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Woodstock (N.Y.)
United States
Banjo music
Folk music
Folk musicians
Folk singers
Folk songs
Radio programs
Alternative lifestyles


Birth 1930-12-21



Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6dv46dj

Ark ID: w6dv46dj

SNAC ID: 72935522