Traditional folkie Michael Cooney was born in Carmel, CA in 1943; raised primarily in Tucson, AZ, after his parents' divorce he lived in a series of foster homes, and after graduating high school spent two years hopping freight trains and hitchhiking across the country. Cooney finally settled in California, and by 1963 was performing regularly at the Palo Alto club The Top of the Tangent, occasionally sharing the stage with a group of high school students who would later form the nucleus of the Grateful Dead. By 1964, however, Cooney again took to the road, first travelling to New York City, then Boston; he lived at various points throughout the northeast in the decades to follow, in that time appearing at virtually every major folk festival across North America. A longtime columnist for Sing Out! magazine, he also served as a consultant on many folk festivals, with a six-year stay on the board of the Washington, D.C. National Folk Festival as well as tenures as artistic director of both Canada's Mariposa Folk Festival and Philadelphia's Maritime America Festival.
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