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Bill Staines


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Bill Staines is an American songwriter and folk singer from New England, well known for composing children’s songs as well as folk songs with a timeless quality. In the early 1960s he started his professional career in the Cambridge, Massachusetts area. Staines began touring nationwide a few years later. In 1975 he won the National Yodeling Championship at the Kerrville Folk Festival. He performs about 200 times a year and has appeared on A Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, and The Good Evening Show.

Notable Bill Staines songs include “Bridges,” “Crossing the Water,” “Sweet Wyoming Home”, “The Roseville Fair”, “A Place in the Choir”, “Child of Mine,” and “River.”

His songs have been recorded by other artists including, Peter, Paul, & Mary, Makem and Clancy, Nanci Griffith, Mason Williams, The Highwaymen, Glenn Yarborough, Jerry Jeff Walker, Grandpa Jones, and Priscilla Herdman. Staines has recorded twenty-two of his own albums, fifteen of which are still in print as of 2005. His songs have been published in four songbooks, If I Were A Word, Then I’d Be A Song; River; Music To Me: The Songs of Bill Staines; and All God’s Critters Got A Place In The Choir.

Staines is left-handed and plays a right-handed guitar upside-down so that the bass strings are at the bottom. He has developed his own fingerings and picking style over long years playing this way.

In 2004 his memoir, The Tour: A Life Between the Lines, was published.


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  • DominiqueTheFox

    Pff I'm 17 and I like him :)

    5 Aug 2011 Reply
  • JWP321


    4 Mar 2010 Reply
  • Liface

    Bill Staines is great. I'm going to try to see him in the Seattle area this year. I'm probably the youngest fan at 22 :(

    9 Aug 2009 Reply

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