Bill Staines

~ Person


Bill Staines (born February 6, 1947 in Medford, Massachusetts) is an American folk musician and singer-songwriter from New England, who writes and performs in a traditional vein. He has also written and recorded children's songs.

Raised in Lexington, Massachusetts, Staines began his professional career in the early 1960s in the Cambridge area. He 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.

Staines's 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 many other artists, including Peter, Paul and Mary, Makem and Clancy, Nanci Griffith, Mason Williams, The Highwaymen, Glenn Yarbrough, Jerry Jeff Walker, Schooner Fare, Grandpa Jones, The Grace Family, Hank Cramer, Coty Hogue and Priscilla Herdman. Staines has recorded 22 of his own albums, 15 of which were still in print as of 2005. Staines's 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, with the bass strings on the bottom. Consequently, he has developed his own fingerings and picking style.

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

Staines currently lives in the town of Rollinsford, New Hampshire with his wife, Karen; his son, Bowen; and his cocker spaniel, Andy, who was featured on the cover of his album Old Dogs. His son also pursues a career as folk singer.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1966 A Bag of Rainbows John Synnott; Bill & Renee 1
1967 Somebody Blue Bill Staines 1
1971 Bill Staines Bill Staines 1
1973 Third Time Around Bill Staines 1
1975 Miles Bill Staines 2
1977 Just Play One Tune More Bill Staines 2
1977 Old Wood and Winter Wine Bill Staines with Guy Van Duser 1
1979 The Whistle of the Jay Bill Staines 2
1981 Rodeo Rose Bill Staines 1
1982 Sandstone Cathedrals Bill Staines 1
1983 Bridges Bill Staines 3 4
1985 Wild, Wild Heart Bill Staines 1
1987 Redbird's Wing Bill Staines 2
1991 Tracks and Trails Bill Staines 1
1993 Going to the West Bill Staines 1
1993 The Happy Wanderer Bill Staines 1
1994 The Alaska Suite Bill Staines 1
1995 Looking for the Wind Bill Staines 1
1998 One More River Bill Staines 2
2000 October's Hill Bill Staines 1
2004 Journey Home Bill Staines 1
2007 Old Dogs Bill Staines 1
2012 Beneath Some Lucky Star Bill Staines 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1989 The First Million Miles Bill Staines 1
1998 The First Million Miles, Volume II Bill Staines 1
2005 The Second Million Miles Bill Staines 1

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