A professional entertainer who allows himself to become known as a singer of folk songs is bound to have trouble with his conscience—provided, of course, that he possesses one. As a performing artist, he will pride himself on timing and other techniques designed to keep the audience in his control [...] his respect for genuine folklore reminds him that these changes, and these techniques, may give the audience a false picture of folk music.
"The Singer of Folk Songs and His Conscience", Western Folklore14:3, (July 1955), p. 170–173
Folk music is not so much a body of art as it is a process, an attitude, and a way of life; its distinguishing features lie not within the songs themselves, but in the relations of those songs to a folk culture.
"The Singer of Folk Songs and His Conscience"
The Urban Literate Southern California Sub-Group of the Early Atomic Period has not yet produced a distinct body of folk music of its own.
"The Singer of Folk Songs and His Conscience" (Possibly an allusion to his recording of "Old Man Atom" ("Atomic Talking Blues") by Vern Partlow.)
The distance between folk society and literate society is ever decreasing, and Teresa Brewer will yet shake hands with Mrs. Texas Gladden. But until that happens—until my own culture, and Teresa Brewer's, develops a folk tradition of its own—If I want to learn something about real folk music, I'll stick with Mrs. Gladden.
"Last Words", Journal of American Folklore71, (Jan–Mar 1958), p. 75