John Hartford was probably best known to the generic music world as writer of the Glen Campbell classic, Gentle on My Mind, a song that in a small way reveals Hartford’s view and of life.
John was an amazing songwriter, a great banjo and fiddler player and equally passionate about life on the river and was a riverboat pilot.
He was born in New York City on December 30, 1937 into an old Missouri family but, grew up in St. Louis County, Missouri. John’s love for music and the river was nourished early in his life. His parents went to old time square dances in that part of Missouri and knew many of the old time fiddlers. His early love for the river was fostered largely by his fourth grade teacher, Miss Ruth Ferris, who was a local St. Louis institution on all things river. Her love and enthusiasm for the boats and the river were infectious and John was bitten for life, continuing his friendship with Miss Ferris until her passing many decades later.
Read the full Hartford bio on the Twangcentral.org website which also features additional information on the above project.