Singer-Songwriters of the ‘70s

Everyone knows the 1970s were great years for singer-songwriters, but until I put together some playlists from that decade, I didn’t realize how large and impressive the group of artists actually is.  The below names take us back to that golden time of singer-songwriters.  For each one, there are a couple of their 70’s song titles for reference.  You’ll probably remember most of these songs, and be reminded of more great songs by many of these artists.  The singer-songwriters are in no particular order, with legendary ones found throughout.

James Taylor…Fire And Rain, Shower The People

Jackson Browne…Doctor My Eyes, Running On Empty

Bob Dylan…Tangled Up In Blue, If Not For You

Joni Mitchell…Big Yellow Taxi, Help Me

Billy Joel…Piano Man, Just The Way You Are

Neil Young…Heart Of Gold, Like A Hurricane

Cat Stevens…Wild World, Father And Son

Neil Diamond…I Am I Said, Song Sung Blue

John Denver…Rocky Mountain High, Take Me Home Country Roads

George Harrison…My Sweet Lord, Isn’t It A Pity

Paul Simon…Kodachrome, 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover

Elton John…Your Song, Rocket Man

Jim Croce…You Don’t Mess Around With Jim, Time In A Bottle

Kris Kristofferson…Me & Bobby McGee, Loving Her Was Easier

Carly Simon…You’re So Vain, Anticipation

Carole King…It’s Too Late, You’ve Got A Friend

John Lennon…Imagine, Instant Karma

Stephen Stills…Love The One You’re With, Change Partners

Dan Fogelberg…Longer, Leader Of The Band

Bill Withers…Lean On Me, Ain’t No Sunshine

Harry Nilsson…Coconut, I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City

Stevie Wonder…Superstition, You Are The Sunshine Of My Life

Leon Russell…Tightrope, This Masquerade

John Sebastian…Welcome Back, Stories We Could Tell

J.D. Souther…You’re Only Lonely, Faithless Love

Harry Chapin…Taxi, Cats In The Cradle

Karla Bonoff…Someone To Lay Down Beside Me, Lose Again

Rod Stewart…Maggie May, You Wear It Well

Paul McCartney…Maybe I’m Amazed, Band On The Run

Don McLean…American Pie, Vincent 

Dave Mason…We Just Disagree, Feelin’ Alright?

Gordon Lightfoot…Sundown, Wreck Of the Edmond Fitzgerald

Gerry Rafferty…Baker Street, Right Down The Line

Joan Baez…Diamonds & Rust, Winds Of The Old Days

Jimmy Buffett…Margaritaville, Come Monday

Van Morrison…Domino, Moondance

Jonathan Edwards…Sunshine (Go Away Today), It’s A Beautiful Day

J.J. Cale…Call Me The Breeze, Cocaine

Eric Clapton…Wonderful Tonight, Layla

John Fogerty…Who’ll Stop The Rain, Almost Saturday Night

Graham Nash…Chicago (We Can Change The World), Simple Man

John Prine…Angel From Montgomery, Hello In There

Randy Newman…Sail Away, Mama Told Me Not To Come

Three of the best singer-songwriters had their own backing bands.

Bob Seger…Night Moves, Turn The Page

Tom Petty…Breakdown, Refugee

Bruce Springsteen…Born To Run, Thunder Road

What an amazing decade for singer-songwriters!  You can find individual articles on many of these artists on this site.

Bonus:  To round out the information on the decade…great singer-songwriters could be found in ‘70s Rock bands.

Led Zeppelin, Eagles, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Queen, Van Halen, Pink Floyd, The Who, Lynyrd Skynyrd, AC/DC, The Allman Brothers Band, Emerson Lake & Palmer, The Doobie Brothers, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Chicago, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, America, Loggins & Messina, Supertramp, Bad Company, Steely Dan, Boston, Steve Miller Band, Foreigner, The Moody Blues, The Band, Heart, The Guess Who, Badfinger, Kiss, Deep Purple, Dire Straits, The Cars, Yes, and more.

Those were the days my friend.  We thought they’d never end.

7 Replies to “Singer-Songwriters of the ‘70s”

  1. Where are the BeeGees in this list? Seriously?!

    Editor: It’s probably the Disco portion of their 70s music that caused me to not include them, because I was mainly thinking about Rock artists in the group listings. But you’re right, they were very talented singer-songwriters.

  2. “Wow, what a fantastic tribute to the iconic singer-songwriters of the 70s! I absolutely love how your article beautifully captures the essence of this golden era in music history. The detailed profiles and insightful analysis of artists like James Taylor, Carole King, and Joni Mitchell truly brought back cherished memories. Your passion for this era of music shines through, and it’s evident that you’ve done your research. Thank you for taking me on this nostalgic journey down memory lane! Keep up the amazing work!
    – Gary Ford”

  3. I’m looking for a song, but I don’t know who the artist is. I don’t remember the correct name of the song but the words were. “broken heart I’m going to make it up to you.”
    If you remember this song and/or the artist, please respond. Thank you so very much.

  4. Hello!

    Does anyone know anything about Adam Miller of “Who would give his only song away” and “Westwind Circus” fame?

    Not enough fame, actually! No fame at all, really! Should be much better known and appreciated!


    Editor: You’re right, I don’t know him. I see his album “Who Would Give His Only Song Away” was from 1972. I’ll check him out.

  5. Hello Ed!
    Check out his first LP. You wont regret it!
    His second, and last, “Westwind Circus” is also very good!
    Whatever happened to him? He seemed to just vanish!
    We’d love to know more about him. Chelsea Records got subsumed into RCA. I wonder if they could shed any light on the matter?
    There’s a small Wiki site, but not very informative!
    Such a good voice! Such great arrangements!!

  6. What about some of those Motown singer/ songwriters?
    Marvin Gaye comes to mine.

    Editor: You’re right…there were some great singer/songwriters at Motown. The 70s list is only from my collection, and my Marvin Gaye & other Motown recordings are mostly from the 1960’s.

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