Rod Kennedy Dies

Rod Kennedy, founder in 1972 of the seminal Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas, died April 14 in the city at 84 after a long illness.

Kerrville Folk was at the vanguard of the “cosmic cowboy,” outlaw and progressive songwriter movements, presenting artists like Townes Van Zandt, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and Jerry Jeff Walker in its early years.

The festival’s New Folk Competition for emerging artists has been won over the years by songwriters including Steve Earle, Nanci Griffith, Robert Earl Keen, Lyle Lovett, Ellis Paul, and James McMurtry.

The festival, now owned and presented by the nonprofit Texas Folk Music Foundation, stretches across 18 days in late spring and draws about 30,000 per year. Kennedy wrote an autobiography, “Music From The Heart,” in 1999.