Frank Hamilton

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Frank Hamilton’s major contribution to the Chicago music scene was the co-founding, along with Win Stracke, of the Old Town School of Folk Music. Hamilton served as the original director and initiated the group teaching methods which are still in use today. As a performer, he was one of the originals along with Bob Gibson and others at the Gate of Horn, the country’s first folk music club.
As a young man Hamilton met and played with Woody Guthrie at Will Geer’s artist colony in Topanga, California in the mid 1950s. In 1956 Frank Hamilton met Win Stracke at the Gate of Horn. Using teaching methods he observed with Bess Lomax in Topanga Canyon, together, Win and Frank founded the Old Town School Of Folk Music in Chicago. There they developed a teaching method with an emphasis on group learning. On the opening night Frank taught the class a song demonstrated by Big Bill Broonzy. Frank served as dean of the school and taught there until 1962 when he left to join The Weavers. Hamilton continues to teach and perform today with his wife Mary.