University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
'Banjo Fred' Starner dies at 72; folk singer documented hobo music and culture

'Banjo Fred" Starner, an economics professor and banjo-playing folk singer who documented hobo music and culture, has died. He was 72. Starner, of Winnetka, died Oct. 25 at a West Hills rehabilitation facility of complications from pneumonia and the autoimmune disorder sarcoidosis, said his wife, Barbara. "Fred Starner was very much a musician of the people, taking his cue from his mentor, Pete Seeger," said Mary Katherine Aldin, a folk music historian. "A great percentage of his concerts were benefits for causes in which he believed." While studying at Oberlin College in Ohio in the 1950s, he became interested in American folk music after seeing Seeger...