America’s First Singer/Songwriter?

(Note from Ann: This question from Mike in Chicago was so good, we thought you all might enjoy taking a whack at it)

Hi folks,
Every now and then a Stephen Foster song rattles around in my skull, and it got me wonderin’, gee, who WAS this country’s first “singer-songwriter”? I mean, I wouldn’t know for sure if S.F. himself performed his own songs publicly, but he’s a figure as far back as I can think of. There may be a few names that are clearly getting under my radar right now, but it’s a minor nagging question I thought I’d throw out there.

Mike Lord, Chicago.

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