PO Box 278
Friendship, ME 04547 USA
Michael Cooney -
Michael Cooney's father, Bernard ("Barney the Hat") Cooney, was born and raised in
Cicero, Illinois -
Michael was born in 1943 in Carmel, California and grew up (mostly) in Tucson, Arizona
(where his dad moved to manage the NBC radio station). His parents divorced early
and Michael spent much time in foster homes and the orphanage there and in California
during his early years. Hardly was he out of high school when he took to the road,
In 1963 Michael was quite popular in one club, "The Top of The Tangent" in Palo Alto, where a local high school band that came regularly on amateur nights learned several songs from him. That band went on to perform some of those songs as The Grateful Dead.
But the lure of the "Mystic East" was irresistible, and in 1964 Michael went to New
York, then Boston. Since then he has lived in various parts of the northeast, plus
seven years in Toronto. In 1987, realizing a life-
Michael learned his music from hundreds of people, well-
Michael has been helping others to experience the beauty, power and humor of old and new songs for over 50 years, in countless halls, clubs, coffeehouses, etc., in the US, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain and Europe. He has performed, lectured or done residencies at hundreds of US and Canadian colleges and schools of all levels. He has performed at most of the major North American folk festivals (some many times), including The National Folk Festival, Smithsonian, Newport, Philadelphia, Mariposa, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Monterey, Berkeley, San Diego, Hudson River Revival, Old Songs Festival, etc.
Michael was six years on the board of the National Folk Festival in Washington, DC.,
in 1984, artistic director of Canada's Mariposa Folk Festival, in 1986, Artistic
Director of Philadelphia's "Maritime America Festival" (part of "We The People 200
Though he claims to be slowing down, Michael's tours in the 1990s took him from Maine
to Hawaii and back with many stops in between, and 1996-
In 1993 Michael founded The Friendship Letter, "a neighborhood newsletter for people who don't live near each other". After fifteen years of publication, with subscribers in 48 states, 3 Canadian provinces and the Canary Islands, he ceased publication in favor of a bit more free time.
At home Michael likes to putter in his workshop, mess around with computers, musical instruments, books and boats. He says he ever seeks "neat songs" plus good and fun stuff to share with thousands of friends.