The folk scene was made up of folk music lovers who liked acoustic instruments, traditional songs, and blues music with a socially progressive message. The folk genre was pioneered by Woody Guthrie. Bob Dylan came to the fore in this movement, and his hits with Blowin' in the Wind and Masters of War brought "protest songs" to a wider public.
Inspired by the success of the Beatles to mix folk and rock, Roger McGuinn had already been playing Beatles songs acoustically in Los Angeles folk clubs when Gene Clark approached him to form an act.The Byrds, playing Bob Dylan's Mr. Tambourine Man, helped start the trend of folk rock, and helped stimulate the development of psychedelic rock. Dylan continued, with his "Like a Rolling Stone" becoming a US hit single. Neil Young's lyrical inventiveness and wailing electric guitar attack created a variation of folk rock. Other folk rock artists include Simon & Garfunkel, Joan Baez, The Mamas & the Papas, Joni Mitchell, Bobby Darin and The Band. In Britain, Fairport Convention began applying rock techniques to traditional British folk songs, followed by groups such as Steeleye Span, Lindisfarne, Pentangle, and Trees. Alan Stivell in Brittany had the same approach.