The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation announced today (Wednesday, May 4, 2022) that legendary Carrboro, North Carolina musician Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Ms. Cotten will be honored with the Early Influence Award as part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 2022 class. She will be inducted in a ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Its new webpage about the Carrboro artist states: “Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten’s warm and intimate recordings and live performances inspired generations of artists, and her guitar prowess and musical inventiveness influenced countless other musicians. Cotten's compositions have been performed by Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, Taj Mahal, and Peter, Paul and Mary, among many others.”
“This diverse group of inductees each had a profound impact on the sound of youth culture and helped change the course of Rock & Roll,” said John Sykes, chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. “Their music moved generations and influenced so many artists that followed.”
Born on Jan. 5, 1893, Ms. Cotten wrote her signature song, “Freight Train,” about the train she could hear from her childhood home on Lloyd Street in Carrboro. Cotten's talents as guitarist and songwriter came to light while she was working in the home of the Seeger family, who encouraged her career as a professional musician. Cotten toured across the country, recording several albums and winning a Grammy Award and a National Heritage Fellowship before her death in 1987.
Freight Train Blues Concert Series Honors Her Legacy
In her honor, the Town of Carrboro is presenting the Music Maker Foundation’s Freight Train Blues series of live concerts every Friday evening between May 13 and June 10, 2022, at the Carrboro Town Commons, 301 W. Main St. Carrboro, N.C. 27510. The series is a collaboration among the Town of Carrboro Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources; the Music Maker Foundation; and WUNC 91.5FM.
Music Maker Foundation honors Cotten’s legacy in the world of roots music by emphasizing the cultural diversity, complexity, and vitality of her music and the music of many other artists local to her community and all over the country. More information: www.freighttrainblues.com
Learn more about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announcement at