The version of the singer-songwriter that we recognise today was born in the ‘60s - also the crucial era when women began to assume equal ownership of the sphere.
From the bedsits of Earls Court to the sun-drenched canyons of California, this new generation of singer-songwriters came of age at around the time of 1967’s Summer of Love, and gave rise to a legion of superstars in the following decade.
The form seemed to die out amid the electronic-led sounds of the ‘80s music scene, but in fact it was merely laying low, changing shape and getting ready to stage a massive-scale comeback - one that pretty much nobody saw coming.
Today’s singer-songwriters have one foot in the folksy traditions of their distant forebears, but the other is squarely planted in the brave new world of YouTube, Twitter and iTunes.
What follows is a whistle-stop guide to the evolution of the modern singer-songwriter. For more history and all the advice that the recording singer-songwriter needs in 2012, check out Computer Music Special 52 - the Singer-Songwriter Production Guide - which is on sale now.