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professional troubadours performing autobiographical songs who ascended in the early 1970s to the forefront of commercial pop in the wake of the communal fervour of 1960s rock. For the baby boom generation that had chosen rock as a medium for political and social discourse, the new preeminence of the singer-songwriters, which lasted until the late 1970s, was a natural development. As countercultural heroes such as Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and Paul Simon reached age 30, they experienced their first intimations of mortality and faced uncertain commercial futures in a youth-oriented music market.