COLD SPRING, N.Y. -- Happy birthday to Cold Spring's Dar Williams.
Williams turns 50 on Thursday.
Singer-songwriter specializing in pop folk, Dar Williams (Dorothy Snowden Williams) was born April 19, 1967.
She is a frequent performer at folk festivals and has toured with such artists as Mary Chapin Carpenter, Patty Griffin, Ani DiFranco, The Nields, Shawn Colvin, Girlyman, Joan Baez, and Catie Curtis.
Willliams was born in Mount Kisco, and grew up with two older sisters, Meredith and Julie in Chappaqua.
Her nickname "Dar" originated due to a mispronunciation of "Dorothy" by one of her sisters.
In a 2008 interview with WUKY radio, Dar said her parents wanted to name her Darcy, after the character in "Pride and Prejudice", and that they intentionally called her "Dar-Dar," which she shortened to "Dar" in school.
In interviews, she has described her parents as "liberal and loving" people who early on encouraged a career in songwriting. Williams began playing the guitar at age nine and wrote her first song two years later. However, she was more interested in drama at the time, and majored in theater and religion at Wesleyan University.
Williams moved to Boston, Mass., in 1990 to further explore a career in theater. She worked for a year as stage manager of the Opera Company of Boston, but on the side began to write songs, record demo tapes, and take voice lessons with now celebrity voice and performance Ccoach Jeannie Deva.
Jeannie encouraged her to try performing at coffeehouses, but her early years performing were made difficult by the intimidating nature of the Boston folk music scene, as well as her own battle with stage fright. In 1990, Dar recorded her first album, "I Have No History" produced by Jeannie Deva and engineered by Rob Lehmann at Oak Grove Studios in Malden, Mass.