A melodious alchemy of words and music is the through line connecting these soul-stirring singer/songwriters who mostly rose to prominence in the late '60s and early '70s. None has been more influential than the freewheeling and ever-changing Bob Dylan. His folk roots, readiness to rock, and utterly unique poetic sensibility that extended from the dirt to the stars all inspired both Simon & Garfunkel’s harmonized melancholy and Neil Young's keening warmth. Like Young, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell left Canada for California, the singer/songwriter movement’s seismic epicenter. The former’s battered baritone and stately Zen worldview stoked a long and majestic career, while the latter transformed the field with inventive guitar harmonies and a stunning sense of female independence. And Loudon Wainwright III, one of the more prominent "new Dylans" to emerge in the early '70s, and hardcore Angeleno Randy Newman proved that a biting sense of humor made even the most incendiary personal and political observations delicious.