I hope you didn't mistake my meaning. The Weavers with Gordon Jenkins and orchestra or early Burl Ives "popular" music releases acted as bridges and helped in time brought me to seek out traditional and traditional style singers. I think the first folksong recordings that I heard, when I was quite small, were of Richard Dyer-Bennett and Tom Glazer. I was fascinated by this music that seemed to me to be so different from most popular music of the forties.
On a similar theme, do you think that many of the popular artists of that period had closer links to the "trad" music than today's singer-songwriter "folksingers"? I don't mean the black artists like Billie Holiday who were steeped in the tradition but the white singers like Frankie Laine who recorded songs like "Rocks and Gravel" or Guy ? who recorded a version of "The Fireship" that made it onto the hit parade. When I have the occasion to talk to today's young singer-songwriter/folksinger, I find that often they've never heard a "source" singer.