I don't know how the previous message got sent without my sending it, but there it is, just a copy of what Greg Stephens wrote without any attribution, as if it were mine, which it isn't, obviously. Sorry.
Greg Stephens wrote:
"I don't follow you, John Garst. I have a huge record collection of American folk music, and it fits the definition perfectly in every respect. From Leadbelly to Charlie Poole, Robert Johnson to Georgian Island singing, Jean Richie ballads to chain gang songs. All straight from that definition. Wonderful music. Pure folk. How do you mean that most American folk music doesn't fit?"
The first line of the definition reads, "Folk music is the product of a musical tradition that has been evolved through the process of oral transmission."
If this means that folk music relies solely on oral tradition, then we don't have any such music.
I haven't really read the thread, but I'm certain that others must have made this point already.