Big Ballad Singer -- I believe the answer to your question is "all of the above." As fellow catters suggest, the musical tumult of the 50s and 60s was many things at once. Dylan was labeled "folksinger" to the dismay of many, and went on to become a rock legend - one who, I believe, has always promoted the roots. The Newport festival pushed Doc Boggs and Dewey Balfa and John Hurt to prominence, and they remain legends. In my view, interest in vernacular culture is ongoing in American life. Sometimes it lurks in the shadows. At other times, it rises into the mainstream (a "revival"). This rise gives it publicity, while it also twists the source material around a bit. Then, back to the shadows. Afterwards, some new devotees help maintain the source material, while others take what they learned and do something unexpected and interesting. It goes on and on.