Bill Clifton is an American bluegrass musician and singer who is credited with having organized one of the first bluegrass festivals in the United States in 1961.
Bill Clifton was born William Marburg into a wealthy family in Riderwood, Maryland. From an early age, he listened to country music radio stations. While still in college, he formed the Dixie Mountain Boys together with his friends Paul Clayton and Dave Sadler.
Because his family was opposed to his musical activities, he took the stage name "Bill Clifton". In 1949, he attended the University of Virginia to pursue his degree in business. In 1952, Clifton made his recording debut with the Dixie Mountain Boys. With the addition of banjo player Johnny Clark, the group signed with Blue Ridge Records in 1953 and began playing traditional bluegrass. They soon appeared on the Wheeling Jamboree radio barn dance show on AM station WWVA. Clifton published a songbook in 1955 called 150 Old Time Folk and Gospel Songs.