An article originally published in Broadside Balladeer Blog in appreciation of the recognition for Phil Ochs and Broadside Magazine editors Sis Cunningham and Gordon Friesen in the article titled “Peace Songs of the 1960s” by Ronald D. Cohen. The article is about the Smithsonian Folkways Collection: “Sis Cunningham and Gordon Friesen launched “Broadside: The National Topical Song Magazine” in 1962, which soon featured numerous peace songs. Links provided at the Broadside Balladeer Blog.
“Back in the day” is a phrase which is usually employed by people who oppose change simply on the basis that it makes them feel old. This time though, it would be appropriate to use the phrase, simply on the basis, that things really were different back in the day. Once upon a time, it was always the case that any kind of significant – and sometimes not-so-significant – rally or event would attract at least one angry young singer, prepared to thrust themselves to the forefront of the protest, often risking arrest or assault as they made their point. Phil Ochs, of course, was one such singer. Phil would travel anywhere for a cause he believed in, but where are the Phil Ochs’ of today? […]
Just as this site was coming back on line, the world – not “the world of folk” or “the world of music” but just “the world” – lost one of its finest sons. Pete Seeger was a man who’d seen it all, and done most of it. He beat accusations of being “un-American”, he beat being blacklisted from the mainstream media, he even beat old age to the point where he was still performing into his 90s, but that’s not really what this article is about. There’s already been lots – lot’s and lots – written about Pete, both celebrating his life and mourning his death, and there’s not a lot I can add. One thing that did get reported, and is worth commenting on, however, is the piece that appeared in the NYTimes. The piece talked about how Pete met Phil a few weeks before Phil killed himself, and how the burden of believing that he could have done more to help Phil weighed heavily on Pete’s shoulders for the remainder of his own life. The very fact that this made the news at all, let alone in one of the biggest-selling newspapers on earth is quite remarkable. […]
They reckon that whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger. I'm not sure how true that is, but here we are, reborn from an attack suffered on 26th December 2013. I can't promise how often new posts will appear here, but having to redesign and rebuild the site from scratch has given me a kick to add more files to the collection here, in order to introduce more of Phil's work to as many people as possible. Time allowing, I'm even going to try and build the Interviews and 3From sections. They were great fun first time round, and we'll see just how big the names are who are willing to take part in a shockingly amateurish interview with a middle-aged man who sounds vaguely like Dick van Dyke in "Mary Poppins". So anyway, welcome back (or just welcome, if it's your first time), it's a pleasure to have [...]