Tag Archives: folk songer

COOL PEOPLE- WOODIE GUTHRIE- BIO, MUSIC AND SUCH

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COOL PEOPLE- WOODIE GUTHRIE- BIO, MUSIC AND SUCH

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 THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND was written at a small boarding house on 43rd Street. His autobiography BOUND FOR GLORY and many of his most popular songs were written in various locations around town; JESUS CHRIST, TOM JOAD, VIGILANTE MAN, and RIDING IN MY CAR are among the 600 songs he composed here.

http://youtu.be/XaI5IRuS2aE

My Name Is New York – Deluxe Audio Book

http://youtu.be/HFYpdbrKEOA

Now, for the first time, you’ll actually be able to hear these stories told by those who knew him best, in many different ways and through various encounters and circumstances; music partners Pete Seeger, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Sonny Terry, and Bess Lomax Hawes, Woody’s first wife Mary Guthrie, Woody’s merchant marine buddy Jimmy Longhi, Bob Dylan, Woody’s second wife Marjorie Guthrie, Arlo Guthrie, Nora Guthrie and many others share their memories with you first-hand.

With this new audio tour, we invite you to walk the streets, ride the buses and subways, or sit down and relax on some of the stoops, park benches, or beaches where Woody Guthrie did — always strumming away on his guitar, always working on a new song.

 http://youtu.be/HFYpdbrKEOA

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Woody Guthrie Biography

Singer, Guitarist, Songwriter (1912–1967)
Woody Guthrie was a singer-songwriter, and one of the legendary figures of American folk music.
Woody Guthrie – Centennial Birthday Festival at City Winery (TV-14; 03:04) American folk musician Woody Guthrie’s songs and legacy continue to influence music and politics. To celebrate his 100th birthday, City Winery in New York City held a three day festival of concerts celebrating his life and work.Synopsis
Woody Guthrie wrote more than 1,000 songs, including “So Long (It’s Been Good to Know Yuh)” and “Union Maid.” After serving in WWII, he continued to perform for farmer and worker groups. “This Land Is Your Land” was his most famous song, and it became an unofficial national anthem. His autobiography,Bound for Glory (1943), was filmed in 1976. His son Arlo also achieved success as a musician.Woody Guthrie Photo Gallery: Woody was warmly embraced by leftist artists, union organizers and folk musicians.
Born on July 14, 1912 in Okemah, Oklahoma, Woody Guthrie was the second son of Charles and Nora Belle Guthrie. The future folk hero was born just weeks after Woodrow Wilson was nominated as the Democratic candidate for president in 1912; as his namesake later told a crowd of concertgoers, “My father was a hard, fist-fighting Woodrow Wilson Democrat, so Woodrow Wilson was my name.”Both parents were musically inclined and taught young Woody a wide array of folk tunes, songs that he soon learned to play on his guitar and harmonica. Tragedy and personal loss visited the budding musician early and often throughout his childhood, providing a bleak context for his future songs and supplying him with a wry perspective on life.In short order, Guthrie experienced the accidental death of his older sister Clara, a fire that destroyed the family home, his father’s financial ruin, and the institutionalization of his mother, who was suffering from Huntington’s disease. At the age of just 14, Guthrie and his siblings were left to fend for themselves while their father worked in Texas to repay his debts. As a teenager, Guthrie turned to busking in the streets for food or money, honing his skills as a musician while developing the keen social conscience that would later be so integral to his legendary music.When Guthrie was 19, he married his first wife, Mary Jennings, in Texas, where he had gone to be with his father. Eventually, Woody and Mary would have three children, Gwen, Sue and Bill. The Great Depression hit the Guthrie family hard, and when the drought-stricken Great Plains transformed into the infamous Dust Bowl, Guthrie left his family in 1935 to join the thousands of “Okies” who were migrating West in search of work. Like many other “Dust Bowl refugees,” Guthrie spent his time hitchhiking, riding freight trains, and when he could, quite literally singing for his supper.With his guitar and harmonica, Guthrie sang in the hobo and migrant camps, developing into a musical spokesman for labor and other left-wing causes. These hardscrabble experiences would provide the bedrock for Guthrie’s songs and stories, as well as fodder for his future autobiography, “Bound for Glory.” It was also during these years that Guthrie developed a taste for the road that would never quite leave him.Folk Revolutionary
In 1937, Guthrie arrived in California, where he landed a job with partner Maxine “Lefty Lou” Crissman as a radio performer of traditional folk music on KFVD in Los Angeles. The duo soon garnered a loyal following from the disenfranchised “Okies” living in migrant camps across California and it wasn’t long before Guthrie’s populist sentiments found their way into his songs.In 1940, Guthrie’s wanderlust led him to New York City, where he was warmly embraced by leftist artists, union organizers and folk musicians. Through fruitful collaboration with the likes of Alan Lomax, Leadbelly, Pete Seeger and Will Geer, Guthrie’s career blossomed. He took up social causes and helped establish folk music not only as a force for change, but also as a viable new commercial genre within the music business. Guthrie’s success as a songwriter with the Almanac Singers helped launch him into the popular consciousness, garnering him even greater critical acclaim. The ensuing fame and hardships of the road led to the end of Guthrie’s marriage in 1943. A year later, he would go on to record his most famous song, “This Land is Your Land,” an iconic populist anthem which remains popular today and is regarded by many as a kind of alternative national anthem.During World War II, the singer/songwriter joined the Merchant Marine and began composing music with a more strident antifascist message. (Guthrie was famous for performing with the slogan, “This Machine Kills Fascists,” scrawled across his acoustic guitar.) While he was out of the Merchant Marine on furlough, he married Marjorie Greenblatt Mazia, and after the war the couple made their home in Coney Island, New York, eventually filling the house with four children: Cathy, Arlo, Joady and Nora. This period in Guthrie’s life would prove to be his most musically prolific, as he continued to produce political anthems while also writing children’s classics like, “Don’t You Push Me Down,” “Ship In The Sky” and “Howdi Doo.”

Highway 66 Blues

BEEN ON THIS ROAD FOR A MIGHTY LONG TIME

TEN MILLION MEN LIKE ME

YOU DRIVE US FROM YO’ TOWN, WE RAMBLE AROUND

I GOT THEM 66 HIGHWAY BLUES

Hard Travelin’ by Woody Guthrie. With Depression Era photos by the great Farm Security Administration photographer John Vachon. Created in honor of Woody’s 100th birthday.

http://youtu.be/yI9OJ6PIbso

Play MIDI

Highway 66 Blues
(Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger)

There is a Highway from coast to the coast,
New York to Los Angeles,
I'm a goin' down that road with troubles on my mind
I got them 66 Highway Blues.

Every old town that I ramble' round,
Down that Lonesome Road,
The police in yo' town they shove me around,
I got them 66 Highway Blues.

Makes me no difference wherever I ramble
Lord, wherever I go,
I don't wanna be pushed around by th' police in yo' town,
I got them 66 Highway Blues.

Been on this road for a mighty long time,
Ten million men like me,
You drive us from yo' town, we ramble around,
And got them 66 Highway Blues.

Sometimes I think I'll blow down a cop,
Lord, you treat me so mean,
I done lost my gal, I aint got a dime,
I got them 66 Highway Blues.

Sometimes I think I'll get me a gun,
Thirty eight or big forty fo',
But a number for a name and a big 99,
Is worse than 66 Highway Blues.

I'm gonna start me a hungry man's union,
Ainta gonna charge no dues,
Gonna march down that road to the Wall Street Walls
A singin' those 66 Highway blues.

Copyright Stormking Music, Inc.

Phil Ochs

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Phil Ochs

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PHIL OCHS SINGING “WE AINT MARCHING ANYMORE” 1975

AMERICAN MASTERS PBS- PHIL OCHS THE,FULL DOCUMENTARY-WELL WORTH WATCHING “THERE BUT FOR FORTUNE”

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/phil-ochs-there-but-for-fortune/watch-the-full-documentary/1962/

PHIL OCHS BIOGRAPHY

Singer-songwriter, protest music

Phil Ochs’ songs are on par with his contemporaries: Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Pete Seeger, as well as Woody Guthrie and Ramblin’ Jack.

Phil Ochs Biography:

Phil Ochs was born in El Paso, TX, in December, 1940. While studying journalism at the Ohio State University, he met and befriended Jim Glover, whose father was one of Phil’s mentors. However, after just three years at the University, Phil moved to New York City, where he quickly infiltrated the booming Greenwich Village folk music scene.
In 1964, he released his first record and, within two years, he had enough success to play to a sold out crowd at Carnegie Hall.

In 1967, he signed a contract with A&M Records, and began recording his fourth album, Pleasures of the Harbor. Pleasures was a bit of a departure, featuring more ornate arrangements and, as a result, was not received as well as his previous solo, acoustic efforts.

While traveling in Dar Es Salaam, Phil was mugged, resulting in the loss of the higher end of his vocal range. After returning from that trip, he seemed to go on a downward spiral, suffering from severe depression and anxiety. He committed suicide in 1976, at the age of 35.

Most of Phil Ochs’ music touches on some of the most difficult issues, raising important social and political questions. There have been two biographies written about him, and a number of tribute albums; his music continues to influence and inspire topical songwriters around the world.

“Draft Dodger Rag” – Phil Ochs

Phil Ochs live at Newport Folk Festival
© Robert Corwin

Phil Ochs was undeniably one of the greatest protest songwriters to have lived. This is only one of his great compositions, and it uses Ochs’ wry whit and humor to depict a soldier trying to get out of being drafted. Through the silliness of the lyrics, Ochs was able to paint a clear picture of the opposition to the draft so many men felt during the Vietnam war era.

I’ve got the weakness woes, I can’t touch my toes, I can hardly reach my knees / and when the enemy gets close to me I’ll probably start to sneeze
Purchase/Download

SOME WELL KNOWN PROTEST SONGS
“Give Peace a Chance” – John Lennon
Peace
At the end of his week-long “bed-in” in 1969 with his new wife Yoko Ono, John Lennon had recording equipment brought into the hotel room. There, along with Timothy Leary, members of the Canadian Radha Krishna Temple, and a roomful of others, John recorded this song. It was the height of the Vietnam war, and this song became an anthem of the peace movement that summer. It has lived on in its anthemic quality since then during peace movements all over the world.

Everybody’s talking about Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism, This-ism, that-ism, ism ism ism / All we are saying is give peace a chance

“People Have the Power” – Patti Smith
Patti Smith
Calling Patti Smith a folksinger would surely upset fans in both Folk music and Rock circles. But her anthem, “People Have the Power,” is one of the most potent, lyrical, lovely protest songs I’ve ever heard. And it’s certainly a big part of what has taken her work to legendary status. Recorded in 1988, “People Have the Power” serves as a reminder that, as she sings at the end of the song, “everything we dream can come to pass through our union” including, presumably, a world without war.

I awakened to the cry that the people have the power / To redeem the work of fools upon the meek / the graces shower / Its decreed / the people rule
“Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation” – Tom Paxton

Tom Paxton
© Elektra Records

Tom Paxton is another one of those artists who has just penned song after song of exquisite empowerment and protest. His classic “Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation” was pointedly about being drafted to serve in Vietnam, but if you substitute any international conflict, the words still ring true. The song sings about being part of an escalation of troops, fighting a never-ending war, using force to proliferate peace: all topics as topical today (unfortunately) as they were when the song was penned.

Lyndon Johnson told the nation have no fear of escalation / I am trying everyone to please / Though it isn’t really war, I’m sending 50,000 more / to help save Vietnam from the Vietnamese

“If I Had a Hammer” – Pete Seeger, Lee Hays
Peter, Paul & Mary
© Rhino/WEA

This is one of those songs that has seeped so far into the public consciousness that it’s included in children’s songbooks. It’s a simple, easy song to remember. It so idealistic that people can’t help but sing along. Although this was a Pete Seeger composition, it’s most frequently linked to Peter, Paul & Mary, who helped popularize it.

I’d ring out “Danger!” / I’d ring out “Warning!” / I’d ring out love between my brothers and my sisters all over this land

“War” – Edwinn Starr
Edwin Starr
© Motown

Originally recorded by the Temptations, this song was popularized in 1970 by Edwin Starr. The Vietnam war was at the height of its conflict, and the peace movement was gaining speed. The song talks about war in general, not specifically the one in Vietnam. The lyrics raise the question of whether there must be a better way to resolve conflict.
War, I despise because it means destruction of innocent lives / War means tears to thousands of mothers eyes / when their sons go to fight and lose their lives

“I Ain’t Marchin’ Anymore” – Phil Ochs
Phil Ochs – I Ain’t Marching Anymore album cover
© Elektra

Phil Ochs was one of the most prolific “protest song” writers on the scene in the 60s and 70s. This song takes the voice of a young soldier who is refusing to fight in any more wars, after having seen and participated in so many killings at war. It’s a poetic look into the inside of the ugliness of war, and a staunch claim for Och’s “War is Over” stance.

I marched in the battle of New Orleans at the end of the early British war / I killed my brothers and so many others, but I ain’t marching anymore
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“Where Have All the Flowers Gone” – Pete Seeger
Pete Seeger
© Sony

That Pete Seeger really knows how to write those protest songs. This is yet another classic by Woody’s protege. The simple recurring lyrics make it completely sing-along-able. The story is of the cycle of war, beginning with young girls picking flowers that eventually end up on the graves of their dead soldier husbands. The recanting of “When will they ever learn” is so pretty and catchy that it gets sung at peace demonstrations even still.