Folk Plus with Angela Page
Saturday January 21, 2012:
Focus on Phil Ochs
and PBS airing documentary

Folk Plus has been hosted by Angela Page since 1993 and enters its 20th year. 
Folk Plus streams at  on hydro-powered public radio, Saturdays at 2pm, and locally at 90.5 fm Jeffersonville, N.Y. and 94.5 Monticello N.Y.
The show will remain on that archive site for two weeks.
Folk Plus also airs streams at "the progressive voice of North East P.A." Saturdays at 3pm  and locally at 90.3fm Mt Cobb and 105.7 Scranton
Folk Plus blends contemporary folk , plus spoken word, Broadway, contemporary singer-songwriters or blasts from the past centered around a theme.   
Angela plans and records Folk Plus from home due to her extreme chemical sensitivities.  
[John Webber handles audio and website issues for FolkPlus.]

PBS this week [check local listings] will be airing Ken Bowser's documenatry There but for Fortune on the life and works of troubadour Phil Ochs.   It is a terrific walk through American politics with great footage of the 60's and 70's while following Phil's life.  

Trailer -There But For Fortune - THEATRICAL TRAILER    2:10    Phil Ochs    1/19/12 11:01
From the PBS website:
In the film, Joan Baez, Tom Hayden, Pete Seeger, Sean Penn, Peter Yarrow, Christopher Hitchens, Ed Sanders, and others who knew or were inspired by Ochs tell stories of political passions that were equal parts idealism, conviction and fantasy – mixed together with a big ego and often wild disorganization. These interviews together with photos, film clips and historic live performances reveal that Ochs’s lasting legacy in both music and politics ultimately mirrored the complexities and contradictions of the country he loved – and his life, sadly, reflects the arc of the turbulent times in which he lived.

Phil wrote topical songs that engaged subjects from civil rights to the anti-war movement to the struggles of workers, folksinger Phil Ochs wrote topical songs that engaged his audiences in the issues of the 1960s and 70s...

Phil Ochs    Is there anybody here    3:29      - There But For Fortune - Elektra 

I asked his sister Sonny Ochs, Phil's sister to comment on the documentary:
"It's the story of Phil but also an historic piece that gives you a sense of what was going on village and the United Sates. ITs just an amazing comment on history-
especially the footage, my gosh! Covers from the early 60's til 1976 when he died: The Birmingham riots, hoses and dogs, it covers all the assassinations of King and the two Kennedys, the Chicago convention in '68 there was so much going on, it was frightening"

Arlo Guthrie    I Ain't Marching Anymore    2:42    What's That I Hear? - The Songs Of Phil Ochs [Disc 1]    -
call it peace or call it treason, call it love or call it reason, but I ain't a marching anymore"

Josh Dunson spoke of life in the village with Phil:
"Phil was a good friend in the early 60s. We both hung around broadside and travelled around the metropolitan area together. He was someone who had the ability to
 take the most different situation and captured our anger, like his song too many martyrs when medgar evers was assas
or take something that was serious and get it as an excell satirst  He had a beautiful command of melody. He just seemed to know knew what would work and what didn't
I would go over for dinner and he'd try out a few songs and had an uncanny self critical abilty which for someone in early 20s, as I was at that time, was unusual.

Phil Ochs - Love Me I'm A Liberal 3:36 - Phil Ochs in Concert - Elektra

If you've listened recently to Folk Plus you would have heard me talk about how Patty Larkin, Christine Lavin and others learned to play guitar from a woman named Laura Weber who taught guitar on PBS. Here she is interviewing Phil. He explains how some of his songs took 10 mintues to write [There but for Forutne, What's that I Hear]
He gets an idea, a conception like a flash, like the lightbulb sensation. "The idea comes and the song gets written. "

Laura Weber interviews Phil on PBS 1966

At the time Phil hit the village, popular music was tin pan alley, Louis Armstrong, Tonny Bennet, Doris Day were top 40. Phil was just so different and civil rights movement wasnt reflected early on. Critics of the time called those who did that, ballad singers.

Joan Baez    There But For Fortune    3:15    The First 10 Years   

Everyone played for the hat in the village, but not Tom Paxton, who was the inspiration for the younger singers. He was playing the gaslight. Heres he covers Phil.

Tom Paxton    Draft Dodger Rag    2:55    What's That I Hear? - The Songs Of Phil Ochs [Disc 1]  -

Thats on a compilation put together by Gene Shay. Here Phil's sister, Sonny, talks about how many have covered Phil:

" There are so many by other singers who have covered Phil.  Garnet Rogers does "Crucifixion", Gordon Lightfoot did "Changes" on his first album, John Denver did Whats That I HEar? the Chad Mitchel trid does draft dodger rag, the Limelighters do several.  Greenway, Flynn, Kim and Reggie, Magpie, David Roth.. so many have recorded his stuff. Holly Near has no More Songs on one of her early albums"

Holly Near    No More Songs    2:43    And Still We Sing: The Outspoken Collection [Disc 1]  - Calico Tracks 

Phil's sister, Sonny, has worked hard to keep Phil's work alive, which isn't difficult since so much of it is still relevant.
We are going to hear now from some who play the Phil Ochs song nights
and their impression of the documentary and Phil as an artist.

Greg Artzner from Magpie - speaking on Power and the Glory

"....its a great song, Phil considered it to be his greatest song. ITs about true patriotism, truly loving it, not jingoism. A  patriotism that says the country has to heal its wounds and stand up for what its supposed to stand for.  Phil holds the national feet to the fire with this song. We consider it to be a tremendous song"

Magpie  -  Power And The Glory    3:06   -  What's That I Hear? - The Songs Of Phil Ochs [Disc 1]    -

Teri Leonino from Magpie - speaking on the documentary:

" don't want to miss it, it shows his life struggles and the things he did with his music that still resonate today.  The issues that he spoke about, civil rights, health care all the social justice issues that he spoke through his very beautiful melodic melodies and gorgeous harmony - all of that aside the content of  his songs were so prophetic. He still touches your gut and your heart at the same time. He makes you wake up and pay attention to what still needs to be worked on as far as social justice issues
he addresses in his work.  This documentary is really worthwhile and it will give you a real insight into this very talented and  and wonderful  songwriter whose music we are honored to be doing"

Reggie Harris speaks about doing What's that I Hear and what it means to him to sing. Phil gets to the core of issues, while being passionately American, but honest, while being a wonderfully melodic craftsman and poet.

Kim Harris & Reggie Harris    What's That I Hear?    3:14    What's That I Hear - The Songs Of Phil Ochs [Disc 2]  -

Kim and Reggie went to a pre-screening of the movie's early draft. He speaks about the power and how he was so taken seeing the emotional message.

Phil Ochs -   Changes    4:41 -  Phil Ochs in Concert - Elektra 

Death of a Rebel and There but For Fortune are two biographies on Phil.  Many have written songs in honor of Phil.
Lawyer, Jen Cass, wrote this tribute to Phil and sings walking around Greenwich Village, 40 years after his time.

Jen Cass -   Jen Cass - Standing In Your Memory (For Phil Ochs)    4:50   - Accidental Pilgrimage   

At this point in the hour, I air five random movie goers at 3rd and 6th Avenue, Phil Ochs's stomping ground. These quotes come from those who saw it when it first was available in movie theaters for the public over a year ago.  They speak of seeing him in many places in the 60's, Booing him at Carnegie hall, Avery Fisher hall,  his salute to Allende, and their interest in the documentary.

Aaron, Ruth, Roger, Don.... - Greenwich village movie goers react to seeing the Ken Bowser documentary on Phil.

SONiA has put out an entire CD of Phil 's songs called "Get your Phil".  Here she sings with her sister on this prophetic Phil Ochs' song.

Disappear Fear  -  No More Songs..    3:09  -  Get Your Phil- Disappear Records   

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neurotoxic poisoning and chemical sensitivities   

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