On Saturday, December 19 WSLR+Fogartyville and the Sarasota Folk Club will pay tribute to protest singer Phil Ochs with a free virtual event. Local musicians Ishmael Katz, Mindy Simmons, James Hawkins, Carmela Pedicini, Mindy Simmons, and Jim Glover will share memories and music with attendees. December 19, 2020 would have been Ochs’ 80th birthday.
Singer/Songwriter Phil Ochs
Phil Ochs was an American protest singer and songwriter known for his sharp wit, sardonic humor, earnest humanism, political activism, and distinctive voice. After years of prolific writing in the 1960s, Ochs’s mental stability declined in the 1970s and he committed suicide in 1976 at the age of 35.
Most of Phil’s songs were very political, some humorous and some very serious. He wrote about the topics of the day – civil rights, Viet Nam, hungry miners, and personalities such as Billy Sol Estes and William Worthy. Some of his best known songs are: “Changes”, “There But For Fortune”, “I Ain’t Marching Anymore”, “Draft Dodger”, “Small Circle of Friends” and “When I’m Gone”. Forty years after his death, Ochs’s songs remain relevant. He continues to influence singers and fans world-wide, most of whom never saw him perform live.
There are mailing lists and online discussion groups dedicated to Ochs and his music; websites that have music samples, photographs, and other links; and articles and books continue to be written and published about him. In February 2009, the North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance gave the 2009 Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Award to Phil Ochs.
The Tribute will take place on zoom at 7pm. The call will open at 6:30pm to give attendees a chance to socialize before the program starts. The event is FREE but you must register via the WSLR website at the website. This is an evening for people who still believe in the power of folk music to effect change.
Photo from Wikipedia, Phil Ochs outside the offices of the National Student Association in Washington, D.C., in 1975.
The WSLR+Fogartyville Team
525 Kumquat Court
Sarasota, FL 34236