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Phil Ochs

WSLR Presents “Get Your Phil On”: A Tribute to Phil Ochs

| Sande Caplin |

December 19th marks the 75th anniversary of Phil Ochs’ birth. Ochs was an American protest singer and songwriter known for his sharp wit, sardonic humor, earnest humanism, political activism, insightful and alliterative lyrics, and distinctive voice.

While in college at Ohio State University, he met Jim Glover who became his roommate and whose father was Phil’s political teacher. It was during this time, while he was majoring in journalism, that Phil formed his political beliefs and started putting them to music. Glover now lives in Sarasota and will be one of the featured performers at “Get Your Phil On” on Saturday, December 19th at 6:30pm at the Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court. American Troubadour Bill Schustik will be our host for the evening sharing some of Phil’s history as well as his music. Other performers include Mindy Simmons, James Hawkins, Robert Killian, CC Carter, and Ishmael Katz. This is an evening for people that still believe in the power of folk music to effect change. Tickets are $5 in advance/$7 at the door. Advance tickets are available at

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”. Ochs suffered from manic depression and committed suicide on April 9, 1976 at the age of 35.

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