Here’s some notes from the show I just hosted on KPFK in LA about the history of protest songs and contemporary protest songs and singers:
By the way, the interview I did with Pete Seeger is not yet posted up, I will be posting it on the night of Friday, October 5th, so check back for that.
Lots of Links, etc. below-
Here’s a blurb for each song. I see the program as being a bit of history and then bringing it up to date with great contemporary stuff. We’ll start at the beginning of the 20th century with the IWW, a One Big Singing Union who liked to parody Salvation Army bands because they had good familiar tunes. And if the Salvation Army band tried to drown out the IWW singers with their brass bands, the Wobblies could just sing along. “The Preacher and the Slave” is a song written by Joe Hill in 1911. It was written as a parody of the song “In The Sweet Bye and Bye.”
1. Preacher and the Slave by Harry “Mac” McClintock – Harry McClintock was a singer associated with the IWW. He is the composer of the song Big Rock Candy Mountain, but here sings a song by Joe Hill, of whom he was a personal associate, one of very few the reclusive Joe Hill had. They, along with T-Bone Slim were the main composers of the IWW, International workers of the world. I think they had the best songs of any labor movement in America. This recording is taken from a remarkable one of a kind interview with McClintock, conducted by Sam Eskin in 1950. Click the above link to got Smithsonian Global Sound where you can buy the track, read the liner notes, etc.