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Obit: Utah Phillips (1935-2008)

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GUEST,Mark Ross 24 May 08 - 11:58 AM
John MacKenzie 24 May 08 - 12:00 PM
katlaughing 24 May 08 - 12:03 PM
Jeri 24 May 08 - 12:04 PM
Bill D 24 May 08 - 12:45 PM
kendall 24 May 08 - 12:47 PM
jacqui.c 24 May 08 - 12:53 PM
bobad 24 May 08 - 12:54 PM
Ebbie 24 May 08 - 12:54 PM
Def Shepard 24 May 08 - 01:05 PM
SINSULL 24 May 08 - 01:30 PM
Waddon Pete 24 May 08 - 01:32 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 24 May 08 - 01:53 PM
gnu 24 May 08 - 01:54 PM
Suzy T. 24 May 08 - 01:57 PM
Dan Schatz 24 May 08 - 02:03 PM
karen k 24 May 08 - 02:04 PM
maeve 24 May 08 - 02:06 PM
Joe Offer 24 May 08 - 02:07 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 24 May 08 - 02:08 PM
Art Thieme 24 May 08 - 02:13 PM
Diva 24 May 08 - 02:18 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 24 May 08 - 02:19 PM
Amos 24 May 08 - 02:21 PM
DADGBE 24 May 08 - 02:25 PM
wysiwyg 24 May 08 - 02:36 PM
maire-aine 24 May 08 - 02:38 PM
Peace 24 May 08 - 02:38 PM
katlaughing 24 May 08 - 02:53 PM
Alice 24 May 08 - 03:13 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 24 May 08 - 03:28 PM
MaineDog 24 May 08 - 04:05 PM
bankley 24 May 08 - 04:17 PM
kendall 24 May 08 - 04:37 PM
GUEST,Seamus Kennedy 24 May 08 - 04:57 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 24 May 08 - 04:58 PM
catspaw49 24 May 08 - 05:02 PM
Amos 24 May 08 - 05:29 PM
Big Mick 24 May 08 - 06:18 PM
Deckman 24 May 08 - 06:27 PM
GUEST,Dakota Dave Hull 24 May 08 - 06:48 PM
kendall 24 May 08 - 07:22 PM
Nancy King 24 May 08 - 07:28 PM
Uncle Phil 24 May 08 - 08:00 PM
bbc 24 May 08 - 08:44 PM
Duane D. 24 May 08 - 09:03 PM
GUEST,Tom Nelligan 24 May 08 - 09:27 PM
Bill D 24 May 08 - 09:44 PM
GUEST,Eric Cole 24 May 08 - 10:03 PM
Sorcha 24 May 08 - 10:12 PM
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Subject: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: GUEST,Mark Ross
Date: 24 May 08 - 11:58 AM

It is my sad duty to report that Utah passed away last night in his sleep. I'm a little distraught at the moment so I can't say much more than that I will miss him terribly.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 24 May 08 - 12:00 PM

So sad, I can think of many people who will be very upset by the news. Not least Cap'n Morse.

May your god go with you Utah.

Giok


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 May 08 - 12:03 PM

I can *hear* a lot of long, lonesome wails, not unlike old train whistles, at how sad many will be over this, esp. Kendall and Art Thieme.

My condolences to all who held him dear.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: Jeri
Date: 24 May 08 - 12:04 PM

This is the end of an era, truly.
I offer condolences and hugs to all those who loved him. This is so big... his life was bigger.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: Bill D
Date: 24 May 08 - 12:45 PM

Typing something will not express what this loss means....I will just go play some of his songs and remember better times.

He was a man who was true to himself and a champion of the people.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: kendall
Date: 24 May 08 - 12:47 PM

Thanks for calling me Mark. I appreciate that.
There are no words, and I can't see to type anyway.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: jacqui.c
Date: 24 May 08 - 12:53 PM

It's hard to think of a world that doesn't have Utah in it. He made a big noise throughout his life and we know that many people are better off for his actions and that many people have been touched by his genius.

His legacy is his songs, written from the bottom of a very big heart.

Rest in peace Bruce - the universe has taken you back.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: bobad
Date: 24 May 08 - 12:54 PM

Condolences.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: Ebbie
Date: 24 May 08 - 12:54 PM

I'm so sorry.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: Def Shepard
Date: 24 May 08 - 01:05 PM

Another true great gone, on the bright side, that heavenly choir is sounding better and better all the time.


'Go rest high on that mountain
Son, your work on earth is done
Go to heaven a-shoutin'
Love for the Father and Son'

- Vince Gill


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: SINSULL
Date: 24 May 08 - 01:30 PM

I knew it was coming but not so soon. Through tears: Rest in peace. Or better yet, ride the train to glory.
Mary


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 24 May 08 - 01:32 PM

Such sad news.....my thoughts are with you at this sad and difficult time...he will live on through his songs for a very long time.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 24 May 08 - 01:53 PM

RIP. My heartfelt regrets to his family. And thank you, Utah, for the many songs and stories, and the hours of entertainment you've given, and that yet to come.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: gnu
Date: 24 May 08 - 01:54 PM

RIP


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: Suzy T.
Date: 24 May 08 - 01:57 PM

I am so sad. I have known Bruce since I was a teenager. When I spoke with him a couple of weeks ago, and when he called in to talk to the audience at the concert at the Freight, he did sound very much weakened. I am so thankful to have known him and to have been able to enjoy his amazing performances (both on and off stage).

He changed a lot of lives and his work that he leaves behind will continue to do that, I believe. My sympathy and best wishes go out to his wife Joanna.

Suzy T.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 24 May 08 - 02:03 PM

The grieving for this one will be with us for a very long time. Utah was more than a writer and singer of songs - more than a folklorist and storyteller. He was a teacher and a sage, and that is how I will remember him.

There are a number of projects in the works to remember Utah, and to make sure that Joanna is able to keep hearth and home together. Utah was deeply appreciative of all of the supportive efforts of the folk music community. I like to think that it was a way to show him that we had really been listening when he talked about community.

Dan


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: karen k
Date: 24 May 08 - 02:04 PM

I am saddened by Utah's passing. Having seen him at least a dozen times and had him stay at my home a couple of times I can say that I knew him. I enjoyed him every time I saw him. I remember one workshop I went to at the Four College Festival in Massacusetts around 84 or 85. Utah did a 3 hour workshop on riding the rails. He only sang 3 or 4 songs. The rest of the workshop was stories from his days on the trains. Fascinating. Best workshop I ever went to. How I wish I'd had a taperecorder that day.

The other thing I loved about Utah is how he would scour the local papers wherever he was singing. Then he would refer to local happenings, humorous or otherwise during his sets. One I particularly remember was about a terrible circus fire in Hartford, CT July 6 1944. 168 died. The event became known as "The Day the Clowns Cried". One little girl, "Little Miss 1565", was not identified. This touched Utah very deeply. A few years ago I was able to send him articles that told that the child was finally identified and a headstone with her name on it placed on her grave. He was very glad to hear of this.

My thoughts go out to his family. He was an amazing human being. The world has lost a wonderful man. He will live on through his songs.

karen


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: maeve
Date: 24 May 08 - 02:06 PM

As bright as the sun, he shared his light and life with so many people.
As big as the sun is, his heart was bigger.
Utah's stories and songs are faithful to his long life, and our memories of Utah are warm and true and bound to grow as we pass them from one to another.

Remember.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 May 08 - 02:07 PM

He had many past lives and adventures, but he has been part of the Sierra Foothills community for as long as I can recall; and we thought of him as ours. He lived in that hippie county to the north of me, and I guess I never saw him other than at concerts, but that was often. It was always a pleasure to see him.

May he rest in peace, and may we not forget the big, passionate man who loved to laugh at his own jokes.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 24 May 08 - 02:08 PM

My first memory of Utah was being transfixed as I watched him emcee a festival at Bear Mountain in NY back in the late 70's.   I can only thank him for all the wonderful memories since then, and he is someone who will not be forgotten.

Rest in Peace Utah, you made a difference in this world.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: Art Thieme
Date: 24 May 08 - 02:13 PM

Shock---again---sadness---emptiness. Too often these days---
Art


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: Diva
Date: 24 May 08 - 02:18 PM

Ach.. no   to ach nooo those friends an' family condolonces.....


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 24 May 08 - 02:19 PM

One of the great ones. Go well, Bruce.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: Amos
Date: 24 May 08 - 02:21 PM

I am grateful for one thing. That I brought my daughter to meet him and see him tell his stories and sing his songs before he died.

I am stunned. Of course it was inevitable. But I never expected it so soon. You never do.

Go in peace, old-timer, and come back double strength. We'll be watching for you along the byways.


A


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: DADGBE
Date: 24 May 08 - 02:25 PM

Go to sleep, you weary hobo,
Let the towns drift slowly by.
Can't you hear the steel rails humming?
That's a hobo's lullaby.

Rest old friend. Thanks for the afternoons in the living room. You're sorely missed.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 May 08 - 02:36 PM

I met his music through the wonderful interpretations of Jim Craig in Chicago, who always, always referred to him as U. Utah Phillips.

I bless all who knew him personally and I give thanks that his departure from our world was, apparently, so gentle. I believe we all meet again someday and I look forward to singing with him then.

My condolences to those who need them.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: maire-aine
Date: 24 May 08 - 02:38 PM

My deepest sympathy to his family and all who knew him.

Maryanne


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: Peace
Date: 24 May 08 - 02:38 PM

This is a tough one to hear about. Condolences to Joanna, and rest well, Bruce.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 May 08 - 02:53 PM

Art, I read this in my poetry book this morning and thought of you and all of the friends you have lost recently. For you and Utah:

The longer we are together
the larger death grows around us.
How many we know by now
who are dead! We, who were young,
Now count the cost of having been.
And yet as we know the dead
we grow familiar with the world.
We, who were young and loved each other
ignorantly, now come to know
each other in love, married
by what we have done, as much
as by what we intend. Our hair
turns white with our ripening
as though to fly away in some
coming wind, bearing the seed
of what we know. It was bitter to learn
that we come to death as we come
to love, bitter to face
the just and solving welcome
that death prepares. But that is bitter
only to the ignorant, who pray
it will not happen. Having come
the bitter way to better prayer, we have
the sweetness of ripening. How sweet
to know you by the signs of the world!

- Wendell Berry -


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: Alice
Date: 24 May 08 - 03:13 PM

My sympathy to all who feel this loss. -Alice


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 24 May 08 - 03:28 PM

I never met him. We had something in common. My father was a representative for the I.W.W. and demonstrated in Union Square in NYC in 1915 against the exectution of Joe Hill by the Utah firing squad on a trumped-up murder charge.

I always considered Utah a kindred spirit whom I never got to meet.

His songs will live on. His compassion and sense of social justice speaks for itself.
He will be sorely missed.

Today, it is so easy to forget the spokespeople for justice. Many of them are thought to be "weird" or somehow "out of step" with current society.

When I think of Utah, I think of the brave people being denigrated by a corrupted Media.
I think of Cindy Sheehan, Scott Ritter, and the whistle-blowers in this vast ignominious
Administration. I think of Gene Debs, Ingersoll, LaFollette, Emma Goldman, and the other great advocates for our system of justice in America.

I think of how shallow the dialogue has become about the perversion and destruction of our democracy.

I think of Naomi Klein, Amy Goodman,
Bill Moyers, Keith Olbermann, Jeremy Scahill and the other Truth-Tellers who attempt to
dispel the ignorance and keep the true values of our country alive.

In this, I think of U. Utah Phillips, the great musical Truth-Teller. His works will live on.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: MaineDog
Date: 24 May 08 - 04:05 PM

It is sad indeed. I was biking in Portland today, right by the narrow guage railroad by the shore. It was the first steam train I have been near since 1991, and I immediately thought of Utah and his (?) song "Daddy, whats a train?". I remembered lots of train songs and bits, from Utah, and elsewhere, and the first time my daddy took me to see a real steam train up close, when I was about 6. Then I came in and saw this thread.

I remember meeting him at Fox Hollow back in the sixties. My wife Linda and he were talking, and she mentioned that she had started to make Appalachian dulcimer kits to sell. He said that dulcimers made good bathtub toys. It got worse from there.

MD


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: bankley
Date: 24 May 08 - 04:17 PM

R.I.P.   keep messin' with them up yonder


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: kendall
Date: 24 May 08 - 04:37 PM

I'm sad that he is gone. I'm sad that I will never sing his songs again, but I'm also grateful that my last paid performance was with him in Grass Valley CA.That honor and great memory will never die.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: GUEST,Seamus Kennedy
Date: 24 May 08 - 04:57 PM

Bruce was also very kind to two young Irish performers who came to the Earl of Old Towne for a Sunday afternoon open mike back in the early seventies.

Another great one gone.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 24 May 08 - 04:58 PM

I did not know Utah and only learned of him on the Mudcat. He seems like a kindred spirit though, who was willingto swim against the current! Condolences to all his friends and RIP!
          Sandy


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 May 08 - 05:02 PM

No words of mine could ever express the effect of his life on all of us nor the depth and breadth of his influence throughout folk music. Art, Kendall, MArk, and others can speak of the personal man but the public man left so much to so many for so long that nothing can adequately gauge his life's work........Simply an amazing individual.......

Now a traveling life might seem all right,
A life without worry or care;
Always up and always out and always going somewhere,
But I'll tell you my friend, it's not where you are
But your reason for being there.

Like a bird on the wing I hear a voice sing
As over the prairies I roll
But I'd give my life to spend one more night
In the arms of my own Phoebe Snow.



Thank you.......No make that Thank U.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: Amos
Date: 24 May 08 - 05:29 PM

"Bruce "Utah" Phillips served in the United States Army for three years beginning in 1956. Witnessing the devastation of post-war Korea greatly influenced his social and political thinking. Following service, he returned to Salt Lake City, Utah and joined Ammon Hennacy from the Catholic Worker Movement in establishing a mission house of hospitality named after the activist Joe Hill.[2] [3]Phillips worked at the Joe Hill House for the next eight years, then ran for the U.S. Senate as a candidate of Utah's Peace and Freedom Party in 1968. He received 2,019 votes (0.5%) in an election won by Republican Wallace F. Bennett.

Phillips met folk singer Rosalie Sorrels in the early 1950s, and has remained a close friend of hers ever since. It was Sorrels who started playing the songs that Phillips wrote, and through her his music began to spread. After leaving Utah in the late '60s, he went to Saratoga Springs, New York, where he was befriended by the folk community at the CaffŽ Lena coffee house, where he became a staple performer throughout that decade.

An avid railfan, Phillips has recorded several albums of music related to the railroads, especially the era of steam locomotives. His first recorded album, Good Though!, is an example, and contains such songs as "Daddy, What's a Train?" and "Queen of the Rails" as well as what may be his most famous composition, "Moose Turd Pie" [4]wherein he tells a tall tale of his work as a gandy dancer repairing track in the Southwestern United States desert.

In 1991 Phillips recorded, in one take, an album of song, poetry and short stories entitled I've Got To Know, inspired by his anger at the first Gulf War. The album includes "Enola Gay," his first composition written about the United States' atomic attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Phillips was a mentor to Kate Wolf. He has recorded songs and stories with Rosalie Sorrels on a CD called The Long Memory (1996), originally a college project from Montana. Ani DiFranco has recorded two CDs, The Past Didn't Go Anywhere (1996) and Fellow Workers (1999), with him. He was nominated for a Grammy Award for his work with Ani DiFranco. His "Green Rolling Hills" was made into a country hit by Emmylou Harris, and "The Goodnight-Loving Trail" has become a classic as well, being recorded by Ian Tyson, Tom Waits, and others.

Phillips has become an elder statesman for the folk music community, and a keeper of stories and songs that might otherwise have passed into obscurity. He is also a member of the great Traveling Nation, the community of hobos and railroad bums that populates the midwest United States along the rail lines, and is an important keeper of their history and culture.

When Kate Wolf grew ill and was forced to cancel concerts, she asked Phillips to fill in. Suffering from an ailment which makes it more difficult to play guitar, Phillips hesitated, citing his declining guitar ability. "Nobody ever came just to hear you play," she said. Phillips tells this story as a way of explaining how his style over the years has become increasingly based on storytelling instead of just songs. He is a gifted storyteller and monologist, and his concerts generally have an even mix of spoken word and sung content. He attributes much of his success to his personality. "It is better to be likeable than talented," he often says, self-deprecatingly.

Until it lost its funding, Phillips hosted his own weekly radio show, Loafer's Glory: The Hobo Jungle of the Mind.

In August 2007, Phillips announced that he would undergo catheter ablation to address his heart problems.[5] Later that autumn Phillips announced that due to health problems he could no longer tour.[6]

Phillips died on May 23, 2008 in Nevada City, California, of complications of heart disease. "
(Wikipedia Article)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: Big Mick
Date: 24 May 08 - 06:18 PM

I cannot describe adequately how I feel at this moment. It was always my goal to meet and sing with Utah. Over the last 4 months or so we became friends over the telephone, as I planned the benefit concerts for him at The Ark and at the Wealthy Theater. We even sang to each other over the phone 2 weeks ago. Art and I spoke a few weeks back and Art told me how it was from listening to Utah that he learned how to use humor to get across important points. I spoke with Utah about this and he felt honored at that, and then spent a half hour talking to me about the whys and hows of doing that. Garnet Rogers, Claudia Schmidt, Matt Watroba, and I were talking in the green room about his preparation to play a local venue, how he went out and bought papers and visited libraries, so he could appear to know about the town he was in. I asked him about that a few days ago, and he told me that if folks were going to pay him, he should have enough respect to get to know the stuff that affected them. He told me how he would spend a lot of time preparing, so he could sound very much "unrehearsed" in his concerts.

And the last thing he did, was to thank me for all that I was doing!! I just chuckled and explained to him that I was simply paying down an enormous debt that I, and others like me, owed him from his years of carrying the water of common sense and progressive ideas. His humility absolutely floored me. That is something the great ones share. People like Utah, and Jean Ritchie, understand who they are but keep themselves real with regard to their fame. And I admire a person who is willing to accept graciously the kind of help they gave so freely over 30+ years.

We will go on with the projects we are doing. I have a concert in Grand Rapids, MI on June 18, and we will use it to help Joanna with expenses. We will remember our friend. We will sing through the tears, just as he admonished us to "sing through the hard times".

Those of us that perform now have the obligation to keep his voice alive in our work. It is our obligation to sing of the things he sang of, espouse the values he espoused. Let us get on with it.

I will miss you, sir. God be good to you.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: Deckman
Date: 24 May 08 - 06:27 PM

Another good man gone ... we are all diminished by his absence ... but we are all the better for his presence. Bob


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: GUEST,Dakota Dave Hull
Date: 24 May 08 - 06:48 PM

It's hard to imagine a world without Bruce Phillips. It's a sad, sad day. But you know, we're lucky, too, because we knew him, we know his songs, his rants, his art. Fortunately, we will have all of that for the rest of our lives.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: kendall
Date: 24 May 08 - 07:22 PM

His "Phoebe Snow" is one of my very favorite songs, and I'm so glad I recorded it before I lost my voice.When he told me that he would never sing it again after hearing my version, I didn't know what to do with that, but I finally realized that was a supreme compliment from the master.
So funny, so bright, so interesting and downright humble. What a guy. His like we will not see again.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: Nancy King
Date: 24 May 08 - 07:28 PM

I remember a musical gathering twenty-five years or so ago, at which we spent virtually an entire evening singing nothing but Utah Phillips songs. It wasn't planned that way -- it just happened. Each song would remind somebody of another great one, and we just went on and on.

How very sad it is to lose such a wonderful person: singer, raconteur, poet, activist -- all that and more. I sure am glad he put together his "Starlight on the Rails: a Songbook" 4-CD album. It really is a phenomenal collection and source, and an amazing body of work.

It's hard to say goodbye to one of my heroes. We sure will miss you, Bruce.

Nancy


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: Uncle Phil
Date: 24 May 08 - 08:00 PM

My condolences to Bruce's family and friends. It hurts to lose the good ones.
- Phil


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: bbc
Date: 24 May 08 - 08:44 PM

I had the honor to hear the sad news from Sandy Paton this afternoon & to give him a hug. As I sit here & listen to Wanda Fischer's tribute to Bruce on tonight's "Hudson River Sampler" radio show, it gives me a chance to reflect on Bruce's life & music. I didn't know him as a personal friend, but was privileged to see him & hear him perform several times--mostly at the Old Songs Festival near Albany, New York--a very talented, interesting man. Since I have not been a part of the folk music community as long as many of you, I bought Bruce's recording, "The Telling Takes me Home" to help educate me about his music. My sympathies go out to the many who love him. May his spirit rest in peace; his was a life well-lived.

best to you all,

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: Duane D.
Date: 24 May 08 - 09:03 PM

I, also heard the sad news from Sandy Paton, as I was with bbc at the Paton's home today. I have fond memories of hearing Utah Phillips MC many concerts at festivals long gone. I remember one particular occasion, I think it was back in the mid or late 1970s, hearing Utah tell his story about the "Moscow Hold" and hearing the audience chime in on a particular line that repeated regularly, like a chorus, perhaps my first time hearing that story. I think that memory comes from the Folk Festival that Dick and Marlene Levine ran for many years in Middletown, New Jersey. For others here who were living in northern NJ in the mid-1970s, may remember the first coffeehouse, pre-dating Minstrel, run by The Folk Project, the former organization, Project 21, ran for several years in Chester, NJ, the coffeehouse, "Good, Though," the punchline from the story about Moose Turd Pie. Utah's music touched me personally and I used to regularly sing several of his songs, I guess I need to relearn them, as they all need to be sung again. I will miss him as well and he will continue to live on in his stories and song.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: GUEST,Tom Nelligan
Date: 24 May 08 - 09:27 PM

I don't know anyone whose personality combined humor, wisdom, a warm affection for the vast majority of the human race, and a well-deserved scorn for the arrogant rich and powerful as perfectly as Utah Phillips. I'm glad I had a chance to hear him and say hello and thanks now and then over the years. He was one of a kind and will be much missed.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: Bill D
Date: 24 May 08 - 09:44 PM

Here's the song I chose to listen to today.(I'll do the others gradually). I learned this almost as soon as I heard it, over 25 years ago. It's one of the few he didn't write the words to, but learned it from Rosalie Sorrels.

You can read what Utah said about it on this section of his site
(scroll up from the song)

The Sweet Briar


"The sweet briar and the aurum brush
With blossoms purple gold and red
Are flames that bloom within the bush
And sacred seems the ground I tread.
The golden bees, the golden bees
Mock Memnon's sweetest melodies;
The golden bees, the golden bees
Mock Memnon's sweetest melodies.

In shadow of the wood I lie
Un-waked by dreams of noisy mart;
Where dust and soot soil not the sky
Nor hammers beat on human heart;
Nor shuttles fleet, nor shuttles fleet
Weave life into a winding sheet;
Nor shuttles fleet, nor shuttles fleet
Weave life into a winding sheet.

When the pale axman strikes his stroke
And takes the warm life from my breast,
Plant by my grave a sapling oak
And violets of azure crest.
The oaken staff, the oaken staff
My shaft, the flowers my epitaph;
The oaken staff, the oaken staff
My shaft, the flowers my epitaph."


I'd like to think someone will plant an Oak and some violets for him.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: GUEST,Eric Cole
Date: 24 May 08 - 10:03 PM

The thoughts and words came rushing in to my mind like a din when I read the news. I could not make out any one thought. Then the snippet of his words I most often quote came floating to the surface:
"I tell you my friends it's not where you are, but your reason for being there."

Even as a pre-adolescent these words resonated with me.

Bruce was "Good though!"


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Subject: RE: Obit: Utah Phillips 5/15/35-5/24/08
From: Sorcha
Date: 24 May 08 - 10:12 PM

Well shit. Goodnite, Bruce.


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