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Tell me about Si Kahn...

DigiTrad:
ARAGON MILL
BLEEDING HEARTS
CROSSING THE BORDER
GO TO WORK ON MONDAY
GONE, GONNA RISE AGAIN
GOVERNMENT ON HORSEBACK
IT'S NOT JUST WHAT YOU'RE BORN WITH
IT'S THE SAME THE WHOLE WORLD OVER 4
MEMORIAL
PASS THE MUSIC ON
TRUCK DRIVING WOMAN
WILD ROSE OF THE MOUNTAIN


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Goodbye Monday Blues (Si Kahn) (8)
DT Corr: What You Do With What You've Got (Kahn) (17)
(origins) Origins: Belfast Mill (Aragon Mill, by Si Kahn) (39)
Lyr Add: People Like You (Si Kahn) (4)
Thoughts on Si Kahn's songs (34)
Origins: Wild Rose of the Mountain (Si Kahn)^^^ (50)
Lyr Add: Luray Women (Si Kahn) (5)
need mailing address for Si Kahn (5)
Lyr Req/Add: What Will I Leave Behind? (Si Kahn) (18)
(origins) Origins: Send Me Back To Georgia (Si Kahn) (13)
Lyr Req: Journey Through this life - Si Kahn (3)
Lyr/Chords Req: Paper Heart (Si Kahn) (3)
Lyr Req: To Hear Doc Watson Play (Si Kahn) (10)
Lyr Add: Here Is My Home (Si Kahn) (17)
Who sings (Let Me Down) Easy & Slow? (Kahn) (19)
Lyr Req: New Year's Eve (Si Kahn) (4)
ADD: Si Kahn's dog Otis:'Flying' song & story (2)
Si Kahn on YouTube (4)
Lyr Req/Add: First Time Lover (Si Kahn) (7)
ADD: Pass the Music On (Si Kahn & Tom Chapin) (6)
Lyr Add: Season of Peace (Si Kahn) (5)
Lyr Req: First Time at a War (Si Kahn) (3)
Lyr Req: Skarpi needs to learn ' Belfast Mill ' (6)
Lyr Req: Si Kahn humorous song about 'home' (4)
Tune Req: Here Is My Home (Si Kahn) (11)
Contact info for Sy Kahn? (15)
Lyr Add: Song of the Exile/New Year's Eve (5)
Lyr Req: Seeds of Children (Si Kahn) (2)
Lyr Add: One Little Sip by Si Kahn (6)
Lyr/Chords Req: Si Kahn's Music??? (7)
Belfast Mill, aka Aragon Mill (16)
Belfast Mill and other songs (8) (closed)
Lyr Req: The Spinning Mills of Home (Si Kahn) (7)


WyoWoman 14 Nov 99 - 10:55 PM
catspaw49 14 Nov 99 - 11:04 PM
WyoWoman 14 Nov 99 - 11:10 PM
dick greenhaus 14 Nov 99 - 11:17 PM
DonMeixner 14 Nov 99 - 11:22 PM
jamesjimfolk 14 Nov 99 - 11:29 PM
catspaw49 15 Nov 99 - 12:00 AM
WyoWoman 15 Nov 99 - 12:02 AM
catspaw49 15 Nov 99 - 12:27 AM
Stewie 15 Nov 99 - 12:50 AM
15 Nov 99 - 01:00 AM
Roger in Baltimore 15 Nov 99 - 07:25 AM
WyoWoman 15 Nov 99 - 11:34 AM
graham, ayr, scotland 15 Nov 99 - 06:39 PM
Graham Pirt 15 Nov 99 - 07:46 PM
Bugsy 15 Nov 99 - 08:10 PM
Mark in Mass 15 Nov 99 - 09:18 PM
WyoWoman 15 Nov 99 - 10:11 PM
mark in mass 16 Nov 99 - 04:36 PM
Sandy Paton 16 Nov 99 - 05:50 PM
MAG (inactive) 16 Nov 99 - 09:23 PM
WyoWoman 17 Nov 99 - 12:21 AM
Sandy Paton 17 Nov 99 - 01:41 AM
WyoWoman 17 Nov 99 - 10:20 AM
Stewie 17 Nov 99 - 07:04 PM
Big Mick 17 Nov 99 - 10:56 PM
WyoWoman 17 Nov 99 - 11:49 PM
okMockingBird-NOT 18 Nov 99 - 12:28 AM
18 Nov 99 - 12:42 AM
MAG (inactive) 18 Nov 99 - 08:53 PM
Barry Finn 18 Nov 99 - 10:28 PM
Gorgeous Gary 18 Nov 99 - 10:42 PM
MAG (inactive) 18 Nov 99 - 11:27 PM
WyoWoman 18 Nov 99 - 11:57 PM
northfolk/al cholger 19 Nov 99 - 08:58 AM
WyoWoman 19 Nov 99 - 09:05 AM
Barbara 19 Nov 99 - 09:17 AM
northfolk/al cholger 19 Nov 99 - 09:29 AM
jack wright 19 Nov 99 - 12:06 PM
Barbara 19 Nov 99 - 12:58 PM
Sandy Paton 19 Nov 99 - 02:24 PM
Sandy Paton 19 Nov 99 - 02:38 PM
WyoWoman 20 Nov 99 - 02:24 AM
WyoWoman 28 Dec 99 - 11:11 AM
Victoria 29 Dec 99 - 11:09 PM
WyoWoman 30 Dec 99 - 01:17 AM
Desert Dancer 27 Oct 03 - 05:03 PM
Celtaddict 27 Oct 03 - 07:10 PM
Big Tim 28 Oct 03 - 06:12 AM
InOBU 28 Oct 03 - 08:23 AM
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Subject: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: WyoWoman
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 10:55 PM

I just saw the name Si Kahn in one of the posts about mill songs (Aragon Mill) and then went and ordered a CD of his stuff. But this is a new name for me. Can anyone tell me about him? His lyrics are wonderful, but I haven't heard him sing.

ww


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 11:04 PM

There are a couple of good websites Pansy...I was looking for some of his stuff awhile back...Just enter it in your browser and you'll hit it.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: WyoWoman
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 11:10 PM

Thenkyew.

Pansy Woman, MB


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 11:17 PM

Si is a dedicated soul who writes very good contemporary union songs, at least primarily. He works for a union (I don't recall which) down south, and occasionally shows up at folk festivals. He's also one of the many songwriters who has given DigiTrad permission to include his songs.


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: DonMeixner
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 11:22 PM

Skillfull song writer. In my estimation, Americas answer to Ewan Macoll.

Don


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: jamesjimfolk
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 11:29 PM

Si is quite an interesting fellow. By now you have probably found his website and have learned a little more about him. In the late 80s I sung with a trio called "The Riverfront Ramblers." One of our group was the superintendent of a local school system. He often invited folk singers/writers to perform at school functions (he was an old folky from way back and just like to support the cause). I'll never forget meeting Si. He came to my friends home one evening and we played and sung together. Our group performed "Aragon Mill" for Si. He listened intently, then said he'd never heard it performed quite the way we did it (hope it was a compliment - at least it sounded like one).

Si is very political and in fact this was/is his first love (organizing to help labor unions, political causes etc.). He's very good at it. Folk music has always moved people to action and he takes full advantage of it.

Si is a very prolific song writer, but not a great singer. His voice makes him sound like he's about 70 years old, but I'd judge him to be in his mid to late 40s. Several years before I met him, a few of us drove to Indy to see Pete Seeger and Si perform. It was a great evening - one I'll never forget (Pete is getting up there - in his early 80s, I believe - I don't believe he is performing in public any longer). I hope you get to see Si perform some day (watch for him to come to your town - he usually comes with other performers - Arlo Gutherie for one).


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 12:00 AM

Sourdough was asking for songs about people working in plants during WWII and although it wasn't quite what he was lookig for, I have loved and been doing "Blue Ridge Mountain Refugees" for years. It speaks well to the situation in the Appalachians; does it as well as Harry Caudill and that was a whole book......GREAT SONG/Great Truth.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: WyoWoman
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 12:02 AM

I'm looking forward to the CD -- can't imagine he'd ever find his way to Wyoming, but if so, I know a singer who'd be happy to help interpret a few of his songs. (Since I don't write songs myself but I DO sing ... )

WW


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 12:27 AM

"Blue Ridge Mountain Refugees" makes a nice duet Pansy. So why don't you learn it and then put it on hold. If you don't get to do it with Si Kahn, you and I can "duet" when we finally get together.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: Stewie
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 12:50 AM

WW,

If you are looking for something further on CD, I can thoroughly recommend his live album 'In My Heart: A Retrospective, Live In Holland' which is not mentioned on his website. It was originally released on the Dutch label, Strictly Country, (which incidentally also has a great live album of Robin and Linda Williams) but has been reissued on Philo (via Rounder). It has a generous 24 tracks.

Cheers, Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From:
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 01:00 AM

A number of years back Si Kahn wrote the songs for a musical called "Some Sweet Day" about poor white and black sharecroppers and their struggle for survival. It was absolutely wonderful. I don't believe it was ever recorded anywhere. At least at the time it hadn't. If you ever get to see it make sure and go. Have met Si and sung with him numerous times. He's a wonderful person and terrific writer.


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 07:25 AM

The movie "Norma Rae" starring Sally Fields was based on a true story. In the real story, the union organizer was Si Kahn. I don't know if Si really "skinny dipped" with Norma Rae though.

Si's songs are wonderful in their simplicity. When I heard his first album I wanted to learn all of the songs. He is also a generous performer as you might guess from some of the postings above. Si is still an organizer and he usually brings some materials concerning his current cause.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: WyoWoman
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 11:34 AM

I've always believed union organizers must be some of the bravest and most worthy folks on God's creation. Thoroughly admirable work, against great odds.

WW


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: graham, ayr, scotland
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 06:39 PM

si played in glasgow a month or ago along with roy bailey and alistair hulett, could not get along but heard was very good, try roy bailey cd's, he has recorded some of si's music. cheers graham.......................


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: Graham Pirt
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 07:46 PM

I had the great pleasure to work with Si a number of years ago on a visit he made to the UK. He joined me on a show I do about the Miners' Union of Britain in earlier centuries. It was great to hear him relate his knowledge and sing US variants of UK songs (and vice versa).

He's a great song writer - ditto the comments about Roy Bailey who performs many of his songs.


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: Bugsy
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 08:10 PM

WWO, he did a good album with John McCutcheon called "Signs Of The Times" on Rounder CD4017.

I've played several tracks on my radio show and have got good feedback from it.

Cheers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: Mark in Mass
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 09:18 PM

Mr. Kahn is in his very early 50s. Songwriting and performing are secondardy to his work as the founder and guiding light of Grassroots Leadership in Charlotte, N.C., a training center for union and community organizers. Prior to that he was a labor and community organizer. Participated in the Brookwood Strike in Harlan County, Ky., that was the subject of the documentary movie "Harlan County USA" and in the J.P. Stevens strike, that at its time was the longest labor strike in US history. He's been to Wyoming, or so the song "Queen of the Cowboy Cafe" on his "Home" album would indicate. "Aragon Mill" has been recorded all over the world. Patrick Street and Delores Keane have done it in Ireland; my personal favorite is a version by Rosalie Sorrels. "Gone, Gonna Rise Again" is a must-hear, as is "People Like You." His collaboration with John McCutcheon dates to some organizing work; his first recordings were done at Appalshop in Whitesburg, Ky., while McCutcheon was on staff there.


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: WyoWoman
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 10:11 PM

Are the "Gone, Gonna Rise Again" and "People Like You" also sung by Rosalie Sorrels? I interviewed her years ago when I worked for the newspaper in Albuquerque, N.M. and she toured there. She has a wonderful voice.

ww


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: mark in mass
Date: 16 Nov 99 - 04:36 PM

Don't know if Rosalie Sorrels recorded either. May be able to find out at the following address (sorry, but I can't seem to past a clean link). http://allmusic.com/


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 16 Nov 99 - 05:50 PM

Si's musical, mentioned above, was one of the most powerful stage productions Caroline and I have ever seen. Si was there when we saw it produced in southern Connecticut a few years ago, so we had a chance to talk with him afterwards, although I found it hard to talk through the tears the play induced.

The play was based on the 1930s strike of sharecroppers and tenant farmers in Tyronza, Arkansas, led by the newly formed Southern Tenant Farmer's Union. The story of this struggle is well described in Mean Things Happening in This Land by H. L. Mitchell, one of the two founders of the union. A very thorough study of the sharecropper's fight for an end to what was virtual slavery is Donald Grubbs' Cry From the Cotton. Both of these are well worth reading, especially if you are singing some of the powerful protest songs that came out of the struggle, several of which, written by black union worker John Handcox, have become classics of the labor movement. You might also want to read Prologue to the Protest Movement about the roadside demonstration of evicted sharecroppers near Sikeston, Missouri, in January of 1939, and also Thad Snow's From Missouri, a delightfully ironic autobiography by a white planter who was totally sympathetic to the 'croppers.

I apologize for sounding like I'm going to call a pop quiz at the end of the term. I just think we ought to learn as much as we can about those things of which we sing.

Sandy (always the folk fogey)


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 16 Nov 99 - 09:23 PM

Chrystal Lee Sutton, the original Norma Rae, is quite adamant that she "never went skinny dippin' with no organizer." She is a frequent guest at labor conventions and an inspiring speaker.


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: WyoWoman
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 12:21 AM

Sandy-- No need to apologize. This kind of background is what interests me about folk music, and about much of the Mudcat. I've been fascinated by the Labor Movement for years and am so amazed (though maybe not surprised) that more of our nation's heros aren't labor organizers of one kind or another -- in fact the history of all that struggle is not really mentioned that much at all. Truly some of the bravest work that's been done for humankind has been done in the name of fair labor practices and compensation.

I've often thought that one could put together a fascinating history curriculum based on the songs through the decades of labor protest -- even going as far back as the Diggers. Songs are what make history come alive.

WW


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 01:41 AM

I certainly agree, WyoWoman. My apology was because I occasionally realize that my pedantic prattlings tend to make me sound even more "old-fartish" than I really am, and that's "old-fartish" enough!

Grandpa Paton


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: WyoWoman
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 10:20 AM

Well, I think we need more old fartism, not less. This knowledge and the passion for it has to be passed on. And passion communicates. I'm inspired to go find these books now, so you've reached one person, for certain.

There's a little known story about the shaping of Oklahoma's history that has much to do with the labor movement and one tiny woman who helped transform the state's government in behalf of the working class, then was completely destroyed by the powers that be. I yearn to someday write her story as an historical novel -- although I can't seem to find the time for all this making of a living! Still, I keep researching labor history as I can. Maybe one day I'll win the lottery and get to spend a while writing.

If I were a songwriter, I'd write a song about her. Don't know where to begin, however. If there are any ace songwriters out there who are interested in a good subject for a ballad....

WyoWoman


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: Stewie
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 07:04 PM

WW,

If you don't have it already, it sounds like you'd enjoy the musical collaboration between Rosalie Sorrels and Utah Phillips called 'The Long Memory'- songs and stories of union people, such as Aunt Molly Jackson, Harry Orchard, Mother Jones, Nevada Jane, who fought to bring justice and dignity to the working people. Pete Seeger writes in his liner notes: 'Most history books don't give us the whole story of our country. These songs will show you a side that's usually left out ... The best ones are not forgotten; they are passed along'. You'll find it on Red House Records RHR CD83.

Regards, Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: Big Mick
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 10:56 PM

Well, Grandpa Paton, I am very glad you directed me to this thread. For those that don't know it, I am a labor union organizer. This is a marvelous thread about a marvelous singer. One of the reasons I love Si so much is that if you ask him what he is, he will tell you that he is an organizer. And a damn fine one.

Chrystal Lee told me years ago that the skinny dipping never did happen.

WW, let's you and I write that song. You told me a bit about this woman before, and I am fascinated by her story. I love telling the stories of the unknown heroes. This story is too good.

One correction I would make. Union organizers fight the good fight. But the hero's in the story of labor unions are the employees who have the courage of their convictions. We ask them to risk their jobs, and some times injury, and step out and lead the drive. These workers become an organizing committee. They become the visible leadership of the drive. That means they are visible to management as well. Once upon a time the laws in this country (USA)provided some measure of protection for this activity. But after years of right wing weakening of these laws, the protection is slim. Some times I am moved to tears by the bravery shown by the "in plant organizers". I meet their spouses.............I play with their kids...........and I see them, in spite of their fear of losing their jobs and risking their families, step out front and lead the charge. They are, indeed, heroes of the first order. I have been blessed by being allowed to practice this profession.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: WyoWoman
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 11:49 PM

I was listening to NPR yesterday and the discussion was about the "service industry" and the loss of manufacturing jobs and what that all means for the economy. One of the callers was a single mother working as a health-care worker in a nursing home. She clearly outlined the bad conditions of her job -- minimum wage, works 40 hours a week, comes home exhausted and still can't afford to pay rent or buy her kids new clothes. And yet, the profit margins for nursing homes are among some of the highest... etc.

After she had hung up the guests and the announcer started talking about why people in these industries don't organize and one of them said something about the workers mostly being women with children who were worried because their paycheck is what supports the kids, and because they're so exhausted after working the number of hours they do and so on and so forth. And I couldn't help but remember images of the miners in various struggles, covered with coal dust, obviously exhausted nearly to death, standing and defying the mine owners with the guns pointed at their heads.

An interesting comparison ... maybe the suffering just hasn't gotten bad enough yet to force people into the kind of bravery that has nothing to lose?

AND MICK!!! You're on. Where do we start? Email me and let's discuss this. I think it would be brilliant...

ww


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: okMockingBird-NOT
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 12:28 AM

The shift to service economy more than anything else reduces the need for a union, but all the bad effects have re-emerged, bad pay, abuse physical and other, no protection from injury - in fact this is so bad here that trying to get something done about an injury is almost a crime!

Nor can you like say in the 1800's get a truck and go work for yourself! All the paying jobs are managed by a sort of cartel oddly of Golf-Clubs/Churches Alpha Omega-Secret College Societies etc., that is so bad that now they use Mexican Illegals to take work right from under yer nose! The Republican/Bullies are much much better organised than the 20's and 30's. If it does get to a punch and kick ass fight it will be very very messy AND I think it probably will!


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From:
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 12:42 AM

Si's written a book called, "How People Get Power". Don't have the copright info here but can get it if anyone's interested.


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 08:53 PM

thanks, Mick, for the praise, I being one who gave up 5 years of my life for the Library Union organizing effort back in Chicago, against our great "pro-labor" employer, the great and august City of Chicago. Not much fun atthe time, but great to look back on. My friend Kathleen threatened to lead a meeting walkout if I tried to interest anyone in old labor songs. May be the most signifigant thing I have done in my life; helping to drive one nail in the coffin of the Machine.


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: Barry Finn
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 10:28 PM

I left my union trade after many, many years of back breaking hard labor & have the weak feet & bad back to show for my troubles. There looms another hidden monster that doesn't get seen or talked about & this monster is why my cousin & I left the union our Uncles started. Corruption. I had found that I was walking picket lines only to get non union companies to give pay offs to union officials, my cousin uncovered embeezzlement & he was beaten senseless & I was assaulted & we were both locked out of jobs until finally the union board spoke in our favor, to little, to late (still no let up). When we continued to speak we found that we had both had been considered for unmaked graves. The business agent & president both ended in prison under the Rico Act & were barred from elected positions ( they did try to come back from behind the scenes but were considered liabilities. This was very common in the east coast construction unions. Back around the same time our Philly local was losing men left & right over the edges of roofs. Our New York local was not to be mentioned in tones above whispers. When the mob chisled their way into controling the unions starting in the 30's it was a partnership that couldn't be beaten & in many of the construction unions that marriage has never been broken. I'm still envolved in the same trade & I still see how these unions operate & I wouldn't cross the road & walk the same side of the same side of the road that they occupy. Barry who's a union survivor.


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: Gorgeous Gary
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 10:42 PM

I haven't heard Si himself yet, but the cover of "Luray Women" that local DC trio Hot Soup does is one of my very favorite songs in their reportoire.

-- Gary


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 11:27 PM

I have the highest respect for guys like "Teamsters for a Democratic Union," who put their lives onthe line to get the mob out of their Union.

the cab drivers union, when I drove, was a crock.

Unions that sold out to the mob ended up pretty much where they deserved to.

All unions are not equal, Barry; please don't compare apples and oranges. Workingfor the City of chicago, we NEEDED a Union, and it was voted in at over 80%.


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: WyoWoman
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 11:57 PM

Yes, I would be interested in how to find Si's book. Please tell me more.

WW


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: northfolk/al cholger
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 08:58 AM

Wyo. Just to add alittle to what brother Mick said with his usual eloquence... many workers in the health care industry and especially in nursing homes are paid so little and have benefits that are non existent, that they only stay until something better comes along. Unfortunately, all of us end up relying on those facilities for our grandparents, parents and other loved ones. It is in all of our interests to see the incentives increased, as well as training and certifications or licensing, for those workers. I have had the opportunity to visit the care facilities in my hometown, where both my parents spent the last few days of their lives, and the workers in both cases were wonderful...but few intended to stay. When Mick, or our sisters and brothers from the Unions that target these facilities to organize, show up get your friends and community out to support 'em. It'll be one more place us mudcatters can get to meet one and other...


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: WyoWoman
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 09:05 AM

Thanks, Norfolk. I also think child care workers are in the same situation, and are equally vital to the health of the nation. They work for pennies, are exposed to all kinds of viruses and bugs, generally aren't well-educated, ofetn are single mothers themselves and are in charge of our nation's most precious resource.

ww


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: Barbara
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 09:17 AM

Si does get out to the left coast -- I heard him in Portland this last year, Wyo (Pansy???)(Did I miss something?).
I really like the album he and John McCutcheon did together, "Signs of the Times", the one Bugsy mentioned, too.
When he came through, he sang a lot of love songs, including one that I'll post for you. Sort of basic call and response, simple words, and a strong straightforward sensual element.
It made me admire his courage in yet another way.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: northfolk/al cholger
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 09:29 AM

Barb, and others, Si is best known for his organizing and the music that has grown out of that, but the last time I saw him he was splitting his act, doing one set of his social justice music, and the next was a set of songs he had written for and about people that were special in his life. The depth of his understanding of the human condition is what makes him so good at all he does


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: jack wright
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 12:06 PM

We did Si's 1st LP, "New Wood", in the living room of Gary Slemp's home studio, (Teac 4 trk) in Wise, VA in the early 70s. I had just started the June Appal label for folks like Nimrod Workman, McCutcheon & Si, Sparky Rucker. We appeared as the leaders of Society choir on the LP. The house was next door to Gary's 1st cousin's-the late George C. Scott, but that's an aside. "New Wood" was well received, we got a personel letter from Robert Hunter from the Greatful Dead congratulating us on the record co. and telling us what a great LP he thought it was.

We were loosely associated with a whole group of musicians that we called the Southern Mountains Musician's Co-Op. There was Phyliss Boyens, Nancy Brennan, Jon Sundell, Malcolm Dalglish and many others. Our theme song was Mooseturd Pie and we often met at Highlander Center and the Epworth Center in Knoxville, Tn.

Si was phenomenal, it was his 1st LP. He could lay down his guitar track from beginning to end and come back and sing over it. He has a photographic mind. I don't know how he did it. I guess he had done his songs a lot and just sang under his breath. I recorded Si's 2nd LP but June Appal was a small label and we jointly agreed that he would try for a larger small label-Flying Fish. So I sent the tapes there. That 2nd LP was Home as I recall. 76-77?

Si's father was a rabbi around the Wash. DC area and Si's 1st cousin is the infamous speechwriter and thinktank tv personality, Bernie Aaronson, who used to work for the UMWA before he did a David Horowitz spin to the right.

Si has a son named Cowboy who is a lawyer and legal activist in NC the last I heard. He is the product of the union with Kathy Kahn of "Hillbilly Women" fame.

Si introduced many of us to the great songwriting of singer/songwriter Bob Martin from Lowell, MA.


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: Barbara
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 12:58 PM

Here's a link to my favorite Si Kahn song (and it IS hard to choose):Here Is My Home.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 02:24 PM

11/19/1915: Joe Hill, IWW organizer and songmaker, shot by a Utah firing squad. "Don't mourn for me. Organize!"

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 02:38 PM

WW: There are several copies of Si's book listed on www.bookfinder.com, with prices ranging from $7 to $16. CLICK HERE.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: WyoWoman
Date: 20 Nov 99 - 02:24 AM

Sandy--Thanks. I'll order it this weekend.

This has been a wonderful discussion. thanks to all of you.

WW


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: WyoWoman
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 11:11 AM

I finally took a road trip and had time to hear this CD in its entireity. And then I listened to it again and again. I'm learning "Backroom Lady," and "Better Half of You" just for starters.

Wonderful storytelling! Thank you so much for the suggestion.

Best, WyoWoman


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: Victoria
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 11:09 PM

Wyo Woman - I thank you for the "tip of the hat" to the women caring for our Nations future! I have worked in the child care / Early Childhood Education field for nearly sixteen years, and the turnover of teachers/caregivers is a frightening statistic in an environment where stability is of primary concern to the children. One misconception I must address however, is that of a lack of education. I am college educated myself, and have over the years seen a rising increase in the demand for degrees and certification for people in this field. While I am the first to agree that this demand for education is valuable and justified, the rise in wages has yet to prove adequate to support the cost of obtaining the education (and paying off those student loans!) with the result that the majority of child care workers are in the field only while on their way to someplace else. Those who remain in the field (as a labor of love with little financial gain) often have to maintain one or more part time jobs in addition, in order to augment their income. I have long wondered at the irony that the people in this field are scraping just to pay the rent and feed their own children, while theirs are the jobs that shape the future generation from it's earliest stages. (Children in my home state are often in care from age six weeks onward) Again, I appreciate your show of support in recognizing the contributions made by preschool teachers and child care workers in our country. These children are our future....what could be more valuable an asset? I will now step down off my teacher's soap box to add that I applaud Si Khan, his music and his work as well...and I appreciate the opportunity to share my views on this subject!


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: WyoWoman
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 01:17 AM

Victoria --

thanks for your posting. My very own daughter is one of those people with a rare gift for working with little children, and if ever there were a born kindergarten teacher or daycare teacher, it would be her. However, she's looked at the conditions and the wages and said, "No,thank you." She is working right now as a nanny, but it's only a temporary job while she decides where to go to graduate school and get a master's degree so she can make a decent living doing something having to do with "at-risk kids." We both know that the REAL place to make a difference with at-risk children is when they're 3 years old, but ... it's hard to make much of a life on minimum wage or only slightly over, which is what she'd be making as a pre-school teacher.

But, this is a political agenda that people are going to have to insist on before conditions change any, and right now we seem to be much more concerned about just about everything BUT ...

WW


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 05:03 PM

O.k., I just missed the chance to get it from the horse's mouth: we had Si here for a concert last night. In some of the publicity and in speaking to people I've been spreading the Norma Rae story -- except that today I find in this copy of a Washington Post article that some other organizer is cited by Cyrstal Lee Sutton as being the original behind the movie character. The presence of this other organizer doesn't preclude Si's being around at the time, but...!

Was it all a folk myth? Roger in Baltimore, what have you to say for yourself??

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: Celtaddict
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 07:10 PM

My favorite Si Kahn story.
I am told his son was in Northern Ireland some years ago and as he and a companion went by a pub they heard the folks inside singing "Aragon Mill." Kahn asked his companion about it. The companion said, "Oh, that's Belfast Mill; it is an old traditional song around here." Now that is good writing in the folk tradition!


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: Big Tim
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 06:12 AM

"Belfast Mill" has been recorded by Jane Cassidy and Maurice Leyden as "Belfast Mill (Aragon Mill by Si Kahn, Joe Hill Music 1974)". The album is "Mary Ann McCracken 1770-1866". The notes state "this beautiful song has been adapted into the local song tradition under the title Belfast Mill ...to describe Mary Ann's involvement in the [Belfast]textile industry". (Mary Ann McCracken was an employer, but a very enlightened one).


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Si Kahn...
From: InOBU
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 08:23 AM

Well, my favorite Si Kahn story, I was looking forward to playing with him in Ashville NC a while back, having known his stuff from Andy Irvine - he is very popular in Ireland. I was checking in at the hotel and this fellow was spelling his name to the girl (she was like 16,not being sexist...) at the desk.
"Excuse me, Mr. Kahn" she says, "I didn't expect a white man. I thought you might turn out to be a chinaman... what kind of name is Kahn anyway?"
"Well... German... I believe, we have been here a long time..." Paraphrasing my best memory of his reply..." "And what kinda of a name is Si?" "Well... there again it is an American name..."
Well, we had a great mutual compliment club, he is very generous with his praise, and frankly I think he has a perfect voice for the songs he sings. I could hardly emagine anyone else singing Mervin Barr.
If anyone has contact info for him, I have tried before, the cites don't seem to... please to PM me with his contact info.
Cheers Larry


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