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Obit: Anne Feeney (1951-2021)

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Jack Campin 11 Feb 21 - 07:44 PM
GUEST,harpy 10 Feb 21 - 12:46 AM
Jack Campin 09 Feb 21 - 03:52 AM
GUEST,# 07 Feb 21 - 01:10 AM
GerryM 07 Feb 21 - 01:00 AM
Joe Offer 06 Feb 21 - 09:18 PM
Elmore 06 Feb 21 - 07:27 PM
Waddon Pete 05 Feb 21 - 10:58 AM
Joe Offer 04 Feb 21 - 02:44 PM
StephenH 04 Feb 21 - 02:40 PM
Joe Offer 04 Feb 21 - 01:42 PM
Mark Ross 04 Feb 21 - 01:31 PM
Jack Campin 04 Feb 21 - 09:32 AM
Joe Offer 23 Dec 16 - 03:06 AM
Jack Campin 22 Dec 16 - 08:38 PM
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Subject: RE: Obit: Anne Feeney (1951-2021)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 Feb 21 - 07:44 PM

Another superb obit:

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Subject: RE: Obit: Anne Feeney (1951-2021)
From: GUEST,harpy
Date: 10 Feb 21 - 12:46 AM

Anne made a lot of friends here in Tallahassee. She hung around here a lot. She was of the tribe.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Anne Feeney (1951-2021)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Feb 21 - 03:52 AM

Anybody know if Anne ever recorded "One Meatball, No Spaghetti"? It was the first thing I ever heard her sing, and, my god...

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Subject: RE: Obit: Anne Feeney (1951-2021)
From: GUEST,#
Date: 07 Feb 21 - 01:10 AM

From the above link:

' In 2001 Peter Yarrow wrote this tribute to Anne Feeney.

“Have You Been to Jail for Justice" is characteristic of Anne's work not only because of its advocacy, but because it conveys a joyful sense of humor. Like Anne, this song looks at the world with a spirit of community, the spirit of an organizer, people who write and sing from a sense of enjoying people and participating in the life around them even as they recognize the great inequities that we have.

Whenever Peter, Paul & Mary perform this song, people burst into applause and laughter at the end of the last verse: "So get courage from your convictions. Let them haul you off to jail!" It's as if they're marching in support of what the song says. The song evokes history and celebrates events we as Americans can be proud of in the context of our right-wing political climate -- the elimination of child labor, extending the vote to women, the elimination of slavery. These changes could not have occurred without changes in the law and the acts of people who were willing to take a stand that involved going to jail for their ideals of justice.

This is truly a patriotic song. I say this with pride in our constitution and that America is a country that allows people to go to jail for justice. It takes a strong country to do this. The song appreciates the right of people to be a loyal opposition and to express their opposition in the context of civil disobedience.I believe that with this song Anne is extending this tradition and contributing to carrying forward this sense of what America stands for in the best sense, and the song expresses that for the audience. It's an impassioned eloquent statement in the spirit both of laughter and heartfelt connection.” - Peter Yarrow '

PP&M singing "Have You Been to Jail for Justice": Anne Feeney:

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Subject: RE: Obit: Anne Feeney (1951-2021)
From: GerryM
Date: 07 Feb 21 - 01:00 AM

She didn't write this, but she sings the heck out of it: We Just Come to Work Here, We Don't Come to Die

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Subject: RE: Obit: Anne Feeney (1951-2021)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Feb 21 - 09:18 PM

The Labor Heritage Foundation emailed a very nice tribute to Anne Feeney (1951-2021)
    Anne Feeney was a passionate labor singer-songwriter, activist, and hell-raiser, who was an important part of the Labor Heritage Foundation family. She was a mainstay at our Great Labor Arts Exchanges, and performed at our annual fundraiser. In 2005 LHF presented her with our Joe Hill award for lifetime achievement in the field of labor culture.

    In her ferocious and celebratory way of fighting the bosses, she touched many hearts. We will miss her energy and her outspoken commitment to social justice and union solidarity.

    Here are a few of the songs she sang:

    Have You Been to Jail for Justice

    We're Nursing As Fast As We Can

    The Parting Glass

    Obituaries have appeared in Rolling Stone, Billboard, The Washington Post and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    "Don't mourn, organize." - Joe Hill

    "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living." - Mother Jones

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Subject: RE: Obit: Anne Feeney (1951-2021)
From: Elmore
Date: 06 Feb 21 - 07:27 PM

I bet nobody ever told her to shut up and sing.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Anne Feeney (1951-2021)
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 05 Feb 21 - 10:58 AM

Another good one gone, but what a legacy of song she has left behind her. a Joe says at the top of the thread, "She writes and sings powerful songs. We're going to need those songs in the next few years, with injustice back in fashion. Anne brings justice songs back in fashion."


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Subject: RE: Obit: Anne Feeney (1951-2021)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Feb 21 - 02:44 PM

Here's the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article Jack linked to. Written by Scott Mervis, dated February 3, 2021

Anne Feeney, folk singer and political activist, dies at 69
July 1, 1951-Feb. 3, 2021

Anne Feeney, the legendary Pittsburgh folk singer-songwriter and self-described rabble-rouser, has died of COVID at age 69.

Her daughter, Amy Sue Berlin, shared the news in a Facebook post on Wednesday night, writing, in part, “It is with a very heavy heart that we must announce the passing of our courageous, brilliant, beautiful mother, Anne Feeney. We were very lucky that she fought hard enough to open up her eyes, and give us a couple days to be with her before she finally decided it was time to let go.”

"It is with a very heavy heart that we must announce the passing of our courageous, brilliant, beautiful mother, Anne..."

Posted by Amy Sue Berlin on Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Born in Charleroi and raised in Brookline, Feeney took early inspiration from her grandfather, William Patrick Feeney, a mine worker's union organizer and a violinist. In 1967, while still in high school, she bought a Martin guitar and did her first public performance, singing Phil Ochs songs, at an anti-war rally in 1969. She was arrested at the Republican National Convention in Miami in 1972 protesting the nomination of President Richard Nixon.

Also in 1972, while at the University of Pittsburgh, she co-founded Pittsburgh Action Against Rape. She graduated from the Pitt School of Law in 1978, worked 12 years as a trial attorney and served as president of the Pittsburgh Musician's Union. She also was president of a NOW chapter and served on the board of the Thomas Merton Center.

During that period, she married labor attorney Ron Berlin, with whom she raised two children, Dan and Amy. (They were divorced in 1995.)

In 1991, she hit the road hard, traveling around the country to perform at folk festivals, labor conventions and rallies, including the WTO demonstrations in Seattle, Solidarity Day in Washington, D.C., and the 2004 March for Women's Lives.

Her business card read: “Performer, Producer, Hellraiser.”

In 1992, she delivered her debut album, “Look to the Left.” Her subsequent albums in the ‘90s and ‘00s — mixing original and traditional songs and blending folk, pop, Irish and bluegrass — included “Union Maid," "Have You Been to Jail for Justice?" and “Dump the Bosses Off Your Back.” Her songs were recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary and she shared stages with such legends as Pete Seeger, Billy Bragg and Loretta Lynn. Her song "Have You Been to Jail for Justice?" is featured in such documentaries as “This is What Democracy Looks Like” and “Get Up/Stand Up: The History of Pop and Protest.”

In reviewing one of her albums, The Fort Worth Weekly wrote, “Dissent is an essential element of the American ideal. Feeney has never shied away from expressing opinions that are unpopular with people who have the loudest voices.”

In 2005, she received the Joe Hill Award from the Labor Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Feeney’s career was put on hold in 2010 when she was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. Three years later, it was in remission. To help her during the downtime, Berlin, a folk singer herself, curated the benefit tribute album to her mom, “War on the Workers,” which featured Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary), Holly Near, Dan Bern, Anti-Flag, Emma’s Revolution and more doing political/protest songs. Her second husband, Swedish political artist Julie Leonardsson, created the cover art.

Mr. Yarrow stated in the liner notes, “For decades, I’ve held Anne in great esteem: for her determined heart, her passionate commitment to justice and the way she’s lived the messages of the folk tradition (just as Peter, Paul, and Mary did) putting her life and her presence out there to speak about and sing about what needs to be shared.”

“I had seen artists include politics in their show before,” Anti-Flag frontman Justin Sane said upon its release, “but Anne Feeney was the first artist I encountered whose set was unapologetically and ferociously political. That set had a major impact on me as an artist. I remember thinking to myself, ‘This is the kind of musician I want to be. This woman is punk as hell!’ And she still is!”

Rusted Root’s Liz Berlin, who covered Feeney’s “Have You Been to Jail for Justice?” in her Social Justice Disco project with Phat Man Dee, noted last week that Feeney, her musical mentor, “introduced me to the world of folk music and activism.”

“First time I saw her I was 17 at a hospital workers strike in Canonsburg,” Man Dee said. “She was [expletive] fierce, with amp on back and guitar in her arms, her hair bouncing out of her sun visor like a shampoo commercial as the cops were throwing protestors into school busses. I wanted to be just like her.”

Feeney’s friend and bandmate Rick Lacy posted Wednesday night that he met Feeney in 1968 when he was 18 and she was 16. She had placed an ad looking for musicians to play with. They gigged together and he would become her bassist in 1990.

“I had no idea,” he wrote, “she had gotten so well known in the interim. My first job with her was at Penn State in front of close to 1,000 people. I had just learned her songs and was playing a totally unfamiliar instrument but it worked out okay. I will tell you that my knees were shaking though. We had some wonderful tours and I got to play bass on 2 of her albums. Traveling and playing with her rank up with my top memories and there are so many stories to tell.”

Among them, he notes, was a gig in Vegas with Tony Orlando and Dawn.

According to Amy Berlin’s Facebook posts, Feeney was living in a senior care facility, where she suffered a fractured vertebrae that sent her to a nursing facility. She was diagnosed with a Covid-related pneumonia in late January.

In a 2008 interview, Feeney told the Post-Gazette, “I think music is a fantastic way of empowering people and giving them strength and energy. I've spent a good part of my life trying to find and write music that will empower people to resist and stand up for what's right."

In lieu of sending flowers or cash donations, Berlin asks that people consider making a donation to the Thomas Merton Center in her honor.

Scott Mervis: smervis@post-, 412-263-2576

In 2016, musicians assembled tribute album to Anne Feeney

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Subject: RE: Obit: Anne Feeney (1951-2021)
From: StephenH
Date: 04 Feb 21 - 02:40 PM

Very sad news, indeed. Like so many others, I drew a great deal of
inspiration and joy from Anne's music.
She was, as Mark Ross says,"the Energizer Bunny of Folk Music."
At one summertime gig at the Waverley Hotel in Cumberland,BC, she got over-heated in the first set and so came out to play the second set in her slip and bare feet!
A big loss.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Anne Feeney (1951-2021)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Feb 21 - 01:42 PM

She was a classic American folksinger - based more in politics and justice than in tradition, and full of passion and insight. She sang her heart out for decades. And in her singing, she became the tradition. May she rest in peace now.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Anne Feeney 1951-2021
From: Mark Ross
Date: 04 Feb 21 - 01:31 PM

I met Anne around 1999 when I was hired by Amtrak to play on the Inaugural run of the Three Rivers (Chicago to Pittsburgh). They gave me a room from Montana to Pittsburgh and back, with a 7 hour layover in Pittsburgh. I called Utah Phillips to ask what I could do there on the layover. He put me in touch with Feeney, who picked me up at at the depot, took to me to a friends house for some food and a chance to trade some songs, and then gave me a tour of the town, which included a visit to the Stephen Foster memorial, a ride on the funicular railway and a stop for a drink, before driving me back to the station to start my trip home.
A year later I asked her to come to Butte for a Folk Festival. I couldn't guarantee her any money but she paid her way out to play for us.
She would come to Eugene Oregon to play at the Oregon Country Fair, an event to would see up to 50,000 people over the weekend. In 2012 I heard that she had broken her wrist and I called to tell her that if she needed me to play guitar I was available, and that that year was Woody Guthrie's centenerary. The next thing I knew she had booked a tour that started on June 29th and ran for 3 weeks with one night off! It was Folk Music Boot Camp. At the Country Fair she came down sick with a kidney infection ending up in the hospital. I took her her phone and glasses, and when I goat to the ICU she immediately got on the horn to cancel our gigs in Weed Californis, and Reno Nevada. The nurses were saying that she would be there for a couple of days, but Anne insisted on making the last show in San Francisco (an 8 hour drive from Eugene). We made it, a half hour late!
The woman was the Energizer Bunny of Folk Music! It will be long time before we see her like again.

Mark Ross

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Subject: Obit: Anne Feeney 1951-2021
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Feb 21 - 09:32 AM

This one is really painful. I knew Anne when she was a law student in Pittsburgh in the 1970s. Wonderful person and just never stopped.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette obituary

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Subject: RE: Anne Feeney benefit album
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Dec 16 - 03:06 AM

I didn't know anything about Anne Feeney until I did the research for the Rise Again Songbook. Editors Peter Blood and Annie Patterson had included some Anne Feeney songs, including "Have You Been to Jail for Justice," "Corporate Welfare Song," and "The Rich Man's House" (my favorite), along with a number of songs that Anne has recorded. She writes and sings powerful songs. We're going to need those songs in the next few years, with injustice back in fashion. Anne brings justice songs back in fashion.
YouTube has an Anne Feeney Channel and Wikipedia has an Anne Feeney page.
Anne's Website is


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Subject: Anne Feeney benefit album
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Dec 16 - 08:38 PM

Dunno why hardly anybody but me ever posts about Anne Feeney, but anyway...

HuffPo blog on a new benefit album of Anne Feeney covers

She's wonderful.

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