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Greatest protest singer of the sixties

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GUEST 28 Jan 00 - 02:59 AM
Joe Offer 28 Jan 00 - 04:37 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 28 Jan 00 - 08:18 AM
mthompso 28 Jan 00 - 08:32 AM
InOBU 28 Jan 00 - 08:37 AM
Gary T 28 Jan 00 - 09:14 AM
folk1234 28 Jan 00 - 10:22 AM
harpgirl 28 Jan 00 - 10:24 AM
Steve Latimer 28 Jan 00 - 10:40 AM
northfolk/al cholger 28 Jan 00 - 10:58 AM
Rick Fielding 28 Jan 00 - 11:11 AM
Hasek 28 Jan 00 - 12:13 PM
GUEST 28 Jan 00 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,paul 28 Jan 00 - 12:39 PM
Amos 28 Jan 00 - 12:54 PM
Steve Latimer 28 Jan 00 - 01:22 PM
Doctor John 28 Jan 00 - 01:29 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 28 Jan 00 - 03:29 PM
Troll 28 Jan 00 - 03:40 PM
catspaw49 28 Jan 00 - 03:52 PM
Bert 28 Jan 00 - 04:00 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 28 Jan 00 - 04:29 PM
GUEST,Bobby Spencer 28 Jan 00 - 04:34 PM
Amos 28 Jan 00 - 04:36 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Jan 00 - 04:38 PM
Amos 28 Jan 00 - 04:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Jan 00 - 05:44 PM
DonMeixner 28 Jan 00 - 05:53 PM
Rick Fielding 28 Jan 00 - 06:05 PM
Amos 28 Jan 00 - 09:47 PM
JedMarum 28 Jan 00 - 09:51 PM
JedMarum 28 Jan 00 - 10:04 PM
GUEST,Rayvon 28 Jan 00 - 10:36 PM
Amos 29 Jan 00 - 01:44 AM
reggie miles 29 Jan 00 - 03:01 AM
wildlone 29 Jan 00 - 08:28 PM
Greg F. 29 Jan 00 - 08:44 PM
MarkS 29 Jan 00 - 09:34 PM
GUEST,Frank of Toledo 29 Jan 00 - 09:55 PM
bbelle 29 Jan 00 - 10:17 PM
catspaw49 29 Jan 00 - 10:42 PM
JedMarum 29 Jan 00 - 11:24 PM
GUEST,_gargoyle 29 Jan 00 - 11:50 PM
GUEST,Skip 30 Jan 00 - 02:51 AM
Greg F. 30 Jan 00 - 09:38 AM
Doctor John 30 Jan 00 - 09:42 AM
WyoWoman 30 Jan 00 - 12:03 PM
Willie-O 30 Jan 00 - 09:15 PM
Little Hawk 22 Oct 01 - 02:18 PM
Whistle Stop 22 Oct 01 - 02:43 PM
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Subject: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 02:59 AM

Who do you all think was the greatest protest singer of the sixties and why?


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 04:37 AM

Undisputed Winner: Dylan.
Reason: "Blowin in the Wind," "Masters of War," "Times They Are A-Changin."

I suppose the winner should really be Phil Ochs, but I think his influence was limited. Ochs could sure write a protest song, though - my favorite is "Draft Dodger Rag." Paxton wrote some good ones, too.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 08:18 AM

Joan Baez would have to be my choice. She had a good reason for protesting. Arlo Guthries "Alices Restaurant" is an all time classic, definatley worthy of consideration in my humble opinion...Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: mthompso
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 08:32 AM

And it's 1 2 3 what are wwe fightin for, Don't ask me I don't give a damn, Were of to vietnam, and it's 5 6 7 8 over them purly gates, Ain't got time to wonder why, Whoopie were all going to die.....


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: InOBU
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 08:37 AM

I have to disagree with Joe and Dave (though Dave, with a lashing of rum pushed accross the focsle table to ye, aye... yarrrrrrr)
Phil Oachs, who I believe will have a long effect, as his songs are refound by generations seeking to understand the times in ways that, How many seas can a white dove sail? just dont speak to. I think I Aint Marching Anymore, is an anthem of our age, and, as Phill himself said, a protest song is defined as a song you dont hear on the radio, and theyll say they dont play it because the guy cant sing or the words or no good, while they play the shit they play these days... it all has to do with the process all raound the western trail, that includes the England and Frances and Canada,and America they have this media syndrom that controlls they way you think, that led us into the Vietnamese war and the Kennedy assasination but what can you do? here you are a poor soul, a helpless peice of flesh amoung these crule crule machines and heartless men, what can you do but turn away, and hope to build something new...
Larry


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Gary T
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 09:14 AM

I vote for Phil Ochs. Not as influential as Dylan, not as sweet-sounding as Baez, but lots of heart, soul, mind, and musicianship in his songs.


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: folk1234
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 10:22 AM

I too agree with the likes of Dylan, Ochs, & Baez, but the ones I liked the best, and I still listen to, are done by The Chad Mitchell Trio. CMT had a unique way of having fun while protesting. They delivered a powerful message, but they were also very entertaining. You left their concert feeling good, not angry.


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: harpgirl
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 10:24 AM

...definitely Joan Baez...no other performer was as dedicated to important social issues...non-violence...feeding the hungry, etc....supporting exploited workers....harpgirl


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 10:40 AM

I wasn't really around for it as I am 40 now, but Dylan is the guy that said it best for me. CSNY had some good ones and so did Richie Havens.


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: northfolk/al cholger
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 10:58 AM

Woody Guthrie died in 1967. Many of the nominees reportedly made pilgrimages to see him, even though he was way beyond being able to sing write or perform, I think he was still the most important folksinger of the sixties.

I think Pete Seeger followed close behind, because he had been blacklisted for years. Nothing proves your effectiveness more than when your enemy attacks you.

Then in no particular order, Arlo, Baez, Dylan,(pre-electric), Ochs, Havens, Odetta, Paxton, followed by the commercially successfull, PPM, electric Dylan, et al.


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 11:11 AM

Gilles Vigneault's masterpiece "Mon Pays" was a rallying cry for thousands upon thousand of young Quebecers. The Quebec independence movement was artistically fuelled by that song.

I think however that John Lennon reached the most people.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Hasek
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 12:13 PM

Phil Ochs still gets my vote !!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 12:35 PM

Barry McGuire.


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: GUEST,paul
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 12:39 PM

IT HAS TO BE DYLAN NO QUESTION


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 12:54 PM

The question is a troll, beyond question. I doubt any of the great names that have been named here thought of themselves as in a competition, although they were all glad to earn a buck. They sure weren't racing against each other to pick a winner; they were driven by a different muse altogether.

The question also has too many possible interpretations -- you could vote in Ochs for passion, Dylan for breadth and rawness, Baez for her clarity and soulfulness, Odetta for her spiritual depths, and Buffy Sainte Marie for sheer gusto.


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 01:22 PM

I forgot about John Lennon, certainly worthy of consideration. I have to agree with Amos though, these people were singing for a cause, not competition.


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Doctor John
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 01:29 PM

Phil Ochs was way ahead of the others; he had the right mix of protest and humour just like Woody had. Some really beautiful stuff. I agree with Larry: "White dove...sleep in the sand...cannonballs banned" is just pure doggeral to me. Just listen to Phil Ochs's tribute to Woody and compare Dylan's tribute - the latter is just a few WG lines badly cobbled together. Tom Paxton used to be good too; used to be! Dr John


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 03:29 PM

Amos you have shown clarity of thought and taste. Buffy would be my third choice, what a composer of good music she is though! ..Melanie Safka was my favourite singer of the sixties, but would hardly qualify as a protest singer. Nope, despite sipping the nice rum Larry provided and mulling over the choices of the venerable Mudcat crew I stand with Joan Baez. I think we should have a competition amongst the crew here to choose the best protest song of all time...(judging by the characters here on this thread, it will be the longest contest ever held in Mudcat History) We should nominate three judges to be the final arbiters. What do you say mates anyone up fer it? Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Troll
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 03:40 PM

No Question Phil Ochs. You might not agree with him, but you couldn't ignore him.

troll


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 03:52 PM

Picking a greatest anything is about impossible. I've thought about this one since it started and as I read the postings, I really find nothing that's not expected. Everyone of these people have had a demonstrative influence. But the greatest? Hmmmmm.........

Ya' know perhaps the greatest protest singers were all of us who picked up the songs and sang them. Just a thought.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Bert
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 04:00 PM

I'd vote for Tom Paxton. 'Cos I like him and for consistency, he is still writing good political songs. Also songs with a little humor in them tend to be more effective.


Bert.


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 04:29 PM

Hey guys and girls why dont we have a Mudcat competition to judge the best protest song of all time...nominate some venerable members as judges; and see if we can come up with the best protest song ever written..I'd be willing to bet that the competition would go on for quite some time. Yours,Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: GUEST,Bobby Spencer
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 04:34 PM

It just HAS to be Dylan. He defined the angst of the generation in a spectacularly special way. Take the music away and he's still the poet laureate of the generation. Poetry gets its power through metaphoric ambiguity and Dylan had truck loads of it.

After Dylan, I'd say John Lennon. When you're widely listened and accepted the influence and the power that your music has for change is so much the greater for it.

Very, very few songwriters (self included)have escaped the influences of the above mentioned, whether they know it or not.

Honorable mention should be given to Woody Guthrie though. Albeit, he mostly belonged to other decades, it all pretty much comes back to him more than it does anyone else. That's what I think.


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 04:36 PM

The Universal Soldier, written by Ochs, I think, and sung by Buffy, or was it the other way 'round, is one of the finest pieces of anti-war music ever written. So, too, is "I Ain't a Marchin' Anymore", but on the rough-and-tumble side of the ledger, I could vote for "Ye Masters of War". I don't see anyway to calibrate all this opinion, though, Davey lad.

A.


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 04:38 PM

I hate the term "Protest Singer". Woodie Guthrie never called himself a Protest Singer. Nor did most of the people mentioned in the thread. It's just a marketing label that tries to fit people into little boxes.

Everyone seems very geared to the American scene so far - if we'rer talking about where the most powerful songs about injustice came from, Ewan McColl and Christy Moore should be in there.

But I thionk Amos was right: "The question is a troll, beyond question." Sticking people in competitive lists like this is a bit of a waste of time.


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 04:50 PM

Actually, the unknown (to me) minstrels who wrote the great Irish protest songs, such as Kevin Barry, the Irish Green (when I was a maiden....), and the Rising of the Moon, Roddy McCorley, Kelly the Boy from Killanne..and so many others I am sure...there are some great voices of protest, and no marketing needed!

A


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 05:44 PM

Of course we've all been assuming it's the 1960s we're concerned with.

Well, I don't know what kind of singer Julia Ward Howe was, but "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" was a pretty powerful song.


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: DonMeixner
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 05:53 PM

Buffy St. Marie wrote The Universal Soldier actually and to my knowledge Ochs didn't sing it.

My vote goes with Phil Ochs. I never felt that he was being cute or just string words and us along with bizarre and mumbled meaning. His love ballads were few but striking, Celia for instance. I always felt his meanings were clear as crustal. His satire was biting and rough. Only Paxton was his superior in satire. I won't play the sell out card on Dylan. I just never liked him particularily. although some of his tunes are favorites of mine.

Ochs gets my vote followed by Malvina Reynolds and then Paxton a virtual tie for second.

Don


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 06:05 PM

I'm chuckling a bit right now. Folks if you don't think Dylan, Ochs, Baez, P,P and M, and quite a few other fine "commercial" performers and writers were in SERIOUS competition with each other, you're very wrong. From long experience I would say that Pete Seeger was one of the VERY few writers and singers of anti-government material who tried NOT to be in competition with his peers.

These were dedicated caring performers, but everyone named became part of an entertainment hierarchy, which included limos, huge fees, extensive contract riders, mainstream celebrity friends and some of the most devious and greedy management practices imaginable. It's all documented in the many biographies of the aforementioned artists. I would hasten to say though, that in my mind it has never diminished the important work they did, in my eyes at least.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 09:47 PM

Well, RIck, I'll defer to your insight -- I imagine anyone who gets drawn up into that MOsheen ends up tallying perks. I like to think that in the first instance, though, they were drawing on something other than limos as their motivation.

A


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: JedMarum
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 09:51 PM

best protester? Phil Ochs (always had a sharp edge to grind)

biggest impact protest song writer? Bob Dylan (reached more people)

best songwriter who wrote some protest songs? Tom Paxton (hands down)


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: JedMarum
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 10:04 PM

can't leave this one alone; I hope the tin bit of thread creep is indulged.

I'm not a Phil Ochs fan. I know he was/is clever and found some timely topics, maybe drew attention to some issues - but neither his music nor his 'wisdom' ever struck a chord in me.

Dylan captured the interest and the hearts of a generation - for a large portion of the world. He made quality contributions to the music, poetry and politics of the day.

Paxton gave the world some jewells that will pass into generations. He may not have captured Dylan's marketshare, but Tom's best will ripple on generations beyond. His protest songs are clever and I appreciate their messages, but he has captured real beauty, love, joy and pain in several of his songs - and these gifts shine on beyond the protest.


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: GUEST,Rayvon
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 10:36 PM

How about those guys who did "Dawn of Correction" for best anti-protest singers of the 'sixties?


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Amos
Date: 29 Jan 00 - 01:44 AM

I am almost positive I heard Phil Ochs performing The Universal Soldier. But that was long ago and there were "certain nefarious elements" at work which may have scrambled my recollection, or the original perception...which shall remain nameless. So I won't swear to it, but I have a pretty clear image of him singing it in mind.


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: reggie miles
Date: 29 Jan 00 - 03:01 AM

I think Dave Van Ronk's Luang Prabang wins my vote. I still love singing it every chance I get. Dave gets right to the meat of it with this one like no one else has.


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: wildlone
Date: 29 Jan 00 - 08:28 PM

Pete Seeger, Joan Baez. Ewen McColl wrote some good ones. yet another case of personal taste.


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Greg F.
Date: 29 Jan 00 - 08:44 PM

Don't want to get into the 'greatest' or 'best' thing, but both Pat Sky (e.g. Jimmy Clay) and Richard Fariña(e.g.Birmingham Sunday) turned out some good material in a 'protest' vein. Ditto Eric VonSchmidt.


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: MarkS
Date: 29 Jan 00 - 09:34 PM

Pete Seeger and song "The Big Muddy" gets my vote for the best of the anti-war songs of the era. Too bad it never got wider distribution.


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: GUEST,Frank of Toledo
Date: 29 Jan 00 - 09:55 PM

I have to include Dick Gaughan in that group of protest singers........


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: bbelle
Date: 29 Jan 00 - 10:17 PM

Phil Ochs and Richard Farina, but I love Tom Paxton for ALL his writings ... moonchild


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Jan 00 - 10:42 PM

Hey Greg...Thanks for mentioning Patrick Sky. I too know he wasn't as influential(except on me...I'm a Pat Sky jukebox), but if he ONLY wrote "Jimmy Clay" that would be enough to qualify him. What makes the song great today is that it speaks to the horror and waste without affixing blame.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Jan 00 - 11:24 PM

right moonchild! we're kindred spirits!


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: GUEST,_gargoyle
Date: 29 Jan 00 - 11:50 PM

Never thought to pay attention to the AUTHORS....perhaps records were available...but our miniscule monies went for the tantalizing albumns such as "Sergent Pepper"

But most everthing in the LA FREEP (with chords and tab) was prone to our interpretations(Los Angeles Free Press) of the late 60's....and the broadsides that went with it.

I.E.

Got a Letter From LBJ
Nancy Brown in the Hills of West Virginy
Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh
We Will<> And a Dozend More

Never noticed Paxton, or Ochs name connected to our favorites (until the DT/MC) in those days if it WAS played on main stream radio....(KPFK Pacifica was OK)we DID NOT play it....to be "hip" it had to be "underground"


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: GUEST,Skip
Date: 30 Jan 00 - 02:51 AM

Thanks everyone for all your wide ranges of thought and experience. What do we judge by -- "greatest protest singer"? Personally I put the emphasis on "protest." Phil Ochs' voice was the harshest, his songs the most like a knife into the depths of the system, his life the least compromised, and that uncompromising stance lasting longer than almost anyone's. I look back and say about everyone, including Dylan, they were songwriters who wrote some protest songs. Ochs was a protester who wrote songs. --my $0.02, thank you.


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Greg F.
Date: 30 Jan 00 - 09:38 AM

Hullo, Spaw- Good to find another Pat Sky fan- he didn't get much play, really, 35 years ago & you don't hear of him at all these days... tho I believe he's still around. I note that "Jimmy Clay' isn't in the database- will try to post the words when I get a minute or two.

Cheers, Greg


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Doctor John
Date: 30 Jan 00 - 09:42 AM

Rick, I agree with your choice of Pete Seeger. Was the Broadside album by Sis Cunningham recorded in the 60's? If so, she must be high on my list. Just listen to "Sundown" among others on that recording, if you know it. If you don't, buy it! And here's a lady who is totally uncompromising and I think she taught Woody Guthrie a thing or two! Dr John


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: WyoWoman
Date: 30 Jan 00 - 12:03 PM

I remember sitting in my living room in Oklahoma with my parents when Pete Seegar sang, I think, "The Big Muddy," ("we're right in the middle of the Big Muddy and the big fool says to march on...") on the Smothers Brothers show. My father's face turned purple, he of the American Legion, Captain in the U.S. Army, and he raged against the "communist" who was trying to destroy everything he'd fought for. I was a kid at the time and thought it was completely awesome and courageous. It was certainly a line of demarcation in our family. And capsulized the great divide in our country.

For this and other reasons, I vote for Pete Seegar, even though there were others whose voices I liked more or whose songs propagated easier because they weren't so impassioned.

ww


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Willie-O
Date: 30 Jan 00 - 09:15 PM

Don't think Phil Ochs was commanding "huge fees", since I saw him at Le Hibou coffeehouse in 1973, two years before he killed himself. There was his gold lame suit album, though, the one entitled "50 Fans Can't Be Wrong".

When i saw him he was complaining that all the campuses had been taken over by "spiritual assholes." Tragic that he died, but I'd have liked to hear what he would have written about the so-called New Age.

Willie-O


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Oct 01 - 02:18 PM

Well...greatest protest singer of the 60's, eh?

For sheer personal dedication and idealism: Joan Baez

For lyrical and overall impact and depth of theme: Dylan

For singlemindedness: Phil Ochs (though I find him hard to listen to for some reason, probably because he's too literal for me...too singleminded)

For Native American themes and fiery intensity: Buffy Sainte-Marie

"The Universal Soldier" by Buffy is possibly the most effective antiwar song ever, for presenting a simple philosophical truth in a beatifully effective way.

The most subversive protest material was always Dylan's, because he protested on EVERY level, not just on the obvious ones. "Highway 61 Revisted" is protest all the way through, for instance, but it's not literal protest in the usual sense...it protests not just war or segregation, but everything.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Greatest protest singer of the sixties
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 22 Oct 01 - 02:43 PM

Of the people mentioned so far, my favorite is Dylan, hands down. But I'm sure he would object to being characterized as a "protest singer," and I would agree with his objections. In fact, the term "protest singer" is such a confining category that I think any good songwriter would probably object to being put in that box. Most of Dylan's best stuff had little to do with politics, and some of his political stuff was pretty lame in my opinion (including some of the "big hits" like Masters of War, With God On our Side, etc.).

In this context I tend to think more of songs than of singers. Seeger's "Big Muddy" has to be on the short list of truly great political songs of the 60's, as do Tom Paxton's "Lyndon Johnson Told The Nation" and Joe McDonald's "Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag". But I don't care for very many overtly political songs from the 60's; in my estimation most fall short musically, or oversimplify the political issues, or both.

Just in case there's somebody left out there that I haven't pissed off, I also have to say that I've never heard anything by Phil Ochs that impressed me. I'll take it on faith that he was sincere, and I'm certainly sorry that he died as young as he did, but in my opinion he was not much of a songwriter, and a pretty middling singer.


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Mudcat time: 3 July 7:58 AM EDT

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