Thursday, September 04, 2008

The “Golden Voice of the Great Southwest”: Legendary Folk Musician, Activist Utah Phillips, 1935-2008
from Democracy Now! May 27, 2008

Utah Phillips, the legendary folk musician and peace and labor activist, has died at the age of seventy-three.

Over the span of nearly four decades, Utah Phillips worked in what he referred to as “the Trade,” performing tirelessly throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. The son of labor organizers, Phillips was a lifelong member of the Industrial Workers of the World, known as the Wobblies.

As a teenager, he ran away from home and started living as a hobo who rode the rails and wrote songs about his experiences. In 1956, he joined the Army and served in the Korean War, an experience he would later refer to as the turning point of his life. In 1968, he ran for the US Senate on the Peace and Freedom Party ticket. For the past twenty-one years he lived in Nevada City, where he started a nationally syndicated folk music radio show. He also helped found the Hospitality House homeless shelter and the Peace and Justice Center.

Read it here

UTAH PHILLIPS: I think that—I think that it’s getting—it can get as bad. I think that we’re being frog-marched into a corporate fascist takeover of the country. And no fooling, I think that we’re in the Weimar Republic. And that’s another thing that I would encourage young people to understand, what—that was Germany before the Second World War, the rise of Hitler, the rise of Nazism. Why didn’t people do anything? You know, the big question that young Germans are asking their grandparents: “Why didn’t you do something?” Read about the Weimar, compare the rise of fascism in Germany from the 1920s to what’s happening right here right now.

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