How I discovered what Phil Ochs thought about Israel

If Bob Dylan was the Sun God for young Jewish summer-camp lefties, Phil Ochs was like a beloved local deity. Every morning but Shabbat, we would sing his subversively patriotic “Power And The Glory” (“but she’s only as rich as the poorest of the poor, only as free as the padlocked prison door”) to our very conflicted raising of the U.S. flag. At the weekly kumsitz (singalong), counselors regaled us with “Draft Dodger Rag,” Ochs’s wry spoof on avoiding Selective Service. I had brought my guitar and learned to bang out the songs.


Read more at…How I discovered what Phil Ochs thought about Israel


BOOK REVIEW: “Did It! Jerry Rubin: An American Revolutionary” by Pat Thomas

Multiple pages are devoted to folk singer Phil Ochs’ link to Rubin and how the clash in Chicago during the Democratic convention really had a serious impact on Ochs, with him cutting back on live performances and becoming convinced that the Yippies were incapable of really “provoking any kind of change in the status quo.” The topical troubadour would tell the media that America died in Chicago and that a “fascist military state” had arisen out of Chicago’s ashes. Ochs’ mental state would take a major dive by the time the 1970’s rolled around, with the civil-rights movements and social-justice movements having splintered into  factions and fallen apart as a generation became worn out and even Bob Dylan was turning inward and living in the country.

Rubin lamented Ochs’ death by suicide, stating that “What makes you angy about Phil’s death … here’s this nonviolent person, who sang about nonviolence, his life was a statement for nonviolence, who dies by hanging himself. It doesn’t make any sense.” And Rubin was not alone in sharing that opinion.


Read more at… BOOK REVIEW: “Did It! Jerry Rubin: An American Revolutionary” by Pat Thomas

Phil Ochs Song Night at Circle Of Friends Coffeehouse – Sep 16


featuring Greg Greenway, Pat Wictor, Reggie Harris,
& Tom Prasada Rao
September 16th 8PM $25
The Circle of Friends Coffeehouse starts our 28th season with a Phil Ochs Song Night on Saturday, September 16th at 8PM. Performers will include Greg Greenway, Pat Wictor, Reggie Harris, & Tom Prasada-Rao.  Phil Ochs was an American protest singer and songwriter known for his sharp wit, sardonic humor, earnest humanism, political activism, insightful alliterative lyrics, and distinctive voice.

He wrote hundreds of songs in the 1960s and 1970s and released eight albums. His best-known songs include “I Ain’t Marching Anymore”, “Changes”, “Crucifixion”, “Draft Dodger Rag”, “Love Me, I’m a Liberal”, “Outside of a Small Circle of Friends”, “Power and the Glory”, “There but for Fortune”, and “The War Is Over”.

Phil Ochs’ sister, Sonny, will act as the master of ceremonies as the four singers interpret his songs. As the concert unfolds, these musicians will interact in the round and perform the songs of Ochs with some modern touches added to his 40-to 50-year-old material.  Expect to hear threads of gospel, R&B, jazz, folk, and pop woven into a memorable evening of virtuosity and heart.  The performers are some of the best singer-songwriters and musicians in today’s urban folk lineup.

Tom Prasada-Rao was born in Ethiopia of Indian parents, and raised in the Washington, D.C. area. He’s won multiple Washington area music awards and has established himself as a masterful guitar player with an R&B feel. He also plays violin, piano, and a guitar/sitar hybrid.

Reggie Harris hails from Philadelphia and is a songwriter, a storyteller, and a lecturer. He has toured internationally for years with his wife Kim Harris. His songs echo the Civil Rights movement, Pete Seeger, and Bernice Johnson Reagon. His guitar is the rhythmic junction of all of these influences.

Pat Wictor has lived all over the world and is much in demand as a studio musician on his passion, the slide guitar. He is one-third of the acclaimed trio Brother Sun. Wictor recently released a solo CD of Phil Ochs songs titled “This Is Absolutely Real: Visions and Versions of Phil Ochs.”

Greg Greenway is an international ambassador of the Boston folk scene. In addition to his instrumental expertise, he is a soulful and moving singer, and powerful poet. Greenway performs on guitar, piano and ukulele, and is another third of Brother Sun.

Phil’s songs are more relevant today than ever.  Please join us for an evening of powerful and uplifting music.

The Circle of Friends Coffeehouse is a non-profit organization affiliated with Franklin’s First Universalist Society. Concerts are presented in a smoke free and alcohol free environment at the Society’s handicapped accessible Meetinghouse, 262 Chestnut St. in Franklin, and begin at 8:00 PM; doors open at 7:30 PM. Beverages and gourmet desserts will be available. Admission is $25. Please call (508)528-2541 or visit to purchase tickets or for more information.