‘Folk City’ at the Museum of the City of New York

“The exhibition rifles through photographs and memorabilia of familiar names (Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Peter Paul and Mary) and nearly forgotten ones like Peter La Farge, whose “Ballad of Ira Hayes” — a bitter song about a Native American who fought at Iwo Jima — is among the recordings.”


2 thoughts on “‘Folk City’ at the Museum of the City of New York

  1. Phil Ochs was the man whose songs articulated what I felt most strongly about in my life from 1966 thru 1973 or thereabouts. I’ve already posted here a show I recently compiled on then-Stony Brook student Kenny Bromberg’s interview with Phil in 1967, which you can hear here:


    All the songs were written and performed by the great Phil Ochs ….
    All the stupidity when I wrote a letter in the school newspaper in 1967 as an 18-year old asking folks to boycott Phil’s records because he initially scheduled his concert at Stony Brook opposite the first anti-Vietnam war march on the Pentagon, is mine!

    While I knew of Phil’s friendship with the great Chilean folksinger Victor Jara, I was unaware of his narrow escape from being “disappeared” in Boliva, as reported below.

    Here’s a song I wrote “with” Victor Jara (meaning I juxtaposed his song to my own words. We’d never met):
    [audio src="http://www.mitchelcohen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Pinochet.mp3" /]

    I wrote it in the summer of 1973 while completing a 4 month prison sentence in Riverhead, Long Island, for anti-war activities at Stony Brook. The poem rewrote itself a few years ago when Gen. Augusto Pinochet was finally brought to trial in Chile, and I had the idea to combine it Karaoke-fashion with a song by Victor Jara. (Words and translation of Victor’s song is at bottom, below the TeleSur story.)

    Phil Ochs, Victor Jara, and so many others were singers, songwriters and poets who put their bodies on the line for their art and their politics. We need to hear more about them, and to appreciate the enormous sacrifices they made (in Phil’s case, his sanity and his joi de vivre, leading to his suicide).

    Mitchel Cohen


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