Who Was… Phil Ochs, Really?

During the tail end of JFK’s thousand days and into LBJ’s escalation of the Vietnam conflict, few singer-songwriters mattered more to an audience that wanted music to be politically confrontational than Phil Ochs. He emerged from the downtown-NYC folk scene of the 1960s armed with incendiary topical material, wit and righteous fervor. With Bob Dylan stepping away from “finger-pointing” songs, Ochs was next in line to carry that torch. His songs were blunt and unsparing, like rapid-response reports from the front lines of dissent, and so it came as quite a jolt when this descendant of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger challenged his audience to accept Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly as forefathers of the ’60s revolution.

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One thought on “Who Was… Phil Ochs, Really?

  1. A friend of mine was at the concert where he first appeared in gold lame and was booed by the audience. She couldn’t believe it, and neither could I when she told me about it. I so wish we could have cloned him, considering the 2016 election–he’d have so much material to work with.

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