In 1942, the US and Mexican governments created the Bracero Agreement
, allowing Mexican agricultural workers to come into the United States for a limited time, to provide farm workers while the US was involved in World War II. The program was extended as a series of a series of laws and diplomatic agreements that finally ended in 1964
. Probably the most famous popular memorial to the broad program was a poem by Woodie Guthrie
, "the last great song he would write
," after hearing about a plane crash in Los Gatos, which was reported as a flight full of nameless "deportees."
A decade later, a young school teacher/folk singer named Martin (or Marty) Hoffman put the words to music, and Pete Seeger made the song popular
, with numerous covers performed and recorded since
. 65 years after the crash, those "deportees" were finally named
, and that tombstone for "28 Mexican citizens" replaced with the names of those who died
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Aug 24, 2014 -
“The Fox” tells the simple story of a fox who attacks a farmer’s birds. In most versions, he is spotted by the farmer’s wife and chased away by the farmer himself, but gets away with a duck or a goose. Although it often sounds thoroughly modern, it is in fact one of the oldest folksongs we have in English. The earliest texts are in Middle English and come from the 15th century.
Folklife Today, a blog from the Library of Congress, provides a short history of this well-loved song
. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes
on Feb 28, 2014 -
The Music Scene
is a television series aired by ABC as part of its Fall 1969 lineup. The show featured performances from the top musicians of the week as compiled by “Billboard Magazine” and had a number of hosts, including David Steinberg and Lily Tomlin. Many huge names of the era, including The Beatles, James Brown, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Three Dog Night, Tom Jones on the initial program and Janis Joplin, Bobby Sherman, The Miracles, Sly & the Family Stone, Isaac Hayes, Stevie Wonder, Bo Diddley and Mama Cass Elliot, (who co-hosted as well as performed) among many others, appearing on subsequent shows. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A
on Feb 9, 2014 -
WMFU DJ Irwin Chusid
has put together a tribute website to music producer Tom Wilson
. Wilson was born in 1931 and died young at 47 in 1978. Among the musicians he worked with: Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Pete Seeger, The Mothers of Invention, The Velvet Underground, Nico, Gil-Scott Heron, and Professor Longhair. Some of his notable and more far-out productions
, include the Bob Dylan "Like a Rolling Stone" session which was the subject of the much repeated Al Kooper organ riff anecdote
. He had been president of Harvard's Young Republican club, graduated Harvard cum laude, and was African-American
. He was also friends with Wally "Famous" Amos
, and it was through Wilson, that Amos, at the time an agent at William Morris, came to represent Simon & Garfunkel.
posted by larrybob
on Sep 9, 2013 -
"The People's Song Book,"
published in 1948, was intended to be "a folio of freedom folklore, a weapon against war and reaction, and a singing testament to the future," according to its foreword
, which was written by Alan Lomax
"[T]hese songs have been tested in the fire of the people's struggle all around the world. They emerged quietly and anonymously in the vanguard of apparently lost causes, where men of good will have fought to keep this a decent world to live in. ... These folk, heritors of the democratic tradition of folklore, were creating for themselves a folk-culture of high moral and political content." [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes
on Mar 4, 2012 -
To Hear Your Banjo Play
is a documentary by Alan Lomax from 1947. It is narrated by Pete Seeger and features Woody Guthrie, Sonny Terry, and Brownie McGhee among others.
posted by RussHy
on May 23, 2009 -