Commemorations Media

Video podcast on the Joe Hill Roadshow

An hour-long podcast (also broadcast on local access cable in Madison) showcases the Joe Hill Roadshow. Norm Stockwell (a member of the national organizing committee) and host John Quinlan spend an hour discussing the life and legacy of Joe Hill, and share clips from some of the musicians who will be performing on the Midwest leg of the tour.
This show was produced at the facilities of the Sun Prairie (WI) Media Center.  It will be widely distributed via other community media stations throughout Wisconsin.  While some of the broadcast is Madison-specific, Norm provides extensive background on the national nature of the tour, and both the local and national resonance of the themes it embraces.
At the outset, we share the Phil Ochs/Billy Bragg youtube video that chronicles Joe Hill’s life through picture and song, and use clips throughout the show to offer viewers a sampling of the repertoire of eight of the participating artists.  Here’s the link to the video:

Happy Birthday, Ben Fletcher

IWW organizer Ben Fletcher was one of the organizers of the country’s first integrated longshore locals. Shortly before serving as secretary for the San Pedro, California, longshore strike committee, Joe Hill met with Ben Fletcher and other Philadelphia IWW organizers.

Commemorations Concert tour

John McCutcheon: Joe Hill’s Last Will

Folksinger John McCutcheon has released a new album, Joe Hill’s Last Will, marking the centenary of his execution. His blog describes the album this way:

Joe Hill was a songwriter for the Industrial Workers of the World, the Wobblies, back in the early 20th century. He was the ultimate utilitarian songwriter, composing pieces to be used at meetings and picket lines and rallies. He wrote songs to be sung and to be used. To be useful.

His songs “The Preacher & the Slave” and “Casey Jones, the Union Scab” are what some people know of his work. But veteran folk musician and longtime labor activist, John McCutcheon, has released an album bringing Joe Hill’s music to a whole new audience. With fresh arrangements, stunning musicianship, and released on a palette that makes these songs feel as though they were written today rather than a century ago, there is a life and vitality that is both rare and refreshing.

Joe Hill was executed by a Utah firing squad at dawn, November 19, 1915. This album is being released in honor of the centenary of Hill’s death.

Songs on the album: Casey Jones, It’s a Long Way Down to the Soup Line, The Tramp, Joe Hill’s Last Will, Mr. Block, What We Want, The Preacher & the Slave, Overalls & Snuff/The Connaughtman’s Rambles, The Wooden Shoe/Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay, The Rebel Girl, Stung Right, Where the Fraser River Flows, There Is Power in a Union

Tour dates:

Saturday, June 6, Sutter Creek Theater, 44 Main St., Sutter Creek CA

Sunday, June 7, Grass Valley Center for the Arts 314 W Main St., Grass Valley CA

Monday, June 8, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company 1075 E 20th St., Chico CA

Wednesday, June 10,  Fresno CA

Thursday, June 11, Church of the Brethren, 2301 Woodland Ave., Modesto CA

Friday, Jun 12, St. James Episcopal Church, 37051 Cabrillo Terrace, Fremont CA

Saturday, June 13,  Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison, Berkeley CA

Sunday, June 14, Sebastiani Theater, 476 First St. East, Sonoma CA

Friday, June 19, Singleton Center for Performing Arts, 922 Park Ave., Richmond, Virginia