Concert tour

Southern leg of Joe Hill Roadshow

The southern leg of the Joe Hill Roadshow kicks off Sunday, Oct. 4 in Atlanta.

10/4/2015 Concert: Joe Hill Roadshow, Atlanta, Georgia, 7:00 p.m. With I Want Whiskey, George Mann, Lee Furey, Jumpin’ Jesus Christers, and Craig Rafuse.  Eyedrum (, 88 Forsyth Street, Atlanta. $10 – $20 sliding scale.

10/9/2015 Joe Hill Roadshow, Louisville, Kentucky. 7:00 p.m. With John Gage, Will Oldham, Sue Massek, John Paul Wright, Walter Thomas Beck (poet), The Joe Hill Players and Special Guest Ira Grupper. Nelligan Hall, 2010 Portland Ave. $10.

10/10/2015 Concert: Shelby Bottom String Band, The Cantrells, Todd Sharp, Jack Herranen & The Little Red Band and others commemorate Joe Hill. Nashville, Saturday Oct. 10, 7:30 p.m.
Douglas Corner, 2106 8th Avenue South, Nashville TN 37204. Tickets $12 advance, $15 at the door. (Checks can be mailed to TAP, PO Box 60338, Nashville TN 37206) Sponsored by Tennessee Alliance for Progress, Nashville Peace and Justice Center.

10/17/2015 Concert: Joe Hill Roadshow in Pittsburgh. Anne Feeney, Mike Stout and the Human Union, and Smokehouse Lightning. Saturday, Oct. 17, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. The Pump House (location of the Historic Battle of Homestead), 880 E. Waterfront Dr., Munhall, Pennsylvania.



Swedish Embassy statement on centennial of Joe Hill’s judicial murder


September 22, 2015

Statement by the Ambassador of Sweden to the United States on the occasion of the centennial of the death of Joe Hill

This Fall we are remembering the centennial of the death of Joe Hill. On November 19, 1915, Joe Hill, born Joel Emmanuel Hägglund, was executed in Utah State Prison after being convicted of a murder in a robbery gone wrong. Hill denied that he was involved in the robbery and killing. The Swedish Envoy to the United States and the Swedish public all became involved in a bid for clemency. In archival materials donated to the Joe Hill Collection at the Walter P. Reuther Library, by His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf in 1976, this is documented.

In a 2011 biography, William M. Adler concluded that Hill was probably innocent of murder.

Joe was born in 1879 in the Swedish town Gävle. His father, who was a railroad employee died young and when his mother died in 1902 Joe and one of his brothers did what many poor Swedes did at the time. He emigrated to the United States.

Here he became a migrant worker, a labor activist, song writer and cartoonist for the Industrial Workers of the World.

His most well-known songs include “The Preacher and the Slave,” “The Tramp,” “There is Power in a Union,” “The Rebel Girl,” and “Casey Jones—the Union Scab.” Folk singer Pete Seeger sang and recorded his songs. Some of the songs are still sung in the Swedish labor movement.

The most famous song is probably the song about Joe Hill, “I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night” with lyrics by Alfred Hayes and tune by Earl Robinson. The song was performed by Joan Baez at Woodstock in 1969 and also recorded by her as well as by Paul Robeson. In May 2014, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band opened their concert in Tampa, Florida, with the song.

Joe Hill was commemorated in Sweden in 1980 with the issuing of a postage stamp that cost 1, 70 Swedish kroner, which at the time was the amount for airmail to the United States.

A biography by Gibbs M. Smith was turned into the 1971 movie “Joe Hill” directed by Bo Widerberg. The film has been restored and digitalized by the Swedish Film institute and the Embassy is hoping it will be screened in the United States in the near future.


Judy Collins singing at Joe Hill commemoration

Here is a clip of Judy Collins singing at the Joe Hill commemoration concert in Salt Lake City over Labor Day weekend:

We’re looking for a report on the event; the local daily seems to have been content to run a photo on its website early in the day. However, they have posted a package on the Joe Hill centenary which gives a reasonably good overview — except that it ignores the strong evidence William Adler’s book presents that Joe Hill was innocent, and that police let the actual murderer go in order to pursue their frame-up. Instead, the paper gives space to the family of the murdered grocer to assert that no amount of evidence can move them to recognize the truth. To make up for it, there’s a pretty good short graphic novel treatment of Joe Hill’s life.

Commemorations Concert tour Joe Hill songs

Joe Hill on Labor Day

This weekend is looking to be a busy one for Joe Hill centennial events.

We kick off with a commemoration in Salt Lake City, at the site of the execution:

9/5/2015 Concert: The Joe Hill Organizing Committee hosts a day-long celebration of Joe Hill’s life and work Saturday, Sept. 5, at Sugarhouse Park (which stands on the site of the prison where Joe Hill was held and executed) in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Noon to 8 p.m. Judy Collins, Mark Ross, Anne Feeney, David Rovics, Mischief Brew, Joe Jencks, and many more. Free.

9/6/2015 Exhibition on life and legacy of Joe Hill opens at American Swedish Historical Museum, Philadelphia. A report with photos (on the website) will air Labor Day on WHYY-FM.

through Sept. 7: Exhibit: Joe Hill – martyren från Gävle. Länsmuseet Gävleborg, Gävle, Sweden. The Museum website offers photos of the exhibits alongside an extensive text offered in English and Swedish. The Swedish version has a much richer array of photographs, both from the era and of the exhibit itself.

9/7/2015 Labor Day Concert: Bucky Halker sings labor songs at the historic Pullman site in honor of Labor Day and Joe Hill. Pullman Historical Site (Chicago suburbs), Noon – 2:00 p.m., free.

Joe Hill 100 Roadshow launches in Sweden next Friday!

Bucky Halker’s new album, Anywhere But Utah: Songs of Joe Hill, is being released. Here’s a link to an article about the CD that has appeared in several papers, including one issued in Salt Lake City. We hope to have copies to sell through soon.

The Events page is being continuously updated; in the last week we have added shows throughout the midwest and the south, and we hope to get details up on the West Coast leg of the Roadshow in the next several days.

We Never Forget! Joe Hill Lives! Don’t Mourn, Organize!