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
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
“Anne Feeney is the best labor singer in North America,” according to the late great Utah Phillips. This Pittsburgh-based activist has a dozen critically acclaimed recordings embodying her bottomless songbag, as well as her own inspiring and often hilarious original songs. Audiences love Anne’s humor, hope, and her high-energy performances. Celebrating 45 years of comforting the afflicted, and afflicting the comfortable. www.annefeeney.com
Since emerging on the new folk scene in Sweden in 1972, Jan Hammarlund’s songs of struggle, liberation and love have garnered him the admiration of acoustic music fans and activists all over Scandinavia. In addition to his popular original compositions, Jan has translated the songs of Violeta Parra, Bertolt Brecht, Malvina Reynolds and various French cabaret-style composers. Jan Hammarlund is more than a musical storyteller, he is a singing historian. www.janhammarlund.se
Fusing folk, blues, honky-tonk country, straight ahead rock, and jazz, Bucky Halker has recorded a dozen albums, including his double-CD, The Ghost of Woody Guthrie (2012), an original music tribute to Guthrie, and Welcome to Labor Land (2007), his renditions of labor protest songs from Illinois. Bucky, a Ph.D. in labor history, is the author of For Democracy, Workers, and God: Labor Song-Poems and Labor Protest, 1865-1895 and the producer-scholar for the Folksongs of Illinois CD series. He is currently recording a CD of Joe Hill’s songs to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Hill’s execution in 1915. Rick Kogan recently referred to Bucky as a “missionary, spreading the words and redefining folk music in new and vital and exciting ways.” Chicago Tribune (March 23, 2014) www.buckyhalker.com
Lil Rev is an award-winning storyteller, entertainer and rooted multi-instrumentalist. A former teacher, bus driver and self-proclaimed music historian, he has been called “A Wisconsin Treasure” by the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Folk Center and Pete Seeger said, “Listen to this! Lil Rev is great!” Lil Rev tours North American teaching ukulele clinics, performing his one-man shows of Jewish Cultural Heritage and concertizing at traditional arts venues from coast to coast. www.lilrev.com
JP Wright is a singing Locomotive Engineer and union activist. His music centers around his work at the railroad as well as his involvement in the Rank and File reform labor movement. His music is influenced by folk and traditional Kentucky mountain music. He is currently Co-Chair of Railroad Workers United and a delegate for the Kentucky IWW General Membership Branch. www.railroadmusic.org
October 7, 1879: Birth of Joe Hill (as Joel Hägglund) in Gävle, Sweden.
December 7, 1887: Joe Hill’s father, Olof, dies during operation to treat injury from job accident.
October 3, 1900: Joe Hill released from hospital after surgery and long convalescence from tuberculosis contracted as a rope maker (a trade he began work at at the age of 12). Returns to Gävle – working in shipyard, plays piano in local cafés, and joins the Gävle Workers’ Federation.
January 17, 1902: Joe Hill’s mother, Catharina, dies.
October 28, 1902: Joe Hill (and his brother) arrives in New York City from Sweden.
April 18, 1906: Joe Hill in San Francisco Earthquake; writes about it for Swedish newspaper Gefle Dägblad.
August 27, 1910: Joe Hill publishes his first article in the Industrial Worker.
March 2, 1911: IWW wins Fresno, California, Free Speech Fight.
April 30, 1911: Joe Hill leaves San Pedro, California, to join Mexican Revolution.
June 22, 1911: Joe Hill flees to California after Mexican troops crush Magonista rebellion.
July 6, 1911: Joe Hill’s song “The Preacher and the Slave” (Long-Haired Preachers) published in IWW’s Little Red Songbook.
September 30, 1911: Nationwide strike of more than 40,000 railway shopmen inspires Joe Hill’s song “Casey Jones – the Union Scab.”
March 20, 1912: Joe Hill joins San Diego Free Speech Fight.
March 27, 1912: Start of 8-month Fraser River Strike by IWW railroad construction workers, British Columbia. Joe Hill joins 1,000-mile picket line, writing several songs to bolster spirits on the picket line.
March 31, 1912: Joe Hill is IWW speaker at Free Speech League rally in San Francisco Building Trades hall, speaking on San Diego Free Speech Fight, in which he participated.
April 8, 1912: Joe Hill arrives in Fraser River Valley, Canada, to support striking IWW railroad construction workers.
May 9, 1912: Joe Hill’s song “Where the Fraser River Flows” published in Industrial Worker.
July 18, 1912: Joe Hill elected secretary of San Pedro IWW longshore strike committee.
August 1, 1912: San Pedro longshore strike defeated, Wobblies blacklisted.
January 1913: Joe Hill’s song “Mr. Block” published in Industrial Worker.
February 16, 1913: Joe Hill song “Scissor Bill” published in Industrial Worker.
March 6, 1913: Joe Hill’s “There Is Power in a Union” first appears in IWW Little Red Songbook.
April 3, 1913: Joe Hill’s anti-war song “Should I Ever Be A Soldier” first published in Industrial Worker.
April 10, 1913: Joe Hill’s song “The White Slave” first published in Industrial Worker.
May 29, 1913: Joe Hill’s song “Stung Right” published in Industrial Worker.
July 9, 1913: Joe Hill leaves San Pedro, California, jail after 30 days on vagrancy rap stemming from his role in longshore strike. Blacklisted, he soon heads to Salt Lake City.
July 10, 1913: Industrial Worker reports IWW win in strike against Utah construction contractors.
August 12, 1913: Gun thugs break up IWW street meeting, Salt Lake City.
January 10, 1914: Murder of Salt Lake City grocer provides pretext for frame-up of Joe Hill.
January 12, 1914: Salt Lake City police arrest man who likely committed the murder Joe Hill was executed for.
January 14, 1914: Salt Lake City police shoot, nearly kill, Joe Hill in his bed.
January 22, 1914: Joe Hill pleads not guilty; police condemn him as writer of IWW songs.
January 28, 1914: Joe Hill’s preliminary hearing; police soon “lose” transcript.
June 10, 1914: Jury selection begins in Joe Hill trial; judge packs jury pool to defeat defense challenges.
June 19, 1914: Judge in Joe Hill trial “corrects” witness testimony to preserve prosecution case.
June 24, 1914: Defense testimony shows Joe Hill could not have been shot during Morrisey robbery.
July 8, 1914: Joe Hill sentenced to death.
September 19, 1914: IWW newspaper Solidarity publishes Joe Hill’s song, “Workers of the World, Awaken.”
May 28, 1915: Utah Supreme Court hears Joe Hill appeal; rules state has no obligation to prove charges.
October 16, 1915: Utah Pardons Board “considers” Joe Hill’s fate as Salt Lake newspaper falsely ties him to 1911 robbery. (Hill was in Mexican Revolution at the time.)
October 31, 1915: Salt Lake City IWW Secretary R.J. Horton shot in back, killed; the killer is feted the next day at the Elks Club.
November 9, 1915: Huge New York City rally demands Joe Hill be freed. Speakers include Joe Ettor, John Reed and Jim Larkin.
November 16, 1915: American Federation of Labor convention delegates demand new trial for Joe Hill.
November 19, 1915: IWW organizer and songwriter Joe Hill murdered by Utah authorities.
November 25, 1915: Tens of thousands pack Joe Hill funeral, Chicago.
February 14, 1929: Real killer freed by Salt Lake cops in Joe Hill case involved in St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, Chicago.
November 18, 1988: Last of Joe Hill’s ashes released from federal government custody. They had been seized from the mails by the government in 1917 under the Espionage Act and secretly held for decades.
Release of Joe Hill centenary edition of “Solidarity Forever” Labor History calendar.
11/14/2014 Joe Hill 100 Years Part 3, Labor/Migrant/Gulf Group Exhibition. Uri-Eichen Gallery, 2101 S. Halsted, Chicago. Features work by more than 70 artists from around the world. Opening features Bucky Halker singing songs of Joe Hill. 8 p.m.
1/16/2015 Proposals due for 47th annual conference of the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association. Come to Seattle May 1-3 to Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the writing of Solidarity Forever, Honor the life of Joe Hill on the centennial of his execution, and Act to strengthen and rebuild the labor movement for a secure future.
Exhibition: 3/14/2015: Joe Hill – martyren från Gävle. Länsmuseet/Gävle, Sweden. The website includes information on the exhibit, which will run for several weeks, and on related events.
Film Showing & Joe Hill Songs: 3/25/14: La Maison des Métallos (Steel Workers House), Paris, France. Release party for new Les Mutins de Pangée documentary on Howard Zinn, which includes segment on Joe Hill. Fred Alpi will perform Joe Hill songs.
Exhibition: 4/10/2015Joe Hill 100 Years Part 4: Killed, paintings by James Wechsler. URI-EICHEN Gallery, 2101 S Halsted, Chicago.
5/1-2/2014 Chicago Commemoration. Among events being organized are a Friday night concert and ceremonies at the Haymarket Monument on Friday May 1 (Illinois Labor History Society, Noon) and at Waldheim Cemetery Saturday May 2 (11 a.m., includes scattering of ashes of former IWW General Executive Board chair Fred Lee, who secured the release of Joe Hill’s ashes from federal custody).
Concert: 5/1-10/2015 Joe Hill Road Show. Concerts in Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee, Oshkosh, St. Paul, and more.
Joe Hill Road Show: 5/1/2015 May Day Kickoff with Anne Feeney, Jan Hammarlund direct from Sweden and more! Haymarket Monument, 175 N. Desplaines St., Chicago. Free
Friday, May 1: Chicago: HideOut, 1354 W Wabansia Ave. with Bucky Halker, JP Wright, Anne Feeney, Jan Hammarlund, and a short talk on Joe Hill by Alexis Buss. http://www.hideoutchicago.com
Sunday, May 3: Batavia, IL: Fox Valley Folk Society, with Bucky Halker, JP Wright, Anne Feeney, Jan Hammarlund http://foxvalleyfolk.com
Tuesday, May 5:Sheboygan WI: Paradigm Café, 1202 N 8th St. with Bucky Halker, JP Wright, Anne Feeney, Jan Hammarlund, Lil’ Rev and guest Michael Lee Amons. http://paradigmvenue.com/
Wednesday, May 6: Madison, WI: Barrymore Theater, 2090 Atwood Ave. with Bucky Halker, JP Wright, Anne Feeney, Jan Hammarlund, Lil’ Rev and special guests David HB Drake, Steven Lee Rich, David Sewell, Moe Hirsch, The Solidarity Sing-A-Long Singers, the Forward Marching Band, and spoken word with Marty Kehrein and Martha Stahl. http://www.barrymorelive.com/
Thursday, May 7: Green Bay, WI: Luna Café, 330 Main Ave. with Bucky Halker, JP Wright, Anne Feeney, Jan Hammarlund, Lil’ Rev and special guest Skip Jones. https://lunacafe.com/
Friday, May 8: Milwaukee, WI: Anodyne Café, 224 W Bruce St. with Bucky Halker, JP Wright, Anne Feeney, Jan Hammarlund, Lil’ Rev and special guests David HB Drake, Will Branch and Harvey Taylor. https://anodynecoffee.com/
Saturday, May 9: Oshkosh, WI: New Moon Café, 401 N Main St. with Bucky Halker, JP Wright, Anne Feeney, Jan Hammarlund. http://newmooncafe.com/
Sunday, May 10: St. Paul, MN: East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier St.with Bucky Halker, JP Wright, Anne Feeney, Jan Hammarlund, and special guests Emmett Doyle and Paul Metsa. http://eastsidefreedomlibrary.org/
5/1-3/2015 Pacific Northwest Labor History Association conference, celebrating the centenary of the writing of “Solidarity Forever” and honoring the life of Joe Hill on the centennial of his execution. Seattle, Washington.
Concert & Book Release: 6/6/2015. Tribute to Joe Hill celebrates release of a new French translation of Franklin Rosemont’s book on Joe Hill and working-class culture, and several musicians performing Joe Hill’s songs in French and English. CNT complex, 33 rue des Vignoles, 75020 Paris, France.
6/14/2015 Sonoma, Calif. Sebastiani Theater, 476 First St. East
6/19/2015 Richmond, Virginia. Singleton Center for Performing Arts, 922 Park Ave.
7/5/2015 Concert: David Rovics, Joe Hill Commemoration Concert, opening LaborFest 2015 at ILWU Local 34 Hall in San Francisco. On July 5, 1934, two longshore strike supporters were gunned down by police, igniting the 1934 San Francisco general strike. LaborFest is an annual working class cultural, music and film festival. www.laborfest.net
7/14/2015: Poetry & Music: Bastille Day, Words on the Anniversary of Joe Hill’s Death. LaborFest, San Francisco. Tuesday, July 14, 7:00 p.m. Free. First Unitarian Universalist Church – 1187 Franklin Street. Poets Judith Ayne Bernard, Dorothy Payne, John Curl, Mahmaz Badihian, Jack Hirschman, Agneta Falk, Karen Melander Magoon and others. Music with Troubadour Vic Sadot.
7/15/2015: Film: “The Ballad of Joe Hill”(1971, Sweden) by Bo Widerberg. San Francisco. FilmWorks United International Working Class Film & Video Festival. Wednesday, July 15,7:00 p.m. Free. ILWU Local 34 Hall, 801 2nd St. next to AT&T Ball Park.
This dramatic film tells Joe Hill’s story as an immigrant coming to the United States. This rarely seen Academy Award-nominated film is about an ingenious immigrant labor organizer who is framed on a murder charge in a highly sensationalized trial with little evidence. Despite worldwide appeals, Hill is martyred by a Utah firing squad after one of the most controversial capital punishment trials of the 20th Century. Today, on the hundredth anniversary of his death, the state of Utah has reinstated the firing squad. Despite the bullets that ended his life, his legacy, humor, principles and solidarity with workers of the world live on.
7/23 – 8/2/2015 Joe Hill Roadshow, East Coast leg begins in Washington, D.C. and ends in Cambridge, Mass.
Thursday, July 23, Washington, DC: Magpie, Charlie King, DC Labor Chorus and George Mann in concert. Washington Ethical Society, 7750 16th St NW, 7:30 pm. $10-$15, no one turned away for lack of funds.
Friday, July 24, Baltimore: Magpie, Charlie King and George Mann in concert. First Unitarian Church, 514 N Charles St., 7:30 pm. $15, $10 students and seniors, no one turned away for lack of funds. Advance tickets: 410.685.2330
Saturday, July 25, Philadelphia: Magpie, Charlie King and George Mann with special guest John Braxton in concert. University Lutheran Church, 3637 Chestnut St., 7:30 p.m. Sliding Scale, $10 – $30, children $5. Sponsored by Crossroads Concerts; co-sponsored by American Swedish Historical Museum and IWW Hungarian Literature Fund.
Sunday, July 26, Ithaca, NY: Magpie, The Burns Sisters and George Mann in concert. The Space at Greenstar, 700 W Buffalo St., 7:00 pm. $15, no one turned away for lack of funds.
Wednesday, July 29, New York City: Magpie, Charlie King, George Mann and New York City Labor Chorus in concert.Local 1199 Union MLK Auditorium, 310 West 43rd Street, New York, 7:30 pm, $10-$15, no one turned away for lack of funds.
Thursday, July 30, Schenectady, NY: Charlie King, Magpie, Joe Jencks, and George Mann onstage in the underground theater. Eighth Step at Proctors, 432 State Street, Schenectady, 7:00 pm
Friday, July 31, Barre, VT: Magpie, Charlie King and George Mann (with special guests Anything Goes) in concert. Old Socialist Labor Hall, 46 Granite Street, 7:30 pm, tickets $15, seniors and students $12, no one turned away!
Joe Hill Roadshow, Northeast Leg
Saturday, August 1, Springfield, MA: Magpie, Charlie King and George Mann in concert. Bing Art Center, 718 Sumner Ave., 8:00 pm. $15, students and seniors $10, none turned away for lack of funds.
Sunday, August 2, Cambridge, MA: Magpie, Charlie King and George Mann (with special guest Evan Greer) wrap up the Northeast leg with a concert at this venerable, historic folk music venue. Club Passim, 47 Palmer Street, Cambridge, MA 8:00 pm. Tickets $20, $18 for members.
8/13-15/2015 Still Building Internationalism Conference, Gävle, Sweden. Three days of music, books, and organized discussions around the topics of Work and Migration, Work and Repression, and Building Internationalism, Connecting Struggles. Organized by the SAC union,Joe Hill-sällskapet and Federativs Förlag, the conference will be attended by members of self-managed and radical unions across Europe. Click here for information on registration.
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.
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. Sunday, Oct. 4, Eyedrop, 88 Forsyth Street, Georgia. $10 – $20 sliding scale.
10/8/2015 Concert: Bucky Halker. Woody Guthrie and songs of the Dustbowl. The show will also include several Joe Hill songs. Chillicothe Library, 430 N Bradley Ave, Chillicothe, IL. 2:00 p.m., free.
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.
10/23/2015 Concert: An evening of Rebel Music commemorating Joe Hill’s centenary with Len Wallace, The Adrays, and The Slowdown. Friday Oct. 23, 8:00 p.m.,Cass Commons, 4605 Cass at Forest, Detroit. Sponsored by the Detroit Branch of the IWW, the Michigan Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, and the Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice. $10 donation.
Centenary of the murder of IWW songwriter and organizer Joe Hill by the state of Utah.
Joe Hill Roadshow, West Coast leg. Nov. 5 through Nov. 20. Chris Chandler, George Mann and David Rovics, with special guests.
November 5, San Diego: Chris Chandler, George Mann & David Rovics, Thursday, Nov. 5, 7:00 p.m. San Diego Education Association hall, 10393 San Diego Mission Rd. $5 – $15 sliding scale. Sponsored by IWW San Diego Organizing Caucus. Co-sponsored by San Diego Education Association (SDEA) & San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council (AFL-CIO); endorsed by Activist San Diego, Coalition for Labor and Community Solidarity, UCSD Union Coalition, Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft, Interfaith Center for Worker Justice, University Technical and Professional Employees Local 9, Groundwork Books Collective.
November 6, Los Angeles/San Pedro: Chris Chandler, George Mann & David Rovics, Friday, Nov. 6, 8:00 p.m. (Reception at 7:00) IATSE Local 80 Hall, 2520 W. Olive Ave., Burbank. (Parking onsite) $10 – $20 sliding scale. Sponsored by IATSE, IWW Los Angeles, and Arbeiter Ring/Workmen’s Circle.
November 7, San Francisco Bay Area: San Francisco Labor Heritage/Rockin’ Solidarity Chorus will join the Road Show’sChris Chandler, David Rovics and George Mann for this concert. Saturday, Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m. City College of San Francisco, 50 Phelan Ave. $10-$20, no one turned away for lack of funds.
November 8, Nevada City, CA: Chris Chandler, George Mann & David Rovics with special guests Bodie Wagner and Duncan Phillips. Sunday, Nov. 8, 6:30 p.m. (Live broadcast) KVMR Radio Station Community Room, 120 Bridge St.,Nevada City. $10 – $15 sliding scale. This show also honors the legacy of IWW singer U. Utah Phillips, who lived in Nevada City for many years.
November 9, Reno, NV: Chris Chandler, George Mann & David Rovics with special guests Tim Gorlangton and David Fennimore. Monday, Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m. Studio on 4th, 432 E 4th St. $10 – $15 suggested donation.
November 11, Weed, CA: Patrick Dodd, George Mann, Mark Ross & David Rovics perform from a boxcar stage. Wednesday, Nov. 11, Community Dinner 6:00 p.m., Show 8:00 p.m. Black Butte Center for Railroad Culture, 800 Black Butte Rd. $10.
November 12, Phoenix OR: Chris Chandler, George Mann & David Rovics. Thursday, Nov. 12, 7 p.m. Grass Shack Hawaiian Café, 205 Fern Valley Road, Phoenix, in the Shoppes at Exit 24. 6 p.m. buffet outside, 7 p.m. concert inside. Buffet is $13.95 (Please RSVP for dinner headcount 541-622-9483), Concert is $10 – $20 sliding scale. Nobody will be turned away from the concert for lack of funds. Sponsored by: Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice.
November 13, Eugene, OR: George Mann and David Rovics with Special Guest Mark Ross. Friday, Nov. 13, 7:30 p.m. First Christian Church of Eugene, 1166 Oak St. Suggested donation $10-$20, no one turned away for lack of funds.
November 14, Portland, OR: George Mann and David Rovics special performance for the Cascade Media Convergence, Liberty Hall, 311 N. Ivy St. Suggested admission $5-$10.
November 15, Bellingham, WA: Linda Allen, George Mann, David Rovics and Rebel Voices (Janet Stecher and Susan Lewis). Sunday, Nov. 15, 7:00 p.m. Unitarian Universalist church, 1207 Ellsworth St. Sponsored by Bellingham GMB, Industrial Workers of the World. $10 – $20, no one turned away for lack of funds.
November 20, Salt Lake City, UT: Otis Gibbs, Duncan Phillips, Kate Macleod, Walter Parks and many special guests. Friday, Nov. 20, 8:00 p.m. The Stateroom, 638 South State St. $15 admission
11/5-28/2015 Play: The Subversive Theatre Collective presents Si Kahn’s “Joe Hill’s Last Will.” Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Tickets $25, $20 for students, seniors and union members, Thursdays are pay what you can.Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Avenue, Buffalo NY (third floor of North Buffalo’s historic Great Arrow Building).
11/7/2015 Concert: “Joe Hill…The Man Who Never Died… 100 Years Ago!” Everett, Washington. Featuring Gary Kanter, Friends & Fellow Travelers. Saturday, Nov. 7, 7 p.m. Firewheel Community Coffee House 2727 Colby Ave.
11/13/2015 Concert: Bucky Halker, Anywhere But Utah – The Songs of Joe Hill. Friday, Nov. 13, 7:00 p.m. Uri-Eichen Art Gallery, 2101 S Halsted St, Chicago. Bucky will be sharing new recordings from his new release “Anywhere But Utah – The Songs of Joe Hill” in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the murder of Joe Hill. Some of these songs have never before been put to vinyl, disc or acetate. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. for an exhibition of artwork from the IWW, the Illinois Labor History Society, Fight for Joe Hill, Molly Crabapple and Jon Langford, and a talk by public historian Paul Durica. The exhibit runs through Nov. 23.
11/17/2015 Tom Morello & Friends Joe Hill Memorial Concert. Tuesday, Nov. 17, 8:00 p.m. Troubadour, 9081 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles. Performers include: Tom Morello, Joan Baez, Ziggy Marley, Van Dyke Parks, Boots Riley, Rich Robinson, The Last Internationale, Tim Armstrong, Wayne Kramer, Jill Sobule, David Rovics, and Built for the Sea. Part of events marking the centenary and celebrating the release of the new edition of The Letters of Joe Hill.Tickets $20.
11/18/2015 Lecture: William Adler, Salt Lake City, Utah. Adler, author of The Man Who Never Died, speaks at 7 p.m. at Ken Sanders Rare Books, 268 S. 200 East, Salt Lake City; free.
11/19/2015 Vigil to mark centenary of the execution of Joe Hill, Salt Lake City. Sugar House Park,1400 East 2100 South, 6:00 p.m.
11/19/2015 Vigil: 7:21 a.m. Si Kahn & John McCutcheon will stand vigil on the very spot where Joe Hill was tied to a chair, blindfolded and, with a paper heart pinned to his chest, shot to death by a firing squad. Anyone in the Salt Lake City area is invited to join.
11/19/2015 Concert: Bucky Halker and Lil’ Rev,“Anywhere But Utah – The Songs of Joe Hill.” 7:30 p.m., Beulah Briton House, 2590 S Superior St., Bayview, WI. Donation.
11/19/2015 Soapboxing: The Upstate New York Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World will lead a traditional soapboxing demonstration at noon, on Thursday, Nov. 19 ,at Washington Avenue, downtown Albany, on the sidewalk adjacent to West Capitol Park. Presentation & Concert: That evening, IWW delegate Greg Giorgio will discuss Joe Hill’s Legacy and lead a sing-along of Joe Hill’s songs. 6:30 p.m. at the Altamont Free Library.
11/19/2015 Concert: John McCutcheon, “Joe Hill’s Last Will.” Salt Lake City. The State Room.
11/19/2015 Bo Widerberg’s film Joe Hill will be shown in a newly restored and digitally remastered version produced by the National Library of Sweden as part of a Joe Hill Centenary event in Melbourne, Australia, on Thursday, Nov. 19. Victorian Trades Hall, Lygon and Victoria Streets, Carlton, commencing at 5.00 p.m.
11/19/2015 Concert: Anne Feeney, Honoring the Legacy of Joe Hill. Sponsored by NW Oregon Labor Council. 8 p.m. Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St., Portland OR 97211.
11/19/2015 Concert: 100 years later: Tribute Concert for a true rebel that never died. Berlin. Bernd Köhler & Blandine Bonjour, Geigerzähler, The Overall Brigade. Supamolly, Jessner Str. 41, D-10247 Berlin, Germany. 6:00 – 12:00 p.m.
11/19/2015 Soapboxing. The General Executive Board of the Industrial Workers of the World has called for Wobblies and others to emulate Joe Hill on the centenary of his execution by speaking on a sidewalk, public park or other public place about Joe Hill and the struggle for workers’ emancipation. A pamphlet issued to support the actions is available as a free download.
11/19/2015 The Letters of Joe Hill. Former IWW General Secretary-Treasurer Alexis Buss will discuss the life and legacy of Joe Hill, and in particular his writings collected in the new expanded edition of The Letters of Joe Hill (for which she collected extensive new material and updated and expanded the notes). John Braxton will sing Joe Hill’s songs. Thursday, Nov. 19, 6:30 p.m., Swedish American Historical Museum, Philadelphia.
11/19/2015 Concert: “Don’t Mourn, Organize: The Musical Legacy of Joe Hill,” Chico, California. Jim Brobeck, Michael Cannon, Laurie Dana, Kim Gimbal, Mackenzie Howlett, Mark Johnson, David Longaker, Mark McKinnon , Gordy Ohliger, Laurel Paulson-Pierce, Katrina Rodriguez, Jim Williams, and David Zink will share music by Joe Hill and inspired by him. 7:00 p.m., Blue Room Theater, 139 West 1st Street, Chico (above Colliers Hardware, accessible). $15, reservations or advance tickets required. (Proceeds benefit the Bernie Sanders campaign; Joe Hill’s “Mr. Block” suggests he might have preferred a different strategy.)
11/20/2015 Concert: “Joe Hill…The Man Who Never Died… 100 Years Ago!” Seattle, Washington. Featuring Gary Kanter, Friends & Fellow Travelers. Friday, Nov. 20, 7 p.m. Couth Buzzard Books, 8310 Greenwood Ave., Seattle.
11/20/2015 Don’t Mourn, Organize! Performances in Celebration of Labor Troubadour Joe Hill. New York City. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! will lead a group of musicians and actors in a rousing evening honoring the great labor troubadour Joe Hill: Musicians Allison Moorer, Stephen Said, Son of Nun and Jamie Kilstein, actors Susan Pourfar and Brian Jones, comedian Hari Kondabolu, and writer Walter Mosley. Friday, Nov. 20, 7:00 p.m. New School’s Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall, 66 W 12th St., Manhattan. The event celebrates publication of the new edition of The Letters of Joe Hill. Admission free, but tickets required.
11/20/2015 Commemoration Concert:Kansas City MO. Danny Cox, Dr. Joyce Downing, Tom James, Bill Clause, Kasey Raush & Scott Stanton, Ariana Eakle, Bob & Diana Suckiel and more. Friday, Nov. 20, 7:30 p.m. Trailside Center, 9901 Holmes Rd. $15 donation. Be prepared to sing.
11/21/2015 Concert: John McCutcheon, “Joe Hill’s Last Will.” Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Legion Arts.
11/21/2015. Joe Hill Roadshow, Knoxville TN. Jack Herranen & the Little Red Band, Black Atticus, Shelby Bottom Duo, Matt Kinman & Friends. Saturday, Nov. 21, Potluck 5:00 p.m., Show 7:00 p.m. Candoro Marble Building, 4450 Candora Ave., Knoxville. $5 donation.
11/22/2015 Commemoration: Joe Hill funeral re-enactment with a casket, brass band and several performers (including Swedish and Italian). Bucky Halker, Jon Langford, Sally Timms, and more. The Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia Ave, Chicago.
Exhibition: Joe Hill 100 Years Part 5. URI-EICHEN Gallery, 2101 S Halsted, Chicago. Posters and other memorabilia from the Industrial Workers of the World General HQ’s Collection, Molly Crabapple, and Pocket Guide to Hell’s Paul Durica. Live music with Bucky Halker.
12/12/2015 Presentation: “Don’t Mourn, Organize!” commemorating the life of Joe Hill and raising funds for Haymarket Books, publisher of the expanded edition of The Letters of Joe Hill. Bill Ayers, Rick Kogan, Maya Schenwar, Jesse Sharkey, Sharon Smith, James Thindwa, and other special guests will read from Joe Hill’s writings and perform his songs. Saturday, Dec. 12, 7:00 p.m., Preston Bradley Center, 941 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago. Tickets $10 – $45, includes a copy of the new edition of The Letters of Joe Hill, compiled by Alexis Buss, with a new foreword by Tom Morello.
Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. Musical History of Joe Hill & the Early Labor Movement Tour with the Shelby Bottom Duo (Michael August and Nell Levin)United Auto Workers Local 737, 6207 Centennial Blvd, Nashville TN, 2 pm.
Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. SPECIAL ALBUM RELEASE SHOW! Musical History of Joe Hill and the Early Labor Movement Tour with Shelby Bottom Duo, Nashville Peace & Justice Center, Friends Meeting House, 530 26th Avenue N., Nashville, 7 pm.
Friday, Sept. 30, 2016. The Joe Hill Roadshow makes a return appearance at the MSU Community Music School, Lansing, Michigan, 7:30 p.m.. Tickets are $18, $5 for students. Performing are Magpie (Greg Artzner and Terry Leonino), Charlie King and George Mann.
November 2015 marks the centenary of the judicial murder of IWW organizer and songwriter Joe Hill. In the coming weeks we will be posting information on Joe Hill’s life, an interactive calendar for posting events around the world marking the centenary, the text of all of Joe Hill’s surviving songs, and other material. Your suggestions are welcome.
At the beginning of the Twentieth Century, a great International Exposition of Arts and Industry is held in Gävle, Sweden, to celebrate the prosperity which progress will bring in the years ahead. The play provides scope to facsimilate this as a pre-show, drawing on the talents of local schools or arts groups, Joe Hill taking the opportunity to involve himself in a variety of the musical contributions.
Gävle is, however, an impoverished area of Sweden, so, like hundreds of thousands from all over Europe, Joe and his brother leave, believing that they will find a more prosperous life in America. They find terrible pay and working conditions, even while a few employers are making themselves multi-millionaires.
Joe comes to believe in the power of unions to transform this situation but, after supporting a long-drawn-out and inconclusive strike by machinists in Chicago, he is converted to the ideals of One Big Union, being initiated by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), which seeks to use the power of solidarity not only to improve workers’ conditions but to completely overthrow the capitalist order which oppresses them.
As he travels round the country seeking work, Joe finds that the great contribution he can make is to compose songs that will unite the workers. However, after the IWW has had various major successes, it comes to be seen as such a danger by employers that they seek to use any means to crush it. When Joe’s membership is discovered, after he has been arrested in a round-up following a shooting in Salt Lake City, the police cease any search for more likely suspects, a case is constructed against him, and he is executed, despite nation-wide protest. The outrage this causes leads a massive crowd, singing his songs, to accompany his body to the crematorium, whence his ashes will be distributed throughout the world, making him a symbol to inspire workers’ solidarity ever since.
Although most sequences are scripted, there is also scope in the play for a company to devise full scenes.
This play is conceived as for performance by a Youth/Community Theatre, with professional support. Therefore, although there is scope for multiple doubling and more, no attempt has been made to limit the number of characters; – if anything, the reverse. For info: