JOE HILL 100 CONCERT
Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the murder of IWW songwriter and organizer Joe Hill. Scroll down to learn more about Joe Hill and the tour.
Sunday, November 15th
Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship
1207 Ellsworth Street, Bellingham
Doors at 6:30, Show at 7:00
$10-20 at the door. All proceeds to the musicians so don’t be a tightwad!
Advance tickets $15 : Village Books and Community Food Co-op
#joehill100 #whatcom-skagit IWW
ICONIC LABOR ACTIVIST JOE HILL HONORED WITH NATIONAL ROAD SHOW TOUR, COMING TO BELLINGHAM
This year, musicians and labor activists have organized the “Joe Hill 100 Road Show,” a national concert tour, to mark the 100th anniversary of his death. After traveling through the Midwest, East Coast, and South in the Spring and Summer, the tour reaches Bellingham at last.
Each local show includes a mix of local and national touring artists. Bellingham performers are Linda Allen (a feminist and labor singer, songwriter and historian), David Rovics (an activist singer songwriter from Portland), Rebel Voices from Seattle (who took their name from an anthology of artistic works by the IWW), and George Mann from New York (the tour organizer), all stellar Labor and People’s musicians. The performers will sing labor anthems, including, of course, the songs of Joe Hill, and other songs they deem appropriate.
On November 19, 1915, labor activist and songwriter Joe Hill was killed by a firing squad in Salt Lake City, Utah. After national and international appeals for clemency that included the American Federation of Labor, Helen Keller, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, the Swedish Ambassador and many more, Hill was executed for the murders of a grocer and his son, who were shot in a robbery on January 10, 1914. There is little doubt today that Joe Hill was framed for the crime because he was a foreigner and a well-known labor activist. His death inspired several songs, and his life has inspired many fellow workers, but Joe also wrote some of our best-known labor songs, including “The Preacher and The Slave,” “Casey Jones,” and “There is Power in a Union,” which are still sung today at union rallies and events.
Joe Hill (October 7, 1879 – November 19, 1915), was born Joel Emmanuel Hägglund in Gävle, Sweden. He came to the United States in 1902 and learned English as an itinerant laborer. Joe Hill was an organizer, songwriter, cartoonist and journalist during his 36 short years. He travelled from the east coast to the west coast, Mexico to Canada, fanning the flames of discontent on the waterfront and in mines and lumber camps.
After signing up as a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, Joe began writing songs for IWW organizing campaigns. His first surviving effort was “The Preacher and The Slave” (which added the phrase “pie in the sky” to the American lexicon), written for the Free Speech Fight in Spokane, Washington, in 1910. His songs, written to the popular tunes of the day, have continued to inspire young agitators, and he remains the best-known songwriter among the IWW tunesmiths.
Joe Hill’s life and legacy have been memorialized in songs written and sung by Joan Baez, Woody Guthrie, Si Kahn, Phil Ochs, Paul Robeson, Bruce Springsteen, and countless others. Alfred Hayes and Earl Robinson’s “I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night” has been performed in union halls and in concerts around the world, speaking to Joe Hill’s lasting legacy — the “man who never died.”
Other commemorative events this year include the Joe Hill edition of the “Solidarity Forever Labor History Calendar” and a special reproduction of the 1917 IWW “Little Red Song Book” – which was issued at the time as a Joe Hill Commemorative edition. These items, and others, along with the Musicians’ CDs will be available for sale at the concert.
For more information on all of this year’s events, visit: http://joehill100.com. Information on the performers can be found at: http://lindasongs.com, www.davidrovics.com, www.rebelvoices.com, http://georgemannmusic.com