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Happy 75th Birthday, Phil Ochs !

A celebration and two events, one in Queens and one in Brooklyn in December of 2015


photo credit: William Curtis

Wow!  What a terrific evening

Thursday Night, December 17th was !

when we celebrated Phil Ochs' birthday at Odradeks Coffee House in Kew Gardens, Queens. Thank you for being part of such a memorable Songs of Freedom Television event. Not only was the venue for the free event well attended, but an online live stream audience broadened the scope of the Phil Ochs family affair.

Here is what I shared on Facebook to the online community participating in the event.

Thank you to everybody for making this evening so special. Thank you to everyone who came to the show. I counted more than 40 people squeezing into the neighborhood bistro. When Barry Kornhauser showed up with his cello I was wondering how we were going to fit it in the room! 

It was poetic justice to see my sister at the event. After all, it was her fault we did this. I first heard Phil Ochs after she came back from a college break and played the songs from his early concert album in her room and the sound came through the wall into mine. Soon after the record disappeared from her collection. (Yes, Gayle, it was me.) I cannot explain my affinity and connection to Phil's voice and music. Maybe I don't have to.

I would be interested if anyone reading this saw the live streaming of the event. It was my first attempt at this. Did anyone see it? Did it work? Tell me about the audio and video quality. What are your suggestions? The online phenomenon has brought a new wave of Phil Ochs awareness as younger people discover the music and older people reconnect with it and others like themselves.

Finally, I want to thank the artists who felt compelled to be part of the evening. It was a privilege to invite my good friends and performing buddies Ben Silver, Anne Price, Lydia Adams Davis, and Steve Suffet to the show. I also got to invite and make a new friend in Steve Vitoff. It was an honor for me to share the stage with and introduce David Massengill and hear him tell stories about his early Phil experiences and touring with Dave Van Ronk years ago. And it was deeply satisfying to invite and introduce my brother in law and family hero, Richard Benson. The evening was one big and growing family affair. I also want to give a shout out to Ray Naylor in Pennsylvania who suggested the live stream and guided me through the process of bringing the evening beyond the intimate confines of Odradeks Coffee House.

I joked at the end of the evening together that we will have to do this again in another 75 years. We won't have to wait that long. I will be active performing this music as Phil Ochs continues to bring people together.

In solidarity.

joel landy


Saturday Night, December 19

at The Commons in Brooklyn

There was a second Phil Ochs birthday celebration featuring many memorable artists and performances on Saturday night, December 19th. Artists were asked to perform a Phil song and one other in the sprit of Phil Ochs. My two choices are represented below. The evening was also live streamed by WBAI.
You can watch the link of the entire 5 hour show at this link.
I go on at the 59 minute mark.

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